See Things Differently
There appear to be two kinds of social networks opening up. First are those who try to beat MySpace on the design stakes – which let’s face it, isn’t hard – and offer superior usability, clear profiles and plug-ins – think Virb, Imeem and Facebook. Then there is the second who aim to beat MySpace on the ‘Anything Goes’ principle – think Hi5, Piczo and now, Stickam.
The great idea behind Stickam is the central focus of the web cam within your profile. This has the mind bending effect that when you click to add a potential ‘Friend’, you can actually see them staring at you through their webcam. It’s completely disconcerting at first, but after a while you become aware of the fantastic personal nature of the site. It’s a very brave – some might say foolhardy – move in the face of security worries parents may have, but there is no denying the fun you can have chatting with people whilst you are looking at them through the camera lens.
For artistes who wish to sign up, Stickam have also introduced something new to be welcomed, which is a filter process. You have to apply for an ‘Entertainer’ account then verify your credentials before they allow you the extra functions enjoyed by being either a musician, DJ or filmaker. It explains the lack of many familiar artistes on the site since the Majors will be unlikely to sign up and why new artistes can enjoy higher profiles as a result.
The site felt completely anarchic at first, and the huge amount of photos, music and video offered makes it quite difficult to navigate. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll find some really fun features which make this a leap ahead of the competition. Still no mailing list sign up feature though!