Website Review: IgoLocal
If you haven’t seen it already, IgoLocal.net is a new website created by Chuck Thomas (the man behind Shodan Imports). IgoLocal is described as “The Physical Go Server” and encourages players to meet locally to play games. In a time when many players are not going to local clubs and just playing online, I think this is a brilliant idea. I’m not the only one who thinks so: at the time of writing, just a few weeks after the launch of IgoLocal, the website already has 866 Go players from 51 countries signed up. Let’s take a closer look at the website and see why it is so successful.
My first impression of the website is the same as it was when I first saw the website for Shodan Imports: beautiful. Although some may think it’s simple, you can tell the graphics and colours have been chosen well. As a web designer, my only issue with the website is that the code does not validate – but I suspect most people using IgoLocal will not be bothered by this. I am using Mozilla Firefox, and overall, the website looks fantastic.
Registration was very easy. There was only one thing that bothered me: the “Terms of Service” were only displayed upon registration. They also said, for example, that users may not post “material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “IgoLocal.net” is hosted or International Law.” Which country is IgoLocal.net hosted in? I always prefer that these things are as specific as possible. After accepting the terms, you are given instructions to “zoom to your local neighborhood and click 2 streets away from your home.” I thought it may be easier to enter an address, but I suppose if that were the case then too many people would enter their home address. Immediately after submitting the registration form, I received an email and activated my account.
The website is very intuitive and easy to use. You are able to search for players, games and events within a specified radius, up to 30 miles (about 48km). Users can join or create “dojos” – a local group or club which gets its own forum. You are also given a schedule of upcoming games and a history of games you have already played. The website has very active forums, and from what I have seen, Chuck is able to answer questions very quickly. I like that the website has support for multiple languages, and I would encourage for work to be done on more translations and appeal to an even larger global audience. Overall, I am very impressed with the design and idea of the website. I’m sure it will grow and be very successful! Don’t take my word for it: see for yourself at IgoLocal.net!
Update: As of 2012, both IgoLocal and Shodan Imports appear to be down.