March 6, 2007 2:42 pm

Virb is the way of the future

I can’t get over my glee regarding virb.com. It’s a new social networking website (akin to MySpace) but it is 29284715 times better.

Virb allows you to customize your profile, and not in that awful, hacky way that MySpace requires you to. They allow you access to CSS and basic HTML that you can edit to your heart’s content, and rely on the use of “modules” to place content blocks where you want. The “HTML + modules” feature lets you add your own CSS hooks (IDs, classes, etc.) into the HTML so more visually appealing layouts are possible. You can even give “nicknames” to your content blocks so you can more easily identify them.

Best part of the customization? You can turn off things other people have done to their pages. Don’t like someone’s annoying animated glitter graphic background? Hit “Remove Customization” in the top bar and it will revert the page to the default styles. Also great is the fact that the default style is still pretty.

It can pull in your Flickr photos and eventually will be able to pull in your blog posts as well (if you’re into that kind of thing), in addition to letting you upload up to 150 photos and choose one to be your default.

Virb has “announcements,” which are akin to MySpace’s “bulletins,” except for a very neat, very crucial component: you can restrict announcements to only those you wish to see. If you have that one friend whom you dearly love but all of his bulletins consist of “OMG look at mah pix lv cmnts pls thx” you can set that friend’s announcements to not display on your home page. GENIUS.

Also included on Virb are groups, which have the wonderful addition of tags, so a “folk metal” group (yay Adastra!) can have the tags, “metal, folk metal, music, otyg, finntroll” etc. This helps someone searching for like-minded people actually find them.

Right now it is still in Beta, hence the invite-only registration process which is kind of a pain. I accidentally wasted an invite on Daniel because I automatically typed “gmail.com” for his email instead of “yahoo.com” because he’s, like, the only person ever that hasn’t switched yet and I didn’t hit cancel fast enough. Edited to add: Now in public beta! There’s a daily limit of signups, but it’s not a small number so go! GO AND SIGN UP.

Also due to the Beta, several features are not yet functional. While this is sort of disappointing, based on the current functionality you know the new stuff is going to be good.

I really feel like this is the social networking site that will finally give MySpace a run for its money. It’s cleaner, better-looking, better set-up, and has more features that don’t require extensive, messy hacks to implement.

I, for one, am totally sold.

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7 Comments

  • lkvy says:

    I’m on Team Facebook.

    I haven’t really switched to gmail. I have GTalk, so I do have a gmail address but I couldn’t bring myself to make it my regular email address because it wouldn’t let me have lkvy@gmail.com. TOO SHORT!

    HULK SMASH.

  • Adastra says:

    Haha I totally agree with you! I really hope this will beat myspace! It’s not only the personal account that are ten times better – I also registered an account for a Studio and a band I supervise, and it’s totally amazing how many possibilities you have there!! You can sign up as a Music Organization (Studio, Labels, stuff like that), and with that you can assign your artists to yourself if you know the e-mail address with which they are registered and then have their songs in your player. Totally awesome! Didn’t have the time yet though to customize and take more care of those two other profiles…
    BTW, thanks for joining the Folk Metal group ;)

  • Tron says:

    Public beta now!

  • Claire says:

    After hearing about the awesomeness of Virb for the 2nd time in 2 days, I decided to check out the beta … and to make a long story short, I agree, and really hope this gets bigger than MySpace :)

  • Meggan says:

    @ lkvy – I tried to sign up for Facebook once, and it couldn’t find my college so it wouldn’t let me. At least I think it was Facebook. Can’t quite remember now.

    Also? Total HULK SMASH about the email. Lame.

    @ Adastra – really? That’s awesome. I’ve heard they’re really into supporting the music side of it.

    @ Tron – Thanks for stopping by! I noticed the public beta on the site right before I saw your comment. :)

    @ Claire – Glad you feel the same way. :D I think Virb has tons of potential.

  • lkvy says:

    Facebook used to be for students only, but they’ve changed.

    Can I get a custom avatar?!

  • Meggan says:

    Yeah, they’re Gravatars. You just sign up with your email and you can upload a custom image.

    I’ve been meaning to put a sentence or two about what Gravatars are and how to get one, but I haven’t gotten there yet. Will put it on my to-do list.