An Example Of Listening To Your Customers

Today I saw a very good example of a company listening to their customers and getting it right. The company and service, Dropbox recently updated their terms of service, privacy policy, and security overview documents to make them more readable.  Many people online, including one of my close friends, expressed the concern that the changes made it sound like Dropbox was claiming the rights to all files and intellectual property a user uploads to Dropbox.

Here is the good part. Dropbox was actually listening to what people were saying online and participating in the conversation! They were participating in conversations online where people hang out socially. It’s a simple concept but it’s still amazing that many companies haven’t figured it out yet. Dropbox then followed up that listening with an update to their blog post explaining the changes to their terms of service, etc in more detail. Their customers still had concerns about what was explained so a second update was added to the blog post explaining in even more detail what the changes would mean for each user. Go Dropbox!

UPDATE: 07/06/2011

Dropbox reworked the wording in their TOS and posted another blog post and posted also to Twitter -> http://blog.dropbox.com/?p=867

Lanyrd.com Catches Up With @MikeGrace

I saw today that Lanyrd.com has released a chrome and firefox extension to filter out tweets on Twitter.com about #SXSW.

I like the design they went with for the UI and it feels good to see a company like Lanyrd create an app that works similarly to what I built about 2 months ago. I decided to put my app interface in the side tray to allow for more controls. The app allows you to hide any tweet based on any word found in the tweet. It also allows you to highlight the tweet if you are interested in particular key words and it remembers your list each time you load the browser.

If you don’t have it, (you really should) you can get it and try it out at http://geek.michaelgrace.org/2011/01/tweet-filter-kynetx-app/

The Kynetx App I really Want To Build

I wrote the other day on Twitter, “If @my6sense, http://tweetstats.com, @Twitter, and @socialtoo had a baby, that’s the Kynetx app I want to write. #FillANeed”

I’m going to tell you all about what that app looks like and what it does but first some background. I use Twitter a lot.

I have really enjoyed the whole experience. I have found over the past 2 years that connecting with people is what makes Twitter great for me.

Tweeting lots every day is easy along with following lots of people. These two actions only require a little typing and clicking buttons. The hard part is following people and listening to them and engaging in meaningful conversation. I read most updates of the 900 something people that I follow and it takes lots of time and effort.

Here are my goals with Twitter:

  • Find more interesting people to follow and build meaningful relationships with them
  • Spend less time reading tweets that I’m not interested in that have no relevance or are basically spam
  • Spend more time engaged in tweets that are relevant, will help me grow as a person, and build meaningful relationships
  • Help my friends do the same things listed above

Here are some things that stand in the way of me accomplishing those goals

  • Don’t have a way to quantify and report the relevance of a “follow”
  • Don’t have a way to quantify the time spent time on Twitter and different Twitter activities
  • Don’t have a way to quantify the amount of load a particular follow puts on my  Twitter stream

I want to find more people to connect with but it’s a double edged sword. If I follow more people I increase my chances of finding interesting people to connect with but this same action causes more content to come through my Twitter stream. This makes it harder to stay connected with the people that I have already established a meaningful connection with.

I think an app/service can be created to help me reach all my goals and take care of all the road blocks. This is where My6Sense, TweetStats, SocialToo, Twitter, and Kynetx come in. I envision creating a Kynetx app that

  • records how much time is spent on Twitter reading tweets
  • what percentage of the tweets I read  are from each follow
  • the relevance of Tweets and follows as I read and give feedback

Because a Kynetx app can be deployed as a browser extension it is fairly easy to get this kind of data and report it to a system through a simple API. The server could then take this data and start doing interesting and helpful things with the data. Things like

  • make suggestions to un-follow people based on a ratio of load vs quality content created much like SocialToo attempts to do through rules
  • build cool looking, informative, and geeky charts like TweetStats
  • help me sort Twitter stream based on context similar to what My6Sense does
  • suggest people to follow based on the relevance data received from my friends

Just imagine being able to see personal trends of how much time you spend going through your tweet stream. You could also see trends of the percentage of relevant people you are following, who is generating the most load on your stream, who you find the most relevant, and more. Because all of this is based on your actions on Twitter.com and is quantified you could set goals to improve in different areas. Rewards for achieving those goals could be given and the app could give me help along the way. Built correctly and used well, it could be a powerful tool to transform any social network into an astoundingly strong group of friends and acquaintances that are relevant, meaningful, and create much more benefit than cost to build and maintain.

If you like this idea, have suggestions, or have something you want to say, let me know in the comments or tweet me!

There is lots more that I could write about but I think I’ll hold off for now and see what people have to say about this.

Shun The Facebook Likes Kynetx App

I had a friend on Twitter that voiced his frustration with having to see many ‘likes’ on Facebook when he doesn’t care about any of them.

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 10.33.55 PM

I took that as a challenge and built a Kynetx app that would fix that problem.

Action shots:

Status Update Before

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 10.29.56 PM

Status Update After

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 10.30.16 PM

Photo Before

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 10.32.01 PM

Photo After

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 10.32.16 PM


Download Chrome Extension

Download Firefox Extension