Random Connect Observations

It’s been a slow news week. Usually, I have a few topics on deck that I can fall back on, but the well is really dry for me this week.

Anyway, I’m waiting to blog about Clayton’s Oracle People iPhone app, which is ever-so close to getting approved for mass distribution. Drop a comment with your Oracle email address if you’re hungry to join the beta testing team.

My Connect status

Otherwise, I guess I’ll fall back on some initial observations I have about the latest Connect redesign, which Rich turned on last Friday.

Connect traffic was way up the day Rich deployed the changes. We had more then 10,000 pageviews for the day, which is phenomenal for a Friday, and the traffic has stayed strong all week. Our monthly total topped 100,000 pageviews, which hasn’t happened for more than a year.

Traffic, in and of itself, is a good indicator, but the activity on Connect was more social than normal. Version 2.0 of Connect, like the current version of Mix, suggests content that might interest you on its home page. This is good stuff, and we plan to explore it more in the future, but for Version 3.0, Rich put activity front and center, Facebook style.

So now, it’s easy to see what’s happening right now in Connect, including the overall activity of everyone, which is my personal favorite view.  Avatars are prominently featured now too, which seems to have encouraged more people to add avatars.

It’s been common this week to see a person perform a bunch of tasks all in a row, e.g. add an avatar, accept a bunch of network invitations and join a few groups. This tells me this person is a pretty new user to Connect, which is fantastic.

So, maybe we’re on to something; Rich and I are scheming on a percent complete for the profile. LinkedIn does this, as do a couple other networks, and I think it’s a great way to spur people into providing better profiles. Seems like an obvious trick, but I’ve found that most people are happy to provide information, especially on Connect where there’s implicit trust inside the firewall, if you tell them what you want.

And give the incentive of a percent complete bar or some other visual carrot.

I’m pleased (and surprised) with the amount of real social activity going on too; people are forming groups and interacting within the groups. Networking is still a big draw, but people are giving kudos to each other more frequently now, which is a positive sign.

We had our first found use case too. People are using status to tell everyone they are out of the office. I call this a found use case because it’s one that we didn’t foresee, but it’s brilliant. I love it.

+1 for the people who started that trend.

We’ve also published our web metrics. Actually, there were never private, just not easy to find. Not sure how much value people will see, but some of the demographic information has caused discussion.

Beyond the UI, OraTweet integration is the biggest feature. It’s not new, but it’s more prominent now. Unfortunately, we don’t have statistics to track traffic driven between Connect and OraTweet, but from watching, you can see that Connect has drive new users to OraTweet, probably due to the prominence of tweets in the Activity Logs and the status integration.

We now include each person’s OraTweet handle on profiles too. I’m looking forward to new found use cases for tweeting too.

So, that’s the first week of Version 3.0 in review. Exciting stuff.

Remember, Oracle people who want to beta-test Clayton’s Oracle People app, drop a comment.

The rest of you, drop a comment too, but not about beta-testing 🙂




  1. Why not a simple “in/out board” type of widget that could be set by each user to let others know when they're on vacation, visiting a customer, or generally working? I haven't seen Connect yet, but if you're seeing people use status to set OOO status, maybe just having an OOO status widget would be helpful? I often find out about others being OOO with email autoreplies, but not everyone sets that up. I suppose not everyone would use the OOO widget either, but you could allow people to add it (or not) as they wish. If you do add such a thing, I'd advise you to include an end date when they're returning so they don't have to remember to turn it off when they get back.

  2. Sure, but I think this use of status works just fine. It does reflect their status accurately. We kicked around the idea of having a profile status, tied to IM status, that would tell people if you were available, in a meeting, etc.

    That's close to what you're suggesting. My concern is that adding multiple status-type widgets would get confusing. I can throw out the OOO status type message as an idea to see what people think.

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