(EDIT: Oh my...the WYSIWYG editor is a total nightmare. The formatting I see when editing seems to be completely unrelated to what actually gets posted. Annoying.)
Is it just me, or have we as a society
adapted really quickly to launching new social media? Get an invitation,
stake out your preferred username, find your friends, test out the new
functionality, and then post ad infinitum about the new platform. There's a real land rush feel to the whole experience, isn't there?
One thing I find interesting is that the initial rush to claim your space
isn't so much about "this platform is cool, I must be a part of it!"
It's more like "on the off chance that this one works, I want to make
sure I've got my little plot of land." Most of the people I spoke to
didn't even ask about the features, the "why" of it, or even the
Manifesto until after they'd joined
and found as many friends as they could. I'm not certain what it means, but I'm intrigued.
Holy smokes, it's pretty, isn't it?
I love the layout, I love the font, I love the how the controls just
blend in to the background with the low-contrast...wait, no, I don't
love that last one at all. I get it from a graphic design standpoint,
but the from a UX perspective, it's a bit of a bother some of us.
There's a lot of functionality that's hidden from those of us whose eyes
aren't as razor-sharp as they once were. If the controls were just slightly easier to see, I'd have a much more pleasant experience.
The performance is pretty unfortunate, and the some of the behavior is...unexpected. Sometimes boxes won't scroll with the rest of the page in ways that make me scratch my head. But c'mon, it's a beta version. It feels vastly more well-implemented than, say, Google+. Just don't get me started on the mobile site. We'll pretend like that doesn't exist for the time being.
What Features Does Social Media Really Need?
One of the side effects of all this minimalism is that I've had to consider
each feature that has yet to be implemented and ask myself "do I really
need that?" or "do I even want that?" I understand that the "like"
button or some similar analog is in the works, and I have to admit that
it's a little jarring to read a post and not be able to reflexively
indicate favor with just a single click. I have to type something. That
may be better. When the like-esque functionality appears, my
understanding is that it will be implemented as a way to bookmark and
catalog posts that interest me. I hope that's the case. "Like" (or +1 if
you are one of those people) devolved into a meaningless action.
What about direct messaging? User groups? Sticky posts? A mobile app? An API
for x-posting? The ability to block people from following? Do we need
those things? Do they really improve the network? I don't know. I'm kind
of digging this bare-bones site right now, and I'm hoping that if, or
rather when, new functionality is implemented, it's done thoughtfully
rather than as a "well, everyone else is doing it" sort of way.
I'm planning on sticking around. This is interesting and, more to the point, fun. What about you?