Review

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Cloud27 - a community site based on Pinax
Added 16/06/2009
Official_review Trupki Created by Kasia ZieliƄska
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based on alexa.com rank: 5808654

Mamuna Rating

rating 1.3
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Introduction:

Cloud27 is a social community startup based on the open source Pinax platform, and was created to demonstrate the possibilities of Pinax, as well as to host a "rapidly growing social network". It's difficult to say, whether Cloud27 hosts a 'rapidly growing community, or not, for now it looks like the site is populated by the creators' friends.

Screenshot

Idea

Rating 1.0

<p>The main page says that Cloud27 is "a great place to connect with friends, collaborate via wikis, discuss via forums, manage project tasks, share photos and bookmarks". Well, it might be all that, when it develops, but the question is - why would anyone want to join a brand new social network to connect with friends, if he or she is already connected to them on one, or a couple of the main social networking sites? Cloud27 would have to offer completely new, wonderful possibilities of connecting with friends, which Facebook, MySpace or Orkut don't have.</p>

Functionality:

Rating 2.0

<p>As probably all social networking sites, Cloud27 has a section of user profiles. Here, the profiles are completely uncustomizable, as the only thing the user can change is the avatar. There's no space for information about the user, so people who enjoy writing lengthy "about me" stories will not be pleased. All the user can add is his or her blog and wiki entries, tribes (groups) they're in, photos, they added and tweets.</p>
<p>The "tweets" section is a bit misleading, because most users would probably think that by "following" a user, they can get access to his or her Twitter messages - while in fact, we only see messages "inspired by Twitter", created and visible on Cloud27 site, and nowhere else.</p>
<p>The section of "tribes" is very similar to groups, or forums, that appear on other site, the only difference is, that it's not organized in any way. Anyone can create a tribe, either a reasonable one (Translation, Australia, IPhone), or a completely ridiculous one (sdfsdfsd, I am a slug) and they are mixed together, without any categories whatsoever. There's no way of finding an interesting tribe other than browsing thousands of names, or typing the exact name in the search box - and hoping that the tribe owner managed to write the name without spelling mistakes. That gives way to creating similar 4 people tribes on the same topic, instead of providing one place for all people interested in that topic.</p>
<p>The projects section, a nice idea in itself, is a similar mess. The only way to find a topic is to check the "topic count" or the "member count" or just patiently browse all topics in alphabetical or chronological order. The photos appear on the photo site in order they were added to the site, there's no way of browsing photos by tags, or descriptions.</p>
<p>The only section of this site which is in some king of order, is the games collection, clearly divided into "strategy", "dress-up", "adventure and other kinds of online games. The problem is that some of the games are clearly copied from other sites and still contain spelling mistakes like "Jessica Alba, the sexest godness".</p>

Layout:

Rating 1.0

<p>The layout is nothing special - pale colors, regular looking buttons, and a rather uninteresting logo. The only "attraction" that caught my attention, was the fact that larger versions of users avatars appear when a mouse is over the thumbnails - and they cover the rest of the thumbnails, so it's difficult to click on the chosen avatar.</p>

Summary:

Rating 1.3

<p>The site says "invite your friends to join the fun", and I really don't know what fun is there to enjoy. All the important features, like communicating with friends, discussing topic at forums, creating friends' lists are already on other sites and are designed so much better there. On one hand, Cloud27 tires to be serious and appeal to "project oriented" people, and on the other hand, it's messy, confusing, and really has little "fun" possibilities, apart from the "dress up Jessica Alba" games.</p>
<p>The site is in "early beta" and is still waiting for more features, but why didn't creators add those interesting features before launching in public? I really don't see the point of joining this site, unless someone is really interested in the possibilities of Pinax.</p>

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