Tag Archives: twitter

3 things an interface does

The interface starts on an output device, for example, a monitor or projector. Interfaces are solely designed for us humans because computers do not require interfaces to compute calculations. What does an interface do?

An interface impacts memory
  • Pleasing designs
  • Functional designs
  • Emotional designs
Memorable interfaces are ones we share with family and friends since they make us think differently. Who uses an excellent interface and stays silent about it? Memorable interfaces spark conversations.
An interface allows us to remember functions. Interfaces are not just about looks, they help us learn and, even better, interact with a system.
Fantastic interfaces cause us to have emotional responses with that interface and, thus, specific web sites. If you use a beautiful site that is easy to use, functional, and designed with accessibility and usability factors that site will evoke positive emotions, for instance, joy or interest. If the site also uses fun elements the site further enhances the positive emotional state because it is fun. Who does not like fun? It is, however, worth noting that some sites require a professional tonality and fun is therefore unsuitable. Your audience is key to triggering emotional states.

Emotional wheel. Copyright of Wikimedia Commons.

An interface enhances relationships
  • Accessibility
  • Functional
  • Usable
  • Trust
  • System interaction
All interfaces are designed to establish interactions. Building relationships with your audience increases user interaction. Designs at their best are interactive relationships.

Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another.

Interactive effects can be direct, for example obtaining a useful piece of information, or indirect by, for instance, subconsciously thinking that a design is usable and pleasant to look at.
Interfaces communicate
Interfaces allow user’s to communicate, for example, the menu element enables users to press a button to go to another web page. Small buttons affect communication. The size of interface elements is vital to aid communication.
In the last few years interfaces have started to hide and disappear. It is now accepted to hide details, for example, an address might be hidden but activated once a mouse hovers over a specific region, such as, a small arrow, for instance. User’s love to learn hidden interfaces.

Values of hidden interfaces

Users love hidden interfaces because: hidden commands help with efficiency; they evoke emotional responses, for example, learning a new shortcut triggers happy emotions since hidden commands lead to a sense of achievement; users like to show hidden interfaces to their friends and family, thus hidden interfaces give a sense of social value. Embrace hidden commands. Users react positively to finding hidden commands.

At first, however, hidden commands can be mistaken for a mistake. Those users who are willing to explore will re-encounter that “mistake” and link it to a hidden interface. We love to learn. Hidden interfaces facilitate learning.

Just as humans look very different, we each learn differently too. Some users will be quicker than others whenever they learn hidden interface commands.

An example of a hidden command

If you have Twitter’s mobile app, long press the “compose new tweet” button to bring up your draft messages. Alternatively if you have more than 1 account go to your “me” section and drag your photo all the way down to the bottom. This triggers a command allowing you to switch user accounts. Each of these functions are not new sections of the app, they are simply different ways to communicate with the system.

Have you found a new hidden interface or command recently? Tweet Gerald.

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  1. Lee, M. Kim, D. Kim, H. and Nam, T. (2012) Understanding Impacts of Hidden Interfaces on Mobile Phone User Experience. CHI ’12. pp. 45–48

Social media: Identity

Social media use mobile and apps to create highly interactive platforms. Social media allows users to: share; co-create; discuss and modify content. Social media members have, intentional or unintentional, online identities.

Identity on social media

Essentially we use social media to broadcast who we are, what we believe in, as well as, displaying elements of our personality. Motives cause social media use. LinkedIn, for example, is usually set up by users with the motive to promote oneself. Twitter user’s are largely motivated by communication.

Indirectly social media communicates to other users. Age, race and gender can all be indirectly gathered from a LinkedIn portrait photo. Many social media identities are indirectly communicated.

Social media identity can be explicit through, say, user profiles, or implicitly expressed by sharing personal tweets. Social media identity is influenced by the choice of media. LinkedIn, for example, influences real life names rather than encouraging nick names on Tumblr or a blog.

Marketer Michiel Gaasterland looks at the social media affect. Social media is like touching still water and developing ripples from contact. Seeing a newspaper article, for example, means a story will be seen by lots of unique visitors. This story, if catchy and interesting, will be blogged about by popular blogs who will also have their article blogged about by smaller bloggers. Another ripple could be people sharing a headline on Twitter, for instance. These shares will get likes and retweets which allows other people to spread articles.

Viral marketing uses the social media affect to spread a message to a lot of people on social media websites within a specified time frame.

In a social network the nodes are the individuals and the links correspond to relationships — who is talking to whom, who is communicating with whom on a regular basis.
(Papacharissi 2011)

All approved, or unapproved, online data can be collected. Writing about yourself and your life and sharing this information as an uploaded picture, for instance, defines you for many people. Active social media users create online identities.

The affect of social media on small businesses.

Social media and small business. Source: Dean Meyers.

Social media demographic tools*

Social Report
Social Report’s paid analytical program can help you gather a range of social media demogrphic data including, for instance, gender; education level and employment. You can also compare data between social media accounts to spot interesting differences and find out how you can maximise different social media accounts by knowing your audience.
A dashboard-led interface allows paying user’s to monitor and examine historical data. Cyfe can help understand your social media users.
Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytic goals allows you to monitor social media activity and conversions. This is useful if you want to evaluate the success of a social media special promotion campaign, for example.

*Modified from Hines (2013: online) who also states that social media analytic tools can also improve engagement, marketing decisions and bottom line profits. Social media identity is very powerful.

Social media and identity

  • Why social media use apps? Mobile apps increase interactivity.
  • Our identity depends upon the actual social media account created. This explains why LinkedIn users are different from, say, Google+ or Facebook users.
  • The social media affect influences social media buzz’s.
  • All social media data can be collected and analysed. This is why person’s can be brought into a legal court for breaking national laws.
  • There are some paid for social media tools that allow users to know and understand their audience.

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  1. Claypoole, T. and Payton, T. (2012) Protecting your internet identity: Are you naked online? Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc: Plymouth, United Kingdom.
  2. Hines, K. (2013) 4 tools that improve your social media analytics. [Online] [Accessed on 31st October 2013]
  3. Kietzmann, J.H. Hermkens, K. McCartney, I.P. and Silvestre, B.S. (2011) Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons. 2011(54) pp. 241 — 251
  4. Papacharissi, Z. (2011) A networked self: Identity, community, and culture on social network sites. Routledge: New York.
  5. Turner, J. and Oakes, P. (1986) The significance of the social identity concept for social psychology with reference to individualism, interactionism and social influence. British Journal of Social Psychology. 25 (3): 237–252.

GeraldMurphySEO on Twitter

Gerald Murphy is now on Twitter. Do you work, or have an interest, in SEO? It would be great to hear from you.

An easy way to get backlinks: White-hat

This post, and this blog, only emphasises white-hat related content.

Newsjacking breaking news and developments

Newsjacking is a form of content marketing which allows blogs and WebPages, among others, to write about breaking news stories rather than focusing on “how to guides” etc (Stetzer 2013: online).

Social media is a good foundation to find some newsjack stories. Some of the biggest news stories have been tweets on Twitter (e.g. Obama and the Bin Laden raid). Social media, therefore, needs to searched to find new stories and developments. Rumours can also be stronger or weaker by using social media, industry experts, for instance, are likely to use social media to give hints about product features.

How to search social media

Obviously not everything on social media is true, or one hundred per cent accurate, but it does allow everyone to find out reactions, opinions and rumours. Stories, of course, should not be based on rumours because the information is unreliable. Unreliable information could affect your ranking (i.e. Google’s Panda update).

Certain social medias do, however, have effective search features. Twitter Search, for example, allows users to search for keywords: This will allow you to generate stories for the latest developments. Related stories to your business model can help you create newsjacking material(s).

We all like to stay informed, as part of being human, because we are inquisitive by nature; however, we also like to read good opinions on the latest developments. We are, therefore, more likely to share links of good ‘breaking news’ stories we are interested in: Links allow us to get / earn backlinks which helps improve our Google PageRank.

Topsy: Instant social insight

Topsy allows users to search social media in real-time which helps us generate excellent content for newsjacking stories / articles. Tweets, photos and videos, to name a few of Topsy’s medias, can be searched for for more information on a breaking news story, or to find out how strong a source is for a new product release, for example.

Like Twitter, Topsy displays what is trending. Do trends contain information we, humans, like to read? Does this match our inquisitive nature?

Social media is massive. The amount of user generated content is too much to search but some services allow us to search through the mass of free opinions. It is, however, time consuming to do this. Backlinks of people taking about your newsjacks could be priceless.

Conlin (2012: online) identified that becoming popular online, among other factors, allows you to earn great backlinks. Does this show that newsjacking content allows you to become popular?


  1. Conlin, B. (2012) Five Ways to Earn Backlinks the Right Way in the Wake of ‘Disavow’. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013] http://www.vocus.com/blog/seo-earn-backlinks-right-way-disavow/
  2. Stetzer, A. (2013) Creative SEO Tip: Newsjacking. [Online] [Accessed on 29th March 2013] http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2258014/Creative-SEO-Tip-Newsjacking