I recently signed up on Socialmedian which has been creating lot of news since its public beta launch earlier this year in July. The website has been termed from Digg for Web 2.0 to some network trying to make its space between twitter or Digg. I thought the best way to know would be to experience it and I have some views to share now.
Socialmedian is an idea which is being driven by some passionate people. The idea is to bring the people on web to submit the stories they find interesting or useful and have their own views about it. The idea is definitely not new because other bigger social networks like Digg and Stumbleupon have done and mastered this thing. Socialmedian has the benefit of not being the first who’s doing something like this as they can improve their offerings they feel other similar services are not doing. Anyway, first movers advantage is a myth.
It’s important that a service on web or elsewhere shouldÂ define a purpose and address it. Socialmedian’s purpose is to connect people and let them share their views and opinions about stories they clip in or submit. It’s a social news network as they like to call it and they intend to create a niche of News 2.0.
The first few things I realized when I signed up on Socialmedian are:
1. The layout is not as Web2.0′ish’ as some of you would like. The colors combination are similar to Facebook but somehow it manages to still differentiate.
2. I experienced few glitches in the layout like the drop down menu on News Networks was out of the navigation bar. Similar problems were seen on News Feed at Home pageÂ as well. I later found that those problems were only visible on Firefox Ubuntu and not in Firefox Windows.
3. I found the use of “Get Help” link twice on the page as little useless. Just one link would have sufficed.
I pondered a lot about it and compared it against its similar or rather better peers. Socialmedian somewhat works like Friendfeed in a way that you can add some text or link but they have different visions. Friendfeed wants to aggregate your online activity at one place while Socialmedian wants to create a platform which can bring about a transition from the way we read and interact with news stories now.
The thing that Socialmedian wants to pursue is to attract more users who can submit stories or news which can be discussed in a community. Digg would be its closest competitor because it is on the same lines as well. The question then arises “Why would anyone join Socilamedian when he can do the same stuff on Digg?”I really don’t have any answer to this but I do feel that Digg is not the place when you seek real news and opinion. The only category on Digg worth your time is Technology, everything else is most of the times total rubbish.
Socialmedian has a good chance if it becomes a place for good news and views. It can do well if it becomes successful in converting the basic web users who prefer to go to CNN or NYTimes to get their daily feed of news into using Socialmedian for the same. Socialmedian should start to differentiate and make its web offering more compelling in order to attract more users. The present community on Socialmedian is doing pretty well and you get to see news stories which have some value.
Socialmedian derives its fuel from the web and its top users who submit in good stories so the impetus of the success relies a lot on the way users use it and what direction is being provided to it.Â Most of the present users are on it for the sake of first mover advantage in the anticipation of its success which will belong to them as well.
What Socialmedian needs?
1. Direction. I would like Socialmedian adopting some direction because I am not yet convinced why would anyone come to it.
2. Competition. I don’t think Socialmedian has any real competitor like we had Reddit for Digg and Yahoo for Google. Sometimes your enemies do more benefit to you than you do to yourself.
3. More features. I don’t go to Socialmedian to read news or find some fun stuff. The only reason why I visit it is its community and the fact that you can’t send someone any direct message kinda plagues the interactivity and networking.
I think Socialmedian has just started its journey and we will see lot of improvements in the near future but what I really want is a clear reason for the visitors to come again. Youtube gave us that reason, Twitter converted users to use it over SMS, Stumbleupon helped us find good content on web. All of the successful websites have one thing common, that is a clear idea of the product/service in the mind of consumer and Socialmedian lacks that. If greatness is what they want to pursue then they have a long way to go but if they are looking to make a name then they have certainly made it.
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