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Don't Stop at Onboarding New Users. Example from Foursquare.

I rarely visit (it's one of those destinations that is almost entirely mobile). Nevertheless, Foursquare is doing very interesting stuff on its .com and is clearly focused on using the web to build out deeper content, directories, etc. So I visited and this was the above-the-fold module I was first presented with. There isn't much ground-breaking - or even truly unique - about it. But it is highly relevant to a theme I have been thinking & talking a lot about recently: active user experience and optimization.

What does this awkward string mean? In short: so much attention is paid to new user experience (registration, conversion, onboarding, etc) that current users are somewhat neglected. Of course active users are not neglected from the a product experience - but the same care with which newbies are onboarded should be given to active users. Conversions don't stop after the registration flow:

- vistor >> - new user >> - active user >> - highly engaged user >> - super user (top 1%)

Back to the seemingly ordinary screenshot I included. It prompted this post because of the care that is given to driving deeper engagement and networking:

1. Tailored for the destination First, Foursquare understands that the act of networking is more efficient / powerful on the web than on mobile

2. Drive to a specific action They also realize that the more friends the better: notifications, engagement, virality, etc

3. Lots of opportunity And that I have 889 Facebook friends on Foursquare (wow) - yet am only connected with a handful of them

4. High converting design So they present this to me boldly, using the Facebook Facepile and a big, bright green Find Friends button.

Again, this is a minor example - but it speaks to the care with which Foursquare is thinking about driving activity as much as they are about new user onboarding.

Google +1 a Win for AdWords, Ad Units

I don't fully have my head around Wednesday's Google's +1 launch... namely because I don't entirely understand how 'liking' a page affects / improves a search query: am I voting for the best matching page for the query? or is +1 more similar to 'liking' a page? And if it's akin to liking a page - this makes more sense on product searches, websites, etc... much in the same way that Facebook Connect and concept of having Facebook Facepiles">Facepiles appear across the web.

What does my sense to me is the effect of +1 on ads. It makes a ton of sense and I love it:

For consumers: +1 'facepiles' (for lack of a better term) will lend credibility and users will be more inclined to click on those ad units.

For advertisers, you can now amass brand 'advocates' or 'fans' who will effectively improve click-throughs and conversions.

And this leads to a happy Google.

And a note to advertisers: I would work to drive +1's on my AdWords campaigns immediately. There will be a first-mover advantage as the product gains traction and your ads compete against units without +1 votes.