Google+ some more thoughts

23 07 2011

I just read  this ‘Why twitter is obsolete‘ and despite there being the usual mass of comment on Google+ and how it will or wont change the world, this one has a fact I hadn’t been aware of before.

“Twitter defines an “active user” as one who follows at least 30 people and has at least 10 people who follow him. A source with access to Twitter’s API who was quoted by Business Insider in April says that there were only 21 million people or accounts on Twitter that met the “active user” criteria.”

This is interesting and until I read it I had never considered the quality value of user metrics, just their quantative value. If this is true, and I have to say I suspect it might be, then Google+ can (and should) go for the jugular and change the game. In my opinion the Google+ UI and hence UX, while good, is lacking some simple but vital features. Right now the ‘stream’, the main feed of everyone you have circled in some way, is too noisy and circles currently don’t provide quite enough flexibility to tailor your default stream. But this is trivial to resolve for Google and many people have already commented on the 2 or 3 options to fix it, I’m sure Google will.

Another point raised in the previously mentioned article is that a lot of posts are nothing more than a teaser or snippet that then links to a fuller blog post. In fact Tweetdeck a very popular client for twitter and recently acquired by twitter, provides a tweet extender. But Google can beat this simply, it could allow you to post a full blog, direct into your stream. If Google allows for a simple two level posting mechanic, something like a summary, length restricted but including media and then a fuller extended post, hidden by default but with a clickable extend button on the post then it has in stream bloging taken care of.

twitters greatest asset in its early days, long before I wanted to use it, was its open and available API, this allowed them to build twitter and anyone to build add-ons and clients. But now twitter is much bigger, and not so open to others delivering the features it thinks (rightly or wrongly) it should be delivering. Once Google+ delivers its API we will see some of the current social media clients (Seesmic, Hootsuite, etc) including Google+, at this point its going to become apparent that twitter itself lacks in many areas compared to Google+ and it might just be a matter of time.

That time may also be a lot shorter than people think (myself included), this comparative graph of Google+ growth v’s twitter v’s Facebook, while not being a fair direct comparison, shows how rapidly Google+ has taken off (and its still invite based) and may give some indications to how volatile the social media user base is.


#UKSNOW gives way to #UKFLOODS

17 01 2010

With the inevitability of Simon Cowel’s next awful superstar (or RATM gaining a few hundred thousand purchasers of their records who will never play it let alone ever buy another one) we find our selves on the verge of #UKSNOW giving way to #UKFLOODS.

Here at Redwood the snow has almost completely melted, the lake has a thin covering of broken ice over most of it but its melting fast. The swans and ducks look a little happier about getting their habitat back. The lake often rises quite a bit after heavy rain and over our time here I would say we have seen it crawl up the bank by 2 to 3 feet. But the lake is not really the concern, the Loddon is.

The Loddon floods every year, certainly every year I have lived in this part of Berkshire I have read or seen it flood, with quite often disastrous results for some. Just before Christmas the following Flood Warning was issued, as far as I know its still in place. It did seem amusing to drive past the cinema and see people’s cars under water, not for the owners though I suspect.

The snow certainly caused chaos here over the last 10 days but the snow melt arriving is going to be worse. You can check flood warnings with the Environment Agency web site.

I will be keeping an eye on the local warnings, though thankfully we are high enough to not have to worry about it effecting us directly, at least for now

It seems the BBC has us down for another snow fall mid week, according to their forecast

Redwood Weather

Posted via email from Steve’s Blog

Posterus – the evolution of online blogging?

28 11 2009

Today I finally got around to looking at Posterus, I even sent it an email copy of a recent blog post. Result, my email is now blogged at Posterus.

If you look at the breadth of social media applications on the interweb you can see how life consuming it would be to post to even half of them on anything like a regular basis. This is why we see an ever increasing number of ‘clients’ and ‘sites’ that offer to take our musings and pass them on, on our behalf, to each and every service they support and we authorise them to. In reverse there are as many sites and services that aggregate posts and present back to us a tailored and filtered view of things we find of interest above the background that is the white noise of social media.

To me Posterus represents a natural evolution, it takes the simple blog concept and makes posting simple. Send it an email, you don’t need to sign up, just send it an email. Traditionalists can sign up and set up their site, but you can just email it something. Go on try it, send an email about what toothpaste you use to, your toothpaste preferences are now blogged.

This in itself isn’t particularly impressive but if I instruct Posterus accordingly it will post to pretty much the rest of the social media world as well, all from my one email. So Posterus can become the central hub of my social media posting world, write once and once only. My random scribblings of totally pointless rubbish can now be made so much easier, email Posterus and let it twitter it, facebook it, and so on. Its like spray painting the underpass with graffiti then having a little army of vandals go and spray paint your message every where else.

Once you’ve posted you can follow the returned email and go claim your blog, set it up, theme it, make it yours. Much like you would do with any other blog really.

At this point I have three thoughts on this

1. This is fantastic and I really like it

2. What happens when my blog is fed to every thing else and then aggregated back, do the aggretators count the content once or many times?

3. How much fun is it going to be to add the address to the emails at work and watch the enhanced carnage of the ‘reply to all’ button