Riffs: your social recommender

At last, I can finally talk about what I’ve working on for the last 5 months! It’s so hard to work in stealth mode, and when everyone asks you why you’re so busy, you have to say “a thing”. Anyway, today, Riffs has gone live in ‘public alpha’ mode.

Riffs is a recommendations engine, a place to rant and rave about anything, recommend and get recommendations. My main use for it will probably be to give music recommendations, but you could use it to rate and review a gig, movie, conference or meal you’ve just had. Perhaps you want to get users opinions of a certain digital camera? While this is the early life of riffs, there are already over 10 million items in the database, and we’ve tried to make the process of adding a new item as quick and easy as possible.

There’s also the social network side of riffs. If you see someone with similar tastes you, add them to your riffrs, and keep up to date with what they’re reviewing. There’s a lot going on in there, but i wanted to give you a brief overview.

As this is an Alpha stage, yes, there are rough edges, and many changes/improvements/code cleaning still to come. Its there to try out, give feedback and help advance. Open Firefox/Camino/Flock/IE if you must, get stuck in and have a play around. (Please feedback to Attap though!). Safari support is coming very soon!

While I was worried about the scrutiny that the code is going to get, I decided sod it. I’ve worked long and hard on this site, and the Attap team much more so. I’m proud to have got to this stage, and really want to show you all what I’ve been up to for so long. I see that 37 Signals have picked up on it already (i’m glad the logo rollover tickled their fancy so much!).

Oh, about that font. Its VAG rounded, which I did use on another project. My lesson learnt is never to include it in any more design options. In the case of Riffs/Attap though, it felt the most applicable though, so I make no apologies! I’m still desperate to use Omnes on a project though.

There are lots of CSS things I want to write about, like the fact that Firefox 1.07 threw up so many problems compared to 1.5, or the odd IE fix that saved my bacon at the last hurdle. they can wait for when there’s more time.

This is the just one of the projects I’m working with Attap on, there’s more to come…

The Hickensian is the journal of Jon Hicks, one half of the creative partnership Hicksdesign. Take a look at the work we do.

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