How Twitter Can Save Itself (…and make a few bucks in the process!)

Jim StroudAre you an avid Twitter user? I am. I tweet a great deal which is why recent news of Twitter slipping in popularity concerns me. I do not for a second believe that Twitter is going away anytime soon. However, from a competitive standpoint, I do not want it to slip into irrelevance (Friendster?) or battle for significance when it was once a force to be reckoned with. (MySpace?) That being said, I would like to humbly suggest to Twitter a few tweaks (and a couple of acquisitions) that might work to keep their rivals at bay. At least, for a moment or two longer.



  • Set up a system whereby people can register a hashtag. I’m thinking akin to buying a domain. For example, let’s say I wanted to register the hashtag #resumeforensics. I fill out a form and pay something, really, really cheap. Say… $0.99 a month / $10.00 a year. What does this get me? When someone uses my hashtag, they click on it and are taken to a landing page that explains what the hashtag is all about and any related content (pictures, videos, whatever). They also see who are the most popular people associated with that hashtag. The owner of the hashtag gets to see traffic stats and how they rank against other registered hashtags in the system.
  • If someone wants to register my hashtag (and not just use it in a tweet), Twitter sends them a message that says #resumeforensics has already been registered and suggests other hashtags. If someone uses a hashtag that no one has registered, business as usual (as of now), just no special landing page when you click the hashtag.
  • This option could go a long way to helping people figure out what a discussion is all about should they arrive somewhere in the middle of it and give advertisers more choices. It also removes confusion should users in another country altogether start tweeting around the hashtag as well. Make sense?


  • I bet if you were to take a poll that most people would say that they use the “favorite” option on tweets as if it were a “Like” button. Why not change that verbiage? Are there copyright issues regarding that? I mean, will you get in trouble with Facebook? If so, consider other words like: Approve, “Thumbs Up,” “Good one,” Cool, Recommended or Nice.
  • Hmm… while you’re at it, maybe a dual choice is appropriate. Can I have the option to “Bookmark it” and/or “Nice it?” If I bookmark it, then I want to get back to it later. If I “nice it,” I’m just giving kudos on what someone said and do not necessarily want to clutter up my (now) Favorites list.
  • In the event you ignore my suggestions about turning favorites into likes (or the equivalent thereof), can you make it so I can sort my favorites by date and/or adding a filter so I can search my favorites? (Same way you let me filter images and links in my Twitter searches.)


  • I love the search engine Tweepz because it allows me to search the biographies of people on Twitter. I would like that functionality on Twitter as well. (Or, simply buy Tweepz and add it in.)
  • In keeping with your pithy roots, how about letting me share 15 second audio bites? Since SoundCloud plays well with your system, why not buy them and fully integrate it?
  • I wrote a blog post explaining how to search for lists on Twitter. Why is there no easy way to search for public lists on Twitter? Honestly, this makes no sense to me. Lists are a great way to reduce the information overload on Twitter and help me focus. I would also suggest making automated lists for your users to choose from based on people they tweet with the most, subjects discussed, location and trending topics. I would also make list suggestions based on your “Who To Follow” algorithm.


  • I have multiple Twitter accounts. I use my main @jimstroud account to discuss social recruiting and job search strategy.  I use @isearchologist to focus on search and technology in general. I have others as well. I would LOVE IT if I could log into one account and manage them all, instead of signing out of one to go into another.
  • Imagine this scenario, someone visits my @jimstroud account. They also notice that I have other Twitter profiles as well. They opt in to follow me on the other accounts. Now, when I tweet something about social recruiting, it goes automatically to my main Twitter profile @jimstroud. However, if I decide to tweet about one of the greatest TV shows ever made – 24 (or Breaking Bad or Dr. Who or The Walking Dead or… whatever) then by tweeting as per usual and adding a symbol like ^2, then my tweet will get posted only on my @isearchologist profile and not my main one. Make sense? I also would like to give someone the choice of selecting to get ALL of my tweets from each of my profiles in one stream.


  • Okay, one last thing! I’ve read that you have a lot of changes in the wind. I will be eagerly anticipating them. No doubt more user interface changes will be gracing the web and my mobile. Why not let me choose the interface I want? For example, before rolling out your changes to the masses, give your legacy users the option to keep Twitter as it has been? (But let them upgrade their interface later!) New users won’t know any difference anyway. Make sense?
  • Also, create interfaces for certain audiences. New users get an interface whereby you mouse over a section and a help menu appears (until they turn it off). More seasoned users who are not as active on Twitter, but have been in the past, get another type of interface. Expert users, those who have been using Twitter consistently, get to pick and choose what functions they want to use on the web and on their mobiles.

Or… Maybe I am just obsessing needlessly over Twitter and my ideas are hardly worth a glance. Either way, I would love to know what you think Twitter and anyone else who stumbles across this. Leave me a comment?


P.S. Feel free to follow me on Twitter. 😉


Why is @Netflix leaving money on the table?

netflix is leaving money on the table


I love me some Netflix and get a bit happy everytime I hear them expanding into new markets or their stock rising. (Need to get me some of them options by the way.) Anyway, I was binging on some “House of Cards” when an idea came to me. I think Netflix is leaving some money on the table. I have a couple of ideas concerning Netflix that I would like to share with the hope that if implemented, it would get me free Netflix for life. If the powers that be are especially grateful, some Netflix stock would be reason enough for a happy dance (or Michael Jackson “moonwalk.”)


I put a lot of movies in my queue and some I do not get around to viewing. Unfortunately, some disappear from my list before I can engage them and I am denied the choice altogether. (Ugh!) This had me thinking, “what if for a few pennies more, I could “lock” a movie in my list?” In this way, should Netflix cut it from the general offerings, I still have it in my list for as long as I pay the “lock” fee. This would be on top of my regular subscriber fee, by the way. If I cancel my “lock” privileges, my locked movies disappear only as long as they are no longer available to the general subscriber audience. Make sense? I think people would pay for that, even if they are too busy to actually watch everything they are saving.

House of Cards


“House of Cards” and “Lillyhammer” are two of my favorite Netflix original shows. Love ‘em! Mean it. I would like to tweet or comment about each episode as I watch it but, I do not want to spoil it for other people. Moreover, I do not want anyone else spoiling it for me. So, this is what I thought would be cool. Howzabout Netflix gives viewers the options to leave comments at different points of the video and call it the “Spoiler Chat” or something like that. In this way, people who have already seen a show or are watching it for the second time, can rant and rave without messing it up for everyone else. Get me? Hmm… Just in case you do not, imagine this.

Let’s say I am watching the latest season of “Arrested Development” and a certain someone says, “Say goodbye to these!” I leave a comment on the video that very moment saying, “There’s always money in the banana stand.” The only way someone would see my comments and other “spoiler chats” is to click an option like, umm… the close captioning option. By doing that… ah! Okay. I think you get me now. Annnnd just in case there is still any ambiguity, check out the video below. If you mouse over the dots, you will see comments I’ve made.

In case you were somewhat amused, click here to view more of “The Jim Stroud Show” on my YouTube channel.

Okay, back to my point. For this to work, people would have to be watching on their desktops. Umm… I say that because of all the typing they would want to do. But now that I think of it, one could very well do this on a mobile device. The accuracy and speed by which my daughter can text with her friends is amazing. I’m sure others could follow suit. But, to make it easy, maybe on the “spoiler chat” interface could be some predetermined responses like smilee faces or “you had me at hello” or “Say hello to my little friend” or, any number of famous movie quotes. Just an idea. Hmm… Maybe people could add their own canned responses?

I would think that such an endeavor would present a double benefit to Netflix. Not only do they give their customers a means to build community around content, but they also get more data to extrapolate and analyze. For example, how many people commented on the action scene verses the love scene? Do they prefer to leave smilee faces at certain scenes? Do they prefer to write original notes or use the canned responses? Maybe they don’t like the idea at all or, maybe they love it? How do they respond when an actor or director leaves comments in the spoiler chats? Does this change draw in a larger audience? So much to speculate on and of course, all fodder to help purchase compelling content for their customers. Just a thought.

I also had some ideas around how Netflix could garner an unfair recruitment advantage over their competitors. I will save that for another day.

What do you think of the above ideas? Pretty solid? Or, a waste of time? Let me know in the comments below.