WebSlides – Bookmarking Of The Future?

Webslides.com Logo

Monitoring my feeds, I’ve noticed there has been quite a bit of buzz surrounding a service called WebSlides. WebSlides is brought to you by the same folks that are behind Diigo, one of many social bookmarking services that are on the net. WebSlides allows users to take their bookmarks and turn them into a slide show.

Some of the uses for this service as stated by Diigo include:

  • Create a guided tour for any website
  • Show a list of houses to real estate clients
  • Review a list of job candidates found online
  • Bundle important course resources for students
  • Assemble all the pages on a specific family line.
  • Provide guided use cases for potential customers
  • Share the favorite places you would like to visit with your friends and blog readers
  • Provide a quick briefing, a simple tutorial or guided tour on any subject.

Here is an introductory video highlighting the service and what it’s capable of.

The ideas and the possibilities, do seem endless. The service is currently in an invite-only stage of life however, I have signed up and if they provide me with an invitation, I’ll be sure to provide you with an in depth review.

InviteShare – Web 2.0 Invitation Exchange Station

InviteShare.com Your Invite Resource Have some invitations that you want to get off your hands? Why not share them with others. Now you can using InviteShare, a new site launched on July 8th that allows users to invite other users to new beta services

Why InviteShare?

If you have ever joined a new beta service through an invitation, then you’ll know that, as a new member of that service, you are given a limited number of invites to share with others. Services that start out by giving away invitations not only generate a ton of buzz, but it allows the service administrators to maintain the growth of the service. The last thing any company would want is to launch a beta service that would be open to the public, only to have it succumb to the amount of use and traffic which often times produces undesired results.

Most of the new services that spring onto the web, give users a ton of invitations to spread out amongst their friends or colleagues. The fact of the matter is, most users end up with invitations they can’t seem to give away. Using InviteShare, users can easily give their extra invitations away while also becoming a prominent figure on the InviteShare network.

Getting Started:

Creating an account on InviteShare was fairly simple. All they needed from me was a valid email address and a preferred username. Upon logging into my account, I am greeted with my profile page which lists any pending invites I may have, invitations that were sent from my account, the latest news in the upper right hand corner and links to edit my profile, check messages, my invites and a link to logout.

User Profile Page After Creating An Account

How It Works:

GrandCentral InvitationsThe meat of InviteShare is located on the browse page. This page lists a number of different sites and services that are currently in an invite-only stage. For this review, I chose GrandCentral. At the time of this writing, this is what the invitation list looked like for GrandCentral. To request an invitation to GrandCentral, you would click on the ADD YOURSELF TO THE LIST link. This will take the email address you used to sign up to InviteShare and place it onto the invitation request list.

If any other InviteShare members have an invitation to GrandCentral, they would check the list of email addresses on the request list. The email addresses on the request list are the ones that will be used to send the invitation. Since I have 10 GrandCentral invitations and there are five people on the list, I will be able to send five invitations to those requesting an invite. Once the invitation has been sent, InviteShare users are suppose to click on the email address on the request page and click on the INVITATION SENT button. This sends a confirmation to that email address. Once that user confirms that account, the invitation sender will also receive a confirmation. After you click the INVITATION SENT button, that email address is then cleared from the request listing.

Final Thoughts:

Those of you with a ton of extra invitations will really get a kick out of this service. Not only does it provide you with a way to actually give away those invitations, but it also bumps up your notoriety within the InviteShare network. The more invitations you send, the higher the priority you will receive when requesting an invitation to a brand new service. It seems to me, to be a win-win situation.

As You Can See, InviteShare Is Still In BetaDuring this review, I encountered about twenty different 500-INTERNAL SERVER ERRORS. The errors are most likely due to the popularity the service is receiving. After all, they did make the front page of TechCrunch, WebWare and Read/WriteWeb.

One of the most annoying aspects of this service is the inability to highlight and then copy an email address listed on the request list. Because you have to click on the email address to confirm the invitation, there doesn’t seem to be a way to highlight the text to perform a copy-paste operation, leading to more than necessary typing.

It has to be stated that, these sites and services are in an invite only period for a reason. One thing I have already noticed is that, it takes one invitation to get into a service, that service in turn grants you anywhere between 3-10 invites. If InviteShare takes off like I believe it will, new sites and services may have to change the way they do their invite program.

If you ever see someone requesting an invite or asking where they can get one, be sure to point them to http://www.inviteshare.com as this is the place that will most likely produce results.

Unrelated:

On an unrelated note, I want to get this off of my chest. Back in late June, I began a brainstorming session. In this brainstorming session, I ended up with the idea of creating a service exactly like InviteShare except that I was going to call it INVITR. INVITR is already taken and as I was in the process of slowly getting things together, I read an RSS feed that this service was launched, literally taking the breath out of me. To add insult to injury, the guys name making all of the news postings on InviteShare is Jeff, the same name as mine! Oh well I suppose. This is what happens when you have a good idea but no way to back it. I guess I can say that great minds think alike, wouldn’t you say Jeff?

Would You Pay For An Invite?

In a recent post, I described a conversation I had with my father concerning invitations and if there was a business opportunity in the making by perhaps, selling these invitations. Here is what was discussed.

I asked my dad if he thought that perhaps, there would be some sort of business opportunity surrounding invitations to these new services. Allow people to bid on an invite or pay a low price. My father responded by saying “people won’t pay for something that is free, or that they could obtain by some other means.”

Turns out, my father was wrong. While browsing around on Ebay, I came across a few auctions in which the item being sold was an invitation to GrandCentral, the new service which was acquired by Google. Here is a link to an auction that has already ended as you can see, there are other auctions taking place, asking for as much as $10.00 for the invitation.

Now I can’t wait to tell my dad that people are willing to pay money for something that really has no monetary value. Would you be willing to pay for an invite?

By Invitation Only

https://i2.wp.com/jeffc.me/images/inviteonly.png

Sam Harrelson has put together a nice post detailing the buzz surrounding the GrandCentral acquisition. Sam discusses the activity with GrandCentral before the acquisition and then after. Once GrandCentral was acquired, Google then locked down the system to new users by making it an invite only service. Because of the acquisition and the move to an invitation only service, the interest in GrandCentral has skyrocketed.

Sam makes an excellent analogy between GrandCentral and the recently launched service, Pownce. Pownce, Kevin Rose’s new startup has become the hot commodity to be invited to. Everyone and their mother is seemingly still trying to grab an invite to the service, although it is not necessarily brand new.

Whats the moral behind this story? If your a Web 2.0 startup, lock down your service. Invite a couple of big name web sites to review your service and give them the ability to hand out a number of invites. Those who read the reviews will then have an opportunity to sign up to your service and in return, invite their friends. You can see where this is going. Although the invitation only technique only works for a prolonged period of time, it is hard to argue against it’s effectiveness. I suppose being part of a locked down community gives users the impression that they are special, that they are among a group of elitists.

I asked my dad if he thought that perhaps there would be some sort of business opportunity surrounding invitations to these new services. Allow people to bid on an invite or pay a low price. My father responded by saying “people won’t pay for something that is free, or that they could obtain by some other means.”

Whatever the case may be, the strategy of being an invite only service in the beginning appears to be a winning one!