jQuery Plugin: It’s CuteTime! (v 1.0.5) [UPDATE]

jquery-logo-256I am happy to announce the latest version of the CuteTime jQuery plugin.02_facebook-cutetime

CuteTime provides the ability to easily…

  • convert timestamps to ‘cuter’ language-styled forms (e.g. yesterday, 2 hours ago, last year, in the future!),
  • customize the time scales and output formatting, and
  • dynamically update the displayed CuteTime(s) upon request and/or automatically.

There was some excellent feedback from many of you following the initial release of CuteTime. And much of that feedback has been incorporated into this release.

Changes to Version 1.0.5…

  • updated the ‘cutetime’ attribute to use HTML 5 compliant ‘data-timestamp’ custom attribute
  • updates to settings are now non-constructive
  • added translations.txt to the bundle to store all contributed translations of the cuteness translations (special thanks to Vincent Rolfs for providing the first translation, German)
  • minified version now compiled using YUI Compressor

CuteTime is a customizable jQuery plugin that automatically converts timestamps to formats much cuter. Also has the ability to dynamically re-update and/or automatically update timestamps on a controlled interval.

If used by Selector, replaces the text of the provided object with a cuteTime.

If used as a function, returns a string containing a cuteTime version of the provided timestamp.

Implementation

$('.timestamp').cuteTime();
$('.timestamp').cuteTime({ /* OPTIONS * / });

cutetime_object = $('.timestamp').cuteTime();
cutetime_object.update_cuteness();

$.cuteTime('2009/10/12 22:11:19');

For more details about CuteTime and its implementation, visit http://tpgblog.com/CuteTime

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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From Iterating @ Google to LinkedIn’s Modular Innovation

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_finance-strategy

On Starting Up…

http://www.markpeterdavis.com/getventure/2009/11/bootstrapping-vs-venture-funding.html
On choosing the right financing strategy.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/11/iterative-web-app-new-look-for-gmail.html
The iterative and incremental design process at Google mobile and Gmail.

02_google-iterative
03_linkedin-api

On Modular Innovation…

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/linkedin_platform_pros_and_cons.php
A look at LinkedIn’s Modular Innovation progress.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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Gmail & What You Think

gmail_logo_stylized_thumb355This is part 7, an interlude in the short story of personal exploration and development by one new to the daily employment of Gmail, long resisted, long desired, and eventually brought to conversion by an Android.

For before I lay out my thoughts on what Google should consider putting on their ‘Should Do’ list, I thought I would share some of the great off-blog thoughts and advice from others who have been or may some day be converted to Gmail — more than a few with whom I agree.

What Other’s See

imagePosted by Antoine Bonnin

There is so much to do, I’m not sure where to start :).

Easy ones could be to allow folder creation (instead of labels) and an option to sort emails in your inbox (by dates, name, etc).

It would also be great to use Ajax instead of refreshing the page when opening an email, the email content would appear as others slide down (tough one to explain without an image).

Posted by Ilana Schwartz

Top 3 wish list for gmail:
1. Preview pane
2. Tabs for inbox, email in progress, other folders.
3. Sort by (as mentioned)

Posted by Ilana Schwartz

Some are required, by law, to save information and folders seems to be easier conceptually. It does mirror how info is saved to an os.

I could do without folders, but I think that Gmail lacks convenience without preview pane and a variety of sorting methods.

But maybe I’m taking too small a view – I’m quite interested in these fundamental changes you would make…?

image Posted by Eric Sunderhaus

Further mirror functionality in Outlook that users have come to rely on.

Such as..
1. Allow screen capture function similar to Outlook.

"Window Key" + "Print Screen"
"Control + V"

2. Allow users to easily change default email in operating system from Outlook to Gmail so that when applications trigger an email message they don’t immediately open Outlook; but rather Gmail.

Posted by Antoine Bonnin

I agree with llana, preview pane would be a nice feature, so you can easily go through each emails without getting lost in the confusing "email UI".

The "search" is so not user-friendly, you can tell Gmail was created by engineers for engineers :)

image Posted by Luca Candela

I think Gmail is ripe for a serious overhaul… most of the features and settings aren’t easily findable, the legibility of pretty much all text is poor, the interface doesn’t make very good use of big screens…

In general I see a lot of space for improvement, although I’m a fanatic of the service.

image Posted by Roberto Champney

Luca, has a point. Gmail’s has some serious usability problems. I can’t ever remember where things are and even to create a new message it is hard to find the function (even though it is right there in front of you; but some genius managed to make it almost invisible). I use it as backup and for its calendar sharing feature, that’s about it.

I like the thread approach, but things can get scary after a few threads are going on. Also the lack of a "drag ‘n drop" capability makes it more a hassle than good all outlook (try attaching 5 files and you get my point)…

good luck…

image Posted by David Garrett

I think step 1 should be more from a business requirements standpoint than a user experience solution. In other words, they need to accommodate all the services that Hotmail and others provide, such as calendar tools but, at the same time, include some of their own unique tools and link tightly with Maps, YouTube, etc. and seriously consider how those services can play into the evolution of gmail.

Posted by Luca Candela

Matt, I STRONGLY disagree with you. Gmail doesn’t need to be beautiful but needs to get better at being usable. Right now it’s downright distracting. Live mail is way better at letting you know instantly what is what and what’s the purpose of everything.

"If they do it that way there’s a good reason for it" it’s the kind of mentality that keeps progress from doing its job. I grew up in a small town surrounded by farmland, and it’s the kind of rationale old farmers would come up with when they had no better way of arguing against some improvement or change in old ways of doing something.

Gmail is an awesome product that was put together by people worried about a few things but definitely not about making it easy to use. It would take very little to make it a better product and I for one wouldn’t miss the old interface AT ALL.

In fact, you can check some interesting experiments in skinning with the style plugin for firefox, if you can’t find it just let me know and I’ll give you the links.

image Posted by Vera Lugovskaya

SORTING
The absence of sorting was a big issue for me. I needed to be able to sort by Sender. After a while I found "Filter". It kinda solved my problem but column sorting would improve usability a lot.

PRINT
Another detail which was bothering me was "Print All" when I needed to print one message from a thread. It seems recently they added "Print" to message features which prints one message though I still feel that "Print All" should be a second choice in the Message window.

LABELS VS. FOLDERS
I agree that labels are limited. Besides they have "Tree" widget in their GWT library. I wonder I they don’t use it in GMail.

image Posted by Matt Gist

Gmail should keep pegging away as is. People should get used to the fact that something like a web-based email client should be highly-customizable and ever changing.

Gmail might not be beautiful, but it wouldn’t be designed the way it is without exhausted research and data to support why it is design the way it is.

If people need acclimating, then the best thing would be tutorials and such.

image Posted by Bob Stoneburner

Actually what Google is doing is probally the best strategy. Provide Android as an open source platform with multiple communication options in a single client, (email, online presence, schedualing, video conferencing, SMS, ect). Get traditional Microsoft OEMS to build smart phones on your mobile platform. Ultimately cost and level of integration in the cloud (with mobile being a primary access point) will drive adoption of which email system users select.

The Next

First converted to a fan of Android, the platform, then converted to a fan of Gmail, too. I resisted the Android, and succumbed. I, for much longer, both longed for and resisted the conversion to Gmail. Through all of this, despite the long path already journeyed, there remain many more steps to walk, specific steps that those overseers of Gmail can take to further enlighten the experience of ones as of now converted as well as those yet to be. But, that, my friends, that part of this short story, I will save for next week.

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the eventual adoption of Gmail in one’s daily life, by one once thoroughly addicted to, dependent on, the primarily client-based solution of Microsoft’s Outlook,

what brought about this conversion, (1) (2)
why it took so long, and (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
what should be done to encourage greater Gmail adoption. (8) (9)

Enjoy & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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From the Startup Marketing Guru to Modular Innovation Wars

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_startup-pyramid

On Starting Up…

http://venturehacks.com/articles/sean-ellis
Great tips from the guru of startup marketing.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.noupe.com/how-tos/web-design-trends-testimonials-design.html
The trending shape of testimonials to come.

02_testimonial
03_modular-innovation-war

On Modular Innovation…

http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2009-11-19-n30.html
Modular Innovation wars… heating up.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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EXCLUSIVE: The Product Guy "Up in the Air"

hollywood-airplaneIt was a rainy day in November. A day not unfamiliar to many business travelers. But, this day was different, the destination was not the goal. It was the journey imagethat was to hold center stage, bathed in a moving bicoastal spotlight, through an immersive marketing engagement with both social, as well as other, media.

 

"to know me is to fly with me" (Ryan Bingham, Up in the Air)

 

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to look at various cross-promoted products by way of film and social media and speak with many of the people behind them when I, as a VIP Guest, was…

And, out of this very awesome bicoastal adventure, I found many lessons that can benefit all in the marketing and promotion of their own products, in both online and offline worlds.

It started like this…

Saturday, November 14
3:50 PM, The Terminal
This airline terminal, of American Airlines, has now filled with many different types of people, from such industries as movie, journalism, technology, business, etc., all contributing to the pervasive spirit of reserved elation and excitement – as networking and introductions ensued, in wait for a nice, bubbly party.

DSC05664 DSC05665 DSC05666 DSC05667 DSC05669 DSC05671

4:10 PM, Taxiing Begins
… for our scheduled 4 PM flight as I scour underneath rows of seats looking for the elusively scattered, power plug. Being sure to, like in the "Up in the Air" movie premiere we are about to be party to, not overlook these quirks that many the frequent traveler grows to not loath, but rather welcome as numbering among those endearing qualities that cement one’s affections for another, or makes that quirky place, even one as transient as air travel, the experience, altogether, your home.

It is this sentiment that the movie seeks to capture, and does so superbly. It is this experience, and many more, the traveler’s experience, that resulted in American Airlines’ substantial involvement in this project.

 

4:21 PM, Lift-off
It starts off a rainy day as the journey begins, flying into the thick of clouds. The darkness brought about soon, rapidly disappears as the plane emerges into the dusty blue sky, with hints of setting sun. The sounds, the dull roar of peace settling over the cabin as the festivities, the reason for this journey, are about to begin.

 DSC05672 DSC05674 DSC05675

Here, everyone is a stranger, much like typical business travel with which we are all most familiar. Although, in this case, invited by either American Airlines or Paramount.

DSC05680 DSC05682 DSC05684 DSC05685 DSC05686 DSC05687

DSC05689

And, it ended like this…

7:29 PM, Touch-down
… 11 minutes ahead of schedule!

DSC05751 DSC05793 DSC05798  

Sunday, November 15
4:45 AM (next day), Breakfast @ Hilton
… consisting of a turkey sandwich and a venti white mocha.

6:03 AM, Return
I began my journey back to NYC, the final leg of this adventure, by heading back to the airport in preparation for my un-delayed, non-VIP, Economy class flight.

IMAG0014

First Class Experience

… from my vantage point in Economy class on this AA Charter flight. American Airlines’ social media program is still somewhat new, making for a great study subject. I started out by sitting down with American Airlines’ Billy Sanez, Director of Corporate Communications and Advertising & Promotions, and Chris Vary, Social Media Director, to begin my look into the inner workings and sharable lessons of this event.

On Social Media Strategy

American Airlines (AA) identifies two basic social media types that they seek to reach out to…

  • the very engaged / engaging individual, and
  • the reader / listener.

In the process of attracting these individuals, they ‘follow a lot of people,’ …

  • targeting following customers, as well as what they follow,
  • cultivating friendships with communities that are friends with their passengers.

Billy refers to all this as "family building." By doing so, they see themselves as creating a community of engaged people. Their social media goal is in building a community consisting of people "with real voices and opinions" who "talk about it (AA), enjoy it (AA), tell us (AA) how to fix it (AA)."

On the "Up in the Air" Movie and Premiere

Among American Airlines’ considerations for getting involved in this project were they…

  • felt the story was "real," and the people of AA, and in-turn, their customers, could easily relate to the story, travel quirks and all, and
  • saw the overall project as a great way to show off their product, what they do — that they can take "him" (Ryan Bingham, the main character in the movie and on the broader stage, the generic traveler) there.

On Pitfalls to Avoid & Advice

Some great advice Billy Sanez had for others seeking to launch a social media initiative boiled down to commitment.

Launching a social media initiative should be done because it is good for business, meets the needs of the business and product, not because it is cool, not because everyone else is doing it, not because you feel like you have to do it.

For American Airlines, the social media initiative is a great way for them to reach out to target audiences across a diverse array of channels that the various social media participants represented, everything from business and entrepreneurial, to fashion and consumer electronics.

When launching a social media initiative the company "must commit to it." You are setting yourself up for failure if you do not approach the social media initiative as a long-term strategy — much more than a brief initiative for a single event.

Being committed to a social media initiative is more than planning for the long-term, but also making sure to have the proper and sufficient resources behind it. For example, having enough resources to monitor all the content out there that pertains to your product, can be seen as a good start.

Lessons from 20,000 Ft

This successful move premiere was driven by a very effective social media campaign and all-encompassing event. Some takeaways that everyone with a product can learn from this strategy are:

Smart

  • Create an immersive product experience.

Most effective about this first ever movie premiere in the air was the totally immersive experience that they, American Airlines and Paramount Pictures, sought to envelope everyone in, simultaneously reaching out to and leveraging diverse social media communities. I became the main character in the movie, I was Ryan Bingham (George Clooney)!

Immersing the user, or event participants, in the product experience makes more relevant the product’s characteristics, its benefits, its purpose for existing, while founding a strong and lasting emotional connection.

  • Leverage diverse social media communities.

The organizations behind this event did not limit themselves to movie and celebrity outlets. They reached out to key community participants and buzz makers across a variety of industries, a variety of market influences. In addition to myself, some of the other opinion makers at the event were…

LA28

image Sherri Smith
Specializing in Consumer Electronics, Video Games
From Black Web 2.0

image Samantha Ewers
Specializing in Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment
From I’m Not Obsessed!

image Tom Limongello
Specializing in Mobile, Advertising, Business
From The Upper Westside Journal

image Alex Billington
Specializing in Movies, Hollywood
From First Showing

By not limiting themselves to only the generic movie channels, American Airlines and Paramount were able to reach out to a much broader audience, generate more buzz across more spheres of influence. Anywhere there were individuals primed for either or all products being promoted, American Airlines and Paramount Pictures, increased their chances of reaching them.

Should Do

The products of American Airlines and Paramount Pictures where excellently showcased and thoroughly enjoyed by all at this premiere in the air. Some steps that can be taken to further build upon these successes are…

…as to the event…

  • Have a pre-flight get together to introduce key players, American Airlines and Paramount responsible for assembling this trip, and those who will be available throughout the course of the event, as well as their VIP guests, and consider even allowing for a brief group Q&A to get the reporting and social media juices flowing.
  • DSC05730One of the parts of this trip that everyone was talking about, and I was particularly looking forward to, was the live in-flight concert by Sad Brad. Disappointingly, while I could clearly see Brad, hearing the concert on the plane proved impossible for all but those sitting right next to him. But, this quirk of air travel, and of trying something new, and something that should definitely be attempted again, provided a good learning experience — such as testing out the more technically challenging components of the trip beforehand. It would have been great to have been able to listen to the concert by plugging our goodie bagged Bose QC 15 headphones into the The Product Guy with Goodie Bagentertainment system.
  • An often overlooked aspect of scheduling social media events is the "down time" for the participants to engage their social media audiences, work on their article writing, etc. For this event it would have been very helpful to have had built-in down time at the hotel, the night of the event, as well as the day after for writing and posting, before sending everyone on their way home — exhausted from the travel, thereby delaying the desired product buzz building.

…as to the target audiences…

  • While I had access to Wi-Fi on my flight back from LAX to JFK, I did not have access to power. And, without access to power I would not be able to avail myself of the Wi-Fi or get much work done on my bicoastal flight, like working on this article. For both the event and the audiences being targeted by the event’s products, the biggest ‘Should Do’ relates to access to power. Prior to takeoff on the first leg of the trip, I was able to secure power, but only after crawling around on my hands and knees looking for the seemingly, randomly placed power outlet (my assigned seat, as well as its row, did not have an outlet). If you are targeting business travelers, social media types (the creators as well as the readers) your perks need to consist of more than Wi-Fi, but must include power at EVERY seat, not scattered throughout.
  • Providing free Wi-Fi is essential, and was successfully accomplished. Beyond the necessity of easy access to power for such devices as laptops and cell phones, essential on a non-stop bicoastal adventure, it is worth considering, to encourage people to engage their audiences better by…
    • advising people to spread out their coverage over days / weeks, leveraging various familiar mediums (e.g. text and pictures) and their respective services (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.) to further support the buzz building, and
    • depending on budget and other capabilities, provide devices that encourage posting, twitter devices, Internet enabled digital cameras already connected to the plane’s Wi-Fi, etc.; because the more effort your remove from the process, the broader and more sustained will be the coverage received.

Supporting

DSC05742Of all the perks and quirks surrounding this adventure, of all the planning and preparation done on all sides, at the end of the day, it came down to the core, the support, the backbone that made everything run smoothly, with which I was most impressed. I do a great deal of traveling for my consulting and have had many an unpleasant and apathetic encounter with customer support. On both this trip, as well as my standard Economy class flight back to NYC, as well as when I had to call the 800# to make last minute travel changes, the customer support, the flight attendants, were entirely and consistently helpful and attentive from one coast to the other, and back again.

No matter what your product is, no matter how cool the immediate event is, always remember that it is the support infrastructure that your clients, your product’s users, often most frequently interact with, that sets the tone for the overall product experience, leaves a lasting, influential impression, that will have a direct impact on current and future opinions is the customer support.

Your social media endeavors and product events pale in relation to having a sound support infrastructure, cheerful, accessible, helpful individuals, like American Airlines’ Jenny Harrington, there to help your product’s consumers throughout their product experience. Every product needs at least one Jenny Harrington.

 

"warm reminders that I am home" (Ryan Bingham, Up in the Air)

 

Fly, Fly Again

I turn down requested product reviews on this blog all of the time, but this one, universally unique, had me at ‘movie premiere on an airplane’. My advice to other companies looking to replicate much of what was done here …

be immersive,
encourage social media engagement, and
foster emotional ties between the product and those participating

… in your product campaigns and announcements and you will be able to have similar, repeatable successes as was done at the "Up in the Air" movie premiere with American Airlines and Paramount Pictures as we flew from JFK to LAX.

Also, I’d love to know how the lessons from this experience have benefited you and your product, or changed the way you are thinking about your next marketing / promotional endeavors. Leave a comment, email me, tweet me.

Enjoy & Share!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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From the VC Black-out to Questioning Google’s Wave Contribution

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_vc-blackout

On Starting Up…

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/11/08/funding-season-ends-next-week/
On the start of the venture capital black-out period.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://designm.ag/inspiration/30-web-designs-with-amazing-attetion-to-detail/
Amazing design… it’s often the details that matter.

02_design-details
03_more-wave

On Modular Innovation…

http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/11/10/my-first-month-with-google-wave-cant-even-stand-on-the-board/
What does Google’s Wave contribution mean for the future of Modular Innovation? You decide.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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The Product Group, All in One & More: Thanks for Coming!

theproductgroup_logo_200909_thumb7[3]
balsamiq_logo2_thumb2[3]

A big thank you to everyone who made it to our second meet-up of The Product Group, as well as to our sponsor, Balsamiq Studios! We all had a blast discussing Product People-oriented topics and enjoying Wonderful food.

DSC05661 DSC05662 DSC05663

Over the 2 hours we discussed…

Product Management Career: resources people use, how everyone go to where they are, and much more

Yahoo: the strategy of ‘all in one place,’ and its larger implications for the Internet and companies like Google and Microsoft

… and more …

The Product Group meet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategies, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering like this one and I am looking forward to seeing everyone, new and familiar, at our next meet-up …

Thursday, Decmber 3th @ 7PM
@ Wonderful @ 172 8th Avenue (bet. 18th and 19th St)
NYC

If you would like to attend our next meet-up, RSVP today or visit our group webpage at…

http://meetup.com/TheProductGroup

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

P.S. If you or an organization you represent would be interested in sponsoring an upcoming gathering of The Product Group please contact me.

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Gmail – Sweating the Small Stuff

gmail_logo_stylized_thumb35This is part 6 of a short story of personal exploration and development by one new to the daily employment of Gmail, long resisted, long desired, and eventually brought to conversion by an Android.

Part 6: To Resist

Recently our journey began. From the humble origins of Outlook to the portable synchronicity of the Windows Mobile platform, I did travel, did evolve, as needs, desires, and demands of communication and productivity so evolved and changed. Through the darkness of masked potential so emerged new and exciting opportunities. But, to fully grasp this fortune, these new degrees of productivity, it is important to pause, take measure of, and understand the crux at the heart at the core of the resistance to Gmail.

I am often asked, more so in the days since my recent conversion to Gmail, what is was, specifically, precisely, that caused me to build up such a strong aversion to a product such as this. And, the final piece, pieces, that made whole, almost immutable, my resistance to this conversion where the slowness, and the abundance of the little things.

Tiny Things

My on again, off again relationship, my basic resistance to Gmail was many-fold and lasted only until most recently. It was often the tiny things that got under the skin and kept us apart.

These things that grate at our well being, drive us apart when everything else feels surmountable, like pebbles, individually dismissible, together formidable, and in this case, significant in their contribution to the resistance heretofore exercised in the prelude to my conversion to Gmail.

Enough

Such infractions within this relationship had a cumulative effect:

Of course, to a much lesser extent than those explored in prior weeks, nonetheless, one of those pebbles, was the lack of customization of Gmail and Gmail related products (e.g. Google Calendar). And, by customization, I am referring to the abilities of plug-ins and other functionality aspects of these products whose counterparts in Exchange and Outlook had proven a comfortable harbor — one which I did not long to depart. Sure, calendar coloring by category is a tiny feature, a tiny thing, but one that I had grown accustomed to, one that has been there for me in helping me group and highlight important or critical elements — the similar offerings from Google Calendar, colorizing by calendar, not category, did not pass muster.

01_outlook-colors-calendar

02_google-calendar-colors

Another, inconsiderate act upon which I was frequently subjected, and even continues to this day, with greatly decreased frequency, relates to another notable series of infractions. Gmail never meant me any harm. I know that. It, I have believed, has always had the best intentions in trying to meet my needs, even trying to protect me from harm. But, its rigid treatment of spam, its very powerful spam filtering, … some interruptions occurring mid conversation … has resulted in me losing more than a few messages over the years.

03_gmail-spam

04_outlook-spam

It’s the tiny things that served as a persistent reminder to the Gmail resistance, individually minor, almost insignificant, but there nonetheless, unchanging, unmoving, and reminding me of all the other bigger things, that too persisted in like form. It’s the daily, tiny things that, when the larger ones fade from sight, serve has reminders to all the problems in the relationship that remain, remind us and eventually succeed in ensuring a persistent divide unbridged…

 

…that is, of course, unless, until you have the chance encounter, with an Android.

 

 

The Next

And, these propellants of reluctance, delayers of adoption, the fundamental causes of my resistance to what would eventually be overshadowed and forced aside, through the coercion of an Android to my conversion to the ways of Gmail, will, my friends, have to wait until next week.

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the eventual adoption of Gmail in one’s daily life, by one once thoroughly addicted to, dependent on, the primarily client-based solution of Microsoft’s Outlook,

what brought about this conversion, (1) (2)
why it took so long, and (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
what should be done to encourage greater Gmail adoption. (8) (9)

Enjoy & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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From Zazzing Your Product Design to Business Plan "YES!"

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

01_bplan-necessary

On Starting Up…

http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2009/11/03/are-business-plans-still-necessary/
Are business plans still necessary? The Product Guy says, "YES!"

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.myinkblog.com/2009/11/02/6-ways-to-take-your-webdesign-from-good-to-great/
Great advice on giving your product that extra bit of zazz.

02_web-zazz
03_yahoo-cloud

On Modular Innovation…

http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/archives/2009/11/cloud_keynote.html
Yahoo speaking on accelerating Modular Innovation in the cloud.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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More Gmail Problems – Slowness

gmail_logo_stylized_thumb3This is part 5 of a short story of personal exploration and development by one new to the daily employment of Gmail, long resisted, long desired, and eventually brought to conversion by an Android.

Part 5: To Resist

Recently our journey began. From the humble origins of Outlook to the portable synchronicity of the Windows Mobile platform, I did travel, did evolve, as needs, desires, and demands of communication and productivity so evolved and changed. Through the darkness of masked potential so emerged new and exciting opportunities. But, to fully grasp this fortune, these new degrees of productivity, it is important to pause, take measure of, and understand the crux at the heart at the core of the resistance to Gmail.

00_gmail-all

I am often asked, more so in the days since my recent conversion to Gmail, what is was, specifically, precisely, that caused me to build up such a strong aversion to a product such as this. And, the final piece, pieces, that made whole, almost immutable, my resistance to this conversion were the slowness, and the abundance of the little things.

Slow Play

The slow ticking, deafening to one waiting for the anticipated. Uncomfortable, the overbearing beating experienced, slowly. For far too often, especially when compared with its (Gmail’s) client-based counterparts, the tortuous drip of the less than instant search…

01_outlook-instant

…as well as the much lamented loading and screen transitions …

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02_loading-gmail-2

…that seem, even to this day, to reassert themselves and do cause the reluctant reassessment, of reversion from this conversion. And, impediments enough prior to that, too fostered, bolstered the overall aversion.

Thus Be Slow

This product, whose existence in my heart was a duality of contradiction, both courted and simultaneously resisted, placed further strains on this relationship that was still yet to be through its exhibition of yet another form of slow, adding unnecessary ballast to an already firmly cemented resistance.

This flame, with whom I oft flirted and fled, constantly tempted me, showing me a directional inclination to meet my needs and address my concerns. Such innovations were Gmail’s enchantments.

Dressed in exciting and alluring features befitting many a niche market and wanton suitor, myself not excluded, Gmail showed off such items as inline Netflix — great for that quick, one-time thrill; directionally appealing, but not enough upon which to build a long term relationship.

03_gmail-netflix

My family is a small one, but with everyone having their role and doing their part, up to now always getting along. Sure, there’s the occasional spat. But, in the end the family has always come together, harmony reached, OneNote sharing with Outlook, email and notes kindly cooperating and linking up with calendar, etc.

04_onenote-link

05_calendar-link

Gmail looked like it may someday get along with the whole family. However and again, its slowness came into play. Oh, sure, it worked hard in demonstrating the desire to improve and move in this direction, but lacking in facility, and those of which to bring home to and boast about.

But, for sealing the deal, a broader, some more whole approach, more generally appealing would be needed.

Separations

Passionate reunions were, over this long courtship, ignited…

06_gmail-gears

I waited, just outside, for what seemed, maybe even was, an eternity, to be able to take Gmail out and offline. But, while the time did eventually come, and did go a long way in wearing down my long established resistance, freeing myself and Gmail in our travels, enjoying our time in the park, on the plane, in far off places, places where WiFi had yet to reach.

… but, each and every time ending in disappointment, each subsequent breakup more disheartening than the last.

And, while dazzling, this flame, with whom I flirted, was a slow burning one. The evidence of aforementioned inclinations dwindled, giving rise to apprehensions of illusions, concerns of progress in ways most fitting to the needs most relevant, most pertinent to my resistance.

Little Things & The Resistance

But, what of the other reasons for my resistance, which managed to be sustained from the early days of the private Gmail beta to the most recent of but few weeks passed? What sort of little things could have kept me apart from Gmail for so long a time? For surely there must be more to such a stalwart position as has been held by me, and I am sure many others still, for, for them, the resistance most definitely continues. And, indeed there are. In addition to…

Exiguous Encouragement,
Inescapable IO (Information Overload), and
Suffersome Slowness

… there too are the staunch galvanizers of resistance …

Tiny Things.

The Next

And, these propellants of reluctance, delayers of adoption, the fundamental causes of my resistance to what would eventually be overshadowed and forced aside, through the coercion of an Android to my conversion to the ways of Gmail, will, my friends, have to wait until next week.

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the eventual adoption of Gmail in one’s daily life, by one once thoroughly addicted to, dependent on, the primarily client-based solution of Microsoft’s Outlook,

what brought about this conversion, (1) (2)
why it took so long, and (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
what should be done to encourage greater Gmail adoption. (8) (9)

Enjoy & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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