Zaadz: My First Impressions

So I’ve been playing with Zaadz for a couple of days now tweaking my profile, adding contacts, uploading photos, tagging, and blogging. All I can say is wow! Friendster, MySpace, Flickr, Meetup, eHarmony, watch out! If the pre public Beta of Zaadz is any indication, this social networking application is on it’s way to being the next big thing. I’m not just saying this because their CEO is uber-passionately cool and that their ultimate purpose is to sow zaadz of compassion. Those are great of course, and it’s about time social networking is elevated into a “higher purpose” other than finding long lost friends, hooking up with total strangers and getting “lucky.” But what I want to focus on here is Zaadz’s integration of Web 2.0 elements into a neat and tight web service. Their implementation of CSS, Ajax, Ruby On Rails, is very groovy. I’m very impressed with the site’s overall design and interface. They’ve implemented a lot of things that made Flickr and Google successful.


I can imagine Pashmina shouting in the background, “It’s the usability, duh!”. She’s right. I have a Friendster account but I don’t use it that much because it’s slow, the interface is somewhat chaotic, and nobody gives me good testimonials. The thing that really attracted me to Zaadz is not just the philosophy driving behind it but the overall site experience, from navigation to subtleties in design. I’ve never been this excited since Integral Naked, Flickr, and Odeo went live.

I’m not sure what Zaadz’s business model is, but I assume some of the funding will come from big player ads (e.g. Google Ads, Amazon, eBay, etc…) and personal ads from members of the Zaadz social network. Will Zaadz be FREE? Or will it have a premium membership? Is acquisition one of their goals? Remains to be seen.

I know that the Zaadz Wizardz are hard at work in adding more functionality to the site. So here’s my wishlist in case they take notice:

for Individuals:

  • customized public “home page” for each user with rss feed of their favorite blogs, news sites, etc…
  • blog page for each user (they have it already!) with an option to feed it contents from their own personal blogs, or other blogs, etc…
  • i think it would be nice if the mailbox is on one of the tabs instead of located on top of the page. just my own preference.
  • on photo sharing: the zaadz photo section is excellent! but how about using Flickr APIs to automatically get contents from a user’s Flickr photos? (or other photosharing service?)
  • kosmic tagging watchlist: where users can subscribe to different tags from technorati, del.icio.us, flickr, etc… on tags: option to navigate to technorati, flickr, del.icio.us
  • on podcasting: hookup with podcasting service with APIs (e.g. odeo)
  • comments, emails, and other notifications all in one page. sorted and categorized.

for Groups:

  • a group blog or simple discussion thread (similar to Flickr)
  • a wiki space of resource/list sharing. e.g. movies, books, websites, etc…
  • a Group calendar of events, meetups, etc….

in General:

  • content tagging: the ability to “tag” any contents (blogs, photos, contacts, events, etc…) on the site!

on Extensibility:

  • Zaadz APIs so tech slick zaadzsters can build upon the site.

There. I’ll add to my Zaadz wishlist the more I use the site. In the meantime, if you still haven’t signed up, check it out. Don’t get intimidated by those weird people. They will soon be the minority once this site goes public 🙂

ADDENDUM: 12/22/2005; 4:20pm – Ah yes, the Zaadz Wizardz are listening. 🙂

Comments (7)

  1. Ryan wrote::

    Some great ideas there Coolmel – keep feeding us and keep watching 🙂

    Seriously we love this. Some of these are on our to-do list already – and other we just might have to move up or even add.

    Hmm, trackbacks and such for the blogs might be nice…

    Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 2:25 am #
  2. Vince wrote::

    Yeah man, great suggestions! I especially like the integration suggestions with incoming RSS, Flickr, Odeo, Del.icio.us, etc. “One Fluffly Social Networking Site to Rule Them All!”

    Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 6:03 am #
  3. coolmel wrote::

    Ryan,

    yeah trackbacks and commenting are good. but you know that adding those kinds of features will also open us up for spam… the perils of innovation.

    but yeah keep it flowing, maybe you guys will have a solution for this. and that would be neat.

    Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 9:40 am #
  4. katherine wrote::

    . . . alright: sold 🙂 I just signed up and will be playing with it over the next few weeks . . . you just gotta say yes to the fluffy, hmmmm? 🙂

    Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 10:13 am #
  5. Aaron wrote::

    This is just too cool.

    Thanks for all of the feedback. We’re already on it.

    http://aaron.zaadz.com/blog/2005/12/my_zaadz_wish_list_for_the_holiday_season

    Thursday, December 22, 2005 at 2:39 pm #
  6. Brian wrote::

    coolmel. Too cool. Thanks, bud!

    Aaron’s a genius and his team rocks. Can’t wait to see his holiday wishlist come to life. Fun.

    Here’s a message from the CEO’s office on how we’re gonna make money:

    http://brian.zaadz.com/blog/2005/12/zaadz_business_model_aka_how_we_re_gonna_make_money

    Yours in building the next big thing that’s gonna change the world,

    -bri

    Friday, December 23, 2005 at 4:36 pm #
  7. Sean wrote::

    Some great ideas here on the Internet dating – many features,chat,video,audio…

    Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 7:52 am #

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  1. […] I remember it like yesterday. Two years ago I’ve embarked on a journey of pure serendipity. I left a relatively secured job to join a start up with a team of idealistic people I haven’t even met in person before. The reason I took the job is to experience change in my life while doing something that would have an impact in other people’s lives. Our team believed that social networking technology can be used to inspire and empower people by providing an online oasis where they can have meaningful conversations, freely express their beliefs, dreams, interests, creativity, and spirituality, without worrying about being judged and ridiculed. It was the early days of Zaadz. […]