10/25/09

Time Warp - The Kwaga example





Here's a new example of how a website can evolve.

Kwaga's the great start-up of Mr Fabulous Geek aka @PhilippeLaval :-).

What I think very interesting here is the start-up way: when creating a 2.0 company from scratch, everything has to be invented along while the product itself is developed.

The inception of Kwaga is late december 2008, the period of this time warp is therefore very short: february 2009 to october 2009.

In 9 months, 3 different versions of the site have been released. Well actually not all of them: the "April version" hasn't. Why? Because they thought they would wait for the beta version of the product to be ready... and in the turmoil of the development, they re-thought the site.

Could mean that design has a kind of inner "use-by date" limit or that there are so many things at stake when creating a product, one can loose focus and must re-think so hard to get it back that the loop must go back to step zero before moving along.

Any way, enjoy this time warp!


video

10/24/09

The Early Adopter Manifesto - Curiosity kill the... product














"If they can't install our product, they don't deserve it"
"The hell with dummy users"
"Refesh. Re-install. Re-launch.Drop it."
"Try ssh."
"Does your id appear in the dropbox?"


Grrrrrr.

How is it that the brightest engineers produce the smartest and most helpful products and don't give a damn about end users?

How is it that WE, adventurous early adopter users when not beta users do not get the best support?
Aren't we the fuel of any disrupting innovative product success?

I know for sure that engineers, developers, sales rep, marketing people are key to your success.
But believe me (and so many others): you should take the highest care of your users!

So here's what we want from you bright guys:
1 - answer our questions
2- if you can't say by when you will
3 - if you still can't when you said you will: explain!
4 - assist us
5 - help us use your prowerful brain offspring
6 - tell us you care
7 - mean it when doing so

Hey! I feel a bit better! I didn't solve my twitterfeed problem though :-(

Special thanks to www.wordle.net (Warning: this is very addictive)

10/19/09

Digital Shebang - the Plumbing - "How to deal with your lamest user"


OK, now that you have created your blog, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts, you'd propbably love to connect them all.

Don't you ?

I've spent hours on the web, talking to my own family Geek, to my co-workers and other fellow geeks and ... didn't find a simple straightforward post/scheme/description of any kind describing how to do it, in which order, what tools to choose and why.

Pleasure of Digital Life: let's stay messy, cryptic... reward is in deciphering... yeah... talk to me about it.

So here's what I've (finally) mastered - or so believe I have :-)

Basically all exchanges rely on RSS (really simple syndication - hahaha: I love it). Whenever you want one content to feed another of your applications, you need the RSS from the platform where the content has been create and "plumb" it in to the destination platform. What??? Do I need to draw it?

The trick lies in the plumbing tools - which one and why and HOW?

1 - Automatically feed your twitter and/or Facebook account with your latest blog post:

I recommend: Twitterfeed.

Create your account in twitterfeed , select the destination platform:

Now you need to give your Twitter/Facebook accounts [The new OAuth protocol seems to ease even more the process (hurray).]






And the funniest is ALWAYS to find the rss feed from your content platform. The first 3 or 4 times, it just drove me crazy!
The trick is: on the right hand-side of your blog url, click on this icon , select either RSS or ATOM format (my geeks say ATOM is MUUUUUUCH better - I believe them) and on the next window, just copy the url and paste it in Twitterfeed.

Done !

Breaking News: Nice thing is Twitterfeed allows to do this to your Facebook account AND to your Facebook page (as long as you're administrator of the facebook page), a well. Which wasn't the case 2 weeks ago when I first thought about this post:-) It says a lot about how long will my present post remain accurate

Bonus: Twitterfeed can ALSO feed your twitter account/ Facebook account with the posts and blog you read and want to share - same process from your content aggregator (Google reader/netvibes)

2 - Feed your Linkedin status with your twitter account

Most the posts I read on this subject converge to "are you sure you want to do that?" - Keep in mind that more and more recruiters check your social avatars as part of the regular recruitment process. Are you sure you want them to discover the last MAJOR announcement you made on you twitter account, that early morning, after partying like hell??? probably not.

However there's a trick - Mickael Bentz found it for me on the LinkedIn forum :
As far as I know there is nothing that will insert your latest Tweet into the "What are you working on?" status of LinkedIn. However, you can easily post your latest Tweets using the BlogLink application in LinkedIn.

Click on the Applications link in the left hand column. Add the BlogLink application. Now go to your profile page and edit your profile. Add your Twitter address (in my case http://twitter.com/grahamjones) as one of your web sites.

The BlogLink application will automatically then collect your Tweets and post the most recent ones into your profile.
3 - Feed your linkedIn group news with your blog content

You need to be administator of the group to access the "manage pages" . You just need to add the RSS url from your blog, here :







4 - My personal failure to understand: FeedBurner

If any one can explain WTF this does apart from nice and clean URLs, please do :-)
The minimum I can say about feedburner is... I enjoy the user experience much less than with twitterfeed - to put it nicely.

Special note to vendors and online platform providers: for god sake, guys, do you really think that I am the one who should write this? How is it that this:
a) isn't available from each platform?
b) is a hell to find/understand, anyway?

Digital life is spreading out of your control (and basically, that's what you expect): adapt your customer service to your users. Better: to the lamest of your users. Stop the non-sens: if you can't figure out how to use it, then you shouldn't use it.

I've head this sentence so many time that I can say it backward without thinking : ti esu ton dluohs uoy neht, ti esu ot woh tuo erugif ton nac uoy fi!

As life 2.0 expands so a dedicate efficient customer support should. And an automated plumbing in would be appreciated - special kudos to Twitterfeed, by the way.

Anyway, now everything is connected: your blog feeds your Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin accounts, enjoy!

And get ready: next step is find the applications to access all this from your smartphone- hahaha! (evil laugh) :-)

10/11/09

My KIDS' Digital Shebang

Discussing with my kids about the previous post, it appeared pretty quickly that their world isn't exactly mine (duh!)

There were only 4 of them, but we decided to draw their world. Here it is. Hahaha!

video

The differences are very interesting (skyrock vs.blogger, deezer vs. spotify, dailymotion for streamed tv shows, etc.). Would I be a marketer of 2.0 XYZ tools aiming at teens, I would love this one!

Enjoy!

Master the Digital Shebang

I keep on praising the wonders of 2.0 world and life, but to be honest, the setting up of a smart traffic and flow of information remains something close to a nightmare.

Here's a view of the tools I use on a daily basis... WDYT?

video

Yeah, pretty scarry.

I can tell you that having all of those working smoothly together has been quite an experience :-)

That's why my next post will present some hints that I gathered while drifting in the digital matrix, presenting possible business strategies and the related plumbing.

Keep posted.

10/7/09

The curious blossoming of 2.0 - part 2

Today I saw my lawyer (again) - yeah I now, ongoing omen as well.

Good news: he hasn't got swine flu - just sore throat - therefore, if I can't swallow tomorrow, I know it won't have anything to do with any pigs of the world - big relief.

The reason why I'm talking (again) about him is because I didn't tell you how I (finally) got his dictated email (see previous posts). Any guess? ... You're right! On paper! Thanks to the great national regular mail service (which BTW, should remain public service). HaHaHa.

Some more news from the 2.0 world: connecting and reconnecting with RL people. Yes RL.

Some years ago I reconnected with my best friend ever through the phone. Yesterday I reconnected with a too-silent friend through Facebook and LinkedIn (she doesn't have a Twitter account - yet). And while she didn't replied my previous mails, in less than 2 hours she called me back after the pressing posts I sent her.

Obvioulsy to some of us, being repetedly pinged by friends through digital networks express a higher level of urgency :-) That's great.

Not being an expert in digital footprint and digital identity protection - not that I want to become one, though - , I've also been recontacted by long-long-long time friend.

And reading tweets from my extended tribe, I discovered Ustream. (better late then never) and partyontheinternet from the amazing Amanda Palmer and 69 almost free tools to enhance your website and, and of course: the amazing Gmail plugin Kwaga. Which, btw, is a big relief too: my mails finally recover their marbles, long lost under the daily flood of new messages.

2.0 life amazes me. Every day.

Now, one of the next posts, I'll present a map of my digital world.

Keep posted.

10/4/09

Time Warp - The Nuxeo example

We've just released the new verison of Nuxeo's website check it out : www.nuxeo.com

And for the fun of it, here's a time warp on Nuxeo's home pages since inception in 2001.
Enjoy!

(special thanks to The Internet Archive)



Corporate websites... the ongoing omen

Every single time I entered a company in the past 10 years, one of the hottest objectives I was assigned to was the corporate website.

And there you go with the profound, definitive, thoroughly thought-over briefings:
"We need to have it evolve"
"I want it to look like XYZ's"
"It should should be updated"
"We've to think it over upside down"

:-)

Basically anything ranging from correcting typos to brand new corporate identity and messaging.

Every single time in the most urgent ways.

So here are some random observations, point of views and ideas gathered along this digital road.

Let's start with the 3 first tools one must add to its marketing emergency kit:
  • Mock-up
  • Dare
  • Measure & Iterate
Mock-up: sketch you needs before trying to design them; sketch your present and foreseeable resources - Are you sure you'll be able to handle and have evolve this funky breath-catching features your bold e-agency is so thrilled about?

Dare: say yes and say no :-) And dare be humble. Don't reinvent the wheel. Browse the web, grab ideas, trends, look & feel. Check-out what's going on on the competition's sites: you want their visitors' to become yours. Don't confuse them with a brand new design approach. This is your product's job. Not your site's.

Measure & Iterate: Go online. Measure. Correct, reinforce, enrich. I'm pretty sure the smartest combination can't be found at once. There are tons of amazing tools available to measure your site's efficiency, beginning with Google Analytics, which by itself would require an entire post. There are tools to engage with your visitors (and therefore measure their acceptance of your site's design, content etc.) such as Get Satisfaction, there are tons of online surveys tools as well (check these). Basically, name your need, and you'll find the tool on the Internet. And the best part is, not only they are powerful tools, but most are free.

The history of any company's websites are rather insightful in that respect. I'll demonstrate this in a series of posts called "time warp".

These are the very first things that stroke me. I can think of many more. Don't hesitate to share your opinion and comment :-)

Keep posted.