Last week during our Twitter chat, one of our WordCamp Chicago friends, Adam McCrimmon, requested that we focus one of our topics on Google Reader in an upcoming #shehechat. Yesterday, Jim discussed why he likes the changes in the Google Reader interface, but you’ll also want to read Adam’s three-part series on his first experiences with Reader leading up to his impressions of the recent changes. Those posts are:
- Google Reader — Part 1: Information Addiction
- Google Reader — Part 2: The Love Affair
- Google Reader — Part 3: The Anti-Social Update
So here’s the part where I’m supposed to weigh in on the changes to Google Reader. Since I was the editor for all four of the previously mentioned posts, I can tell you that this topic has been covered thoroughly. I’ve been using Google Reader for a much shorter period of time than either Jim or Adam and have never used the sharing option. So I’m bowing to their expertise on this subject.
However, Google Reader isn’t the only interface that’s been going through changes lately so Jim and I decided that the entire hour of #shehechat tonight will be dedicated to UX. Besides Google Reader, below are some changes on other networks we’ve noticed lately.
LinkedIn: In October, this network introduced more social activity for administrators of business pages. They can now update the company’s status and, although they can’t directly upload photos or video, they can post links to them.
Twitter: There are several interesting changes happening on Twitter. Along with a new design of Twitter.com, there is the addition of the Activity tab, which allows you to view who people in your network are following and what they are retweeting. The new profiles include thumbnails of recently uploaded photos and now you can view who is following you and adding you to lists in your Mentions tab. Find out more about these updates.
Facebook: These changes were announced back in September, but regular users are probably still getting used to them. There’s been a lot of talk about how some of these changes have been borrowed from other networks and repurposed for Facebook. Another overhaul of the home and profile pages incorporated a timeline of friends’ activities and soon, instead of pressing that “Like” button, you’ll be able to comment through a gesture.
FourSquare: It seems like this network is ever-changing. It’s been fun to watch friends add comments and photos to check-ins lately. Soon, you’ll be able to add a new element to your checkin: Music. Yesterday, FourSquare announced on its blog that it will be integrating an app called SoundTracking into their network. Also, if you haven’t checked out the new design of FourSquare.com, it’s significantly different too.
There are probably many more changes out there on these networks and others. Do you know of one? If so, please comment below and don’t forget to join us tonight at 8 p.m. CST for a special #shehechat on the changing user experience.