GoDaddy is trying to snag its share of the social media market with a new all-in-one 2.0 tool called SmartSpace. The service gives you a pre-made social setup available immediately upon domain registration, letting you blog and connect to multiple services via a relatively idiot-proof interface.
First, the Facts The appeal here is in the one-stop shopping, hand-held approach -- one that's presumably geared more toward a novice Web user. At the same time, though, the pricing actually isn't that bad. The service runs about $5 a month, which includes hosting. You do pay domain registration fees on top of that. At the moment, GoDaddy is dropping.com domains to $1.99 a year when purchased with the SmartSpace option.
Once you activate a domain, you get access to a content generation control panel that lets you click to add a ready-made blog, podcast hoster, chat room, or photo gallery to your site-in-a-box. You can stream in any RSS-based feeds as well as any Facebook profile, Flickr content, or YouTube content. The interface also has options to import your own non-site-specific content.
Impact Analysis Some reviews are calling SmartSpace "amazing" and painting it as a real game-changer. I'm not sure I quite agree, at least not to that extreme. It's a smart service and does bring 2.0 functionality to the non-tech-inclined masses in an easy-to-understand, nicely wrapped package -- but I don't suspect we'll be hearing endless oohs and ahhs about it any time soon.
With that being said, I can think of plenty of Net novice friends who have long sought a simple, hassle-free way to build a basic (but function-full) Web site for themselves or for a project, but didn't know where to even begin. In fact, I've had two such acquaintances approach me in the past few weeks with that exact kind of query. This sort of service could be right up their alley.