May 5, 2006

Welp, kudos to Snapfiles for only taking a few hours to post Fact200 to there site. They seem to get a little more traffic than version tracker as Fact200 already has almost 3x the number of downloads (90) in 1/3 of the time. The entry is here.
Snapfiles has a little more of an editorial process, ranking submitted products and also inserting their own screenshots and descriptions. This is actually pretty interesting as far as feedback goes. First, they gave Fact200 only 3/5 stars (boo!), but after some thought and after reading their description, it starts to make some sense. Their main criticisms were the UI and documentation. Documentation is pretty well merited considering there is none. Criticism of the UI is a little confusing, but from the screenshot, it looks like the reviewer was playing around with the Category/Sources functionality which indeed needs some refining.

But more disturbing is the seeming lack of interest and that it only states that Fact200 'has a lot of interesting features'. Hmph. I think what Fact200 suffers most from is a lack of accessibility. First impressions make it look like nothing more than an aggregator, of which there are about 3 bajillion of. I think I am going to make a Quick Reference sheet, both as the first form of documentation and as a little pictorial demonstration of Fact200's features. One of the problems of looking too similar to current tools could be that there is a lack of expectation.

Another problem is that many of Fact200's i capabilities manifest themselves over time. It's not very useful to provide real time search over a test scenario with known results. Nor is a library useful till it starts to get filled. Term completion also depends on the library having something in it. Lack of advertising annoyance is also a subtle side-effect that isn't really noticed.

The only thing that can really shine in the short term is the preview feature. Aggregation is also apparent in the short term, but it seems like most people are content with Google as a single search source. Still, there may be potential to sparkle a little with some of the unique data sources out there.


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