WebrideWebride is a great new service that I’ve been enjoying lately that brings discussion to any website on the web. It is a solution to having discussion about any website, blog post, news article, or whatever it may be. Even more so, it is a solution for website owners to add discussion to any page on their website. What is it? You can look at it as a simplified discussion forum that is attached to any website where Webride users can read, comment, and tag the site. Webride is also a networking system in that you can make new friends, see who likes you, and even see who doesn’t like you (ouch). Let’s take a look, and while you read over it, why not open my review in a Webride discussion and give your say?

The main page of Webride get’s right to the good stuff, popular discussion. Similar to how your basic social bookmarking or digg-like site, the more activity a site gets, the more chance it has at getting on the popular page. In this case, websites getting the most discussion (comments) gets promoted to the main page. Aside from the main page, which is the popular section, you can browse to the New section for recently created discussions, Tag section to find discussions based on assigned tags, and lastly the Domain section allowing you to look at discussions for specific domains.

You will also find a field on the main page that you can enter any web address to start a new discussion. Just enter the address and that is all. Want to make things even easier to start a discussion? Webride also provides a simple bookmarklet that when clicking will take the current site and create a Webride discussion page for it.

Assuming that you found a discussion of interest from any of the sections or created your own discussion for a site, you will be directed to a new document with a split frame. This split frame includes comments from Webride users on the left and the website itself on the right. I like this format because users can read the website while keeping the discussion open on the left. It also makes it easier when commenting because you can easily refer to the website as you write. Taking a look at the left where the discussion resides, you will find links at the top to add a comment, view tags, and switch to discussion fullscreen or close it. You will also find an RSS icon so you can subscribe to a discussion in your feed reader. Current discussion is listed by date, much like how your basic commenting system appears, along with icons (optionally gravatars) for members. Clicking on a member will open a user info window where you can learn more about a user that you may possibly want to friend or track.

One thing that I found very interesting in the discussion area was the method used for adding tags to the website. On the top of a discussion, you will see a link to open the tags box. This is where you can view already assigned tags and add your own. What I found so interesting was how you can choose existing tags, which you see in a scrollable box, when assigning a tag to the website. You will see five options: My recent tags, My top tags, My tags (all), Top tags, and Recent tags. Selecting an option will then populates the box (using Ajax) with tags relating to the option you’ve chosen. I have not seen this method used before, and I must say, I really like it. I can view groups of tags (optionally, tags that aren’t even my own) making it easier for me to find the right tags and then select tags individually that I want to assign.

I mentioned that Webride also has some networking functionality where you can make friends, or as Webride puts it, “Meet intelligent and good-looking people at Webride” (it’s true!). You can find friends in discussions or in the users section of the site where you can view top and new users. Going into a users profile, you can view all discussions that have commented in and all websites that they have posted for discussion. You can also see tags that they’ve used and also their relationships with other users. And when I say relationships, I don’t mean just love. I’m talking love and hate relationships. If I don’t like a user, I can go to their profile and say I don’t like them and that user, along with anyone else, can see that I do not like that person in their relations section. Why would you say you don’t like a user? There are many reasons why one may do this, but maybe you two are contstantly having disagreements in discussions and you had enough. Otherwise, if you like someone, show that you want to be friends by saying you like them. Anyone can then see in your relations section that you like that person and they can also see friends that like you… or don’t like you back (Update: Only you can see who you dislike and not other users).

One last feature worth mentioning is Embedded Forums feature, which can be found in the tools area of Webride. Simply put, if you want to have a discussion actually embedded into your site rather then having visitors leave to Webride, you can do so! It is like sticking a small forum or comment system to any page of your website and it only takes seconds. Webride provides you a simple code snippet that you just paste into your site and a discussion box will appear next time someone views your page. You can even customize its appearance by overriding Webride’s CSS properties. For an example of the embedded forum, view the Tools / Website section of Webride. Still not enough to please you? Then be sure to check the Webride API that will allow you to integrate Webride into your applications. According to the projects section, they are already working on a WordPress plugin.

Overall, I really do enjoy Webride. Sure, external discussion services aren’t new, but I like how Webride is implemented. Anyone can easily start a discussion for any website or participate in a current discussion. Users hopefully can meet some new people while doing so as well. Users can post a website that they find interesting, a blog post, or maybe even a site they’ve recently redesigned and want some input on. Whatever the case is, if you want to discuss a site, you can. For more about Webride, Library Clips has a nice writeup.

Participate in the Webride Discussion for this review!

View Webride – Discuss the Web. (via MoMB)


7 Comments on “Webride – Discuss the Web”

  1. Razib Ahmed says:

    This is another example of how Web 2.0 is evolving. Every day, we can see new sollutions to engage the users in the discussion. Yes, the spammers are destroying the fun many times but on the one hand, often we have useful and entertaining discussion.

  2. Fintan says:

    Happy Birthday, Solution Watch!

  3. Chrono Tron >> World Wide Weblog » Blog Archive » Ride the web with Webride says:

    [...] Check out Solution Watch’s and Library Clips’s review. [...]

  4. SiteSays Web Comments for Firefox says:

    [...] SiteSays is a service that, similar to Webride, has the goal of bringing discussion to any website. It involves a simple web-based interface and a Firefox extension that allows you to view and submit comments easily as you browse the web. The service isn’t anything big in terms of what it features, but that is what I like so much about it. You just install the Firefox extension and as you browse the web you can submit and view comments. It reminds me much of the Google Blogger Web Comments extension for Firefox, except Google’s returns blog postings of the site your viewing rather then actually visitor comments. [...]

  5. SiteSays Web Comments for Firefox - davecentral Planet David Central & Dave Central Planet says:

    [...] SiteSays is a service that, similar to Webride, has the goal of bringing discussion to any website. It involves a simple web-based interface and a Firefox extension that allows you to view and submit comments easily as you browse the web. The service isn’t anything big in terms of what it features, but that is what I like so much about it. You just install the Firefox extension and as you browse the web you can submit and view comments. It reminds me much of the Google Blogger Web Comments extension for Firefox, except Google’s returns blog postings of the site your viewing rather then actually visitor comments. [...]

  6. Mark says:

    Is the “RSS feed for comments on this post” an example of the ‘embedded forums’ of webride? Or part of blog S/W?

  7. discussion says:

    discussion…