So, I promissed a review on Kaneva, a Web 2.0 social network, and still didn't deliver it. Some people asked me about it, but I've mixed the fact that I hadn't really the time to do a proper review with the fact that I was exchanging some e-mails with Kaneva's folks to postpone this blog post. Well - I'll postpone it no more, but sorry - this isn't really the review it should be.

First of all, IMHO Kaneva has all the things they need to, if they develop them, be the ultimate Web 2.0 social application. Yes, that's right - while not being a mashup of mashups (fortunately!) they'll bringing to kaneva all nice things about the nice Web 2.0 social apps you have out there - and doing it well: integrating and innovating instead of copying. If Kaneva is a social network of all sorts and Flickr is a photos social network, why would they behave in the same manner? Thumbs up on Kaneva for that.

Another thing I'm excitingly expecting from Kaneva is "the Virtual World of Kaneva": a Virtual World certainly feels right when we're talking about the kind of relationships and links you can do in a social network. They expect the VW's beta to open "towards the end of the year", and I certainly expect them to get me a beta account then.

But not all in Kaneva is cool, and I argued about it with them. They took all those things in consideration and thought I was right, so... let's just wait and see if they fix this things.

  • Lack of RSS feeds - You have lot's of feedable content, namedly (but not only) the blogs. Yet, I didn't see no feeds there...
  • Blog Import - If you want to have people migrationg to Kaneva from their actual system, and since the blogs are usually the only real content people don't want to loose in the social network features Kaneva has, when setting up the blog, a Kaneva user should be able to have his blog section imported from another system (via RSS, for instance) instead of having to use Kaneva's blog;
  • Usabillity - There are some usabillity problems in Kaneva (try to visit Kaneva using Opera Mini, for instance) and you'll see what I mean;
  • Kaneva's Blog - As you can see in this article (thanks for the link Gonçalo!), every startup should have a blog, and Kaneva hasn't;
  • Acessibility - Kaneva has some features that use Flash 8 (or bigger) which is a no-no: remember that Linux users don't have any recent versions than Flash 7.
The last thing really pisses me off - and it's the decision point for me from being a heavy user of Kaneva or do not use it at all - the number of Flash 8 things in there is so great that you cannot do almost nothing without it (which is my case - a Linux user), and I didn't saw any attempt to change that (migrating to Flash 7 shouldn't be that hard). It's quite nasty when you upload a music and then try to hear it, just to read the message "This computer needs Flash 8 or later to view this video." Hey, it's not a video, but that's not the issue - the issue is that there's no plausible reason for using Flash 8 in a music player!

Well... All in all, I still have hope on Kaneva. If they play well, I can see a bright future for them. More importantly (for me ;-), I'll be using it ;-) But what I'm really really curious about is Kaneva's virtual world (nowadays web virtual worlds just suck, and this doesn't seem to suck!) and what will be the decision factor is the version of the Flash they're using.