My Review of Wowd.com

I am excited to let you know I received my early invitation today to www.wowd.com!

Here is how they described Wowd.com in the welcome email:
“Wowd is a tool for finding topics in the global, public conversation that’s taking place on the web. Wowd is particularly useful for finding information in conversational media (also called social media), because it’s able to show you what real people find interesting, and it can provide you updates in real time.”

There overview states:
“Wowd is a tool for finding popular information, in real-time, from across the entire web….”
It goes on to state:
“Wowd delivers popular and timely information to users in four ways:
Wowd displays a real-time “Hot List” of popular web pages;
Users can search for specific items of interest, and sort search results according to Popularity or Freshness;
Wowd generates personalized recommendations for each user, based on that user’s interests;
Wowd enables users to do full text search of all public pages that they have seen before, making it extremely easy to find those pages again”

I will need some time to figure out exactly what it is good for and how people can utilize it, but the prospect of real-time search in conjunction with personalized saved networks sounds promising.

***UPDATE ***
love this quote about wowd on twitter:
wowd,@andrewjtalcott

Website Review: ValleyDistributors.com

At first Glance:
The website is nine years old and it looks nine years old. There has been many advances in web design which not only make your site look and feel cutting edge, but also make it operate by todays standards. For example, you can create websites now which can easily be viewed on palm pilots or even cell phones, for a company like yours this could come in handy because people could order products on the fly when they need them.

-not W3C standards compliant

-Layout kind of confusing to the viewer: “packaging, shipping, janitorial, supplies” on the top may confuse people, make them think that these are buttons, maybe making a phrase which would be placed somewhere else on the page including all these words and explaing what the company does and what it has to do with these words.

-The buttons kind of subdued, there is no indication that these actually go anywhere, there placement to “ packaging shipping…” makes it confusing to tell which is the button and which is there for no reason. When you roll over the button there is no obvious indication that it is a button or it will take you somewhere except the fact your cursor turns into a hand. It would make more sense if the button was highlighted or turned a different color or something.

-Why have the “click to browse our online catalog!” button in a different space on the web page. Sometimes people think they need to take up all the room on a web page with activity, words, buttons etc. I believe it is sometimes better to keep everything consice and in some order so people don’t have to all over the page to find what they want.

Pages:
-Products Page: It seems like this page is straight forward, which is good. It does exactly what is supposed to do and also has a link to your current catalog on the page which is a good idea. Having the name of the company and phone number along the bottom of the page is a good idea, keeps the name of the company in the viewers head and is also recommended for search engine optimization..

-About Us: Again: straight forward, I like the signatures at the bottom of the page.

-Contact Us: I like the fact that there is a form on the page so the viewer does not have to open up another program to email, they can just do it from the website, it might be a good idea to make a contact form for the sales people too, noting how they were referred to the company.

Implementing an online store:
This is a great idea and something that is easily implemented.

Search engine optimization:
None can tell you that if you give them a certain amount of money that your website will end up at the top of google. There are steps you can take to make your website more available to be noticed and pushed up to the top, but you really can’t guarantee it will be number one. Basically the more traffice you have going to your site the higher on the list it will be. Content is key.