As an experiment, I’ve decided to start Google Plus Hangout Tuesday, July 19 at 6pm PST. It’ll go until I run out of whiskey.
We’ll talk about anything and everything User Experience, San Francisco, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, not necessarily in that order. I know the room is limited to 10 people, but I wanted to see how many people showed up. It should be a hoot. I’m not the smartest User Experience professional out there (that’s for Jakob Nielsen, and he’ll tell ya :) ), but my opinions are my own.
The guest list is…
I promise it will be a Robert Scoble and Chris Brogan free zone.
I’m going to broadcast it to people that are part of my User Experience circle. To add me, visit my Google Plus profile.
If you want a Google Plus invite, ping me on my Twitter feed.
I’ll keep this short — the one feature Google Plus Circles is missing is weighting.
Their current algorithm contributes to the Scoble Effect — Someone “big in
Europe Half Moon Bay” posts something on there, and people keep commenting…and commenting…and commenting. That post stays to the very top, and my friends (who are not exactly few on Google Plus because some of them are among the digirati) are being pushed down. Even Scoble’s calling it a virus.
The most important people in my life are not Robert Scoble and Chris Brogan.
Because everyone wants tons of followers on Google Plus because of their follower model (like Twitter, not Facebook), and the low signal to noise ratio compared to Twitter, they’re going out of their way to comment on posts by people like Robert Scoble. Google Buzz had the same problem, which is why Facebook follows a different notification model.
Well, now that I can group friends, I should be able to weight how important some of the friends’ news is. For example, if I weighted my personal friends at 25 percent higher than everyone else, I should see their posts first above a Scoble or Solis.
What if you could control your own algorithm? Now, that would be cool. That would be Googlesque. More importantly, it would not be Facebook.
All it would take is a one slider — this group is more important versus less important to my feed. That’s all.
The filtering to the left is good, but it’s not enough — we should be able to create our own alogrithms. We filter in our mind, why can’t we see better streams here?
Have you read Linked? Do you get excited whenever Twitter releases a new feature? Do you use Facebook and LinkedIn for professional purposes? Do you enjoy creating social products? Do you enjoy working in an iterative, collaborative environment?
If the answers are yes and you want to change the world for jobseekers, you need to join the Jobvite Product Team.
Jobvite is looking for a Contract Interaction Designer who can improve our already groundbreaking products within the recruitment market. You must be excited about the user experience process, and love collaborating with Product Managers to build bleeding edge products in the social recruiting space. You must also understand Facebook, Twitter and the social ecosystem, and can bring that vision for next generation social product to Jobvite. You must love talking to recruiters, collaborating on product ideas, working with developers to create great user experiences.
You get extra credit points if you like designing the product in wireframes and can complete visual designs in production level comps!
Candidates should have at least 5 years of successful interaction design experience developing consumer web applications, with experience integrating with social platforms. The ideal candidate will have the ability to work with Product Managers to create well-designed solutions. Experience working with Agile; we are constantly iterating and work fast to stay one step ahead of the development team.
Technically, the only difference between an installed app and a website is that the app has access to more of your device’s hardware. Platonically, from a human-need perspective, they’re the exact same thing: A collection of tools and information that lets you do something.
- It’s a particular garden or destination.
- You have to learn that it exists.
- You have to understand what functionality it offers or what tasks it lets you accomplish.
- You have to know how to navigate to it.
- You have to learn how to use it.
- You have to establish a relationship with it: by downloading, creating an account; paying for it.
- You have to remember it the next time you want to use it.
Jobvite is the full-time gig, and they’re nice enough to let me blog. I apply a lot of what I’ve learned about User Experience and Social Media to the recruiting arena. Twitter is an incredible tool for recruiters. Here are some tips on how to use it.
Twitter can be incredibly valuable for recruiting. Thousands take to the Twittersphere every day. They talk about the serious or the not-so-serious. They may be passive or active job seekers. One thing that’s for sure is that recruiters can use Twitter to find quality candidates and referrals. But first you need to find an audience on Twitter – and build engagement in the community of talent you aim to attract.
So, what’s the best way to get going?
Followers will listen, if you act real.
Don’t use Twitter as a channel to broadcast job listings. Be yourself. Develop a voice and use an image that reflects your personality. It’s like publishing your daily journal in bullet points, coming up with new content every day. It’s who you are in super short form.
Tweets don’t have to be scheduled or well-thought out, but they should reflect you both personally and professionally. People will visit your profile to see your photo, or will view it on Tweetdeck, an application that makes it easier to read Twitter feeds. They will also check if you interact with friends and followers.
Give tips on interviews or talk about how your job is going and the exciting companies you work for. These bits of information are extremely valuable to an audience.
Remember that what you tweet can’t be interpreted the same way as a phone call. Users only see 140 characters or less. You have to be informative, funny, literal, clever and engaging in that space, which isn’t as easy as it seems. Also, your photo doesn’t have to be professional. Let it reveals something about you. Remember you are sharing who you are and building a network.
Tweet the real stuff that makes your company interesting, fun and attractive.
If you’re recruiting on Twitter, you’ll want to tweet about the jobs you are trying to fill, and Twitter is a great way to do that. Don’t just tweet job information or snippets from your requisitions. You need to tell people why they should work at your company.
Becky Wilcox at Orbitz has a good rule of thumb for @OrbitzTalent: no more than one job tweet per eight content tweets. This will help increase engagement to your Twitter feed and keep it as a forum for conversation.
Look for content from a variety of places such as your corporate Twitter. Job seekers are also interested in company news and awards as well as industry insights and developments.
You can also tweet about corporate culture and office day-to-day, such as individual employee accomplishments, dart tournaments, office life and company events. Anything that will give a potential candidate a well-rounded look at what it’s like to work at your company. You can also retweet posts from employee Twitter accounts especially those in similar positions that you are recruiting for. Also, use Twitter to share photos of company events — visuals are wonderful and engaging.
More followers are not necessarily better.
Twitter is an awesome way of identifying well-connected people. There are a good percentage of Twitter users that are super connectors. They aren’t necessarily self-promoters, but they love being involved in the social space for the pure joy of connecting people. They believe in social capital, and know its value.
Super connectors are invaluable, because they provide leads on qualified candidates and feedback on resumes. They believe in sharing for the sake of sharing and will help you find good candidates if you treat them well.
I could be considered one, even though I only have about 2,000 followers. I’m not the most popular, but I’ve referred over 30 people to jobs they were hired for. Think how many hirable candidates you could be connected to if you befriend the right super connectors.
Many of the lower level tweeters are more interested in building relationships, not traffic. So they will take the time to talk to someone on our Twitter list because they have the time and may have the referrals you need.
Tweeting shouldn’t be a one-way conversation.
The best users I follow will often tweet something about their personal lives (good or bad). They reveal information about themselves that shows they are real people versus auto-follow bots.
What’s better is if I reply to them, they reply back.
Twitter channels should be treated as a true feedback loop. View comments as a positive way to interact with your audience. It’s a public forum, after all. Ask questions about your company’s brand, the types of jobs available or post questions to job seekers. If you have the right audience, you’ll get responses.
You don’t need a lot of followers to generate conversation. In addition to talking about the jobs you are recruiting for, talk about what you did that day in between phone calls. Talk about your personal life. People want to get to know you and that you are not just a walking advertisement.
Just because you have 140 characters doesn’t mean you should use them.
Services like Klout look for retweets to gauge influence. The best way to get that is by writing content that’s short enough so the retweeter can keep your @username in the message.
For example, “RT @jobvite” is what our handle looks like in a retweet. That’s 11 characters, more if yours is longer. Write tweets that are no more than 110 or 115 characters. This allows for easy retweeting and gives your followers a few characters to add their own comment. TweetDeck is a great tool for this. It provides a character count as I type. When I get to 30 or less, it’s getting too long.
The last thing people want to do is edit a retweet. That’s an extra 20 seconds, and if it already takes less than a second to capture their attention, they might forget the retweet altogether or, even worse, unfollow you.
Retweets should be a frictionless, one click – like an impulse buy, except it’s free.
When using Twitter to build your network, keep your end goal in mind: engagement. You want to be able to nurture your relationships with friends, followers, candidates, etc. so that you can grow your network, capture more social media referrals and make your job easier and more effective.
Patrick Neeman is the Director of User Experience with Jobvite. His previous experience includes working with startups to launch their product, User Experience and Social Media consulting with Microsoft, and managing a team of 25 User Experience professionals for a technology consultancy. He also runs a blog, Usability Counts, that covers topics such as User Experience, Social Media, and Web Marketing, and tweets at @usabilitycounts.
It pays to know someone who knows someone who’s cousin’s with someone at Google — Thanks Jen! I’ll send along my extra kidney later!
I was able to wrangle a Google Plus invite yesterday, and have been playing with it. it’s cool, and I think a serious competitor to Facebook (as opposed to the steaming pile known as Google Buzz). I’m sure there’s also more on the pipeline. Kudos to Google for hiring someone that doesn’t test 41 shades of blue, because social is sometimes not data driven.
They didn’t try to reinvent the wheel, but it has some really slick features.
This all comes on the heels of MySpace selling for $30 million — a nice reminder dominance on the web can be shortlived. And frankly, this is going to hockey stick for a while, because it’s that good.
Today also happens be Social Media Day. Google’s using it. Smart.
One really big feature request: can I please hook it up to my Twitter to send stuff there?
Here are my thoughts way too early in the morning.
The biggest problem with Facebook now is there’s no way to filter friends easily — their list functionality sucks, so they have that MySpace problem where everything goes to everyone. Right now, being associated with MySpace on anything is a bad thing.
I don’t need my parents knowing about my whiskey addiction.
In Google Plus, when you add them to your network you have to put them in a Circle. A lot of people will have one Circle with all their friends, but that’s their fault. It’s relatively easy to sort through your friends (I’m sure more so if you’re not me with 500 people) in your friends list. It’s really nice that it’s not a barebones interface — despite all of Google’s assertions that’s what the user wants. Drag and drop is okay, kids, in the right context.
The elegance of the Circles interface is astounding (there’s more user feedback than you can shake a stick at) and one of the more elegant ways to add people to groups. You really need to be on a large monitor to use if effectively, but I’m sure they’ll fix that.
Recommendation — if you drag a friend into a Circle, and they’re already there, they shouldn’t be selected onBlur…show more of an error they are in that circle. That would be awesome.
Facebook is also going to get a really nasty lesson in data portability: you can import your friends into Google+ without having to Connect using a Yahoo! account (I wonder how long this is going to be open?). Facebook’s in kind of a “screwed if you do, screwed if you don’t” situation.
For the the record, Google’s already stated you can take your data with you.
The layout is clean. Real clean. Some of this is because they’re starting from scratch, but some of it is because they’re focusing more on the user. More importantly, people don’t have to learn some paradigm like Google Buzz — this is exactly what they are used to, so they can start using it. And unless Facebook has some kind of patent on the Newsfeed that covers this
Switching between Circles is fairly easy, but I honestly don’t see people using this too often. The reason you would post to certain Circles is to protect your data; you wouldn’t use it too often to filter your data (ask Twitter about lists, and you learn that usage isn’t very high).
It’s hooked up to a status feed. It’s Facebook’s version of like, except it actually keeps track of what you shared in a nice list, and you can delete items off of it easily.
I do have an Android phone, but I hate it. It’s a battery sucking monster.
However, once the iPhone app is available, I’m downloading it and using it.
Uploading photos is very consumeresque (I know, that’s not a word, but it’s my blog) — drag and drop. It apparently hooks up to Picasa, which would be wonderful because then I could manage them locally using a native application. If there are multiple ways to manage photos within Google Plus, that’ll be awesome.
How so I rename albums?
This isn’t Google Buzz.
They didn’t try to do something new and different, because people want the same.
Google is making an attempt at privacy controls.
This is good.
An email I received regarding sales tax and Amazon retailing:
For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of California residents. Unfortunately, a potential new law that may be signed by Governor Brown compels us to terminate this program for California-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers – including but not limited to those referred by California-based marketing affiliates like you – even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state.
We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that we must take this action.
As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective. We will send a follow-up notice to you confirming the termination date if the California law is enacted. In the event that the California law does not become effective before September 30, 2011, we withdraw this notice. As of the termination date, California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned on or before the termination date will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.
You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.
To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect their ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com.
We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. We are also working on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.
The Amazon Associates Team
From the San Jose Mercury News:
Yet most small businesses in California are in favor of the law, said Betty Jo Toccoli, president of the 203,000-member California Small Business Association, “because they feel it’s not a level playing field for the brick-and-mortar versus the online stores. A jeweler in San Jose told us how people come in and look at the diamonds and the watches, then go and buy them online to avoid the sales tax. It’s just not fair.”
I don’t know what the solution is, but this isn’t it. There’s probably a whole bunch of affilates in California that will probably have to look for jobs.
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr announced Thursday that his Police Department had accomplished a technological feat no other … er, almost every other government agency already has: As of this week, every single police officer has an e-mail address.
“I agree, this shouldn’t be news in 2011,” Suhr said Thursday. “You can use (this) as a direct quote from me for the last several years: ‘Please, could we just – everybody have e-mail?’ “
The City of San Francisco’s annual budget is $6.83 billion (proposed for 2011-2012). That’s a lot of coin. You would think they could give out email addresses years ago.
For a city that has that much tax revenue and is an a high tech mecca, sometimes it amazes me how slowly technology is instituted in the city government.
Maybe in 2018, they’ll set up a Twitter account and Facebook fan page.
Earlier this year he shifted gears again, embarking on a new version of the site that he describes as a social network for business school applicants. It includes new features such as aggregated GMAT prep and MBA admissions news, a way for members to connect with one another, and social gaming elements to keep members motivated. It makes money advertising test prep services. Amazingly, the new site took only four months and cost just $32,000 in total.
Unless you’re building Twitter or Facebook, the days of huge startup costs for great ideas are going away.
But it takes smart people. The real value is in the execution and the planning, not in coding and design. Smart Product Managers and User Experience professionals design for simplicity and elegance, not for tons of features.
That’s a huge opportunity for User Experience and Product Management professionals. Are you up to the task?
Despite developer complaints, this is the right thing to do. Technology changes, and Microsoft has to make this shift with everyone else. It’s better for the user, better for the business, and better for everyone involved in the long run.
From a business and technical perspective, this makes sense. Windows 8 will run on a bunch of different hardware — traditional Intel x86 chips, new Intel systems-on-a-chip, and at least four different flavors of ARM. Programming separately for each of these platforms is complicated — it would require developers to recompile their code for each platform, and perhaps rewrite portions that don’t work.
That not only makes their past experience less useful, but also opens development to an army of Web-focused developers who have never been particularly interested in Microsoft. Suddenly all these young hotshot Web jockeys will be able to write competitive Windows programs? That’s a lot to bear for the guy who spent a decade perfecting C#.
It could mean truly cross-platform applications (i.e. get rid of Flex). It’ll take a while to build tools that will catchup to Visual Studio. But in the meantime, more developers will be able to develop for the platform, and it’ll bring more (and possibly more usable) applications to Windows.
That’s a bad thing?
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