- 29 Jul 09, 08:45 GMT
Last week Yahoo rolled out a new front page to much fanfare.
At the time I reported on the sweeping changes the internet portal made to its shop window if you like...the entry point for some of the 570 million people who visit the site every month.
The killer approach is personalisation, letting users customise links to Yahoo and other services they use most frequently from news to social networks to e-mail to movies.
Yahoo described the overhaul as the most "radical" and "fundamental" makeover of the site since it began more than a decade ago.
Well now the insanely popular micro-blogging service Twitter is following suit. The changes are initially aimed at helping newcomers to the site navigate their way around and understand the brave new world of tweeting.
Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter blogged:
"Helping people access Twitter in more relevant and useful ways upon first introduction lowers the barrier to accessing the value Twitter has to offer and presents the service more consistently with how it has evolved".
He also explained that Twitter has changed and morphed from a:
"rudimentary social tool based on the concept of status messages" into "a new kind of communication and a valuable source of timely information. Also it's fun."
For the serious stuff think Iran, Mumbai, China and the Hudson River. For the fun stuff think Oprah, Ashton Kutcher and irrelevance. Sometimes for some and all the time for others.
What is most interesting about the makeover is the company's focus on search. As a real time search tool it is invaluable to a host of people from journalists to marketers and from big and small companies to anyone who cares.
The old home page definitely had an amateurish ring to it with its claim that Twitter was a way for friends and family to stay connected by answering one simple question "What are you doing?" Today the new home page presents a loftier aim and encourages users to "share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world."
Certainly at least anywhere in the world where Twitter is being used but with an estimated 40 million worldwide users since the beginning of the year and the desire to reach a billion, it could be argued that Twitter is on the right track with that statement.
Join the conversation...or not. But if you do, be careful what you Tweet.
Amanda Bonnen knows that to her cost. Earlier in the year she tweeted that the apartment she was staying in was mouldy...and to her then handful of followers she said:
"Who said sleeping in a mouldy apartment was bad for you?"
Well the property management company that was named is not happy and has filed a lawsuit that accuses Ms Bonnen of defaming the company and are asking for $50,000 in damages.
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