Hot Topics, Sharp Questions

Bring your eyeballs! Over on the Web 2.0 Expo blog, Kaitlin Pike is posting one compelling piece after another. Brady and I, co-chairs for Web 2.0 Expo, did the easy part: we lined up speakers for the March show in SF. Now Kaitlin, community manager for Web 2.0 Expo, is doing the hard part: conducting and writing up useful interviews. A few we’ve particularly liked:

* Talk to Your Customers: Laura Klein on User Research (interview with one of the sharpest user experience consultants in the biz). “Their metrics were telling them that a new design they were testing was failing, but once we found and fixed a very small problem, it completely changed the outcome of the experiment.”

* Happiness and Why Your Social Media Efforts Could Use More of It (interview with Stanford professor and “Dragonfly Effect” co-author Jennifer Lynne Aaker). “Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for those who wish they could just buy the Happiness app and be done with it, we do know what correlates with happiness in the longer run.”

* Why Not to Show New Employees the Bathroom Until They’ve Checked in Code (interview with Cheezburger CTO Scott Porad). “We got a gift…an extremely large bowl of M&Ms…so we had a contest: Who could eat the most M&Ms in a minute using chopsitcks? Now that’s great, but a lot our people work remotely…”

* How to Start a Web Business…Without Programming? (interview with serial entrepreneur Elizabeth Yin). “These days, for most internet businesses, the number one challenge is customer acquisition and marketing — not in building a website…the overwhelming majority of startups that fail don’t fail because their website didn’t work. They fail because not enough people used it.”

Additional interviews cover sex, failure and other don’t-miss topics. Check ’em out.