Tuesday, September 8, 2009

As always, things never go to plan

We had a massively long conversation with Zina and Chris last night. Both are involved in developing a new website for their respective places of work, and both are interested in ideas for incorporating social media and more social practices.

I remember 2 core principles being discussed:

Spread content widely, using tools that aid efficiency, and tiw it all together again on the main central site.

Better to ask individuals in your organisation to blog, vlog, tweet etc about the organisation, then to set up an "organisational" Twitter or Facebook accounst that will only die an organised death through lake of authenticity. Detail of this idea was in the discussion, and Chris mentioned an article with words to this effect on Idealog. Chris, I hope you can find the article for us...

Below is rough notes and links from last nighst rather intense discussion:

Wikis as websites:
OUSA Youtube needs to be managed better. Needs responses to comments, needs to make favs and playlists. Use the features.
Also, once you use the features on Youtube, embed the channel on OUSA website using embed codes provided by Youtube.
Upload videos to multiple services at once (saves time, makes a backup, spreads)
Local webdesign businesses
Both have their own Content Management Systems
YahooPipes - Once you have spread your data out across the popular Internet, bring it all together on OUSA. You can use Yahoo Pipes http://yahoopipes.com to bring it together, as well as for media monitoring, research etc. This blog is full of crazy ideas for Yahoo Pipes: http://ouseful.wordpress.com/
SCOPE Art Journal uses Wordpress as a CMS


socialspace said...

Hey Leigh -

It sounds like you guys are having fun at the workshops. I plan to attend sometime soon, once I get a few monkeys off my back ;)

In the meantime, you may be interested in this recent post from usability guy Jacob Nielsen about outsourcing social media (integrating YouTube, Twitter, etc. into your website). He comes from a user interface design perspective but still has some valid points I think.



Chris Labes said...

Hey team,

So the article was in NZ Marketing Magazine(which has just been relaunched and is free with Idealog this month).

Anyway - I've resurrected my blog 'Exploring Social Medi-UMMs; Epic Success' and it's in there - in defense of my bastardized DW effort - I know you're impressed with my Hyperlinks - shame Andrew hasn't come along yet and learnt the same

socialspace said...

Thanks for that Chris. In my defense, the un-hyperlinked link in my previous comment is a shortcoming of the platform rather than perceived ignorance on my part ;) Always stuff to learn though.

Just saying ...

Leigh Blackall said...

Thanks for the update Chris. Looks like I'm going to have to steal the mag, scan the article and post it up for all to see. Unless you wanna do it? Or perhaps summarise the points in your blog? By the sound of your description of it last night, it will be well worth a read?

Thanks for the link to Nielson's latest Socialspace. Good to see he's still hopping around. Was interesting to read his take on usability of sites drawing in 3rd party, or in the first example - the use of an actual Channel Page on Youtube, rather than drawing the content to a home site.

I want to ask him if he's updated his usability research since the proliferation of broadband, and wide scale use (and familiarity) of this new form of Internet. Especially Youtube - the site he's critiquing.

Given that Youtube is the 4th most visited site on the web (according to Alexa), I wonder if its fair to say that this rating is having an impact on usability through education? So many people using it every day, must mean that they have come to expect these features on video pages?

Regarding Neilson's point about wasting page space through repitition of information, perhaps this doesn't confuse people so much any more - but rather helps them decide on a viewing because each instance of the info gives slightly more contextual information.

I like his point about thumbnails however, and we do have the abiliity to set the right thumbnail on these 3rd party services. Well worth keeping in mind - but not a factor of risk as he is arguing.

I think its a stretch to say that these two usability issues (if they are in fact real usability issues) present a risk that outweighs the benefits of using the services. Neilson goes on to argue that pushing content out to those sites risks pushes people away from your site.. apart from that being a useful thing in many ways, such as users of RSS readers never looking at your actual site, and users of social networking sites prefering to get your updates where they see them, it also saves sometimes significant amounts of money in hosting and bandwidth costs, and of course not having to set up and administer such services on your own site.

So I personally find Neilson's argument unconvincing and more than a little predictable.

As always though, Neilson gives us pause and food for thought. A good discussion point at least.

Its great to see this sort of consideration entering into the social media workshops! We've come a long way from how to set up a blog and use RSS hey Chris!

Hope we can keep the discussions going on Tuesday nights.. not forgetting the practical how-to demos that we seem to be skipping lately.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks everyone for posting your discussions last night - I'm feeling a little left out at the moment & don't want to miss out on anything.

Leigh Blackall said...

Hey Chris, I just found the PDF. Blush. Thanks for doing that.. reading now

Leigh Blackall said...

hmm. the scan chops off a bunch along one side. Hard to read it properly...