Last week I was contacted by Richard of MySoftChoice, asking to join their site and share my opinion. Email clearly shown Richard had done his homework on me and service is close to main theme of Rarst.net (that would be choice of good software) so here are my impressions on it.
I mostly review things used by me extensively or those easy to evaluate – both cases do not apply to young web services, especially when they contact me instead of me finding them.
So there is naturally more tearing apart than usual. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, just on different scale from that of established products and usual reviews.
What it offers
MySoftChoice is software-themed service in what is usually called Web 2.0 style. It suggest that users submit they favorite software – for one of pre-defined tasks or any task they want.
From users’ submissions, ratings, opinions and comments profiles for software are composed. Profiles can be further compared with each other.
Site supports OpenID which makes signing up very easy but for me software choices I made before logging in disappeared after signup.
Had they seen Wakoopa?
I had previously covered Wakoopa, which has very similar formula of tracking software people use and providing services and other suggestion out of compiled data.
Core difference is Wakoopa offers to install their tracker app and it will do all the work for you.
MySoftChoice relies on manual input that lacks both convenience and time-tracking function.
Honestly I rarely dig deep into legal side (who does?) but remembering very negative feedback Wakoopa got in early months (who are they to take our data) I took deeper look.
Legal side of MySoftChoice is complete mess. I had to bother Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today to help me make sense of it and even together we couldn’t.
- All rights reserved claim;
- Copyright page stating Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license;
- Terms of service forbidding any reproduction of site and content. To illustrate how well this works – no logo or screenshots in this post (which I totally could under fair use but won’t to make a point).
- Privacy page (quite generic and fitting usual site but not social one).
These claims clearly clash with one another in relevance to site itself. But more important issue since most of service is user-submitted content – site has no right to put it under either their rights or CC without explicitly notifying users in TOS.
It’s like someone wanted legal side covered and accomplished that by dozen copy/pasted snippets.
MySoftChoice is service built on decent idea in style that reminds me of wiki. However in current state it provides little value without original features and any editorial input.
Overall it’s very young service and only future developments will decide its value and success or failure.