Monday, August 22, 2005
Lifeknot's new blog
News, suggestions and comments about lifeknot, activity partners, online dating and some completely random musings. Share your interests and passions in any activity imaginable at lifeknot.com. Check it out.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
LifeKnot New Ad Campaign
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Acticvity (or lack of)
Friday, June 17, 2005
- Login procedure
- Layout / Ease of use
- Search The search engine allows you to search on multiple fields including location (and distance from), activity, and workout facility. One cool feature of the search is that it allows you to search on who are on-line now. One suggestion would be to allow you to limit that also to an area search. They also list a "My Favorite" and "Activity / Keyword" search that both do not seem to work properly (or at all). Two problems with the search are that your profile should be excluded from the search as well as people that specifically designate the gender they want to workout with (i.e. a male should not be able to search upon a female that only wants female workout companions).
- Messaging & Chat Again I had no problems with them. The time that I spent on the site the chat room stayed for the most part empty. I can see great benefit to having the messaging and think that is a very nice extra feature to the site.
- Forums Well put together and they seem active. One thing that I would like to see is a way to search the forums. Especially in the "locals only" forum it would be nice if you could search for your locality so you do not need to go though all of the posts.
- Cool Stuff
The login procedure was very easy, just one page gathering the very general information to allow you onto their site. You have to option to fill out your profile during the login procedure or do it later on your leisure.
For the most part eXerciseFriends is very easy to use. I have a couple of small problems with both the IM and chat features. For you to be able to use the messenger you need to add them to your favorites, this is not overly intuitive and could be spelled out better. Also, when you use the messenger’s manage feature to add to your favorites there is no way to get back to the main online/offline window. Because I use Firefox it automatically blocks popups and disrupts how the chat works. It is a very easy feature to disable in Firefox but maybe this issue and the IM issues should be referenced in the FAQs. I also have two issues with the layout of eXerciseFriends. Let me start with the positives. The search results are short and concise giving you enough
information to determine whether you want to bring up that persons profile or not and the search does not display too many of the return results on one page, very nice. The other features (excluding IM which opens in another window) display the information in a well formatted, easy to read manner. Now to my issues… The "My Home" page is very busy! They try to give you a lot of options to do on the home page as well as display as much information as possible (and ads but more on that later) but much of it is redundant. You can get to everywhere the home page links to from the tabs on top of the page. Speaking of, there may be better ways to group those tabs so they don’t look quite as congested. The second issue is that there is a ton of advertising everywhere. I realize that is how this site remains free and I am Big on free sites but maybe there can be a limit to the amount of ads all over the place. There are ads (usually multiple ads) on every page as well as all correspondence from eXerciseFriends. I know, my site also has ads. Call me the kettle.
They have 111 activities to date. All of the activities are athletic/sports orientated which makes sense since they promote exercise. They also mention you can email the Webmaster with new activity suggestions. This would suggest that the number of activities will continue to grow.
The site has the two main features, search and email. They also have a few additional features, forums, messaging, chat, and groups, which I talk about in cool stuff. I’ll talk briefly about each one:
The site is free to use all of its important features. You have the option to purchase a Gold Membership, the membership lasts for a year and allows you to get new local member notifications and well as view your profile statistics. At this point I am not exactly sure what your profile statistics are.
eXerciseFriends have added a “Groups” area. It’s a nice concept, you can create groups, add members, have forums specific for that group. The groups can be both private and public. It is a new feature added to their site, it would be interesting to see how popular it ends up becoming.
Overall this is a very nice well thought out site. The grouping of tabs and links could be better in some areas and the removal of the gross amounts of ads would be nice improvements. The last couple of my suggestions would be to make a link so that you can get back to be you were you where when you are searching or reading forum posts. If you choose to look at a profile you can’t get back to your search or the forum post you were reading without starting over. There seems to be a lot of activity, which is a big plus, and it is well designed. I would have to recommend this site for people interested in finding friends to exercise with and I can only look forward to continued improvements.
As always, please leave a comment and let me know if you agree, disagree, suggestions, or whatever…
Technorati Tags: eXerciseFriends, Firefox
LifeKnot New Feature
You can read about all the new features below or log in to check them out.
It's even easier to find people with whom you share the most in common. One mouse-click compares ALL of your activities, books, bands, movies or tv shows against other lifers and shows you those with whom you have the most in common. It's like having ESP or something.
You may even compare your answers to profile questions such as "Five things I can't live without", "Three things I'd like to rid the planet of" and more.
Wait till you see this. We'll show you 3 people, one with whom you'll share an activity or favorite (book, band, move, tv show) and two with whom you don't share this particular interest. You guess.
We think you'll agree that it's a fun way to meet new, interesting people; some of whom you might not have found otherwise.
- Views of your favorites profile is now tracked so you know when people are checking you out.
- lifeknot is still 100% free AND not a single advertisement; you get enough of that elsewhere.
- Many more activities added: wakeboarding, fencing, beer pong, candle making, quilting, kickboxing...
tell your friends about lifeknot from our Tell a Friend page.
...or forward this eMail to your friends. They'll be so indebted they'll stuff money in your pockets.
Keep on keepin' on,
Technorati Tags: LifeKnot
Monday, May 23, 2005
New Comparison - Exercise Friends
For this week I’ll be comparing eXerciseFriends.com to LifeKnot. I hope to have a comparison done by the end of the week. Let me know what you thought of the last one. One more thing that I am thinking of adding to the site is a statistics link. Basically listing the bare bones of what each site I review has.
Friday, May 20, 2005
- Login procedure
- Layout / Ease of use
- Cool Stuff
Relatively easy to become a member, there is one page of information to fill out. On this page you need to fill out the standard user info (name, email, handle, password), a profile where you describe yourself a bit as well as pick activities that you are interested in and lastly fill out a header for your profile and set-up your email notifications. There are some aspects of the login that need improvement. When you submit your profile you don’t get a nice confirmation page, you are dumped back to the beginning of the profile submission page. Once you have become a member their login button does not seem to work (I’m using Firefox v.1.0.4). Compared with LifeKnot I like the ability to just create an account without having to think about profile information. LifeKnot lets you create the account and then on your leisure fill out profile and activity information.
This is where HobbyMatch.com has the majority of their problems. After you get past the splash page it is not a very attractive site. The Main Member page is just a grouping of boxes / options. The main and most important feature of the site, “view my matches”, looks and feels like a data dump. There does not seem to be any real formatting put into it, just all the information you (or the other members) typed in spitted back to you. On the plus, it is very easy to use but there is a lot of improvement that can be done to this. Comparison, there is none.
There seems to be a nice list of activities, 138 to be exact, and I would have to assume that they intend to continue to add more. It is also a nice touch to show your level of interest (or skill) in those activities that you choose. One major inadequacy is the fact that they limit you to only 20 interests or activities. LifeKnot has over 500 activities and does not limit their members to what activities that they might have interest in.
They have the “view my matches” feature that I mentioned above as well as email and the “advance quick match search”. Since I did not pay for membership I was unable to test both the email and quick match search. I am choosing not to make any comparisons in this category since I was unable to test the pay-for features. In the future I intend to contact them to possibly get a temporary membership to test the site, get some statistics from them, as well as reevaluate any changes they might have made.
HobbyMatch.com has three subscription choices, a 6-month plan, 3-month plan, or month-to-month plan. With membership you get to send and receive email messages, perform custom queries, and enjoy special subscriber promotions. As an added bonus 20% of monthly revenue from subscriptions (net of transaction fees) is donated to a charitable organization. As of now LifeKnot is still free and offers all of the same benefits (except the special subscriber promotions which I do not know what they are).
One cool feature is that HobbyMatch.com has is that it allows you to create a club or group membership. I think there should be more thought and development put into this idea but definitely a cool idea.
The nicest thing I can say about HobbyMatch.com is that it has potential. After spending time on the site you are left with the feeling that it is still very early in its development life cycle. When you click “become a paid member” it logs you out of the site, if you click “contact” (send email) and you are not a paid subscriber you get tossed to a 403 Forbidden page. These examples plus what I have mentioned above tells me they still have a lot of work left to do. For now they do not compare to LifeKnot.
As always, please leave a comment and let me know if you agree, disagree, suggestions, think it is going to rain tomorrow, whatever…
Thursday, May 19, 2005
- Log-in Procedure
- Lay-out/Ease of use
- Cool Stuff
You will also get a lot of my editorial in all of those categories. Please let me know how this list of categories sounds to you. As always, any comments or suggestions send them my way.