Ology’s niche content is overshadowed by Zumobi name

Nov 14, 2011
Shine

Ology’s network of sites is new to me (hey, the Internet is a big place), so my first experience with the “passion-driven” entertainment and social media company was via its app, Ology, for iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s too bad. I think that Ology might have some worthwhile content — or at the least, serve […]

Ology’s network of sites is new to me (hey, the Internet is a big place), so my first experience with the “passion-driven” entertainment and social media company was via its app, Ology, for iPhone and iPod Touch. That’s too bad.

I think that Ology might have some worthwhile content — or at the least, serve as a good 3 p.m. work diversion — but the poor design of its Zumobi-produced app overshadows any merit to be had. (In Ology’s defense, this isn’t the first time I’ve hated on Zumobi, and probably won’t be the last.) Ology opens on a home page that pulls in a variety of content from Ology’s other sections, which include film, TV, celebs, fashion, politics and humor, among others. I kept trying to swipe across the page to move through the categories, but that’s not an option. Instead you have to scroll through the black bar. The top portion of the screen is devoted to a your-category-here-ology banner, which appears directly above said black bar with your content choice underlined. Don’t worry, you will never be confused about what section you’re reading. Oh, and if that’s not enough wasted screen space, users are also treated to a relatively large static The Zumobi Network footer. This does not enhance my experience of looking at photos of dogs wearing “Star Wars” costumes.

I’m not sure if it’s because Ology is new or because the app is new, but there’s not a lot of content to be had in the sections — roughly 15 stories in each. And, because the app is sponsored by Chevy Sonic, you’ll be treated to, count ’em, three banner ads within these 15 links. Overkill.

After opening a story, you’ll see sharing options (Twitter, Facebook and email) and options to make the text smaller or larger (yay!). You’ll also see a Chevy pop-up ad, at least the first time around. Stories are photo rich, but the app doesn’t support embedded video, which I found used more than occasionally on Ology.com. Once you’re in a story, you can swipe left to cycle through the other category content, and the Zumobi banner is replaced by an advertisement. Ology could also use a copy editor, as errors abound in its minimal content.

Maybe give Ology.com a look, but avoid this app entirely.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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