A Super Review — What’s That?
Jim McNeil and I played around with Zude for almost 2 hours Friday afternoon. While we talked, I heard the teacher in me say, “Most folks won’t see how this has the potential to change the way we interact with information and each other. Communication is fun again.”
This weekend I’ve been reading the pre-launch reviews. I face my keys and realize that the most useful review is not one person’s reporting of features and facts. So, in the spirit of Zude, I’m building a super review by gathering the relevant insights and information from experts all over the Internet. I’ll throw my grown-up kid thoughts in along the way.
6 Experts Weigh In
I can’t help but begin with the way that Zude was introduced to me.
“Zude is a pretty cool tool that allows anyoneâ€”we like to say “grandmas to geeks, coders to kids”–to build a website, from scratch, just by dragging and dropping objects from anywhere on the web. Items like photos, text, videos, even widgets can be built into your page, even if you only know how to click a mouse.” said Matthew Kraft when he extended an invitation to talk with Jim McNiel (CEO) about the product.
How cool Is THAT?!!
“McNiel, CEO, and Steve Repetti, CTO of Fifth Generation Systems, “dropped by my table at the Web 2.0 Expo to show off a very cool Web site tool called Zude. It was the coolest thing I saw at the Expo. —Robert Scoble, May 16, 2007 (check out the video
I’m right there with Robert and Robin. WAY Cool is my answer.
So what makes it cool? Well . . .
“But what’s cool is that you can also import entire web pages, and by dragging the URL into your Zude page you are presented with a choice of how you would like to import the content – as an RSS feed, a full-page rendering of the website, an embedded version of the web-page or even a button linking directly back to the source page.
Zude gives you the chance to quickly and easily bring in all kinds of content (dealing with intellectual property issues falls on your own conscience) and quickly remix it into new pages. As such it serves as nice way to aggregate content whether for your own research or future reference, or to share with friends.” —Robin Good, Master New Media
Finally, life on the web is moving to seamless. (Intellectual property here is also an issue of conscience — or Kinkos saying they won’t make copies.)
Who’s going to love it?
“Although it is unquestionably one of the most revolutionary services to hit the Web in a long time â€” one that, once out of beta, should prove to be equally usable and useful to Grandma as it is powerful to hackers, corporate developers, knowledge workers, and business analysts â€” once you’re done playing around with Fifth Generation System’s Zude.com, you’ll probably have as tough a time as I am putting your finger on how to categorize it.” —David Berlind, ZDNet
Why can’t it be a category of one? Cirque du Soleil is. People love what satisfies their needs, wants, and desires.
How does it work?
“Essentially, you create a free Zude account and start with a blank canvas, where you can drag and drop anything from the rest of the Web. When logged in, you simply open a new browser window and grab any piece of content you would like â€“ a photo, a video, a widget, or even an entire Web page â€“ and drop it on your Zude page. From there, it can be manipulated, resized, or even given functions such as alt text or hyperlinks. Thus, Zude can serve as anything form a simple personal site, to a tribute to your favorite band, or become the â€œultimate mashupâ€ where you combine information from all of your social networking profiles, blogs, widgets, and favorite web sites.” —Adam Ostrow, Mashable
Ever been stuck in the code of a blog theme?
Zude is like playing in the backyard when we were kids. The focus is what and why — the how comes naturally.
Take a look. Here’s to places folks have already made — enlarge them to take a look. Here’s a link to the LizStrauss Zude page.
How is Zude different from the rest?
“There are two main elements that separate Zude from Netvibes and Pageflakes. Zude is not simply a homepage where favorites are visited and utilized, it has an unlimited depth of possible pages and uses. Secondly, Zude uses a sophisticated and fast cross domain drag-and-drop aspect to simplify and dynamically change the way people add content to their pages.” —Phil Butler, Read, Write, Web
It’s fun to move things around (check out the Monty Python-like image library), and it’s deep enough to hold up to professional intent.
What makes it work?
All that and a wireless mouse coupled with an idea or two.
What possible weaknesses do the big guys see?
“The interface is fairly painful to navigate at first, at least in Firefox (itâ€™s supposedly better in Internet Explorer; it didnâ€™t work at all in Safari), but with the end goal of putting together a custom webpage, itâ€™s still easier to figure out than Dreamweaver.
Itâ€™s also easy to make a really ugly, graphic-heavy web site, replete with clashing colors. As we learned from MySpace, self-expression isnâ€™t always pretty.” — Adena DeMonte, Giga Om
“My only concern is that the platform is too flexible and that users faced with too many choices will shy away from the service.” —Nick Gonzales, Tech Crunch
Kind of sounds like the first release of desktop publishing, doesn’t it? Look where we are with that idea now . . .
Conclusions of a Super Review from 1 Grownup Kid
Why did everyone fall in love with the iPod?
It wasn’t only the technology.
The IPod worked because it was fun. When folks used an iPod, it changed how they felt about themselves and how they experienced the world.
Where are the people in the tech reviews? The facts alone don’t tell the whole story. If they did, the Edsel would have been a hit and the VWBeetle would have been a bomb.
Customers choose what works by what works to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
Work, play, who we are — surely not perfect and it takes a few minutes to find your feet — sounds like life to me.
Try Zude. I’d really like to know what you think.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!