Tooyoo Guestbooks

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Tooyoo Guestbooks

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3 reviews from the community

Review of "Tooyoo Guestbooks"

published 10/07/2003 | ickkate
Member since : 05/11/2002
Reviews : 65
Members who trust : 29
About me :
Pro Easy to use, a real sense of community, and Dave has a 'little helper' - isn't that sweet!
Cons Its quieter than it used to be and the type may be a little small...
very helpful

"It Rocks"

In April 2002 Dooyoo, Ciao and U-Rate It were given a very special present by a very special member. That present was tooyoo and that member is I Love Jack Daniels (aka Dave). Initially Tooyoo was set up as a guestbook site primarily for dooyooers (hence the similarity in the name), but now it has become much more – catering for the three sites named above. Only a few weeks ago Dave proved his generosity yet again by launching the great T2. Even guestbooks get upgrades.

I suppose it might be worth me mentioning quickly why guestbooks are a good idea. Well, I’m sure you all enjoy receiving feedback on your opinions as much as I do, but when you’ve been reading and rating someone for a while you often want to talk to them about something other than the opinion they’ve just written. Maybe you want to see whether they’ve seen any decent films recently – or maybe you want to discuss a film in depth. (Well, that’s where it all starts really.) Or maybe its that you’ve rewritten an opinion and want a member to rerate it. Well, a guestbook allows you to chat about all the irrelevant stuff that only clogs up the comments section of your reviews and are of absolutely no use to other people reading them. They also allow you to participate in the community side of the sites with many of the ‘Meets’ starting life as an idea in a guestbook. A recent example being the London meet on 5 April 2002 which had its own guestbook, known as ‘A Meet with Scandal’, through which arrangements and suggestions were made. The reason why these meets are normally such a resounding success is also because the site allows you to chat to members and really get to know them before meeting them. (Giving you the opportunity to run if you think we’re all internet nerds and freaks!)

T2 is quick to load and has kept the principle of simplicity in its design that Dave began with tooyoo. Throughout the website you will find uncluttered pages with clear links to all of the parts of the site, and a coherent look. The main element that links all of the pages of the site is the blue band across the top that contains the letters “T2” in chunky letters. Also included in that band is some advertising that goes towards the cost of hosting the site, but Dave tries to make this unobtrusive and of interest to the majority of T2’s regulars (with some talk of adverts becoming relevant to the member whose guestbook you are visiting). Blue does seem to be the order of the day with different shades highlighting links and explaining clearly laid out lists. This clarity even seems to stretch as far as ensuring that should you become disorientated as to which page you are currently on, you need look no further than the top left hand corner under the T2 banner. Here you’ll find a small blue triangle pointing to some bold black letters. (In my case this currently says: ‘ickkate’s Guestbook’). The only small criticism I can make here is that possibly the type is a little on the small side should people have any problems with their sight.

In order to leave any kind of comment you’ll need to register and then sign in. This is a very simple process which does not compromise your privacy at all. All Dave asks from you is that you provide a username (possibly the one you use on dooyoo) and a password. Now you can leave as many comments as your wish, and you can even spice them up by using emoticions/smileys. If you want to discover how to use these or how to add bold, underline or italics to your messages you should click on the ‘help’ link on tooyoo’s ‘toolbar’ underneath the main banner. You can also click on the ‘Members’ link in the same area which will take you to a list of members. By clicking on their names you’ll be in their guestbooks and ready to rock and roll.

When you log on you also have the option of appearing invisible and leaving ‘Private Messages’ (simply by clicking on a tick box). Otherwise your name will appear under the list of ‘Who’s Online’, and your messages can be read by anyone. Most of the time appearing completely visible is not a problem, but if you tend to have tooyoo open as a separate window but aren’t checking this every few minutes, a barrage of messages asking how you are may not be something you have time to reply to.

Your guestbook will currently be quite a dull affair, but I Love Jack Daniels has given everyone the opportunity to jazz it up by clicking on ‘Settings’ in that toolbar at the top, and then selecting the colours that best sum you up. (This is also the place where you would change your password if you wished to, and also set up email alerts notifying you of new messages.)

Not only are individual’s guestbooks ready to be played with but there is also the surreal world of the General Message Area to discover. Here members have been known to dance with a troop of ducks, perform perfect kung fu, and discuss who ‘rocks’ the most. (Although there are often tiresome messages about E-bay, but don’t get me started on those!) Entertaining links are also posted here along with messages of general interest regarding the opinionating sites.

Apart from a fresh new look to tooyoo, Dave has also added some new elements that are making the site even easier to navigate. You no longer need to keep a message from one of your ‘friends’ in your guestbook in order to quickly link to theirs. (The name of the person who leaves a comment is also a link to their guestbook). You now have the option of adding their name to a list on the left of your screen which is done in much the same way as you add someone to your Circle of Trust on Ciao – a list which is usefully split into ‘Online’ and ‘Offline’.

By clicking on ‘Edit Profile’ and following the simple instructions you can have links added to your profile on the sites of your choice. In my case as a member of both Ciao and dooyoo (shhh! I’m not over there honest) I have a green box with a ‘dooyoo Profile’ and an orange one with a ‘Ciao Profile’ link in them. (If you are also a member of U Rate It this will be blue). This means that not only can people quickly jump to your profile, you can also use tooyoo as your first point of call – linking you to your favourite opinionating sites.

A very recent addition to the general area of the site is the ‘A Good Read’ section which allows people to post links to the best reviews they have read – now that can’t be a bad thing. Its bound to weed out some new talent that might otherwise have got overlooked. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will develop.

Along with a page full of links of interest to many opinionaters – yep its that toolbar again – tooyoo is bound to have plenty more additions coming soon. (With information on new features, such as inserting images, available in the ‘Latest News’ section on the left-hand side of your screen). One of the main bonus’ to a site such as this is that it is far from being a faceless site. Occasionally dooyoo and Ciao can appear that way. (Even with people as helpful as Katie on dooyoo – we all know there is only so much that she can do). T2 has Dave though and Dave has made it all too clear, with the links to his guestbook and email address on the front page, that any good ideas will be gratefully received. In fact, in the words of the man himself when T2 went live:

“New Look! I'm sure you didn't need telling. Please report any glitches you find, etc, and ideas and feedback are very welcome!”

There are currently 611 members of tooyoo, but recently its been a bit quiet. I’m personally hoping that all of I Love Jack Daniel’s hard work will be rewarded by a bit more traffic making its way back on to the site. So, if you’re someone new, why not give it a go, and if you’re an ex-tooyooer, why not come and see if the changes catch your fancy – you might just have a bit of fun!

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Comments on this review

  • raeisthehippychick published 26/09/2003
    Yup, tooyoo rocks :), so does ILJD :)
  • franl published 10/08/2003
    I does indeed rock!!
  • WormThatTurned published 29/07/2003
    Yes ive noticed its a lot quiter lately too, I only speak to about 3 members regulary and It used to be 20 or so !!
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Listed on Ciao since: 16/01/2003