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,, flickr, etc… on tags: option to navigate to technorati, flickr,
  • 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. 🙂

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