We were recently contacted by FamousWhy.com to review their content management system script, Famous Questions CMS. Famous Questions is an option for those looking to create a site similar in concept to that of Yahoo! Answers for instance.
Some ideas for use may include: being used as a niche social network website for a specific country, business category, profession or job such as : Ask a Doctor, Ask a Lawyer, Ask a Teacher or Ask an Expert for a general community-driven Q&A site.
At first visit to their demo (available online at http://www.famousquestions.com), you can see the default look of the site once installed:
As you can see, the software has been designed to encourage communication either through question / answer style or debate style. The options for both are available and can be used concurrently.
Taking a look at the back end (below) you will see that upon first login you are presented with a number of quick stats signifying the activity on your site:
You are also shown the last admin activities that have been performed (useful if you have multiple administrators working on the site simultaneously). On the Q&A tab, you are given the option to managed and edit the various questions which have been posed within the system.
Should you wish to edit the questions, you are given a popup window where you can modify the text, category and topic.
The next tab is quite similar and pertains to the debates section:
The debates system is an interesting setup. You create a statement or topic for debate, categorize it and publish. Your topic is then shown with a YES or NO button (see below). Clicking on either casts a vote for that choice and gives you an opportunity to state your case. The system works as intended but there are issues such as misspellings in the code which makes the CMS appear less than professional:
Everything works as expected on this tab. Next is the Buzz tab which is used for maintenance tasks. I'm not sure why the developers chose to call it Buzz and not maintenance as it's not particularly clear from the onset what this tab is for until you actually visit it. Personally, I would reword this to make it's purpose more clear.
Unfortunately, when clicking through the various options on this tab, there is no status shown as to what was actually done. The script just shows a simple message (shown below) that is, once again, misspelled:
Lastly we come to the settings tab:
The settings tab is well put together with the option to quickly replace the site logo and favicon as well as enter Facebook API credentials (for integration into the CMS). One is given the ability to manage the basic typical tasks you would expect to find and in the Banner section there is space to add your applicable advertisement code.
The Banner area appears to have been created strictly for Google Adsense or similar products and does not provide an area or means to add your own banner images. Under the SEO settings, you are able to edit meta descriptions and keywords for each module and page:
That concludes our tour through the admin interface.
My final thoughts:
While the system works as intended and provides a good alternative for users who are looking to have their own forum for people to debate or pose questions to one another, there are small quirks that need to be corrected in order to give this product a more professional feel. Unfortunately, misspellings and poor naming conventions do not give the end user a feeling of security or confidence in the quality of the code. If the developers are not able to catch misspelled words, it lends one to wonder whether they rushed to write the code as well, making mistakes along the way there too.
This is not to say that this is the case in this product, but rather that this is the impression that some users will get when seeing these mistakes. Should they be corrected and the naming conventions be changed to more accurately reflect their purposes, this product will be more likely to be successful.
As with all products, however, there is always room to improve and I am confident that the team at FamousWhy.com will make the necessary corrections with the next release.
From a price perspective this script is priced (as of this review) at $269.