Phile is a new beta online application which brings together a bunch of cool features to let groups of people chat and share their passions via the web. The key feature is the ease of set up and administration and certainly the devs have done a superb job of making it easy to set up the database and populate the site with starter content.
The whole UI is clean, uncluttered and easy to navigate and there’s a great starter wizard to help you set up your group site in minutes. I set up a site based around Gadgets, and within 5 minutes I had a proper home page, complete with a space to upload details of a gadget with reviews, visitor voting and a full search function baked in.
The simplicity of the process makes this a thing of joy to use. Of course it’s opinionated, in that your choice of customisation is not infinite, but for the market this is aimed at, it’s not going to be a problem methinks. Overall this is a superbly designed product, which offers a really valuable feature set to their target market, which are enthusiasts and those who want to move one step beyond just ‘blogging’ about hobbies and passions.
In some ways this is what Ning should have been. It takes the best of the wiki idea and melds it perfectly with the database backend to deliver user value in a new and refreshingly simple way. Nice!
Phile is for any group that wants to make better use of what its members know and discover. Maybe you and your friends want to trade opinions about poker books. Or places to find the best craft beers. Maybe you want to exchange information with other parents about local activities for kids. Phile lets you share all of your knowledge in one place. Maybe you’re a blogger who wants to turn your audience of readers into a more active community of collaborators. Create a Phile site about whatever it is you’re passionate about. Seed it with your own knowledge, then open it up to your readers to help it grow.