My inbound.org wish list

What is it?

Inbound.org is a great new joint venture by Rand Fiskin (CEO of SEOMOZ) and Dharmesh Shah (CTO of Hubspot), both massive players of the “Inbound Marketing” field, I believe they may have even coined that phrase. The aim of the site in their own words is to “prevent great content from the world of inbound marketing from going unnoticed”. The site was launched just a few days ago in a flurry of twitter activity and is attracting some serious interest from bloggers, marketers and the internet marketing community in general.

The site has been launched MVP (Minimum viable product) focusing on the ”must haves” rather than “nice to haves” which is understandable as it’s a just for fun project from two super busy guys! However, I’m extremely impatient and with the obvious huge potential this site has I couldn’t help but get thinking about where it could be going next. Rand did say suggestions were welcome so this is a wish list of features I’d like to see coming along at some point, feel free to add your own thoughts to the comments, I’d love to hear them!

**UPDATED 13/Feb/2012**

This post has received quite a few comments over on Inbound.org with people chipping in their ideas for enhancements, there are also more great ideas floating around the web also at the moment. I decided to update this article to include the best ideas I’ve come across which didn’t make in into the first draft. Keep the great comments coming everybody!

Curated top links list – Jason Acidre

Jason sent this one over pretty quickly following my tweet about this post and he’s spot on with this enhancement. There will of course be many times we can’t keep an eye on what’s going on in the fast passed world of internet marketing and as a consequence with the current Inbound setup we will miss things. Over at My SEO Community they have top lists by day, week and month meaning you can easily track back to find any hidden gems, maybe something similar for Inbound would be ideal.

Mark post as favorite – Alex Popescu

I want to be able to come back here and check my bookmarks – that’s by far the main reason I registered (here, and HN and reddit, digg & the likes). Sure I will submit an item now and then, but my main motivation to upvote thus bookmark a link is being able to come back later and revisit it if I need to.”

I Guess if, like me you have your own system for keeping track of posts you need to check back on then this isn’t something you’d be too interested in seeing. My thoughts on this however were more around adding to the community, people could check out posts in other people’s favorites, that would be a great way to discover some new cool stuff.

Basic Account Admin – Ker Communications

“Since I registered with my company twitter account, I’d like to be able to change my username and avatar, or register with an email address instead”

This is an idea that I’d completely overlooked because I’ve been blinded by the “bells and whistles” and potential for the site and community as a whole. I can however see the need for lots of functionality to be added around basic account admin above and beyond the integration with a twitter account.

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Search/filter facility

Currently there is no obvious option to search or filter the articles that have been posted which does make the site a little over facing. The ability to see just those submitted today, since your last visit or those with a certain amount of upvotes/comments would make it easier to find content of interest to you. Even a simple text search would enable you to refine the list to your requirements.

Badges

Bloggers love badges right? Of course we do, especially one’s which say how awesome our content is! A badge displaying the number of “upvotes” our post/blog has received to go along with our Tweet counter and Facebook likes would be great.

Upvote button

One of the issues I can see with the current system is that once somebody has clicked through to a piece of content they then have to remember to hit back on their browser in order to upvote it. If however there was a button to do  just that at the end of the article they’ve just enjoyed it may increase the number of votes cast. Clearly the button could be incorporated with the badge idea above.

**UPDATED 13/FEB/2012**

With massive thanks to Steven Welder this is now possible. Still a little rough around the edges but until an official button is released this seems to work really well (except I can’t get it to work here!). Thanks Steven!

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Downvote

Possibly a little controversial this one but there is currently no ability to downvote an article. I can maybe understand why that is but to be honest if I believe and article is incorrect, misleading or just plain stupid I’d like the ability to indicate that with a downvote.

**Update 13/Feb/2012**

That’s it then…

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RSS Feed submission

Ok so I know this is probably never going to happen but I’d like to submit the RSS from my site so I don’t have to manually submit each of my posts. Did I mention I’m lazy?

Tweet reference

Inbound (quite obviously) has an official twitter account which tweets submitted articles out but doesn’t credit the person who posted up the article in the first place. I think it should.

Upvoters identity

Although you can easily see the identity of those who have commented on your article it’s not possible to see those who have upvoted you which is a real disappointment to me. Often the way I discover new people in the field to take an interest in is by noticing they have shared my content. I also like to thank them as often as possible with a quick message but that’s not possible. I’m also a bit uncomfortable about a “secret vote” in a community which prides itself on transparency.

Notifications

I’d like to see the introduction of notifications when specific actions are carried out on the inbound site. Say one of your articles gets upvoted, commented on or makes the hot list, those are definitely things I’d want to know about via email or maybe just a tweet.

Article stats

If you’re in the internet marketing game then there’s a good chance you’re a bit of a data geek (like me) and you’ll want to know as many stats about your articles as possible. How many click-throughs, highest position in the hot list, highest position in its category, current position etc etc. At the moment there’s no in-depth stats available in one place for all your articles, you can see the basics under the “Your articles” section but that’s never going to be enough for us data hungry marketers is it?

Mobile app

Need I say more? It’s 2012, you NEED a mobile app.

Extra thoughts from Chris @ RWS

I’ve been discussing inbound.org at some length with my circle of SEO buddy’s since it’s launch, especially Chris over at Roots Web Solutions. He’s currently owning inbound (see above top members list) after posting up some fantastic articles, some his own and some from others. He made a few excellent points which I completely agreed with but weren’t in my first draft.

Undo an upvote

The first thing Chris mentioned is that there doesn’t seem to be a facility to undo an upvote if you have made a mistake and clicked on the wrong post. I’ve yet to do it yet but can definitely see it happening in the near  future, the ability to undo would be a good enhancement.

Karma for comments

One thing we’d both noticed in the short time we’ve been using the site is the distinct lack of comments which, for a community based site is a little disappointing. The image below shows a snapshot of the hot list showing some of the most popular articles, and how few comments they have received. Chris noted that there is no Karma (the score given to individual members) given when members post comments. Karma seems only to be given when an upvote is cast for one of the members article links. If there were some sort of reward (maybe in terms of the karma score) then this would hopefully encourage the community to express themselves a little more.

That’s it (for now)!

So that’s it, my wish list for this great new site. I suspect the brilliant guys behind Inbound have already got all these on their list, or discounted them for one reason or another. Either way I’m betting that Inbound.org has a great, great future! DON’T FORGET you now have to go to inbound to upvote this post! If you didn’t like it, then upvote it anyway and we may get the downvote feature I’d like too see for my next article…