May 3, 2012
"But I am never going to optimize short-term revenue at the expense of user experience or long-term goals. If people think we are going about this too cautiously, they can think that and I don’t care"

Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO

love @dickc’s clarity about what’s important

(via bijan)

12:12am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlVyHyKnU0RM
  
Filed under: twitter UX 
July 11, 2011
Social Network Review (July 10th, 2011): Why Facebook should be afraid of Google+

I just created an account on Google+ and so far I’m impressed.  Facebook has good reason to be worried about losing users.  I can easily imagine user migration to Google+ leading to significantly reduced use of Facebook (based off my experience in the beta of Google+).  I don’t think it will be a complete migration (with Facebook accounts being deleted in significant numbers).  However, page impressions per user could easily be reduced on Facebook’s end.  Google+ has a lot of things going for it and I’ll write some of my ideas.

Many users will join Google+

  • Gmail Factor: The biggest thing google has going for it is gmail.  Every user of gmail can easily be given an offer to join Google+, this offer can be low-key and gradually become more prominent if users don’t create an account.
  • Lack of Sign In/Account Creation: If you are logged into google for  your personal gmail account you are automatically signed in.  The convenience of no additional sign in means that migration is seamless.

The biggest problem with encroaching upon Facebook is dealing with network effects related to Facebook’s large embedded user base.  How do you get people to join?  How do assure that enough people will be on your platform so it is worth their time?

Google doesn’t have any problems with this because google can push Google+ using its gmail platform.  Additionally account creation is a breeze since your account is created with a click of a button since users are already sinced into gmail.

Reasons why users might spend more time on Google+ relative to Facebook

  • Google Search Factor (aka people can use google at work): Facebook is blocked at many workplaces, google isn’t.  This is an obvious but important distinction.  The fact that google’s search functionality is so useful for research purposes means that google is allowed in most work places.  This is why gchat functionality took off while facebook chat is relatively more stagnant.  This advantage also plays a role for Google+; the increased availability during work hours could potentially lead to relatively larger amounts of content (word, photos, ideas) being shared on the Google+ platform.
  • Reputation and Privacy: Facebook has a lot of bad PR points.  This is mostly attributed to the fact that Facebook has largely ignored user privacy concerns with each iteration of their changes.  The process of setting sharing options is deceptively vague and changes are made at a whim with user input being ignored.  Despite this, few users have migrated because there was no viable alternative for what Facebook services.  There is now a viable alternative where you can easily find everyone you will ever know and meet.  Facebook took advantage of its market strength and this is where they potentially reap the damage of being overconfident.  There is a population of users who will join Google+ for no other reason than a gripe they had with Facebook during one of their UI or privacy changes.

User Experience

  • Google+’s UI is clean and simple: Grouping people in Google circles is simple and intuitive.  You can organize your networks easily by dropping boxes of gmail contacts into procreated or customized social networks.  Like google search and gmail, the interface clean and lacks clutter.
  • Content Sharing Customization: Google allows customization of what content you want to share (to which specific contacts).  Zuckerberg’s self imposed share everything to everyone mandate for Facebook is coming back to bite Facebook in the butt.   With Google+, you can specify what content you want to share.  It’s a feature Facebook should have implemented a long time ago but didn’t because they had a broad mandate on forcing users to share with all (instead of allowing them to customize).  Below is an image showing how it works:

  • Content Reading Customization: Google+ took twitter’s idea of allowing users to customize what content they want to read.  With facebook, you have to choose broadly to block all content from your news stream or allow them to post constantly.  You can’t group them.  With Google+ you can now read content from people you value highly when you are short on time.  You can also group everyone else for when you have free time.  Again, this is something facebook should have done a long time ago but didn’t.  The image below shows how this works.

Closing Thoughts

Facebook will be losing lots of page impressions per user to Google+.  This is attributed to fact that it is so easy to join with gmail’s sign in system.  Additionally, you can use it in more places (namely at work).  The user experience is also better because Google+ allows for more customization.  I don’t think people will outright delete their facebook accounts in the short-term (one year or less).  However, I can see page views dropping as more users try out Google+.

June 16, 2011
Brettology 101: You businesses out there with Twitter accounts...answer those questions!

brettpolonsky:

So you set your business up on Twitter, well of course you did. Everyone has. But, are you paying attention to that account? Are you paying attention to the people that follow you? Do you really understand “why” that account is important?

Well, this study confirms what we all should know - people…

Agreed.  Too many businesses just publish on twitter in a vacuum, instead of using using twitter as a free method to obtain consumer feedback through interaction.

(Source: brettpolonsky)

June 16, 2011
Twitter in the Classroom: Watch This Teacher Engage Shy Students in Learning History

indescribableme:

Still skeptical about the value of using Twitter as a tool to engage introverted students in classroom lessons? You’re not alone. A recent survey of almost 2,000 teachers found that half think that using Twitter (and Facebook) in the classroom “is harmful to the learning experience.” But, Los Angeles history teacher Enrique Legaspi disagrees with the naysayers. Last year he went to a workshop that discussed ways to use Twitter in teaching and now his students—even the shy ones—at Hollenbeck Middle School in East L.A. are speaking up more.

I’m not sure this can be used in all classroom situations.  From my perspective, this would probably just allow more tolerated diversions (and students would use twitter or facebook for non-educational purposes once it is allowed).  However for a large lecture in a college setting (or any class setting with a large size), I can see the use of twitter to view general comprehension of the class quickly. 

For instance, a teacher could potentially use it ask students for answers to a question.  If it is a core theme and it isn’t understood, a teacher/professor could go over the topic again.  IE a math professor lecturing 100 students asks for an answer, and half of the students get the problem wrong but are to embarrased to raise their hands.  The professor would know where the students stand and whether or not to spend more time on a particular area.

June 9, 2011
parislemon:

It’s like the “.com” button, which appears when typing in a URL field — perhaps my favorite current button.
The little things count.

The prominent placement of the @ and # buttons are examples of really good UI design.  Little things definitely add up.

parislemon:

It’s like the “.com” button, which appears when typing in a URL field — perhaps my favorite current button.

The little things count.

The prominent placement of the @ and # buttons are examples of really good UI design.  Little things definitely add up.

June 5, 2011
France bans “Twitter” and “Facebook” from being said on TV

The French are banning Twitter and Facebook from being said on TV.

In a controversial move the French government has said that it will enforce a law so that the words ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ will not be allowed to be spoken on the television or on the radio.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s colleagues have agreed to uphold a 1992 decree which stipulates that commercial enterprises should not be promoted on news programs.

Broadcasting anchors from now on are forbidden to refer to the popular social networking site and the microblogging phenomenon, unless it is pivotal and relevant to a news item.

Christine Kelly, spokesman for France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), thinks that the government is correct to uphold this law.

'Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition?' she asked.

'This would be a distortion of competition. If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box — other social networks will complain to us saying, “why not us?”'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1394558/French-ban-words-Twitter-Facebook-used-TV-radio.html

What Christine Kelly (and the French) don’t understand is that people follow people on social network out of convenience.  They join social networks because of network effects.  2nd tier social networks won’t gain more prominence just because Twitter and Facebook is banned from being said on TV. 

The end result is that the French end up surrendering influence to other media personalities worldwide who are allowed to promote themselves and increase their influence base.

May 20, 2011
Varsity Bookmarking: On the other hand, Tumblr would probably argue that their lack of...

pieratt:

On the other hand, Tumblr would probably argue that their lack of comments is a major component of what has fostered a community worth contributing to and commenting on.

Tumblr feels very safe, very supportive. The lack of native comments yields the social equivalent of a long hug. Words are…

That’s a very good point I haven’t thought about.  Comments from reblogs are inherently all positive.  If you go to platforms like twitter or view the comments on any youtube video, you’ll inherently view a lot more snarky comments.  A lot of this is a desire for attention and a function of the platform.  Lacking a native comment function, people with negative energy are simply ignored on tumblr, whereas good ideas (or mostly images in the case of tumblr) get viral.  So the carrot is used very well.  You don’t get the attention whores who will do anything to get attention just for the sake of attention because people will only write (through a reblog) if something really moves them.

Another important thing is spam.  The reblog to comment option probably reduces the attraction of tumblr as a spamming / scam platform for advertising links, which is a huge positive.

(Source: pieratt)

March 19, 2011
I saw this telling tweet a moment ago.
This might not end well…  another war in conjunction with quantitative easing should lead to more inflation.  On the other end, this is good news for the gold bugs as inflationary pressures grow (even more) - leading to capital flight from dollar and to a relatively safer gold. 
Bad news for the average person though, as higher inflation should lead to increasing commodity prices across the spectrum.

I saw this telling tweet a moment ago.

This might not end well…  another war in conjunction with quantitative easing should lead to more inflation.  On the other end, this is good news for the gold bugs as inflationary pressures grow (even more) - leading to capital flight from dollar and to a relatively safer gold. 

Bad news for the average person though, as higher inflation should lead to increasing commodity prices across the spectrum.

March 13, 2011
Ignornance and Twitter Users: Pearl Harbour Tweets during the Japanese Earthquake disaster

It’s disappointing although not surprising that Pearl Harbour would be a trending topic on twitter.  A good portion of twitter users try to one up each other with crude comments in an attempt to be re-tweeted and get their 15 minutes of fame.

I’ll spare a long rant about how a lot of the twitter users attempting to be witty using Pearl Harbour tweets are probably are not aware about the history of Pearl Harbour at all.  Namely, the naval blockade attempts by the United States in order to starve off the Japanese Empire.  Or the fact that FDR and the higher-ups were all well aware of the attack in advance and instigated a conflict with Japan as a justification for entering World War II (the prospect of war faced significant domestic opposition at the time).

The reference to Pearl Harbour essentially boils down to this.  A large portion of twitter users only care about the viral nature of twitter only with regards to self promotion and temporary impressions of fame.  Whether the message is astute or comically ignorant is of no concern, the only thing that matters to a lot of users is the possibility of being retweeted.  This tells us a lot about twitter and its potential for spreading messages. 

Namely, one of the most important goals of any twitter marketing scheme should allow users to incorporate their own messages (one liners) in conjunction with a short url and hashtag.  Engagement is motivated not by message at all for many people, but by the opportunity to have a voice be heard.  It is the voyeuristic thrill of being acknowledged which is the primary motivational factor for most people in the twitterverse.  Any attempt to spread a message which doesn’t give twitter users an opportunity to engage will be significantly less successful.  The common hashtag or shorturl is merely a vehicle for users to obtain their fame.

Proof of this exists by the fact that so many people are willing to destroy their reputations (through public tweets) out of a vain attempt to be temporarily famous.