The power of small changes

By August 29, 2008Blogging, Content

As reported on ReadWriteWeb yesterday Google plans to replace the words ‘Subcribe to this blog’ with ‘Follow this blog’ in the sidebar of every blog on Blogger.com around the web.

I’m constantly hearing stories of how small changes like this have a massive impact on key site metrics – e.g. conversion, and this could be the same. The word ‘subscribe’ always conjours up thoughts of payment for me and I like follow much better. I have just changed the heading in my right sidebar accordingly – although the buttons still say subscribe :(.

The Google announcement of the ‘follow’ terminology is accompanied by details of social features they are adding to Blogger and Google reader which sound like they will operate a bit like MyBlogLog and maybe even Friendfeed. Interesting stuff, although it sounds like it will be restricted to Google properties – which is a shame.

  • i agree, little changes like this have big impacts. a great example of this approach pushed even further is feedburner,albeit slightly too americanised for their global customer base.

  • i agree, little changes like this have big impacts. a great example of this approach pushed even further is feedburner,albeit slightly too americanised for their global customer base.

  • Danvers

    Isn’t this just another example of the trendy “nudge” theory of economics/human behaviour – which is currently being seized on by the Conservative Party (who incidentially are seen in the UK as being close to Google).

  • Isn’t this just another example of the trendy “nudge” theory of economics/human behaviour – which is currently being seized on by the Conservative Party (who incidentially are seen in the UK as being close to Google).

  • By changing error messages from “failed delivery” to much more specific messages telling the user what kind of failure it was, and why it probably happened, we actually surfaced areas of benefit that we didn’t previously know about. By being specific, and using specific language, we were able to position ourselves even further ahead of competing offers. I like the follow language, because it is “collegial”.

  • By changing error messages from “failed delivery” to much more specific messages telling the user what kind of failure it was, and why it probably happened, we actually surfaced areas of benefit that we didn’t previously know about. By being specific, and using specific language, we were able to position ourselves even further ahead of competing offers. I like the follow language, because it is “collegial”.

  • The meaning of subscribe has indeed changed over the last couple of years. It has more negative connotations than positive. Its a commitment. Twitter has helped bring a new word/lexicon into existence that is generally comprehended and far more palatable among mainstream social networking users. ‘Follow.’ No commitments, not credit card required, no misunderstanding. This is very wise on Googles part and should help drive more activity to their blogger.com property.

    Mark Brooks, 212-444-1636, http://www.socialnetworkingwatch.com

  • The meaning of subscribe has indeed changed over the last couple of years. It has more negative connotations than positive. Its a commitment. Twitter has helped bring a new word/lexicon into existence that is generally comprehended and far more palatable among mainstream social networking users. ‘Follow.’ No commitments, not credit card required, no misunderstanding. This is very wise on Googles part and should help drive more activity to their blogger.com property.

    Mark Brooks, 212-444-1636, http://www.socialnetworkingwatch.com