Steve Woods

Giving Wooxie a Look

In Social Media on November 6, 2009 at 6:40 am
wooxie_main

Main page on Wooxie

There have been a number of websites that have tried their hand at replacing Twitter as the next best thing since, well, Twitter.  Many have fallen short,  providing a user experience that was lacking, and disappearing into the social elephant graveyard.  I recently was invited to try my hand at Wooxie, and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

Wooxie, a micro- and macro-blogging site created by Jeff Knize, is what Twitter should’ve been from the start, integrating within it features that the popular micro-blogging site has decided to leave up to 3rd-party apps such as Twitpic, Twitlonger, TinyUrl, Tweetdeck and others.  Remember back in September when Twitter went down for awhile (the Twitterpocalypse,) and everyone began searching for alternatives?  Although Wooxie does not have a great deal of users on board, it gained a significant following during that time.  And to be honest, most returned happily to Twitter when it came back up.  But you never know…

I’m going to tell you my experience with Wooxie, Pros and Cons, and perhaps you’ll consider creating an account and helping to get the party started…

PROS:

macro_blogging

The macro-blogging feature of Wooxie.

155 vice 140 characters – You’ll be pleasantly suprised to find 15 more characters to say what is on your mind in Wooxie.  How many times did you need just a few more keystrokes to make it all work, judiciously slaughtering your comment with the use of u, &, and vowel-less words? Knize says that his team determined that around 155 characters is the “sweet spot” for microbloggers to say what they need.

Macro-blogging – for those times when you need more room to say it, Wooxie incorporates a macro-blogging feature allowing 240 – 1,440 characters for the comment.  You no longer have to break up your tweet into many little ones, or log into 3rd party apps such as Twitlonger to make the story juicier. Just click on Wooxie’s Go Macro button and you’ll be given some extra space! Dude, if you still have problems with it, get a blog!

wooxie_categories

Interest Categories in Wooxie

Interest Categories – Rather than guessing or relying on tweets and profile information to find new, interesting people to follow, you can identify yourself using interest categories.  In your profile settings you can include yourself in up to 15 interest categories (there are 35 offered, including Social Media, Animals and Pets, Music, Family, Food, Video Games, Health and Wellness.)  Others can search by those categories and find you.

Searching for others from any of these categories is easy, sort of like a Lists feature, months before Twitter got it worked out.  Rather than relying on how others have categorized you, Wooxie allows users to determine that for themselves.  And whenever you are looking at someone’s username, Wooxie will tell you whether he or she shares your interests based on having similar categories chosen.

To change which of the 15 allowed categories you belong to, simply visit the Settings tab and check or uncheck the boxes as desired.  If the categories don’t properly define  you, then do so in your profile and through what you say…  See CONS below regarding a search feature, however.

Wooxie’s founders say that the categories feature will help its users avoid spammers, although I can see spammers in all categories waiting to be chosen by those that don’t take the time to look at what they say over time before following them.  Judicious use of the unfollow feature should take care of this.

wooxie_photos

Wooxie Photos and Albums

Built-in Photo Sharing and Albums – Wooxie not only allows you to upload images into your own integrated image library, you can even categorize the images into a simple personal or business album.  No longer will you need to visit Twitpic, YFrog or Twitgoo to house (and share) those pics of your trip to Hawaii or new puppies.  You can put new pics in and share them immediately as part of the interface (looks a little like Brizzly as it shows the images inline,) or you can simply upload them into one of your albums without sharing, and share them when you are ready at a later date.

Twitter and Facebook update integration – You can share your “Woofs” with your other social media accounts by providing Wooxie access to them.  As long as your Twitter login information matches your Wooxie information, you can tweet as you normally do on Twitter through the Wooxie interface, and even update your status on FaceBook simultaneously. See CONS about this feature.

Private or Public “Woofing” – A bit on the shy side? You can protect your comments from the eyes of others, sharing only with those that you allow to follow you, or go fully public with the details of your life, by choosing what you prefer in the Settings tab.

Rewoofing – Similar to the RT feature found only in 3rd party Twitter applications such as TweetDeck, Wooxie integrates a Rewoof (RW) one-click feature. See CONS for limitations on this feature.

wooxie_urls

Wooxie's URL Shortener

Integrated URL-Shortener – No bit.ly, ow.ly, or tinyurl accounts or systems in order to obtain a shorter link for those incredibly long blog post URLs.  Wooxie has a built-in URL shortener.  Although the addition of http://url.wooxie.com in front of each shortened URL is a full 8 characters longer than the bit.ly shortening system, with the additional 15 characters you get in Wooxie, it’s really not a loss… See CONS

Profiles and Backgrounds – As to be expected in social media accounts, you have the ability to customize with your own personal avatar, chosen color schemes, and canned or customized background images (700 kb max with jpg or gif support.)

Featuring Fans or Followers – you can feature either one of your “fans” who follow you, or one of the users you are following.  These will show up on your main page, telling everyone who visits who you think are especially great or interesting.  It’s easy to add them and take them back off later. See CONS about this one.

Replies, Favorites and Private Messages – Wooxie has been careful in including all of the best features of Twitter, including the ability to see who has mentioned you, the ability to save comments as favorites to review later, and the ever-necessary private messaging feature, so you can talk without others reading.

wooxie_adsense

The Google AdSense Interface

Google Adsense – Create an AdSense account, and you can make money as others visit your page and click on the advertisements there.  See CONS.

CONS:

Where are all of the people? This is a killer, and has to be addressed through marketing. Get the users there to talk with each other, and it will grow…

Search Feature? – This interface is in dire need of a search box allowing one to search for users by what they’ve said or what is written in their profile.  The category, username or name choices are severely limited.  I understand the desire to find someone with similar interests, but I want to define the keywords that make for that interest.

No Commenting in the RW (Rewoof) Feature – The Wooxie RW feature falls short in that unlike the very popular Tweetdeck, it does not allow for you to add some extra commentary prior to submitting the rewoof.  To add your own commentary to the RW, you are left copying and pasting.  In other words, it’s like what Twitter is moving to…..

Ads? Really? – The integration of Google’s Adsense is interesting and I am sure desirable to some, but for the rest of us, it might get a bit annoying, especially if the ads make their way into the longer comments and/or pictures sent out, so I hope that it stays on the profile page only, or it will probably backfire… Honestly, I don’t think anyone is going to click on ads on someone’s profile page, but for big players like Mashable, Google Ads just might bring in a small but tidy income.

No “Block” Feature – This is a biggie for some. You can unfollow users in Wooxie and no longer see what they have to say, but they can still contact you by addressing you directly. How do you leave that one out, guys?  It’s a must-have, to prevent bullying in the least…

wooxie_featured

Wooxie Featured Section

Twitter and FaceBook Integration One-Way – You can update your social media accounts, but replies won’t get sent back to Wooxie. But we are used to this, as Twitter does not grab back replies in FaceBook to sent updates.

Featuring Fans or Followers Limited – Although you can highlight these individuals, it would be nice to state why they are being highlighted. Perhaps a statement could show up when you hover your cursor over their picture?

URL Shortening not Tracked – Those of us who want to see how successful our link retweeting action is, would seriously like to see a tracker for the shortened Wooxie URLs.

After reading all of this, why not try out Wooxie for yourself? Go ahead, create an account using the same login information as Twitter, and give it a whirl. Lend your voice for awhile and let’s see if we can kick this party into gear.  The interface needs some additional work, so consider it to be in Beta form. If you decide Twitter is where you need to stay, at least you have a placeholder in Wooxie if things take off for them, too.  As for me, I was able to obtain the username Steve.  Very cool, if this thing takes off, I get to be the Steve…. Ha.

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  1. I’m always up to try new things! Thanks for this very cool review – going to check it out now!

    • Great, Kris! Hope you find it interesting, even if it doesn’t pan out, it’s worth keeping Twitter’s feet to the fire, and we can always say we were there when….

  2. Thank you for introducing Wooxie. Great review! I know about FriendFeed, but haven’t tried that :/
    Becz of this blog I will look into Wooxie soon 🙂

    Steve, don’t leave twitter yet 😦 You’ll be missed.

    • Oh, absolutely not considering leaving Twitter. But I definitely want to investigate the alternatives and competition. The fine work being done at other places needs to be highlighted and supported! Love you! ~Steve

  3. I’m a Twitter power user, and I was intrigued by this alternative microblog platform that I could use in the event Twitter breaks (which it occasionally does). However, I discovered one problem: my Twitter username has an underscore because somebody in Sweden has my name with no underscore, and Wooxie usernames don’t allow special characters like underscores. So the Twitter integration will work with that Swedish guy with my name but not for me. Otherwise, with a few caveats, Wooxie sounds great. Still, I’ll continue to use Identi.ca and Meme instead: the first has better Twitter integration, while I’ve found a way to use FriendFeed to integrate the second with Twitter (hint: RSS feed).

    • I agree, there are some kinks to work out for the folks at Wooxie; but I remember the pieces of Twitter that were slowly added in, and have high hopes that they will work in features that will fill in the gaps. And perhaps exceed the limitations of Twitter, too…. I’ll ask Jeff Knize about the underscore feature… ~Steve

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