Global Grind, currently in private alpha, is a New York-based web 2.0 personalized home page startup that is said to be focused on the "hip hop" generation. Being a "hip hop" listener I was curious to see what this intriguing value proposition was all about. Driven by curiosity, which was said to have killed the cat, I was expecting Global Grind personalized home page to bounce with a Jay-Z hip hop beat or something. That was not the case, Global Grind is a personal home page product with parity with a number of personalized home page products on the market (i.e. widgets, drag and drop, etc). I thought that some of its design element decisions and button placements were a little odd.
It seems that Global Grind color-codes it module headers. Widgets with black headers are widgets that are locked down and cannot be moved and green headers are widgets that cannot be moved or removed. I thought the Global Grind locked down a lot of widgets. However it does seem to offer a few interesting features. First, upon signing up for a Global Grind account I noticed the proclamation of a recommendation engine:
"Your comments, ratings and usage patterns guide the editorial focus each time you visit the site. The more you use the site the better it becomes at recommending content to you."
At first I did not notice it but upon clicking on any feed item on the personalized home page you are directed to a feed reader which allows you to rate and comment on the item. In the right column of the feed reading experience is a sidebar titled "Relevance Engine" (shown below) which offers four tabbed icons which can be selected to view related links, feed items, videos and images. This could be considered to be a form of content recommendations which were alluded to earlier. I also thought that it was worth noting that any feed that I added to my page was added to the sites feed directory and left the content express content tray, thus putting its users to work populating the site with feed options.
Secondly, Global Grind allows you to select the layout type (i.e. one, two or three column), permissions (i.e. public or private) and if the tab should be placed in the gallery all from a single tab control menu as shown below.
Bottom-line: Though Global Grind offer a personalized home page which is said to be putting on a "hip hop" spin with a couple of interesting features, I was not able to see it. Additionally, I did not think Global Grind is any better than the personalized home page options on the market today.