Scrutiny – Wink.com, The People Search Engine

I spend many hours infront of my computer with online world and every site that becomes a part of my daily life needs to go through a close scrutiny. Today I decided to do a scrutiny for “The People Search Engine – Wink”.
Wink


My First Impression
(Call it my first 30 sec impression) My First Impression based on the mail from Wink Staff and an example profile of David Beach (Director of Product Management at Wink).

  • Wink can be the much awaited platform to consolidate one’s online activities.
  • I might use wink only for consolidating my online activities.
  • It will allow people to search with my name and using my profile they can find my other web presence point. Kind of better lens than squidoo.

Surface level Scrutiny
Someone once said, “What matters to the visitor is what they see”. I was surprised when I saw the unusual options for few fields. Look at the Gender, “Undecided”????? (Haven’t seen something like this, I would rather have put optional radio button. Also I had to click on the status to understand that it is about “Marital Status”, it is ok to put status but better to have marital status. As the book says, “Do not make me think“)
Wink signup

I was impressed with this section (It was fast and impressive)
Wink Signup for address

Oh, why this happened (I am sure Wink team can find a better error message, I was happy to see Kolkata on my Map, a smaller message, sorry unable to track deeper would have been better. I am impressed here though, good work).
Wink address signup

Next Step is scary one (sorry its not a bug but a perception problem, thanks to all the poping social networking sites), so I decided to skip this. I did not want to send the mails to our alumni groups and other common groups, have you guys taken care of it? At least the famous groups account (like googlegroups, yahoo groups and other famous ones) should be taken care of.
Wiki sending mails to friends

After skipping the above steps I came to the page which attracted me the most, the consolidation of all my social activities.
social networking sites under wink
I filed a lot of my accounts where only the url was needed. I did not put the username and password (just to give it a test first) for some of the social networks. Also all the sections were pending an approval (I did not get this approval part, an explanation would have been appreciated more).

Bugs
The mybloglog section is not working properly, it is taking the url wrong (it is taking it as myblog, did I do something wrong?). Rest of the sections are working fine. Atleast faster than Squidoo lens.

Final words from the marketing dimension

  • I am still not sure, how will I use it on a day to day basis. I have consolidated some of my online activities there. I can only use it as my web lens, or the starting page for reference. Here you made my life a little troublesome, why not have a url like http://wink.com/ajinimc? Current URL is http://wink.com/ajinimc–profile (oh my God two hypens, you failed the telephonic test for urls). If this feature is the strength then you need to make the urls more simpler, I do not want people to search for me before getting to my profile. Look at other social networking sites, everywhere I have a url like /ajinimc and it works.
  • As I said in one of my previous posts that in social networking, it is the flies that attracts other flies not the honey. With orkut’s simplicity, myspace, youtube and other social networking site you need to define your area of service precisely, else no one will invite others.
  • I am doing some research on search, Google is not the solution, Adsense and Adwords not the ultimate products. There is more to come with a human intelligence layer but not completely human based like wink. Such searches will not work enough.
  • Each page is taking too much about too many things. Same problem as that of myspace.

Best of luck to the wink team, I hope to spend some more time next weekend with all the social networking sites as a part of my research, “Online Social behaviour”. Visit my profile at wink.

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