I’ve been blogging for quite some time now and after trying out most of the blogging platforms, I decided that WordPress is ‘The Blogging Platform’. Though WordPress as a publishing platform rocks in every aspect but it has resisted being a social blogging platform.
A move that is okay with me but then there are a lot of bloggers who want to build their community on the platform itself and while they write their own stuff they want to see what others are doing too. Glipho solves the problem as it enables bloggers to concentrate on the content while the platfom will build the audience. In other words it is a social network for all bloggers based on interests, aka Social Blogging.
It was recently shared by YourStory that the platform for bloggers has opened up for Indian audiences. Not sure what that means? But being a blogger myself I was pretty tempted to play around with both the web and mobile (android) version.
Glipho Mobile App
Once the Glipho mobile app is activated it provides various social logins from Twitter to Facebook to Google. However, my excitement died when the app notified that new accounts can’t be created from the app at the moment. One needs to visit the signup site of the web app to create the account.
Once the app took my basic details, it asked me to select interests so that it can suggest me bloggers based on the topics. I followed few in the Technology and Politics section. The new user signup process asks if you have an existing blog that you would like to synch up. For WordPress it was a manual process and you need to import the file on the platform. Once you select the categories, the posts are added in my profile under Latest Gliphs section.
After performing the above actions, I activated the mobile app again and it allowed me to log into my account. The app landed on the Home screen that lists the interests that I have followed on the app. The image on your right shows you the Home screen. You can tap on the app and view the list of authors that you follow along with their latest posts or Gliphs.
Once you tap on the content you can read the post, comment on it and share it on various social networks. You can set rules too for defaulting the social networks from next time onwards. The below screen grab shows you one such glyph by a writer that I have recently followed.
Besides this you can tap on the user display picture and it will take you to the profile of the blogger. The profile section is divided into – Gliphs, Likes and About. Gliphs provide you the list of the articles, Likes list you the liked articles by the author on the platform and About section tells you more about the author including the number of Followers and Following.
The app here has two options to navigate – Click on the back button on the left hand corner or tap on the options button the right that provides a quick navigation to Home, Browse and Account. The Browse section will provide you Trends and Topics to navigate and select. So if you click on Writers in the Trends section you will be shown a list of trending along with your details. You can either follow them or click on them to find more about them and then you might be tempted to follow them. The Browse screen also provides a search and the Account screen gives a snapshot of my user profile.
The Web app right now is much more stable and effective than the mobile app. Apart from new accounts setup, selecting content based on interest is tough on mobile app. On the web app you can simply type on the search, not only the web app provides related topics to the keyword, it also shows writers to follow along with the search results. The below screen grab shows the search result for global politics and if you click on the option Follow then you are ready to find content related to the interest.
The other feature that I couldn’t find in the mobile app was the Desk option. The feature allows you to create blog posts on the platform itself with a nice editor. I am expecting that the Desk along with the Insights feature which was also missing, would be added soon to the mobile app. Insights is a pretty cool feature that provides quick analytics about the posts in terms of views and shares on various networks.
How good is the app?
As I said the mobile app needs fine tuning and one needs to be patient with its loading time. At times it is really slow to fetch content both on web as well as on mobile (I have a pretty decent broadband connection).
Design wise the web app is much more appealing and easy to use. The mobile app has a better navigation too and once you spend some time you won’t have problems playing around, reading content and making new friends.
But the big question is that the pain point Glipho is trying to solve is being done by a number of RSS Readers and blogging platform like Tumblr. My favourite is Feedly where I can find, read and share content. Though Feedly is a RSS Reader, the mobile app is just awesome and it has not given me any reason to use Flipboard. Feedspot, which I had reviewed recently, is another app which allows tracking content, reading and building a community of like minded people. Though it is present only on web, it provides a smooth experience.
Time for Glipho to bring a similar experience to its existing mobile app and then it would definitely make the existing experience much better. It would be interesting to know how Glipho plans its road ahead in India considering that it has opened up for Indian users and how is it addressing the spam on its platform.
Meanwhile do give a try to Glipho and let us know if you are tempted enough to use it as your social blogging platform.