Described as "blogging for rest of us" by some and a "social networking site" by others, Vox brings together a number of Web 2.0 services, provides easy-to-manage access permissions, and gives non-techies the ability to personalize their little web world with a nicely designed library of 150+ themes.The site opened to the public on Wednesday, but Vox has been out in limited release since the beginning of June and presently has over 85,000 members. The service is advertising supported with all ad purchases going through the Six Apart corp website.
Vox makes a fairly big to-do about its privacy features. Which is something Six Apart co-founder, Mina Trott, has apparently been advancing with her idea that blogging will evolve towards smaller groups. I'm not sure we agree with that on a general level, but certainly the option to create smaller communities is a powerful one and will appeal to some.
On the contrary side of things the Vox "neighborhoods" feature allows you to quickly tune into topics and drill outwards into thematically connected groups. Another big positive is the ease of use and just dandy graphic design(s). Both aspects have been given high marks over the last few months.
The "Web 2.0" features of Vox include the ability to import media from YouTube, Flickr, Photobucket, Amazon, and others, photo sharing, and broad content tagging and tag navigation support.
Whether or not Vox will challenge entrenched social networking services such as MySpace and Friendster remains to be seen. However since our appetite for the next big thing seems rather unquenchable, it certainly seems to be a candidate and to be generating enough buzz to get the crowd stirred. Leaving the entry barrier low enough so as to appeal to a very broad audience will do much for its success.
If you're scouting for a new neck of the social net or blogging woods, its worth a look.