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January 13, 2013 / carlispina

Try Out Brand New Online Tools With Erli Bird

Erli BirdEven before I started writing about technology tools on this blog, I always enjoyed finding new and useful web tools to use or recommend to others. For those who want to find tools as soon as they become available, Erli Bird is a new service that highlights these new startups and grants users access to web tools, sometimes even before they are accepting general sign ups.

Erli Bird highlights a limited number of startups at any given time with one spotlighted at the top of the page. Startups are only available for a limited time and some are only available to a limited subset of Erli Bird members. Each startup has a profile page that shows screenshots or videos of the app and provides a description of its functionality. Getting a spot in an available startup is as easy as clicking on a button that will redirect you to the service’s sign up page. Once you have signed up for a service and tried it out, you can also leave feedback for the service and review the feedback left by other Erli Bird members. Startups also have space to include other requests for help, such as surveys about specific aspects of the service.

To encourage members to sign up for more startups, actually use these startups and provide feedback, Erli Bird also includes a point system that gamifies the discovery and use of these new tools. Typically, you can earn points for requesting a spot in a beta, more points for checking the site out and even more points for leaving feedback on the service. You can also earn points for a few other activities such as inviting more people to use Erli Bird. As you continue to use the service, you can also unlock badges for achievements, such as using Erli Bird for more than a week or trying out more than 3 startups. Leaderboards for all time activity and weekly activity highlight those members that earn the most points and a user’s badges are displayed on their public Erli Bird profile.

Erli Bird is a fun way to find new startups. While the focus on a few startups at a time can be somewhat limiting since most users probably won’t be interested in every single service, I have found some interesting new services through Erli Bird.

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