I have been working in the web industry for over 10 years now. I was there when “Community” referred to functionality that allowed users to interact with a site. Today in the Web 2.0 era it’s more commonly referred to as “Social Networking”. My experience has been primarily based around managing web development. Iâ€™ve been lucky enough to have surrounded myself (and be-fronded) some very talented developers over time. Along the way Iâ€™ve been inspired with ideas for sites to develop. About 2 years ago I began drafting a plan for a product based community site.
My inspiration for the site was born from my personal experiences in pursuit of what I call â€œThe lifecycle of an online purchaseâ€. This process is based primarily on technology items which with the breadth of products and features make it hard to do research and come to a decision.
There are 3 main steps to the process:
This is the simple high level view, but each of these steps can take you on a long journey of endless searches on the web to find the right content for each step of the way. I have done this many times and every time I ask myself why there wasnâ€™t a site that could act as a portal that could aggregate this content at the product level.
Take step 1 – Research for instance. For any given product there will be sites that will stand out as the authority on providing quality reviews. Doing the research to find these sites takes a good deal of work just for a single product. Then tools such as feature filters, comparison builders, etcâ€¦add to the process. A community that could work together to provide this content could not only save time but help prospective buyers make informed decisions. Later with step 3 which for me is researching community based support for a product, the process can be similar to finding a needle in a haystack and requires a multitude of persistence.
Anyways, I had many more ideas for functionality on the site that I felt could achieve the goals necessary to provide a value-able destination. I even got great feedback from peers who thought I had a pretty solid plan. Alas, like any good idea, without the time and team to dedicate to itâ€¦thatâ€™s all it isâ€¦an idea.
Step back a little over 6 months ago I came across productwiki.com which while it wasnâ€™t modeled specifically to target the features I had envisioned, was promising in that it was laying the foundation to possibly evolve in that direction. I poked around a bit and it was pretty neat but I thought still needed much work. Fast forward to about a month ago and I decided to re-visit the site. I spent quite a bit of time on the site and was pretty impressed. It had come a long way since I had last visited. I spent some time interacting with the site and got an email the next day notifying me that user Erik left a comment on my profile. I recognized him as he was one of the founders / co-developers of the site who along with Omar and Amanie are very active contributors as well.
Later that night I left a message on Erikâ€™s profile page and we have since struck up a friendship based on our common passion for a product based community site. Weâ€™ve had several interesting discussions and I feel that given the time and dedication that this talented team has put in so far, I feel productwiki.com has the potential of becoming the best product based community on the web. I urge you to visit and explore for yourself. See you there!