Over the last few weeks I’ve been putting some ideas together to send over to the guys @twitter to possibly improve their registration process. I can’t help but look at already existing platforms and think about how to improve them. This one involves Twitter, but can be transferred to other social networking platforms. I really like the guys at Twitter and every time I have had to deal with them (mostly for API queries!) they have been most helpful and replied within a few hours. Not like Facebook, which has one ‘engineer’ per 1,200,000 users. Not much chance of getting a response from them! So Twitter, if you’re watching I hope you like my idea!
We all know the Twitter registration process, there are 3 clear steps to getting registered. Once you’ve been to twitter.com and entered the your new username, email and a few details you are presented with a few options to start ‘following’ a few people to ‘kick-start’ your account.
A list of already registered Twitter users is presented here. You choose a category, and the list of users is populated. You can choose to follow one, some or all of these users. Variables are only for ‘category’ and ‘location’ (if locations is selected).
This step offers you the option to search your Gmail, Yahoo or AOL (already registered) email accounts to match up those peoples’ email addresses with registered Twitter users. You can, again, choose to follow one, some or all of the users, which are presented after this step is completed.
In this step you are presented with a box, which you can type in an actual person’s name. Twitter will then match up that name with that registered user’s Twitter details and you can then follow them. You can do this as many times as you like for people such as Stephen Fry, Bill Gates or Ashton Kutcher (to name a few Twitter ‘celebrities’).
But where is the targeting?
So we’ve been through the registration process, found a few people to follow, but who are they? What do they do? More to the point, do they share similar interests to you?
The answer is – ‘Maybe…’
Calling all Twitter staff!
Over the last few months I know that Twitter has changed it’s ‘recommended users’ search to find people who would be slightly more targeted to you (location and industry). It’s a small leap for a giant mankind if I’m brutally honest. The people presented to me still may or may not share the same interests as me. Again; ‘Where is the targeting?’
The answer is keywords!
Please change your system so that recommended users are based on keywords entered by that user in the registration process.
Example – Take ‘Bill‘….
“My name is Bill, I want to register with Twitter. My interests are my family, social media, food and drink and auto repair. I live in Hackney in London, UK and am 36 years old. ”
How could this person registering with Twitter find other Twitter users who he might find more to talk about, exchange information and other people of similar interests find what he is really saying interesting?
The proof is in the pudding!
Take another look at Bill’s profile above. Here are his list of interests and characteristics of his life and lifestyle that he might want to share with the Twittersphere and other Twitter users of similar interests, would find compelling.
- Social media
- Food and drink
- Auto repair (that’s car repair by the way for my fellow Brits…)
- Hackney, London
From the case study above you can see that Bill has a wide variety of interests. I also share a lot of those interests with Bill, but how do I find him? So there’s the Twitter search, more 3rd party Twitter apps than you can shake a very big stick at, but I will probably still have a hard time finding him. I think that Bill would really love sharing information with me, and I would with him too! But where is he?!
Upon registering with Twitter, if Bill were to enter these keywords into a few boxes, under an aptly named page title ‘Interests’, the geniuses at Twitter could setup a system to match one, two or three of these keywords with other registered Twitter users. Cross reference those keywords, and pow! Targeted users to share information with!
If it were me registering with Twitter, and presented with a keyword cross-referenced set of Twitter users, I would take so much more enjoyment out of following people who I share some or all of the same interests with.
Users could even be graded in % or a green bar that is filled depending on how strong the match it. The possibilities are endless.
A list appears on the next page. But not with people who may or may not share similar interests with you. But REAL people who would value and share the information you are providing, and you would no doubt do the same for them. Are you feeling this yet?
I would really love this to be a part of Twitter. I could really see it taking off. The emphasis would no longer be on followers, it would be on REAL people who you can share valuable information with. The wonderful thing about this is, it makes Twitter targeted and real. With there being so many spam bots out there and people posting, and re-posting non-original content through feed sites and 3rd party subscriptions, this would be a real shake up and chance users’ perspectives on Twitter.
The benefits to Twitter would be enormous. I know for months now they have been finely tweaking their service to take the emphasis away from the number of followers X user has and make real connections, well here is your opportunity.
Keywords = targeting = real people = sharing of useful information, which I, Bill or whomever actually wants to hear! = endless benefits to the end user
Questions? Contact me anytime on Twitter HERE
Twitter is (C) Twitter inc. Twitter has nothing to do with this or me, nor do the people mention in this post.