in Startup Explorations

Startup explorations #22 / Ideas for future improvements

This is a continuation of my last post about my thoughts after wrapping up my second Twitter experiment. Here are some things to consider in the future, based on feedback I’ve gotten:

More difficult challenges. So far, each day’s challenges are really only a combination of posting and/or commenting (at first I also asked my users to follow recommended accounts, but it didn’t seem that meaningful); I have never asked for more than 3 posts and 3 comments at any one time. With a longer timeframe than one week, I’d be able to include much more difficult challenges to keep things interesting.

Allowing users to set their own targets. For example, aiming for a longer-term target, such as +x% profile views or tweet impressions after y days, and adjusting daily challenges progressively toward said target.

A time limit for each day’s challenge. I have been hearing from some of my users that this experiment has pushed them to engage with content they wouldn’t have on their own, and that they’re spending more time being thoughtful about what to post. This is good, especially if we want meaningful engagement, rather than just empty metrics. At the same time, I also don’t want them spending too much time. Work fills up whatever time you allow for it; perhaps a time limit would solve this.

Ebbs and flows. I have mentioned this before. A straight, progressive series of challenges works well over a short time frame like 7 days. Over a longer period, it would make more sense to lighten up on some days, such as weekends. Perhaps users could be given the option of setting the number of days a week they want to be active.

Getting to know other participants. I thought this was an interesting suggestion; since this is about community building, why not include a way of letting participants interact with each other through the challenge? They would be able to compare progress, see what others are doing that works or doesn’t work, etc. The added element of competition may be encouraging to some, but probably not everyone.

More recommendations from outside a user’s network. I have been focusing on getting recommendations based entirely on a user’s past activity; introducing an element of randomness might make the experience more interesting and unpredictable.

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  • Startup explorations #25 / Building, slowly – Joshua Cerdenia

    […] There isn’t a user interface yet; I simply use Postman to make a request. Yet this is a significant step forward because what used to take me 20 or 30 minutes for each user (without taking various distractions into account) now only takes a few seconds. This will enable me to run the next experiment much more efficiently, leaving room for more users, not to mention more room to experiment with various aspects of the project (see one of my previous posts about ideas for future improvement). […]