Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Strategy over Product

The gist of the argument here is that asking your users to do a bunch of organizing is a bad idea (see: Twitter Lists and Google+). I completely agree when it comes to G+ and completely disagree when it comes to Twitter Lists. Let’s start with the latter: For most people lists have no use. But that’s okay, Twitter doesn’t ask you to make them and doesn’t seem to be bothered if you never even know what a list is (which I assume is the camp most users are in). For a very small group of power users, lists are incredibly important (I’m not one) and in return Twitter gets enough data to organize millions of users into useful categories. Power users products have value to those users (and in this case the company). On the G+ side, building an entire product around making users work to put people into lists seems silly (and I agree is shit work). I still contend that G+ is a perfect strategy and a terrible product. Everyone has said at some point that social networks should behave more like their “real-world” equivalents, allowing you to sort and filter friends. But then you quickly realize that people do all that sorting without thinking and if they had to spend a bunch of time thinking about it they probably just wouldn’t bother. It’s a perfectly logical thesis except that it ignores the real way humans behave. Then again, maybe I don’t know anything … They seem to have a lot of users.

November 3, 2011 // This post is about: , , ,