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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Brandon Hall Network - Nicely Done?

I just saw a post by Mark Oehlert - The Brandon Hall Network - nicely done who said:
The functionality set looks good. The UI is pretty good - I find the initial color set to be a bit jarring but they do make the CSS available to you which will allow folks to really customize their profile page. So congrats on a nicely designed, functional network!

Maybe I'm in a grumpy mood because Brandon Hall got rid of their Yahoo Discussion Groups to provide this network. The network UI is hardly "nicely design and functional." It will take you a while to understand what you are doing and where you go to do what. Part of the issue is that there's not much content today so it feels a bit hollow.

Part of my reservation is that it is yet another social networking tool and a blogging tool. Do I need to use it in addition to Linked In and Blogger? Part of my reservation is that unless it achieves a large number of active users and displaces existing means of community, then it won't hold enough value.

Maybe I'm grumpy and missing the point? But my guess is that this is going to be a big failure.

Am I wrong? What does Mark see?

11 comments:

Jesse Ezell said...

I agree they could stand to hire a decent designer instead of ripping of the Myspace design and making it worse.

It was also full of security holes. I reported a bunch of XSS vulnerabilities to them shortly after release. They said they fixed em, though I haven't logged in and checked since then.

Harold Jarche said...

YASNS, YASNS, YASNS, need I say more?

Something more original would have been something like EduRSS (as Stephen Downes has done) but specifically for the business market.

Jesse Ezell said...

On the subject of mini social networks though. Check out Marc Canter's blog:

http://blog.broadbandmechanics.com/

He runs "People Aggregator." A lot of people are betting that small social networks are the future. The problem is that you don't own your identity. People Aggregator aims to solve that by proving Open APIs so that you can move your identity around on social networks and do things like sync, save, and export:

http://peopleaggregator.com/

Maybe BH could have saved a lot of time and money buy building on top of PeopleAggregator instead of doing it from scratch? I think Marc is on to something, but I'm not sure how far he is ahead of the game.

Mark said...

I hear you all and Jesse - I posted a note about the very promising People Aggregator yesterday - check out the podcast here (http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail1073.html)

Harold - I think that the People Aggregator could go a long way to answering your cry of YASNS.

I also wanted to say that while I hear everyone's comments on useability and security - I will still stand by my assessment especially when compared with other efforts not in SNS in general but in the e-learning field in particular.

Tony - Mark sees an effort made....

Tony Karrer said...

I doubt that BH's thing is "from scratch" - there are a bunch of platforms out there for SN. I've looked at PeopleAggregator before, but unless it becomes the defacto standard hub, then its value is small.

Mark - I agree that they are making an effort, I'm just questioning the implementation, viability, and model of centralization vs. aggregation.

Proceyon said...

A look at the source code reveals that Brandon Hall Network uses http://www.spartasocialnetworks.com/index.php

Jesse Ezell said...

My understanding is that PeopleAggregator plans are to connect to existing APIs like the ones Friendster recently released. It doesn't have to become a defacto standard to have value since it isn't a hub. It is an aggregator. It takes your data from various social networks and syncs it. They aren't trying to be one big centralized database for everyone's social network, but to allow you to manage your membership on multiple networks easily.

http://www.peopleaggregator.net/networks_home.php

Jesse Ezell said...

Proceyon, that is interesting... they chose the wrong social network platform. Looks like the design flaws are with Sparta. They just inherited them.

Anonymous said...

Proceyon contact me

interbrain(AT)gmail.com

Anonymous said...

sparta is very cool....

but really expensive...

if anyone interested in a clon contace me

schmierer_thomas(at)yahoo.de

glasdildo said...

Good Job! :)