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Posts Tagged ‘user experience

Encouraging ‘constructive’ participation is a goal for most forum owners (but remember, one woman’s troll is another woman’s truth teller). Design and nurture is a critical successful factor for developing a healthy interactive online spaces.

With this notice automatically embedded inline with new forum members posts, money saving expert (MSE) is taking account of how nerve-wracking speaking up for the first time can be, and gently suggesting to other established members to go easy. This has three great functions:

  • Makes established forum members aware of how their words may have particularly strong effects
  • Encourages other lurkers to take the leap into posting when they see it
  • Makes the newbie feel protected from the highly charged crowd

Durex USA are looking to make further in-roads into the US condom market with their new Facebook app which offers couples the chance to get “in sync,” by finding the perfect love song based on their lovemaking styles. As well as a creative means of gamifying individual characteristics in a way that ties neatly, but just about subtly, to the product, this is a good case study in dealing with user data, and Facebook sharing, clearly and sensitively. The Facebook app like gate / splash page clearly tells potential users “Don’t worry. We won’t share your results unless you tell us to.”

Just quick props to Nieman Journalism’s new design feature (well new to me anyway) that quietens the right-hand nav as you scroll down to read. It’s all too easy to become tempted away, or just annoyingly destracted by what’s going on around your focus, to the left or right of a web article. Nieman deals with this neatly here – the right hand nav’s suggested links are faded out – becoming dark, with text coming into sharp focus, whenever the user hovers over. Nice detail, helps you stay on the article at hand, whilst allowing the site to keep their desired / suggested next steps on your visit just a nudge of the mouse / finger away.

Nieman Journalism Lab faded right navigation

A few weeks ago Kotex ran an interesting Pinterest campaign / activity. It was innovative and successful, by various measures.

It worked like this – Kotex found fifty of the most influential women on Pinterest, checked out what they had posted to their boards, made and sent them all a gift representing those images. The results:

  • Close to 100% of recipients posted about their gifts on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • 2,284 interactions
  • 694,853 total impressions

Before I launch into the influencer mythology argument, aside from the impressive statistical results gleaned, I must mention being impressed by the innovation of this campaign. In many ways it was a great, unique idea, which cannot now be repeated without cries of copycat.

But this type of ‘influencer’ marketing smacks of elements of traditional communications which peer to peer Internet philosophy rather bites its thumb at

  • Really noisy, famous people are more important than all other people (or women who use sanitary products) – they deserve free gifts and lots of attention
  • A small group of really well-known people can influence everyone else, by dint of their massive profiles
  • The silent majority, or lurkers, are there to be talked to, not with, or for
But is the tantalising promise of the mythical influencer accurate on social media? A recent study by Buzzfeed and Stumbleupon found what those of us with an eye on the real world would probably be unsurprised at. People are most influenced by those closest.. and so-called ‘viral sharing’ happens via lots of shares within intimate social circles, not big shares from big people.
Even the largest stories on Facebook are the product of lots of intimate sharing — not one person sharing and hundreds of thousands of people clicking

And as for the silent masses, the numbers who quietly fitting in Pinterest between busy jobs and busy lives, liking the odd picture here and there, they need not be excluded from our technographics obsessed considerations… for we are not all at one place on the ladder all of the time, but rather hang off various rungs at various times.

Furthermore, Jon Hickman has argued for considering participation by lurkers as “hidden actions.” (As opposed to ‘inactives’, on Forrester’s ladder above) He writes that the extent of participation by lurkers shouldn’t be underestimated, citing a case from the recent Digital Transformations event which his research supports:

we heard about a woman who had never commented or liked anything on her participatory group’s Facebook page. In offline fora, the same woman was the strongest and loudest advocate for their work. Her practice as a lurker meant she was immersed in the detail of the group’s work and was able to speak for it in offline spaces

Jon Hickman

So what’s the point? No more influencer marketing? No more drive for active online participation?  An obsession with the silent, over those who have something to say? Not really. But when it comes to marketing on Pinterest there is another, longer game that might well be played.

To reach more people appropriately, in context, over time – than dishing out freebies to the Pinterati and patting ourselves on our massive corporate backs when they all spew predictably about their free gear, one might try:

So it’s not big, it’s maybe not wow, but it’s bread and butter community development -and it’s all about the race to the bottom (of our hearts). So let’s be honest about what connecting with people on a platform like Pinterest really means when we discuss with our clients and colleagues. It means being patient, useful and creative in a day-to-day, moments of joy kind of way. Not a ‘who’s the biggest name’ or ‘can I get a celebrity to front my Pinterest presence’ kind of way.

Simply, I have been trained to see the world in terms of what I can post to the Internet. I’ve learned to live and present a life that is “likeable” … The tail of Facebook documentation has come to wag the dog of lived experience

Nathan Jurgenson

Comparing the amount of time the average user spends per month on the other social networks as a comparison measure of the level of engagement on Pinterest:

1. Facebook is the most engaging site on the planet at 405 minutes per month
2. Pinterest and Tumblr are equal in second place at 89 minutes
3. Twitter comes in third at  21 minutes
4. LinkedIn – 17 minutes
5. Google Plus – 3 minutes

Jeff Bullas


This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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