Fixing a hole where the rain gets in…

The summer has been quieter than we hoped. Pullquote’s total user count has plateaued at ~600, after growing at roughly 20% a week throughout the spring.

We’ve been puzzled by the plateau, but have a hypothesis: some people tweeting Pullquotes have gotten complaints from followers who clicked on a tweet saying “Smart dogs bark” (for example) and then saw the same “Smart dogs talk” text again in the Pullquote shadowbox, which they then had to close before proceeding to the source page.

We just hadn’t anticipated that people would Pullquote fragments of text or even headlines this creating this UI redundancy. But it seems that’s what many people want to do.

So we’ve the updated code so that a tweet that links to redundant (or very similar text) won’t create an intermediate shadowbox containing that same text. For longer quotes, the shadowbox will still appear, since this is the best way to highlight the essential idea buried inside an article.

In short, no more redundancy. You’ll see a shadowbox for if you click on the link in this tweet…

but not this tweet:

(We’re still polishing the algorithm, so if you see places we fail to prevent shadowbox redundancies, please help us out by sending the offending example.)

Beyond this UX tweak, we’ve spent the last few weeks cleaning up code and integrating an ID system that will let people who don’t have Twitter IDs use Pullquote.

What’s ahead? We continue to be excited by the specificity of Pullquote in a web of generic links. People don’t think in web pages, why should they link to web pages? As a by-product of Pullquoting, some people are building up an interesting collection of quotes. (Here’s my collection.)

This approach also means that people can choose to follow a subset of all the quotes I’m saving. Micro-following? With Twitter and Tumblr with irrelevant information, maybe some people will find this granularity to be a relief. So we’re going to focus on enhancing that “quote collecting” and “micro-following” experience in coming weeks to see where this leads us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *