I have been a social networking user for a while now. For much of that time, I found myself frustrated, upset, and driven batty by much of MySpace’s shortcomings. Now, MySpace right now appears to be King in the social networking world and rightfully so — their marketing moves have been brilliant and have drawn more and more users into their service. However, MySpace’s back end – or their database – is built and maintained entirely with .NET, a software and service created and driven by Microsoft. As MySpace users continue to grow daily, it seems that at times, MySpaces reliability weakens. There are many times where I attempt to log on, view a profile or pictures, or send a message to a friend and I am not-so-welcomed with MySpaces “Sorry! We are doing database maintenance on our servers!” There are numerous other things I can speak of for MySpace – both negative and positive. However, this is not a MySpace-bashing post — I’ll save that for a day I really get frustrated. Today, I want to mention a new and upcoming social-networking site called VOX.
The first thing you will notice is that you cannot sign up for VOX right now. Specifically because it is in beta or test mode so they are only allowing a few members via invitation. You will have to give them your email address and when they come down to you on the line, you will then recieve an emial saying that you have been invited. The wait between my email address submit and the invite was barely over 2 weeks or so. As soon as VOX comes out of beta, this will change to where any and everybody can join.
If you check out my VOX page here, you will see really quick that VOX’s whole design theory is different from many other friend oriented sites. VOX provides you with numerous built-in templates that to me seem rather fashionable. Also, in contrast to other comparable sites, your VOX page is more geared toward your blog or online journal, rather than the amount of friends (VOX calls ’em Neighbors), or comments you recieve. You are given the option for one or two side bars, I went with one. In these side bar(s), you are able to list your favorite movies, CDs, books and music and it automatically places the CD, DVD, or book cover that corresponds with your favorites.
One more quick thing that I find neat is that with each blog you post, you can either make it public or private. Hence, you may post one day about an awesome event that you don’t mind the world to read. However, you may have personal information in your life that you want to share with your friends and your friends only. A nice added feature. As you can see, even as VOX is still in test mode, it appears to be very feature-rich. These features are somewhat available for services such as MySpace, but they are not built in and you are forced to go somewhere, copy code you do not understand, and paste it into your ‘About Me’ section. VOX seems to add a lot of those kind of features right at your fingertips in a good looking, very easy to use, user eviornment. You can be sure that once VOX hits the big time this fall, I will have much more to say about it in a more thorough review.