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Why Twitter Must Expand Beyond 140 Characters

first_imgTwitter Needs to Expand Beyond 140 Characters to Continue GrowingI’m not minimizing the UX issues that Twitter will face when it expands beyond its core 140 character limit. But I do believe it’s just a matter of time before it widens the character limit. There’s no reason for Twitter to be constrained anymore, especially when the largest Internet using country on earth (China) already accommodates much longer tweets than are possible in English. Of course Twitter is banned in China and can only be used with software that routes around The Great Firewall, but still my point is valid.Twitter is a public real-time messaging service which has gone mainstream. While it needs to keep the essential spirit of short-form messaging going, there are ways to do that in the design without using a character limitation. If Twitter wants to continue its expansion into the mainstream, it needs to lose the 140-character limitation and just market itself as the world’s leading ‘real-time messaging service’. What do you think, will Twitter soon expand beyond 140 characters like TweetDeck did? The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification But that UX paradigm had already been challenged by the gradual increase in multimedia links. Many Twitter users now post links to photos, video, blog posts, Foursquare check-ins, Facebook updates, and much more. Users need to click to see that extra content. When Twitter launched its re-design in March last year, it adjusted to this increase of multimedia by enabling users of Twitter.com (still how the vast majority of people consume Twitter content) to view photos and video within Twitter’s website. It was a relatively small, but significant, step to lessen the burden of viewing multimedia content within Twitter. Third party clients like TweetDeck also allow users to view photos and video in a pop-up box inside the app. TweetDeck offers a similar functionality for Deck.ly messages that are longer than can be contained in a double cell. It pops up a box within the app, meaning that users don’t need to go outside of TweetDeck to view the content. It seems only a matter of time before Twitter enables users to view ‘long tweets’ within Twitter.com, in the same way that users can view videos and photos within the site.Will Twitter Producers Pollute Twitter With Long Tweets?While Twitter is positioning itself these days as more of a media consumption service, with the expectation that many more people read Twitter than write to it, the tone of the service will continue to be set by users who actively tweet. If Twitter drops the 140 character limitation, I think Twitter producers will adjust and only post longer tweets occasionally. Twitter will need to monitor that somehow, but – barring a drastic change in user behavior – Twitter users won’t stop producing short tweets just because long ones become available to them. They’ll use the long tweets sparingly, because they’ve been habituated into doing short tweets.As for new users, Twitter will need to effectively convey in their marketing that Twitter is ideal for short-form real-time messaging. Indeed without a character limitation, Twitter will actually be easier to promote to mainstream users. It will remove an extra barrier for people to start using Twitter.Other Languages Already Send Long Messages on TwitterAnother thing to consider that in some languages other than English, 140 characters allows for much longer updates than English users are used to. In Chinese for example, a 140 character tweet can produce a long message. Noted Chinese artist, human rights activist and Twitter user Ai Weiwei explained in March last year that even though Twitter has a 140-character limit, Twitter users in China can easily express in-depth thoughts because the Chinese language allows Twitter users to express 140 words on Twitter and not just 140 characters.Consider this tweet that Ai Weiwei wrote today. It easily fits in the 140 character limitation in Chinese, but the English translation is about 275 characters over that 140 character limit. Is it the constraint of 140 characters per message that makes Twitter what it is? Or is Twitter now a broader, real-time messaging service that needn’t be constrained by a character limitation?The most prominent third party Twitter client, TweetDeck, recently introduced a “long post” feature called Deck.ly, which brings those questions to the fore. Deck.ly allows Twitter users to post messages longer than the traditional 140 character limit. In this post I’ll argue that Twitter itself will probably soon follow and expand beyond 140 characters. Indeed, it will need to if it’s to continue expanding into the mainstream.TweetDeck’s Deck.ly works as follows: if you post something in TweetDeck that is longer than 140 characters, other TweetDeck users will see the entire message in the app if it is not longer than “can be displayed in a double-height cell.” If it goes over that, TweetDeck users will see a ‘Read More’ link which when clicked, opens a pop-up box within TweetDeck. Meanwhile, in other third party Twitter clients and in the browser on Twitter.com, all Deck.ly messages will display in excerpted form with a link to the full message on a webpage.Twitter No Longer About Constraints This is clearly an experimental feature introduced by TweetDeck – indeed they’re still tweaking it. However I believe it’s a pointer to the future: Twitter will expand its self-imposed character limitation in order to make its service easier to understand for consumers.Real-time public messaging has become a huge trend over the past couple of years. Two services have come to dominate this trend: Facebook and Twitter. Facebook’s status updates are the backbone of its social networking service. But it’s been Twitter that has captured the imagination of media and public figures for real-time messaging. Partly that’s because Facebook is essentially a closed system and so you won’t see CNN or Kanye West’s status updates (for example) unless you’re inside Facebook’s website. However it’s also because Twitter had a limitation of 140 characters right from the start, a figure that made it necessary to compose short, to-the-point status updates. Twitter started out with ‘What are you doing?’ as its incentivizing message for users. In November 2009, it became ‘What’s happening?’. That helped broaden Twitter’s usage from “I’m eating breakfast” type messages to people tweeting about current news events, media they’re consuming, topics they’re interested in, and much more.That Extra Click: The User Experience IssueAs noted, TweetDeck’s new “long post” feature enables users to send messages longer than 140 characters. However there is a significant user experience issue with that, in that it often introduces an extra click for the user. A lot of Twitter’s beauty as a consumer of tweets is that you can scan a bunch of tweets in one go. richard macmanuscenter_img Tags:#twitter#web Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

If You Want Better Results, Build Talent

first_img Free Webinar Series! Create a culture of value creation. Signup for this free webinar! In three, short, power-packed webinars, you will learn what you need to do to create a culture of value creators who create and win new opportunities. Download Now As a leader, you will never have all the talent you need. No matter how good your company is, no matter how great your employee value proposition, some talented people will work elsewhere. There are only two strategies for acquiring the talent you need, buying it, or building it. Even companies that can afford to purchase expertise do not end up with a monopoly on the most talented people, most of whom aren’t seeking new opportunities. Because talent is a variable for producing results, if you want better results, you have to build talent.If your company is growing, that growth requires you acquire talent. As your company expands, you require more ability in leadership, management, and all of your key roles. If your company is shrinking, you need the talent to turn things around, recognizing that if you had the ability and the will to improve your situation, you would have already done so. The reason turnaround experts never run out of work is that leaders don’t often replace the people in the critical roles soon enough, some of their reluctance coming from a lack of talent to backfill the positionEvery Employee In Your Charge Can Grow and ImproveEvery employee in your charge can grow, even if some are not willing to grow, and even more are unaware of their full potential. Your existing employees, in large part, are a potential engine. If you were to help them reach their full potential, you would have a better chance of improving your company, division, department, or team reach its full potential.When I wrote The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, my first book, I borrowed a framework for Gerhard Gschwandtner. That framework was mindset + skillset + tool kit = success in sales. A reader tweeted me that my math was bad. He suggested (skillset + toolkit) x mindset was more accurate, and he was correct.As a leader, you build, maintain, and protect your culture. If the mindset is the critical factor, and I believe it is, then there is no reason a non-negotiable cultural value can’t be individual growth or personal and professional development. Those who embrace the idea that they are supposed to grow show promise of being high potential employees, the very kind that grow into critical roles. As people with the mindset grow into new roles, they end up taking on greater responsibility, many ending up in leadership of one form or another.Skill sets are not far behind mindset in value. The reason to train and develop people is that it improves your overall competency. Imagine a competency score was some score like 91% competency equals excellence, flawless execution, and goal-attainment, and something like 48% equals stagnation—or worse. I am unaware of any tool or framework to measure the overall competency of a team, department, or division, or company, but none is needed since results provide the score. Your scoreboard never lies; it only reports the score.If you are going to build talent, you must focus on growing the mindsets and skillsets of the people you lead.The Competitive Advantage of Building TalentThere is a competitive advantage in building talent. First, you don’t have to rely on your ability to recruit and retain existing talent alone as a strategy. Buying talent can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. You can also end with talented people who don’t fit, wasting time and money on people you should never have hired.Second, and equally important, there is more latent talent available, most of whom will end up in a job where their as-yet-dormant ability will go undiscovered and undeveloped. While it feels like a shortcut to hire someone based on their experience, that is only one factor, and it is not the most important unless you don’t have the willingness or resources to train and develop them. By identifying and hiring people based on their potential, their character traits and attributes, you are acquiring your company’s future competency.The latent talent you develop becomes your pipeline. Most leaders think of their leadership pipeline as being critical. Leadership, however essential, is not the only competency you need. You need bench strength in every crucial role, whether that be sales, marketing, finance, human resources, risk, or information technology. It helps to think like a sports team. You are developing numbers two, and three, and four in addition to your star player, who, no matter how much you wish it weren’t so, will not be with you forever.Even though it is easy to believe that you can buy the talent you need, it isn’t true. You can buy the skill you need sometimes. Even when you do, there is no guarantee that the talent you believe you are buying is going to succeed because they did so in a prior role. The ability to move up the next person in line, knowing they have been being trained and developed to take the future role eliminates opportunity costs, the biggest of which may be time, time you can never recover. While the person you hired and developed may fail, the fact that they have experience with the people they are working with and the company makes it more likely they succeed.If you want better results, build talent. If you are growing, you are going to need more talented people on your team. If you are shrinking, you need the talent to turn things around and start climbing. Like most choices people present as mutually exclusive, you don’t have to choose between buying and building talent. Using both strategies allows you to be opportunistic, buying talent when it makes sense, helping them grow and develop, as well as identifying latent talent and bringing them and helping them gain the competencies they need to move up.last_img read more

Frank Lampard haunts Chelsea, steals 1-1 draw for Manchester City

first_imgFrank Lampard scored the equalizer for Manchester City against his former club ChelseaFrank Lampard scored a late equalizer against his former club Chelsea to earn 10-man Manchester City a 1-1 draw in the Premier League on Sunday and end the leaders’ winning start to the season.Lampard, who was released by Chelsea this summer after scoring a club-record 211 goals in 13 years, held his arm out and refused to celebrate after his side-footed shot deflected in off John Terry in the 85th minute.City right back Pablo Zabaleta was sent off in the 66th after picking up a second booking, and Chelsea capitalized by opening the scoring five minutes later when substitute Andre Schuerrle tapped in Eden Hazard’s low cross.Chelsea dropped points for the first time in five games but still holds a three-point lead over Southampton and is five clear of City – arguably its biggest rival for the title.It was a typical late surge into the box by Lampard, who had only come on as a substitute seven minutes earlier as City fought back after going a man and a goal down. He looked emotional as he walked off, head down, after the ball hit the net and didn’t want to celebrate with his joyous teammates.”I’m a bit lost for words – I didn’t expect to score like that,” Lampard said. “I’m a bit stuck in the middle.”Chelsea fans had been singing Lampard’s name throughout the match, hailing one of the club’s greatest servants who was allowed to join New York City in the summer. Lampard is spending the first half of the season on loan at City, the parent club of New York City.advertisementAndre Schurrle scores the opening goal for Chelsea against Man CityCity is now winless in four games in all competitions but came back well after losing Zabaleta, who lunged at Diego Costa near the halfway line and became entangled with the Spain striker.Chelsea did the double over City last season, with its win at Etihad Stadium in February widely hailed as a tactical clinic from Jose Mourinho. And the Portuguese coach was happy to ditch the flamboyance that had helped his team claim four straight win for what will probably be its toughest match of the campaign.It made for a tense, edgy and physical battle that was dominated by defenses, with Eliaquim Mangala enjoying a strong starting debut for City after his big-money summer move from Porto.Neither goalkeeper was seriously tested in the first half and Costa, who had scored seven goals so far and at least one in every match, was a peripheral figure.City started the second half well, with Sergio Aguero forcing a save out of Thibaut Courtois and Edin Dzeko denied on the rebound by a lunging tackle from Ramires.But the game turned on Zabaleta’s sending off and within five minutes Costa led a counterattack by Chelsea and Hazard crossed for Schuerrle to tap in at the far post.Lampard had the last say, though.last_img read more