progressive goes social has quietly launched over Thanksgiving as a new socially oriented Digg-style site for bargain hunters.

If you take a ride back in time you will be able to see that in previous life the domain hosted a traditional bargains site (first as Overstock and then independently) before in March 2005 it became a price comparison engine. This will be the third reincarnation and this time around it will join the likes of, dealplumber, judysbook, dealigg, trezr, and most recently — modoshi.

Demand Media who owns the project has set up a tutorial on how to use the new web site (by the way eHow which hosts the tutorial is another property owned by Demand Media).

I signed up for an account and had a short test drive. So far the impression is positive. Here are a few comments.

  • The Quick Submit Tool is a great idea. Drag the button to your browser toolbar and submitting deals just became much easier
  • No profit sharing of any kind… Huh? I guess with domain name like this you do not need it.
  • Items images/thumbnails are in details but not in the list view… Any particular reason for this? The visual element is a very important part of shopping. I wouldn’t hide it behind an extra mouse click.
  • Got to separate coupons and discounts from the rest of the merchandise. Mixing these different things is not very natural.
  • Need a page with the list of featured stores so users could browse deals by store as well as by category.

In general I suggest taking a look at who seem to be setting the standard in social bargain hunting. They have been fortunate to get in the market early and are now experimenting with such add-ons as user friends and discussion groups. And by the way, dealplumber — the closest rival — has recently done a redesign to look more — that tells something, doesn’t it? :-)

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