Posts tagged: profile

The implicit signal of the high profiles

By , August 6, 2015 8:10 pm

The seed angel investors who are not family members screen the founders’ LinkedIn profiles before any contact. Having top private equity or top software firms and/or top schools in the profile means high opportunity costs, meaning the idea is one worth pursuing.

Then there’s the chemistry.

Yahoo! 360 officially dead & the impact

By , May 29, 2009 11:58 am

Yahoo! 360 is officially announced to be closed on 13 July 2009.

The impact this movement has:


4 million users worldwide and 2 million Vietnamese users lose what they call “home-base”.

Vietnamese bloggers had long equate “blog = Yahoo! 360“. The closure will change that perception.

Where are they moving to

I have noted down my prediction on Kevin’s blog here.

I have personally moved most of my social graph to Facebook.



The global forces: Facebook is climbing Alexa Vietnam rapidly.

Local competitors: good news?


There are two ecosystems in Vietnam on Yahoo! 360: 360themes and LinkHay feed. They will be heavily affected.

How about you? What impact will the closure have on you?

Is Yahoo! building the Hall of Yahoolla?

By , April 6, 2009 11:39 am

Yahoo! is concentrating on their Open Strategy; the focus is good, if they don’t abandon the particles that form a platform.

My metaphor: the Hall of Valhalla and the billboards

Imagine you’re a college student. You’re going to the library. On your way, a billboard is hung just around the corner before you reach the library.You stop for a few seconds to skim around the messages. The billboard is typically normal as in every school and at first it looks somewhat messy; however it is messy in its own order and as you figure through, you’ll know what you need.

Basically there are 2 things:

  • It is convenient: on people’s way of achieving something (going to the library)
  • It has its own order

There are various billboards like that across the campus. All good ones have the 2 characteristics above.

Now, the authority decides to build a hall where all the billboard is going to reside. The hall is separated from other buildings (library, computer labs, class rooms, sport grounds, common rooms…) for it to be easily managed.

How often will you drop by the hall of billboards? To what extent will the hall add values to your benefits? To what extent will the hall add values to the posters?

The hall will desert. People will scarcely visit. The values will drop.

Now, let’s go back to Yahoo!’s case.

Hall of Valhalla

Yahoo!’s Hall of Valhalla Yahoolla

Users are billboard viewers. Developers are billboard posters.

Yahoo! 360 which will be closed was a billboard of contents. Yahoo! Mash which had been closed was a billboard of relationships. Yahoo!’s Open Platform in which Yahoo! Profile centers is the Hall!

Yahoo! Open Strategy Platform

Image from Neal Sample & Cody Simms’ presentation

Without particles, how can an open but blank platform attract users and developers? How will Y!OSP add values to users?

Now, extending the boundary a bit further to other services that Y!OSP supports: Twitter, Tumblr, slideshare, StumbleUpon…

Yahoo! is leveraging its greatest user base: Yahoo! Mail. The prospect is that Yahoo! Mail users can manage different services from their Inbox! Additionally, users have their Yahoo! Profiles.

However, how willing are users going to stay in one place to get updated of all these services? If they do, they miss out the most, name it interaction or content, from going directly to the other services.

The Hall that Yahoo! is building will be a grand, titanic, ordered silo. The biggest question is: what will users find in there?

Social Media engagement on Facebook: Fan Page is the better channel

By , February 19, 2009 3:10 pm

Facebook Profile

Creating a Profile is not the right way.

  1. Relationship: People make friends with people, not with an entity (brand, object, product, institute…)
  2. There is the limit in the maximum number of people a profile can make friends with: 5000. If they have hit the limit, they won’t make friend with the profile you create
  3. When people have too many connections, it becomes sluggish for them to perform actions that require the friend list to load:
    1. Tag photos
    2. Tag videos
    3. Suggest friends
    4. Search friends

Facebook Group

Creating a Group is not the optimal way either.

  1. There is the limit in the maximum number of groups a profile can join: 200. If they have hit the limit, they won’t join the group you create
  2. Relationship: people form groups to get to know one another who share the same interest

UNSW Facebook Fan Page

Creating a Fan Page is the right way.

  1. Relationship: It clearly defines the relationship between the entity (brand, object, product, institute…) with its fans/supporters
  2. There is no limit in the maximum number of pages a profile can become fan for, or at least I haven’t hit that cap

In Sum

  1. Create real profiles for real staff
  2. People love to interact with real people
  3. Separate the people-people and subject-fans relationships
  4. Be professional on the subject, be slightly personal on the profiles (of real staff)


Tag people in Facebook

Tagging people in the marketing pitch is a smart move, but don’t overdo it.

The Wisdom Yahoo! has been equipping Vietnamese users with

By , February 1, 2009 4:31 pm


“Yahoo!” almost equals “Internet” in Vietnam.

Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! 360 and Flickr are the four products that lead the market. While Yahoo!’s email market share has slowly been sucked up by Google, all four of them are still dominating. We also talk about Yahoo! 360 Plus and Yahoo! Profile here and there but these 2 shall be covered later.

What’s good about it? The good thing is that the majority of Vietnamese Internet users share the same type of knowledge offered by Yahoo! products.

…which I call Foundation Wisdom.

These might be very obvious and basic. However, I want to list them in a clear manner to reuse them as premise for further brainstorms and discussions.

Foundation Wisdom

1. Free

Just don’t underestimate this point. My director in his fifties was amazed by the fact that there are so many good software for free (he was mentioning Facebook) and my father hadn’t believed in a free thing before I explained how new advertising worked to him.

Now that the younger users (GenY) are used to having things for free.

2. Tolerance to ads

Wow a good thing. They don’t mind seeing ads on their Yahoo! 360 pages or Yahoo! Messenger, so won’t moan about advertisements flying on new sites.

3. Simplicity in achieving a goal

Product makers shouldn’t confuse simplicity in achieving a goal with simplicity in design. We are familiar with praising Google and Apple’s simplicity in design, but what I’m discussing is how simple it is for users to achieve a goal when using your service, especially for the first time.

What is the goal with Yahoo! 360? Write blog entries, read updates, comment, write quick comments. And that’s all. 360 makes it simple for them by offering simple features.

4. Customization

Users love design customization offered in Yahoo! 360 and wishes to see that in any other site.

5. Concepts

Guest book

Users are used to using guest book (or quick comment in 360) as the communication channel.

Confusion: blog and social network

I bet many users are confused between a blogging platform and a social network if they ever care.

Confusion: add friend, follow and subscribe

Many users wouldn’t bother distinguishing “add friend”, “follow” or “subscribe”. 360 offers “add friend” and “subscribe”. 360plus offers “follow” and “subscribe”.


Users are accustomed to writing testimonials for one another. While the initial intention of testimonial is to recommend good attributes of the recommended, many have used this feature to simply express their fondness toward one another.

But nevertheless, they’re familiar with this concept anyway.


Status has always been offered by Yahoo! Messenger. But it takes off with Yahoo! 360 blast. Users don’t only update their status on the blast but utilize it for many short contents: quotes, life philosophy, messages…

It’s a good thing that creativity is encouraged.


Yahoo! 360 allows media embed and it is a great thing that this rather advanced feature has become known by users.

6. Language

Users are used to a set of languages in Yahoo! products.

i.e. “Quick comment”, not “Wall” or “Scrapbook”. “Testimonial”, not “Recommendation”.

7. Contents

Personal and emotional

Many Vietnamese users use 360 for personal purpose and chiefly write about their emotions and relationships.

Page view

Many write for page views and use page views as the only metric to measure success of contents.

Celebrity gossips

Some of the hottest blogs in Vietnamese attribute to hot news that center celebrity gossips, sex-related topics.

Briefly, how to take advantage of this

1. User education doesn’t have to start from scratch

Make use of their current knowledge. Build your education on that.

You can even set an ego gift for your customers. Make them feel like after using your service, their level of technological insights has been improved. This, firstly, makes them feel good about themselves. Next, imagine your users proudly educate others about a new service and become a guru in their friends’ eyes. This further boosts their satisfaction.

2. Make it simple for users to achieve their goal

Good, no need to throw advanced features to users in the first launch. What needs done is the core feature(s) that bring(s) most values to users.

Rule of thumb: users’ patience toward complexity proportionates to the value of the goal to them.

3. Colorful design and profile layout customization

Colorful design is a must. And being colorful is not mutual exclusive to simplicity.

While customization is not relevant to some types of services such as social news, it’s recommended to provide the ability to customize one’s profile.

4. Language

Exploit the set of language from legacy Yahoo! products.

5. Concepts

Exploit the set of concepts from legacy Yahoo! products. If you have to introduce new concepts, find way to introduce it with the language users are familiar with.

6. Make it personal and emotional

7. Don’t (have to) host contents, but be a platform to spread contents

Good is embed exists. Better is users are familiar with it.

What it means here is that you don’t have to host original contents, but need to build platforms that media can be embedded in and focus on how to allow such contents to be spread on by your service.

Yahoo! Profile and OpenID

By , May 9, 2008 1:05 am

OpenID logo

Hi Everyone,I want to share with you some news from Vietnam. Yahoo! unveiled several Vietnam-centric initiatives as part of our Southeast Asia business strategy. One of these initiatives is called 360plus – A new Vietnamese blogging application.This offering provides Yahoo! users in Vietnam with more ways to customize their blogs, connect to friends and share their experiences with their social connections.

Just to be clear, the 360plus product is specific to the Vietnamese market and it is not the new universal profile that we have mentioned previously in this blog. So, while 360 is transitioning to the new profile for users worldwide, the 360 name will live on in a different product in Vietnam.

On a related note, many of you have asked for an update on the new profile. We are working on an update and will post it to this blog this week.

So, goodbye for now — or as they say in Vietnam, tạm biệt!

Matt Warburton

Yahoo! Community Manager

Source: Yahoo! 360 Product Blog


Comment: Yahoo! has supported Open ID. It is reasonable to predict that the new product namely Yahoo! Profile to replace 360 will employ Open ID.

CyVee’s Concern of Security conflicts with its Account Levels

By , November 29, 2007 12:03 pm

CyVee banner

CyVee cares about security of information by providing security options and regularly reminding its users of setting security issues. This is what I applaud.

However, this concern of security conflicts with its Account levels.

Currently CyVee offers 3 levels of account: Personal, PersonalPlus and Premium. Details can be viewed here

To upgrade to PersonalPlus for free, user needs to complete 100% profile. I have filled in most information about my portfolio and career, and I am very cautious about these fields:

  1. Birthday in Personal Information
  2. Email in Contact Information
  3. Cellphone in Contact Information

I eventually decided to fill in Email field with a little tweak so as only human can get it correctly, and left the other 2 blank. Since I leave 2 fields out, my profile is 60% complete, which means I am not able to upgrade my account to PersonalPlus.

So in order to upgrade the account, one has to violate basic security practice by revealing his/her crucial information.

My suggestions

  1. Provide built-in email image-generator like that of Facebook
  2. Make these 3 fields non-required


Tai Tran

Facebook vs Orkut vs Yahoo! Mash vs MySpace, and some other Social Networking sites

By , October 29, 2007 11:08 pm

Social Network Sites


Facebook logo

73.5 million users and growing fastest

What I like about it

  1. Mini-Feed is useful in seeing a quick snapshot on the latest happenings within your network without going to several sites to check.
  2. The ability to supply how you know a person.
  3. Nice applications. Approximately 10% of Facebook applications I’ve tried are interesting and useful while others are not as good.

I think these can be improved

  1. Fixed 600 width and non-resizable
  2. Non-customizable design
  3. No blogging functionality
  4. Tight security: profile only viewable by friends. How do you determine if a profile is your friend or not just by looking at the screen name which can be different from the real name?
  5. One account can only join no more than 200 groups. Unlimited is preferred.


Glossy Orkut logo

24.6 million users

What I like about it

  1. Simple design, Google philosophy after all
  2. Extensible width
  3. Ad-free

I think these can be improved

  1. Name. Honestly speaking, the Turkish name “Orkut” is very unfamiliar. Just a remark, as the brand name is not supposed to change
  2. Very few, if any, extensions

Yahoo! Mash

Yahoo! Mash Logo

What I like about it

  1. Wider width
  2. Larger font
  3. Allows profiles to be updated by friends
  4. Mini-feed is also supplied

I think these can be improved

  1. Check boxes to select friends to add should be provided
  2. More group levels
  3. Informal language. I am especially not easy with the word “fugly”
  4. Profile with non-removable fields such as “What’s most likely playing on my iPod”… Excuse me, can I NOT have an iPod?


MySpace logo

107 million users. The currently largest site

What I like about it

  1. Integrated all-in-one solution that includes social networking, blogging, mail, favorites, forum, movies, events, media

I think these can be improved

  1. Inconsistent design
  2. Music landing page
  3. Spam, including spam invitations, protection
  4. Tons of ads

Other notable networking sites

Name Focus Number of users (in million) Comments
Windows Live Spaces Blogging 120 Really eye-catching glossy design. Powerful blogging support. Try new Microsoft experience!
hi5 General 50 An issue: the letter ‘5’ creates this word “hị” in Vietnamese. hi5 is still nice anyway
bebo Schools & alumni 34 Nice and neat
friendster General 50 Friendster is getting old. It needs more innovation.
imeem Media: Music, Video 16 Possibly the best media site currently. Nice design and convenient upload process. Support tagging
LinkedIn Business 15 Very professional for business networking purpose Music 15 Attractive design, especially the logo. However, radio alone is not that fascinating. They could use more of music sharing
Xanga Blogging 40 The ad on top is a huge barrier to this site’s design. Usability is a little messy

Read more

Wikipedia, List of social networking websites

Mashable, Facebook Hammers MySpace on Almost All Key Features

Techcrunch, Facebook platform

American Class Divisions

Nerdlifestyle, Media restrictions

My choice

Facebook to keep in touch with international friends and English-speaking communities

Yahoo! Mash. Many young Vietnamese users rely on Yahoo! services

Tai Tran on iMeem for socially musical networking

How about you?

Share your experience here…

Which site do you like best? What you wish your site had offered?

Write "Hello User" Facebook Application using PHP

By , October 20, 2007 12:55 am

1. Install Facebook Developer Application

Add The Facebook Developer Application

2. Install PHP Facebook API Client Library

Facebook API

Unzip the library into a web folder that is accessible by your PHP scripts.

3. Creating Your Application Profile And API Key

  1. Go to the developer panel, click “Set Up New Application”.
  2. Input application name
  3. Go to “Optional Fields”, input “Callback Url” with the location of your script. This is the public URL on your webserver where the Facebook application will be.
  4. Input “Canvas Page URL”. This is your application URL within Facebook. The application named “Hello World” would make the full URL
  5. “Can your application be added on Facebook?” => “Yes”
  6. Check “Developer Mode” checkbox until you have completed the application.
  7. Under “Integration Points” fill out “Side Nav URL” with the full “Canvas Page URL” This allows users to add your application to their Facebook left side bar navigation.
  8. Obtain the API Key and Secrete

4. Hello Facebook!

require_once('facebook/client/facebook.php');/* initialize the facebook API with your application API Key and Secrete */
$facebook = new Facebook(YOUR_API_KEY,YOUR_SECRETE_CODE);?>
Hello <fb:name uid='<?php echo $fb_user; ?>' useyou='false' possessive='true' />! Welcome to Facebook application!

And there, we’re done!

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