July 31, 2008 |
Social Median has been opened up to a public beta now. Early adopter type that I am, I of course had to run right over and check it out. I’m still playing with it, but I have a few initial impressions about the overall service so far.
First, Social Median is no FriendFeed. If you were hoping for a replacement to FriendFeed like I was, this is not it. It has a few similar features, but in the end, it is more news reader and people follower than social aggregator.
It wins for being easy on the eyes and easy to navigate. While I need to use it a bit more to get more than a cursory impression of it, my first instinct is to ask why FriendFeed can’t make it self look like this and sort like this? A merging of the two might create one aggregator slash reader that makes sense.
In trying to add News Sources I ran into a few snags. The most glaring issue I faced so far, and one I’d be interested in hearing if anyone else experienced, was the inability to add a source that was not mainstream. I was able to customize my news sources to an extent, but I had trouble adding my own site RSS feed, for example. That could be an issue, since it happened on all three of my browsers: Flock 2, FireFox 3 and Safari.
Following people is very easy on Social Median. You can find them via the social timeline, by who follows you, by importing your contacts from Gmail, Hotmail or Twitter, or by inviting them. I had no trouble using any of these methods to find and add friends to my Social Median network.
As with FriendFeed and other sites, Social Median has a way for users to post items, or clip articles and share them on the site. Other users can them comment on the items, creating mini conversations in a combination aggregator and microblog.
My initial impression? I’ll be back to play with this further. It has a few glitches typical of a beta release, like difficulty adding some feeds, for example. Overall, I think I might like it a bit better than FriendFeed, especially if they make it a bit easier to feed your own updates into the feed reader portion of the site.
Ideally, I’d like to see it have more features, like FriendFeed and FaceBook, while retaining the easy navigation and FaceBook-sleek look. It’s a little rough around the edges now as far as usability, but given time I think it has potential for longevity. It isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it seems to have picked up on what people want and started off by trying to give it to them. That alone is a rare gem in social media.