Monday, March 30, 2009

Platform Play and my plan for Web2.0 Expo 2009

I gave a presentation at P-Camp at Yahoo called Platform Play on Mar 14th 2009. The talk was about how the trend today is for all technologies to extend into platforms with developer APIs to tap into the innovation of developers. We shared best practice involved in extending a product into the Cloud (Web), Mobile and Social.

It was targeted at Product Managers and Program Manager and we had a lot of interaction with excellent audience. I presented how to add Social to your product, my friend Ed Maier of AOL Dev Network presented AOL's experience of opening up into the web and John Lin, an excellent PM ex-Adobe, presented how to scale into mobile with APIs. Thanks to attendee Srinivas who captured an excellent summary.

Web2Open at Web2.0 coming up Wed Apr 1 and Thur Apr 2nd:

Web2.0 Expo starts tomorrow in San Francisco and has a Barcamp event called Web2Open on Wed and Thurs. I am thinking of participating and want to do a session.

Please let me know if you have ideas on what I should present or will there be interest if I repeat this topic of extending your product to social.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tweetdeck bridges twitter and facebook, yay!

My facebook love: I love facebook for what it offers me, my real social graph, way to connect to friends with privacy controls, power of tagging and now extending facebook via Connect to the web. But the most important attraction has been the energy of entrepreneurs as they build new apps on the facebook platform and how the platform adapts to the needs of the users by opening up organically.

My twitter love: Twitter on the other hand is different as a platform as its totally open, the functionality of posting tweets is open and the data of twitter is available via twitter search api. On facebook, you can execute apps in the facebook as a platform. Wheresas with twitter can access twitter and build your own app to execute on the web, desktop and mobile. This is the magic if amazing creativity in twitter apps, which enhances twitter usage and is spreading it everywhere.

Tweetdeck is this new shirpy bird on my desktop that brings new tweets organized in groups and makes twitter very usable.

I love tweetdeck, twitter is not the same without tweetdeck for me.

Tweetdeck bridges twitter with facebook!

Today tweetdeck integrated with facebook connect to allow posting tweets or facebook updates or both all from tweetdeck. Nick O Neil predicted this last week but I am not sure I agree with the recommendation of name change as tweetdeck has brand equity.

What does it mean for facebook users on twitter:
  • First it gives you control on what tweets you want to share as status updates on facebook. So if you have a twitter app making all your tweets as status updates, it is time to turn it off.
  • After all the talk about facebook vs twitter it makes us think about what we mean when we post something, is it for specific friends, or we just thinking aloud w/o thinking about the world or something else
  • Tweetdeck solves a problem that twitter offers and facebook doesn't, ok, to some extent. You can call out a friend with a @reply on twitter, now you can call that friend on a status update on facebook from twitter using tweetdeck.
You can get the beta of tweetdeck here. Look at the comments here, they talk about user's excitement and how they are asking for more.

I love the innovation and how competition is getting us better goodies!!!!

Share your experience, are you using this as a twitter user or facebook user or a tweetdeck loyalist, how do you see it affecting your social updates.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

15 Similarities between Twitter and Facebook and 5 HUGE differences and what it means for social media

Oh How Similar They Are!

Facebook = Twitter
1. Poke = Nudge
2. Post Pictures = Twitpic and it tweets with a url to your picture
3. Videos = Tweet tinyurls, made easy by many twitter clients like twitterific
4. Share Links = Tweet tinyrls
5. Tag pictures = @name callout a person to tag
6. Comments = Reply to tweets
7. See a shared link and share the link = RT (stronger endorsement by the user)
8.Add link to feeds = Star favorite, you can also get back to your favorite tweets later.
9. Message = DM
10. Private profiles = Closed updates approved by user
11.Notification and feeds = Tweets
12. Status updates = Tweets, in twitter apps like twitterific you can add your location to your tweets or pictures too.
13. Facebook Apps – keep content fresh on facebook with fun tools = Twitter Apps is evolving with array of tools to offer new ease of use for twitter
14. RSS feed of feeds = RSS feed of specific user (more granular control, also keeps the focus on the individual)
15.Threaded comments = Comments not threaded, but theres a twitter app that offers that to people who want to track tweets as conversations

Oh How Different They Are!

There are amazing differences that are continuing to take them apart into different worlds and drags us as consumers that I suspect, we will soon reach a day when our loyalties are tested to choose one over the other, unless of course they partner or merge!

1. Private vs. Public Social Graph

Facebook is our real social graph, real family, friends, collegemates co-workers, teachers, colleagues, fellow churchmates, fellow parents, friends suggested or referred by real friends. Facebook is also single mindedly focused on offering the best privacy controls to the users so they can share as little or as much of their pictures, profiles, videos etc. with their real friends.

Twitter is your public social graph. Everything is open, anyone can follow you and there is lot of chatter anytime you tune in.

Chris Brogan the unchallenged Social Media Maestro, No.1 on twitter, facebook and blogosphere got me thinking about this very differently.
He says
a) we need a portable graph. It's silly that I can walk into Facebook and have amnesia of the friends I have on Twitter.
b) we need more than one face. I might have business colleagues, religious colleagues, friends from school, and admirers, and I don't want them to know about each other.
c) I need to have metadata and annotation that's only seen by me so I keep track of who's who in my own ways.

Mari Smith, fb queen (she actually has a tiara in her profile picture) says "There is much overlap between my personal and professional lives. I’m very open with what I share – yet always deliberate and strategic. I don’t share what I wouldn’t want on the front page of the New York Times, found in a Google search or that I’d be proud for my grandchildren to see in several decades’ time. Yet, where I draw the line is my private life and this is something really important for business people online to get. You don’t have to live in a glass house and reveal all.". Sound advice here!

2, The Real Me , Real Time!

Twitter gets access to the real me by the ability to call out a user with a @username. There is inherent viral play here as that user is now exposed to the followers of the first user, validating their social graph in real time, which is very different than on facebook.

for example: Joe can connect with Sharon as a collegemate on facebook. They can exchange wall posts on and off. Its personal between them. They may comment on a link and disagee on a topic. A friend of theirs may not see all their feeds and conversation but may see terse feeds of wall posts or comments. If they fall out of touch or grow distant, their communication just slows down. Whereas on twitter, they could call each other out and they validate their relationship, their views, how open they are to agree to disagree for all to see, participate keeping their relationship alive.

In twitter, you can friend anyone by following them without their knowledge or permission. You allow anyone to follow you and it is optional to friend that person back so the relationship gets mutual and allow them to send you a direct message. This is in contrast to facebook where you friend a person and it has to be mutually agreed and accepted before you can view their profile or post on their wall or see their feeds.

The main difference is that people can ignore their facebook messages.But in twitter if you call someone out in an @reply, it is reaching the real person, like an email. They can choose to ignore you or come check you out quietly and still ignore you or follow you or reply back making it a longer conversation. But you reached the real person. Their lack of communication sometimes becomes communication.

A more important factor is that twitter has built a culture where people open up with raw emotions to be more of the real person they are which bonds people together though they start as strangers. I like so many people who help me on twitter or people who share my quirks of going to the car dealer or dentist or losing my purse and feeling stupid.
This puts twitter in such a powerful position of becoming your real identity on the web, where you are really engaged. This is where twitter is becoming competition to facebook. It becomes a great tool for marketers to reach the real YOU! That is the single most reason for twitter to be spread spreading in the enterprise and CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED!!!

3. Different technology building blocks leads to different capabilities

Facebook announced new profile pages for famous persons is trying to cut into that segment of users who follow famous people on twitter.
What is fascinating to note is this is similar functionality but goes to the fundamental difference between facebook and twittr. They built out of different bricks as building blocks.

twitters fundamental building block is a profile made of tweets. @reply, followers, friends, DM, nudge are layered functionality on top of this.

Facebook’s building block is a profile page. That’s why when Facebook saw twitter get lot of mainstream media, they proactively created Profile Pages , which is a smart, expected move.

I love Facebook, but I am not convinced it will stop twitter's growth!!!

Both buildings are ready for the huffs and puffs and some people want to bet on which house is going to survive the big bad wolf.

My personal take on this is that we are at an early stage in the social media game and this competition is going to create new innovations that will shape the market to the next level. It is not about users on one social networking poking and sharing;we are entering a new level of interaction where realtime interaction, mobile, international and location awareness are going to allow for new ways of interaction for us as consumers and for businesses to engage with us .

4. Don’t underestimate the power of search

Facebook is closed, you cannot search any of your own feeds or status updates or comments or likes. You have a basic keyword search that allows to find friends or applications.
Facebook allows google to crawl public profiles and lets google bring it more users.

Twitter absolutely shines here!

Summize was built using twitter api and later bought by twitter and became twitters their powerful search tool. It also speaks to how open completely open the twitter API is, but that’s a different discussion!

Twitter search allows you to search to find conversation happening on any keywords and subscribe to it as a RSS feed. It is like have a Google SEM engine sending you customers to your RSS feed every 10 seconds.

This is getting marketers excited because now you have the power to watch your brand conversations, you can do live market research to find the pulse of products, brands and messaging.

It is sometimes good, sometimes not good to take, still it is good for the brands to rather become aware of this and intervene. See today's example of evitesucks tweets.

How hard is it to do A/B testing between two messages that you post as tinyurls on a tweet that lead to two landing pages that you can compare traction to?

5. Growth Patterns Tells the Real Story of Divergent Paths

Facebook is growing at 1 Million users/month with increased internal users.
Twitter has an organic growth with more companies joining it and experimenting with it.

Twitter is a community or has several communities built into it with its own set of rules and accepted behaviors.

Eg. Adding #tags, #Fridayfollow at end of tweets on Fridays to recommend new friends to follow etc.

So as new users join twitter they enrich their community and become part of it sooner than facebook where the user has to go through the learning curve for each user one user at a time.

So the twitter story is about faster engagement while facebook is about faster user acquisition.

Folks: Its 2.45am and blogger is acting up and not letting me add pictures. I'll update w them tomorrow. Good Nite. Lemme know your thoughts.