Flavors.me; The social media splash page
A growing trend right now is the increased decentralisation of an individual or company’s web presence; Gone are the days of just one site, there is now a whole spectrum of websites that an individual or business is now active on. Flavors.me offers an aggregation of your social media APIs into one place to give an insight into an individual’s social media life or a single page summary.
Flavors.me is free to use for the basic functionality, but if you want a custom domain name, realtime statistics and a modal contact form then it will cost you $20 per year, which is a very low fee for something that could be the replacement for websites of many individuals who are now more active on social media than they are on their own websites.
Getting started with Flavors.me
A very quick registration process later and I was adding my favicon with a grin which was something I wasn’t expecting to be able to do. Filling out my bio was also nice and easy; With just a few keystrokes I had filled out my profile via TextExpander.
With a user interface which not only makes sense, also looks sexy Flavors.me puts the sexiness back into software in general, especially web apps. I think every web app developer could learn a lot from Flavors.me; I know that I alone have learned some nice user interface design choices from using it. There may be copycats out there who attempt to offer what Flavors.me does, sometimes even as a self-hosted script, but none of them offer the gorgeous user interface that Flavors.me does.
As you are designing your site, Flavors.me has a really great auto-save functionality so that even if your connection drops out or your computer crashes you’re safe because your changes are being saved regularly. This autosaving functionality makes Tumblr seem outdated and clunky but it isn’t just that Flavors.me autosaves; It is that Flavors.me saves without making you refresh and lose where you are with your configuring of the site. Little user interface choices such as changes to the configuration without refreshing make Flavors.me a unique experience that doesn’t disorient the user.
Being able to connect all of these services directly to Flavors.me via API makes for some great integration of your data. Ordering your feeds is extremely simple and done simply by dragging them to where you want them to be in a list format. The only improvement I could possibly suggest is actually being able to directly drag the feed itself rather than the feed on a list, but aside from that, I absolutely adore the Flavors.me user interface.
After building my Flavors.me page, I was pleasantly surprised by the search engine optimisation configuration options available to me. Whilst typing in your metadescription, Flavors.me shows you a preview of how it will look on the Google SERP as a search result which stops you going over the metadescription character limit.
The statistics are absolutely fascinating. I was gobsmacked to see that my page was already getting hits even though I had not yet opted into their directory to be discovered by others on anything other than the Google SERP (That acronym stands for ‘Search Engine Results Page’ for those of you who are not yet learned in the language of the geek).
Adding your Flavors.me to a custom domain is extremely simple; Point the domain at their name server and type in your domain in your account area and it is done! It is so simple that I couldn’t actually believe it was already done. Tumblr has a similar domain setup process, but Flavors.me is by far the easiest custom domain service that I’ve encountered.
Although Flavors.me allows you to disable the Flavors.me logo in the footer which I will be honest and admit; Having my web presence consistently branded is very important to me, which is why the favicon customisation came as a pleasant surprise, but because they actually offered you the choice to turn it on and off with such ease, and the fact that the logo is so attractive, I actually kept it enabled in order to promote the great software collective that run this service.
Speaking of the Flavors.me footer badge; When changing the Name colour, the colour of the Flavors.me badge actually changes to match it so their little piece of branding never looks out of place with the rest of your layout. Being able to add hyperlinks to your websites in the footer is very useful as well. Flavors.me also has a load of fonts for you to use! All of the little touches make Flavors.me such an appealing service.
The future of Flavors.me
Flavors.me is nearly free of bugs, but I did find a few things about the user interface which confused me slightly; When clicking the ‘Contact’ button in the footer of the ‘squared small’ layout once you have connected quite a few of your feeds (And thus gain quite a few boxes) you need to scroll back up to the top of the page in order to find the modal box with the contact form in. This is nothing a small CSS tweak couldn’t fix though.
You can also connect the same feed multiple times which I didn’t realise. It would be nice if it was clear what accounts you had already connected. By all means, retain the ability to connect up multiple Twitter accounts or whichever accounts you wish, but there needs to be something to stop you inserting duplicate feeds as duplicate feeds can happen very easily for someone like me who has countless social media presences.
Flavors.me will be around for a long time to come because it is without a doubt it is going to adapt and change with the times and become an even more impressive and refined piece of software. Flavors.me has entered that stage of development bliss where they have the core fundamentals all worked out and working near perfectly, now the developers just need to focus on the tiny bugs and then Flavors.me will be considered perfect.
Something I would love to see Flavors.me tackle in future is taking all of these APIs that have been connected and being able to utilise them in an even more useful manner; Consistency in friend lists across social networks, though this could prove to be extremely challenging with APIs being constantly updated.
Something Flavors.me can learn from Tumblr is that I expect a little more from them in the ‘Settings’ area. It would be great to offer a ‘social.’ subdomain on each of the sites for my businesses so I can showcase recent social media activity to people. Tumblr allows you to have multiple blogs, but I’m not saying that Flavors.me should offer an unlimited number of Flavors.me sites to people as this could be abused, I personally think that five per account would be reasonable, especially for those paying the $20 per year.
Being able to manage multiple Flavors.me pages from one account would be fantastic even if I had to pay $20 per page. Twitter could also learn something from Tumblr in that respect; Sometimes I want multiple people to have access to one Twitter account, but I don’t want them to have the login details or to have full API access. Besides, if web applications are the future then I expect the web application for Twitter to offer fast account switching without having to sign out and then into another account; A fast switch similar to Tumblr or The Twitter For Mac or iOS application would be great.
I am a big fan of social media and I quite honestly wasn’t expecting Flavors.me to be able to present my content in a neat and consumable manner after having seen the mess that other services make when attempting to organise your data. As an avid photographer, I really love how you can import your Flickr feed into the page. There have been several services that support dozens of services yet if you actually have a presence on each of them then you’ll struggle to organise your data in a pretty manner; Not with Flavors.me though! Flavors.me does a beautiful job of formatting data. I personally cannot wait to see where HiiDef Inc. go next with Flavors.me because they are a huge influence on user interfaces within countless applications.
What do you guys think about Flavors.me? Feel free to show me yours in the comments section.