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Archive for October, 2009

Twitter lists feature – do you see what that I see?

October 30, 2009 2 comments

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This week, Twitter opened the new twitter lists features to the public. I had a chance to play with lists for some time now (I was fortunate to see it a little early). In my opinion, it will take some time to fully understand the true meaning and implications of this new feature, the same way that it took us time to understand twitter. Basically, twitter added another level of abstraction between users and their following timelines (now, it is one to many) and that made things a little more interesting. Here are some of my initial thoughts.

What lists show us?

  1. Now we can see what the others see. Before lists, no two twitter users shared the same timeline view. This new capability opens the possibilities to do remote, join tweeting looking at the very same timline.
  2. Now we can see how our tweets are seen by others – maybe we over tweet? or a misfit? try following a list containing your twitter user name.
  3. The list name shows how people categorize us (how are they thinking about us).  Check the lists that you are listed on: Authors/readers/reviewers, thought leaders/journalist/bloggers, funny.

Other observations about Twitter lists:

  1. Lists value depreciate with their size –  a small focused list will provide better content than a long list ( a long one is not much better than your timeline)
  2. Counter intuitive to item #1 – for some reason bigger lists gain more followers
  3. If you spent the time building a great focused list then upload it to Listorious (kudos for the quick turnaround of this website). It could help to promote your username adding to your twitter presence. Tag it appropriately to be found.
  4. Lists are another great example for the huge power of crowdsourcing when it comes to organizing large amount of data (the grid computing paradigm). In comparison think about the TweetDeck twitter groups creating feature. Creating a list is a tedious process, keeping those private is a waste. Thanks to Twitter lists and Listorious we have a kind of new and organized real-time search engine in under a week.
  5. Are we going to see #ListFollowFriday meme soon? E.g #ListFollowFriday @ravenme/iphone The best iPhone app developers
  6. The next step is making list creation easier. I like to see a merge list option. The merge will create a new list that is a set of users from the original two lists.
  7. Another next step is adding to the best twitter desktop clients out there the option to upload lists.
  8. Getting a little wild here: in Twitter Search Advance Options, add search by lists, and search with the option to exclude list or lists.

All in all I think that the twitter lists feature is great. Lists will help getting rid of spammers, finding new communities, getting better content quality, and will introduce an infinite tweets timelines to follow.

Your thoughts?

Picture credit to Irargerich

GO LISTS

HALLOWEEN POST: Haunted tags for you

October 29, 2009 1 comment

Halloween via tags

Happy Halloween! Recently, more than ever before, an increased number of people participates in content generation. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and the many other content publishing tools enable endless sharing about the coming holiday. I decided to gather some of the celebrating Halloween voices, from all around the web, in the form of tags.

Twitter Search

Observation/tip about hashtags: For the most part, I got better results on Twitter Search not using hashtags. I got a lot of spam tweets using hashtags. For instance, the search for haunted yields better results than #haunted. There is no need to ignore Hashtags, those are very useful in some scenarios like conferences, meet up, and integration with other media channels that broadcast simultaneously (this is for another blog post, I guess), but apparently, hashtags are too easy to take advantage of.

Blogs and Discussions

People

Follow @HauntedHouses or find more Halloween tweeps on wefollow and twellow

Website and blogs

Google Insights for Search

Looking at few Halloween search patterns in the last 30 days, using Halloween related keywords, revealed that the people in Idaho seems to care the most about Halloween, the people in Utah search the most for Haunted house and Pumpkin, and the people of Connecticut are looking for Halloween costumes more than others, at least based on Google’s data.

Happy Halloween!

The influencer’s five qualities – S.W.A.R.M

October 25, 2009 6 comments

In an effort to understand the new Influencers Marketing phenomenon, I decided to try and identify some of the influencer’s characteristics and skills. This information is based on my experience, observing several individuals whom are perceived as influencers by me and others in the online world.

I can envision few derived action items possibly taken following this information:

  • Building influencer’s self training curriculum
  • Learning to identify upcoming influencers
  • Learning how to influence the influencers

The influencer – SWARM

I came up with the SWARM acronym to help remembering them, because it reminds me the metaphor for describing the human behavior following an influencer call for action; like a swarm of bees reacting to environmental change.

Virtue Underline Skills Impact Tasks
S – Storyteller Know how to tell a good story. Hers and others. Vision, Inspiration Collect inspiring stories to share.
Focus on possibilities and not on constraints.
W – Well-rounded Technology, Marketing, Selling, and Communication savvy Respect Read outside of your domain. Work on turning week points to strength.
A – Ahead Patience, Analytic, Confidence, Distinctive Leadership Be curious. Make very little assumption. Ask questions and look for answers. Reverse engineer. Try to write, and explain how it works.
R – Resist Can see outside the common thinking.
Extract signals from a lot of noise.
Priorities Read a lot before making an opinion or taking side.
Read a lot to build solid baseline for comparing it with new information.
Read Seth Godin – reading his blog posts regularly is a good training for counter thinking.
M – Motivating Know how to break it all to manageable tasks so other can execute. Education Design a plan from one point to the next including tasks, milestones, and objectives.

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How can we use this knowledge for Influencer Marketing – ideas:

  • Building influencer’s self training curriculum – thanks to the internet, social network, social media, and many additional empowering technologies and tools, more people now have the potential of gaining influence. The growing fragmentation of the long tail to micro niches introduces more domains where individual can become an influential force. Here’s lies the need to train on mastering influential skills.
  • Learning to identify upcoming influencers – for building new ways searching for people and their influence level within domains. You can see an initial approach by wefollow listing the most influential twitter users per category. Here is the list for technology. I can only guess that it is based on retweet counts. It should be easier to start building relationships with influencers early on than when they become too popular.
  • Learning how to influence the influencers – if an influencer is a great storyteller and also attentive to this method of communication, then maybe coming up with an interesting and inspiring story is the way to start building the relationship with her.
  • Your thoughts about influence?

    What do you see as the key virtue and skill for becoming an influencer? How do you plan to find rising influencers in a new niche? As a marketer, planning to leverage an influencer’s call for action in order to convey your message, how do you plan to approach her?

    Picture credit: umjanedoan

    Cognitive Dissonance post: Does social media made it hard to share?

    October 22, 2009 2 comments

    image Mashable, Techcrunch, Gizmodo and Huffington Post posts are re-tweeted over and over again. Brian Sollis, Seth Godin and a couple more bloggers’ posts are all over Twitter and other social media channels. Even traditional news and media publishers now have vast social media presence.  I can only praise the great quality of these bloggers, thinkers, thoughts leaders, reporters and analytical brains. I have one small observation: lately, social media and twitter in particular, are making it actually hard for me to share yours!

    Few observation:

    • It is hard for me to share links from the sources mentioned above. When I see it, the link is already shared so many times, and across so many social media outlets, that there is no point for me to share it again. It seems as if these blog posts are everywhere almost as soon as they come out.
    • It is getting hard to find the second and third tier of bloggers. Maybe here lies the new potential for services like blog and twitter search engines. Give me the option to exclude the top 10, 100, 1000 most known/shared blogs.
    • This is why I don’t like Digg but I do like StumbleUpon!
    • I like to get to know some bloggers from the new long tail – the bloggers from the old one seems to move up to the bell area and joined the mass media.

    The irony is that sharing is one of the Social Media corner stones.

    Cognitive dissonance (from Wikipedia) – is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one’s beliefs, or from experiencing apparently conflicting phenomena.

    Do you share more or less lately? How do you find more interesting bloggers?

    picture credit oddsock

    BOOK REVIEW: Inbound Marketing by Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan

    October 21, 2009 2 comments

    This new book just came out (October 19, 2009) but I think that it is becoming the Marketing department’s new baby. The book covers many areas of Internet Marketing practices, including content creation and management, SEO and product awareness, Social Media, Leads and customer conversion (including Landing Page optimization and Call to Actions page construction).

    imageWhat that make this book really great is not specific chapter or topics it covers but the many great useful tips that are encapsulated within the text.

    I read a lot of blogs and more than few books about Social Media and Internet Marketing over the last couple of years, but I did discover something new to try in almost every chapter that I’ve read (I did not read the entire book yet, I’ve read selected chapters only from lack of time). Sharing what works, what doesn’t and what worth trying is probably one of the secrets for success in the “How To” publishing business whether it is blog, eBook or book . In this book the two authors Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh) and Brian Halligan (@BHalligan) did a great job suggesting lots of small fruitful actionable steps to take. The book also comes with relevant real-life examples to learn from.

    Inbound Marketing was acknowledged by Chris Brogan the blogger and Trust Agent bestselling author among other Internet Marketing and Social Media gurus.

    Here are couple of great quotes that are quoted in this book:

    “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer” Peter Drucker

    “In God we trust, all others bring data” W. Edwards Deming”

    Summary: if you are new to Internet Marketing and Social Media, then reading Inbound marketing and learning from these authors’ experience will save you months of wondering in the long tail desert. If you are savvy I+S Marketer, then expect to learn few new tricks and to get reinforcement to some of the things that you’ve already noticed.

    Thanks to Twitter we are buying the future!

    October 20, 2009 1 comment

    I was recently amazed to see how many books on the Top 100 bestsellers list are ready for pre-order!

    What is the twitter connection?

    Just search on Twitter Search for pre-order+amazon+book. By the way, books are just one of the many items that are available for pre-order on Amazon. Apparently twitter helps to close the sale cycle faster, even before the product is actually available. Twitter helps to quickly raise awareness to the upcoming products. I also think that Amazon is doing a great job sharing this information here.

    I wonder how that list looked few years ago in the pre-twitter era.

    So maybe the real-time web is not just about the present but includes the near future too?!

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    picture credit: aussiegall

    I’m also proud to have a book on Amazon Kindle store! My new eBook is available in Kindle version here:  Timing the tweet

    Twitter tip: treat yourself to a tweet

    October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

    orancecupjpg I want to follow more people on twitter so I can see more interesting tweets or gain more influence (if they follow me back) but I need to be patient!

    Robert T. Kiyosaki wrote in his bestselling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad (not an affiliate link), “Pay yourself first”. In some way, what that he meant was the opposite of treat yourself first. Basically, it was about saving money first, and after making sure that this money is invested and yields more profit, then it is OK to spoil yourself buying luxury things. There are few other good lessons in this book but lately this one resonate in my mind when I think about following others on twitter.

    In order to be twitscally (fiscally) responsible I’ll need to earn new followers first before I can go and follow more.

    Why do I recommend this network building approach?

    • It make you motivated to come up with better content so you can get more followers and then follow more great resources.
    • It helps you to build a more reliable and sustainable twitter account. I find it hard to follow twitter accounts with high follow/following ratio (i.e. way more following than followers).
    • It can help you to put a value for great twitter users. Example: I tell myself that if I’ll get two more followers I could follow one more (maybe an upcoming new thoughts leader in my niche).

    And, yes, it takes more time in the same way as it takes to grow your saving account, but this is the way in my mind to build valuable network. A trustworthy network that can be leveraged for influence, community building, and revenue generating. Treat your followers following spread like your equity and build it overtime. Alternatively, having a twitter account that is follows lots of people, and very few followers is like having an over extended credit card account.

    Does it make sense to you? Do you follow blindly? Do you have process for deciding whom to follow?

    If you like this tip and want to learn more about building high value twitter accounts for marketing, selling, networking, influence or any other purposes please consider reading my eBook: Timing the tweet

    And, yes, I know that it is almost Halloween: so treat yourself to a great tweet!

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