Website review:

20 Oct 2007

“Another YouTube-esque video sharing site?” I hear you say with a sigh. Well this one has cool credentials because it was co-founded by non other than Sir Bob Geldolf, right?

Or so I thought until I explored it a bit more. The featured ‘Bloomer’ or artist on the site is Bob Geldof himself and last time I checked, well over a month ago, he was the featured artist then.

Is this a social networking tool for arty types and their friends or just a strange shrine to Sir Bob?

With further exploring I found the site design and layout to be pretty dire. It should be taken down and fixed or maybe entirely re-designed before being put up again.

I know the site is in beta testing but that is no excuse, and anyone with Photoshop could make a site that appears more polished, shiny and Web 2.0-like in look and feel.

There is no consistent layout, as users are allowed to ‘customise’ so that there is a hodge-podge of text, colours, background pictures and boxes on some profile pages.

Because this was billed as a ‘next generation web 2.0 social networking site’ complete with its own marketing team I have to wonder why it resembles a site created by a colour-blind 14-year old with only a passing interest in coding.

I was going to leave a comment on one of the artists’ profile pages asking them if they actually used or liked YouBloom but the comments feature didn’t seem to be working.

In principle the site is meant to flourish on a points system where creative types and their pals consume and interact with each other’s creations, getting points on this basis which they can then spend on songs, badges or videos from site artists.

Nice idea, shame the site is not up to it.

While we’re on the subject of blooms, if you’re looking for something quirky and Irish go to and click on Joyce Walks.

The creator of this little application has cleverly used Google Maps to overlay the Bloomsday walk on any city in the world.

I chose New York, and superimposed on the lower east side I got a map of Leopold Bloom’s travels. There are nine stops and each has an excerpt from Ulysees.

And if you feel like it you can add Flickr and YouTube footage to your travels. Maybe YouBloom should have done something like this.

By Marie Boran