Among many notifications mails like Facebook comments and Twitter followers that I got today one was from Slideshare informing of a new follwer. I was about to delete it almost as soon as it opened/loaded but then something caught my eye. Something had changed. Here’s what the email looked like on 10th August when I took this screenshot.
I had written about the use of both terms(follower and contact) in this email and how it isn’t the best thing to be done here. In two days since I wrote that blog post, things have changed and I assume that post of mine might have been one of the reasons behind the change in email template which now looks like this
The usage of term follow/follower/following is consistent now in all the three instances. Also, the profile url is now hidden under ‘here’, unlike being posted in open which is a good thing as it saves space and looks neat.
All in all good change, thumbs up Slideshare !!
Slideshare were you really listening ? 🙂
update: Slideshare acknowledged listening to the post I wrote
Got a mail from Slideshare notifying about a new follower. Curious, I opened the email and here’s what I saw.
If you haven’t noticed what I mean, there are two different terms being used to represent an action i.e. Follower and Contact. While the subject reads ” lindamoodbell is now following you on Slideshare” the very first line in email reads “lindamoodbell added you as a contact on Slideshare”.
So is lindamoodbell following me on Twitter oops Slideshare or has she added me as a contact ? And if they mean the same thing why are these terms loosely used for each other?
Interestingly the email also mentions that I can too add her as contact on Slideshare(no mention about following her back)
I wrote about the changes from term contact/friend etc to follower in both Scribd and Slideshare here and mentioned how exisiting users might find these changes in terminology confusing. A look at lindamoodbell’s page on Slideshare confirms this.
Not even a single mention of word follow/follower by users. While Slideshare might want its users to follow each other, its users seem happy adding each other as just contacts.
A random click on the my follower count link revealed that there has been a nice upgrade on the follower list page, a quick look around shows that following list page too have been similarly upgraded.
Here’s what the new follower and following pages look like
As you can see, the expanded option is full of details about the person and also has a lot more actionable options. Previously there just used be two buttons follow/unfollow and block.
This section can be divided into two parts, the one on the left(shown above) now has the following details
1) Full Name
3) Last Tweet(with Tweet Stamp)
The option to see persons last tweet is definitely a great add and is a bit helpful in deciding if the person is interesting or worth following(or blocking for that matter). A quick look at your followers page(for their last tweets) can sorta help you decide which one’s are worth following back.
The second part(on the right) looks like
These details are for a person who is not following me and I am not following them either. Therefore the options are limited to send him a reply(or mention as Twitter now calls it), start following them or block them.
While these are the options I get for someone who is following me but whom I am not following
Did you notice the extra option here to “Direct Message” the person ?
A neatly designed feature pack, lets to take a lot of action calls from right there. This should definitely increase the usage for newly added features(here) i.e mention and direct message.
There’s another small update(if I am not mistaken) the URL for following page is now /following, it was /friends earlier.
Also, these changes are not just limited to your pages, these changes are for any/all list pages you view.
A few things that these changes imply
1) Neat and more usable design
2) Easy call for actions(@, dm etc)
3) Better spam detection(last tweet)
Warning: The content below might hurt your sensibilities as a Twitter Addict.
Twitter is the most popular microblogging service out there and saying its users swear by it would be an understatement. There are undoubtedly very few services in this space(or any other) that are this high on customer love and even fewer services which have an entire industry surrounding themselves.
There was a time when Twitter was experiencing major issues staying up/running and there was a spurt of other alternatives with some offering new features all together or some simply adding features that some Twitter users always felt should have been a part of the system, but none of them really caused a mass exodus and Twitter is now back with a bang and is growing like crazy.
Being a Twitter user myself and a passionate social media enthusiast I’ve always wondered what really makes Twitter click. Being the first kid on the block, being simple and neatly designed, getting attention from early adopters is all critical to get a service started but to keep it going is another ball game. Many other services in this space or other have most or all of these pre-requisites but Twitter offers something at which others aren’t any where close. Yes, I am talking about the “Ego-Massage”. Nothing works in web 2.0 like the Ego-Massage(EM). The more you offer(or happen to offer) it the more you’ll find your users going head over heels for your service.
While it cannot be said with certainty if the emphasis on EM was their right from the start or it picked up some time later or its all due to various 3rd party tools but its for sure one of the unconscious reasons that makes people stick to twitter, talk and care about it a lot. Lets see how it works.
1) Follow not Subscribe:
Let there be Followers
In Twitter if you have subscribed to someone’s updates you are following them and in the same way if someone has subscribed to your updates they are following you. Functionally they might mean the same but both words have way different associations, while subscriber is a neutral word a follower is certainly isn’t. 100 followers is not quite equal to 100 subscribers or 100 friends for that matter. Who cares about friends if you have followers ?
2) Follower Count does Matter:
Don’t believe anyone(leaving maybe Louis Gray) who tells you they are not bothered by their follower count or they are just interested in people they follow not the one’s who follow them.
This is the reason why there are numerous articles like this telling you how to have more followers on Twitter but hardly any on how to have more friends on Facebook or articles like this which highlight the pressure one feels to follow back their followers which basically is derived from the pressure to keep them pleased and ultimately keep them chained. While there were people loosing sleep over a drop in follower count(organic or courtesy twitter) some one saw an opportunity and thus there was Qwitter . A service that informs you every time some one un-follows you and the last tweet you posted before they un-followed . So now you can question people who unfollow you, seek reasons, introspect your tweeting and a hell lot more. The stage is set for an endless game.
Having lots of followers is one thing but what’s the point if you cannot carry the follower count as a crown and show rest of the world ? That’s what folks at twittercounter were smart enough to realize and their usage stats confirm this (In total we generated 171,281,809 counters since we started tracking). Hundreds of thousands of blogs now sport these.
3) Tools that Further Inflate your ego:
As if having a huge(and portable) “follower” count was not sufficient for one’s ego, somebody came up with Twitter Ratio. So now its not just about how many followers you have its also about your Twitter Ratio i.e follower/following ratio. Those who need constant ego massages can be found tirelessly indulging in maintaining( or should I say increasing) their Twitter Ratio .
Since more is always merrier especially when it comes to ego boosting we also have twitterholic . So what if you can’t be a topper when it comes to follower count or twitter ratio. You just might be a topper or a top Twitter user from your region, which most certainly adds to the ego.
Want to know you Twitter Influence ? You can apparently do that too, here