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Twitter is here to stay, and for good reasons March 16, 2007

Posted by IntimatePower in interactions, social, socialweb, twitter.
4 comments

twitter-logo.jpg

Twitter is a web application/service that lets you tell the world what you are doing at this moment. These last few weeks have seen a meteoric rise in its adoption.

Mat Balez predicts that Twitter will be “Non-existent before the end of 2007”.

Says Mat:

“Twitter will flame-out before the end of 2007, in one of the most awe-inspiring lessons in irrational exuberance we’ve seen since the turn of the millennium. Why? …

There is no substance to the house of cards that is Twitter. No deep content, nothing to learn, no reason to keep coming back to the trough, other than the thrill/obsession of pre-adolescent voyeurism – which is simply not reason enough for busy professionals.”

As I’ve told Mat, I think otherwise:

“Although I’m not using Twitter nor “following” anyone who Twits, I can certainly understand why many people use it and cherish it and will continue to.

It’s for the same reason that people blog about what they had for breakfast, and post photos of their pets, and for the same reason that others read and interact with them about it.

People like to express themselves, and to share these expressions, be it blurbs or snapshots, with others. And people also like to get a glimpse into other people’s lives, activities and whereabouts.
The explosion in the blogosphere is not due to professionals or companies who want to interact with their customers, but rather due to your neighbour who blogs about his stamp collection, and his teenage daughter who blogs at *her space* about her boring family.

Deep value is not the only criterion to judge a service or application. Tetris and minesweeper aren’t that “deep” either, but still very popular.

Busy professionals are just a small segment of potential customers. They are certainly not a representation of the average Myspace, YouTube or Flickr user.
In the same time, there are already professionals who *are* finding ways to harness commercial benefits or twitting.

My prediction: The hype will subside, but Twitter will not close.”

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I dare to speculate that one of the reasons that Mat is so pessimist about Twitter’s future is that he is projecting his own issues with Twitter and with the onslaught of information into his life. Says Mat in an earlier post:

“I for one, find it difficult (as my frustrated girlfriend will attest to) to maintain very grounded in “real life” when I immerse myself in the clutches of online media consumption…[Twitter is] an app I refuse to approach for I feel it crosses a line of over-invasiveness”

While I resonate with some of the other issues he’s raising in this post, I don’t agree that Twitter is invasive, because your participation is voluntary.
You need to sign-up.
You need to sign-in.
And you need to update it so that the world knows what you’re doing.

Your aggregated attention data (what you browse, search for, purchase, read and say on the net) is probably more invasive than anything you might divulge by yourself.

As for professionals who use Twitter, Tara hunt is a seasoned twitter user who isn’t just using it, but being really passionate about it.

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I’m confident that Twitter is here to stay.

What I’m really interested and intrigued by, which also arises from both Mat’s and Tara’s posts, is the larger social aspects of Twitter and others of its kind.

More on that — soon.

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Diigo web annotation – My suggestions March 8, 2007

Posted by IntimatePower in collaboration, diigo, interface, lifehack, PKM, Productivity, social, Tools, wishlist.
2 comments

In a previous post, I introduced Diigo, a great tool that “lets you permanently highlight, annotate, tag and manage text from any website.”

Here are a few suggestions and ideas, which, IMHO, will make Diigo even better:

General

Learn from others, particularly ClipMarks, Digg and del.icio.us

Add the ability to save and tag individual items (text, images) within a page as separate entities, with the URL being only a sub-property.
Diigo can thus grow to become a great way to manage and share knowledge and information, not just bookmarks.

Display a simple interface by default for new users.
Add an option to the settings section to turn on advanced features.
Allow customization of as many features as possible.

Diigo’s website

Improve the design, navigation, and user-experience at Diigo’s website

Improve, and update, the flash demo. Display a short demo on the homepage
Display one version of the homepage for guests and another for logged-in members

Improve about.diigo.com – collapse/rearrange categories, customize search results

Managing My bookmarks

Improve display of highlights – replace the boxes with thin horizontal lines; remove/hide unnecessary details and buttons (“about 2 hours ago; Add Sticky Note; Remove Annotation”). Clipmarks is a great example of a simple and clear way to display selected highlights from webpages.

Allow sorting and filtering of bookmarks

Fix the display of tags – currently it is truncated

Allow grouping /categorization of bookmarks

Add the option to save multiple-paged articles together

Show my highlights in the preview and the cache

The Bookmarks Section

Improve the “Bookmarks” section – it’s currently titled and linked as “Community”

Change its title to “popular”

Display topics, Popular URLs, Featured Members

Allow sorting and filtering by time-range or popularity (implement this at other sections of the website as well)

Expand the “social” aspect

Allow subscribing to someone’s bookmarks and/or marking them as favorites

Improve the ability to view how many others, and who else, saved/commented/voted on this URL

Let members tell about themselves, and search for others who share their interests

Improve the quality of the content

Add protection algorithms that guard against link-spam

Add the option to flag a URL/Comment/Member/Group as spam

Add the option to vote on URLs/Comments

Add the option to permanently hide URLs by Tag/User/Domain (Some don’t want to see anything that’s tagged NSFW or adult)

Diigo Toolbar (It’s great, but there’s always room for improvements)

Currently, the bookmarklet’s context-menu works better than the toolbar (read= less clicks)
Add the ability to customize the toolbar

Add more keyboard support:
– Hotkey to highlight selected text
– Show pop-up menu also when selecting text with keyboard

Add the following options:
Automatic highlighting upon text selection
Hide pop-up menu after a certain timeout
Auto-highlight all headers.
Add an option to jump to the next highlight (toolbar button + keyboard shortcut)

Saving/Viewing a bookmark with the toolbar button

Show recommended tags when I save a bookmark (like delicious)

Suggest tags as I type

Display my highlights and annotations when clicking the toolbar button. It’s an easy way to view my summary of the page without having to scroll through the actual page.

Thank you, Diigo Team

Diigo is already a great tool;
I’m raising these issues in the hope of making it even better.

What are your impressions of Diigo?
What do you think will make it better?
Would you pay for it?