To disseminate information remains and always will be the primary purpose of people using Social Media. The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990′s coincided with the advent of web publishing tools that facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users. Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject, others function as more personal online diaries while a third kind function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company.
Today not only professionals but even amateurs have been caught by the blogging bug. An important question still remains to be answered effectively. How do I discover new and interesting blogs from across the world and also share my own with the blogging community.
This question must have bugged Prasenjit Singh an IIT Delhi graduate who then came up with an effective solution – FirstQuarto – a social original-content sharing tool that lets you post original content in the form of articles, blog-posts, opinions, commentaries, reviews etc. and have your ideas rated, shared and publicized by fellow users.
How does FirstQuarto work?
The network provides email as well as Facebook login to the site. Once the authentication process is done, you land up on the home screen that is shown in the below screen grab.
The Home screen of FirstQuarto is divided into four major sections – 1) Top 2) Latest 3) Bistro and 4) Write.
‘Top’ section consists of the most popular articles that have been rated according to followers and comments. You can either check the ratings, comments, followers, etc. of the articles and also click to keep for reading it later. The Latest feature is more or less similar to the Top section. On click of it the system pulls out all the latest articles and their relevant details.
Under the ‘Bistro’, the system displays the activities of the community whom you follow on this network. On click you can fetch all the recent activities and you can view them sorted in order of ’Ratings’, ‘Followers’ and ‘Comments’. Articles with higher activity surface to the top so you know what people in your circle have been up to.
The ‘WRITE’ label invites to do the obvious – write your content and post it in the editor. The editor is a comprehensive one and it also provides the feature of posting anonymously. You also have the control to stop people rating your article by unchecking the option in the editor.
In addition to this, the network allows you to link your existing blogs and follow categories based on your interests. For example if you love environment then you can select the category, read articles on the subject and also follow like-minded bloggers.
As a network, FirstQuarto gives the flexibility of messaging and creating an interesting profile. The profile creation provides a snapshot of the user (screen grab shared below). You can find personal details and also the activities that the user has performed on the network such as articles posted, rated, categories following, number of followers and following. Similarly individual profiles can be updated too. However, this operation is manual but would love it if the profile details and image is fetched from Facebook if the user is connecting via Facebook.
As with any other site the focus is more on building this site i.e adding more features and attracting more traffic which can be achieved by acquiring more users. The utmost challenge will be avoiding copyrights infringement and plagiarism given it’s insistence on ensuring original content and for this a feature called as ‘automated checkers’ has already been incorporated. It’s good to see that the network has built mobile apps and has an effective intelligent search feature to search content and users.
Perhaps FirstQuarto would face a tough challenge from Floost which incorporates more or less all these features, along with an awesome design. But due to it’s networking ability which is a plus, FirstQuarto stands at a better position than blogging networks like IndiBlogger and Blogadda. So it would be interesting to see the new features the network strives to bring in the future.
Do give FirstQuarto a try and let us know what do you think about it.