Battle of the UI’s (search *or* meme/social)

It seems to me that every service has one or two things that they do. No one does everything. reBlogger does a lot of basic "engine" things well (take a look at my tongue-in-cheek post about how to make a free reBlogger to see the fairly long list of things we do well). It's almost like we have innovated in the technology stack (the "engine") but now we have to innovate in the user-facing features area.

For our upcoming public version we need to build a whole bunch of user-facing software. In the same way that we tied up the various engine aspects we must tie up the various user aspects too.

So if we're going to build a user interface – what should it be? We have two choices. Search or social. But not both.

If we go with a search interface, then make searching very simple (Google-style) but then innovate with the results (like Flikr has done). But if we go with a meme (or social) interface then the layout itself has to be interactive (voting, ajax suggestions etc.) as well as innovating with the results.

Think about it. Why doesn't Google offer voting? They have chosen the search interface. Technorati, cloudee and the excellent chuquet have all chosen the meme (or social) interface.

Update: It's possible that the "builder" interface might be social and the "user" interface is still search oriented. The two types of users have different needs. The one wants to see the "raw material" (posts and feeds) and the other is passively searching.

In my previous post I commented on the enormous number of websites in this space. Well… while writing this post I've found yet another one! CrispyNews (blog, must see example). Interesting – they also do ad $ sharing. In terms of voting I love it that rojo calls it's vote "adding mojo". Heh. Cool. dotnetKicks calls it "kicking". DotnetKicks also does ad $ sharing.

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