Single Sign On, is the new paradigm of the Internet Portal. Prior to this, the single sign on, like Facebook, or the others was used only as a convenience to users to login to other sites without the hastle of registering for another site. Google Plus takes it to a level where this single sign on can be used to customize content, a custom portal based on historical usage, floating the most frequent, and/or the last used sites. In addition, the Google Plus SSO can allow users to recommend, G+ sites, or specific content within a site and pass those recommendations onto other users, and even Google Plus Hangouts may be created based on users on the same sites concurrently, if SSO can detect the active session. Google Plus Hangouts can be created dynamically , and ask the user if they want to join other users already looking at site N, with the site content in one corner of the Hangout.[dfads params=’groups=1177,1178&limit=1&orderby=random’]
A few months ago, I had an issue with my Internet Service Provider, griped about it on Twitter and before you know it, the organization has a Twitter search, and was walking me through a problem. It was amazing to have that type of personal care and quick response. So thinking about it, why not just add the additional feature to Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
As an example, the CRM system should troll through tweets looking for hashtags which may include company name, any additional issue related content, and then generate a unique ticket ID, which may be a separate queue from the regular CRM. The tweet gets placed as a line item in the comments section appended with date, time and status. A person then reviews the queue to try to identity the actual customer, like following the user and tweeting back, who are you and how can I help suggesting to DM them your customer ID. The companies’ account would be verified, so no trust issues.
If it is a valid customer, they qualify the interaction, e.g. new service, tech support, move the Twitter ticket out of the queue and route a new CRM ticket to the appropriate department, where, they may continue the conversation by phone, or a company authorized chat program.
Last night I was driving my daughter and her guy friend home from an after school program, and I really like this kid, he’s a little tech geek like me. I spoke to this computer savvy twelve year old kid, and was asking him all these questions from a kid’s perspective about all these new technologies. He was articulating and rattling off thought provoking and meaningful information. It was like I was talking to an industry analyst, bright fun, good kid. He and I talked non-stop, and after we dropped him off, and I realized we monopolized the conversation, and my daughter might have wanted to get in a word, so I apologized. Forgot what it was like to be teen, a girl no less.
Anyway, in the mist of our discussion the kid said he uses a gmail account instead of his default ISP. I asked him about what he thought of Google Plus. He said he did some exploring of it. “Yeah, Google + was created to compete with Facebook, but it’s not really that great.” I asked him if he knew about a few features I thought were cool, and his response was “No, not really, Instagram,” he said “was ‘killin it’ though.” We went onto more market analysis of the space. I was amazed. Kids.
It was then I realized why the kid didn’t get past the first page. Appeal and usability. These are concepts in User Interface design and are essential in attracting users. These types of features are usually added later on. The standard technology mantra, is “Make it work, then make it work [faster, refine UI, etc]. If I was trying to really be unbiased, Google Plus is tantamount to a Beta product. As an example, the “Your Circle” buttons truncate the Circle name, are square shaped, and don’t have an appeal. In fact, many of the user interface features feel canned. The user interface is not the focus initially when putting out a product, especially when you are in a rapid mode of delivering, and are certain your product may change drastically, i.e. based on your road map, user feedback, and so on. Although I really like the baseline platform, and am trying not to be, I am a bit biased in favor of Google. Google Plus looks like they are using the Agile methodology with Scrum Sprints and constant releases. To be clear, I am using their own, Google’s latest browser Chrome, on Windows 7 with a powerful computer.
So, what does this teach us? Well, in Project Management, sometimes you can add all the resources in the world to a project, but at some point you get diminishing returns, and there is a limit to delivery capability even using Agile and Scrum methodologies, especially if Social Networking is high on Google’s agenda. Agile requires user feedback, hence the release, and user response cyclical feedback loop.