Tag Archives: tweetup

Couple Plans Twitter Wedding

Ed White and his fiancee Dallas Nagata are inviting you to their Hawaii wedding on July 7th, but only if you have a Twitter account. The couple originally met at a tweetup, and decided to share their nuptials in the same type of manner. The ceremony will feature live-streaming video from Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, pictures uploaded to the web in real-time and an open guest list that includes anyone with a Twitter account who wants to join in the celebration.

The couple has affectionately dubbed their wedding the “WhiteTwedding2010.” “I guess it’s a ‘Why not?’ thing,” said Nagata, a bubbly 23-year-old artist/photographer from Maui. “Whoever wants to show up can show up. It’s an opportunity to meet new people. It’s a public access event.”

The couple met at a tweetup in Hawaii back in December. Ed, a 25-year-old U.S. Army sergeant currently deployed to Afghanistan, proposed on March 17th amidst a barrage of rocket-fire. Ed and Dallas weren’t acquainted in any way prior to the original tweetup, nor were they following each other on the popular microblogging site. While they credit the event – and social networking in general – for bringing them to the same place at the same time, they claim to have met and fell in love the “old fashioned” way. They stay in touch every day with emails, phone calls, instant messaging and Twitter. Nagata has even changed her sleeping schedule. She stays up all night, which is daytime where Ed is stationed.

Ed Morita, a freelance photographer who is a personal friend of the couple, offered to shoot the wedding — but with a twist. He has something in his camera that connects him to the online world. “Whatever pictures I take go straight to the Internet,” he said. “It’s just another way that people can view it while the event is actually happening. Instant gratification. They want the information and they want it now.”

We wish the couple much love and happiness, and extend their invitation to you for the ceremony.

Seattle Twitter Conference Wrap-Up

On March 8th, I attended the Featuring140 – The Twitter Conference right here in Seattle. The event was put together (very well, I might add!) by The Parnassus Group. Knowing that Twitter is out there and that you need to be on it is different than knowing what it takes to get into social media effectively. Topics covered included things such as how to grow your followers and how to gather and analyze data from Twitter. Here, I have put together a few notes from the esteemed speakers at the event.

Keynote Address: A Conversation With Ben Parr

Keep in mind that social media is a tool. Many people use Twitter for personal or fun reasons. However, many more use it for business networking. Twitter is about PEOPLE. It is what you make of it… good or bad.

What we do in the social web is all about gestures we make. Information moves in real-time. If you don’t respond as quickly, things can blow up. This makes for a good opportunity to make a company more “honest”. Let’s face it… we often hear about breaking news on Twitter far sooner than we do anywhere else. It’s that real-time capability that makes Twitter such an amazingly hot commodity.

March Microfinance Madness: The Vittana Education Challenge with Kushal Chakrabarti

In most developing countries, student loans just don’t exist. Even if you have the best grades in your school or already been accepted to the best law school in the country, if you don’t have the money, you just can’t go.

Kushal talked to us about how the Vittana community is making great strides towards changing this. They have built some of the first student loans in developing countries, and have raised a lot of money to this end.

Mining and Monitoring Twitter with Steve Broback

Basic search on Twitter is not enough, due to the limits that are there. There are, however, many free search tools that can help you make sense of the data on Twitter.

  • Twapper Keeper – This is an archive built from hastag searches. You can use the tool to archive and download the findings for off-site analysis.
  • BackTweets – You can find tweets about you and/or your competitors. It shows you what’s going on and what has been said.
  • SocialPing – SocialPing displays charts and graphs on various topics on Twitter. Service is still in beta form.
  • People Browser – This one isn’t free, but it is very good. People Browser allows you to go back in time with Tweets from Twitter.
  • TweepSearch – You can search for people via their bio’s, using keywords or hashtags.

Scaling and Securing Your Brand on Twitter with Jesse Engle, Brad Nelson, H.B. Siegel, Shauna Causey, Rich Harris and Chris Pirillo

When you’re a small company, using Twitter can seem like a real no-brainer: grab your brand name account, talk about what you’re doing, interact with the crowd. Large brands face a whole different world on Twitter as they seek to deal with location, scale, and security.

Shauna – It’s very important to find the right person in the company to tweet. The wrong person could cause serious damage to your brand and reputation, without even realizing it. If you’re going to use networks such as Twitter, you need a goal. For her company, it’s all about customer service, and how they can improve in general.

Jesse – Some companies have set up customer service programs, others are focused on marketing messages. Those doing it best understand that you can’t easily segment the types of conversations that are happening. Over time, there will be a lot more people engaging in social media for organizations.

Rich Before you do anything, focus on your objective. Be careful about not automating your twitter presence (it castrates its value) – it’s a conversation space!

Shauna Be generous. Don’t use Twitter for marketing… it’s a friend and networking tool. If you market to me, I’ll likely unfollow you or block you. Also, don’t ask people to RT you. They know they can, and will if they feel the tweet was something worth passing along.

Brad – Don’t deal with negativity on Twitter, and don’t fight! Take it “offline”, so to speak. Handle problems like this via email, telephone, or in person.

Shauna Make sure the person in your company chosen to handle the social media scene has a thick skin. There are a lot of positives, yes. But there will also be negatives and rude comments. When you get those, just smile (virtually) and ask how you can help.

Lastly, realize that the company executives don’t have to be on Twitter themselves if they don’t choose to be. However, they should definitely be involved in the feedback that is being received on Twitter, and a part of deciding how to proceed with the data at hand.

Unlocking the Power of Twitter Lists with Robert Scoble and Steve Broback

Twitter’s latest major feature push – Lists – brought a whole new social dynamic to Twitter. Lists allow people to build out subsections of their followings, keep tabs on topic verticals, publicize a set of personalities, and a million other things.

The basic idea is to segment the people you’re interested in. You don’t even have to be following them to add them to a list. Twitter only gives you 20 list slots, which is a good reason to have more than one Twitter account (personal and business, for example).

Twitter and Google are looking into being able to integrate list titles into importance of tweets in search results. You can actually remove yourself from others’ lists, but in order to do so you must block the user. The downside is that you’ll not be able to follow that user’s tweets. You can always re-follow them immediately.

Turning Keystrokes into Cash: How to be a Business-Savvy Developer with Adam Loving, Damon Cortesi, Loren West and Ayush Agarwal.

Writing code comes naturally to Seattle. This city has become a hotbed of Twitter development over the past year, giving birth to some of the earliest and most pervasive Twitter applications, including Twibes, TweetStats, TweepSearch, and Hotwall.

As a business-savvy developer, profit and risk will be the first things that come to mind. Whether or not a dev should start off with freeware and then charge for add-ons or subscriptions (or charge a flat fee out of the gate) is really a matter of personal preference.

The key is to rise above the noise. Although pricing is tough, trust and personal brand allow a premium charge. Many times, scalability is a problem, once an application becomes popular.

Niche solutions can be ideal for a small development company, which is something that a large corporation may not necessarily pay attention to. All of the panelists agreed that Twitter is still hot. It’s the best public place to experiment. Social equity can be extremely important, leveling that playing field.

License to Tweet: Applications and Services To Die For with Kathy Gill, DL Byron, Ricardo Rabago, Ryan Holmes, Dan Shapiro and Steve Broback.

Twitter is more than just 140 characters. Twitter is a platform that grows more powerful every day, as developers, entrepreneurs, and people with too much time on their hands create thousands of tools and services that do everything from sending direct messages to tweeting on behalf of your houseplants. Here is the list of applications that the above panelists cannot live without.

  • Trendistic – Allows you to track trends over time, via hashtags.
  • TweetBeep – This is a simple system that allows you to enter search terms, and has advanced search capabilities. You can have your search alerts sent to your email.
  • CoTweet – CoTweet allows businesses to collaborate on Twitter through one interface. You can have multiple accounts, which you control the access levels for.
  • SitBy.Us – This helps you discover panels and share where you’re sitting. It creates a personal schedule. It’s not a Twitter app, but it engages the Twitter community. It also imports and exports to iCal.
  • Brizzly – This allows you to manage multiple Twitter account logins. It’s simple to use and allows stream filtering.
  • HootSuite – HootSuite is the best client for business and productivity. It can manage accounts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Foursquare. You can have multiple editors open at once, by using tabs or columns.
  • Twitgoo – This is a product from Photobucket, allowing you to easily share photos on Twitter.
  • Twilk – This nifty little application makes you a Twitter background out of your followers, and / or the people you’re following.
  • Conversationalist – This application builds a list of users you interact with, and refreshes itself automatically.
  • TweetMeme – This allows you to browse links and stories that are popular on Twitter at any given moment.

All in all, the conference was fantastic. Even for a power Twitter user, there was much to be learned, and a lot of excellent points made to help us all out.

Thanks SO much to the people who were kind enough to use to help take notes during this event: Kathy Gill, Danny Minick and Kristin Marshall.

Do You Remember Your First Tweetup?

I not only remember my first Tweetup, I remember them all! Each one I attend or host gives me an opportunity to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, and make some all-important business contacts. There is always a lot of fun to be had, a lot of networking to do, and more laughter involved than should be allowed by law. However, some people are not as fortunate as I am.

Take my Community Manager Kat, for example. The poor woman has never attended a Tweetup before. Can you believe that? I decided that this simply wasn’t acceptable. She’ll be in Seattle for a week in February, to attend her second Microsoft MVP Summit. So, I decided to throw together a little Tweetup in her honor that Friday, February 19th! If you’re in the Seattle area, we’d love for you to join us.

Have you ever attended a Tweetup – or perhaps a Facemeet? What memories and connections do you still carry with you? What advice might you have for our Kat, as she embarks on her first-ever Twitter meetup? Let’s rally together as a community, and show her the time of her life.

Don’t forget to check in at our software center to see what new deals we have for you today on the hottest software and apps available.

What Do Bachelors Eat?

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This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Tony’s Pizza. All opinions are 100% mine.

I know many of you worry about my eating habits now that I am a bachelor. Don’t worry… I eat on a regular schedule, I promise! The people at Tony’s Pizza were apparently worried, as well! They were kind enough to send me a handful of coupons for free pizzas! I’m all about some pizza! This stuff makes me happy, because there are no Trans Fats, which I refuse to eat!

I have a handful of these free pizza coupons to give away at our next local Tweetup, which will be happening when Kat is in the area to attend a Microsoft conference. She’s never gotten to attend a Tweetup before, so I thought it would be fun to not only host one… but to also give away pizza coupons!

An even better giveaway is the one I’m participating in with Tony’s themselves! I, along with a few other bloggers, will be giving away a $500 Tech Prize Pack! There is only ONE prize pack between all of the blogs. If you want to win, you need to check out the offical rules and enter!

There are two ways to enter: Either leave a follow-up comment on this blog post, or send out a tweet from your own account. The tweet must include a link to this blog post, as well as the hashtag: #TonysPizza.

The pizza really IS yummy. I cooked mine using a baking stone, which keeps things nice and crisp. You can pick one up for under $15.00 at many retailers. I love the taste of the baked crust on the Tony’s pizzas, as well as the sauce! It has a nice little bit of a kick to it, but not too much of one.

Thanks again to Tony’s Pizza – and all of YOU – for worrying about me. I’m eating like a king… I have plenty of pizzas, Ramen and Soy Sauce. I’ll not go hungry!

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The Business of Social Media

The Business of Social Media

According to my friend Michael, business is conducted during play time quite often. This held true during my recent trip to Hawaii, while we were having lunch at Tiki’s Grill.

Tiki’s has an awesome menu, and you have to try the Poke Bowl if you ever have the chance! Hawaiian ahi poke is chunks of fresh yellow fin tuna, seasoned with Hawaiian ogo seaweed, soy sauce and sesame oil. The Poke Bowl consists of this served over white rice, and topped with avocado and pipikaula aioli.

Tiki’s was the sponsor for my Gnomedex Hawaii Tweetup a few months ago, during my last visit to the Islands. They were fantastic, and even came up with some specialty drinks for us that night!

[awsbullet:hawaii travel guide]

What do Gnomedex and Tweetups Taste Like?

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If you had to describe what Gnomedex tastes like, could you do it? What ingredients do you think are thrown together? The official Gnomedex drink at Tiki’s Grill in Hawaii consists of Skyy Vodka, Orange Curacao, Amaretto and fresh lime juice!

They’ve also concocted a Tweetup drink, as well! That drink includes Malibu Pineapple Rum, Banana Liquor, Cranberry and Pineapple juice, and limes.

Both drinks are amazingly delicious, and refreshing. Oh… did I say refreshing? We’ll stick with that, yeah.

I love Hawaii.

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What’s Your Social Networking Advice?

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You can find me on pretty much every social networking site that you’ll find. If it’s a network and people are interacting in a social capacity – that’s where I am. I get a lot of questions on a daily basis, and this was one I couldn’t pass up the chance to answer. Dan wrote in, asking for detailed advice regarding social networking, and how he should venture into the world. He is new to social networking, and wants to get more information before diving in.

  • How common is it for people who meet online to then meet in person, and how might it turn out? – I think it’s extremely common these days. There are a variety of meetups that happens all over the world. It’s only natural that when you get to know someone fairly well online, that you then meet face-to-face to further your connection. It will become even more common as the social tools such as Facebook and Twitter make it easier to connect.
  • I’ve found certain people I would like to build a long-term rapport with. Before beginning, how can I go about this without scaring anyone away? – The first thing that would be a red flag to me would be if you were to say this, and it’s said to me all the time. Slow down, and just let it happen like any good friendship or relationship. Don’t force it. Interact with others, leave them comments, get to know them.
  • Once the ice is broken, I would say that the only thing people can really safely share online are opinions, likes and dislikes… would you agree? – Absolutely. You’ve got to set your own boundaries, and respect them. If you don’t know what those are, you’ll quickly learn. If someone makes you feel a little weird, then boundary lines have been crossed. Everyone, male and female alike, need to know their own boundaries and comfort levels. You may only want to talk about certain things in your life without people knowing too much about you – letting people know what you will and will not talk about.
  • Once I have kept a good online rapport with people and I decide I might like to meet them, how can I suggest it without sounding creepy? What’s a good length of time to talk online before suggesting we meet? – It largely depends on age and function. It also depends on finding people with common interests. For instance, for my birthday this year, I’m having friends over to have a LEGO build-athon, to build the Death Star that I’ve had for a year now. I’m only inviting people who are also interested in doing this. When choosing to meet someone in real life, make sure you have common interests, which could naturally lead to getting together on a level beyond the internet.
  • If and when the time comes when we decide to meet in person, the tricky part is sharing more personal information such as names and phone numbers to connect. – I’m not sure what you’re asking here. You don’t necessarily have to share phone numbers. You can connect and set up your meeting via one of the sites such as Facebook or Twitter. I tend to end up calling people by their online handles when we meet in person… so my assistant Kat is glad that she uses her real name as her online name! It’s much less confusing that way.
  • The advice I’ve read about meeting people online is to connect with people in my local area. However, many of the people I would like to meet are located in favorite travel destinations that I have. I am single, and travel alone. Therefore, I couldn’t exactly arrange to have a trusted friend present when meeting someone. Not only would it be a potential risk for me, but it could also make the other person uncomfortable. What can I do in this situation? – Again, formulate a meetup. Find a small group of people who share common interests, from places such as a Facebook group or something. Arrange a gathering in a local restaurant or coffeehouse, and have a great time. Keep in mind that even meeting one person is generally pretty safe, as long as you’re doing so in a highly public place. Arrange to meet in a restaurant during dinner hours, or at the Starbucks in town.
  • As an aside, a non-provocative photo can go a long way towards showing one on their best behavior. Should I worry about people seeing these photos, such as potential bosses? – Yes, you should always be cognizant of what you post online. However, posting innocent, normal pictures of yourself is usually never a problem. Again, know your boundaries, and keep in mind that what you post online is there forever.

A word of advice – before meeting someone face-to-face, make sure you shower! This is something that some Geeks tend to forget, seriously!

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How Do You Find Volunteer Opportunities in Your Community?

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When was the last time you gave your time to your community – volunteering for something? The last time I did something was at ComcastCares Day. It was a tent set up by Comcast, staffed by local social media folks. We were spreading the message of the power of social media specifically to non-profit organizations. We taught them how to use outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to get their message across.

Maybe you want to volunteer your time and resources in your community – but you just don’t know where to start. Maybe you want to host your own Volun-Tweetup. Or maybe you want to do something a bit different. You can now check out All for Good. This site will help you connect with local volunteer opportunities. It’s non-partisan, nothing political is involved. It doesn’t matter what party you may belong to – what matters is that you want to help others.

All for Good is a simple-to-use web application that helps you find volunteer opportunities in your local community. You can get started by entering search terms (e.g. “seniors” or “education”) at the top of the All for Good home page. Once you enter these initial keywords you’ll be taken to a page of relevant results based on your keyword(s) and location.

Tap into your passions when looking for something to volunteer your time with. Your community needs you. If you’re doing nothing this weekend… why not look for a way you can help? You’ll not only be helping others, you’ll feel good about yourself… and maybe meet some new friends.

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