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Moving from private beta to public beta today is ProofHQ. London-based ProofHQ is a collaborative editing suite that allows groups of people to provide feedback on a design or object. The service is similar to one of my favorite Web services, ConceptShare.
The concept behind ProofHQ is simple. You upload a design, graphic or object you want feedback on. Next you set who can participate in providing feedback and post the editing function on your blog or email participants to enter the ProofHQ site. Josh Lowensohn at CNET notes that, "what makes it a standout among some of the competition is its capability to integrate with other tools or workflows you might be used to." Josh points to 37Signals’ Basecamp project management service as one example. ConceptShare partnered with Corel and is integrated with some of their tools.
My suggestion to ProofHQ (same as my suggestion to ConceptShare last year) is to get out there and partner with creative agencies across the world. So many teams are spread out today and a tool like this could make revisions and design finalization quicker. While it’s not as sexy as a blog embed, the agency market is where the real money is.
Here’s how ProofHQ defines their business plan, "ProofHQ offers tiered monthly and annual pricing plans based on the number of end users, number of proofs, and storage per month – including a free account for users who need only five proofs per month. Anyone can sign up today for a 14-day free trial for any sized plan." I think five proofs a month is too many. As I’ve written about numerous times, if you offer enough for most users for free, they will never upgrade and pay.