StumbleUpon & Its Friend Features

Recently I have become for a better word – addicted to StumbleUpon. I cant count the number of laughs and really informative sites about Web Analytics, CSS, and so on that I have found since I started using it more often.

One problem I have come across while using it more was a lack of diversity in the people I followed and was friends with – I keep seeing the same type of photos and articles. Reading what is basically the same article on 4 different sites a day just doesnt do it for me.

This problem lead me to dig deeper and use the relatively new followers/friends feature. I have to admit – I love it. It has helped me expand the number of people I follow and keeps the great sites coming.

That being said, I have noticed two things about the friends and their friend recommendation engine that could use some tweaking.

Meet New Friends

Meet new friends - StumbleUpon

If you look at the pretty image (I suck at Photoshop, sorry), you can see two issues already. I am pretty sure that every time I load this page and see this feature I see at least one avatar that I know is on my friends list. I mean, I dont have THAT many friends so why is it so hard to show me new people? My other complaint with this feature is that it will show me someone that has a whopping total of 35 stumbles. How do I know based on 35 stumbles if they will brighten up my day or help me learn stuff that I never imagined? If I have 3000 stumbles, how about you show me people with at least 10% that number? That seems fair to me. What do you think?

Ignore Friend Request

Ignore Friend Request - StumbleUpon

The next feature that I think should be tweaked is the “Ignore a Friend Request”. Its a bit harsh to have to say yes or no to a request knowing that “You will not receive future friendship notifications from people you ignored. “. I may not know the person or like their stumbles at that moment but people can change cant they? Again, if someone with 15 or 50 or even 10000 stumbles friends me, I have to say yes or no. Why does no mean no forever. How about a 30 day time frame or so?

Imagine you are a new user and have a few stumbles and are trying to figure the whole StumbleUpon thing out. You stumble here and there and you see this nifty “Meet people like you” area and start clicking. You follow a few and you friend a few of them. If you are like me, you will say yes, no and just wait on others (or maybe you always say no/yes). The user thinks nothing of it and a few months down the line goes looking for interesting people and finds you again, then what? Actually, I dont know what happens. I havent been able to test this due to not knowing who has turned me down, so if someone knows exactly what you see, please let me know. :)

So that’s all I got. I finally blog and its to whine/complain – figures eh? To those working on SU – thanks for your work and I look forward to spending many more hours using your addictive site.

New Marketing Campagin? Grab the Username

So Im up and about on a Sunday morning and am catching up on the last 12 hours of Twitter – you can miss some good stories/link drops.  After finding a few interesting articles I come across a bit of a fight between @whoppervirgins and @theBKlounge which you can see here:

@whoppervirgins vs @the BKlounge

Now I find it funny that @theBKlounge sent a cease and desist over Twitter but as a Marketer I have to wonder why BK didnt do a land grab and register @whoppervirgins itself? Lesson learned for BK (I hope).

For everyone – if you are starting a new campaign (especially one that is based around viral marketing), you should be sure to own all of the related usernames/handles.

Brightcove Network Service is Closing

So I dont think it was 30 minutes that I hit publish and I received an email from another video service shutting down. On December 17, 2008 Brightcove will be shutting down its free Brightcove Network Service.

Brightcove is not shutting down completely, they seem to just be shutting down the free service and forcing those that wish to continue to upgrade to Brightcove 3.

Brightcove 3 is a major new version of the Brightcove online video platform that was launched on October 14, 2008. The new release has a completely re-designed user interface and a wide variety of powerful new features. You can learn more Brightcove 3 in our product section.

From the Compete numbers it actually looks like Brightcove is the small fish only when compared to YouTube.

Continue reading

Yahoo Live Shutting Down

Back in March I was able to watch the Winter Music Conference shake its groove thing at night thanks to Yahoo Live.  It seems that Y! Live will be shutting down on December 3, 2008.

Earlier this week I read about Revver having financial issues, but the Founder answered the rumor and stated that they were simply migrating to a different and better provider.

I personally dont believe  him, but lets pretend that its the full truth.

I would be curious to see how the financials of companies like Blip.tv, Justin.tv,  Viddler, Vimeo, etc. and how they will weather the months ahead of fewer ad dollars to spend.

Yahoo's Site Explorer gets a new look

Im not sure why I happen to jump over to look at Site Explorer at 2AM on a Sunday, but I did. I found quite a bit more than I had expected.

It seems that sometime in the past few days Yahoo went and updated the look of the results for Site Explorer. As you can see from the image below and from the actual results, I learned that Yahoo really doesnt like to index my site. Oops.

Yahoo Explorer Update

I dont know if I like them better or worse but the results do appear more compact then the previous design.

Twitter WordPress Plugin

For a long time I have heard good things about twitterfeed but much like graywolf I hate to use 3rd party applications that ask for my username and password. So what else could I do but go on a hunt for a Twitter WordPress plugin?

I did a seach on WordPress for “twitter” and found some possible options but only 2 really stood out as probables:

Twitpress

Twitpress is a simple and straight forward plugin. It gives you few options but does the job. You can customize the tweet but that is about it.

One problem I have with Twitpress is that the permalink option does not work. Im sure that I could go in and figure it out, but thats not the point :). The permalink is suppose to look like “domain.com/index.php?/twitpress” and not like this:

Twitpress result

Overall, Twitpress will get the job done but its not my favorite Twitter WordPress plugin.

Twitter updater w/ TinyURL

Twitter updater has some nice bells and whistles that Twitpress does not have. You can define when you post to Twitter and get a few more options. The link is also clean and short due to the use of TinyURL, but I am greedy and would like to see some alternatives to TinyURL available.

The options though do favor Twitter updater. You can update Twitter when you create a new post (status is saved but not published), edit a post (re-save but not publish), publish a new post or edit a post. Like I said, quite a few options.

The TinyURL integration is handy due to the fact that some blog links can get very long. Take a look at what it looked like for me:

Twitpress result

As you can see, it is clean and simple. The ability to change the wording for each action is also quite handy. I think going forward I am going to stick with Twitter updater as my WordPress 2 Twitter application.

10 Question Twitter Survey Results

So recently I had the brilliant idea to put together a bit of a survey and see how others used Twitter. Well, I did it. I did have to do some twitter whoring to get the 100 responses, but it did work.

I kept it short and sweet and only had 10 questions. Why did I pick 10 questions? Good question.

  1. People like Top 10 lists
  2. Im lazy and only thought of 10 questions
  3. The free software I used limited me to 10
  4. People are lazy, the more questions the more garbage answers Id get

And about my being lazy – as soon as I posted the survey I thought of 3 great questions to ask. Next time I guess, but for now – on to the results.

My Thoughts on the Twitter Survey

Continue reading

TweetDeck Review

Another day, another Twitter Application. TweetDeck is built much like Twirl in that it is build on the Adobe Air platform, but little else appears to be the same.

TweetDeck has all of the same options you can get in the web version of Twitter, or in applications such as Twirl, Twitterfox, or a Twitterlicious. You can Re-tweet, Direct Message, and Reply to anyone of your friends. It is missing the “Save to Faves” functionality at this time but I imagine that it will be added at some point.

TweetDeck does some have some great features that you may be interested however:

Continue reading

Optimizing Marketing Operations – eMetrics Lite

This session started out with Gary Katz of Marketing Operations Partners running through A LOT of content somewhat quickly.

I didnt write down much of what he said, but I did get his “Top 10” style list

You know your marketing resources are at risk…..

  1. Your metrics for success are ill-defined
  2. People are slammed
  3. Institutional memory is leaking
  4. Creativity is suffering from constipation
  5. Team & supplier relationships are dysfunctional
  6. Decision making ….(ok so I didnt get them all)
  7. Marketing portfolio is lacking

Next up was Gary Angel of Semphonic and Nancy Abila of O’Reilly.

They talked about the process and used O’Reilly as the example.

Much of the presentation was them talking over slides (go figure, I know) and explaining the ups and downs and the process they went through to move O’Reilly more towards an Analytical Company.  They went over the process of getting buy-in from stakeholders, C-Levels, and everyone else. As this is the Lite version, I have included some of what I wrote down below:

Some of the Challenges they highlighted include:

  • Data integrity
  • Resources (busy teams)
  • Evolving online strategy
  • Changing tools and platforms

What does the Future hold?

  • Continue building the foundation
  • Longer term – continue to educate, process of road map project, and create culture of actionable analytics