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May 06, 2007

DigPhilly - Satisfying a Niche Market Need in Social Media

By Li Evans

Digphillyshare Kristen over at Mashable turned me onto DigPhilly.  Being from the area, I was definitely interested in scoping out this neat new social network.  I hope you'll forgive the little indulgence, but this site is actually pretty cool and definitely useful.  I've been in it for a couple hours now, and I'm impressed and they've found an passionate user in me.  Also, just to clarify The DigPhilly name, is not a ripoff of Digg, the "Dig" points more to "my digs" meaning, "my home".

There's actually a lot of thought put into this social network, and it's rather easy to use.  There is also a portal part of the site too, from news to shopping to finding things to do or events to attend, this site as a lot to offer its members.  From center city Philly, to Manayunk to Audubon there's a lot within the site that's attractively designed with a great balance of flash and content.

Here's some unique features I've found that could actually be truly useful to its members:

  • Groups - there's groups you can join groups by your interest, whether it's sports (go eagles!), TV shows or interests there's the beginnings of what could be a really great place to meet local friends.  You can also create a group, which I took the liberty of doing - "SearchMarketing".

    Groups can also have forums and calendars.  That's really a great feature.  Unlike Meetup.com this just puts the usability part of the group ahead of most of the sites out there.
  • Cheesesteak Neat Articles  - special articles related specifically to things around the Philly area.  Learn how to make a cheesesteak, fun things to do in Fairmount Park (like catching an Anaconda *not!*).
  • Sharing - photos, videos and blogs for both users and groups can share these with friends, group members and the public.
  • Buy/Sell - you can buy from the site's list of vendors or from members selling items through the site.  This could be pretty useful in that, it's local, it's more of a community which means members could be seen a more trustworthy than an ad on CraigsList or classifieds on Philly.com.

Digphillyfrontpage There are a few things that could be worked on, I think the navigation could likely need some help.  It's not exactly that intuitive and 75% of it's in Flash.  I also know it's a "Web 2.0" type site, but, just aesthetically, it could do wonders to loose that Web 2.0 mirror type logo on it's front page and at the bottom of the pages. 

Lastly, information about who digPhilly really would be helpful.  The only information I could find was the email addresses in my registration confirmation and the information in the whois record which doesn't give any information at all beyond the company CoporateDomains controlling the ownership.

This site definitely fills a niche, hopefully they were smart enough to do this for all the major cities in the U.S., otherwise, I can hear the sound of domains whisking away right now.

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Comments

I find there are a lot of these popping up. Almost like a MySpace for locals; without the dirty undertones. One that I have started using lately is - http://fairietink.renspace.com Although it means I have more sites to look at daily, it means I can keep track of them better. In this world of let's make one thing go everything, I really like the idea of keeping my items apart, more classified depending on what it is for.

I'm glad I found your post. I was able to join your new group and create a group also.

http://my.digphilly.com/topcollegelist

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