I like to think I keep my finger on the pulse of the internet. That includes new software releases, product vulnerabilities, and overall news for the day. I was getting tired of watching the FB stock drop, so I hopped on twitter to see what the rest of the world was up to, and I saw this tweet about a new social network called Shizzlr:
Naturally, the fan of #fail that I am, I decided to venture on and see if there was, in fact, someone with the audacity to name their app, Shizzlr. When I think of an app named Shizzlr, I think about the mountain of other app-oriented startups with a lonely letter R at the end of a short catch-word, probably with some new blue web 3.0 buttons that seem to be all the rage among the dev crowd. Sure enough, Google delivered, and eschewed me to this site that seems as if hand plucked from a Web 3.0 crowd of nobodies trying to follow the same path set ahead of them as the other million trend-junk sites.
All bias aside, there is absolutely nothing eye-grabbing about the site, and it, if not for the laughable name, would fade into the periphery for me on any normal day, but today I am out for blood. I am willing to bet that there are some sleeved-hands-dual-gripping-coffee-cupped youngsters with ironic haircuts in front of shiny new iMacs and Macbook Pros in a Brooklyn loft somewhere laughing all the way to the bank while they surf the newest posts on Hipster Runoff. That is the shit you support when you contribute venture capital to shit like this.
Let me show you about the kinda shenanigans I am talking about..
There has to be a Shizzlr web3.0 name joke in here somewhere..
Attention VC Capitalists: This is where your money goes. Trendy buttons, bad fonts, cartoon-y misrepresentation of the app’s as-of-yet unknown capabilities.
Let’s take a look at the claims of this ad. Just some first impressions-
“Create groups around things to do with friends”
Not sure what they mean here. If they meant for me to create an activity, or an event, and then invite people to it, I’m at a loss for why I would not use Facebook, Path, Twitter, SMS, Google+ or the myriad of other options.
“Discover local events and places nearby”
At the risk of being redundant, I am still failing to see the niche value of this app, as it, thus far has not offered anything that I do not already have a tried-and-true method already in place to accomplish. If this app made those tasks easier or quicker, then they may be onto something, so I’ll reserve judgement until later in the review, when I try this app.
“Share them into a group chat with friends”
I think the best strategy here is just to start throwing out some names.. Google Hangout, FB Event Wall, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, *insert-any-social-network-since-2008-here*
“Decide what you want to do”
So I guess the name of the game at this point is to just start throwing out phrases and things that if you haven’t been blown over and snagged by the memory-chips yet, this one last thing might get you because you are certainly too indecisive to decide where to sit and pay to put food in your body without first consulting your social-network of maybe 3 other friends who use this app, and allow it to spam their FB feed.
So far this app seems like a big pile of fail sauce. One thing they do have going for them that most app-foundries have not embraced yet is that there is both an app for Android, and the iPhone.
So let’s sign up and see what’s really going on here, but wait, what’s this?
Sign in with Facebook you say? Replacement for Facebook you also try to be? Hijack people’s wall activity much?
But wait, it gets better.. HTTPSAnywhere plugin gives this one a shining endorsement as we can see..
So let us clarify before we just start giving our data away all willy-nilly-like.. You want us to integrate with Facebook, to duplicate features that Facebook already offers, and you want all of this to happen without even the most basic forms of security, HTTPS.
FAIL. BAD SHIZZLR! If I could roll up a web 3.0 newspaper and swat your pretentious little nose with it, I would. This is poor form and bad behavior. So far, without even showing me the actual product, you have turned me off completely. I am your target demographic, and I assure you I am nothing special. What keeps other tech-savvy 18-26 year old youngsters from seeing the clear and present danger in this?
At this point, it is time for another cup of coffee, and a deeper look into this product before I rush to judgement. Who knows, they could just have a team of trained monkeys in the public-facing end of the company, and there is still hope that the devs just have terrible taste in hiring PR firms..
Sadly, Nope. What I am confronted with is an emaciated view of my city, and what effectively amounts to an RSS feed scraped from Eventbrite in a crowded interface with no flow or direction. My eye is left darting around the page looking for where any actual substance or innovation will step in and captivate me and say “YOU MUST HAVE THIS APP OR YOU WILL BE SOCIALLY DISMEMBERED BY NOON TOMORROW”
I have none of this buzz.
Sadly, I will not be installing the mobile app- not even on the iPhone that has been in my backup camera emergency bag for the last month. There is just no ‘it-factor’ surrounding this app other than the tech-circus circle-jerk that goes on in the web community. Sure people use your hashtag, and you have a trendy web site, but absolutely nothing differentiates your app from any other social network other than it’s sub-par design as far as practicality goes.
The leading apps of today are offering many things, new concepts, new experiences, new features.. All of these features have one thing in common, NEW. If you cover your laptop in elmer and roll it in feathers, do you deserve to be on the front page of TechCrunch introducing the world’s first ChickenTop? No.
Your app does not innovate, your site does not captivate, and you should feel very bad for wasting someone’s money and your time. This is nothing personal, and this is not the end of the world, but you need to know how to improve. The app COLOR has reinvented itself about 3 times now. There is hope, just don’t suck- it’s a simple rule.
UPDATE: Dear Shizzlrs, I see here that you have seen this article, as someone clicked a link from inside your shizzlr webmail server. This means that at least two of you have seen this article, and my encouragement to innovate and improve your app.
I will mark the date, and wait eagerly for the day that I can report about your 180 degree comeback with a badass app. I want to see this, and I want to believe in your concept.
The proof is in the puddin’, they say.
Ball's in your court now.