Monday, November 5, 2007

UpNext and Facebook

Over the last couple weeks you may have noticed a Facebook login on our home page. This login allows you to access your Facebook network through the UpNext main site. Let me give you a little insight into why we do this.

Here is how we see user progression on UpNext.

1) Kicking the tires - Users enter without registering

We are a new website and people need to get to know us. So we let users just see what UpNext is all about before setting up a profile.

Just "Enter Now" and have fun flying around New York and exploring the city. There is enough value in the site for these non-registered users to bring them back for more.

2) Taking the test drive - Registered Users

Users now want to access the full capabilities of UpNext. Creating a profile allows users to share their city by writing reviews, rating businesses, adding favorites and marking places they have been. The information is now easily accessible in a user's profile.

On the flip side, other UpNext users can now see user contributions in a contextual basis. The profile description, favorite quote, even profile picture, provide contextual information around content, making it more valuable to others.

3) Buying the car - Building a social network

Since a big part of discovery comes from your friends and extended network, we make it easy for users to make this happen.

Users can import contacts from any of the popular email applications. Or simply type in a friend's email address and ask them to join UpNext.

This allows users to share their city within a network. More importantly, it allows users to see reviews and favorites from people they know and trust.

But people spend a lot of time setting up and managing social networks on other sites. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and the list goes on and on. So rather than force users to redo all their previous work, we simply leverage the existing social connection of the user.

Facebook API and Open Social are both tools that we can use to make life simpler for users. We don't believe our users actually care about the intricacies of either; they just want it to happened. So we will continue to make it easy for users to leverage these networks.

4) Avoid being a lemon - Keep users happy

At this point, users have "bought" UpNext and have driven it around for a while. The focus here is to keep users happy and add value through every use. We continue to add new features and improve existing features to keep users happy.
We solicit and encourage user feedback through direct emails, blogging and by reach out to the community. Having bought a car in the past, I know the worst feeling is sitting in that car 5 months down the road and realizing you bought a lemon. So we focus on not being a lemon.

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mathieu said...

Guys...congrats. Just loaded the app onto facebook and it works like a charm. This is Locoal meeting Social. I like. One word of advice though: you need to sharpen your user interface experience. Graphics surronding the app, how big the words are, the font used...should be reviewed to make it a little more sexy & integrated. But wow, this is great.

From a VC in Montreal, Canada

Danny said...

Thanks for the feedback mathieu. The user interface is something we are looking into now. Hopefully you will see some updates to that, soon.