I’ve seen quite a lot of online contests and a lot of them ended up disappointing me. Why? Because blogger contests and other types as well seem to be popularity contests and nothing else. With the exception of some group writing process, the selection of winners is either based on the votes (traffic) they can generate to the contest host, or it is completely random, therefore highly subjective.
Second|Brain on the other hand comes with a new approach. Their team will analyze the content users add to the community and reward those with the most valuable additions. I don’t know exactly what criteria they will have, the concept is nevertheless interesting. I do hope and pray they keep their promise and reward value alone with prizes. Given everyone, including those registering on the very day of the Beta 2.0 release , they have strong chances to stay away from “beauty pageants”.
Now to the magic word: prize! What’s in it for me, you might ask. Well, for starters, the cool MacBook Pro Air laptop. Yeah, that slim and tiny thing a lot of people would love to get their hands on. I have to say, I am not a big fan of the Air, I would not buy it because there are cheaper or simply nicer alternatives. Yeah, I am a hard core Vaio fan! But when I think of it as a contest prize, that really makes me want to compete! And if not that, they have other prizes to attract gamers, shoppers and all those passionate about winning free stuff.
But the real question for anyone hearing about this contest is if they will get anything else from Second|Brain after the contest. And my answer is yes. They will get a lot in return after joining. The core idea for SB users is to have one place they could go to and have access to all their online content, which is usually divided between blogs, photo sharing sites, social bookmarking sites and social news sites. Everything spread out and hard to monitor.
That is why they import and then synchronize your SB account with other such sites. At this time, I’ve imported content from Twitter and StumbleUpon. Others will surely follow. Besides this, you can bookmark fresh content and type in thoughts and ideas as you go. So why is this different from any other service that makes a business from integrating already developed platforms? The collections make the difference. You can use collections to perfectly organize your content, sort it and easily search through it whenever you might need it.
Let’s say you decide to write an article on a certain topic. You have submitted links to SU, have posted some ideas on your blog and shared some of your readings with the Twitter world. Wouldn’t it be nice to have them all in a single collection before getting started?
Would joining SecondBrain mean you’ll stop using other services? Heck no! You still have to be an active user on the sites you’ve imported content from. But it would sure make it a lot easier for your friends to keep track of what you’ve been up to. I know I’d love to see all new submissions on one site, choose those I’m interested in to comment and make sure I don’t miss out on a lot of fresh content.
SecondBrain is far from being completed. They’re just about to launch Beta2.0, there’s always room for improvement. I for one think they should also add Mixx and Reddit to the list of services you can integrate and import content from. That would definitely make my life a lot easier 🙂 But given their involvement in the community they’ve created, their openness to new ideas and to all suggestions will fuel their development plans while keeping users extremely happy.
Having a centralized library to go to is something we all need. Adding more value to this initial offering is even better. I’ve used SecondBrain long enough now to be able to wholeheartedly recommend it to you. But do hurry up! If you’re going to join anyway, why not have a shot at the prizes? 🙂