If it’s good, it’ll probably be repeated.  If it’s repeated, it’s shared. — fundamental axiom


I’ve just spent a bunch of time and effort creating a brilliant piece of writing.  I want to share it with the world.  Well, maybe not with everybody in the world, but at least with people who’d appreciate it.

The socialNet Engine says:

“Add 3 groups to share your buzz in”

Cool. That’s a great way to urge me to focus on interest groups.  I like the concept.
So I pick 3 of my favorites.  Or perhaps just the first 3 that seem likely.  I can’t add more than 3 groups, but that’s probably not a limitation… right?

The socialNet Engine says:

“Attention! You’ve already shared this content on three groups. [ OK ]”

This errorMessage is
  • words without meaning (i.e. there’s no context for why)
  • action without solution (and – furthermore – No, it’s not “OK” … to me)

I respond:

“Yes, I have. And I’d really like to share it with more groups.”

Why wouldn’t I want to?
And why wouldn’t the socialNet Engine want me to share with more groups?

What’s wrong here?

  • I’ve been prevented from sharing
  • I cannot complete my task
  • There is no “workaround”

Problem #1:

Timeliness:  the socialNet Engine does not indicate that there’s a problem with its process (not mine) until I click the [ Publish ] button.

Problem #2:

Voice:  the socialNet Engine ‘s interface and interaction for the error are what we can only call ‘user antagonistic’.

Problem #3:

Bad Precedent: the socialNet Engine is doing the exact same (counter-productive) thing as many other socialNets.

the Lesson:

Learn from your competitor’s mistakes.  Don’t emulate them

the Solution:

Make it easy to Pollinate

  • Maintain 3 shares as the bottom line for publishing any article
  • Also allow me to share with more than 3 groups.  (I should think that the socialNet Engine  would actually want me to do that.)
  • Usability:  Support “sticky info”  –  If I shared my honey with groups A, B, and C last time, then there’s a good chance that they’re my favorites.  Pre-populate them as my default sharing choices – or offer them as the first 3 on my picklist.   Even if you guessed right only x% of the time, you just made my publishing workflow easier by x%.



As a trained, fairly seasoned User Experienced (Usability) Practitioner, my initial motivation was to help “make beBee all it can be” (I even formed a Group called ‘beBee+Plus : Collaboration, Creativity, Crowdsourcing’ in an effort to move that forward).

Oddly, the response from beBee upper management was to dismiss my analysis as ‘bug reporting’.  You shrug.  You move on.


© The Communication Studio LLC