Tag Archives: twitter

Another Book about Social Media…YAWN

Everyone wants to see their name in print. Even those that have managed to build successful businesses that buck the traditional way of doing business and “old”  media.

There’s been a number of books published on the topic since Groundswell first came out. Books written by social media people…that were not written with the help of community. That do not have ongoing communities to discuss the book, well free ones at least. It seems the biggest badge of honor for a social media person to receive is the opportunity to participate in old media.  Quite comical really.

About three years ago I was invited to participate in Don Tapscott’s Growing Up Digital book. There were discussion groups created where a number of us talked about the trends and concepts Don was writing about. In fact, I still connect with some of the people that were in those chat rooms.  A book about the digital age, developed and enhanced through digital channels.  Perfect.

Keeping in that tradition I came across this book on Twitter. Yawnn…NO! It’s a book written about Twitter by the Twitter community. Masterminded by Justin McCullough (@mccjustin) and complete with multiple writers, multiple view points. YES! This is new way of doing old media.  Go to embracingtwitter.com and download your FREE copy. Learn from a list of Twitterati what you can’t in 140 characters.

Thanks Laura (@pistachio) for being a champion of the Twitter community and showing me this gem of an ebook.

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The Ultimate Twitter Resource: Oneforty.com

Want to know how to do more with Twitter? Check out oneforty.com. It’s Laura Fitton’s (@pistachio) site that aggregates and compiles all the cool twitter tools out there in one place.

This is a bit of a shameless post since I made the front page of its Twitter Toolkit section.  The toollkit is away to gather all the tools that you use to manage your twittering. It also shows what tools other users use for their twitter activity.

Not sure on what or how you should use a twitter app? The toolkits require the owner to author a short description on how they use each one.  oneforty.com is great resource and worth the visit.

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The 140 Character Communicator

frustrationAfter years of creating key messages, proof points–even articulations–I’m finding myself beginning to adopt a new style of writing. Twitter is to blame.

You see my writing has been getting shorter and shorter.  Some might say this is a good thing.  In fact, I’ve been told if your entire email message can’t be seen in the screen of a blackberry, it’s too long.  My emails, my headlines, my day-to-day correspondence has been getting shorter and shorter.  I think it’s because my writing is getting tighter, but I think it’s because the Twitter limit has taken its effect.

If you’ve ever tried to effectively communicate on Twitter, you’ll agree with me that traditional messages just don’t fit. If the message don’t Tweet, You must delete.  The best ideas don’t always fit and so you have to be creative and find different ways to say what you want.

The results. Getting down to the heart of your message.  Speaking like a human. And speaking clearly.

The 140 character communicator is not a proud soul.  It’s a troubled one, but hopefully an effective one.

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People Love a Good List

BrandRepublic.com issued its top 100 brands on Twitter list. Pretty fascinating list I think. The list and all the discussion is here.

topbrands

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Twitter Goes Mainstream – Are You Happy Now?

Oprah gains 225,000 followers in less than 13 hours. Ashton Kutcher hits 1 million followers twitterbefore CNN.  All signs point to Twitter has gone mainstream. Yet, the community isn’t happy.  Twitter was the lone place where the geeks reigned supreme-think the arcade in Can’t Buy Me Love – but now all the cool kids are coming in.

Twitter in it’s short life span has been thought of and talked about in many ways:

  • At first it was, “who cares what I’m doing right now”
  • Then it was, “I can’t believe how many people are downtown at the Apple store right now, impromptu tweetups ROCK !”
  • Then the onslaught of tools came to help the community communicate and find each other easier
  • From there it went to, “I listen to as many people as possible because it’s better than Google,  it’s user-authenticated search on topics that matter most to me”
  • Some thought it would replace Google as the new form of search
  • Replace text messaging, although it’s sort of like text messaging
  • And now, it’s a popularity contest with spammers promising more followers and celebrities begging for more followers-and that’s if they are really the ones tweeting
  • I should mention, it still hasn’t made money

I think that the Twitter community is big enough to host the different types of people coming in.  Just like any community, it starts with one mission, then more people come and naturally there’s a cultural split and segmentation occurs.  It’s a diverse crowd now, and diversity is not all that bad.

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CSPAN’s Social Media Night

Just finished watching a great show on CSPAN with Twitter founder Evan Williams (@ev) and it was great. I’m sure all my Facebook friends want to shoot me for tweeting just about everything he was saying — I update Facebook through my Twitter account. Anyway, CSPAN doesn’t have the video up yet on it’s sight, but here’s a link for when it does get posted. It provides great insight on the birth of Twitter and Williams provides an optimistic, although veiled, hint at the future.

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The Social Enterprise – Micro-blogging is coming

Coming off the heels of the Enterprise 2.0 conference there’s been a lot of talk about social networking inside the firewall. I first saw Social Enterprise used in Intel’s Laurie Buzek’s post on the social enterprise and the term really resonated with me. Lisa goes on to talk about what behaviors have to change before social networking can really achieve success (I’ve listed them below just to make it easier to follow along).

Silos must come down like the Berlin Wall: I bang into silos on a daily basis. Corporations love silos.
Consumerism affects what you do inside your four walls: How people use technology to interact, collaborate and communicate outside of works DOES affect what they want to do inside work.
Understand that people will go down with the email ship: We are not delusional and think that any of these social tools will replace email for people. We all know that email was never meant to be a collaborative tool, but somehow it is reality.
If it takes a manual to use it – throw it out the door: When was the last time you read a manual? Seriously. Does any software or computer even ship with one anymore?
If IT doesn’t act now, then someone else will:

Forrester Research sees the adoption of social networks in the enterprise. They predict social networking applications will make up the largest share of the $4.6 billion that enterprises will be spending on enterprise web 2.0 applications by 2013 (see Forrester Predicts a Large Growth in Social Networking Market but How Will Its Integration Occur with the Enterprise?).

I recently had a discussion about blogging inside the firewall and what challenges presented themselves once the legal/IT/communication teams heard the word “blog” and my response was, “We’re beyond the blog.”

Micro-Blogging

It took a while for me to become a believer in Twitter, but as I updated more frequently, built a larger network and found the time to start investigating the conversations happening, I could quickly see the application of the tool in the enterprise as a form of knowledge management. There are others that believe the same way. At the aforementioned Enterprise 2.0 conference, a panel discussion was held on the promise of social computing held in the marketplace. Laura Fitton, @pistachio on Twitter, is a big fan of Twitter in the Enterprise and sat in on a panel to discuss the topic. One of Laura’s major points is that micro-blogging helps to strengthen weak ties. And Lisa has already stated that corporations love silo’s, I start to see the real benefit.

My Argument

Two reasons why I’m really digging micro-blogging in the enterprise: it’s easy to jot small thoughts down vs. the daunting task of writing long form and the multiple access points to the most popular micro-blog Twitter.

1. The first week I was on twitter I was a mere spectator. I want to see what people were saying on topic I found interesting, on my brand and any learnings I could find. Of course, the second week quickly moved into engagement and the need to want to contribute. For me, that meant forcing myself to post items. I found that as I start to reveal more, the more followers I gained. And, that gave me a broader group to follow.

All this to say, twitter is easy to use and once you’ve been doing it awhile it’s second nature to want to share what you’ve seen, what you’re thinking and what you’re reading. All very valuable intelligence for an enterprise.

2. Twitter has a multitude of clients to use in order to update status: twitter.com, browser plug-ins, thwirl, browser side bars like Flock or Yoono, mobile and now voice via jott.com. For an enterprise that has a variety of personalities and technology acumen, everyone can find a tool that they are comfortable using.

Making the Business Case

Micro-blogging typically is an entry that’s limited to 140 characters and offers users to just update short snippets of thoughts or information. For a typically cube dweller who is being inundated with email, phone calls, colleagues dropping by their cube and bosses yelling at them, short outbursts of useful information is a great.

If you are a non-believer that small bits of information are useless I submit to you my pencil theory. A single pencil is very easy to break and not very strong, but a handful of pencils is almost impossible to break. A single thought is not powerful, but a handful of thoughts on a single topic is intense.

You can see an executive being able to search for specific terms, like annual report or employee surveys, and quickly finding a dashboard of activity and progress on projects. Or employees who have been thrown on a project in midstream (it happens) being able to quickly get up to speed by just reviewing the “twit stream”.

I could go on, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Please post a comment. It makes me happy.

If you’re still confused on what twitter is and how to use it, check this out.

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Simplicity – You’re a Tricky One

The most important feature for making any technology or service mainstream is its simplicity. The first iMac was elegant in its simplicity, three cords to plug in – the power, the keyboard and the ethernet cable – and you were online. There are other examples of simplicity making technology acceptable by the masses, but you know those.

When I think about the social media arena and the tools that available I look again at simplicity. Facebook is very simple and in its simplicity is a powerful way to connect to friends and family. Twitter is a “whale” of simplicity. In fact, it’s a little too simple which is why I think it has done so well and is seriously on the verge of wide adoption – possibly even corporate adoption.

Plurk is a newcomer that showed promise for me of taking Twitter’s place during the Twitter network outages, but after trying to figure out the sliding timeline, the karma points or how to find people, I was done. Then Twitter was back online. Fail.

FriendFeed is both simple and not. The interface very simple. The power behind FriendFeed, as I’ve come to admire, is the ability for people you do and don’t follow to congregate and have a conversation. It’s like the modern day Forum. I’ve engaged in conversations that inspired my second post “PR vs Social Media” to “What did your parents tell you that ended up becoming true.” In fact, FriendFeed actually was the impetus for me getting back into long-form blogging because so many ideas started to percolate after watching some of the conversations.

Now, here’s where simplicity is tricky. FriendFeed is too simple, but I still feel like it needs more GUI to make it accessible to the masses. The FriendFeed team recently added search, which, “can search over all of your friends’ shared items, an individual person’s items, or search all of FriendFeed.” This makes finding what matters to you most, like your Brand, your band or fans much easier and simpler.

I’ll wrap things up, because of course, I do want to keep things simple.

MC

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