We had read quite a few positive posts online praising the new kid on the blogger block Floost.com. So it was with a certain optimism we signed up for a new account and got our review going.
The first impression of floost.com wasn’t very exciting, though. The home page may not look like shit in a literal sense, but it does leave you with much the same feeling. It looks like someone has tried to explain Web2.0 to a 3 year old. 95% of the front page is taken up by a big image of some sort of high rise building. And what may or may not be a bullfighting stadium. Obviously some Floost designer realized that images of high rise buildings and bullfights might confuse new visitors, so they added a video to show what Floost is all about. After 30 seconds we concluded that Floost was not a blogging site after all, but rather a site about a guy named John learning to snorkel.
Undeterred (mainly because we had done some research on beforehand) we pressed on, convinced that somewhere, somehow Floost would be at least vaguely related to blogging. The only two sign up buttons we could find, though, was “sign up with Facebook” and “sign up with Twitter”. We didn’t really want to do either. Floost did very kindly promise not to post on our behalf without our consent. That was nice to know. But we just wanted a Floost account and get going with our blogging.
After a bit of searching we eventually found another button that simply said “sign up”. Relieved we clicked it. And was immediately thrown back to “sign up with Facebook” and “sign up with Twitter”.
Eventually we decided that we had no choice but to sign up through our Facebook account which lead to the warning “The Floost app wants to post on your behalf”. “Ah, but they said they wouldn’t…”. Anyway, we managed to skip this, and eventually got the Floost dashboard. Which was shit too. Top marks on consistency, then. A single, consistent message throughout your site is very important for online businesses, and Floost apparently decided that faeces would be their theme.
By this time I have to admit our initial optimism was wearing a bit thin. Having little positive to say, some plain, factual observations may be the best option. The Floost dashboard consisted mainly of other people’s posts. We couldn’t find John and his aforementioned snorkelling, but there was a post from a guy named Nick that said he was making “the web more beautiful, one page at the time”. We wished he would start with the Floost home page.
On top of the dashboard was a header saying “new post”. Which you couldn’t click. You could, however, click on “text”, “link”, “image”, “video”, “quote” and “email”. “But we want to post a text with an image and a link”, we thought. Floost calls themselves a new, alternative blogging site. You surely must be able to post a blog article with a text and an image?
We decided this was a good time for a little break and perhaps a valium. We returned feeling, if not more optimistic, than at least slightly more relaxed, and eventually concluded that with Floost you had to decide whether you wanted to write, share a photo or share a quote or a link. Doing these things as one post is either impossible or the functionality for this so well hidden that two seasoned IT journalists couldn’t find it. “Perhaps it is more like Facebook”, one of us suggested. “You can share images, links and short texts with your friends and followers”. But surely you wouldn’t need a Facebook integrated app to do that? It would be easier to just use Facebook?
All though we were now beginning to wish Floost had been about high rise buildings and snorkelling after all, we did give the post functions a go. And they worked. You can write a text and it will come out to all your followers (of which you will have none). And you can share an image. Revolutionary. If someone had just thought of this before. And perhaps combined it with an option to link your friends and business partners (they could call it “like” for example).
And here I am afraid we must start at the summing up. We couldn’t find anything else to do. As far as we could find, Floost is a badly made, badly designed, badly laid out copy of Facebook. And like a badly designed copy of anything, it is crap.
We would rather sit on a public toilet sharing excrement than spend time on Floost sharing images and thoughts. In fact if you are on Floost you wouldn’t have any thoughts to share. The Floost FAQ says that Floost is “an identity service which lets people know who you are”. And it does. It makes people know you are an idiot.