Looking To The Crowd For App Advice

LauraKGibbs on Flickr

LauraKGibbs on Flickr

If you are reading this blog, chances are you are somewhat familiar with the social aspects of the web. We look on-line for all sorts of reasons – community building, promotion, news, research – the list goes on and on. I think my listed reasons are pretty compelling in varying degrees for most people.

How do you feel about the possibility of combining these purposes when searching out applications to assist you in negotiating the Web? I am not talking about the “hunt and peck” method required for sussing out information on Twitter or the other more general purpose social sites and aggregators or running searches in your favorite engines. I am talking about “one stop shopping” sites that combine social community with reviews and recommendations on specific tools.

The Web is moving towards specialization and some sites are taking full advantage of that trend. There are two I will highlight here, and one I will briefly mention as it is unfortunately down for revamping at the moment.

First, consider oneforty, a recent invite-only site dedicated to providing a forum for twitter applications. There are hundreds of applications that touch on or fully incorporate Twitter. Oneforty seeks to organize, highlight, provide ratings for and promote these applications through the input of the community of members on the site. Calling it a directory is too simplistic, as it offers community feedback and even “App Store”-like tendencies. Users can search for, rate and purchase applications (if they have  cost associated with them – many are free). Your Twitter persona is your oneforty persona. Ultimately, oneforty may well become a forum between developers and users, which should enhance user’s ability to find the right apps and affect their future development. While it is in private beta, you can request an invitation at the site here. Follow oneforty on Twitter here.

Next, check out Appolicious, a similar venue for iPhone applications. Ever try finding apps through the App Store interface? By joining the site and loading up your applications, Appolicious will make recommendations for you. Appolicious will also make general recommendations based on its own app preferences. You also can load your friends into Appolicious and receive recommendations from them. You can also turn to the Appolicious community user base for their recommendations. Searching a specific application will bring you to reviews. You can view the day’s top stories about apps, and a real time stream of users comments about apps. While it may sound a bit overwhelming, it would be difficult not to get all the info on a particular app on Appolicious from trusted sources. Follow Appolicious on Twitter here.

Another site, Unwrapp, combined similar elements but encompassed all sorts of applications and tools. Unfortunately, a trip to their site showed that it is being worked on – hopefully it will return soon.

Like oneforty, Appolicious combines social activity with information gathering on the specific topic of iPhone (or Twitter) applications. Who better to turn to than a community of experts or friends? I am impressed with this trend of community-based information sharing, and can only see this model growing in popularity on the social Web.

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