The news feed has become one of the most powerful tools on the web. A social business will live and die depending on whether the home page news feed provides a given user with information they actually care about. Facebook does a decent job, but it took a while to get there — it took a series of updates to give people the ability for people to unsubscribe from people they didn’t care about. That’s why I’m curious about Beepl, the self-styled “smarter way to question the world”. The service promises to deliver you the questions and answers you care about by connecting with your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to figure out who you are.
So what the beep is Beepl, exactly? It’s a social question and answer service that uses your existing social networks to determine which topics you’re interested in. It looks nearly identical to Quora, except that it has a news feed that seems to update in real-time, giving it a Twitter-like feel. I’d go as far as to say that the UX feels like Twitter fused with Quora.
So how is it different than Quora, you may be asking. Fortunately, there’s a bunch of people on Beepl who’re asking the same thing. And what better place to look at the service.
One of the things I like about Beepl is the demand that you sign in using one of your existing networks. This means when I click on someone’s name, for instance, “devinder” in the image above, I’m taking to his profile which links to his Twitter account. This is a fast way of having accountable profiles, and also a way of appraising the value of a response based on a person’s identity.
So how good is the service at identifying my interests? Well, right after signing in with my Twitter handle, Beepl started building my “interest graph”. This actually took a few minutes, as the service processed my latest tweets and came up with its determination of who I was — guess I’m not as complex as I thought! After it had finished processing, it came up with… “504 Gateway Time-Out.” Whoops!
I imagine that Beepl is facing some serious load right now, as the site is being covered all across the board. I’m not exactly what has facilitated this level of attention for the site, but probably due to the fact that it has a former TechCrunch writer Steve O’Hear behind the wheel — he probably knows exactly how to get the buzz rolling.
I tried again, and it logged me in. Based on my Twitter analysis the first series of questions it presented me were about a Canon DSLR, which I do have but can’t even remember tweeting about; a question about the meaning of life; a question about Beepl and “How do you make a log splitter.” Not exactly a complete representation of who I am. There’s still a bit of work to do, and I haven’t put in my Facebook yet.
That said, I like the fast layout and am curious about Beepl. I’m going to keep trying it and keep you all informed on its progress. What do you think?
Image: Adchariyaphoto via Shutterstock