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Posts Tagged ‘Community’

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!

Webnomena – eight prominent Web 2.0 phenomena

October 13, 2008 1 comment

This blog name is Webnomena web + phenomena  (plural of phenomenon) and this is where I share my observations living the web. This post sums ten month of observations and blogging. I’m not sure what lies ahead but at time like these we can count on it that there will be some changes. Some of these phenomena will vanish and new one will appear. So, before moving on to the very next thing (or maybe backward) I chose some of the most prominent phenomena signifying the Web 2.0 era.

Webnomena

Many to many communication – the old media consisted of only few broadcasting to the masses. It was distant and regulated. You could, with some effort to comment back on a news article yet there was very little chance that your comment will appear in the following edition. Your ability to interact with the newspaperman was limited if at all. Social media changed all that. You can be the news. You can comment almost anywhere instantly. You can interact with news generators. You can follow and  listening to the same source on multiple channels (Blog RSS feed, micro-blog, media streaming (pictures, video and audio – blogtalkradio), and comments). It is also easy to find what is going on right now i.e. Web-now – reading the news and the meta-news in real-time, at the same time. News become more conversational – bi-directional. This kind of media is impossible to recruit or regulate – this change comes with both the good and bad.

social-media-trend

Google Trend for the term social media

 Search engine is not a search engine anymore - it is a spell checker, idiom checker, translator, map and direction, alerts, knowledge base, value comparing tool, research tool, people business and relationship finder, content organizer, content visualizing tool, meaning extractor, entertainment and event planner, tasks based, support micro-format for integration with other tools, API, ad by context placer. And above all it could be a money making machine!! So much data and sooo much more metadata. I’m not sure how to call it anymore but if you want to take on Google it is hard to imagine someone wining by just providing a new magnificent search engine. 

Selfless sharing as a strategy - sharing without holding back is the heart of social media.  You stay ahead, read a lot of blogs, learn and experience new tools, technologies, means of communication, monitor changes across the web and then share your : information->knowledge->expertise->thoughts->feeling->goals with the community.

Blog-trend

Google Trend for the term blog

 Digital autobiography (digital life stream)- my, my, my: activity feed, timeline, location, preferences. The meaning of the term profile in the old days was your slow changing private attributes like address, age, marital status.  Now, it means a whole lot more. In the social network world the term profile is dynamic and includes your activity, your friend, your friends friends, your relationships, your chosen tools and games and more. There are new ways available for finding influencers and new marketing campaign startegies.

Ultimate empowerment – Anyone can do it and we all have access. Build your own [search, content, network, dashboard, scalable web-app (cloud computing)]. The new web world is more like cafeteria model than restaurant. It is up to you to go and get/build what that you need. Do you want that power or do you want to be served? Not everyone are excited about been empowered, not everyone can, not everyone will thrive in this kind of environment! Also, cafeteria food is not always great. This is why it is cheaper:)

Graph awareness – the graph is no more just a data structure that only computer geek’s care about. People are aware of their network(s). The Graph is now a strategy, it provides both power and knowledge. It started with LinkedIn then Facebook and continue with Twitter and Jaiku.  It is a way to filter out poor content and a mean for finding great one. Some social graph’s phenomena are: crowd sourcing, influence, cliques, and more. One big question is still unanswered: Who owns the graph?

Digital community work – the new social media helps to overcome fear of strangers. In a  way it forces you to interact. It is almost impossible to make it alone! Your succeeds is very much depends on your web relationships. What is the optimized investment allocation between writing, SEO tuning, and building a great supportive community? This is where Blog Networks make their case.

Online without offline –  it is possible to make it not leaving your computer!? No conferences, no meet-up, no leg work. Also, what should come first or what is more important? The offline or the online activity? It is not clear anymore even if you do both. Offline – You do something and then you go telling to your online friends. Online: You create opportunities to meet friends offline around certain online subjects. There are so many ways to build your Web presence – “I blog there for I’m”. Beside blogging there are numerous self marketing, and self branding tool out there. FriendFeed is one example. Sub phenomenon to the online presence is the strive for self scalability – dealing with inbox zero, growing social commitments, knowing the right time allocations between web tasks (research, reporting and community building), avoiding distractions, learning to say NO. The alternative is to work yourself to death.

Other sub-phenomena:

Attention starvation – too many puppies fighting for traffic. This leads to poor comments strategies: the first look something lime “great post..”, the second is comment trolling, and the third is building bots for spam comments and splogs. The real dark side is viruses and worms. The gray side is link bait and viral marketing.

Proven scalability patterns – incorporating some or all of the scalability technics like decentralization, virtualization, asynchronous operation mode (push vs. pull), keeping building blocks small, isolation (of responsibilities and resources) are essential for success on a web scale. We did see some examples for product with significant growing pains. We saw some great development in this area too like Ping services, RSS, and recently what the Gnip is now building.

Mashup – companies open their API as a growth strategy. The value for the community: the sum is greater than its parts. Examples: Twhirl, FriendFeed.

There are more web phenomena that I did not cover in relation to social media like the new development in the social media and location aware Mobile web, otheres are obsessive rating, widgets and viral marketing. I’m sure that there are more and this is great news for my Webnomena blog:)

Blogging for AltSearchEngines and the quest behind the search

October 5, 2008 1 comment

Alts Lately, I’m spending more and more of my time on the neighbor’s court than on mine . I’m looking at some of the alternative search engines out there and then write my observations on AltSearchEngines blog. I do plan to write more here and I have a backlog of post waiting to be written, yet…

I like to participate writing for AltSearchEngines blog for multiple reasons. First, becuase there is a great mission behind this blog. Alts is helping the small start-ups which are taking on such a challenging tasks like: organizing infinite amount of information on the web, finding relevant results, building interactive web-sites, fighting on traffic from Google and tons of other alternative search engines. I also like the stage, ASE gets way more traffic than my humble little blog. It is also new for me to write with other team members and Alts has a dream team. I’m learning a lot, I had an opportunity to examine the traffic on ASE using Google Analytics.  AltSearch engine is ranked by Alexa in the top 100,000 blogs. It  is very different looking at ASE, a blog with tones of traffic and multi contributors, than looking at a small single owner blog like mine. When you have that kind of rich data you can actually find interesting patterns and then to come up with suggestions for improving readers’ engagement. I’m also learning a lot from Charles Knight a professional blogger, smart, and kind fellow.

Here are my posts on Alts:

  • Some of my thoughts about SemantiFind were used on this post.
  • I wrote a post about a new social search engine under development in both Seoul, Korea and Austin, TX, Tusavvy. Here is a recent press release from Tusavvy posted on AltSearchEngines where they announce that they are going into beta.
  • I lately asked if LinkedIn should  buy Twellow? Both services help finding people and keeping up with career changes. Twellow provides real-time pulse checking from different industries because it is build on top of Twitter and I though that Twellow can add some color to the corporate grayness of LinkedIn.

I’m not sure about my level of participation at AltSearchEngine going forward but for now I enjoy being part of something bigger than a blog and blog post. Traffic, and money are all important and I like to see growth in each one of them going forward one way or another, but building new relationships, learning (a ton) and helping small companies has it charm too.

My biggest revelation about blogging, in the 10 month that I’m doing it, is that my blog become the door to multiple communities and exciting opportunities. At this point, I get far more satisfaction seeing new Twitter follower, friend’s invitation request, or new comment on my blog post (no matter where it is posted at) than more page views.

In these times when making money from blogging is questionable but blogging is in your blood I think that it is best to focus on other ways for blogging contributing to both the community and your personal development.

Looking at Pijoo – a friendly blogger community

August 12, 2008 3 comments

There are only few real bloggers communities other there but many web sites that only resembled one. MyBlogLog was a great one till Yahoo bough and kept  it on ice (this is maybe changing recently).  StumbleUpon is another successful one yet I can’t find my way over there (please let me change my password – I can’t remember the default one you gave me). I tried using blogcatalog and stopped the registrations process after I was asked to put a widget on my blog for proving it is mine.Too much effort and I’m not sure if that would work if one is using wordpress.com. You can have friends on other content web sites like Digg, reddit, Delicious but these are not really geared for bloggers needs.

I recently discovered Pijoo, a social blog directory, that seems to have the potential for becoming the true blue social network for bloggers. The three people behind it are Calvin Innes CEO,  Brett Innes CTO, and Kali Ogle the best and friendliest technical support person I ever had as a contact. Calvin Innes has his own blog, and as it is written on his blog is an Illustrator, Cartoonist, Artist, Animator & published Author. He is responsible for the great design of the web site. I don’t know how he did it but this is one of the warmest place on the web that I’ve seen. Making the web site feels cozy is a key feature when building an online community. Kali Ogle is also the owner of a fashion design business and blog called Lady Waisted. This is the first time that I see a picture of a real human being on a technical support contact. She is the first person that you “see” after joining the service and the small Messages windows on your profile make the access to support very easy. Having your technical support right where you start is another way to get you on-board smoothly. I’m not sure how much it will scale later but during the time building the core community it makes perfect sense. As the About Us page says Pijoo is managed by Giz Media projects, a Giz Ltd company (UK).

pijoo

Yes, the service has a voting options on the blog, blog posts and the blogger, but it seems to be taken more casually (there is an option to say that it is “not for me” – no big deal) . You have an option to make new connections, submit blog posts and claim a blog. It also allows you to comment right there on a blog post. I’m not sure why it is called a directory because there is no blog categorization options. but there are a search and tag cloud options to find blogs. . Pijoo crawls looking for the latest blog post (what about ping service?), track recent visitors and support RSS feeds (Posts section). You can have up to 2 blogs for free but there is an option to upgrade to a sponsor account with unlimited blogs and other benefits for one-off $30 payment. There are more features and capabilities that this service provides like becoming a fan, telling others what blogs are you reading and different ways for seeing blogs, posts and bloggers.

I can’t say what is the size of the community but it seems like a friendly crowd. I also don’t know in what phase the site development is (alpha, beta) but I don’t think that it matters to the founders – it is open for public. It works and it fulfil its promise. Bloggers can makes connection over there!

What else to expect from a bloggers social networks?

  • Collaboration:  I will be really happy to exchange posts. I.e. be a guest blogger and allow someone else to be one on my blog. Maybe a guest blog wanted bulletin board.
  • Comment rating: I sometime see comments to blog post that are better than the original post. I wish I could rate them and make them visible to others.

What do you like to see in a bloggers social networks?

I just left a message to Kali asking for the origin of the name Pijoo. Stay tune (or guess it using the comment section).

Bottom line Pijoo is a fun place to socialize your blog and content. It is easy to use and has no performance issues. I will be happy to see you there.

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