Monday, April 13, 2009

User's Definition

So, what is a user?

a user is some one who use something, that all.

web-developer define users by a set of information that are mainly regrouped in users profile.

but is a profile a true definition of a user? No.


A user is defined by his activity and his connectivity.

1)the activity of a users reflect what he (she) do regarding the service or a set of service.

2)the connectivity in the other side reflect a list of people to witch the user is connected.

user's activity and connectivity define the user, and they are closely dependent.

the activity of some one can lead to more connectivity, and vice versa.

now, why all this speech about, user's definition, user's connectivity et activity?

it is a quite simple.

yesterday or the day before I don't remember, there was an article about how to sell your soul on twitter and whos buying I enjoyed reading it and agree with most the author say in.

1)twitter is big cake.
2)twitter is a sweet cake.
3)many are lurking on.

and this paragraph say it well :
So there's the Twitter-sphere for you! Bring on "real time search," bring on a globally connected community, bring on vapid, vile, stupid shilling. It all seems pretty sad to me. And to the advertisers out there - is this cynical scheme the best you can do to engage with all the new ways people are communicating online? That's pretty bad.
now some think that all have the right t promotion, after all any twitter user is free to tweet what ever he want. so why not to include promotion in your own tweet.

the reason is a quiet simple:

you activity determine who you are. and your activity determine your connectivity. that all.

such monetization way (via tweet) are risky both for the publisher and for the advertiser.

1)the advertiser risk a failing brand image (such campaign can easily be compared to a spam).
2)advertiser loss of credibility.

3)the publisher will loss credibility and connectivity.


so the question to ask if you are going to take the be-a-magpie deal is:

what is you twitter contact 's value?

are they less or more then the hypothetical ad revenue?

but the most important is what stick and label this activity can bring to your front?

remember your activity determine your connectivity. and that the both define who you are.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Google reader have to reveal their API or to give up

Strange mood this morning.

last night I was trying to figure out the future of RSS-READER in this new social feed aggregation.
many social service are crossing the line between their primary objective "social connectivity" to a content mash up, feed aggregation.


ex:
1)FriendFeed feed aggregation.
2)Facebook feed aggregation.

now what will happen?


you will open rarely open your typical RSS-Reader, because you will consume your subscribed feed in your favorite social website .

the situation is even more critic for RSS-Reader, because they lake in this "social interactivity" that offer those service.

you will prefer to read the feed and people comment on, rather the to read an obsolete feed.

this is the trend, people enjoy reading what other read.

now GReader have done some steps in this direction :

1) Feed sharing via "share" or "share with a note".
2) Comment on Feed. .

those 2 feature are offered in order to increase interactivity, but the point that GReader are missing is :

1) people want to share even with non-friend, even with a simple follower.
2) people want to share their comment, feed with people that aren't GReader users.

are GReader effort to bring "sociability" effective?

the answer may be No.

so what is the solution?

GReader have to open the door for developer to bring a new ways and innovate in term of feed consumption.

until then here is a suggestion to GReader :

Trend Sharing.

one of the hidden golden mine of GReader is this ability to mine million of feed, they do when they offer a user a detailed description about a feed in term of statistic.

GReader can answer those question :

1)what blog is the most shared ?
2)what feed is the most commented?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What FriendFeed, Twitter and Facebook have to do next?

yesterday was the Beta Day for friendfeed , before this facebook too make some change in it UI (user interface).

facebook new change made huge noise inside it own fan and passionate users.

in the new facebook the change where done toward a better public streaming.


mean to open facebook to a third part source of content by aggregating content.

while at friendfeed this was done years before :)

so:

1) facebook
facebook leaders noticed that in order to reach a wider audience they have to open their CONTENT to a wide contribution and here occur the third party content aggregation.

2) friendfeed
friendfeed lead at the same time anticipated such facebook move and introduce a total complete realtime content browsing and aggregation.

in terms of content aggregation and consumption facebook are at mile from friendfeed.

3) twitter
twitter leader understand from the begining that the other way to have a large audience is by opening their service via their API.

friendfeed and facebook are both at miles from twitter in term of third party API-based application.

now who will win the game of sociability?


friendfeed bring real time into an height level. but friendfeed will have to face some problem that I will try to enumerate later.

facebook in walk behind friendfeed will face the same problems or even worst.

a) the problem that may face friendfeed regarding the new change that they operate in their UI.

a-1) the difficulty to translate such change in their API.

friendfeed have to grant to the developer of API based application, the tool to bring the same features that FF are offering in their beta service.

there are change to come in the side of friendfeed API this is clear and simple, but the way to it is a bit longer then supposed.

to transcript the "real time " feature that exist in all the part of FF (list, home, filtering,..) FF-API will expose an advanced use of the Simple Update Protocol.

but then there will be really a new paradigm about the use of SUP couple to REST-API.

this is the new challenge that FF team have to face.

now let ask a question :

are "twitter, friendfeed, facebook" trying to make content more public?more open?

it is delisional to think so becaus, none of those service offer a way to export users data synthesis to others servers rather then by rss feed, witch begin to be obselete in real time communication.

those 3 service are still now offering to users:

1)the ability to read from different source (agregation).
2)to filter the source by author , keyword, like comment etc..
3)to contribute to the stream.

but all the 3 service do one common thing :

users stream retention .

a user in those 3 service can't export his stream elsewhere in a decent format rather then the obsolete rss or atom feed.


those service have to offer a way to export users stream to other service as they offer the way to agregate other service content. at the same rate at the same speed, without latency.without delay.

those services have to offer users at least a way to export their syntheis to their blog at the same rate as they import from their blog.

going public induce a biderectional way.

thinking "bidirectional" is a safe thinking, content retention may lead to crash.

so what those service "twitter, facebook, friendfeed" have to avoid ?

1)users retention.
2)content retention.
3)service retention.

this induce what they have to do next :

1)open authentification (openid, Oauth)
2)real time (third party) content sharing, such export to blog or to twitter of to FF or to FB.
3)better API.

ok I am done.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

an Hour without Tweet

I was on twitter then I saw this message :

Twitter will be down for 1 hour of planned maintenance at 10a PST on April 5.
it make me smile really. but a concept emerged in my mind again, when you are pretending to serve people in real time you can't afford the luxe of using such message.

and here is why :


1)twitter is in a dominant position regarding the micro-blogging sphere.
2)twitter serve people in real time, there is no delay no latency.

such situations are frustrating users.

would you stay a week without electricity?
would you stay a week without mobile communication?

there is a part of dependency that such service induce and that providers have to assume like users.

in such situation the elementary human reaction is "the search for alternative".

could organic search survive without google ? yes.
could social network survive without facebook? yes.
could the blog-shpere survive without blogger and wordpress? yes.
could the holly sharing file picture survive without filckr or picasa? yes.
could the wiki-universe survive without wikipedea? yes.

because there is always alternative.

so what are the alternative to twitter?

1)identi.ca
2)open microblogging.

some have to agree that they arn't so spreaded as twitter, jaiku got a chance to be a concurent of twitter but google killed that chance.

so to resume :

1 hour is a too much too big delay in a environment where change and information are expressed every milli-seconde. or less.

is it legitimate to ask what Plan B twitter has? what can twitter offer us if something go wrong for a long period?

hope they have one.

and hey in the universe of micro-blogging, micro-maintenance has a chance to emerge :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

will google buy twitter, my african point of view.

this morning I come up this post dear europe how would you feel about google buying, in this post the author asked a question :
What do you think? Could this be good? Will it be bad? How do you feel about it and what do you think it might mean?
so here is my answer :

1) if google buy twitter then this may be a proof that a big company can make the same error twice, remember google acquired Jaiku, some have to ask what Return on investment google made in the Jaiku case.

2) will twitter accept google offer? (is twitter for sell)?

then the answer is NO, and here is an element that may support this reasoning, twitter raise for fund (read here), may be at the first stage of twitter the monetizing schema was "build to sell" or "acquisition model" as suggest this article.

twitter isn't for sale, it is a common sense, reasoning, why selling when you are able to get money keeping the company yours. with the stepping in fund raising twitter show the desire to grow by it mean, to grow to a stand of A corporation.

is facebook for sale?!!
is myspace for sale?!!

the same applied here.

now regarding the fact that google may acquire twitter, I think that there is some action (strategic one ) made by google leader that can inform us about the futur decision.

the case of Open Social Fundation , to face the monopole that may cause the growth facebook google decision was to open the door of the social universe to a large audience to a large community of developer to make open, and free.

it is a simple thinking :

if you can't monopolize a domain, open it to other in order to make the emergence of a dominant a no chance.


of course the fruit the result of such strategic decision aren't a short term one, they will be in a long term, facebook is growing for now but there will be an end some day.


so using the same strategic decision, google will help and grow the open micro-blogging, rather then buying Twitter , and there are some element that may argument this reasoning :

1) making Jaiku open source, and easy migrating it to Google App Engine
2) the future enhancement to GAP read this .

to resume google will not buy twitter, but what about Microsoft ;).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tell me who you Follow I will tell you who you are

Good morning Twitter.

so this morning I remembered the old adage "tell me who are your friend, I will tell you who you are", in this social media ERA, in this "fellow me plz" environment people tend to give less importance to social behavior like making friendship or being with others.

it is so easy to follow some one in twitter or elsewhere, it is so easy to be a friend with some one in this virtual environment, damn it cost a click on a link no more.

so here is the question :

do you make the same decision concerning your relationship in real life, like the one you make in social network?


for those who follow more then 200.000 people in twitter, my question is do you really have 200.000 friend in real life?

the evidence is NO.

so why making friendship over twitter is so easy , so evident, so sweeted for business?

tell with who you are, I will tell you who you are.

it is a quit simple and reflect the absurdity of fellowing 200.000 people.

in any relation there is an exchange of knowledge of ideas of information stream.

what do you will really learn in a noise of 200.000 talking to you?

some will argue that they can listen to 200.000 people at the same time , they have just to filter the information to read the usefull one the interesting one and to be blind regarding the others.

ok so here is my main argument :

before filtering the information , why not filtering the source of the information.

choose who you listen for and who not listen for before trying to sort huge amount of tweet.

people have to be honest there is an EGO manifestation, when people try to follow 200.000.

so relax, make a break and try to know who are you friend, cause it is the only way to know who you are.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Asking too much.

This morning I was as usual looking for the next marvelous google idea. the next Gmail-ish innovation, but none.

when we are a leader in a domain, when we have all the monopol on a domain people tend to be desapointed when sometime we suffer from the white paper syndrom.

the lake of innovation go in pair with Saturation.


what could be the next surprising Google Innovation?

1)email!!
2)online coolaboration?
3)photo-sharing
4)code hosting?
5)social media?

people are so fascinated but what google have done before that they are always starving for more.

but no one wear their shoes.

so let try to imagine the next "must have" "must be in" "must test" wonderfull google expiriment?

what about this so called social-graph?