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  1. #1
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Oculi - The Social News Network has been my pet project for about 3 years now... and I've completely rebuilt it twice in that timeframe.

    I finally got it to a point where I'm happy with it... where you can connect via Facebook, post an article, and get news in your area.

    There are a lot of features I'm going to add in the short-term (e.g. newest articles popping up on your map), but right now, I want to get some feedback on design and usability.

    Also, if any of you are interested in the news, I'd like to ask you to help out by posting an article or two... I'm going to add a feature soon where you can put your AdSense account ID into your profile, and all ad payouts for your articles will go directly to you!

    Thanks in advance for any feedback, and for your help getting me off the ground with this thing!

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  3. #2
    Gav
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    Hey,

    Looks like an interesting project and something with a great scope to become viral and really popular! I like the idea of spreading the news out geographically and having content added by the community, those are definite +'s.

    You have the obvious problem that your upper-navigation links aren't working, but I'm sure you know this.

    I think your obvious main-dilemma is getting contributors involved in the early stages to help you start generating traffic to the website. I think you're probably looking for people who will simply re-create news articles they find on other websites (let's be honest most of the news will be pretty much the same thing from heaps of other websites).

    The ease with which an article can be submitted is probably a good thing initially, but will need to be controlled once you start to generate traffic (maybe limit the total # of contributors you will allow long-term).

    Let me know if you'd like some casual contributions from Australia, I'd be happy to help you out.

    * Edit - Sorry, but I also really dislike the name. I just don't associate it with 'news website' at all. Is there anything that made you choose it?

  4. #3
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Hi Gav,

    Thanks for the feedback! Would love some contributions from Australia!

    Regarding the name - it's Latin for "eyes". The idea is eventually to allow people to broadcast video news from mobile phones, e.g. people being the "eyes" of others. I thought a lot about the name, and paid a bloody fortune for the domain. I hope other people like it!

    Even the logo is a representation of a multi-colored "oculus" (the eye/shutter of a camera), each color also representing a category of news.

    The reason for Latin is that it's a root language for most other Western languages - so provides a "Universal" feel to the site.

    Cheers.

  5. #4
    Gav
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    Hey,

    The name makes more sense now.

    How are you expecting people to be able to do video reports on the news via mobiles? What sort of video reports are you thinking people will do?

  6. #5
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    sounds like an interesting site. It even looks good! I must say I liked the layout and the navigation is very clear, all in all it's an interesting project.

  7. #6
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Gav,

    Originally, the video concept was that if people see news happening, they could start up Oculi and record a broadcast, both streaming live, and recorded for later viewing. Problem was the technology wasn't there. We tried to develop it ourselves, but it didn't have good enough quality to be useful.

    Right now, we'll probably allow people to record video and upload, or take photos and upload from a mobile device, either posting them in article format with a short description, or saving them to their media library for later use. I think that makes the most sense.

    Cheers!

  8. #7
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Steve, you can do live video from phones with uStream nowadays. Quality's not half bad.
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  9. #8
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    I like it. I was wondering if you have considered maybe being able to "follow" contributors or even list followers, a'la twitter?

    Layout looks good. It would be good to have something along the lines you describe where local or national news for user would automatically pop up.

    Good job.

  10. #9
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    Its a nice looking site. I like all the little Graphics you used to show what news story is what. The general layout is very nice, with a great colour scheme.

  11. #10
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    A great idea and easy to access mate, looks a bit blank by first look, like a lack of information but in the end its all good and well.


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