Bowery Mural

Path: find yours

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Do you have a Path? Or should that be Path? No, I don't mean some great journey in life that you were always meant to follow, no. I mean another social network. Oh no not another one I hear you cry. Yeah. Another one. I actually joined Path on 17 November 2010. I know this because Path tells me this. I don't think people took it on and so I was left on this Path on my own. No real updates, just a few photos I uploaded. Then a few weeks ago it kinda burst onto the scene again. I'll have to actually find out the reason for this. Probably to do with a new round of funding going around Silicon Valley, or something like that.

Anyway I decided to give it a go again. There's been a few updates but still no iPad app yet. That would be lovely. I like Path. And here's a few reasons why...

Path has a timeline, since way back last year. Not sure who thought about that idea first. Was it Facebook, or was it Path? Who knows. So what's different about it then. Well it's a much slicker interface I think. You have your own Path (let's say it's the Wall if we're to compare it to Facebook). On your Path there is all your photos, check ins, comments, everything you've done on your Path. All dated and timed. Yes! Timed. There's a really cool little feature that appears when you scroll up or down your Path. A little bar and clock appears down the right hand side. You can actually see when you uploaded your update. Pretty neat I think.

Click on your Home page and you can see all the updates from people you share your Path with and who share with you. What i like here are the little icons you see in the updates. There's check ins with knives and forks, coffee cups (a nod to Foursquare perhaps). There's also little sun and moon icons that appear when you change your Path to sleeping and awake.

In the bottom left hand corner there's a red circle with a plus sign in it. Click on that and out spring 6 little black circles with various icons in them. This is how you update your Path. Set your status so to speak. There's photos, people, check in, music, thought and the moon sign. See the picture here. Click the camera icon and your camera pops up. Only, there's quite a few different lenses and filters to play with. Very nice in app feature. Take the photo and you then get the option to leave a note with it, say who you're with, check in/location and then you can also share it to Twitter Facebook etc. All in all a very good feature and the camera filters are lovely.

Click on the person icon and this is basically you saying who you are with at any one time. The check in icon is pretty much the same places that there are on Foursquare. I know this because I added a secret place on Foursquare and it appears in Path too. Again clicking on a place means you can leave a comment and add who you are with. Cool. 

The music icon lets you say what you are listening to. It gives me some suggestions. I don't know where they come from. I've never really used this feature to any real extent. Actually, just tried it. Type in your favourite band and it will give you a list and then you can add it to your Path. A window appears in the middle of the screen, the music plays for about 20 seconds and you have the option of buying it. Hmmm. But I've already got those tunes on my phone? Yes, I think this just gives you the option of letting people know what you're listening to. Oh but in the Home page (timeline) a little orange musical note icon appears. Nice. These little circular icons are a real favourite of mine. No kidding.

Next thing, click the speech bubble. This is your Thought. But again the question is 'what's on your mind?'. This is very much your status update. Go and update it. Again the option to check in and say who you're with is there.

Last of all we have the moon icon. Click that and you get only 2 options. Go to sleep. Or I'm awake. Click on these at the appropriate times and wow! you say your going to sleep and the Path change colour, disappears and a moon appears in its current state - full, half, quarter. Pretty awesome. It also gives the time and then a button to click on Awake when you...well, wake!

Click on that button and you are taken back to your home page. And there's little icons in your Path letting people know when you sleep and are awake. 
The best part I like is that at the top of your Home page there's the option to set your own cover picture. This is like the header photo in your new Facebook page. But the standard Path ones are quite nice too, in fact so much so I haven't changed mine yet.

In the Activity tab you can see who has looked at your Path, who has commented and who has smiled at your check ins, photos etc. Yes for you can also add little smiley faces, sad faces, winky faces and hearts to your friends' photos, check ins, comments etc. These are also little cute features I like.

All in all Path is another social network and you're probably wondering why you'd need it or want it. But I like it. The only downside is that not many people have adopted it yet. Well, not here anyway. I have four friends on there just now. So come on over and join me. If you want to that is. I mean how may social networks do we actually need? I sometimes wonder if too many social networks are making quite unsociable? That will be for another post though.

Angela x

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