Spotplex – Social Networking With a Twist
The name is Spotplex, and the twist is “Trafficracy”.
At first sight, Spotplex looks like a clone of digg, with popular and latest content on the homepage. But the content is not rated by the users, but by the number of visits a page receives.
The idea behind this is that the impression count is a better popularity estimator than the number of votes… here’s the Trafficracy. We can discuss this (there are pros and cons of this strategy, comments are welcome!) but it’s something new that can be worth trying.
What is sure is that somehow Spotplex can be a good watch on what’s happening on the web and what the hot stuff is out there, because it can sum up the big stories from all the social networking sites, (odds are that if you make digg frontpage, or you are heavly stumbled, or linked by a big site, you’ll get lots of visits…and Spotplex will know it) but I don’t think it can be a pure alternative to other social resources at the moment, as it’s still missing comments, user profiles and that “community feeling” that really attracts people. (I think this will be added later).
Also I like the idea that Spotplex automatically finds the new stories, and you don’t have to wait for someone to post them on it (more on this in a future post..).
The biggest problem I see here is that with no weighting factors the big sites will always end up having more visits than the small ones, e.g. if I write a very good article and techcrunch writes a stupid one, they’ll rank better than me due to their huge user base. (They’re indeed the #1 ranking site on Spotplex)
Another problem is that if for any reason a spammy article with a catchy headline is shown in the front page it can receive a lot of traffic from spotplex and continue to rank well even if its content is awful.
The guys at Spotplex have spotted this, and they are working on it as Dayon Kim (CEO at Spotplex) said at TechCrunch:
I know we have a long way to go and a lot needs to be done including the relative popularity measures, tier system, custom blog support, combining with voting system, … Spotplex is going to evolve with your suggestions to provide better service to you all.
For now, Spotplex is in Beta, and you need an access code to subscribe (you can request an access code by writing an emtpy email to firstname.lastname@example.org…). After subscribing you have to add a code snippet to your page, and spotplex will track and count each visit. New posts and popular posts will show in the Spotplex homepage. For each blog spotplex reports ranking and traffic graphs (something like alexa’s stats), and they offer widgets and rss for sharing the latest stories.
I joined Spotplex a couple of days ago, so I still don’t know how good it can be, but it definitly looks good… even if they’re heavily on beta (the site is slow, the visits count are not 100% accurate etc…).
I’ll write a review in the next weeks to share my toughts, in the meantime I’d be really happy to know what you think about Spotplex and the idea of their “trafficracy”.