My first attempts at viewing Bebo resulted in a “Page Not Found” error in IE6. I hate IE6 and blame it for everything, so I tried Firefox and was able to begin entering my profile. When I tried to submit it though, I received a “Server Connection Was Reset Error.” Having an unlimited amount of free time, as we all do, I re-entered my information, and got farther in the process this time, but got the server reset error again. Eventually I was able to post my profile and a picture though.
In navigating through the site it is apparent that Bebo is very video oriented. In clicking the explore tab, my choices were “sponsored videos” or “all videos.” The thumbnails have pictures of people’s faces on them. I don’t really want to listen to someone blab on and on in hopes some of it might be interesting, so I didn’t click on any of those videos.
The “friends” tab was even less interesting, because I have no friends. At lease no “Bebo” friends. During sign-up Bebo searched my hotmail account trying to find people in my address book who were already members. It found none, so I have no friends, and this tab is of no interest.
There were number of subtabs too, listing groups, authors, darwin (I have no idea) etc. Through the groups link I was able to find other member’s profiles. The profile were “myspacey” but a little less annoying, and a little more cookie cutter.
The only reason I can see for a myspace or facebook member to join Bebo is that there appears to be cleaner support for video. The real reason I joined, and the promise I see in Bebo is from a developers standpoint. Bebo uses Open Social, Google’s standardized social networking framework. What that means to the social networking enthusiast is eventually you can take advantage of multiple social networking sites using a single profile and integrate them together in a way that you choose. For now though, Bebo is just another password and username you need to keep track of.