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Have you ever noticed the Favorites link in Twitter?

What’s that you say? I never really knew what it was for? Never really noticed it.

Yesterday, Crystal Ehrlich twittered <cbehrlichHuge collection of resources re UX, Wireframes, heat-mapping, prototyping, eye-tracking, etc. —>> Cool! I thought, and clicked on the shortened link.

Then I was surprised, “Strange, I’ve been taken to her twitter Profile!”

But on closer inspection - I realised it it wass her Favorites tab.

Funnily, I had noticed Crystal tweeting lots of (my) tweeted links in the couple of days prior? Incessantly. Then I worked it out! She was setting up a useful resource! A whole list of cool UX and eye tracking  links. Sweet!

The lack of design consideration in the Twitter site has meant that I never noticed it, never cared. All they needed to do was add a little number there telling me how many favorites are hidden behind, just like the Updates link above it.  I need to know: has the Twitterarti saved Zero, lots or too many faves? Should I bother clicking?

Favourites can be very useful resource in Twitter. Particularly for experts or entities that need to share information.  If you favorite tweets you end up with a list of little URLs coupled with a short summary of the article, all in one hot little location.

Now I know Faves are there, I will use them! BUT I don’t know if, when I click on another person’s Favorites link, they have actually saved any… why would I bother looking?

Anyhow, the Twitter Faves do come hitched to their own little URL <> ready to shorten and tweet! Just like Crystal did! That’s useful in its own right ;)

I live in hope.

Update (17/5/09)

I just noticed another way to use Twitter Faves!

Radian 6, a social media company, have a link on their site like this:

And when you click it you go to their favorites link and they have favorited all the positive comments people have made about their software on Twitter.

They also link to their twitter faves from their email footers. That’s where I saw it!


There has been an explosion of Tweets about eye tracking! Google recently captured the hearts and minds of SEO experts and designers with a blog post about research they did with a Tobii eye tracker on the user interface for Universal Search.

They wanted to test the affect incorporating thumbnail images into the search results interface and ran a series of eye-tracking studies that compared how users scan the pages with and without thumbnail images. The studies showed that the thumbnails did not strongly affect the order of scanning the results and seemed to make it easier for the participants to find the results they wanted or skip over the ones they didn’t.

In the twitter stream last night I noticed some people asking what it would be like to eye track Twitter, so here it is!

I eye tracked Kylie, a novice Twitter user, and she had all sorts of trouble working out how to find people to follow!

Remember how hard it was to find people to follow on twitter when you started?

This is a video of that experience. It takes a bit of time to load, but you can click on it to go to YouTube.

Kylie clicked on ‘Find People’ and wanted to search on a real name, but she couldn’t.

Later on she wanted to see a summary of the people on someone’s the follower list. This is there but hidden in pop ups (alt text). So the followers’ details are impossible to see unless she scrolled over them!

You know I never knew that ‘alt’ text was there either until I was watching the replay!! Why not just put it on the screen next to the person’s photo?

Image showing no profile info on Twitter friends list

Stay tuned more to come!


Find customers’ problems and solve ‘em!

Poor customer service irritates me, as you might have noticed in a recent post! However, great customer service gets me excited and I tell everyone about it!

Recently, a proactive customer service experience converted me to DIIGO’s product and also revved up my enthusiasm for Twitter.

Basically, a few days ago I Twittered my annoyance about something on the DIIGO website.  Within about 3 minutes I got an @ reply from DIIGO to see if there was anything that I needed help with!  They must have used Twitter Search or one of these types of tools to alert them to my cursing. I was pretty impressed and have told many people since!

I recently set up a Twitter account for Tobii Eye Trackers ~ @TobiiEyeTracker ~ and have had some similar customer service experiences of my own.

Here’s one example of what I did to help Tobii’s customer service:

In Tweetdeck(TD) I set up the terms I was interested in like ‘tobii’ and ‘eye tracking’.  TD then automatically updates a single column for each word with new tweets that contain that word.  Here’s my Tobii search:

Tobii eye tracker twitter search

1. You can see that leebd915 was a bit frustrated with his machine ;)

2. So I followed him and then @ replied politely and suggested a fix. Then…

Tobii eye tracker customer service with twitter

3. My suggestion solved his problem (as he told me above) and he followed my Tobii twitter profile back a day later!

You will notice that I have to use the Twhirl app for managing TobiiEyeTracker tweets. On TD you can’t have two profiles live at once ]my other is @jamesbreeze]; but TD it has great functionality!

I did a bit of research and found this Twitter Customer Service stuff has been around for a little while. ReadWriteWed discussed customer service with Twitter last year.  The RWW post linked to Brands that Tweet by BusinessWeek that showcases corporate tweeters like of Comcast, Dell, GM, JetBlue and Kodak. Obviously, I’m onto something here!!

What really fascinates me about Twitter is that you can tap into everyday conversations that would normally go unheard.  Twitter can be a great tool for social interaction or just a great place to have a whinge or get something off your chest. For this reason it provides a fantastic opportunity for companies to research the chatter online and hopefully do something useful with the newly found knowledge.  

When a company puts their front foot forward and provides me with unsolicited customer service I certainly notice! Thanks DIIGO!



Enquiro recently blogged about Tweets from the Edge and discussed the 5 stages of Twitter Acceptance by Rohit Bhargava.  Rohit’s stages certainly made a lot of sense to me and his concept is a bit simpler than my old post about Twitter!

5 Stages of Twitter Acceptance

If I take the liberty of including business uses of Twitter in these stages, then the list stops short! To my mind The next steps are:

6. Marketing and PR

7. Customer service, 

Success in the final two steps is only really achieved by understanding and engaging the first 5 steps.  That is how you can make sure that your business oriented tweets are authentic and relevant. 

In my experience, the final two business oriented applications of Twitter can really help reduce business costs and improve service quality.  I’ll blog about that tomorrow!


Jye Smith insights into conversations recently prompted me to wax lyrical on his blog. I couldn’t let you miss out!

Jye Says:

(nice pic Jye, had to be reposted!)

We all have conversations every day.  But why? What inspires you to do so? A lot of people I know are introverted and shy away from new conversations but thrive on conversations with old friends.

Are customers friends we haven’t met? How are you going to start this conversation?

When I talk to someone, when I blog, when I respond: I want to learn.  In fact, in all facets of my life right now, I’m looking to learn as much as possible.  I don’t want to do what I can do, I want to attempt something I haven’t done yet — and use what I’ve already learnt. That, to me, is what I’m trying to do here: here’s what I know so far, now what do you think?

In order to learn, we need to fail.

Whether its coffee mornings or teapots at World Bar — I want to learn more.  What inspires you?

I responded:

Conversations are awesome! I hunger for them. Sometimes they generate inspiration, however, that inspiration is often fleeting, forgotten in a busy work day, stressful moment or a great wave.

Only when I continue to ponder that inspiration does it actually change my perspective. Then I learn and maybe even turn it into and insight that improves my life in some way. But how do I do this?

I leverage conversations by blogging. When I get inspired I think, ‘I’ll blog that’, then I write the inspirational nuggets down on a beer coaster, serviette or a pad. Maybe I’ll even use my phone to Tweet about it, that’s like writing a note to self. Then, when I get time, I enter the nugget into my blog and start writing my thoughts down free form. I might even do a bit of research!

I may complete a post then and there or I might finish it in a year. Doesn’t matter, the inspiration is safe. When I actually write the blog post, tighten it up, worry about what other people will think and publish; I process the inspiration and turn it into an insight. But that is not it. The process is only part way there!

Once blogged, people read about the insight and comment. They might criticise me or praise me, either way, I learn. Only then is the conversation truly leveraged.

Thanks Jye!


I often tell people that Blogging and social networking has changed my life. 

  • It makes me think and create
  • It helps me learn
  • It keeps me in touch with people
  • It helps me get (the right) answers, quickly
  • It helps my expression, and
  • It drives my business

I was introduced to Glenda, a fellow blogger and accessibility consultant, a few weeks back on LinkedIn.  She just got in touch with me and I checked out her blog.

To my surprise I discovered that she has cerebal palsy and types on a keyboard with her left thumb. A quick scan found her very recent video from Lorelle VanFossen’s keynote at Word Camp Portland on the weekend.


So inspirational! And the very reason I set up a blog!  UsableWorld is about how well designed technology, like Wordpress, can help people achieve things that they never believed possible!

Glenda sums it up her blogging experience by saying ‘Wordpress has given me a voice.’  That’s exactly what it has done for me too.

How has blogging and social networking helped you?


 I’m just running a workshop on social marketing 2.0 with Arkgroup.

So Arkgroup is a conference company with literally hundreds of presentations delivered each year.

Do they have a SlideShare presence? No.

I styped arkgroup into slideshare’s search and I got this:

So, then I set the challenge. I bet this slideshow is on the homepage of a Google search on ‘Intranet Workshop’


Do you think that these guys should look into social marketing?


Seth Godin has a new book out about Meatball Sundaes - those businesses who try to adopt New Marketing approached in Web 2+ land and fail because they don’t change their business processes.

You know, they don’t have enough people in their call centres to respond to comments on social networks they have spawned or staff to chat online with customers who need help.

Well, something else that his book has made be consider are those ‘People’ who are Meatball Sundae’s in themselves.

You know, they want to adopt the New Marketing but are still stuck in last year and just don’t get it, yet.


Mine is full!

I have just updated my UsableWorld Netvibes Universe with all my blogs (RSS) that I read. Please check it out!

I excitedly searched my Facebook friends with Netvibes to see who else was one. Quite a few of you have signed up, but NOBODY has any content in their Universe assjani

These are my tabs - full o stuff.

UsableWorld's tabs on Netvibes Universe

As of yesterday I use Netvibes regularly again. It was easy for me to send my private stuff public, but I can only work out how to surf my friends stuff. And my friends, you have no stuff…

If you visit leave us a Wall message! Please update your Universe too!


Will some web guru Help Me please!

I’ve started using lately and I feel like I am ‘missing out’, all the tagging requirements are different on all the sites it reaches!

I chose the 6 ‘Best’ Bookmarking sites in And tags look like this:

tags on


At least they have clear guidelines. Should there be a space after the comma? What if there is, does it get recorded?

tags on Slashdot


Do whatever you like. Am I missing out?

tags on Digg

We have no tags sorry

tags on Technorati


We like to be Technoratically different. Yeh! Double word tags work here, what about the others?

tags on


We do spaces at At least they showed me which ones of my tags worked. and I can select from a list - doesn’t help me that social marker automatically put them up with commas and they are not correct. When I went through and removed all the commas, look what happens!


UsableWorld was highlighted in the list of tags I have used before.

tags on StumbleUpon


We use commas so you can stumble over them. Enough t,t t "t" tagging talk - I think you get the picture!

We need some guidelines and some poor person has to go through and rationalise all the tags that are actually the same, please...

With make sure that you go all the way through to the confirm listing page on the sites it bookmarks with. A number of times I have stopped short and not got my bookmark.