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Summary:

Flavors.me and About.me are both platforms for creating “personal splash pages.” I decided to compare the two services, in order to see how splash pages can be used as online business cards, and whether they might be useful for web workers.

about-flavors-me-logo

Updated. A couple of years ago, I created an account on Flavors.me, the first platform for creating a “personal splash page,” thinking it might be useful for web workers. I decided it was more useful for personal than professional purposes. But last month, when I was testing About.me, I started to see how splash pages could be used as online business cards, and I decided to compare the two services.

Cost

About.me is completely free, while Flavors.me has a free plan and a $20 per year version. Many of Flavors.me’s features are only available on the paid plan, including some that probably should be free but aren’t, like the font faces you can choose from.

Design Features

I found About.me slightly easier to make a good-looking page; the basic layout was more professional and better designed. Flavors.me, however, has four different page layouts available with its free plan, while About.me only has one. However, you can drag your main information box anywhere on the screen.

About.me offers users a variety of fonts, while Flavors.me makes you upgrade to get the more interesting ones.

Content Options

In About.me you can add links to any site (such as your own website), instead of being limited to popular networking services. Linking to your own site is a must if you want to use one of these splash pages as a business card. But as far as I can tell, the only way to add a link to your site from Flavors.me is to add it to your “About” section, where it can’t be styled to stand out from the rest of your description. However, Flavors.me offers linking to more services than About.me, and paid users can add custom content.

When you add a service in About.me, what’s displayed, whether you like it or not, is the icon of the platform and no other information. I think that this is a major problem. Besides wanting the clever name of your blog or your Twitter handle to be spelled out, I have found that many educated, professional people don’t have the slightest idea what any of those icons represent. So if you want to make a client-facing page, and your clients aren’t necessarily fluent in Web hieroglyphics, this is something to consider.

About.me also doesn’t allow more than one account on any of these services. I have three Twitter accounts and several blogs on the two platforms above. If you enter, for example, multiple Blogger blogs, the first one is assigned the Blogger icon, and any others are spelled out in the list, in the order entered. There’s no way, like in Flavors.me, to reorder your items through drag-and-drop.

In Flavors.me, I had some difficulties adding several WordPress blogs. It accepted one WP-hosted blog and one self-hosted WP blog, but for some reason, I couldn’t add another self-hosted WP blog, which happened to be my main blog. Not being able to add that defeats the whole purpose of having the page. Update: Flavors.me contacted me to let me know that the free plan allows up to five services to be added, which wasn’t clear in the documentation. It’s also possible to add a freestanding website using the RSS option under Content>Add.

External links operate differently in the two services. On Flavors.me, links open within the Flavors.me page. On About.me, if you click the icons, they open in a widget on the About.me page. But if you click links in the list, a new window opens.

Other Features

About.me offers a nice “Email Me” button and contact form. A similar feature is available on the paid version of Flavors.me.

You can use your own domain name with the paid version of Flavors.me, but not with About.me. About.me provides a dashboard with stats on visitors, social media reach, and more. Flavors.me makes you pay for stats.

Both platforms were obviously created to showcase individuals rather than to serve small businesses, and neither is perfect. AOL bought About.me just four days after it launched, while Flavors.me still operates independently. It will be interesting to see how both services evolve, and whether they will move to meet the needs of a professional audience.

Whether you run a one-person shop or a small business, either of these sites could turn out to have some practical use. I recommend trying them both. You may also want to consider such alternatives as Retaggr, GizaPage, and Chi.mp, which we’ve written about previously, or even the rudimentary splash pages now available with .tel domain names. I’d love to hear your take on them in the comments, especially if you’ve found creative ways to use them for business!

Do you use About.me or Flavors.me as an online calling card?

Disclosure: Automattic, the maker of WordPress.com, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.

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  1. I tested both last year and went with flavors because of the ability to use a custom domain. I had asked the about.me team if this would be an option and while they were looking at it, it is still not an option.

    I also found that the updating on about.me is slow or even doesn’t update at all. In the beginning flavors had this issue but for it appears it has been resolved.

    What would be killer is for a full HTML5 version. I’ve discussed this with flavors in the past and it appears there are issue with the templates and this happening.

    Aside from that, I really enjoy the flavors service.

  2. I think if you want to use it as an online calling card, then the new startup Zerply.com, is probably a better bet than both these services, which are more suited to as a personal social media hub. Zerply is geared more towards the professional profile and has networking capabilities, plus really sweet themes by top web designers.

    1. There is always going to be something better, and there is always going be someone saying something better is not necessarily the best.

      As for me, I never created a flavors.me account but you can see my about.me by clicking my name. I was a beta user before it officially launched.

  3. Based on the templates I saw at Zerply, about.me and flavors have nothing to worry about. Seriously.

    1. Well, if you didn’t like the themes they have so far, then too bad, maybe you will like the future releases. But with the custom templates about.me and flavours use, you can end up with anything from beautiful to butt ugly depending on the user, much like myspace.

  4. Thank you for the coverage, Pamela! I just want to clarify a couple of points for readers.

    Flavors.me does have an RSS option, which is available to free and premium users alike. It can be found under Content > Add (scroll down a bit; you’ll find it right under Foursquare). Premium users also have the option to add pages of custom content, under Content > Add > Custom.

    The issue you encountered with adding your WordPress blog was due to exceeding your service limit as a free user. I’ve filed a ticket for our developers to roll out a more accurate error message for that scenario. We’ve also upgraded your account so you can add an unlimited number of services as a premium user.

    Here are a few examples of organizations on Flavors, including restaurants, shops, records labels, bands and even a professional sports team. Readers can browse through more at http://flavors.me/directory

    San Diego Chargers: http://flavors.me/chargers
    Foundry on Elm restaurant: http://www.foundryonelm.com/
    FUSS Shop: http://flavors.me/FUSShop
    Bored of South Sea: http://flavors.me/boredofsouthsea
    HD Sears: http://www.hdsears.com
    Aniara Recordings: http://aniararecordings.com/
    Wye Oak: http://www.wyeoakmusic.com
    Nosaj Thing: http://flavors.me/nosajthing
    Go Periscope: http://www.goperiscope.net
    Casxio: http://flavors.me/casxio

    Readers are welcome to email me at heather@flavors.me with any questions.

    Cheers!
    Heather Rasley
    Support & Marketing
    Flavors.me | HiiDef, Inc.

  5. Our free platform DooID (http://dooid.com) offers an innovative alternative:
    Apart from offering similar customization options, DooID is a full-blown virtual business card with all important contact data, also including phone, mobile, fax, address, instant messaging, etc., thus is very interesting for business use as well.

    Most importantly DooID doesn’t only display those data in a beautiful virtual business card, but also offers a mobile version and v-card download to import all contact details in address books or email apps.

    Hope you like it!
    Per Schmitz
    Founder DooID.com

  6. About.me and Flavors.me both offer compelling services and have their pros and cons. We created a more business-like alternative in http://follr.com. Here is my social card: http://follr.me/mark and one of our clients who clearly indicates the need to organize an overwhelming number of profiles: http://follr.me/frances.

    We stand-alone in our ability to offer a version of our product that organizations can operate for their own employees or community under their own domain name for full branding and configuration. See: http://nytcard.com/timmoore as an example.

    We do allow multiple instances of the same profile e.g. several Facebook Business Pages complete with labels so viewers don’t have to guess the profile behind the icon.

    Each of these services help people organize all their profiles into one concise URL as it’s increasingly more challenging to select which of our many links to present when space is too limited to select many e.g. Twitter.

    There are of course always many enhancements on a newly launched platform to improve the product. We’ve received great client feedback and have many more features and integration points in the works for 2011.

    I encourage people to create a free social card and try out our initial version.

    I’m happy to answer any questions – mark@follr.com.

    Cheers!

    Mark Wayman
    Co-Founder
    http://follr.com

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