Thursday, August 3

Social Commerce - Part 2 - Stylehive

In my second look at social shopping sites, I tried out Stylehive, which seems to target fashion as its name suggests. I really liked the layout and found it very easy to use. It has all the web 2.0 goodness you'd expect from a social site (i.e. profiles, tagging, RSS feeds, widgets, etc).

As far as social sites go, it's more in the vein of a social bookmarking site like than social networking like MySpace. The big limitation that I saw is that there's no concept of adding other users as friends. They have a page called "My Hive," but it's really just a place to manage your profile and import contacts.

Using the site is very easy though. The site provides a quick step-by-step tutorial for getting started. After creating a profile (see mine here) and adding a bookmarklet to your Favorites, you can add items you find on the internet to your account. Unlike Gifttagging (which I write about here), Stylehive grabs pictures, prices, and text from the page, making it easy for you to select which image to use, add tags from their automatically generated keywords, and post the item to your account.

You can also browse items on Stylehive by criteria like recently posted, featured users, most popular bookmarks, and most popular tags. Any items you like are easily added to your account by simply clicking the “quick copy” button next to any bookmark.

Aside from not having a friends capability, I don't like the fact that when you click on the bookmarklet, it renavigates your browser window. I would think popping a separate small browser would be better. For instance, Stylehive grabs every dollar figure on the page in its list of suggested prices. Not being able to reference the original page when adding a bookmark is an unnecessary obstacle in what otherwise is a pretty straightforward process.

Stylehive is still in alpha stage, so there are few users (the highest bookmark I saw had 19 users who had bookmarked it). I read that Stylehive was trying a "Calacanis-like" approach and offering to pay certain bloggers to post original items on their site to attract users and increase content. While I have some credibility issues with pay-for-post models, it also suggests to me that maybe they lack a viable business model. But I do like the site, so hopefully it works for them.

Lastly, another reason that I find Stylehive interesting and think they have some innovative ideas is that they recently hosted a virtual fashion show in Second Life. If you're not familiar with Second Life, it is a virtual world that has been getting a lot of press lately. It has its own economy and has spawned some interesting ideas with regard to commerce. But that's for another post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thank you very much for your thoughtful look at the hive. I thought I would take a second to respond, since you took the time.

We will have a "friends" like function coming out soon, but it will be a little different we think better and more suited for a shopping environment.

To get the bookmarklet to pop up into a new browser, try out the firefox version of the bookmarklet, it will work just the way you had hoped.

Regarding paying for content, that was a whole bit of controversy stirred up by people that didnt have their facts straight. We paid few high traffic bloggers to test out our hive badge and incented them to create rich bookmarks but it was really about the badge and traffic, not the bookmarks. We have plenty of bookmarking happening without the need to pay for it.

Thanks again for your interest in the Stylehive, and stay tuned we have some really novel things coming out soon.

Best wishes,
Michael Carrier