SmartSpace which lets anyone register a domain name and then instantly turn it into a social web site which aggregates any of the following components onto one page: a blog, a photo album, a chat application, email, RSS feeds, and even components from social networking applications like MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn. All you have to do is register the domain name you want and all the technical work is done for you - the site builds itself automatically.GoDaddy has just unveiled an amazing new service called
Dynamic, Social Content
With the new SmartSpace service from GoDaddy, anyone can create a personal web site which aggregates your activity from across the social web, combine that with other sources of news and information, and then create a personalized start page containing everything of interest to them. The service can also be used as a blogging platform with social elements like chat already built in. The idea is that you can use the SmartSpace platform to create the kind of site that's right for you, whether that's a social network of sorts, a traditional web site with social elements, a place to host your podcasts, or whatever else you want.
SmartSpace is designed to be easy to use, even for non-technical users. With a click of a button, you can grab content from sites like flickr, YouTube, Google News, Facebook, MySpace, or any other web site that offers an RSS feed.
You can even customize this content to your own personal preferences. For example, if you only want to see Flickr photos of lolcats, you can just type in "lolcat" in the tag field provided. Alternatively, you could select the RSS feed of a particular person's photos.
In addition to this dynamic content form across the social web, GoDaddy also makes available various pre-selected news feeds which you can add if desired. This content is categorized by subject, and is similar to the types of selections that many of today's personalized homepages offer.
Chat & Email
The Chat application lets you have online text conversations right on the site. With the included administrative controls, you can launch a room, invite users, ban users, and participate in both public and private chat sessions. Again, there's nothing technical involved in adding this to your page - the app is already set up and ready to use. All you have to do is make a few choices about how it's displayed and whether it's loaded by default when you log in.
Also, because SocialSpace users have purchased a domain name via GoDaddy, there's an option to set up email addresses using that name. The interface for doing so is much easier to manage than GoDaddy's usual UI for creating email addresses (an ugly and geeky interface). Here, you're basically able to push a button and set up multiple email addresses associated with your domain. The inboxes for these can then be added as widgets to your homepage.
If you don't keep your images online with a web service like Flickr, you also have the option to make your SmartSpace an online photo album using the SmartSpace photo application. With this, you can upload photos from your computer and then share those photos both publicly and privately in albums that are added to your page.
Web Site and Blogs
For text-based content, you can choose to either add a web site or blog to your homepage. With these options, you can select from a number of pre-built templates to configure the site. Although not as robust a platform as WordPress, the blog will probably work fine for casual users who want to take advantage of the other elements of the SmartSpace service.
Just Another Personalized Homepage Or A New Type Of Social Network?
SocialSpace could be linked to some patent filings the company filed earlier this year which describe a web portal that functions as a social network aggregator. According to those filings, the aggregation could be done using login systems like OpenID. Although there's no mention of OpenID integration in the SmartSpace support documents yet, we hope that integration is something they plan to add in the future.
Still, even without OpenID, what GoDaddy has launched today is a viable competitor to the other personalized homepages out there like iGoogle, My Yahoo, Netvibes, etc. But GoDaddy's SocialSpace goes beyond what those sites offer in a number of ways. Although widgetized content like photos and RSS feeds can be added to nearly any start page today, GoDaddy actually lets you own a domain name, set up a blog or website and then easily, instantly turn it into a personalized social network that aggregates content from the social web and includes chat functionality for instant interactions with your friends.
Will SocialSpace kill MySpace and Facebook? That's highly doubtful, but it could be a nice aggregator for those looking to establish a web presence with minimal work. And because it's from GoDaddy, a household name thanks to their high profile TV commercials and ad campaigns, this move also represents what may be the final leap where "social media" fully crosses over to the mainstream use and acceptance.
Prices for SmartSpace start at $4.99/month for 2 months. From there, the prices are as follows: 12 mo: $4.74/month, 24 mo: $4.49/month, or 36 mo: $4.24/month. You can watch a short introductory video here.