Amar Sagoo

13 July 2006

i use this

A few days ago, i use this, a nice alternative to MacUpdate and Versiontracker, was launched. It uses a model that’s quite different from, and arguably more useful than, traditional software databases. Instead of the number of downloads (which say more about marketing than about quality) and user ratings (which only a very small proportion of the user population provide), i use this simply lets registered users mark applications they use. The resulting numbers are what drives the rankings. One advantage is that since you can also unmark an application when you’ve stopped using it, the data stays representative over time, so that the Internet Explorers and StuffIts of this world don’t skew the results.

The uptake in the first few days seems to have been quite impressive. I think it’s the aspect of personal expression (”Look, here’s what I use!”) that makes this model so attractive and gets people to happily provide the data. It also has a social component by allowing networks of friends and by showing you “neighbours”, who use similar applications.

It’s also a very useful tool for developers. The data on my applications so far looks quite unexpected. I might do a little review in a few weeks time when the site has a larger set of data.

I hope that in the future they will provide some more interesting data mining results in addition to the list of top and hot applications (which, I’m guessing, take into account how many people “love” an app). For example, I’d quite like to see the fastest recent climbers. Also, an interactive graph of the total distribution might be interesting (which I imagine would be a Long Tail).

Oh, by the way, if you’re interested, i use this.

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