Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

Five Ways To Increase Web Presence- Guest Post by Keren Dagan

Monitor something on the web

There’s a lot going on, on the web, all the time. New companies, technologies, conversations, ranking schemes and more are created daily. You can pick one and start monitoring it over time. I monitor around 800 blogs’ Technorati rank for over eight months now. I publish precipitating results to my Twitter @blogmon account and accumulated results in here. It is not just helping me to weed out good blogs from the rest, it is also helping me to learn a lot about the blogsphere, Technorati, mashup challenges and more. There is still a lot to do in this little project but it help me to establish few, but very interesting connections through working on it. Few ideas: monitor tags from Delicious, the top 100 blogs on Technorati list (here), use Google Trends, Alexa, Twingly blog rank. If you have some programming skills you can automate most, if not all the steps and scale the process. If not, that’s OK too. You can start with only few. The added value is that you’ll keep consistently monitoring it over time and finding the right way to present the results. Where to report results? Read on…


From one of my favorite blog ReadWriteWeb I learned that there at least 35 Ways to Stream Your Life and counting. Pick one or more and join the conversation. The key is to do it right and here I’m still learning.

Few ideas:

One way is to keep current, riding new waves of conversations – start with Twitter Search‘s Trending Topics or if you are in Europe use Twingly’s Hot right now. You can also see interesting tags on (Most Popular, Recently Added) and then search for them on Twitter Search.

Report results from your monitoring project: You can use Seesmic, Twitter, Jaiku, FriendFeed or any of the other life streaming tools. An interesting one that allow you to present your data using timeline is Swurl. You can use Google Docs to build online document that could be published and embed (using iFrame) inside a blog post, web page, pointed using a link from Twitter. A more demanding option is using Google Chart – good for automation.

Share interesting experiences, links, books, movies, knowledge – think what might interest others to follow.

It is amazing that all these great services comes for free. What that is more fascinating is how easy people with common interest find and subscribes to your feed and or vice versa.

Start a knowledge base, join and participate in a community, online book club or group

There are so many groups open for new members that are looking for active participation on Ning, Facebook, LinkedIn and many more. You can also start and lead one.

Examples: I joined Your Inner CEO Community on Ning. This is not just a good book but also a very active community. I’m also working building a knowledge base around Salability and Performance using an unbelievable smart service (armed with powerful semantic search engine) called Twine. I joined bloggers communities like Pijoo or MyBloglog.

I have to admit that things are going slow for me in this section – see the Bonus tip #2 for the reason why.

Become a beta tester

There is nothing more exciting (for me) than shaping new product functionality, look and feel. As an early adopter you have a chance to interact with extremely talented and creative minds building new technologies. You can contribute from your experience, and unique thinking, helping building a great new product. Be ready to deal with challenges such as poor performance, trouble getting subscribed, on-boarding, product crashes and hangs. Yet, be merciful, look at the bigger picture. Give feedback on both the details and the overall functionality. This is my favorite activity and the one that requires the most of my time. I wish I could do it more. You’ll be amazed how suddenly you mostly interact with the CEO, CTO and the VP of engineering (some time it is the same person :)).

Few ideas: use Mashable Beta Invite section to find candidates. Subscribe to Techcrunch feed, or subscribe by email (I consume it in this way) to learn about new companies. Some start-up companies’ offers private beta invites through Techcrunch blog.

Write a guest post

I could not help a little recursion in here 🙂 Now, seriously, write something compelling and offer it to some of the larger and established blogs out there. Having a guest blog post is a win win. You get to be noticed and the host to be perceived as the patron for upcoming new bloggers.

If you noticed I did not mention the word blog. I recommend having one even just because today this is the best way to create your web identity. I see mine as the home base. Yet, you don’t need to have a blog to establish web presence and blog also require some effort. Thanks to the great blog platforms available today it is not so heard to start from a very good place.

Two bonus tips:

Be patient – if you do start a blog Google appreciate the age of the domain and that you’ll consistently write blog posts. I noticed a significant change not before 6 month of blogging.

Focus – don’t do all these five at once unless you are single, have no kids and don’t have a life. Each one of the activities listed here demands time and should be done with care. It is better to do one or two as best as you could to build positive, meaningful web presence

I will not get into existential philosophical discussion about the why in this post (please create your meaning) but I will finish this post saying that I have a lot of joy doing so. I learned a ton and still learning constantly. I made new connections all over the world that otherwise could not have happened. So, give it a try.

Keren Dagan is a professional software developer manager and an amateur blogger. He likes to think both strategically and tactically on web technologies, trends, and phenomena. He mostly write about data and search engines technics. You can read his blog and follow him on Twitter Keren brings to the blogsphere more than 10 years of experience in software development and management building highly scalable solution for the enterprise and his unique way of looking at things.


A Dent in Apple’s Shining Armor

It started with the definition of pathetic:

People Waiting in line a week before iPhone Release

People Waiting in line a week before iPhone Release

And continued in a PR and operational disaster.

Last weekend Apple released two important updates:  iPhone 3G hit the stores, and iPhone 2.0 version software update was released. In a futile effort to limit iPhone grey market, iPhone 3G activation process was changed to include in store activation by AT&T or Apple representatives. As everyone (besides Apple apparently) feared, that process didn’t work that well. Some early shoppers had to wait for couple of hours before in-store activation succeeded, some were sent home to continue activation through iTunes, just to find the activation server down. Twitter and FriendFeed were full of horror stories about this process.

However, this is not the whole, or even the important story. The important story is the unfulfilled promise of MobileMe, the new .mac service from Apple. The service, dubbed by Apple as “Exchange for the rest of us”, supposed to automatically and instantly synchonize contacts and calendar entries between laptops, iPhones, iPod Touch and the web. Guess what? This insanely expensive service just doesn’t fulfill it promise. While web and mobile device sync works like a charm, desktop applications are synched between once to four times an hour. That means that if you add a meeting to your laptop calendar, and then close it, it won’t be synched with either web or iPhone/iPod. This point made some of MacRomurs readers pretty angry. These discrepancies are major enough to challenge even the most devoted Macheads.

So what did we learn today? First we learned that Apple, with all its glory, screws up once in a while. The shining armor just got a dent. Not clear if it will become a hole, but it is certainly a dent. Second, it is a reminder that at the end of the day, Apple makes software and hardware, not divine entities. Yes, they are much better than Microsoft’s product, in design, look and feel and overall user experience, but they are still, you know, computer stuff, that don’t always work.

As for me – I just hope that this is a mishap from Apple direction, and not a slippery slop towards Microsoft’s product’s level…

Why Twitter Shouldn’t Charge Super Users

Robert Scoble asks if Twitter should charge super users, a concept raised by Om Malik. For those of you who aren’t using this service – it is a much hyped notification platform that I wrote about in the past.

Well, NO. Twitter shouldn’t charge super users such as Scoble because they the soul of the service and its best promoters. When Scoble, Pulver and others use this service, they attract cutting edge users and social media addicts – the early adopters of new technologies. Charging them for usage will diminish its popularity.

Is there a business model for Twitter? Open and honest, the only way I see Twitter making money is if they create an enterprise offering. Currently there is no major barrier of entry for twitter competitors. Twitter is a young, unstable platform, and any attempt to charge for it in its current state will be a huge mistake.

Presenting The Case for Corporate Twitter To your Boss

Twitter is a widely known application in the social media circles. Everybody is talking about it, and many use it. However, this application has a lot of potential in the corporate landscape.

What the hell is it?

It is an online service that allows you to follow short messages (up to 140 characters) of a group of people, vie the web, email, IM or text. Each user can subscribe to status messages of other users. The result is a notification stream as seen below:

Picture 1.png

The service also allows users to connect directly in private (what’s called Direct Message) or refer to one another publicly (by the usage of @).

Why people use it?

Oh, there are several use cases for this application. Some use it to keep in touch with their friends. Some use it s a professional tool, for information gathering and creating a conversation with a community. Some use it as a notification service for their podcasts listeners or blog readers about new material. And some just use it as an open chat platform.

Ah, ok, so it is another geek thing. Do you use it?

Yes, you can follow me here. And yes, many geeks use it, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t useful for your company. All the A bloggers are using it, so it is a great tool to learn what’s hot in the blogsphere and beyond.

Ok, so let’s say you are right – why are you talking about Corporate Twitter?

Knowledge management, collaboration and internal communication are major challenges for companies today. Now, think about the following scenario – a development team has a twitter for all the developers. Instead of IMing questions to each other, or emailing status reports, they can tweet them to the whole group and get responses through that system. Because the messages are short, users are writing very efficiently, so the noise is low.

Are you nuts??? Putting corporate information on an open platform? Just from thinking about it the guys from SEC will arrest me!

You are right, so here is a simple solution for you – the guys from WordPress created Prologue, a template that works just like twitter. so you can create such a site internally, based on WordPress, without internet access

Cool – how much does it cost?

Nothing. Buy a server, install wordpress, add that theme, and you are good to go.

Wow – geeks sometimes do cool things. Thanks!

I am not a geek.

Yes you are. You use Twitter. Anyway, What’s friendfeed?

That’s another story. We will talk about it in future posts.


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ProBlogger Launching Pay Per Tweet. Sad – UPDATE – a funny joke though…

From the “bye bye conversation, welcome spam” and “you got me” departments

I love Problogger – the guy is a great source of information for the community. Today he did a simple move that will hurt the same community – Pay Per Tweet.

The concept is simple – these guys will pay tweeters to tweet about products, and broker the relationship between them and brand.

Sad. Now Twitter is going to be spammed with Gatorade info, Nigerian bankers, and Coca Cola tweets.

UPDATE: Look at the comments – many say that this is April’s fools thingie, based on the date of the PR and the email address I sure hope you are all right 🙂

Update 2: Yep, it was a joke.  Thanks god. The guy did get 18 serious inquiries – which makes it a bit disturbing… 

Social Networks For Business – 7 Tips and Tricks

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Many people don’t have time to use social networks. They are too busy with emails, phone calls and face to face meetings, in order to get engaged – whether it’s work or fun. This is a major issue for most people who are trying to use social media tools as part of their business tool box.

I’ve went through several phases in my social media activities, starting with first limited steps in social networks such as LinkedIn, moving to the interactive Facebook, and using the hyper-interactive Twitter. Over time I found that I am investing a lot in communicating, on the expense of being the most effective and efficient in my communication and work. One of the causes of this phenomena is the overload social networks and tools are putting on all of us, with multiple updates and feeds.

Also, the amount of my connections affects my communication pattern as I wrote in the past. Therefore, in the recent months I’ve changed my communication pattern to better fit my needs, and support my other activities.

However, social networks and social media in general provide great business benefits if handled correctly.

In a business, I don’t believe that conversation is the most important thing. Efficiency and effectiveness are the goals of every business, in order to successfully compete in the market.

How can you balance between the social media noise, and the hidden value in its tools?

Here are my tips on how to do that. Would love to hear on how you are doing it:

If you are the ADD type, already involved in more networks then you can handle:

  1. Separate leisure and work – you know that time in day when you are not focused? Sometimes you’ll go to Facebook and check what’s going on there, get into a conversation, read some notes, and just go around the network. It is ok – if you decided that you are willing to invest your free time in having fun in Facebook. Would you do something else that is fun right now, not online, if you had the chance? If the answer is yes, then everything is ok. If the answer is no – read a blog or a newspaper to relax your brain. Social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, can suck you in and make you loose sense of time. And you don’t want that in on working hours.
  2. Aggregate feeds from various social networks using Friendfeed or Spokeo – these tools aggregate activities of your connections from different networks in one page. It is very useful, and helps you not only keep in touch with your friends and business contacts, but also find new ones.
  3. Kick out spammers from your network – yes, sounds logical, but it is not necessarily done in a consistent manner. When someone sends me 6 useless Facebook apps – it is time to say goodbye. After that, there is less communication overload with stupid interactions.
  4. Understand when you want to communicate and when you want to do something else – A good friend of mine told me once, when I was all over Facebook, that there is a limit to the amount of interaction one wants to be involved in. At the time I thought he was dead wrong, but now I see that it is true. I’d like to interact only part of my day, and in many cases I need the ability to concentrate and reach a goal. Twitter, IM, and Facebook should be closed at these times unless they are used for the same task.

If you are not hooked yet, but understand there is a value in social networks for your work, and you want to be effective and efficient in using them:

  1. Maintain your social network periodically – once a month, upload your contacts to Linkedin or Facebook and invite relevant people to your circle of contacts. discipline is the secret. You can reduce the effort required by uploading all your contacts to gmail or yahoo mail, and let the networks retrieve the information from there. It takes less time than uploading your address book to each platform separately.
  2. Embed social networks activity in your work day:
    • Update your online address back immediately after you return from a conference. Connect to the guys you met as soon as you can. Size and quality of your networks correlates with the value you will drive from it. Foster it.
    • Add your social networks to your bookmarks toolbar so they will be easily accessible. The more you use them, the more they value you get from it.
    • Use social networks as source of information – whenever you have a question, don’t just ask google. Ask your network as well. You will be amazed how much high quality information lies in Linkedin and Facebook.
    • Spend 10-20 minutes of your work day for social networks updates. Go through Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter every morning to see what’s new and who is talking about what. I am doing it with my morning coffee. Friendfeed and Spokeo can also come handy, but go through the sites themselves once in a while.
  3. Increase your networks’ value – connect to key people in the industry, thought leaders, experts, key decision makers and so on. The value of network is driven from the aggregated quality of its members, and not only by its size. Invest 30 minutes a week in looking for key people in your network and connect with them. It is worth it.

All those tips are completely irrelevant if you just want to chat with friends. But if you are business oriented user, I hope it would help you to get more value from time spent these social networks.

Page_11.png Thinking About Social Networks Taken by Jeff Pulver

3 Tips for Succesful Live Broadcating

Last night, Jeff Pulver and I broadcasted and recorded two short live shows from TLV and Frankfurt airport, en route to Stockholm. It was a lot of fun, we just opened a laptop and started broadcasting.

However, since we didn’t have a lot of viewers, it made us think about the means of increasing internet TV viewership in general, and particularly live broadcasting. Some of the things we found crucial:
1. Announce your show early enough, through blogs, Twitter and such.
2. Define a concrete topic to each show, so people would know what they are getting.
3. Find hosts that have good chemistry, so non scripted situations will flow and be as funny as the rehearsed ones.

We look forward to do several additional shows like these while in Stockholm – Hopefully with interesting and creative people from Podcamp.

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