My first sponsored post is for Prapta, a social networking website that notes “Everything In Life is Here!” They may also be the first to be able to claim “Everything in Social Networking and Web 2.0 is Here!” These folks have been hard at work for sure!
From a technology standpoint, the technology behind Prapta is nothing short of extraordinary. The site is 100% Ajax. Forums, Blogs and other activities center around Life Experiences in the network. It's a really cool take on social networking… rather than me, me, me or you, you, you, Prapta is centered around “we”. They group all of the information in the application around experiences.
I believe the target age group for Prapta is probably young adults (I'm too old to enjoy some experiences like the Absinthe discussion below! :).
There's also a very robust search engine that would rival any online dating service. Imagine online dating if it had blogs, discussions, life experiences, instant messaging, widgets and online chat (chat is coming soon) and you have Prapta! If I ran an online dating service, I would honestly be shaking in my boots at a solution like this.
Everything in a review can't be rosy, though, right? Although the application ran flawlessly (it really did – I had no problems at all), I think there's a huge opportunity for improvement in the aesthetics of the application. IMHO, Web 2.0 isn't just about Ajax interfaces, it's also about simplicity and ease of use.
The logo for Prapta is fuzzy and uni-dimensional. The logo is also vertical while the interface is mostly horizontal so it looks out of place. Everything on the screen is mono-tone, no dimensions, gradients, nor shadowing. I realize part of this is due to the ability to customize the page but it leaves the application a little flat (pun intended).
I would advise a robust theming interface rather than the current customization options… allow people to dynamically change everything rather than simply font, font-size and page colors. Web 2.0 is about expressing yourself – this is what makes other social networks very popular. As well, some component placement is crowded and not cross-browser. For instance the font and color customization doesn't render correctly for me:
That said, I would have to give Prapta the highest grades possible given the capabilities of the application and not the aesthetics. This is an awesome undertaking and the developers deserve great credit! An investment in a great graphic artist experienced with web applications would drive this application into the mainstream and popular. I honestly think it's the only reason why I hadn't heard of Prapta before!
One last tip: There's no need to promote the solution as Ajax or Web 2.0. People aren't going to use your application for these reasons. Promote the site for what it is – a fantastic place to share experiences, discuss them, and find others!