What is Sortfolio?
Sortfolio (the website formerly known as Haystack), is a website where web design firms (and freelancers) can provide the necessary information about their business to a potential client. Instant information such as location, price and style of work are easily found. Sortfolio makes it easy for a potential client to browse multiple web designers all at once and make an informed choice.
Whether this concept will prove to be effective long term is still an unknown. Certainly for companies in Australia it seems to be less effective at the moment. I would imagine that potential customers in Australia probably aren’t using this sort of website or directory, like our American counterparts would be.
We’ve had our free listing on there since the site launched in October and have had no enquiries in that time. Potentially the 11 hits to our website from Haystack last year were all internal.
The paid plan experiment
Sortfolio offers a paid plan for $99 per month. You have access to 6 thumbnails instead of 1, and a larger listing card. Given that there can be a large number of people competing for ad space, this can prove to be effective from a theoretical point of view. You can see the immediate benefit on the Perth-Australia page.
This benefit is less apparent when the search is refined, however there still is an advantage to being a large listing card.
Recently 37 Signals announced another benefit for paid listings. They purchased a slot on The Deck Network for Sortfolio. That gives somewhere between 2,500,000 and 3,000,000 ad impressions in a 30 day period. They used to run a static ad in that spot, but now are splitting the ad display 25% static and 75% dynamic. The dynamic ads feature the Sortfolio Pro customers. About 140 companies have Pro listings and the ad is a combination of a crop of the thumbnail as well as linking to the Sortfolio listing.
This means we will also get roughly 15,000 highlighted ad impressions across The Deck Network. This means exposure to sites such as Daring Fireball, A List Apart, 43 Folders, Kottke.org, The Morning News, Ze Frank, Twitteriffic (in app), Tweetie (in app) & Design Observer.
It will be interesting to see over the next 2 months whether this proves to be effective for an Australian company, as well as it seems to be for our US counterparts. You can check out our full listing on Sortfolio and if you are an Australian company (or freelancer) who has had success with Sortfolio, please leave a comment.