Because I am a writer for Gazelle, I’m frequently looking for the latest technology news and trends that will give me good content for articles. I often come across articles about new available apps that promise to do anything from be my personal assistant to help me find better links online.
However, two recent experiences left me wondering just how useful social apps are, especially if no one is using them (yet).
“You have to get on Pheed!” my aunt texted me, excited that she had gotten my uncle’s band on the site. Since I hadn’t heard about it before, I asked her for more information and also googled it to find out more myself. My initial impression was a more trendy MySpace– a place where the cool kids could hang out and share their stuff, away from their moms and aunts on Facebook and their bosses on Twitter.
Because I’ll try anything (especially when it comes to new apps and technology), I downloaded the Pheed app and signed up for a profile. Once I got everything hooked up…there wasn’t really much else for me to do. I had a profile, but a lot of the content I could see either wasn’t from people I knew or I had already known about my friend’s updates from their other social networking profiles.
To me, it just seemed like it was another place for me to have to keep up with updates, without really giving me anything original in return.
Pheed, I like your landing page, and that people can “broadcast” from the app (which I don’t even know what that means since I didn’t connect with anyone that did it), but I’m moving on.
Another confusing social app experience I had was with Potluck, a new app recently released for the iPhone that came from the same folks that made Branch. I’d heard of Branch but like Pheed, was kind of unsure why I wanted to be on there. But the premise of Potluck– a very simple way to share links with people you know– sounded interesting. I am always looking for links for my Buffer queue and many times my social networks give me content that I would have never seen before.
So I downloaded Potluck and set up an account. Then, it had me check my Twitter profile and contacts to see who else was on Potluck too, so I could see their links and vice versa. Then, I got on the web version on my laptop and connected my Facebook and Gmail accounts to find more people.
I knew ONE person (someone I followed on Twitter) who had Potluck. ONE.
And guess what? Potluck isn’t like Twitter or Pinterest. Or even Facebook and LinkedIn. It doesn’t let me search for cool people to follow or view a list of links categorized by a certain topic or keyword. Because of this, there is nothing in my Potluck feed. And this certainly doesn’t make me want to use it.
So my point is this— I think I am part of a large audience that enjoys trying out new social apps. But without a dedicated way to already have a large audience using it or being able to creep on strangers, I don’t think I’m going to be interested.