Stefan Geens of Ogle Earth has written a very thorough review of whereyougonnabe, and has some nice things to say, as well as some good suggestions - thanks Stefan! He compares us to Dopplr, who are really the closest site out there to what we do, and says "Dopplr is simpler to use, while whereyougonnabe is more full-featured". He thought that the "pièce de resistance" was the Google Earth interface and in his summary, he says "in sum, I very much like whereyougonnabe".
To be honest, I'm delighted that Stefan thinks we are already more full-featured than Dopplr when we're still at such an early stage of beta release, and they have been out for some time, and have - rightly - been getting a lot of interest and good reviews. And I would agree with him that Dopplr is easier to use today than we are. Part of this is that they are doing something much simpler than we are, though similar in some respects (I will discuss this in more detail in a future post), but nevertheless we know we want to make things simpler to use and we have a lot of things in our short term plan which will help on that front. But as I said in an earlier post, while there are lots of things on our to do list, it would have been easy to keep improving things for another several months before releasing, but I felt we were far enough along to get something out there and start to build up some users and get some feedback. And while we still have a few more rough edges than I would like, I think the response so far has been very good and I'm glad we did decide to get it out there rather than waiting longer.
And lastly, one small point of clarification / correction ... Stefan suggests it would be nice to have color coding to show "close encounters", and actually we do have that in there already ... I suspect he may not have any close encounters yet so the color coding has not shown up. But a green box around a friend's picture shows that you are "very close" and a yellow box shows that you are "somewhat close". What constitutes "very close" and "somewhat close" varies depending on a number of factors, including how far from home both you and your friend are (in general, if either you or your friend are far away from home, a larger distance is used than if you are close to home). The ability to have a variable distance for determining what constitutes a close encounter is something that Dopplr's approach does not handle incidentally, and I think that this will be a powerful enabler for us as we add more sophisticated features to the application (though not something that the user is necessarily conscious of).
So anyway, thanks again to Stefan for the detailed review. It's been an exciting week, with getting the system out to the world, and by and large everything went very well ... on to working through the big enhancement list now :) !!