Customer S owns a new kind of social network, where users can actually share and find useful solutions to problems they are facing in real life. In contrast to other popular social networks, this one focuses on valuable wisdom and knowledge instead of just trivial user-to-user interactions. However, realizing this visionary idea was a rough and time-consuming journey until Bestarion took charge of the development effort and successfully created a unique platform that is completely different from other social networks and able to bring unprecedented experience and benefits to users.
ABOUT CUSTOMER S
The founder has a vision of using collective wisdom and experience of those who have already solved their real-life problems to help others who have not known those solutions. It’s a new kind of social networks, called social utility, where you can find the best solutions to life’s challenges, big and small, from the people you trust.
This completely new platform must be able to address these drawbacks of existing social networks:
- Most popular social networks could be described as user-centric ones, for interaction among users is the foundation they were built upon. In addition, they in general encourage users to interact more, and to expand their network of “online friends.”
- As a result, “information overload” is the prominent attribute of most social networks. There is just too much information (posts, photos, shares, etc.) that it is not easy for users to process and distinguish between “valuable” and “trivial” information.
- More importantly, even if there is good information, users can hardly benefit from it because interaction between users and information is not the focus of those social networks. Users are not provided with capabilities to store and manage information. Therefore, useful information, which can actually make users’ life better, easily gets lost among other thousands of pieces of information appearing and disappearing every day.
- Furthermore, “information overload” gives the social networks themselves the ability to control which information will be seen by users, which may create distortion of commercial interests.
As a start-up, Customer S must take on some serious challenges. First, it needs to attract investors by showing true potential as a game-changing solution, which is capable of competing with existing social networks.
More importantly, in order to stay viable, Customer S must be able to attract a lot of users through features and benefits that cannot be found anywhere else. Customer S aimed to differentiate itself as a social utility, a platform that stands out from other social networks by providing its users with real-life practical values.
As a new entrant into the social network industry, Customer S must compete with the dominant giant Facebook and other existing big players. How to stand out to compete successfully with them? How to make a difference? What is hot about Customer S’s platform? Customer S needs to answer these questions convincingly.
Bestarion developed a unique social community platform for Customer S. An information-centric social network, or social utility, is what defines Customer S. Its main focus is how users can share, find, and manage information. Basically, this social utility can be described as a combination of Pinterest and Wikipedia.
- The key component of this social utility is the “Card”. A card is one piece of information, knowledge, or experience that users want to share. Other users can then collect the cards that are useful to them and put them in their own collections. Consequently, valuable knowledge or experience can be stored and organized neatly instead of being lost among unlimited stream of trivial information.
- Users can choose with whom they want to share their cards, and other users also can put their own comments in the cards before saving them.
- Customer S also provides users with a powerful filter function, which uses specific criteria such as locations and topics to help users find exactly what information is valuable to them.
On one side of a card is its information, and on the other side would be comments from users abut that card. To avoid unnecessary and distracting comments, when users add a particular card into their collections, they can only leave their comment as answers for the following questions:
- Why do you think this is superb?
- Why does it belong in this Collection?
As a result, other users when looking at the back side of any card can have a clear understanding of the value and usefulness of that card.
Bestarion also developed a complex card-based Search function, which will show results in the form of cards kept by Friends, Friend-of-Friend, and Others. It also lets users know how many of their Friends, Friend-of-Friend, and Others are keeping a particular card in their Collections. The more people are keeping the same card, the more useful and valuable that card is.
Core technologies used in this project: Ruby on Rails, HTML5, jQuery, Bootstrap.
- As a social network of useful wisdom and knowledge, Customer S features a highly effective search function. In fact, one of the inherent drawbacks of social networks is the searching capability. Popular search engines, such as Google, normally do not have access to the networks’ information, while the organic search functions of those social networks are far from being effective in finding exactly what users are looking for. The Search function enables Customer S to stay ahead of its competitors and Bestarion did it successfully.
- After several major setbacks with previous development teams, in which the whole prototypes were scrapped, Customer S could finally take shape and is fully operational after Bestarion team took charge of the development. Moreover, it was accomplished 3 months sooner than expected.
- “I was inventing the wheel again,” said the Owner. This is a real-life experience of the company’s founder herself. After being diagnosed with cancer, she spent more than 1 year to find out useful information about what to do and who to talk to so that she can learn to live with her situation, even though there were many people who had all the information she needed.
- Customer S helps users find solutions to their real-life problems much faster and more reliably through collective experience and knowledge of other users. Instead of having to go though thousands of results from search engines, they can find trustworthy solutions from trusted friends or friends of friends.
Brilliant job! I would definitely recommend your service to others.
Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of Customer S.