I don’t think that Simler will be a Facebook or Twitter killer, but there are several features that interest me enough to not stop thinking about it. (That’s gotta be a good sign right? Knowing how that went for Twitter?)
- Instead of reading and discussing topics with your friends because they are your friends, Simler lets you find the topics (tags) that interest you, so you can consume and create content under them. You could say it’s a reformatted message board or chatroom, so is it really a new thing?
- The tagging concept keeps me on the fence as well. I like the idea of trying to define yourself with these keywords, but the novelty wears off when you realize it’s not much different from the way we list interests in virtual profiles and slambooks. And what does it mean when I add the IE6 tag to my profile? It definitely does not mean I like using it! What about the “Awkward Silence” tag? Eventually it will become a race to see who comes up with the wittiest name.
- I’m not sure it will actually scale. Will there be a way to organize the tags a user collects as time passes? Surely some people’s egos will find anything less than a thousand tags to be insufficient to describe their interesting selves. Then again, the Twitter era answer to that is: when there’s an API, there’s a way.
Simler poses interesting questions regarding how we pursue our interests on the Web. Do you join groups because your friends are in it? the cool kids are in it? or because you’re interested in the discussions? Are you tired of the insipid updates filling up their live streams? Should you take a more active role in choosing the content you see? Is the level of control for doing so enough?