Julien Genestoux

Superfeedr’s tireless butler, assistant, confidant, and surrogate father figure.

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The Curse

As you probably be know by now I’m a very strong open web advocate. I also believe strongly that software is eating the world and that old organisations and artificial barriers are being violently disrupted by the web and its very nature of global network.

 Winner takes all

I can’t ignore that in many areas of the web, a winner takes all pattern emerges and the largest player eventially takes all other players out of the market: it’s true for search, for the social graph, for retail, for classified, for VOIP… and will probably also be true for cabs, for home-sharing… etc.

There is no doubt, that, even though these companies may take ugly shortcuts, their product and service eventually provide a better answer to their customers than their competitors.

As such, they should win. There is no valid reason to prevent people from using a given service.

I’m always puzzled when I hear

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Follow buttons & the logged out user

Here is a new episode of my quest to understand and improve the follow button pattern on the web.

Of course, I have found a lot of new follow buttons in this past month. Unfortunately, they all show the same characteristic: you can only use them if you have an account with the platform that shows them.

 The Logged Out User

Fred Wilson coined the term over 2 years ago. The logged out user is the user who visits a site without an account on this site, or, who has an account but is not logged in at the moment. Many websites have now understood that the logged out users account for most of the visits they receive everyday. Even Facebook now has a lot of content for the logged out user.

In practice, the logged out user is also, the next user. It’s the user who will make the decision to signup or not. As Arnold Waldstein put it in the comments, the widest part of the engagement funel is

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Follow buttons everywhere

It’s fascinating to see patterns appear on the web, and to see how quickly they propagate. You probably remember the clickable-top-left logo (link to the home), the navigation footer with deep links, the tag clouds (these seem to have declined quickly though), or, the most recent #hashtags.
I’m betting big on the the follow button as one of the next most ubiquitous components of many websites in the future.

 Everywhere

Of course, they’re obvious when we talk about the social web. Twitter
is probably one of the early leaders there, closely followed by Tumblr. Facebook came a bit later to that game. There’s also about.me, App.net.

You can also find them on any kind of content publishing application, including Vimeo, Youtube, Instagram, or blogging platforms like Medium and Wordpress.

Obviously, content curation platforms like Pinterest or Storify have them too, and they’re appearing

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