Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March Beta-watch

After a talk with a long-time associate and web expert about business direction, brewing startups, and security, I walked away with a couple of interesting sites:

Groupable - which helps groups (even tiny, esoteric groups) to find sponsors, is in beta and moving quickly. I haven't been following the site progress closely, but it looks promising.

It is more functional than many in the beta stage. The real tests for Groupable will be to:
  1. Clearly communicate what they can do for a Sponsor or Group
  2. Get Sponsors to sign up
  3. Give Sponsors easy, relevant ways to find Groups

It looks like it's well on its way. I see a lot of potential for student groups, support groups, little league teams, and networking groups especially. Not every group would consider finding outside funding or support for activities provisions, and Groupable might help some of those succeed where they wouldn't have.

TipMeOff - which seems to be a classifieds site, in the vein of Craigslist. The interface is messy, though I see some useful features rare in free classifieds:
  1. 6 Photos per post (as opposed to 4, or none, in some cases)
  2. Anonymized e-mail or Web-based messaging to reply to posts
  3. Multiple languages, although right now only the location names are localized
  4. Multiple locations post, global and local (you can post your ad to multiple locations anywhere in the world, but this won't be useful until TipMeOff gets its interface together)
  5. Ads don't expire (for now! I expect this to change if TipMeOff wants to keep its content relevant)
For most people, the ugliness of the site will be a turn-off. For generalist-nerds, it just might be a fun ride.

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