Social commenting is a great thing. It allows people to bring in other people to the conversation, allowing for a deeper, richer understanding.
And that’s one of the reasons why I love Livefyre, a company that has grown to include products for “real-time conversation, social curation and social advertising.”
But I’d like to focus on the real-time conversation aspect in this post with LiveComments.
I love LiveComments and the ability to use them to integrate into other channels and bring others into the conversation. I use it when I comment on sites with LiveComments to push my comments and share a social link to Twitter. And I’ve been drawn into conversations on LiveComments through social shares to Twitter by others.
But there is one thing missing with LiveComments.
Yes, I said it. Google+. You might be thinking that no one is using Google+.
You’d be wrong, as Digital Marketing Ramblings shows.
Google+ might not be as popular as Facebook or Twitter, as endearing as Instagram and Pinterest, or as fun as Snapchat or Tinder.
But it does have a fan base the consists of photographers, marketers, foodies, writers and more. And a lot of these people are not only using Google+ daily, but also using it as or near the top of their social networks.
And that means companies should not be afraid to pour time and resources into a product that would integrate with the network.
Will Google+ last?
A valid point. With the loss of Vic Gundotra from Google, it does put a bit of doubt into the long-term viability of Google+. Gundotra was one of the founders of the social media network.
However, Google will surely not look to close down Google+, not with its integration with Google Authorship and its competition for search data collection.
I am no expert on Google+, but I don’t see it as a tool that will be folded like Buzz or Wave were. Google has too much riding on the success — or at least continuation of — Google+ to see it be yet another product that it closes down.
How it could work
I think one area in which this could be especially well received is in Google+ communities. Communities are a great feature on the social network, and they would serve as a fair way to share content and get people involved in the conversation.
That’s especially true considering that communities range from hyper specific to more broader terms.
And it would be a great added feature to be able to mention people in your circles, just as you are able to mention people you follow on Twitter or are friends with on Facebook.
It certainly makes sense to also enable comment sharing to an individual user’s home feed. Or even to dictate which circles could see that you are commenting on a story, especially if that story or blog post pertains to only one or two of your circles.
Bring it to Google+
Google+ still has a large user base using the network regularly, and Livefyre would do well to include it into its commenting userface.
Spread the word:
As I sit here, most of my Twitter stream and lots of people I am connected with on other networks are complaining about the impending death of Google Reader.
I’m right with them, in spirit at least.
Google has not shown as much support for it as it has for its other products. And it’s become clear after a petition to save Reader that the product has a big and devoted audience.
So it stands to reason: Can users continue to trust other Google products?
Make no mistake: There are some products that users can continue to use. Gmail, Google+, Analytics, AdWords and YouTube should all be safe. They’re among the best products or have no true competitors.
But what of others? Blogger, Calendar, Drive. They’re all products I use on a daily basis, but they are certainly other options out there if I lost faith in Google.
Consider in addition that Google ceased AdWords functionality in Feedburner in the past year.
All hail Google+
That Google has pulled support for Reader based on what others perceive as it being in competition with G+ demonstrates to users that Google is not afraid to pull its products, even if the user base is there.
How do you feel? Will you continue to use other Google products?
Spread the word:
No matter where you look to on Twitter, hashtags are there. Heck, you can even find them on Google+ now, too.
They are the glue that help bind together tweets on specific topics, and they’re used in many other ways.
But, I’m sorry to say, it’s time for some reform.
There are many ways to reform them, but I’m seeking just two. Those reforms are about hashtag stuffing and hashtag capitalization.
Stuffing full of hashtags
We all know those tweeps: People or businesses that stuff as many hashtags into a tweet as possible. It’s almost the gamification of hashtags.
You can put 4 hashtags into a tweet? Ha! I can stuff in 7.
It doesn’t work. If a hashtag makes sense, use it. If it doesn’t — if it’s too common of a word — take it out. Discretion is the better part of hashtags.
Capitalization, lack thereof
The other big way hashtags irritate me is with their lack of capitalization. I’ve included a couple of examples in this post, including at the top and to the right.
I’m not one to complain if someone uses and extremely long hashtag. But those extra-long hashtags need one thing: Each word capitalized. Otherwise, it’s nearly incomprehensible to read.
The problem for me when hashtags are not capitalized is I have trouble immediately comprehending where one word ends and another begins. That’s why it bothers me so much; I can’t read those hashtags.
Your turn: How do you think hashtags should be reformed?
Spread the word:
Social media changes frequently. Sometimes for the better.
And sometimes not.
Such was the perceived case in recent weeks when Facebook announced several updates and changes. Lots of people were outraged. Others chimed in with the “It’s free. If you don’t like it, don’t use it” sentiment.
But I don’t think that sentiment is right.
After all, it isn’t the same as people complaining about using their real names on Google+. On that network, Google is forcing users to use their name or nickname, and not just a random name. In that instance, I think the “It’s free, don’t use it” sentiment holds. Google’s stance about using a real name isn’t related to the design of the social network, which was the reason for the Facebook changes.
(To be fair, that argument arises every time a social network makes a change to its design or function.)
At least in my case, I liked how Facebook operated for me before the changes. After the changes, I have to acclimate myself to using the network a different way, and that’s a bit of a hassle.
For instance, I would much rather have the whole timeline be my main timeline and the top stories timeline be the right-column timeline. But I can’t switch the two. It’s not that I hate the changes; it’s that the previous design worked well for me and the new one doesn’t.
So don’t tell me that Facebook is free and that I shouldn’t use it. I’m not upset just because something changed on a social network.
No, I’m upset about how those changes negatively affect how I use that service.
Spread the word:
If you’ve been paying even the slightest attention to social media in the past month, you know the biggest story is the launch of Google+, Google’s social network.
I’ve been on the network for more than two weeks now, and overall, I’m loving it. There are a few features (hangouts, for one) that I haven’t tried out, but have heard great things about. But what I want to do is list a few features I would love to see with Google+.
- Business pages: This is the biggest one for me, and I know Google is working on it. As much as I love Google+, until they roll out business pages or profiles, it will remain a second-tier network for me. My main ones are Twitter and Facebook, of course, and I’m able to interact with brands and businesses there and get information and deals. Let’s get open for business, Google+.
- Sparks tweaks: This feature is supposed to integrate interests and make social sharing easier. Instead, it’s ignored by me. I think my problem with it is the links it pulls up are either not relevant enough or aren’t descriptive enough before jumping through the link. A few tweaks to correct those issues might make this a more relevant feature for me.
- Better sharing descriptions: Circles are an amazing feature, and having the ability to easily group connections makes social sharing better. But even I have had times understanding who can see my shares when and what “Incoming” is. But I’ve seen better descriptions made by Google+ users. Google should adopt some of these and use them to help new users.
- Instant collapsible threads: If you follow any of the heavy users on the service, you’ll know that responses to their threads can come quickly and constantly. That’s why Google+ needs a better and quicker system to institute collapsible threads. Sure, you can refresh and they’ll be collapsed, but I don’t want to hit refresh constantly. Collapse threads quicker so I don’t have to scroll constantly (updated 7/18/11).
Spread the word:
It’s no surprise that customer service can often be more important than whatever a company sells. So when there’s a customer service issue that doesn’t get solved, it can lead to frustration and anger.
That’s where I’m at right now with Google.
I use a lot of Google services, and I’ve come to love them all. They make my life easier and allow me the freedom to pursue other interests with my spare time.
But that has been changing in the past few months as I’ve uncovered some frustration in my attempts to use Google products to optimize my time.
All of my complaints, actually, involve no longer getting daily automated messages from certain Google products: Analytics and Calendar. (I had thought I had found some frustration in Picasa, but I found what I was doing wrong.)
I’ve tried to tweet a couple of times (as seen above) to Google products to see if they can find a solution, but I have not heard any response.
I did not change the settings for getting the automatic daily emails. I’ve also tried adding another daily automated email, but that has not worked either.
So, does anyone know how I can correct this?
Spread the word:
When I first starting using Twitter, I found that I was starring a lot of tweets. Since I was already using Google Reader, I was tasked with catching up on saved items in two different spots.
That just was not going to work.
UPDATE (1/3/2013): There is an easier way to do this now.
1. Open an account at Kippt.
2. Connect your Twitter account.
3. You should have a list called “Twitter Favorites” or something similar.
4. Click on the list. Then on the sprocket, choose “RSS.”
5. Copy the RSS URL and paste it in your Google Reader. Presto!
But RSSFriends can help. Here’s how:
1. Start by putting in the account you want to track.
2. Hit the “Google” button for the third option, RSS Feed of Favorited Tweets. (You can also subscribe to RSS of tweeps who follow or unfollow you and to RSS of tweeps you follow or unfollow.)
3. Then click on “Add to Google Reader.” (You can also add to your Google homepage if you prefer.)
4. In Google Reader, add to a folder in your “Feed Settings” and name as you like. I named mine “@polleydan favorites (new).”
5. Star items in Twitter and enjoy reading them in Google!
Spread the word:
Publishing Schedule and Contact Me
New #FictionFriday short stories and other writings on Fridays.
Contact me at polleydan(at)gmail(dot)com.
Find my guest posts from around the web on my List.ly list.