I don’t normally do product or services reviews because truthfully I stink at them but when I got passed the release from Shout’em I thought it was be interesting enough to take a look at and share my thoughts on it.
What is Shout’em?
The simplest explanation would be – take a heaping helping of Twitter and mix with a dash of Ning – mix together and voila – Shout’em.
With Shout’em you can create your own private microblogging universe; or as many as you like. Members can customize their networks as far as the look as well as how it functions. There are options to allow file sharing and photo sharing among others. As well you can select whether you want any of your created networks to be private or public.
Setting up your Shout’Em microblogs
The process of setting up a microblogging network on Shout’em is actually quite simple and painless. It is a three step process but you can fine tune the settings for individual networks later on from within each network.
The first step of course is the standard naming one where you enter in the name for you new Shout’Em microblogging network along with a tagline for it.
The next step is the start of the personalization of your new network where you can select the theme; or ‘skin’ as Shout’em calls the available styles. There are quite a number of really nice looking ones which is nice to see. Usually this type of option when made available is pretty limited in the beginning but Shout’em has made sure you have a nice selection of themes to choose from on day one.
The third step is where you can select the features you want available on your network. This includes whether or not this is a public or private network. As well you can add features that not even Twitter has yet, such as file sharing. I will admit this is one area of the service that I think could be a real advantage even though I can also see ways in which it could be misused.
Once you’ve finished with the third setup page you are launched into your new microblog where you can sign in and finished setting up things like your profile and make any changes to the overall settings for your microblog.
Thoughts on Shout’Em
To be honest I’m not sure on the long term viability of services like Shout’Em. Sure it’s neat to be able to setup your own Twitter-like universe but really for what reason. I can however see how such a services could be really useful for in-house project teams or for corporate use in general. With the ability to make the microblog private as well as having file and photo sharing Shout’Em could find a nice niche market in the business world. As for the general surfing public – well I’m not so sure about that.
The official launch of Shout’Em will be at this year’s LeWeb in France so until then I believe setting up new microblogging networks on Shout’Em is by invitation only. If you want to give it a try for your self head on over to the Shout’em and use the invite code of doneright
In the meantime you can check out the Inquisitr microblog I set up (http://inquisitr.shoutem.com) – I’ll make sure to hang out there for a while.