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The Power of Quora & Why Benchmark was Right to Pay Up. I was an early user of Quora and like all new technologies they take a bit of playing with them for a while, discussing them with others and reflecting on them to let them sink in.

The Power of Quora & Why Benchmark was Right to Pay Up

I’m no wall flower so when something doesn’t resonate I’m usually pretty vocal about it. With Quora, it was the opposite – something has always felt right but it took me a while to really understand it. I now do. Here’s my experience, my “ah ha” moment and why I think, although still nascent, it’s one of the most powerful websites on the web right now. Take AVC.com, the blog by Fred Wilson. And to give credit where it’s due (in addition to the content that Fred produces) a lot of the discussion works well because of the Disqus commenting platform.

Gmail’s Permanent Failure: Only Humans Can Build Software For Humans. Editor’s note: Guest author Adam Rifkin is a Silicon Valley veteran who organizes a networking group for entrepreneurial engineers called 106 Miles.

Gmail’s Permanent Failure: Only Humans Can Build Software For Humans

In this post he argues that Gmail is perhaps not the best vessel for Google’s social ambitions. Last week was marred for me by a temporary but super-painful Gmail failure, and the software’s behavior points to why a “more social” Gmail would be a PERMANENT FAILURE. It pains me to write this because I actually believe the Gmail team has been the best web application team long-term in the entire company, and they come way closer than anyone else inside Google to understanding how normal people work and think. So it’s telling that even within the Gmail team, there is a basic, fundamental, deep-seeded inability to put things together in a contextually graceful way that makes sense to actual (non-Googler) users—in other words, to deliver a great user experience. Let me explain with a personal experience.

BookBlog ? Blog Archive ? Facebook groups ? design flaws in social scaling - Adina Levin's weblog. For conversation about books I've been reading, social software, and other stuff too. I am very glad to see Facebook launch better groups.

BookBlog ? Blog Archive ? Facebook groups ? design flaws in social scaling - Adina Levin's weblog. For conversation about books I've been reading, social software, and other stuff too.

But the implementation has some serious social design flaws. Groups are very valuable in signifying the social context in which people feel comfortable sharing. Even when information is not private or secret, people use social group context to choose what and how to share. It is not a secret that I went to services on Yom Kippur, but I have no interest in boring and annoying friends or family who are indifferent, or triggering debate with beloved friends or family consider it brain-damaged and harmful, or radical and heretical, as the case may be.

(This is why Stowe Boyd, who has insightful things to say about privacy, publicy, and the social construction of identity, is wrong about his hypothesis that defined groups are obsolete. But Facebook’s implementation has a few serious social design flaws. Facebook’s only choice is for members to be able to invite other members. The invitation model also has visibility and consent problems. Jobs 'annoyed and depressed' following iPad announcement, biography reveals. Walter Isaacson's biography of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs is out, and it revealed how Jobs was left feeling 'annoyed and depressed' following the iPad announcement back in January 2010.

Jobs 'annoyed and depressed' following iPad announcement, biography reveals

Isaacson recounts how Jobs had received hundreds of emails to his personal email account in the twenty four hours following the announcement and how 'most of them were complaining.' 'There's no USB cord! There's no this, no that. Some of them are like, "**** you, how can you do that? " I don't usually write people back, but I replied, "Your parents would be so proud of how you turned out. " The name, in particular, was cause cause for a lot of the negativity, and comments about how it sounded like feminine hygiene product reverberated across social media networks. The book also reveals that Jobs was dissatisfied with the original iPad ads, thinking that they looked like Pottery Barn commercials. Jobs told Isaacson: Even for Apple (maybe especially for Apple) advertising matters. Can We Ever Digitally Organize Our Friends? « Design « kev/null. In Design , Technology on 15 July 2011. When Google+ launched last week, one of the most discussed features was Circles.

In case you haven’t read a single blog, Tweet, or Google+ post in the last week (and yet, somehow stumbled into this dark corner of the internet), Circles is Google’s way of allowing you to group people. Why StackOverflow sucks and participating there is impossible « Words and Stuff. StackExchange/StackOverflow is broke.

Why StackOverflow sucks and participating there is impossible « Words and Stuff

Real broke. Have you tried to participate in it? If so then you know how broke it is. But for those of you who haven’t sit back and get a view into frustration. New users are more likely to want to “dip their toe into the water” than to jump into a pool. So, the intelligent fellow you are, you decide to try and find a question that you can provide a good answer to so you can get real rep points so that you can contribute all over the place.

Then you see where Stack is really, really broken. What Google+ Learned from Buzz and Wave. After a half day of using Google+ with the limited number of people I know in the field test so far, I like it a lot.

What Google+ Learned from Buzz and Wave

I will love Google+ when and if all my friends show up and stick around. I've been been watching Google flail around social web apps for a few years now, so what I appreciate most about Google+ is that it's a well-thought out product informed by past experience. The more I use Google+, the more I see just how many lessons Google learned from Wave and Buzz, such as: Don't even test a social product without email notifications.

One of Wave's first mistakes is that it went out to test users without email notifications about new activity. G+'s email notification handling is particularly elegant. Field-test the hell out of a social product before public release, with real users.