Entries Tagged as 'Twitter'

The Narcissistic Side of Social Media

Image representing About.me as depicted in Cru... Fascinatingly enough, it seems that American individualism has grown from an ego perspective to an American innovation: social media.

Before social media existed, there was…. social media. In the form of email newsgroups, irc, and the like. But in the past decade, this has grown into a full-fledged “me” force. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at what we’ve become. If it wasn’t for Twitter, Linkedin, and even Facebook, we would not be broadcasting how many people follow us, are linked with us, or how much our influence has become.

In fact, there wouldn’t be needs for sites like about.me or the latest craze, Klout. The entire thing is all about whether or not you’re the king or queen of your little turfdom and you hope to increase your slice of the pie by gaining more to your cause. In fact, just look at Google+. It’s like circles of followers, where you can share the world’s following if only they would follow you. And not be a spambot/bot zombie/fake profile. Interesting isn’t it. Now obviously this has less to do with corporate brands than individuals, but the concept still remains the same. You want a following. It’s almost like everyone wants to be like Ashton Kutcher. In their own little world. Reminds me of the little saying that talks about being a “legend…in your own mind”.

And if you haven’t been paying attention to how scarily true this is because you’re too busy maintaining your presence in the world, your personal brand, perhaps your inner feng shui, then I ask you this: What exactly have I been really linking to in this blog post? I rest my case.

Quotes are the Bane of Social Media

"Graphs & Social Networks" Facebook ...
Image by sociomantic via Flickr

I don’t know who came up with using quotes. But having analyzed much of the traffic that goes across social networks, I have to say that if you use quotes, you’re asking for trouble.

Why?

Have you ever looked the twitter bot accounts and what they post? Usually, a substantial number of them use quotes. Those that filter onto Facebook also use quotes. In fact, there really isn’t any time that those bots don’t throw in the quotes section since they want some filler that could be applicable to human interaction. And thus, those of us that actually do watch and read the traffic become extremely desensitized to quotations.

This is a lose-lose situation. First, the people that read don’t feel like there’s substance there so they skip reading your information, even if you might have some fabulous stuff later on. What can I say, the attention span of Internet users is fairly short. But also, the user of the medium that has integrated quotations also gets thrown into the bucket with the spam bots. Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be in the same bucket as spam bots.

If you do use quotes, I implore you to stop. It’s not helping and the filler really isn’t useful. If you intend to keep at it though, no worries. The rest of the world is probably ignoring you.

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Tips and Tricks: TwitBlock

twitblock Ever wonder how to get rid of the spammers on Twitter? TwitBlock is a great way to find the ones that have followed you and whether or not they could be the same spammers.

Using a special algorithm, it calculates out whether or not a person is potentially a spammer and gives them a score. Based on whether or not TwitBlock users have marked the user as a spammer, the effect of the scoring goes up or down. It’s actually a pretty interesting method since most of the ways of detection are common sense things.

I would probably say that most people that have more than a thousand followers probably have quite a few bots and such on there, but at least there’s a way to somewhat detect these now instead of going through your followers one by one.

If you’re curious about it, definitely run this every so often on your account. It uses OAUTH so you actually never give it your password and such which is a great thing from a security standpoint of a third party application. Give it a whirl.

Oil Change To Go

Using a funnel to refill the motor oil in an a...
Image via Wikipedia

Amusingly, I’ve had this idea for quite a while and often had wondered why no one would do it.

This really came by way of a conversation I had with a buddy of mine on IRC and we were talking about how it was a hassle to get your oil changed. It was then, when he actually said that he would totally pay a premium for people to just come to where he was to do his oil change so he wouldn’t have to waste time going to run the errand. And there was where I thought…. hey, you could totally do that with a portable jack and a van. Think about it. There are plenty of mobile businesses, from locksmiths to lawn care. They all travel to your place of business or residence and they have you pay a premium for doing that.

Not that I wouldn’t. I think it would be splendid if I didn’t have to waste my time driving to some lube place to get the motor oil changed out. Would be even nicer to actually get my tires rotated right there in the parking lot. Either way, I could see it being a pretty profitable business if you were to have a good person doing the scheduling and map out all of your appointments beforehand.

And it could be a lube place’s extra income. I mean, they do have a way to dispose of the oil and such anyways. So it probably wouldn’t be a bad thought.

So the funny story turned up again when I made a passing mention of it on Twitter and “wham bam,” several people piped up that they thought it might be a solid business model. Not something I’d venture into doing either even though with no preliminary research, it seems like it would fly pretty well. And on the off chance that someone does read this and use the idea…. leave me a comment. I’d love to know if someone took it and ran with it. If they did, maybe they’ll remember to throw me a discount.

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Twitter is Down This Morning

twitter If you’ve been wondering why Twitter won’t work this morning, just go and check their status section. I found it interesting that the entire site wouldn’t work at all and found it suspiciously like a DOS attack. That was confirmed here.

So in case you were hoping to get your tweeting in today, you might encounter some issues over there.

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Anti-NC Affiliate Tax Gaining Support #ncaffiliatetax

Internet marketers everywhere are rallying behind the flag of social media. Just take a look at #ncaffiliatetax and see for yourself. I personally have written to Pricey Harrison (Guilford-D) about this and how it hurts small businesses and how it can not only put people’s jobs at risk but also put more strain on the state since if these jobs fail, there would be likelihood of more unemployment that the state would have to take into account.

Actions speak louder than words, and those that are pushing this through tell me that they don’t understand the Internet at all as a business source and how affiliate marketing and internet retail work. With this move by Amazon of notification of their NC affiliates, entire businesses will fail if NCGA pushes forward with this move. And here you thought that they were looking out for the citizens’ best interest…

Search for the rallies online. There are plenty to choose from. Write and call your representatives and tell them that your business is in eminent danger due to these bills. Either way? We have to protect our livelihoods and get those that we have elected into office to hear our cries for help.

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Do We Really Need to be Called Social Media Evangelists?

Jump on the social media bandwagon

Image by Matt Hamm via Flickr

I’ve been on the Internet way too long.
Since Usenet back in the days where you could tap in through the right channels and the right BBS links. Yeah, we’re talking about 300 baud modem, baby.
Blinky blinky.
So what can I say when I see SEO companies pop up with absolutely no experience in mathematical algorithms and those that understand social media calling themselves social media evangelists, I just have to take a breath and sigh. Having studied mathematical algorithms, even I can’t call myself an expert in SEO but I at least know where I stand. As far as social media goes, is it that hard to sign up for a bunch of services and use them? Does that justify being a social media evangelist when you’re really just a first-second-third adopting hobbyist?
Seriously. Is it that difficult to understand social media that it needs evangelists? On top of it, why exactly would you pay for such evangelizing? I mean, let’s face it. I’m all about people that love their Facebook, Twitter, and the rest, but it’s not for everyone nor is it for every company or industry. Some businesses don’t need to break into new ground since they don’t really have much to do with the Internet ever. Even as a conversation piece, it is more dependent on what you do than the sales piece of… everyone should get on the bandwagon.
More and more, I find professional resumes dotted with names like the above mentioned and I wonder exactly how they’re qualified and what exactly it means. Let’s face it. There hasn’t been one single great business value of social evangelists that I’ve seen outside of fandom. And while fandom might bring in some amount of new business, it is definitely not an entirely measurable thing since you cannot compare these evangelists with say your rock star that is marketing your product. And before people scream bloody murder and say that they help break new ground, let’s step back a moment and think about if it’s actually a new term for helping people break into new markets. Oh, wait. I got it. It’s that crazy thing that’s called “new business development”.

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Pirate Bay does accounting on Twitter

twitter-quickbooks.jpg
It’s pretty amusing when I’m sitting here working that I happened to check one of my screens and lo and behold, I see the infamous Pirate Bay.
Wait. They’re on Twitter? Apparently. And not only that, but they’re touting the piracy of an application that everyone seems to be trying to get in the last few weeks in this field. Wow. Who knew that pirates also did accounting. Eh? Totally unethical, but it still does prove a point on why many things are going towards SaaS and free MMORPGs. It’s just behavior that you don’t have to deal with anymore.

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The power of Twitter in a business environment

twitter_logo_s.png I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong.
Well, not completely. But I did finally over the course of the a year or so, start back on Twitter even though I had thought it to be a complete waste of my time. And from a personal standpoint, I still can’t see myself doing this if it wasn’t for my business. But from a marketing and customer service standpoint, Twitter allows me to touch base with not only a new market, but it also allows me to respond a lot more quickly to my clients. Something that only email could have done before.
Am I sold as far as this being the only virtual network out there from a business perspective? Of course not. Friendfeed, and a whole slew of other social networks allow for a new medium to run merchant services from. But when you operate a SaaS such as Merchant’s Mirror, being virtually online at almost real-time is imperative to both sales and support.

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Traveling down thesixtyone

thesixtyone.jpg TD sent me an invite and I’ve been having this play ALL day long. I mean I seriously cannot believe the amount of decent indie music there is out there. What’s makes thesixtyone interesting and unique is that it’s there’s a social and voting system called “bumping”. You get rewarded for bumping new songs (to bring fresh songs to the top) but there’s also the regular vote type system.
If a song makes it to the homepage, then there’s more likelihood that you get more points if you “invested” points in the bump at the beginning. It’s a pretty well-thought out voting system. On top of that, they even play out a trophy type system that allows those of you with a bit of OCD to actually go nuts in trying to collect all of the trophies. Personally, I thought this was a great touch to the entire system since it solidified another thing to keep people’s attention on outside of just a music voting system (which has been done time and again).
This has got to be one of the more interesting services since it also incorporates Twitter, and Friendfeed, and it allows you to grow your artist selection by introducing many not-as-well-known musicians.
I think that this beta is actually pretty good as is for the user interface although there are a couple things that I would make more obvious like the invite friends/family to use (email invitation) since it’s sort of hidden on the main page on the right. Took a while for me to find that even though it should be pretty plainly marked, especially on your profile pages. Another thing is that the profile pages are a bit … well, not very well conformed. It takes a while to find the right things, that you expect to be in one spot, but they’re in another. The browse also doesn’t save to what you usually browse wise, which would be nice from a personal preference perspective. And if you want to show off your sixtyone badge? You can’t change the size of it to be smaller than 200 pixels across. Ick. Guess that’s why it’s a beta, eh?
Last of all, it’s interesting that most of the songs that you see on the front page are not always covers, but there are many of them that are. And somehow or another, I’d willing to bet that those cover songs are not licensed properly. Outside of that, this social network is the first of a music form that I’ve been getting really into since it beats the usual pop junk you hear on the radio.