Today Courtney Tuttle and Vic Franqui launched Blogging Zoom, a new social bookmarking site dedicated bloggers. Here’s my opening day impression of it.
Signing up is easy enough. The only thing that’s a little tricky is that is multi-page, with the second page being a CAPTCHA that’s a bit hard to read (like any of them are). The only personal information that’s required is an email address. It doesn’t do email verification, which I had kind of expected. There is also no approval process or anything like that to go through.
Once you’ve finished the initial sign-up you can add an avatar to your profile and other optional information you would like to include, such as your web site name and IM profiles.
The submission process appears to be designed with SEO in mind. You enter key phrases and 1 or 2 description tags. This should, over time, boost search engine results of articles in the system. However, article links are NoFollow which means that no PR passing is done between Blogging Zoom and your site. This should avoid potential Google penalties.
Much like Digg and dozens of other such sites articles are voted on and those with a high enough count move to the front of the list. The ‘bury’ link is small so it should discourage off-the-cuff buries.
Every site has rules and Blogging Zoom is no exception. Here are their rules:
1. Even though anyone can use Blogging Zoom, only content that was created originally on a blog can be submitted to BZ.
2. You may not threaten, harass, abuse, intimidate, or mistreat other Blogging Zoom users.
3. You may not submit content that is defamatory, libelous, abusive, obscene, pornographic, or content that violates the rights of a third party.
4. You may not use the service for any purpose that is illegal or unauthorized. If you use Blogging Zoom from a country other than the United States, you agree to obey local laws and regulations, as well as all applicable U.S. laws and regulations.
5. You may not use Blogging Zoom to create unwanted email or email lists.
6. You may not use Blogging Zoom to submit stories that link to affiliate programs, multi-level marketing programs, or otherwise off-topic content.
7. You may not access Blogging Zoom with any robot, spider, or scraping program without the express written permission of Blogging Zoom.
8. You may not have more than one Blogging Zoom account.
9. You may not pay or otherwise compensate others in exchange for Zooms. You may not participate in any other organized effort that would influence or alter the results of services.
10. You may not use Blogging Zoom to advertise, ask, or solicit any user to purchase any product or service.
11. Profiles can not be transferred, sold, or purchased.
They seem to be fairly reasonable.
In addition to this, unlike some services, blog owners are encouraged to submit their own articles, which is good.
Room For Improvement
Well, that’s the good. Now let’s look at some areas for improvement and some ‘nice to haves’.
The article listing pages only show a few articles. It would be nice if they used an interface similar to DZone which uses AJAX based load and scroll.
The category list is a bit limited so far. Hopefully these will be increased shortly and perhaps sub-categories will be added.
Hopefully they’ll get Blogging Zoom added to Sociable and other WordPress bookmarking plugins soon. This could probably be hacked in but a clean integration would be preferable.
A feed widget would be another idea for the future, particularly one with customization features like only including friends’ blogs or per category or sub-category selection.
The kickoff looks promising. I’ll be submitting articles to it and seeing how well it refers traffic. What do you think about it? Leave me a comment and let me know.