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Subscribe or Not? Toluu Just Got Better at Helping You Decide


A couple months ago, I had a chance to review Toluu, the blog recommendation site. The site is great, and has gotten really good uptake. In that review, I did write this:

I’d like to get a little more info about some of these blogs in a summary fashion, without having to click each one.

Well, Caleb Elston and team have delivered some nice new features that do just that. Here’s what is new at Toluu:

  • View the most popular posts from a blog
  • Who else has subscribed to the blog within the Toluu world
  • What other blogs those same subscribers have subscribed to recently
  • Posts now have datestamps
  • The contact page loads 5 times faster

The new features providing context around a blog are particularly interesting for me. Let’s look at those.

Toluu Before and After

Here’s a screen shot of the page for a blog before the updates. The most recent post for the blog is shown, without any date information.

Next, the same screen with the updates. Below, you’ll see new tabs for the blog: Recent, Popular, Subscribers. Also, note that the post for the blog now has timestamp information (“Yesterday”).


With the addition of the tabs, you now have quick access to more information about the blog.

Popular Posts = Better Insight into the Blog’s Best Stuff

As you’re checking out whether to subscribe to the blog, you click on the Popular link. This is pretty nice. The blog’s most popular recent posts are shown. At a glance, the user can see if the blogger’s top stuff is interesting. A good way to gauge what animates the blog.


According to Toluu founder Caleb Elston, the determination of what’s popular for a blog is “a combination of our own data mixed in with some data from AidRSS and soon a few more sources.”

The list shown for this blog is a pretty good indicator of popularity.

Subscribers = Who Else Likes this Blog?

This feature is really cool on a couple fronts. As a user deciding whether to subscribe to a blog or not, the list of subscribers provides a reference of sorts. Who feels like there’s enough “there” to warrant a subscription?


You can see what other blogs the subscribers have added as well. For example, I see that Corvida added Blogsessive. I checked it out, and decided to add it myself. A really nice way to leverage the filters of others in finding blogs you may like.

In fact, in terms of human filtering, you now have three ways in Toluu to handle that:

  • The algorithm-based matches to others
  • Your selected contacts’ additions to their feeds
  • What are the other feeds of people who subscribe to your blog

As a blogger, I also find this feature very nice. You may know your number of subscribers, but do you know who they are? Well, with Toluu, it’s pretty easy to see who some of them are.

Nice Job

These changes are a great step forward in helping you decide which blogs warrant your subscription. Better sense of the blog’s content. Better sense of the crowd that likes a particular blog.

My wishlist still includes better macro, summary recommendations for blogs. But all in due time. Hats off to Caleb and team for adding these excellent features.

Also – I invite you to check out my Toluu page: toluu.com/bhc3 If want an invite, just leave me a comment.

*****

See this item on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22Subscribe+or+Not%3F+Toluu+Just+Got+Better+at+Helping+You+Decide%22&public=1

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About Hutch Carpenter
Senior Consultant for HYPE Innovation (hypeinnovation.com)

8 Responses to Subscribe or Not? Toluu Just Got Better at Helping You Decide

  1. Caleb Elston says:

    Hutch,

    You really nailed all of the really interesting things we see can happen with these new features. Enabling easier discovery of interesting feeds is at the core of Toluu and these new additions further that. We certainly will continue to expose more useful data around feeds and create more views to discover feeds on Toluu.

    If anyone would like an invite Hutch has some :)

    Caleb
    Toluu

  2. Pingback: Social Media Roundup: Toluu, FriendFeed, and Twhirl Updates | SheGeeks

  3. Pingback: Toluu Blog » Blog Archive » Record setting day for Toluu!

  4. Anna Marie says:

    Hi — Toluu looks like a useful site. I’d like an invite. Thanks!

  5. I’d really like an invite to Toluu if you have one. I’ve been hearing nothing but raves and am eager to try it.

    Please email mikecs83@yahoo.com

  6. Pingback: links for 2008-06-23 « Brent Sordyl’s Blog

  7. diggma says:

    Hi — Toluu looks like a useful site. I’d like an invite. Thanks!

  8. Great post…thanks for share this.

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