Create Your Personal Online Brand Using Via.Me

In an online world populated by social media, blogs, and more, we are always sharing tid-bits. We might share a photo or a video or perhaps just a random thought that popped into our head. Social media has allowed the individual to truly create an online persona – whether that persona is a great thinker or a lover of self-portraits, what we share has really begun to show who we are. The rise of social networking allows us to constantly connect online to share and influence our connections. While a great deal of power has been handed to us in terms of online sharing and publication, we do not often think of all that we share as a brand.

Via.Me is a web and iPhone application that allows the user to act as a publisher and provide a great deal of content that helps to shape our individual online brand. Via.Me allows the publishing of photos, videos, sound and text, aggregating our social presences and sharing the content across multiple platforms. Read on to learn about how Via.Me works and my thoughts on the application.

The Premise

As I said before, Via.Me provides a way for users to share a great deal of items that are published across various social networks. With that in mind, the first aspect of Via.Me to focus on is sharing. Via.Me allows you to share items, creating your own personal story, or “brand.” Users are able to share photo, video, audio and text, stored in chronological order in their profile. You are able to share from a computer or via the accompanying iPhone application.

Sharing my first photo!

In addition to sharing personal content as a part of your story or brand, Via.Me is also a great way to discover new content. Users can peruse a feed of the most viewed images in the “popular” section. While you can certainly find users from your social network connections, the “popular” section also provides a great way to find users to follow.

The "popular" feed.

Clicking on any item found in the “popular” area will bring up the profile of the person who posted the item. You can see a larger view of the posted item, the other items the user has posted and the description of the posted item. This is also where you are able to follow the user on Facebook or Twitter, if they have a connected account.

A sample profile.

Ups and Downs

Via.Me is similar in many ways to a number of sites out there. In many of these sites you simply share items (images, videos, thoughts and more) which provide either a glimpse into your personal life or you share items that you like, typically found online. More often than not, however, social networking sites are made for users to share mostly one type of item or the other. Via.Me provides a unique situation where both types of items are equally encouraged. Both are needed to create your online brand, so in many ways Via.Me is a meld of several popular sites.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the user interface. The site is easy to use, navigate and understand, due in no small part to the immediately familiar interface. Via.Me incorporates a number of familiar layouts, from the Pinterest-style feeds to the Instagram-esque profiles. Via.Me successfully incorporated these familiar looks, making for a wonderfully simple user experience.

My personal feed - note the layout!

One major annoyance I found is in the sign-up process for the site. You are able to sign up via Facebook or Twitter, whichever you prefer. In and of itself that is fine, and I personally enjoy the convenience of using Twitter to sign up. I do wish that they provided a native sign-up that worked only with Via.Me, for those who don’t wish to sign up via another site or for those who don’t belong to Facebook or Twitter.

Sign-ups - social network options.

Final thoughts

I always question what the outcome of sites like Via.Me will be. Via.Me provides a fantastic way to do what the site is made for. However, even though the site is great and very well-done, I wonder if it will stick or if the site too closely duplicates the sites already out there. Of course Via.Me puts their own twist on things, but when you break it down Via.Me duplicates the function of a number of other sites. I am curious to see if Via.Me becomes more popular or if it never really picks up.

Have you checked out the site yourself or do you find it redundant? Let us know!


Summary

A simple way for users to share photo, video, audio and text, compiled in a way so as to form a personal online brand.

8