David Hurth's Blog

Monday, October 30, 2006

RecommendzIt.com Lessons learn and new features

As the maker of the site RecommendzIt.com I have learned a lot of lessons about making a Web 2.0 social network. The initial portion of RecommendzIt.com is based on the Scuttle bookmarking engine. This made the initial site very similar to an early version of del.icio.us. This made it very difficult to show users the difference between my site and every other bookmarking site. Another problem was that it was too easy for websites that are poor at best to get listed on the home page.

At the time that I started to look into these problems there where under 5,000 users, most of which signed up after being written about by a few blogs. After looking into the issues I came up with a few solutions. Perhaps the best of these was to allow users to rate the websites that have been posted on the site. This allows for the highest rated websites to be given more weight and appear higher on the home page and in search results. In my opinion this allows for the community to keep the junk low in the search results and off the home page while allowing for the community to raise interesting recommendations to the top of the heap.

Another feature that I added to the service that helps to separate RecommendzIt.com from other services is to allow users to recommend videos and RSS feeds from various sources. What is different about this is that the site allows users to click a link (either Play Video or Show RSS Feed) and the video or RSS feed will appear right on the page without having to load a new page. This makes it easier for our visitors to use and it allows for you to recommend more content to your friends and family. These features coupled with the Watchlist feature allows for people to quickly see what you recommend. Plus it allows for you to have your recommended content from various services (such as YouTube and Yahoo Video) in one location instead of people having to check multiple sites.

RecommendzIt.com is constantly trying to improve our site to make it better for our members. It is apparently working as the networking is starting to grow faster and faster. As of the time of this writing there are 30,000 members and the network is growing at a rate of 2,000 users a day.

I hope that you enjoy the service that I am working to perfect and I would love to hear your comments on what can be done to further improve the service. All comments to this blog will be read and considered to improve RecommendzIt.com.


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