Following the followers

I’m going to do a little experiment. I’ve been using Twitter for quite a while now and have been pretty consistent in my approach. I follow people who I find of interest. That’s it really. I’ve never been that hung-up on who (or how many) people are following me.

But recently a couple of things happened that got me thinking. One was the recent slew of UX conferences that have been happening. SXSW and MidWestUX to name a couple. There was some really interesting back-channel conversations going on which came from people that follow me (I later learned) that I didn’t follow. The other thing was tweets mistaking me for the singer David Mead who was appearing at TEDxNashville.

So starting soon I will follow everyone (currently 619) who follows me. Adding them to my timeline I should start to get a good sense of whats spam and whats legitimate. This should help me block & report those, as well as open me up to hopefully some more diverse conversations.

This is probably something that “everyone” already does, but for me its a departure from how I normally use a tool. I hoping that departure offers me some new insights and helps me to step out of my box 🙂

There is no "mobile" web

Since attending SXSWi this year I’ve grown more and more aware of the increasing divide between what people think of as the “mobile” web.

One camp falls squarely into thinking that its what you see on your smart phone when someone’s failed to develop an app. Its websites that are not ready for viewing on your iOS or Android device. I think some of the blame for this can lay at the feet of HTML5. Since it really broke into the mainstream I’ve heard a lot of talk that we have to wait for HTML5 to be “ready”. Until then, native apps are the only way forward.

The other camp, the one I find myself in, is one were there is no “mobile” web. There is just the web. The thing that’s mobile is the device that it can viewed on. The mobility of devices has been around for some time. I used the web on my first mobile device about 13 years ago. That mobile device was a laptop.

There are now a ton of mobile devices; laptops, tablets, phones, gaming devices. All can access the web, all have cameras, all can be geo-located in one form or another, and all have different operating systems. The one thing they all have in common is the ability to display HTML.

I think one reason for the first camp existing is a reluctance to look too deep into the experience. If your product/service/game needs the user to the, say, upload a photo. The instinct would be to create an app, but that now excludes anyone not using a smartphone that have a camera on available to them.

Don’t get me wrong. Apps are good-I use them all the time. But virtually all of them still drop the ball. If I want to view a link from my Gmail (on my phone) posted from a service/site I belong to, it never launches the app (on my phone), but rather launches a browser (on my phone) to a page prompting me to download the app (which I already have…on my phone). Frustrating.

This experience is nothing to do with waiting for HTML5. Its just part of rough-edge we are living against at the moment with mobile devices and the web. I believe a little more thought and push by us, for the user, experience may soften that edge.

Lanyrd proved this exact point for me at SXSW this year. They out-performed the official SXSW app (for me personally) as they just seemed to fit right in with my experience. The app just felt like it got in the way.

Any inappropriate language or jokes concerning security, may result in your arrest!

OH: PA at Houston Airport

Session 12 – The Future of Microformats

Looking forward to this one.


  • hRecipe adopted by Google search
  • hAudio proved to have no interest in it past draft
  • Launch of new process
  • Open Graph -> People grumpy about canonical use. Impact on Google & SEO
  • Namespaces
  • Facebook added hCard to profiles & hEvent
  • Big pushback internally at FB, added 200bytes p/page
  • Ben Ward = CLASS PATTERN
  • Microformats 2 = Root class names, do away with <div>’s & <span>’s
  • Single letter prefix h-*