31 Jan

Official Google Blog – Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard

We worked with a small team of engineers from Twitter, Google and SayNow, a company we acquired last week, to make this idea a reality. It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.

via Official Google Blog – Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard. Only Google has this kind of ability to just buy a company and build a product to make the internet and a public more free.

30 Dec

Jessica Hische – mom, this is how twitter works

Twitter is an online social networking tool in which users post 140 character updates of what is going on in their lives along with links to things they think are interesting, funny, or useful to their followers (“following” being essentially what “friending” is on other sites). People use twitter in many ways, some as a newsfeed by following prominent people or networks, some as a psuedo-chatroom by limiting their followers and whom they follow to close friends and family, and some as a microblog for updating people about the work they are doing and their personal lives.

via Jessica Hische – mom, this is how twitter works. I wish I wrote this it’s that good.

18 Oct

Cennydd Bowles – End hover abuse now

Designers who pop up information panels or move page elements on hover are using flawed logic, second-guessing what users want to do before they do it. The result, which I’ve seen in countless usability tests, is that users activate these controls accidentally. You know what happens? People actually flinch: “What was that?” They return with hesitation, less confident in their understanding of the site. It’s no accident that the Twitter worm propagated through hover—accidental activation meant users spread the worm unintentionally.

via Cennydd Bowles – End hover abuse now. A call to action for designers to stop over using the hover attribute.

Should mention at the end the designer goes back and says that if you are to use hover to show new information to add a 500ms delay before firing the action. I’ve seen and implemented hover states to display new information and I think it’s a useful technique with a well defined use case, the problem does become one of people having a correct and valid mental model for the website and how it works. Hover actions can quickly break that model.

03 Sep

Cthulhu and other crazies – Apple’s Ping is a big pile of steaming dung

A few days ago Apple released a social network. Gee, how bloody creative of them and they used to be so cool. There are enough social networks, too many actually. But I digress.

via Cthulhu and other crazies – Apple’s Ping is a big pile of steaming dung. A nice list of all the ways Ping fails as a usable and interesting social networking system or even a social music recommendation system.

28 Aug

NYTimes.com – German Law Would Limit Facebook’s Use in Hiring

As part of the draft of a law governing workplace privacy, the German government on Wednesday proposed placing restrictions on employers who want to use Facebook profiles when recruiting.

The bill would allow managers to search for publicly accessible information about prospective employees on the Web and to view their pages on job networking sites, like LinkedIn or Xing. But it would draw the line at purely social networking sites like Facebook, said Philipp Spauschus, a spokesman for the Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière.

via NYTimes.com – German Law Would Limit Facebook’s Use in Hiring. I have to admit to liking this idea. It’s very reasonable, limit companies from using sites that are designed to be part of a person’s life outside of work. Although the larger question becomes what is a “purely social networking site”, does Twitter count, etc and who defines it. Overall the better result is for people to be more intelligent or more aware about what information is public.

03 Jun

Street Giant – Leroy Stick: the man behind @BPGlobalPR

You know the best way to get the public to respect your brand? Have a respectable brand. Offer a great, innovative product and make responsible, ethical business decisions. Lead the pack! Evolve! Don’t send hundreds of temp workers to the gulf to put on a show for the President. Hire those workers to actually work! Don’t dump toxic dispersant into the ocean just so the surface looks better. Collect the oil and get it out of the water! Don’t tell your employees that they can’t wear respirators while they work because it makes for a bad picture. Take a picture of those employees working safely to fix the problem. Lastly, don’t keep the press and the people trying to help you away from the disaster, open it up so people can see it and help fix it. This isn’t just your disaster, this is a human tragedy. Allow us to mourn so that we can stop being angry.

via Street Giant – Leroy Stick: the man behind @BPGlobalPR. Wouldn’t change a word of this article.

15 Apr

The Dangers of Building on Someone Else’s Platform – trevoro.ca

A lot of startup business models involve building products that fill gaps in existing platforms. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and there have been a few success stories. But if you don’t own the platform, or if you aren’t wildly successful at filling the gap you’re taking a really big risk.

via The Dangers of Building on Someone Else’s Platform | trevoro.ca | blog. There is a definite and real danger to merely filling the gaps in other platforms, generally whatever you can do the company building the platform can do or buy the ability to do.

02 Mar

Measuring Tweets – Twitter Blog

Folks were tweeting 5,000 times a day in 2007. By 2008, that number was 300,000, and by 2009 it had grown to 2.5 million per day. Tweets grew 1,400% last year to 35 million per day. Today, we are seeing 50 million tweets per day—that's an average of 600 tweets per second.

via Twitter Blog: Measuring Tweets. Absolutely insane and I’m helping out.

03 Dec

What About the Open Web?

Facebook: FarmVille is bigger than Twitter, beyond insane when I think about it.

To prove the popularity of these extra-curricular sections of Facebook, Johnson explained: “Applications make up a huge part of Facebook. There are over 90,000 applications on Facebook. “69 million active users are using FarmVille alone, that’s more users than Twitter.” Interestingly, Facebook noted that its demographic is getting older, with the 35+ category growing the fastest and 53 per cent of all those who log on in a month come back on a daily basis.

What does that say for Twitter (and the open web) when a single application inside of a walled garden has more users? Are end users happier in the garden, is it only due to the social and community already built in Facebook, or something else?

Oh and no I don’t use Farmville.