Motivated to find out more after the review, I just have modified my sites with the wibiya webbar and its fab and cool. Its so easy to make your own webbar and customize it as well with a variety of colors and apps. And all for FREE. Again from Conduit site which I reviewed earlier where I made my site toolbar. Recommended.
Familiar with those overlaid toolbars that are (literally) popping up at the bottom of web pages recently? I am, and I have very mixed feelings. Mainly, I don't like them because they use up valuable screen 'real estate' and offer me things I don't need or want to see anyway. And any unnecessary demand on my poor little old laptop's CPU is unwelcome too, especially if there's no way to turn the toolbar off.
But this may be a solution, in the right hands. Wibiya (yep, Web 2.0 naming, don't ask me, I have no idea) is a toolbar for webmasters which they can customize to match their sites. This is not just a fixed third-party configuration, the idea is that site owners will pick or even create their own apps to place on the bar, according to what they believe their visitors will welcome and make use of. As they add apps, they'll add value.
The free version is a way to try out the basic idea, but there is of course a 'pro' option, three of them, in fact, which start at five bucks a month and go up to thirty. At a minimum, you get your own branding and custom themes, but at the top level you get all the bells and whistles including the option to include an infinite number of your own custom apps and multiple toolbars.
If it's handled sensibly and loads quickly, I can see this being a valuable addition to your website, offering, at minimum, the opportunity for visitors to communicate with their social networks while viewing your pages, and to use site tools such as translation and custom navigation. You may offer them interesting statistics about site use, in real time, include ads and custom text and if you have the resources, include your own custom apps to make the bar entirely your own.
As a surfer, though, I beg you web designer guys to please remember that some of us have older or slower machines that sometimes struggle with video enhancements. And very few of us, regardless of our setups, want even more pop-ups and ads and useless clutter on the screen, wherever it is. Keep it quick and simple and give me some really useful tools, though,and I'll be back.
I did visit a site with one of these bars and I must admit it was quick to load and unintrusive. And I could turn it off, easily. And naturally there's an excellent example implementation on the wibiya site itself, for you to play with.
It's a good example of taking a concept that's already caught some attention out there, and making it better. And this startup, which is in Israel, has a better chance than many of going mainstream, I reckon.
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