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David Jackson
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I'm founder and CEO of Seeking Alpha. I started Seeking Alpha after working for five years as a technology research analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York. Seeking Alpha is now the dominant crowdsourced equity research platform, with thousands of contributors and millions of monthly visitors,... More
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  • Usability Problems with Twitter and Facebook 1 comment
    Nov 24, 2009 8:58 AM
    Jakob Nielsen, usability expert at Useit.comUsability expert Jakob Nielsen (left) has interesting things to say about the user experience of reading updates on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace. Key takeaways:

    First, "People appreciated this user interface's utter simplicity: no special effort or commands were required beyond looking down the list and maybe scrolling a bit."

    Second, "Users didn't seek out past postings that they might have missed; they were content to read only the newest information. So, once your message drops off a user's main page, it might as well not exist. Users who continue browsing messages on the second page are almost unheard of."

    That leads to a third point: "If you post too rarely, your material will drift out of users' active timestreams before they visit again. But, if you post too much, you'll crowd out other messages."

    And finally, "Users depend on the ability to scan down a stream to pick out logos and user names, but this basic need was often thwarted." For example, "The problems start with something as simple as the choice of username. For example, the United States Department of Education's Twitter ID was "usedgov," which sounded to users like "used government" and was off-putting."

    We considered these issues carefully when designing StockTalk, Seeking Alpha's twitter-like platform:
    • We made sure that StockTalks are browsable by ticker symbol -- the author just needs to include the symbol in capital letters. That allows readers to view StockTalks by symbol, increasing the value of the author's archive and allowing readers to judge an author's track record.
    • We kept full names for users, so you don't have to guess who the author is from their user name. That's crucial, because authors can only generate customer leads or enhance their careers or reputations in other ways if they are recognizable.
    Here's a great example: David White's commentary on Harley Davidson (NYSE:HOG) using StockTalk.
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