Posts tagged: stumbleupon

Microblogging and social bookmarking 2011

By , October 8, 2011 3:43 pm
  • At its peak, Twitter had no more than 3000 users in Vietnam, the majority among whom are geeks. This is a rough estimation from many avid users. The number has dropped drastically since 2008.
  • Most Twitter clones in Vietnam failed. This year, I only see left. It eventually implemented SMS updates that I had hinted back in 2009.
  • 2 years after I deplurked, Plurk has been slowly gaining traction in Philippines and Taiwan. While information on the reasons Weibo dominates China is easy to find, analysis on Plurk is limited I still can’t answer why. A Taiwanese friend of mine, upon receiving my question, replied briefly “Personally I think the mechanism of Plurk is very close to Taiwanese ideology of mumbling”.
  • When Twitter clones don’t work, a new wave of products were hatched: VNG launched Zing Live, a proclaimed Weibo clone by its CEO. VCCorp launched and Pega, surprisingly, works on “add friend” rather than “follow” mechanism.
  • I would expect more Weibo clones to come.
  • Digg, reddit, Mixx, slashdot, furk are all dropping
  • Meanwhile, StumbleUpon is having a spike in traffic. What has it done right?

stumbleupon traffic

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?

How these Firefox 3-compatible addons save me one hour per day

By , August 18, 2008 11:38 am

I’m on Firefox 3 too, and I utilize addons to enrich my web experience too, like most of you there.

There have been countless of entries to useful Firefox addons, but what’s different about this post is that it measures the costs that can be saved for users when using these extensions.

What are the costs of usability and how much are they?

The descending order of severity of the costs are

  1. Screen loads: this is a pain when internet connection is slow. It usually takes most time of all interactions with the computer
  2. Mouse movements: mouse movements severely damage the wrist and this should be minimized
  3. Mouse clicks: mouse clicks are less severe than mouse movements, but are also expensive
  4. URLs: an URL takes time to type in
  5. Enters: it hurts the little finger
  6. Hot keys: hot keys usually consists of at least 2 keys, but are regarded as less expensive than Enters because they are mostly done with the left hand, reduces damage to the right hand

Now, let’s start with the addons!

The first six in the batch: Google Toolbar, Diigo Toolbar, StumbleUpon Toolbar, TwitterFox, CustomizeGoogle, Better YouTube

Google ToolbarGoogle Toolbar for Firefox

Google Toolbar provides search, “I’m feeling lucky” and images search functions without having to go to

It also supports Gmail notifications and Google PR check

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Ctrl+T
  2. Alt+D
  3. Input: or
  4. Enter
  5. Wait for one screen load
  6. Enter
  7. Input search keywords. Enter
  8. Wait for one screen load
  1. Move mouse to the toolbar
  2. Input search keywords
  3. Enter or move mouse to “Search the Web for images”
  4. Wait for one screen load
Cost saved
  • Two mouse movements
  • One screen load
  • Two hot keys
  • One URL
  • Enters
  • This can save me 10 seconds

Diigo Toolbar

I have used Diigo as a replacement of delicious (I still love the old brand

Though delicious tagging is smarter and usability is better, Diigo supports web-highlighting which makes it an advantage.

Diigo toolbar allows user to bookmark their favorite web pages for later reference. With Diigo, all bookmarks are centralized when users move from computer to another.

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Alt+D to move cursor to the address bar
  2. Ctrl+C to copy the link to post
  3. Ctrl+T
  4. Alt+D
  5. Input: diigo
  6. Enter
  7. Wait for one screen load
  8. Move mouse to “My Bookmarks”
  9. Click
  10. Wait for one screen
  11. Move mouse to “Add a bookmark”
  12. Ctrl+V
  13. Enter
  14. Move mouse to “Tags” (assume that I ignore “Description”)
  15. Input tags
  16. Move mouse to “Add New Bookmark”
  17. Click
  1. Move mouse to the “Bookmark” button
  2. Click
  3. Input tags
  4. Click
Cost saved This can save me 60 seconds

StumbleUpon Firefox addonStumbleUpon Toolbar

StumbleUpon works on an interesting concept: when you hit the Stumble! button, the addon takes you to a random interesting page that matches your preferences.

The StumbleUpon toolbar makes it more convenient for you.

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Alt+D to move cursor to the address bar
  2. Ctrl+C to copy the link to post
  3. Ctrl+T
  4. Alt+D
  5. Input: diigo
  6. Enter
  7. Wait for one screen load
  8. Move mouse to “Post new blog”
  9. Ctrl+V
  10. Move mouse to “Post new blog” button
  11. Click
  1. Move mouse to the “I like it!” button
  2. Click
Cost saved This can save me 45 seconds

CustomizeGoogle Firefox addonCustomizeGoogle

This powerful addon modifies Google search results and display preferences. It supports options for Web Search, Images, Groups, News, Products, G Answers, G Books, Gmail, G Galendar, G Maps, G Docs, Video, Reader, Cache, Blogger, History, Privacy and Filter

If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
Costs From Google Images Search screen

  1. Move mouse to the thumbnail
  2. Right-click to open context menu
  3. T
  4. Ctrl+Tab
  5. Wait for half a screen load (only need the thumbnail to be loaded)
  6. Move mouse to the thumbnail
  7. Click
  8. Wait for one screen load
From Google Images Search screen

  1. Move mouse to the thumbnail
  2. Right-click to open context menu
  3. T
  4. Ctrl+Tab
  5. Wait for one screen load
Cost saved
  • Half a screen load
  • One Click
  • This can save me 30 seconds


If I don’t use this addon If I use this addon
  1. Ctrl+T
  2. Input
  3. Enter
  4. Wait for one screen load
  1. Move mouse to the Twitterfox icon
  2. Click
  3. Wait for one mini-screen load
Cost saved This looks like it costs even more than the web version. However, the time to load the mini-screen is much less than it does to load the full web page

Better YouTube

This Greasemonkey-based addon loads the YouTube video faster and allows downloading the video. Generally it saves me half an hour per day for one video.


With the intensity of these service I use everyday, these addons easily save at least one hour each day for me.

I can use this one hour for other business purposes which can generate other benefits.

What is your experience? What do you think of my approach when analyzing these?

Tai Tran's Favorite Facebook Applications

By , May 25, 2008 4:39 pm

Apart from built-in functionalities, these are my favorite applications so far:

Information Integration

Blog RSS Feed Reader

This is the nicest RSS reader application in Facebook. Though it doesn’t replace a professional reader, it’s nice to have in your profile since you can check the title quickly and let people see what you’re reading. Integrating this with RSS mashups like Yahoo! Pipes is a good idea.


To share cool websites that you Stumble.

To share cool websites that you saves on


There are countless of gifts applications, but these 2 are very cute and the concept is nice too: to wait 4 days for the gift to grow/hatch.

Growing Gifts

Select a plant (or an object) and send to your friends. It will grow in 4 days.

Hatching Eggs

Select a cute creature (or an object) and send to your friends in the form of an egg. The egg will hatch in 4 days.


Birthday Calendar

Although Facebook provides a birthday reminder, this application layouts all your friends’ birthdays so it’s easier for you to plan your celebration and/or presents ahead.

My Personality

The main test is based on the Big-5 traits. It also explains typical horoscope psychology and test you against it. The good thing is that it compares you with your Facebook connections.

My Types

A MBTI test with percentage. It gives you the results of your Facebook friends too.


You can write testimonials for your friends and receive ones from them. Testimonials give you flexibility in assessing than with mere adjectives.

How about you? What are your favorite applications?

Webnerations: From Web Service to Web Platform, and how their Business Models evolve

By , November 8, 2007 7:45 pm

We thought Web Service was good. It certainly is!

Web Service has brought the economy to the web. There is no need to repeat what Amazon, eBay, Yahoo! and Google all have done.

Windows Live Centralized Point

Web 2.0 and a different approach

But another approach is rising fast. Web service providers now make their product a Web Platform.

They build up a very good core based on solid philosophy. Then they provide API for developers to build applications on.


With their defeat by Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5, Mozilla temporarily withdrew and launch their next hit: Firefox.

As in September 2007, market share of Firefox reaches 35.4%, according to W3C.

One important reason why Firefox has become this popular is due to its extensions gallery. A huge collection of well-done small web services are offered for free by developers worldwide.

Many of Firefox extensions are done to support other web services such as Google Search, Blogging,, StumbleUpon, digg, Amazon, eBay.

Gradually, the browser becomes one of the largest centralized points of the web.

Social Networking

Talking about Social Networking today, we have to praise Facebook immediately.

Facebook is also doing very well to provide their API so that applications can be developed on a very good and mature skeleton.

Most successful Facebook applications support networking purpose such as free gifts, messages, testimonials, collaborative games.

The goal of a social networking site is to become the home of as many activities of users as possible.

Content Management Systems

WordPress, Joomla, phpBB have been building communities around them.

Themes allow personalization.

Plugins allow customization.

Most of all, the platform allow monetization.

Conclusion: Web Platforms

Looking at these obvious examples, we see that Firefox, Facebook, WordPress et al offer a very solid and useful core and highly flexible and open API on which applications, extensions, addons, plugins, themes can grow and develop.

They have become Web Platforms to Web Services.

These Web Services in turn make the Platforms new and ever-changing.

Future: Information Depot

In near future, or maybe now already, we’ll see these central points become Information Depot in Semantic Web.

When a web seller wants to approach specific market segment, it should know what and how the potential customers are like. How? From Information Nodes such as e-Commerce sites and Social Networking sites. It would go to Amazon to get information on the customers’ buying preferences, and go to Facebook to get information on the customers’ networks and personal interests.

Can you imagine what happens next? These Information Depots will be able to manipulate the information in whichever way they prefer, not limited to making the information available, for prices.


We’re moving from separated glamorous isles to metropolitans on the web.

You will be able to do many things on a single website. Enjoy the sweetness it brings, while not lowing your guard on diabetes.

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