Simple, Beautiful And Ad-Free – Questions For 5.5 Million Ello Dollars

Ello is the hype nowadays. The ad-free social network has just raised a $5.5 million venture capital funding aimed to help the company work on the backend architecture and offer less glitches when users try to login.

Am I oversimplifying it? Nope. Ello has been getting so much attention and has been growing in the tens of thousands for the past couple of weeks. People seem to be lured by the promise that their data will not be shared with anyone. It’s simply promised on the setting up account screen – “You are not a product.”
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Three Day Madness At EuroIA 2014

Coming back from the EuroIA 2014 conference is hard. I wish it was more than three days packed with workshops in the morning, presentations in the afternoon and Belgian food and drinks in the evening…

Ah, la dolce vita this conference was! I have learned so much about information architecture, user experience and the community. And I could only be sorry that this was my first time at this annual venue.  Eric Reiss has been trying to get me to go ever since we have met back in 2009. Now I completely got it. He knew it. Now I do, too. Thank you, sir!

It amazes me how many talented individuals were present there.  The talks and ideas exchanged were focused exclusively on enriching each other’s practices and make us better at what we do.  The evidence of this is the tens of pages of notes my little red Moleskine has now, Steve Portigal’s book “Interviewing Users” I won in the raffle and he signed for me, the many questions in my head raised by Mags Hanley’s and Giles Colborne workshops on Organizing Content and Simplicity respectively…
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Mute Me Tender, Mute Me Sweet…Never See My Tweet.

A couple of months ago, Twitter introduced the mute button. You don’t feel like reading all these tweets of an overly active tweep, but you don’t want to unfollow him – you mute him. You are afraid that the count of Followers on your dashboard will decrease – you press Mute and not Unfollow. You can still see when the muted user favorites, retweets or replies to your tweet. Really, the only difference is that you get to keep that reciprocal following. It is just that.

I imagine Twitter wanted to increase the opportunity for users to gain more followers hoping for increasing the engagement. After all research shows that accounts with more than 1000 followers generate 96% of the traffic. Interesting, isn’t it?

This week Twitter reported 271Mn monthly active users (growing with 6.3% against Q1 2014). Dick Costolo also mentioned that somewhere between 2 to 3 times more are exposed to Twitter content…

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EU, Let’s #Talkdigital and get personal!

Europeans don’t believe in the EU. At least a big chunk of those that went to the #eurovote2014 don’t. Otherwise one cannot explain the votes that were casted in favor of the eurosceptics and the outright populist parties. Sad but true. And I say that mainly because Europeans don’t really understand what a European Union means. They seem to expect the EU to fix all the leaks their home-states have, to solve all their misgivings or to fight successfully corruption. They want magic wands and see the European Union more as a disappointment then as a hope of a brighter unified future.

What the European Union needs to do is to talk to people in the digital media, print and on air. It needs to explain what the European Union stands for. To each and everyone. It has to show that it cares, but most of all that a union is a union; it is not a fairy with a magic wand.  It needs to educate the citizens in one tone and one message all over the members’ territory in their own language and with the specifics each culture has.

The EU needs to be present at all major media channels with a single voice in all respective formats. That voice, however, should be tailored to all 28 state members’ languages and cultures. If there is an infographic, it should be made available in every language. If there is a video, it should at least have the subtitles in the local channels it is published, better yet dubbed respectively. The general information on all text and image social media channels should be made in a local language and the original one.
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What I Read In April

During the month of April I have read some books and papers that left a deep impression in me. Previously I have shared on this blog recommendations on book concerning Digital Marketing, UX, IA, and Social Media. Each and everyone had its designated post. But lately, I have starting pushing myself to find the time to read more. Consequently, I have decided to share with my readers a list of my readings on a monthly basis (whenever I have something to share, naturally).

I hope these collections of monthly readings inspire you at least a bit. They certainly put my mind into reflection mode. And here are the ones that made my April readings list.
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