Fan / Follow: The Paths of Inspiration
Our biggest request since we rolled out favorites is:
“who’s favoriting me?!?”
Mike and I debated this solution pretty heavily. Mike’s from the Facebook generation where people have 500+ friends and everything’s open and public. I’m from the AOL “consumer” generation and have strong paranoia about maintaining privacy. As a result, we decided to make it possible for you to be able to favorite a mix anonymously without worry about social-games or viral spam …and find another solution.
So today we now have Fan / Follow, our (first) way of connecting users. If you like the stuff someone is making, you can become a fan and follow what they do. It’s essentially the same thing as followers/following on Twitter, but with the more traditional semantic.
There’s an interesting benefit to the fan/follow process. Let’s say Thom Yorke decides to sign up for Mixwit and you become a fan. Not only would you be updated whenever he makes a new mix, you’d also be able to check out his favorites, and who he’s following. Going further, you can follow a people chain to discover the people influencing the people that are influencing Thom… and who’s influencing those people beyond them (and so on and so on…)
How it Works
You can easily become a fan by clicking the “Follow me” button under his/her name. Plus, we provide a list of the 25 newest fans and people he/she is following on each display page.
As a fan, you’ll be able to stay up-to-date with your favorite people. You’ll also receive notifications whenever he/she makes a new mix, adds a new favorite, etc. Similarly, people who choose to be your fans will automatically receive notifications when you make a new mix. You don’t have to tell them – it’s done automatically.
Of course, with our new settings you can always change what follow notifications you send and receive.
So to recap:
Favorites will be for stuff (widgets). Anonymous.
Fan/follow is for personal / public connections. Usernames are shared and displayed.