BOOK: Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter 03

Following excerpts are not as structured as a serious composition should be, merely combining the selected sentences I took from the book and translated back to English.

<< Previous Chapter 2: Framework for Social Web Development

In this post, there are a few sentences came up by myself while translating.

Highlighted excerpts from Chapter 3: Sincere Conversation

The company must communicate with the customers directly.

Web service developers are easily get estranged when they are not good enough:

  • Because they don’t face the customers; or the users face to face.
  • The dissatisfaction is very hard to notice.
  • The support for the service is also the product, or at least a major part of the service.

The long term benefit of active and sincere conversation is far surpassing the temporal pain of negative statement.

The sincere conversation will lead the users to have interest in your service.

How to become the better service:

  1. Listen to the public opinions.
  2. Conversation will allow you to have more information without spending much on research.
  3. Those who give positive feedback are the enthusiastic users, worthy enough to record the conversations with them.
  4. These enthusiastic users are not only good users but also potentially good partner in application development. For this to be possible, open the sources

There must be more than selling. Servitude must become the priority of one’s service.

Aiming for the buzz marketing, the service must  take good care of the users more than necessary.

Ten steps for building trust:

  1. Don’t wait for the conversation to be started.
  2. Spread the story of  your company. People with the same idea will be gathered together.
  3. Clarify what kind of relationship you want to establish with the users.
  4. Prove that you are listening to the users very seriously.
  5. Let the user to learn about the service on their own pace.
  6. Expose the communication channel clearly to the users and respond to the messages as soon as possible.
  7. Give the users multiple options.
  8. Delegate the right and the responsibility for communicating with the users to most people in the project.
  9. Expect the changes and prepare for them. Take good care of the enthusiastic users.
  10. Hire the community manager. It’s preferable to hire the currently active member of the user community.

Experiencing the website itself is the purpose of providing service.

Building community doesn’t necessarily mean adding more functions.

The big name web services are started from satisfying needs of small communities.

If possible, try to develop it by and for oneself. This way one can know the aspect of being a user.

Most people are passionate about what they made by themselves.

Let the users contribute to the service. They are the best supporters.

Release the updated version as frequent as possible. Keep letting your service to be known. And fail as much and quick as possible, so one can know and minimize investing on what’s not working.

More failure means more experiments, finding the right solutions from the wrong solutions.

Fast cycle of development will gather more data which will support the argument against forceful pestering.

Entertain the users by presenting the whole process of development to them.

Respond positively to the negative opinions.

Someone will come to help when you sincerely admit your failure.

It’s impossible to avoid bad evaluation. Use it for your beneficial development.

Next Chapter 4: Bringing people to sign up >>


Managing blog

Added Google Analytics for WordPress plugin made by joostdevalk after confusing about where to put the tracking script.

Set up mail service. Needed to send the confirmation email, but had to wait to the next day. Seems to be the setup process wasn’t as fast as I thought. Had little trouble logging in through Gmail system.

Need to find a better theme and add my profile with picture.

Check contact information, my status where and how it’s being exposed to the public.


Just finished setting WordPress blog in with redirection configured. The website will evolve having more contents about my personal development and services.

Yes, the domain is finally working. I even had to change DNS name server myself due to the technical difficulty of the hosting company.

There were unexpected difficulties I had to suffer. The database system in this new hosting company is not as friendly as I wanted it to be. It required me to name the database following certain rule, which is explained in quite confusing way. It took me more than 30 minutes. Also, my local server’s phpMyAdmin was located at someplace too hard to find. Without knowing the export/import capability in WordPress, I had to add my posts in with manual date changes. Fortunately, I have only few posts to be added, but I was quite frustrated at myself, without a good reason.

Managing files among different folders is quite confusing and stressful. For I use both Mac and Windows together in my Macbook, folder synchronizing is a little daunting.

Hosting issues and Clarified development direction

It has been interesting days.

First of all, this domain transferring has been too much hassle, which is something unexpectedly wasted my time. I’ve been trying to launch my website in remote hosting last few days, but the registrar had troubles communicating with me and themselves.

Their mails were sent to my spam box, which I don’t check often. This caused delay and they didn’t get my responses in time. Also, since my domain is not expired from previous hosting or registrar, it required quite an extra work.

Still the domain is not working yet.

If this is what caused me to be frustrated lately, today I felt some confidence in my development direction.

I have troubled myself thinking if the service I am going to develop will be actually needed by many. Unless, the service provides blogging service far better than anything in the market, or handle the enormous traffic with brilliance, it will not be useful to the users. Also, drawing many users from their comfortable SNS like Facebook or Twitter is the biggest challenge I can imagine, if I cannot optimally use their APIs or build the collaborative deals with them.

But the one thing came clear to me. The key is by solving the problems of these services. For instance, Twitter requires to use shortened URL for links. If I can make the URL to be indexes to the Bible verses, the users can save their character usage. They can set up their own pages in my web service, and communicate with one another under the same topic of Bible studying.

This shortened URL idea doesn’t change the initial plan I’ve conceived. It adds some possibility to enhance usability, especially by solving the character limitation in Twitter. Once this is solved, providing links for Facebook and other SNS will not be too difficult.

So far it has been slow due to my own procrastination, lack of confidence, and interests in other issues, like job searching. Need to have more feed of intelligence and insights. And the strong will to execute anything I’ve planned from the smallest to the biggest.

BOOK: Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter 02

Following excerpts are not as structured as a serious composition should be, merely combining the selected sentences I took from the book and translated back to English.

<< Previous Chapter 1: Emergence of Social Web Era

Highlighted excerpts from Chapter 2: Framework for Social Web Development

The biggest disaster in project development is feature creep.

Not knowing what is really important, adding unnecessary feature instead of focusing on the essential one.

And this will cause competition among the features within.

The elements which the service developer cannot control:

  • The competition among the interest groups: taking each element to the different direction will diminish the effort to go to the common goal.
  • Political dispute, opinions or arguments that don’t concur: clash of different characteristic of the team members?
  • Lack of understanding about the users: clearly understood the need of users?
  • Ambiguous strategy: is strategy responsibility of only the strategy department? adopting outside strategy will change the way how the team works?
  • Absence of vision or goal: what’s the definitive measure of success?

Find the value of features and set the priorities:

  • For which task should our team invest time and energy?
  • What features must be added or deleted?
  • Are these feature work with or for the whole strategy?
  • How can avoid political dispute or argument about opinions and focus on the questions about the strategy itself?

AOF method(Activities, Object, Features):

  1. Focus on the most important activities: Always think about how to answer what the users do?
  2. Find the social objects: What social object will motivate the users to be active?
  3. Develop the essential features: What people do with social objects? How can the web service support the activities with the social objects?

The most important question: What does people do with the service?

People take interest on the service which does one thing so good.

Purpose if the final state the users try their best to get. Activity is the collection of methods to achieve that purpose.

If the activity were clear and specific, there wouldn’t be any need for a service to organizing it.

Profit or property are the auxiliary result out of the activity.


  • Interview: Focus on what they do, ignoring what opinions they have.
  • Usability test: Observe the users to know what activities they do, if they are satisfied or not with the activities.
  • On-site observation: Becoming the users themselves. Contextual research is getting information by actually observing the process.
  • Self-observation: For it’s almost impossible to be objective about oneself, it’s better to do it as a pair.
  • Listening to the reviews, using feedback forum

Don’t be afraid to change the ideas of own.

Identify the social object; the social medium or the social interactivity that connects the users. The object, the topic or the idea that is shared by the users.

What people want to do to achieve these purposes? Answering to this question will identify the essential features that must be developed.

Adding more features will cause conflict. Introduce the new feature to the users, actually operate it, and modify it make it more usable and useful.

Develop the most unique feature as possible, not imitating the others.

Next Chapter 3: Sincere Conversation >>

[Darren Rowse] How I meditate – Examen

I often find it very meaningful for a professional to share his or her belief and how he or she practice it, especially if the professional is not in the field of ministry. Though it is hard to ignore his ministry background, Darren Rowes; the Problogger, shares his personal method for meditation, or Examen.

The meditation is actually an ancient one – it’s called Examen of Consciousness (sometimes just called Examen) and it was developed by St. Ignatious Loyola (that’s a picture of him below – I think he’s blogging).

Examen a Christian meditation but I’m sure people of other faith backgrounds could use much of it with some modification and that even those who don’t practice any religion could benefit from some of the exercise too. I’ll write it up primarily as I practice it (I’m sure there are many variations) and from the Christian perspective but do feel free to adapt and fit it to your own situation.

The point of Examen is to find the movement of God in our daily lives as we review the day that we’ve just had (or are having). As a result I find that it’s best to do at the end of the day (I quite often use it in bed and fall asleep part way through).

I can’t help but consent more with the everyday Christians who are trying their best to diminish the line between non-spiritual or spiritual. In case of Darren Rowes’ understanding of meditation, he loves it because it’s not overly spiritual, but practical activity which can help him to get “a space to process and deal with the crap that life can throw at us and move forward.”

I’m very aware that this meditation comes from a spiritual (and Christian) perspective (although it’s also very grounded in day to day life) – however that’s the perspective I come from so it’s all I’m really able to authentically share.

As I mentioned above – if you don’t share my faith background I still think that much of it can be helpful. Stage 4 in particular is really useful for reflection. As I mentioned in the ‘note’ above – the practice of just setting aside time to think about how you live, react to situations and to notice the patterns that you slip into can be an enlightening one.

I love this meditation because it’s not overly ’spiritual’ and is quite practical. It does force me to stop, still myself and just ‘be’ for a few minutes each day but I find it also challenges me to work on aspects of myself that are slipping and also gives me a space to process and deal with the crap that life can throw at us and move forward.

I left this comment: “Thank you for sharing insightful post. Even though how everyone is different, uniquely created by God, there is some common sense when it’s about the relationship and communication with God. I was gladly surprised at how you described the purpose of meditation from the “Examen”, reviewing perspective. I do learn a lot from your work and personality. God bless you for your beautiful work in blogging and other meaningful missions.”

BOOK: Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter 01

Currently I am reading a book called “Designing for the Social Web” by Joshua Porter, Korean translated version. I would like to share the highlighted notes from the book.

Usually, I prefer to get an English copy so I can share my quoted excerpts directly from the text. But in this case, I must translate back to English. Please bear with me for I will try my best to convey the exact meanings.

Following excerpts are not as structured as a serious composition should be, merely combining the selected sentences I took from the book and translated back to English.

Highlighted excerpts from Chapter 1: Emergence of Social Web Era

“The key to success is based on humanity.”

“How to satisfy usability and personal desires and social requirements?”

“the Usage Lifecycle”

  1. Indicate the user’s need and engage in the sincere conversation about it.
  2. The user has curiosity, is prepared to listen
  3. Examine if the site is for the user, worthy enough change the user’s pattern in web utilization.
  4. Listen to the regular users.
  5. Developed an emotional attachment and began to evangelize to the people.

“User reviews are the most wanted contents in”

“‘People will not work without money’ theory is facing the big challenge.”

“Human is social being since his birth. Service he use must be social too.”

“Lewin’s Equation: B=f(P,E) Dichotomy between personal and environmental factors cannot satisfy human psychology.”

“Depends on how the User Interface(Environmental Factor) is designed, all conversations and interactions are determined.”

“Too restricted, the users will neglect it, or too flexible, the user will be confused.”

“Users want get the most accountable, trustworthy information from family or friends.” – Searching for a trustful agent

“Too much information make people to give up to make decision.”

“Advertisements cause stereotypical thinking.”

“People want the sincere, genuine converstion with the accountable people.”

“So much information needs attention from the users.”

The Attention Economy: The value of attention is diminished because there is too much information requiring our attention.”

“The attentions is a valuable property of an individual. By reading the text of person in the similar condition, the individual can make sound decision, which includes saying, ‘No'”

Next Chapter 2: Framework for Social Web Development >>

[Stepcase Lifehack] Scrum for One

This scheme is exactly what I need for developing my project. Step by step toward each small but important goal.

Scrumming Solo

Seems to me that, with a little modification, those are pretty good principles for anyone with some big projects on their plate – especially if you, like me, have a tendency to get side-railed. Of course, most of our projects aren’t collaborative, and they’re rarely as compartmentalized as computer programs, either. The idea of developing a project by evolutionary steps, with each step creating a potentially usable end-product, simply doesn’t apply to the kind of long-term projects most of us have as individuals – things like writing a book, learning a foreign language, or earning a promotion.

But the idea of Scrum is, I think, very applicable to our personal lives. The whole point is, through a process of constant self-awareness, to identify what’s holding us back, how we can work around it, and where the next few days or weeks should take us. Consider, then, “Scrum for One”:

  • Do what you can with what you have. There are bound to be hang-ups in any project worth doing, and it’s all too easy to look at a project and despair because you don’t have whatever you need to finish it. Well, you may not have what you need to finish, but chances are you have what you need to start, to do at least some of the steps needed to get yourself somewhere close to the finish line. And you can take heart from this peculiarity of Scrum: often, when working under less than ideal circumstances without all the necessities to finish a project, Scrum teams find that either a new solution emerges that’s much more within their grasp or, just as often, that the missing element isn’t really needed in the first place. At the worst, you’ll give yourself the time you need to come up with the missing piece – and meanwhile you’ll be moving inexorably closer to your goal.
  • Constant self-reflection. If you’re a fan of Allen, Covey, or Drucker, you’ve probably already accepted the importance of a weekly review. Scrum for One suggests that more frequent reflection might be helpful – nothing at the scale of a full weekly review, but a few moments of honesty each morning to define the work in front of you and any problems that might be standing in the way. Brainstorm a few minutes to see if you can solve the issue, and if not, put it in your to-do list for later action. A lot of time, just asking “What’s standing in my way?”is enough to trigger a solution – more often than not, the problem lies more in ourselves than in our situation.
  • Work towards clearly-defined, short-term goals. Give yourself a time limit and set a reasonable goal – reasonable, but meaningful – to reach by the end of that period. Projects that stretch out in front of you for months or years are discouraging (which is why so few people write books) while projects that are too small often aren’t very satisfying to complete.
  • Sprint. Sprinting the way Scrum teams do it won’t really work for individuals – you probably have a lot of different roles to play on a day-to-day basis, which means focusing on a single project to the exclusion of everything else is going to be difficult, if its even possible. What you can do, though, is block out a number of hours every day and use them to focus strictly on one project – no distractions, no knocking off early, no nothing until you reach your goal.

[ProBlogger] 5 Ways to ‘Systemize’ your Blogging

My schedule is not ideal for many people, but remember—I’m not married, not (currently) taking classes, and don’t have a day job. I maintain a midnight-7am schedule for blogging because that’s when I’m able to focus without being distracted—no matter what. I may be able to work undisturbed during the day every once in a while, but by choosing a time to work that is consistent has led to my building a habit around this time. My body now knows at midnight that it’s time to focus, crack down, and produce. Habits are a great “system” to have in place because they can help force efficiency and effectiveness in everything. Get in the habit of writing at least once a day, and start building good habits around your blogging “business” as soon as possible.

I just can’t help but agree, based on my own experience, observation on myself, I need to build the habit around the specific range of hours which enable me to focus and produce.

The ultimate goal of systematization is not necessarily automation—though when executed deliberately and correctly, automation can be a welcome hand in your business’ operation. By systemizing your blog, you are able to begin working “on” your blog, not “in” your blog—to borrow from a popular business expression. Sure, you need to provide great, original content, but understand that there’s more to blogging than what you type (unless, of course, the blog is for your eyes only!)

Since I hope to make this blog open to the viewers and earn enough money to support my autodidactic plans, I must develop professional skills to manage the blog to be a real business.

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