Archive for July, 2011

Oxwall 1.2

Jul 30, '11


Oxwall 1.2 is finally out and looks like a lot of people experienced upgrade problems.

One of the big objectives we set for ourselves was making upgrades ridiculously simple. We laid out upgrade strategy to our development plan and two weeks later WordPress introduced similar upgrade routine. Ours always worked better but not this time.

Oxwall is very young and still has child diseases. We still sort out early releases problems, have to release big bundles of joint core+plugin updates, etc. Those problems will go away within several substantial releases once core and plugins are less dependent. That is why we are still in a very centralized development mode not really investing in developer ecosystem. That is bound to change at the appropriate time but not now.

There’s also that 80/20 strategy that we will employ from now on. Having achieved initial stage of function suffiency that allows people run real websites, we will now focus 80% of our time to tweak, optimize, enhance existing functionality and only 20% to developing new features. Our upcoming roadmap announcement will reflect that.

Let’s see where this journey takes us and you.

Little Big Details

Jul 23, '11

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Reader-driven collection of tiny UX tricks found across the web. A must for any UX designer.


Google+/Facebook war

Jul 13, '11

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This guy described what I think about the emerging G+/FB war better than I probably could.

… the Circles team lead had said:

“…[We know] the danger of this, but were counting on the fact that facebook wouldn’t be able to change something so core to their product. [adapt to Circles model]”

I had originally assumed that he meant facebook would lack the agility to make the necessary technical changes, so central to their system. But I was wrong–the real point was that they would not be willing to change direction so fundamentally.

Now, I’m not saying that Circles is the one killer feature to bring down facebook–not at all. What I am saying, however, is that these two products are not playing on an even field. Like Microsoft and online Office, it is incredibly difficult for facebook to make fundamental changes to their product suite to answer competitive threats. It is for this reason I feel that Google+ has a genuine shot at dethroning facebook.

My theory is exactly same: FB won’t change something so core to their product. Look how they mimicked “following” with their pending friend requests.

On the other hand one big advantage that FB has is its maturity in social science. G+ is still a pure technology play around Circles model. The real question in the long run is who’s better at innovating in both technology and the new social model of online humanity.

In his own words:

The big problem will become quite apparent that there’s no noise control [in Google+]. Yes, this is what made FriendFeed, Google Buzz, and other systems seem lame and why Facebook continues to be more interesting to most people in the world.

Respectfully disagree. Facebook most cleverly (of what I’ve ever seen) takes advantage of network effects. It grips a person with its tentacles of friends, tags, invites, friend suggestions and bashes their head at the entrance door until it hangs open. It only tightens the grip once in – the more people you have in Facebook the more you are attracted to it. And there’s basically no exit door. Look how many people admit to have love/hate relationship with Facebook – it’s like smoking.

Noise filter in Facebook comes at a cost of employing algorithms that people don’t understand. I argue this is a no-no for social software, at least at this stage. Facebook can get away with it for all other things it does best of the crowd.

Noise makes people miss content not abandon the venue. Otherwise Twitter wouldn’t ever make it. Robert, there are still people reading their Twitter streams, you know.