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Should you drop MySpace for thoughts?

thoughts.com wants you to share your thoughts. Seems pretty inviting. The idea of the site starts out like blogger.com or typepad.com or wordpress.org, but separates itself from other blogging sites with one sentence which almost seems obscured in the signup process, “When you sign up for a free blog and start posting, you will have an instant audience”. I’m now paying attention.

When someone starts blogging, they do it for a couple reasons. One of the main reasons is so that other people will read their blog. Now with a site like “Retard Zone” we didn’t expect people to swarm to our site by the John Chow dot com full with their Zac Johnson in their hands waiting to read. Sometimes we even have to defend our website name, as people don’t really understand what “Retard” means. With the simple domain name of thoughts.com there is no question what the site contains, but just how limiting the thoughts might be.

When I went to the site I was presented with an initial layout which showed me a nice three column page. The column on the left was Recent Blog Posts, the center column was News from 5 categories (Top News, Life, Business, Sports, Politics), and the right column was a Member Log In along with a quick note about their previous vacation winners.

The nice part of the center column would be that it rotates between the 5 categories, showing a title of the top news stories with the date and time of the story, along with a “More” area with 5 more stories for each of the showing categories. This is a quick but brilliant use of AJAX.

Because thoughts.com allows everyday people to sign up, and as of yesterday I’m an everyday person, I signed up.

I started up my Dumbdows Windows laptop and let IE take me to thoughts.com, but soon learned that IE isn’t what makes people have thoughts:

the error comes from the following code: window.onload=startClock(‘14,11,10,8,7’);

Time for me to go with Mozilla, the other IE.

The page seemed pretty big initially, especially for my laptop. The homepage of thoughts.com is an impressive 954 pixels wide and 1,220 pixels long. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy the scrolling benefits of fighting carpal tunnel more, but isn’t there something about having a site that is viewable without having to go full screen? According to some statistical tracking site, the most common resolution setting for monitors is 1,024 x 768. And there’s little likelihood that people run their browser in full screen mode.

Well, I never have enough blogs, so my first step here is to set up a blog and post something and wait for the hordes to read it.

The second horizontal bar on the page, second link in, is the “Free Blog” link. Of course, being a Jew (determined by Halakha), anything that has the word free earns at least one click from me. The signup process should be a quick and painless one, as getting people signed up is the purpose of the signup process. I was presented with a couple of questions to answer, which took little time (even for a Retard like me).

After the signup was completed, I had the option to upload a picture, which I did. There was another captcha for uploading an image, even though I just filled in the captcha for signing up. Perhaps there’s a discount on using captcha multiple times?

After I had my new official thoughts.com account, I was given the opportunity to invite friends. Of course, I don’t have any friends, but being given the option to invite them was very nice. There is something that MySpace, Facebook, and other sites have started doing with great success, and that’s having horribly intrusive programs run through your Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and even Outlook email accounts in order to find other friends of yours that are already members. If they aren’t, these sites give you the chance to harass them and invite them to come running and join with you. Perhaps thoughts.com should look into being more intrusive.

I checked my account information page, there were a few things that required me to fill out more info about (gender, relationship, sexual orientation, religion, status) and then I got to see my first glimpse of pain from thoughts.com, it came when I saw their editor. They were using the “fckeditor”. Pain. They could have at least enabled some basic features of the editor, like allowing code view or just allowing upload options for GIF or PNG files:

It was time to make a blog post on my newly created account. It was pretty easy and painless (once I converted the PNG images to JPG to work with the editor), and within minutes I had my first blog post created. Now it was just a matter of time until the instant audience descended upon me.

Just curious to see what other people might have accounts on thoughts.com, I performed a search for the name trader and found that there were two pages of users listed.. but something seemed wrong with many of the listed users… I just didn’t know that people in the witness protection program were using thoughts.com too:

While waiting for the hordes, I took another minute and visited the forums.

Interesting that this site had blog posting, forums, current news, and probably more things which I had not yet begun to discover. The HTML description of thoughts.com is: Create a Free Blog or personal online journal at Thoughts.com. Upload photos, videos, podcasts, chat in the community forums and bookmark the latest news. Thoughts.com allows you to decide for each blog post if you want it to be public, private, or only viewable by your friends and family. Free unlimited bandwidth. Wow.. that’s a lot. On to the more fun parts, I did learn that blog sites can be customized, as missmarie had done.

It only took a couple days to pass before I had 14 visitors to my blog post, which I had not previously advertised or told others about in any way. This is pretty good, since I usually have to spam at least 5,000 people to get one person to read my ramblings (thanks again mom).

I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have a Retard place as a home like I do now, I would be over at thoughts.com entertaining the people that were willing to come visit my ramblings while I was blogging like the Retard that I am.

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Posted By: Michael Sharpe

News Category: Review, Technerd

 

One Response to “Should you drop MySpace for thoughts?”

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