We are just about set to begin the last major development phase of StyleEstate. In this last phase we will be focusing mainly on the “product grabber” toolbar extension for Firefox and IE. The toolbar extension is one of the most crucial features to the StyleEstate concept. In this post I will try to give a brief outline of what you will be able to do with StyleEstate, as-well-as some of the plans for the future. As we draw closer to launch I will be posting many more details.
So what is StyleEstate? StyleEstate is a social networking/shopping platform designed specifically for the home. This site is a powerful tool that can benefit anyone from casual homemakers to professional interior designers. So lets take a look at what StyleEstate can do.
- Create a Profile - The first step, like any other social network, is to create a profile. Sign up, upload an avatar photo, and tell us a little about yourself.
- Upload a Space - A space, in StyleEstate, is a collection of photos of any one setting in your home. A living room space, for example, would be a collection of photos of your living room. You can create a unique “space” for every room, hall, closet, garden, etc… Once your space has been uploaded it is published to the “photos” section of StyleEstate, where other members can view, rate, comment, and much more about your space.
- Get the toolbar - The toolbar extension is a simple plugin for your Internet browser. Installing the button takes less than 10 seconds and is the most powerful feature of StyleEstate.
- Add Products - With the toolbar buttons installed, you can now begin adding products to your spaces. Go to any store on the web and easily clip products and add them to your space. The goal here is to show others how to “get the look”. Lets say that you just redecorated your living room and you have now created a space titled “My New Living Room”. You can now go to the Internet stores that carry the same or similar products that you used in your new living room and grab them with the toolbar button. Once you grab the product, a thumbnail of the product will be placed in your space and will be linked to the page where the product can be bought. This feature allows your friends and other StyleEstate members to easily create a similar look that has been inspired by your work.
- Recommend Products - Adding products to your own space is not the only feature of the buttons. You can also recommend products to your StyleEstate friends. For example, I live in California and my sister lives in Tennessee. Lets say that she moves into a new home and decides to decorate the entire home from scratch. My sister can create spaces of all of the rooms in her new home. Once she has uploaded the spaces, I can begin to get an idea of how to help her without traveling to Tennessee. I can go to any Internet store and “grab” products for her spaces. Rather than attaching the product to my own space, the buttons also allow me to attach the product to a friends space. Once I have submitted the product, a thumbnail of the product will be attached to her space under “recommended products for this space”.
- Start a Group - StyleEstate wouldn’t be a real social network without groups :) Start a group about anything from “Home Entertainment Gurus” to “Baby Nursery Ideas”. With StyleEstate we took groups to a new level. You can also use the buttons to add products to your groups. Just like adding a product to your space or a friends space, you can also add a product from any web site directly to one of your groups. So if you are a member of the “Baby Nursery Ideas” group, for example, you would be able to easily submit products from anywhere to the group. This feature allows for great collaboration between members of a particular group.
- Write a Guide - The guides section of StyleEstate will allow you to write a guide about any home topic that you can think of. Write about any crafts that you are knowledgeable about, write a guide about “how to set up a home theatre”, or anything else. The guides section has a full text editor with the ability to plugin videos from youtube and upload pictures. The guides section is still a work in progress and we are tossing around several ideas to make it a very useful feature in StyleEstate.
- Start a Blogazine - Create your own mini-blog in StyleEstate. Rave about “fab finds”, your new decorating project, or about a garden you are working on. The latest posts will be on the main blogazines page for all to see. The best posts will be hand picked by us and featured in a special section.
There are many more features currently on the drawing board, but ones listed above will give you a general idea of StyleEstate. The toolbar buttons are currently in production, however the rest of the site is working at about 90%. You can upload spaces, start a group, write a blogazine, etc… After the buttons are finished we will begin polishing everything and fixing all the little bugs. I encourage you to create a profile now and help us begin to build the community. I have something special planned for the people that actively participate in the testing phase over the next few months.
Before closing I would also like to share and idea with you that we are currently discussing, Rev Share. The most popular spaces, guides, and blogazines will obviously have revenue potential. Through ad marketing and affiliate sales of products, the best content will have the potential to earn substantial revenue. We realize that StyleEstate is not possible without the content that you submit so we are currently discussing ways to share this revenue with you. Our first goal is to get the site completely functional and launched. Soon after, we will lay out our plans for the Rev Share program. I really encourage you to start now with uploading spaces and blogazines so you can have a head start on the competition.
I am really excited about the forthcoming launch of StyleEstate and I really hope to see you all there. Once you sign up, send me a friends request. My name is Ryan, and I can be found on the home page under “most active members” :) That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more updates.