Thursday, December 13, 2007

Crowdvine is a tool that allows you to create your own social network in just a few minutes. It works, but *man* is it ugly. No I mean really, it looks like a thirteen year old cobbled it together while working his or her way through a "Learning Ruby on Rails" book.

I checked; it turns out the "thirteen year old" is an industry veteran, Tony Stubblebine, who you might recognize because he wrote the O'Reilly Regular Expression Pocket Reference that some of us can't live without. But the amount of press this fun prototype has gotten is disproportionate to its utility. It's spooky, actually.

Now, sites based on crowdvine and re-skinned by professionals are pleasantly functional and smooth. But clearly a lot of time has gone in to these custom versions. Nice framework, but rapid code deployment definitely doesn't translate to rapid site launch.


tonystubblebine said...

hi Gabriel,

Thanks for the compliment on the regex pocket reference. I hope the second edition lives up to the success of the first.

Thanks also for taking the time to use and review CrowdVine. I know it's tempting to walk away from software that doesn't meet your expectations, but feedback like this is invaluable to a small business like ours.

We've definitely prioritized simplicity and utility over design. As a result our early adopters have been customers who prioritized the same, conferences and intranets.

However, I do think we've managed strong designs as part of our professional services. While the dating site was a long commitment we routinely include customized designs for our conference clients.:

rhymedawg said...

Hey--I'm sure Mercedes engineers look at the Honda Accord and say, "man what a POS that car is." But, for million of drivers, the Accord looks great, drives great, and performs year after year.

As a non-techie user of Crowdvine, I like my Accord!!