I quickly created an account to experience the look and feel of the site. Below are my first impressions. The site is still officially on beta so I’m going to ignore some of the bugs and focus on the site’s features and overall potential. I’ll start on a positive note.
– Site design is easy on the eyes. Navigation is straightforward.
– Excellent welcoming introductions to new members. But unless you’re already familiar with Integral theory, you’d have to dig a little deeper to understand what the site is all about. For that you have to read up on the about section.
– Blogging feature with rich text editing. Dang, another rabbit hole for me to play with
– Very functional private messaging feature with rich text editing and folders for messages.
– Dynamic community activity page.
– Profile page with aggregated content contribution (e.g. blogs, comments). See my activities on my profile.
– Global search feature. Try this search: http://integrallife.com/search/node/religion
– Although IL makes it clear that there are free and premium contents, the premium contents are not clearly marked. I get annoyed by pop up messages notifying me that I need to upgrade my account whenever I click on premium contents.
– At this time, Integral Life is not a full-pledged social network e.g. no “friending”, no profile privacy settings, no groups, etc. But you can add members as contacts by sending them private messages.
– When you upgrade your account, it doesn’t explicitly say whether the charge is monthly or annual. IL should clearly spell out the premium account during the upgrade process.
So those are my initial impressions. Next are my musings on Integral Life’s business model and its potential role within the Integral Multiplex.
I didn’t see any ads, so it looks like IL’s biz model revolves around subscriptions and selling integral products via the Integral Life Store. Integral Naked has been relatively successful with its subscription model. But the launch of Integral Life makes Integral Naked (and the Multiplex community) redundant.
For example, do I need to upgrade my to Integral Life if I already have a paid subscription to Integral Naked? As much as I would miss it, I’m prepared to give up my Integral Naked account and ride with Integral Life instead.
Integral Life is a much improved version of Integral Naked and the Multiplex community put together. If I-I is to practice what it preaches, then I expect Integral Life to transcend and include Integral Naked and other elements of integral multiplex real soon. Otherwise, there’s just going to be a lot redundancy that would confuse their already niche target demographics.
That’s all for now. Will continue to explore the Integral Life rabbit hole and report back on my “fluffy” adventures.
NOTE: I also posted this review on my Integral Life blog.
UPDATE: I knew it was too good to be true. I was notified by IL admin that only *some* sections on the archive would be free. Whether the free stuff would be only available to basic and premium members, as opposed to non-members, is still unclear to me. I’ve updated my original blog post in line with this new information.
[Thanks! I could use some coffee :) ]