In our most recent edition of the SlapStart magazine we include a series of market observations and forecasts. Much discussion is committed to the topics of social networking, online classifieds, and the climate of the market of each. It’s our conclusion that the market has a need for a new type of site. The website we propose is not one that fits nicely into a single market segment such as a place for videos, or music, or friends. Instead we propose that it is time for a social networking site to combine all the major categories of online activities. We don’t need to go to a single site for online classifieds, and then another site for music, and yet another for photos, events, groups, and forums. No, it’s time that the internet graduates to the next level, thanking, but also leaving behind the stepping stones that got us here.
Almost with impeccable timing comes today’s feature- YouGoSocial. The folks at YouGoSocial most likely never read our ramblings about market forecasts. Production almost invariably started before those comments were released. What they did read however were the same zeitgeists that we’ve observed. And what they built is a site that comes pretty close to our prediction. A place where you can meet friends, find music, video, and much more, all in one location.
At first glance YouGoSocial might be misconstrued for a Facebook clone. That is, until you read the section headers. The basic profile is very wall-ish with lists of would be friends, a chat utility, profile pics, discussions, etc. The sections include blogs, videos, music, photos, classifieds, groups, events, forums, and Q&A. It has nearly every major shared piece of content that your average web user has grown accustomed to.
As I began to explore the various sections I realized how cool they were. The blogs for instance have featured blogs, and the ability to create your own. The videos are the same in that you can upload them from your computer or import them from Vimeo or YouTube. The music section gives you the ability to create albums, playlists, browse music, or upload your own. It’s a great way to discover new tunes, as well as give yourself a chance to be discovered. Photos have a series of public sections, as well as your own personal albums. You can upload your own photos and set the privacy options according to your preference.
Perhaps my favorite section is the classifieds. As noted in our magazine and overheard by angry mutterings under our breath, we feel strongly that it’s time for Craigslist to be dethroned from their pole position in online classifieds. Baring the possibility that they’ll dutifully pull down their site on their own, it’s likely a site that incorporates other social networking aspects will be best positioned to prevail over them. YouGoSocial’s classifieds is a map and category based system so you can see exactly how far away the item you’re looking for is. It almost immediately provides some visual relief from the pale blue text we’ve been stuck with.
Groups are places where people with similar interests can commune for like minded exchanges. They can share ideas online or plan outings into the real world. Similar to other sections the creators of the groups can make them as public or private as they like. Events are direct replacements for Evite or event invites with Facebook. It provides all the tools needed to plan and schedule events including calendar, descriptions, send invites, etc. And finally, forums, polls, and Q&A are various sections for people to hang out and shoot the breeze. It gives you a variety of ways to gauge what other people are thinking and also share your own knowledge and opinions.
In a time where so many websites are taking aim at Facebook, Craigslist, or other popular sites by created new and improved versions, it’s nice to see someone come up with a real solution. YouGoSocial is one such innovator that goes far beyond coming up with the next version of a product. They came up with the next version of the web. It challenges the conventional ways people interact online and proposes something different- something better. This ground breaking application is a model of entrepreneurial excellence amongst a web full of imitators. The one questions remains- are the zeitgeists ready to welcome this new web paradigm? YouGoSocial provides their answer, but time can only tell.
YouGoSocial went YouGoPostal. They left the start-up world, leaving it for what we can only assume to be greener, more nurturing, pastures.