New features: We want them NOW!

By Steve Outing

My business partner, Derek, turned me on to a great new voice: Kathy Sierra. Derek heard her speak last week at the South by Southwest conference, and she’s got a blog called Creating Passionate Users (co-written with two other authors in a book series she’s doing for O’Reilly).

Kathy SierraOur business (the Enthusiast Group) is about serving people who are passionate about the sports they participate in, and we obviously want our users to be passionate about our websites. So I’m all ears on what Sierra is talking about.

This post and this follow-up are great. Must reading for every online publisher! The short version is this: Pay attention to what MySpace is doing. That oh-so-popular site responds to how people use the site and continually adds new features (and changes things) without being asked. Its on an ultra-fast or quick-release development cycle, adding new things every couple weeks. And MySpace’s young audience seems to eat that up.

This is so different from the old way of publishing (and software development, the topic Sierra writes about), where the traditional mindset is that too much change too fast will piss off readers and users. MySpace is finding that this generation eats it up when things change (for the better) constantly. They thrive on it.

(I can understand that. Despite my advanced age — late 4os — I’ve always loved change, while some of my contemporaries go crazy when some application or website they’ve gotten used to changes how it works.)

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!