Been a while since I’ve blogged, I know, a little too much travel, not enough interesting new tech for me. So I could weigh in on the mysterious undersea cable cutting conspiracy, but, just like all the other bloggers who’ve commented, I really have no clue about it. Instead, I’ve got some simple tips to improve some web sites I use a lot.
Somehow even with all the froobooloo.com, sqzzzr’s, and other Web 2.0 sites, nobody’s managed to beat up on Evite. Which is stunning considering it’s really the same site it was back in 1999. No Plaxo integration. No custom template editing. No useful host tools. The only new features I’ve seen are about sending my evite to my mobile device. So how about just giving the host the ability to review the guest list from within the site (the CSV export is ridiculous)? Just showing me the email addresses of my invitees would make a world of difference. My estimated difficulty to integrate (on a 1-10, where 10 is really hard): 1.5.
- Google Calendar
This one’s short and sweet: when an all-day event is booked, it should “block off” the whole day! See Outlook 2003 calendering for reference. JT’s Difficulty-o-Meter: 2.
Again, ANY new features would be nice. But I’ll settle for some basic improvements in the “My Movies” features. Don’t double entries just because I put them in multiple categories. Also, let me export the list. Also, let me share the list (in a “real” way, the current method is bogus). Bottom line is I have no real use for this feature as it currently stands, so any features are better features. JT’s Difficultizer: 3.
- CNET (and many many others, but I care more about you!)
Don’t require login to comment on blogs. It’s only reducing the likelihood that people will converse, yet not increasing the quality of content. JT’s Dffclty–mtr: 1.
Make groups useful already! Right now, the entire usefulness of a group is the process of adding it to your profile so your friends can see you added it. They, in turn, may add it as well. This cycle continues until you notice the group is either (a) spamming you, (b) entirely useless, or (c) overwhelmed with marketing pitches, at which point you leave the group. Soon, your friends follow. The JT challenge: 7
Copy (literally) the Flickr style of sharing private photos. Allow me to mark a video private, then get a hidden URL I can email to people. Like it or not, not everybody plans to become a YouTube user, and I’d rather not burden my parents with such a chore just to see my baby videos (which are, of course, the cutest videos on YouTube). JTdiff: 4.
- Xbox Live website
Two features this time. One, allow me to search for friends’ gamertags using their email addresses and other piece of info (or just do a Plaxo integration). Second, and more interesting, is building in some “group game scheduling” feature where I can tell my friends I plan to play a certain game (say, COD4) at a certain time (say, this weekend, probably Saturday night or Sunday), and they can sign up to play. Then we all get reminders from within the Xbox Dashboard. Or on Facebook, whatever… JT difficulterer: 6.5.
First, you have to go fix the really broken version of the Mac uploader, but that’s a bug, not an improvement. How about allowing us to customize our pages? I’d like to have more than the few meager options I have today for default layouts. ytluciffid TJ: 3.
- Ustream.tv and hockeybuzz.com and anyone else who automatically plays video when you come to their home page
Stop it. Now.
Integrate the wiki and community with the rest of the product pages. It’s so completely disjointed and looks so out of place. Also, give us more control over search filters, I hate the options you’ve preselected for me (hint: not everybody is comparing 40-49″ flatscreens, sometimes we look for 46-52″ displays…). JT’s diff: 4.
- Bonus: LIVEdigitally.com
First, how the heck do you pronounce this site, and why is the “live” capitalized? Also, get the content flowing a little more regularly. 10.
I just blogged about my annoyance with registrations required for posting comments just the other day — although it was a ZDNet site:
I’m more amazed by the number of people who accept the requirement and create accounts at these web sites!
I agree with you on CNet. Trying to read their blogs is a challenge. The URL for Underexposed, for example, is:
That is, if you can find it.
Great list. I’m particularly with you on the Gcal and YouTube scene. Both would make their services tremendously more valuable.
You still use Evite? To me, that’s just something I tolerate from my friends.
How about on YouTube, an RSS feed for new videos from ALL my subscriptions, like Flickr with my Contacts’ new photos? Not everyone wants to hit the YouTube homepage a few times a day to see if their friends have uploaded anything new.
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Plaxo is just awful – good luck if you merge your contacts and chances are if you haven’t already spammed all your contacts via Pulse or something else, you will at some point. Not only did I cancel my pay membership, I canceled my account. Facebook or LinkedIn can easily add similar functionality (and probably should).
I’ve been waiting for some one to try and unseat IMDB for years. I guess it’s just hard to replicate their volume of information.
the list of sites, that need improvement, could be longer than the Pi after the point 🙂