Jan 21 2010
Lists. I hate’em. Lists, as we all know, involve chores ranging from the mundane (e.g. get oil change) to the less-than-mundane (pay Vinne, your bookie.) Either way, chores are generally things I don’t wanna do. And I hate having to do things I don’t wanna do! (I hate lists!) But sometimes lists can be really fun, especially when exchanged with like-minded folks. Like the time I asked my English grad-student friend to provide a list of books I should read (“what’s wrong with Dan Brown?” I defensively pleaded.) He e-mailed it to me, I scanned it – it was impressive! – and promptly forgot about it. Oh well, there’s always Grisham.
What would be really cool is if all my lists were in one spot for these kinds of fun, artistic pursuits. A place where I could make lists of books, movies, and music, and also interact with people with similar interests. This may come as a shock to you, but I have found such a place. It’s called TriYou, and makes me look at lists in a less despondent, existential way, which is nice of them.
TriYou allows you to create your very own media lists, and after creating them, you can rate them, review them, or even watch videos related to your media. Their search engine allows you to locate your favorite movie, book, or CD, and add them to your media list, which you can then share with your friends in the comment area. They also have a nifty tool called the TriBar, which lets viewers see what are you reading, watching, or listening to right now. I mean, what’s not to love?
So I registered and immediately began to create my profile and start listin’. I was taken to a dashboard with all my categories – lists, photos, friends, notifications, reviews, etc – arranged vertically across the left side of the screen. So I made a list, using a helpful drop-down box that let me differentiate between Books, Music, and Movies. You can also search for your favorites, and then simply click on the “Add to List” command, and poof! your list is instantly populated. Given my exotic tastes, I wanted to test the depth and breadth of TriYou’s search engine, entering my all-time favorites accordingly:
- Movie: Bull Durham. The ladies are particularly impressed when they hear this (ditto Dumb and Dumber.)
- Book: Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. What a book!
- Music: Odessa, by the Bee Gees. The Brothers Gibbs’ masterpiece, a sprawling double-album loosely based on the story of a shipwrecked sailor. (Hey, you there in the back, stop snickering; don’t think I can’t see you.)
The verdict? Three for three – all of these timeless, profound classics popped up. To that end, navigationally speaking, the site was nice and easy. Some props are due:
- Thankfully not adhering to “the-more-navigational-tabs-the-better” school of thought, the site has just five: Home, Users, Movies, Music, Books. Less can be more.
- The ubiquitous search box on each page – with a cool, coy quote on each page – is a nice touch, goading viewers to participate.
- In fact, the content’s tenor is fun and entertaining throughout. Throughout my visit, I picked up references to U2 and Maurice Sendack.
- The musical and literary tastes of the site are rad too – White Stripes, Nirvana, George Harrison. That helps.
Now for a few suggestions.
- The Movies, Music, and Books tabs look great, but a bit more product thumbnails, just to fatten up the page, would look nice.
- Maybe it was my Internet connection, but the Search function took a bit more time than I was used to.
- A few of the buttons on the product-specific pages seemed to be dead.
Not some people may ask, “Don’t other sites have lists? Like, say, Amazon?” Good question, and I’ve never been one to not address an elephant in the room (unless it involves money, religion, or family issues.) The bottom line is that TriYou’s model is simply more streamlined, more focused. Their main feature is the lists, rather than selling lots of stuff*. Art over commerce! What a concept.
*Note: I did swing by Amazon – just like the old days – and I couldn’t intuitively find lists anywhere, at least at first. I felt really overwhelmed – even, dare I say, listless (get it?) – and the next thing I knew I almost mistakenly bought a $125 box set of Gheorghe Zamfir, the King of the Pan Flute. Close call!