A Preview of Seekler

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Seekler won’t launch for another month or so, but in the meantime, we’re going to start a series of posts that will preview the planned look and functionality of the site. We really hope you enjoy these sneak peeks and we look forward to your comments and feedback.
Seekler is, at the core, about helping you find the best of anything. Do you want to find the best hot sauce? Or how about the best hiking trails in your area? Or the best comedy on television? Then Seekler is for you.
Seekler is a community-driven review site similar in purpose to Epinions or Amazon reviews, but we’ve ditched long textual reviews and “star” ratings. Instead, we focus on putting items in order to create ranked lists of the best hot sauces, hiking trails, TV shows, or anything else you can think of. Seekler makes it super easy to find the list you’re looking for.
Where do all these lists come from? Hopefully, they’ll come from users like you. We’ve built some tools that will make it really fun and easy to create your own personal lists. Seekler will use lots of user lists to create community lists that show the best overall items in any category.
In the next few weeks, we’ll talk more about Seekler and explain some of our features in detail. We’d love to get feedback from you. Do you think we’re missing some key feature? Do you like or hate the user interface? Do you think the site will be useful for you?
Until then, we’ll leave you with an early mockup of Seekler. You can get a basic idea of what the site will look like and what features will be included (we would like to show a real screen shot, but although most of the features are completed, the pretty CSS isn’t).
If you click on the image and visit Flickr, you can hover over the image to see some additional info on various sections of the page.
Seekler wireframe

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5 Responses to “A Preview of Seekler”

  1. erin Says:

    I am excited at the idea of having a good site to rate printers for me, because I am looking to buy a new one. However, most of the reviews out there talk about print quality, photo printing accessories, etc. and I am just looking for the cheapest possible, compact (it is NYC) printer that uses very little of the expensive ink. So I am wondering how you are planning to break things up and separate those sorts of qualities out. I am assuming you don’t want to have people just rate “printers” because you would want categories for best photo printer, best 4 in one, and best
    cheap-ass student printer. And then maybe a general printer category to summarize that data. Have you guys thought about stuff like that yet?

  2. Ben Says:

    Great question. You actually hit on two distinct ideas that are closely related.
    One issue is that a topic like “printers” is too generic. So yes, we plan on having subcategories like “photo printers”, “4 in 1”, etc. The cool thing is the rankings of these subcategories will actually contribute to the overall category of “printers.”
    The other issue is that even within a category, people might want to rate on different properties. As you pointed out, different people might be interested in the best printers judging by print quality, accessories, or price. The same set of printers might have very different rankings depending on these characteristics.
    Those are definitely very important features that we’re planning on implementing. Unfortunately, it probably won’t be included in our first release, but they will on the top of our list.
    In the meantime, you can use tags and filters to partially solve this problem. You could filter the overall list of printers to just find ones tagged as “cheap.”

  3. pazdziernik Says:

    “Anything else you can think of” … are you going to keep you things “consumer product focused” or branch into “best charities”, “best churches”, “best political parties” and the like? How can you compete with Consumer Reports which present “testing of products” and “objectivity” when relying on “amateur reviews” via community lists? Do you think you’ll do better than Zagat Survey and the like? I mean do you intend to go head-to-head with these or just offer the “You Tube/ Web 2.0” experience applied to consumer goods?

  4. Ben Says:

    Great questions.
    While we’re going to begin by focusing on consumer products, we’ll always be branching out into whatever areas our users find useful. So yes, unlike some other sites that are strictly for things you can buy, we’ll also have data on more intangible categories like “best charities” or “funniest comedians.”
    To a large degree, we won’t compete with Consumer Reports. We’ll be complementary. Consumer Reports is great finding reviews for high-priced items that most people can’t objectively compare, like cars or flat-screen TVs. But they’re not as good at reviewing categories that have tons of cheap items – like CDs or hot sauces. They simply don’t have enough people (or in print, space in the magazine) to review it all. Seekler will be more useful for these products.
    So I think you’re right – we’re offering a “Web 2.0” experience for reviewing stuff. This will work really well for some stuff and not well at all for other stuff. We think the former group is very large and Seekler will be the best tool for navigating it.
    Thanks for the questions!

  5. J Says:

    I think the site will be a nice complement to other review bodies. I think the main problem with other sites is information overload. When I get on Amazon.com and read product reviews, or a site like CNET, the first and most lasting impression is the “overall rating” – stars, 1-10, etc. While personal reviews are helpful, and I will probably always search a few out, they become cumbersome and dilute the facts I’m actually looking for – overall, how satisfied are you with XXXX.
    I ran into this problem when recently buying a new digital camera. I probably spent 2 months scouring the reviews – and every camera site, electronics store, etc had a different bank of user reviews that in the end left me more confused than informed. Camera buffs would rip certain cameras if they were grainy at ISO 1000, other general users would rave about how cute the camera was. I probably read 100s of reviews and in the end the only couple of them that were worthwhile were written by professional reviewers. In the end, I realized that I just wanted a camera that had been highly rated by a large body of users, with maybe one or 2 professional reviews to actually read. I chose the camera with the highest rating on CNET, highest reviewed by their professionals – data points I could not find clearly or efficiently on amazon.com, buy.com, or any other site.
    Think about how far you navigate away from a product just to read through 100s of reviews…seems like something that could be achieved very efficiently by Seekler.
    Obviously Seekler may not be as valuable, at least at the beginning, for ratings on some products like cars or child safety seats. It is hard to compete with Consumer Reports for products that require heavy testing, etc. But I can bet you that if Seekler has a list for “most reliable cars” Toyota Camry will probably be on top, and in many cases the Seekler lists will provide simple, concise data points that will complement much larger and rigorous product reviews.
    Just a few thoughts on the proposed service…

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