I got a chance today to preview the new, international version of ShowClix, a search engine + social networking1 site for finding concerts near you (or wherever). Since live music is one of the things I enjoy, any tool that helps me find the shows I want to attend is welcome. I’ve decided to review the site, therefore.
Being my usual wordy self, this review is going to go into some possibly unnecessary detail. If you want to skip that, the executive summary is: looks like a great start, but needs more (European) content2.
If you want all the gory details, they’re right after the jump.
The visual side/first impression
After hitting the ShowClix front page, you’re confronted with a prominent search box, a few links to shows that have been newly added, and some featured content. The looks overall are clear and concise, and make use of many web 2.0-ish design elements, such as rounded boxes, gradient backgrounds, big sans-serif fonts, and a glossy-looking bar at the top. Yes, all the stuff we’ve come to know and love from Apple.
The front page’s design elements are consistently re-used on the other pages, with lots of widgety-looking info boxes floating on a pure white background. My only gripe here is that there’s not a whole lot of consistency as to what area of the page is navigational, and what is content, so you might find your eyes roaming a bit before finding the link you’re interested in. Still, this is in no way meant to sound like the site’s navigation sucks or is hard to use, it’s all fairly good. First impressions: check.
But you’re not really interested in that, are you? You want to know what it does.
Now when you submit your search term, ShowClix pops up a little window showing how many results were found by city, artist or venue — very convenient. Neither of the three categories returned results, though, so I tried searching for Testament instead. No, I had no idea whether they are touring or not, but either they’re not, or ShowClix doesn’t know about them.
Maybe my choice of artists isn’t main stream enough for the site… so how about U2? Zip, nada, zilch… wait, no, that’s not true: there were 10 results for a U2 tribute band. Nope, not quite what I wanted.
Now that’s not quite the impression I had hoped for; however I realize that even with the revival of interest in metalish music in the last decade or so, my tastes in music are far from common. So how about searching by city?
Turns out that Within Temptation play near me in a few days. Not something I want to see, but at least it’s roughly within the genres of music I care about, close by, and current — I can’t complain. Incidentally, the search results page for cities, venues and artists feature an RSS feed button, so you can subscribe to the latest relevant events via your RSS reader. Nifty.
But back to the search results, how does this discrepancy in their quality come about?
- i.e. very web 2.0-ish [↩]
- Which means it needs European users. That’s you. Yes, I’m looking at you. Go sign up now. [↩]
- Turns out their tour is pretty much over by now. [↩]