Tag Archives: tweet

Stop Doing Follow Friday Wrong

Only two hours into the day on the East coast, the #FF Tweets are already flowing through my stream. I tend to not pay much attention to these, as they seem to be the same every single week. It’s not that I don’t want to find new people to talk to – I do! But you’re doing it all wrong, guys. Those boring demands could end up making me unfollow you, instead.

Fun fact! Follow Friday was originally started by Gnomedex speaker Micah Baldwin.

Don’t send out a message telling me to #FF as many names as you can fit within the 140 character constraint. When you do this, you aren’t adding a single bit of value. Why should I follow Kimmie or Ron or Mary or Blake? What is it about these people that make them so spectacular? Choose instead only one person to promote. Give me their name, and explain to me why I absolutely need to pay attention to what they are saying.

Asking people to send out a #FF with your name attached is even more wrong than spamming me is. Hello? Have you ever paid attention to a single thing any social media expert has ever said? Being this self-serving is going to cause your numbers to drop faster than almost anything else I can think of. The Internet is not all about you, no matter how good or deserving you think you are. If someone out there feels that you have something to say that others need to hear, they will automatically tell their followers – without you begging them to do so.

Along those same lines, what’s up with RT’ing every #FF post which has your name in it? The people who will see this are already following you. They don’t need to be told to do so again. I had hoped the purpose of this was to get your followers to also follow the others mentioned in the same Tweet. Sadly, I asked a bunch of users for clarification. Each and EVERY one of them said they did it to show that someone felt they were worthy of following. In other words, they were showing off. *facepalm*

Lastly and most importantly, remember something my Community Manager Kat once said: “Community isn’t about connecting people to you… it’s about connecting them to each other.” THAT is the sole purpose of Follow Friday: connecting people to each other. This, in turn, creates more conversation in your own neck of the woods. Use your powers to connect users to each other instead of trying to gain more followers for yourself. You’ll be amazed at the results.

I promise.

Think Before You Tweet

Twitter is a great place to say what you think before you’ve had a chance to think about it. Oh, how true that seems to be every moment of every day in my Tweet stream. At any given moment, I can scan through Twitter and find things that make my eyes bug out of my head. My mouth will drop open in that “WTF?” shape and my head begins to spin. You know what I’m talking about, right? You’ve seen the Tweets that make you wonder if the person who typed it has temporarily lost their mind.

People spew things on Twitter before they stop to think about what they are typing. As we all know – once you put it out there, it’s there for good. Deleting your inane or drunken comments doesn’t really work. Someone – somewhere – has already read your message, and they likely took a screenshot to prove it. Twitter – and all social media sites – would be a much nicer place if users thought twice (or even once in some cases!) before they post.

Quite often, people try to be funny online. We will send out a quick Tweet to share something we find humor in, only to have people asking us what the hell we’re talking about. Sometimes, we may even have followers who take offense. They don’t get our humor. Our inside jokes simply don’t work in a medium such as this. Before you attempt to amuse your community, ask yourself if your message is funny in general – or just to you. Is it something that others will understand and appreciate the humor in?

Another culprit is anger – too often I see people vent their frustrations through their Tweet streams. Hell, I’ll admit it – I’ve done it a time or two, as well. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to do this… sometimes it can actually be effective. Before you bang out your mood via the keyboard, take a moment to compose yourself and your missive. Is your anger directed at a company or product? Make sure your message states what, who and why. Tell them you’re angry – but make sure you tell them why. This helps your followers as well as perhaps the company the words are aimed at.

If you need to carry on an actual conversation with another person, Twitter isn’t really the place for it. One-on-one communication still works best in other places, such as your email, an IM client or even a telephone. People will go crazy trying to figure out what you’re talking about, who it’s directed to and why the heck you aren’t including them.

It’s simple, really: just think before you Tweet. Your followers will thank you for it.

Do Your Tweets Make Sense?

Life doesn’t always make sense, so why should all of our Tweets? One fun new site is sure that you will agree with that sentiment. The premise behind That Can Be is a simple one: input your Twitter name and allow the service to compose your next Tweet. The results are often hilarious, usually head-scratchers and sometimes NSFW.

The hot new service quickly scans your Twitter timeline and randomly pulls words you have written together into a new message. The process takes only a few seconds, surprisingly. If you aren’t happy with what it comes up with, you can just click that “get your next Tweet” button again. A new missive will appear nearly instantly. As soon as you’re satisfied with the results, go ahead and push that “post this tweet” button – I dare you!

Disclaimer! I have never written anything about Steve downloading or installing any type of illegal booty. I swear it!

Website such as this are popping up all over the place lately: simple little things that quickly go viral. They leave us trying to figure out what the hype is about while we’re busy using their service every chance we get. What’s the pull behind things such as ThreeWords.me and others?

I’ve heard some claim that these services are just another way to get attention and promote ourselves. Still others dismiss them as “innocently fun time wasters.” Whatever you attribute the success of viral sites to, one thing is clear: they work. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to pimp yourself out by shining up an About.Me profile or clear your head by playing mindless games. These hip services do what they were intended to do from the start – suck you in and hold your attention.

What other services out there making the rounds tend to grab you and make you want to sign up? What is it about such simple little sites that cause you to go completely insane over them?

Borders, Bieber and WilsonTech1 – Thanks for the Memories

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Today is Lamarr’s last regular video on Lockergnome, and he used the opportunity to discuss another sad story: The death of Borders. According to the Wall Street Journal, they are preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy which will affect a good potion of their 674 stores nationwide. eReaders and eBooks are to blame for their demise, although the store itself may be to blame for not jumping on the digital bandwagon like Barnes & Noble did.

It’s a bit ironic that this huge chain is being destroyed when they did the same thing to the mom & pop book stores years ago; that’s Karma for you!

Lamarr loves Borders and hopes that they can pull it together; after all, where else will crazy people go to sniff books? (Seriously, there are people out there who love the smell of books; weird!)

Lamarr would like to thank all of the Lockergnome supporters that he’s had over the last year, Chris Pirillo for his extreme kindness in allowing him on the channel, and of course Kat Armstrong for being the behind the scenes person who dealt with him and his demands (smile) on a weekly basis. She’s the glue that holds this community together… the cheese to our macaroni… the peanut butter to our jelly… and yeah. Kat just rocks.

Lamarr – thank YOU from both Kat and myself. You are a great friend and have been a lot of fun to work with each week. We’re looking forward to watching you grow your own brand and will always be cheering you on.

PS – You’re probably wondering why in the heck we included the word Bieber in this post title. If you’ve ever spent five minutes browsing Lamarr’s Tweet stream, you’d understand!! Go on – check him out and subscribe.

Change the Way You Tweet With TweetDeck’s New Deck.ly

TweetDeck wants to change the way you Tweet by offering you the capability of using more than 140 characters. Their new project – Deck.ly – helps to ease the software’s dependence on Twitter and become a greater platform in itself. At its basic level, the new service will allow you to post updates that are as long as you wish them to be. If you are using TweetDeck on the desktop, iPhone or within Google Chrome (via the Extension), you will be able to read the full (long) Tweets right within your stream. If you’re using the Twitter website – or another client – you’ll have to click through to the new Deck.ly website in order to read the full posting.

Iain Dodsworth, founder and chief executive of TweetDeck, says users have been “very vocal” in demanding this heretical feature. “From day one [of Tweetdeck], it was one of the things almost everyone was screaming about,” says Mr Dodsworth. “I’ve been very protective of the fact that [140 characters] is a platform limitation of the services we sit on top of and we have to have an element of respect for that. Going around that core tenet of Twitter could be a sensitive move. We don’t know how they feel about it. But we are tailoring to an audience that wants functionality the general user of Twitter doesn’t care about.”

Mr. Dodsworth states himself that they are going against what it is that Twitter is all about. What’s the point of this? If someone needs to post something that lengthy, shouldn’t they be doing so on Facebook or their blog? Twitter is meant for short and simple updates… not for lengthy rhetoric which belongs elsewhere on the web.

Perhaps I’m being a stick in the mud. I just don’t see this as being a good idea. I know several people who use TweetDeck as of this moment, and all of whom are considering moving to a different platform when this rolls out on Monday.

What are your thoughts? Should services such as TweetDeck make it easy for people to post entire blog posts right on Twitter? Shouldn’t we be keeping within that magic 140-character limit?

TechMeme Including Tweets as News

TechMeme has long been a news aggregation site that many of us look to in order to keep up with what’s going on. I personally visit their page MANY times each day so that I can make sure I’m not missing out on something we should be reporting. TechMeme includes headlines from tech and social media blogs (or news sites) on a continual basis. However, they’ve made an announcement today that made most of us exclaim “OMG!” They are now going to include breaking news coming from Twitter along with the follow-up commentary for any given subject.

TechMeme head honcho Gabe Rivera believes that “a mix of blog posts, articles, and a smattering of tweets (plus other new forms of content), is the best way to distill what’s happening right now in technology.” I happen to have to agree with him. Stories happen on Twitter every day. News is broken there at times before they hit the blog circuit. Does that mean the site should stop posting links to blogs? Hell no – the full stories play out in blogs and on websites. But we get the news first (often) on Twitter. This is one hell of a smart move on Gabe’s part.

For as long as newsmakers have used Twitter, tweets have broken news stories. And yet for Techmeme, linking directly to tweets was never imperative – after all most newsworthy tweets are blogged within minutes, moreover with helpful context. But still it seemed as if something was missing in passing over tweets: we’d miss the first few minutes of certain developing stories as well as opportunities for including good commentary.

I’m sure by now you’re trying to figure out how your important Tweets could possibly end up on the site. It’s simple, really. Your missive has a much better chance of making the headlines if it contains @TechMeme or @TechMemeFH (or a direct link to techme.me), since those are automatically crawled all day long. In addition, you can continue to tip Gabe’s team off to something important you come across online by sending out a Tweet which includes “Tip @TechMeme” in it.

Ring Around the Tweets

I know that each of you has something inspiring to say on Twitter every day of your life, right? You continually amaze yourself when intellectual and stimulating thoughts flow from your fingertips in less than 140 characters. It’s not enough that those snippets are permanently saved in the Library of Congress, is it? You need a much better way to show the world what your mind is capable of. Why not wear your most promising tidbits right on your finger?

Tweet Rings are a great way to memorialize your most memorable social media moments. Add the Tweet of your choice to one side, and fill in some text (or even your Twitter username) on the other side. Choose between steel, silver and titanium metal.

If you’re one of those people who don’t have much of anything worth repeating to say on Twitter, you can still order one of these slick little babies for yourself. You can customize your ring in any way you choose – with words that you choose. The only caveat is that each side can only contain up to 140 characters of text. The 140 characters are super sharp engraved on both sides of your ring.

You can load all tweets from a specific twitter account. On the home page, fill in the twitter name. Click on the button below. Tweet-rings.com then loads all twitter messages. Click through the results one by one. When you’ve found your favourite tweet, click on ‘start with this’. The tweet will automatically appear on one side of the ring, the sender information on the other side.

These rings make a unique gift – to yourself or someone special in your life.

Twitter Nixes Verified Accounts

Back in 2009, Twitter introduced Verified accounts as a way to help the public determine who the real celebrities are online, and to prevent our being duped by fakers. A simple blue check mark would appear in the profile of those who had been verified by the social media organization. I don’t know about you, but I felt comforted knowing I was following the real Darth Vader and not some phony. However, Twitter quietly turned this feature off a few months ago, with promises of something different to come.

For select people, Twitter will still verify the account. I’m assuming this means that if Steve Jobs actually signed up for the micro-blogging site, they would slap that little check mark on his account pretty fast. For the most part, though, the rest of us simply have to do without. If anyone tries to sign up and pretend to be me, there’s not much I can do to stop them and show everyone who is real.

It’s important to note that accounts which had previously obtained the badge will not lose them. There just will be very few new ones added for the time being. “We continue to very selectively verify accounts most at risk for impersonation on a one-off and highly irregular basis,” Twitter PR exec Carolyn Penner writes.

Do you even follow any celebrities? If they don’t have that little blue badge, how do you know they’re legitimate?

Which Twitter Client is Right for You?

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Dylan is talking today about his love of HootSuite as a Twitter client. He hates having to run extra apps and software on his machine, such as Adobe Air. HootSuite is nice and simple, and uses very little resources.

HootSuite touts itself as a social media dashboard, and not just a Twitter client. Manage multiple social networks, track your statistics and add team members to your account, right from within one simple interface.

There are even more goodies to be uncovered in this little program:

  • Add custom link parameters for tracking clicks and gathering information on your audience.
  • View, manage, schedule and post directly to your WordPress blog from HootSuite.
  • See who’s following you and who you’re following, see their Klout score and manage your Lists.
  • Upload images and files right into your messages. The files are instantly converted into super-short Owly links for space saving and easy sharing.
  • Provide rich, nourishing content to your followers at any time of day using the HootSuite tweet scheduler.
  • Know what Tweet your followers are replying to with our threaded conversation.

Which Twitter desktop client are you using, and why?

Thanks to Dylan for another excellent tutorial. Keep an eye out for a new video from him on our channels every Friday.

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