As a whole I like Toluu. For more on Toluu check out the KnightKnetwork’s interview with Caleb Elston and Louis Gray’s first post about Toluu. Toluu the RSS feed sharing discovery application is a cool concept and does function pretty well. The integration to add a feed to your feed reader is great. But here are few problems I found and features I would like to see.
Speed, Speed, Speed – When you click on the matches tab it takes what seems like forever to change and display the matches. That is a crucial point in the application where it actually shows you intelligent matches of RSS feeds you would like. Displaying this main feature of the application needs to be much faster. I have had it take several minutes. Users can not deal with minutes it must display in seconds. From the Contacts view I click on Matches for one of my contacts and again it sluggish.
Redundancy – When the Matches tab does finally display it shows several users who “match” you and a percentage. You then see a list of “Feeds you might like” from each user. What is interesting is that one of the same feeds is displayed for every user. In my case the feeds “Micro Persuasion” and “GigaOm” are under 4 out of 5 users. This is redundancy that should somehow be eliminated. I have also seen redundancy in the same user where it shows the same feed twice.
Feed Elimination – If a feed exists that I am NOT interested in I would like the ability to exclude from future recommendation. If “Micro Persuasion” is not what I want to read it could be put on an exclusion list.
Toluu is beta and I am sure the application will grow and change. One thing I have been looking for is user enhancements in the form of greasemonkey scripts. This has already added a lot of functionality to FriendFeed.
I will add and subtract from list as the application changes.
By the way I still have invites if anyone is interested. Leave your email in a comment if you want one.
Feedback in the form of BETA bug reporting and feature requesting should be EASY on all BETA sites. Everything is BETA and a work in progress when it is first released. One thing I continually notice as I register and try site after site is the lack of continuity in methods to give feedback.
It should be easy to fill out a bug report or feature request. Lately I have found it simply difficult to find any help or documentation. Ok granted if it is in private beta sometimes the web app is just beyond proof of concept. However if the application wishes to ever move beyond its current state feedback from its user base is a must.
For example, on FriendFeed the other day I found a problem with the del.icio.us feed updating correctly. I looked around on the FriendFeed site and could NOT easily find a place for feedback. (There is a link in an older post on the FriendFeed blog.) I opened a second tab and googled “FriendFeed Feedback” and quickly found the google Discussion group.
The point is that was too hard. Way to hard. If I have to search for the place to give feedback I probably will not give any. Unless I just love the app I will not go that far. In this case I blog posted “Are Del.icio.us feeds broken on FriendFeed?” and Louis Gray quickly responded to my post and eventually found the answer.
But I am not picking on FriendFeed. It seems that in the haste to bring out a web app that is the next big thing startups forget the basics. Contact information and Feedback should be no brainers and mandatory.
Toluu another favorite new app of mine is just the same. No clear feedback point.
The point is any new web app public beta, private beta, or even alpha should make feedback quick and easy. I suggest a link at the bottom of each page. At the very least a prominently placed permanent link on the App’s blog to the feedback system.
This may seem like a small detail but should be demanded by users.
Well this user demands it.
Who does this well? Who doesn’t?
Toluu the new beta RSS sharing site is currently in private beta. Never heard of it? Check out this ReadWriteWeb article. I have some invites if interested. Leave a comment with your email if you want one.
Update 06/13/2008: Toluu is gaining alot of momentum. The latest enhancements are great. For more about the founder Caleb Elston go here. I have 25 invites. Leave a comment if you want one.