About a year ago Globalive launched a new discussion site called Wireless Soapbox. This new project was a place for us Canadians to get to know the new entrant, discuss our frustrations of current wireless carriers and share ideas about what a new carrier would actually look like. An idea which I believe is powerful is used correctly.
Today if you visit their website you’ll notice It’s been completely re-designed.How a website looks is so personal though, similar to art, you either like the piece or don’t. Some like a great Andy Warhol painting while others prefer Vincent Van Gogh.
The re-design of Wireless Soapbox is a dramatic shift from the previous very personal and inviting site… to the very structured corporate feel. Previously, it had a calming light blue colour with CEO Tony Lacavera made up into a fun comic character. Now, it’s all black and white with all the pizazz missing. Again, a website design is very personal.
Let’s move beyond how it looks to function. The old “WS” (Wireless Soapbox) was incredibly simple to understand and be a part of. A topic was posted by Tony or a member in a bubble form and organized by date. Once registered a user could comment and share his/her ideas. Unregistered users could still participate by viewing the comments easily (mostly spam for free Rolex watches). The font was also a nice size which made it easier to read.
The new WS is very similar with the organization, user topics and comments. Added is a confusing “Vote” button that doesn’t give you an option to vote if it’s a good post, or bad post. Once you click it the number simply increases for no reason. I guess they are aiming for it to be something like “digg” where the more people vote the stronger the story is. This has most likely always been there but I guess it was not that visible to me. On the left hand side they have added “All Time Most Voted” area which was generated by users in the past. Currently the most “votes” is the “Rogers Subscriber Loyalty Change” topic.
They have also added a “Tag Cloud”. This is basically where all the most popular user-generated keywords are displayed. Based on the importance of a word the tag is shown in different font sizes, then linked to the appropriate stories. A strong addition to the new site.
With the launch of the new design, Tony says “It’s been an exciting few months. Your ideas, opinions and feedback have been invaluable to us as we’ve plunged into the world of wireless. Please keep it coming. To help us all collaborate more easily, we’ve improved Wireless Soapbox with a bunch of new features. We really want to make our new service great, and with your help we’ll get there.”
Here are some of their added features: new members to the Soapbox team that will be active in the community regularly, writing and commenting. They will also be inviting some community members to become “Community Leaders”. They have also added quick access to share the ideas on Facebook and Twitter with buttons to both social media sites.
• to send marketing and other communications to our visitors;
• to conduct marketing research;
• to understand your needs and eligibility for our products & services;
• to develop, enhance, market or provide products and services;
• to respond to specific requests from our visitors;
• to protect the security or integrity of our site; and
• to meet legal and regulatory requirements.
With all this said, The sole purpose of WirelessSoapbox is not only a place for us Canadians to vent and create new ideas. The purpose of the site is a marketing research vehicle for Gobalive to create their business model and eventually make it easier to sell us their products.
The next several months are crucial for all the Canadian carriers as there is so much change happening. Rogers, Bell, TELUS and all their sub-brands will feel the heat from all the new entrants such as Globalive, Public Mobile and DAVE Wireless. So us customers will have to be up-to-date and knowledgeable on each organizations values, phone selections and rate plans… remember they all want your business.