Recently I got an invite to try and review state.com and so I did. Here is a short review and my recommendations. If you are looking for a much deeper, longer, detailed review of something then I am up for it. Just putting a plug for more work.
Before we begin the walk-through, lets pause for a moment and take a look around the new modes of communication which are gaining ground. Mostly termed as ’Social Media’, these are the places where small communities, set of friends or even as individuals hang-out and share opinions, thoughts. They read and reflect, get influenced and then influence others, build opinions and in extreme cases, define and drive large movements. Whether it is the all encompassing Facebook and Twitter or lesser known Quora, these are all around us. As a social animal, these websites or cloud hosted software programs provide us an platform to exchange ideas, to test ideas, to converse and meet our inherent need to socialise. Before I moved my blog to nandanjha.com, I had a blog at blogspot which I started in 2005 and though its been about 10 years, the yearning for a comment (or a Like in FB parlance) is same as what was there many years back. This latent, inner need is so ingrained in us that we keep looking for newer, better means to fulfil this. State.com seems like another step in that direction.
It helps you to express via a modern assistive user interface, more on it later, which guides you as you firm up your thoughts via suggestions and once you have stated, it buckets it in a category and then tries to push this content to other relevant folks, across geos. So it is not limiting it to your friends and does a deeper ‘Sentiment Range’ and helps you to discover those topics which would interest you more. I think you get the gist, so let me go with the walkthrough.
Here’s how state.com looks
A big centre console showcasing the top stories, culled from your past actions, your choice of subjects and what your connections are saying. The whole focus of the User Interface is in centre and enough real estate has been assigned to it.
The two side-bars. The one in the left, talking about your recent activities whereas the sidebar on the right seems to be inspired from Facebook’s notifications, though not as busy as Facebook but the constant ticker kind of movement does make it distracting. I didn’t like the constant jump you notice while you are trying to focus on main stories.
The top bar is your nav-bar, hosting the ’Search’ lens and this has become pretty standard, all across with responsive UI.
If you scroll down, then it is more like a feed but more colourful. Stories with neat and clean boundaries, not too heavy or busy, liberal use of font typeface (colour,size) with high degree of readability. Yes, on my Mac retina most of the things read well but lets give the credit where it is due.
So backgrounder done, a minor review of main page done, lets get down to some operational stuff.
How to Register
Point your browser to www.state.com and get-in via your Facebook/Twitter or you can also have a email based login.
What to do after that
Well, once you are registered and you have set your profile pic and other meta data, you can choose topics to follow and then you can ’State’
How to ’State’ and How it works
You click the big red button called ‘State’ and then you get something like this. I liked the clean, non-distractive UI. Made me remember medium.com (If you haven’t seen it, go and check them out, pretty neat UI work)
As you begin typing, you get a list of topics and you choose one. I chose ’India’. Then it helps you to put some keywords and finally you state.
And here is after you ‘state’
Once that is done, the real magic starts. And that is something which can put state.com ahead or away from the traditional social-sharing platforms. When you have stated, the system in the background begins to work.
As you could figure out that it tries to find the most relevant content, what is being said about that subject and then groups them under various keywords, how many people are saying similar things and how many are on the other side and a jazzy graph, which ‘State’ is calling as ’Sentiment Range’.
I used it over last five days. Since my friends and community is not here, I would have to see on how long I stay here but it is definitely the next step in how we express our opinions.
Here is a small video