Imagine MySpace pages MSN Spaces with the search functionality of Google and all its features, and you’ll see what Baidu is trying to create: BaiduSpace 百度空间, now in beta in China. Blogger Xiong Jiezeng has an analysis (in Chinese) of what works and what doesn’t, which should be of great help to the feature’s developers.
What Xiong Jiezeng likes:
–the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which my IFTF colleague Mike Liebhold describes as “new very lightweight scripting for agile user interfaces.” These allow users to customize a homepage’s fonts, colors, and so on within a set of 10-20 page templates (pretty much what MySpace MSN Spaces does as far as I can tell).
–clean, elegant text editor
–strong site visitor data, including referring webpage (which is great–TypePad also does it)
What Xiong Jiezeng doesn’t like so much:
–background music application is not linked to Baidu’s mp3 search bar, or to its Zhangmenren play list sharing site. This seems strange given that some of Baidu’s popularity is driven by youth mp3 searches, which is a distinct advantage over Google.
Now imagine this on everyone’s phone. They’ll get there.
Update: Catching up on some blog posts, I see that Mao Xianjia at China Tech Stories posted news about what I’m calling BaiduSpace, calling it Hi.Baidu.com. He characterizes it as a personal portal more akin to a Google personal home page or MSN Spaces. Frankly, I don’t know enough about the differences between all of these to be able to say for sure. Web 2.0 stuff feels like a constant mash-up anyway!