Social networking in RL

I got this link from a tweet someone sent and checked it out. Nice presentation clearly when linked to the whole Google+ hype at the moment. What I found most intriguing though was the creators little bio. It said “I find out what things people need and care about, and help other people design and build those things. Work @ Facebook. Ex-Google“.

Ok! Now I expected a link with Google, wasn’t expecting the link to Facebook though. So as I stated in my earlier blog I guess it won’t take long for these new and exciting options in Google+ (that for me still remain to be seen due to lack of invitation!) to make their way into Facebook.
Still, this presentation really is worth checking out. Even if its over a year old!

Feedback? You bet!

With Google heading in a new and possible exiting direction with its Google+ project and their new Me on the Web tool I was checking out some of the new features and stumbled upon the Google Profile. Not something I had ever seen before (even though it supposedly has been around for a while) but nevertheless another Social Profile so why not try it out.

While doing so I ran into some simple things that I just didn’t get from a usability point of view. One of them was that when I wanted to add links to the ‘Links’ section and choose the ‘Manage Connected Accounts’  option I’m rerouted to another page. Nothing wrong there but when finished I don’t see any option to return to the profile. Ok, yes of course I eventually tried simply closing it and that worked fine but it didn’t feel logical to close it like that and gave me the uneasy feeling I might lose the data I had just provided. A simple “Finish” or “Return to Profile” button would have been nice.

I believe in the power of giving Feedback to help further the development of products and will not hesitate to give it when asked. So when I noticed the ‘Feedback’ button in the bottom lower corner of the Profile form I decided to report it back to Google as something they might be able to take into consideration.

And then….

So, first rule of involving your users: If you want their feedback and ask for it be ready to receive it!

VMWare's Mother's day offer

Did you get it? No? Well than you missed something.

Two weeks ago I received two messages in the mail from VMWare with a Mother’s day offer:

The first one addressed me, telling me how VMWare would save me time that I could than spent on finding my mum the perfect gift (yeah right) but the most interesting one I think is the second one, the one that actually indirectly targets the mums themselves through you as the recipient. Telling you how it would help your mum run her PC apps on a Mac.

Now why do I find that interesting? Well, lets face it. For most people in the VMWare target audience, ‘mum’ is really not that savvy with pc’s. My mum (bless her), struggles to send an email and doesn’t even know the difference between a Windows pc and a Mac. I can’t blame her, she is of a generation that didn’t grow up with pc’s and only learned using one as a bare necessity when my brother temporarily moved to the Caribbeans.

Yes, there is a whole new generation of mum’s rising as we speak that did grow up with computers and might be interested in the VMWare tools but somehow I doubt that many of their kids actually were on that mailing list VMWare used to send out the offer. Most of them are simply to young. So was this a shot in the dark?

Well that is why I find it intriguing. Over the last two weeks several people told me about this offer and how funny they found it (for the above mentioned reasons). Which is precisely why I think it was a really clever piece of marketing.
I mean, how often would you actually talk to your friends of colleagues about such a message? In general most people would regard it as spam and delete it right away. But this one was so outrageous that I actually took time to read it. Clearly I was not alone.
On the other hand it is not that outrageous at all as even the older generations are catching up quickly and generally aren’t that dimwitted as we might think they are when it comes to pc’s. So eventhough it might not seem the most obvious target group it certainly is gaining corporate interest fast. Whatever the reason; it worked! They got my attention and (as an avid reader of my blog) undoubtedly also my mums attention.

I still don’t think she has a clue what VMWare is though….


Did you now what a Captcha was? I didn’t until I started writing this blog. Searched for it and found out it’s actually a term, not a product or company.
Oh well.  This wasn’t my reason for writing this blog, I just found the below Captcha quite funny. I mean they are a pain in the … without having to use specific diacritic symbols so this one really makes the difference.

And no, it did not work without the Umlaut on the ‘o’.