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Eran's blog

Your UI should on My side

There’s been much hoopla over Facebook’s latest redesign. Personally, I kinda of like it, although many do not. I consider that to be a matter of taste and preference and maybe being used to how things used to be. In a few months this will be so far gone you won’t even remember it was a problem.

What I do not like is some of the recent changes they’ve made where pieces of the UI that used to contain recommendations for new friends (based, I’m guessing, on factors like common friends and location) now contain what appear to be random endorsements for public pages Facebook thinks I should be a Fan of for no apparent reason (at least to me).

katy perry
I don’t even know who Katy Perry is and I’m sure as hell am not becoming her fan.

My point is, if Facebook wants me to find their UI useful they should keep it consistent. Not just in the basic UI sense where things should be where I expect them to be but also in the content sense. Placing paid content where I expect real content will only fool me for a very short time. As soon as I realize the truth, I’ll start treating that entire space as an ad and completely ignore it. This makes it a lose-lose for both me and Facebook.

I lose because that space used to contain somewhat useful information that I wont see anymore but more importantly, Facebook loses because the information that was there used to make me create new connections with people, therefore making the social network more rich, therefore making Facebook more valuable.

I understand that Facebook is trying to appear more valuable to brands but hijacking my interface is not the way to do it. It is, on the other hand, the way to make me look for another interface or another network altogether.

Filed under: General, Social Software, , , , ,

How NOT to build your brand

Here’s why my friends at Get Satisfaction say that Customer service is the new marketing.

AT&T has completely dropped the ball here at SXSW’09. All those geeks running around with their iPhones have brought the network to its knees. You can barely get basic cell service anywhere around the convention center and around any large party. Here, Google will tell you all about it.

On the other hand, SXSW organizers and the Austin Convention Center completely rocked the Wifi setup. For the most part we’ve been getting great service for all the Wifi enabled smart phone and laptops running around the convention center. iPhones included! Twitter will tell you all about that.

The lesson here: Giving bad service to a couple thousand of hyper-connected technology influentials is not how you build your brand.

Filed under: General, Mobile, , , , , , , , ,