On a scale of 1 to 10, I think Blippr is pretty cool.
Blippr is a review service; you write short-form reviews of all kinds of things (books, movies, etc.) In an oxymoronic set of circumstances that only the Internet can enable, “micro” services are becoming huge. Twitter started a couple of years ago, and has become a popular (in the Valley, not in Kansas) “micro-blogging” service. In 140 characters or less you give your followers a status update. Some people use this for life-casting (i.e. I’m going to get a burrito) and others for starting conversations (i.e. what are the chances that Vista will stop sucking?). In my opinion, the latter is a much more interesting use for the service.
Twitter is about “micro-blogging” because they have a strict limitation on your content – all posts must be 140 characters or less. That’s as opposed to say WordPress, which is unlimited blogging (gurgitate to your heart’s content). 12seconds (which we’re involved in directly and which we posted about last month) also imposes a user constraint (twelve seconds, in case that wasn’t obvious.) Blippr follows suit with a constraint of their own, 160 characters or less.
Erick Schonfeld at Techcrunch wrote an article about Blippr a couple of weeks ago, which offers a fine summary of the product. I just signed up for an account myself – want to be friends? So far I’ve reviewed a couple of movies, Dark Knight and 300. Blippr encourages reviews for all kinds of products, including movies, music, games, books, and more. The restraints force you to be choosy with your words and even your characters. (Might want to start liking the ampersand.)
I see lots of opportunities in this product to link out to other products and services, whether amazon book and music purchases, netflix movie rentals, booksfree book rentals, social networks likes Shelfari, Facebook, and more… the list is more or less never-ending. Some of those deals could include affiliate deals that might even generate revenue, which is always a nice little bonus in an internet company.
I like the UI in Blippr. When you type out a review, a blue bar below the text window indicates how much space you have left. Where Twitter uses a numeric counter (which turns red and features a minus sign when you pass 140), I think the visualization of the blue bar is effective and more interesting to watch.
Blippr’s also done a great job of integrating other services; it’s quite easy to link your blips to your Twitter stream, to your FriendFeed, and to a myriad of other services.
There are a number of things I think BLippr could improve upon – doubtless they’ve considered these already, but I’ll voice them anyway. I think it would be cool if you could embed blips, make a widget out of all my blips, specific genres of blips, etc. It’d be nice to have the option to embed them directly on my blog, on a profile page, etc.
Also, SMS integration makes a lot of sense. According to tehir Get Satisfaction page, that’s coming soon. I can see a great deal of utility to that feature, especially in regards to a spontaneous interaction with something or other (i.e. I just walked out of Indiana Jones 4, and I’m so offended by the refrigerator scene that I want to tell the world RIGHT NOW!) I get it, they don’t have the money / resources / infrastructure / developers etc. yet. But they need to add SMS soon.
I also think this is an appropriate complement to Yelp, and other restaurant / business review services. I’d like to see them expand their focus (or create a sister service) that is dedicated to that market. And lastly, outside access seems really important to me. How can I dip into the Blippr-o-sphere on my mobile handset when I’m in line at the movie theater and the movie I wanted to see is sold out? Or I am at Green Apple Books (Clement and 6th in San Francisco, check ’em out) and I want someone’s opinion on a book. A short, to-the-point opinion.
Overall, I think this service shows more promise than most “web 2.0” (god I hate that term) companies. I’m interested to see where it goes. To the right I’ve embedded a screenshot of my (considerably) shorter review of Blippr, using Blippr. Neat.
This is also posted at 1to10reviews.