I saw this article on ZDNet this morning and signed up. I think the success of a social network is inversely proportional to the time it takes you to figure out what you can use it for. I had this challenge with pinterest. I signed up, went back a few times, but I just couldn’t get into the flow of creating pins, boards (and now secret boards) maybe because I couldn’t think about what to pin in the first place. When I look at Socl (in my mind I still pronounce it as Soh-kul), I can see the people in pinterest being able to do the same things (minus the secret boards) but I can instantly think about a number of things I can use it for.
The main page allows you to see a stream of posts on SoCl. I like having the flexibility to see the whole stream, the ones I follow, and the ones that are feature. Sorting by newest vs activity (i.e. comments, tags and likes I’m guessing) is also a good way to find content where conversations are happening. Though pinterest has pretty much the same class of filters (everything, following, popular), sorting is simply by newest, I’m guessing.
Pinterest for the less organized – Elaborating more on posts, I guess you can say they are mini pinterest boards, less the rigidity? I like how you can pin pretty much anything: web links, videos, images and how you can tag it with as many number of interests as you want. It doesn’t have to be a board filed to a specific category.
There is also an option to “riff on this post” which is kind of re-pinning but not really since you create your own collage with different titles and different content, but riffing allows you to show you were inspired by another collage when making this one.
I like how they’ve implemented the categories as the tags people have given to their posts. Although the drawback is you’ll have a category on social media and socialmedia, I think it’s still better than restricting categories and therefore restricting the way you could filter content. Also, in pinterest’s case, if I wanted a certain piece of content on two different categories, I’d have to add it to 2 different boards. It was hard enough for me to figure out how to pin something.
Pinterest for the more social – One major plus on the interests view is that when you drill down to a specific interest, aside from being able to see all posts tag as such, you also get to see a view of the people contributing to this category. On the upper right, the top contributors also get cycled with featured content, which I think is a nice touch as it encourages people to contribute plus it makes it easier for people find who to follow for a particular interest. To me, although you can share your boards and comment on other boards or pins, and all those elements of a social network, it doesn’t really encourage much conversation beyond the repins and likes. It feels more like a showcase of your stuff “my style”, “my ideas”. It’s a corkboard in your studio, whereas Socl feels more like a corkboard that you’d have in the office pantry or school lobby.
Again, on the being more social bit. With pinterest, it’s not even clear at first glance how to find out who you’re following (you have to go to your profile first then the links appear. But then again, maybe Pinterest’s top priority wasn’t being social. I remember when I signed up, I was asked about my interests and then by the time I finally found the page that listed who I was following, I realized that I have been autofollowed to people based on those same interests. This was frustrating because there was no way for me to just see the posts of the people I had knowingly followed.
I like that apart from A-Z sorting, you can sort based on who the most active users are too.
The me page is a nice dashboard of everything about me, quick stats like number of posts, likes, top interests cycle on the upper right and tabs that correspond to the different pages show my contributions, my conversations (messages and comments) and the people I’m connected to (followers, following and then there’s a facebook tab that doesn’t do anything right now).
This is something totally different from pinterest (I don’t even think you can pin videos on pinterest). As it describes itself, it’s a way to watch videos together on Socl in real time. And it pretty much does what it claims to, allowing you to comment and change the active video & add more videos in real time too. Apart from the being a “social” way of watching videos online, I think the app can do without it or stand alone as a different app altogether. But I guess it’s a neat feature to have anyway.