If my grandchildren ever ask me where I was when I realised the internet was over – they won't, of course, because they'll be too busy playing with the teleportation console – I'll be able to be quite specific: I was in a Mexican restaurant opposite a cemetery in Austin, Texas, halfway through eating a taco. It was the end of day two of South by Southwest Interactive, the world's highest-profile gathering of geeks and the venture capitalists who love them, and I'd been pursuing a policy of asking those I met, perhaps a little too aggressively, what it was exactly that they did. What is "user experience", really?
If there is anything that can be observed about human behavior by examining social media, it’s that people are basically restless. They’re always looking for something new to read, watch, see and interact with. The seemingly impenetrable social media experiences of a few years ago; MySpace for example, is a prime example of how fickle our love affairs can diminish with all things social. So it’s only natural to wonder: When do we begin to tire of our current online social sites, where will we turn next? Obviously, the big kid on the social media block these days is Facebook.
The time constraints on today’s executives are more numerous than ever before. Between the economic downturn, ever-changing industry regulations, fast-moving information and simple day-to-day management tasks, corporate executives are trapped in the virtual jail cell that is today’s business climate. The unintended result of executive “information-imprisonment” is a workplace where they may have little insight into employee morale, culture, and general goings-on during the workday. Blinded by the reflection of their own to-do-lists, executives are turning to consumer social networks to stay connected to the people that execute on daily tasks inside their organizations.
Pourquoi Quora fait-il le buzz ? Pour Benoit Raphaël, la raison est essentiellement dans le fait que ce nouveau service répond aux attentes des blogueurs. Cela fait plusieurs mois que je cite Quora en exemple sur ce blog. Créé en 2009 par Charlie Cheever et Adam d’Angelo, un ancien de Facebook (photo), Quora reprend le meilleur des réseaux sociaux : Facebook, Twitter et Yahoo Answers, pour proposer une expérience qui, je ne suis pas le seul à en être convaincu, préfigure le visage du blogging du futur. Depuis le mois de décembre, Quora est “hot”. C’est le service dont tout le monde parle dans les milieux techies.
Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever not only doesn’t want to sell his hot start-up but – as he told me backstage earlier this week at Disrupt – he even has an explicit non-goal of not selling the company. Non-goals or not, Cheever has a lot to smile about. Traffic is up to record levels at Quora and the site continues to be a paragon of innovation in the social space. In this interview he explains the difference between Quora and Wikipedia, and we get into many other orthogonal discussions as well. But I wonder if Cheever is tempting fate by having such an explicit non-goal.