So, I went to the Future of Web Apps summit in London this week. I may have a full post about that soon—but this isn’t it.
During a presentation by Tara Hunt and Chris Messina (Fostering Online Communities), Chris showed a cool new feature of ma.gnolia that really piqued my interest. Despite being a long-time del.icio.us user (my first del.icio.us bookmark was on 12/31/2003), I thought I’d try ma.gnolia (again) with a fresh perspective and an open mind.
Here are a few of my thoughts on the site and app after using it for just a few minutes:
- Using OpenID – Good job :)
- They need help with their “Blank state” pages (pages that don’t have data yet). When I first signed in, and didn’t have any bookmarks, friends or groups, my main page was a bit bare. Blank slates are a great opportunity to show the user either what the page could look like when they’re really rockin’ or, a call to action on how to start rockin’. 37Signals has lots to say about this subject.
- The Dashboard widget is neat. A few complaints about it:
- it doesn’t allow me to sign in with OpenID (which the main site does)
- just like their popups, the tag suggestions are based only off MY bookmarks, not other peoples. This is something that may seem small, but by showing what others have tagged a site with (and even helping you type them), you can amplify a common vocabulary.
- It puts the contents of my clipboard in the description portion… yuch!
- My import from del.icio.us still hasn’t happened yet! What gives?
- It’s slow. Could be bad timing on my part, or my sketchy WiFi in London, but it’s a lot slower than del.icio.us at this moment. I’m going to reserve judgement on that for now.
- It’s NOT just a pretty a del.icio.us clone (anymore) – SHOCKING! I held this belief until talking to Chris about the site, and actually playing with it myself. I now see that I was unfairly judging it (I do think they have an image problem though). What it gives you above and beyond del.icio.us are the community aspects of something like Flickr. A really neat bit is the “give thanks” (which is the feature I alluded to before)
- Their pagination really stinks… in a few places, each “page” is 5 or so items… What.The.Hell!
- Commas instead of spaces for tagging. This is 100% a personal preference, but I like spaces!
I think they’re doing some good stuff—I’m not ready to throw out del.icio.us just yet, but I will be posting to both services until one of them is less compelling to me.