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Beta preview: Spectives.com

Spectives logo

This week ilse media launched its latest start-up concept: Spectives.com. Spectives.com was founded by Rutger van Waveren and soon thereafter bought by my alma mater in the internet world (I worked at ilse media back in 2003). ilse media, once famous as the company behind the first Dutch search engine ilse.nl, is one of the biggest internet companies in The Netherlands. Of course Google won the search engine wars, but ilse media is still a big player in the market with websites like nu.nl and startpagina.nl. Since then ilse media has launched a lot of different concepts but none of them have grown to be as successful as the fore-mentioned sites. Let’s hope that Spectives.com can change this.

Tweeps could get access to the beta preview by sending a DM to @spectives. After I got the general login credentials I was able to peak around in this new concept. Oh wait, let me first explain the concept! It’s rather simple (as most successful concepts, so they are on the right track): Spectives.com is a visual feed reader. Whereas other (RSS-) feed readers focus on the headlines, Spectives.com focuses on the visuals in the feed. A picture says more than a thousand words, so their aim is right.

Well, time for a wrap-up of my first beta preview. On the high note: the people behind Spectives.com managed to create a website which combines visuals from all different sources, yet deliver it in a non-overwhelming way. The problem with most visual-rich websites is the enormous clutter and user-unfriendliness that comes with it. This problem is addressed well by the easy-for-the-eye design they opted for. Another plus: being one of the first people to access the new concept, I was able to register an account and collection with only my first name :)

Spectives screenshot: News collection

The site is extremely simple and within 30 seconds you understand the concept and are happily adding collections to your follow stream. The next step: adding your own feeds. This is where it gets messy. I started the webcomics collection, but had a hard time to find webcomic feeds that actually shared their comics in a feed. Of course, XKCD.com happily shared the comic in its atom feed, but I wasn’t successful in finding other well-known webcomic feeds. That’s the problem with launching an innovative idea like this one: if all feed readers are visually impaired, why serve visuals in your feed? Hopefully this will change as Spectives.com gets more populair.

If you would like to participate in the beta test as well, try DM’ing @spectives and beg for an invite. And share your feedback with the team. It’s a beta after all.

Spectives screenshot

Update 19 May 2012: unfortunately that didn’t last. Spectives.com seems to be dead.

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  1. Hi Vincent, thanks for the review and thanks for the kind words.

    Everybody can join our private beta, just email me at rutger@spectives.com.

    You address a valid point about the pictures in feeds. I couldn’t have said it better than “if all feed readers are visually impaired, why serve visuals in your feed”. Luckily a lot of sites serve pictures in their feed, but there are plenty that don’t.

    I always say that we’re preparing for the future where site owners understand that sending visuals in your feed can help you generate traffic.

    We also get thumbnails from videos if they are in a post.

    We’re planning to launch within a couple of weeks :)

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