Blog Post: Nielsen All In With Social Media

Just as many have been saying for the past year, Nielsen has launched a new ratings metric that includes Twitter posts into it’s ratings. Shows that have more people talking about it in real time will now be rated higher than their non-techie counterparts.

According to this release from USA Today: 

“The Twitter TV Ratings will measure the number of people tweeting about TV programs as well as how many Twitter users are viewing those messages.

Nielsen says an analysis of the Twitter TV rating found the audience of users viewing tweets about a TV show is about 50 times larger than the authors firing off tweets.”

Cable shows will possibly benefit the most, as anything that can boost their numbers will help. Network television can also seize upon this opportunity as well to incorporate social media into the program (even more than they already do). With the increase in visibility into this rating, however, you can be sure Twitter will be incorporated into every new show pitch.

The challenge will be for content creators to show advertises these metrics still matter. Just because someone tweets about a show, doesn’t necessarily mean they should be more ad revenue.

What do you think? Do you think shows with heavy Twitter use matter more than without?

Blog Post: Nielsen All In With Social Media

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Are Stable Teams Realistic?

Today’s link provide some amazing metrics and studies involving project teams that are in it for the long haul. Whether you are talking about your favorite sports team, church small group, or even your own family: people that do work or life together for a long time are going to be better at whatever they are working towards.

Unfortunately, the reality of today’s IT landscape is teams don’t get to stay exactly the way they are for very long.

As much as I have experience that, though, there are many companies that managed to not only keep some semblance of continuity with their teams, but manage to hold onto employees as well.

I just don’t know how much that happens anymore. How long do teams stay together on one project at your place of work?

Blog Post: Are Stable Teams Realistic?

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Blog Post: Does ‘Delight’ Change The Meaning of MVP?

After my first couple of months in the realm of QA, I noticed something rather interesting. Some of my colleagues, who did the same work I did for the same pay, started describing themselves with different verbiage. Specifically, they changed their titles on email signatures and LinkedIn. Before I knew it, we were all calling ourselves Quality Assurance Engineers, Test Engineers, Test Strategy Coordinators, and so on.

Didn’t change the fact that we were QA. Certainly didn’t change how we were viewed by PMO or development. 

That’s what I think of when I read articles like this very well written piece by Startup Blender on the difference between a Minimum Viable Product versus Minimum Delightful Product. Regardless of whatever differences you see, if the first iteration of a product does not delight stakeholders or the customer, then it’s not viable in the least.

I wholeheartedly understand and support the sentiment the writer aspires to. Viable is boring and utilitarian, which is not what a designer or big thinker wants to put in front of users. He wants to wow them from day one, and if that isn’t achieved you must start over.

Just be careful that you don’t walk down a rabbit’s hole of making sure the title of your idea is perfect. You might make your next pitch session a little peppier than normal, but those you really want to impress won’t be fooled.

You delight your users by finding what is described as the “product gestalt”. This description of the perfect union of design, UX, and ideas was the best part of this post. As that famous person said that time, “form and function are one.”

If you need to change one word of MVP to achieve that, go for it. Go on with your bad self delighting users. Just don’t try and convince me that’s not what viable is supposed to mean. We all know better.

Blog Post: Does ‘Delight’ Change The Meaning of MVP?

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Blog Post: Free Apps Are Popular, But Are They Right?

It’s hard to argue with hard data that suggests apps with zero initial cost are more successful than paid apps. As articles, such as this piece from TechCrunch, argue, developer revenue and download metrics both suggest there is little value in asking users to pay up front for anything.

Tell that to Epic Games.

The maker of the Infinity Blade trilogy has not only made a killing off their hugely popular apps, the price of each subsequent version keeps going up. Doesn’t matter, as download numbers keep rising in addition to the company’s bank accounts.

At the same time, games like Candy Crush continue to beat expectations by asking customers to invest nothing except what they want after playing a few levels. If I’m being completely honest, I have invested more of my Apple credit in Candy Crush than Infinity Blade.

So is there such a thing as a “correct” model?

Just remember that the goal of every app is not to make money in today’s market. A restaurant like Chick-fil-A or Starbucks can release an app as part of their branding strategy and not necessarily make their money back. If the app helps drive customers to their locations, it is a success.

An upcoming movie release may choose to have a free game integrated into the marketing campaign to help generate excitement. It also helps keep the movie top of mind for when the DVD is released. In that vein, any revenue generated is secondary to push a tentpole movie into pop culture conversations.

Granted, if the goal of the developer is to have a profit generated just from the development of a single app, it is very hard to argue with freemium. Unless you have a proven brand people are willing to pay for like Infinity Blade, it can be difficult to ask users to pay without trying.

Yet, I see more and more apps hit the iOS and Android stores with that request. Will they be more successful than their free counterparts? If downloads are the goal, then there is no way for that to happen. Hooking some dedicated first-adopters with great UI/UX and concept and making a profit off them is for sure on the side of paid apps.

Don’t let articles such as this scare you away from your strategy. Build your users up with anticipation for your upcoming release and they will gladly reward you with their discretionary income. Great software will succeed no matter what price you set it at (with some obvious exceptions).

What has worked for you? Which pricing model do you see taking off in the next year or two?

Blog Post: Free Apps Are Popular, But Are They Right?

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