November 03, 2007 |
CrowdFound has tossed its hat in the ring of sites offering user found content. Its “twist” is adding in a social network and social bookmark aspect that allows you to find users that like similar content, as well as find content that you may not have heard of before that users similar to you like.
Like other similar sites, you can use an “add a link” type page located on the site itself to manually enter the URL of sites you find. This is a simple process that just requires filling in a few blanks. The drawback is that you have to remember to copy and paste the URL in a separate or new window.
They also offer a plug in for your browser that puts a little CrowdFound logo in your tool bar. This works in a similar fashion to the one offered by del.iscio.us and FURL. When you are on a site you like, clicking the tool bar button gives you a pop up window where you can describe the site and add it to the CrowdFound database.
CrowdFound sorts user found sites by categories, mainly. You can find sites that interest you in a variety of ways. The home page is probably the easiest to use at first. It lists all of the categories with a description, which you can then click on to see what sites users (the “crowd” behind CrowdFound) have found.
CrowdFound also offers tag sorting. The ubiquitous tag clouds found throughout the Web 2.0 world is a popular way to find new things. Personally, I am not a fan of tags or tag clouds, but if you are a fan of them then you will find the tags at CrowdFound right up your alley.
CrowdFound also offers some pre-sorted options like the “What's Hot” page, and the “Browse Page”. “What's Hot” is perhaps the most useful of the two. It gives you a real time snap shot of what other users like. It's fascinating to see what sites other users deem worthy of submitting to CrowdFound.
Some sites allow you to embed content directly on to the CrowdFound site, while others limit you to opening their content in a new window. I preferred to open content in a new window, myself. that meant I didn't lost my place while seeking new content. I can see how others would prefer the embedded content though.
You can have categories as favorites, but I wasn't able to save the sites I found as favorites. Saving categories as favorites doesn't seem to have any effect on how things are sorted or rated. In fact, I was unable to determine how the CrowdFound content was sorted and rated to make the result more accurate. Perhaps they will make that aspect of using their site more apparent when they are out of Beta.
CrowdFound is a fun resource for discovering new content and people who like the same content as you. It probably won't replace del.icio.us, FURL or other bookmark and content sites for me. I tend to want a site that focuses less on social aspects of content saving sites and more on content discovery and sorting.