I whipped up another quick prototype this weekend called Quintet - it's a simple site where you can save your five favorite urls online which are accessible in an easy to remember spot. It's based on the idea that most people probably only use a few key websites every day, especially while mobile. I know that when I change phones (which I do quite often) I only bother to re-save a few key bookmarks on the phone's web browser because I just don't end up needing quick access to more than a few sites at a time. So I came up with the idea of a simple service where I could save my "top five" bookmarks once and not have to re-enter them again by hand.
Even though this thought has been rolling around inside my skull for easily a year or so, I recently read an article last month in Wired about The Good Enough revolution. It basically summarizes the success of sites like Twitter and Hulu and tries to find a common theme of services that may lack bells and whistles, yet succeed by focusing on a core value proposition.
So I started thinking about "simple" ideas again, and the top five bookmarks idea seemed like it fit, so I decided to throw it together this weekend. Rather than starting a whole site from scratch though, I used Twitter's OAuth as the basis for all the user IDs and passwords. This makes life *sooo* much nicer, since I don't have to screw around with all that sign up, validation and login stuff and instead can just focus on making some features. In this case, it's just a simple form with five sections where after users login using Twitter to authenticate, they can fill in the fields for their favorite sites. You can mark some or all of the links private (so you have to login to see them) or you can leave them publicly viewable so you can share with friends. It's pretty simple. No more than five links, no tags, no Ajax, etc.
I tweeted the link today and Erik immediately tried it out, and suggested that I add an additional URL field for mobile versions of sites. So I added that, and now you can enter in an alternative links which, if present, shows up as a phone icon as well.
Now the problem is that, as Einstein said, make things as simple as possible, but not simpler. And Quintet might be a bit too simple right now. Even though it serves the purpose I intended, it's missing something that'd make it special, or at least a bit more useful. I'm not sure exactly what though. Some thoughts I've had have been to expand the five links to something else like five favorite followers (ala Follow Friday), or doing an automagic query and grabbing the user's last five links, or letting users add more links, organized by named "tabs" of five links apiece. Something. If you have any suggestions, Tweet me.