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PS and WHAT? @Mark Z….

And WHAT? No “@” capabilities in the “Post Link” feature (this is a continuation of yesterday’s Facebook rant). Here’s my workflow: 1) find cool post 2) capture URL 3) post to Facebook profile with attribution….OOOPS….can’t attribute?

Of course I’d want to direct the post to others who would be especially interested. What is wrong with me that this seems so obvious (and so easy to deliver? It worked in status updates…)?
Is it just me? Or would this deliver value? Bring it, Facebook, please?

Top Twitter Tips for Business: #7 & #8

Have you noticed a rise in business press exploring the benefits of using Twitter? Business Week just joined the wave of Twitter promoters with a recent blog post announcing “Why Twitter Matters:”

Businesses such as H&R Block (HRB) and Zappos are now using Twitter to respond to customer queries. Market researchers look to it to scope out minute-by-minute trends. Media groups are focusing on Twitterers as first-to-the-scene reporters. (They were on top of the May 12 China earthquake within minutes.) Loads of new applications and services are growing around the Twitter platform, leading some to suggest that the microblogging service could become a powerhouse in social media.

“Responding to customer queries” is part of it, as you already know if you’ve read tips #1 & #2, #3 & #4, and #5 & #6. But these next two tips focus on building visibility for the conversations you create on Twitter, so that you attract and keep “Followers”…people who choose to add your Updates to the stream that fills their Twitter Screen.

7. Open up and integrate your Twitter presence. When you are as committed to a Twitter presence as you are to a mobile number or an email address, then it’s time to get the word out.

Reference your Twitter profile link in your blog, email signatures, newsletters, biz cards, more—anywhere you’d include that phone number or email address. Add a Twitter badge to your page or blog (from Twitter’s directory of “how to” hints) so that visitors can follow you on Twitter. Ribbit.com’s blog features a Twitter stream and “follow” button, and it has definitely generated followers. Remember, Twitter hasn’t quite yet broken out to the masses, so don’t give up if you don’t get tons of uptake.

Guy Kawasaki (follow him on Twitter) has written an in-depth post on his experiences with Twitter as a traffic driver. Recommended reading.

If you are committed to entering the social conversation, you want Twitter in your outreach and community-building efforts. Over time: “if you build it, they will come.”

8. Give more than you take. Offer information. Ask questions. Make offers. Be generous. Please don’t look at Twitter as yet another advertising platform. If you’re blasting, spamming, or overtly marketing, you will be “outed” by the collective, and you will lose followers. Beyond that, you’ll miss opportunity to build, and learn from, a Twitter community.

Watch some business Twitter mastery (a “Getting Started on Twitter” guide) in action here, once again from Zappos’ CEO. Note that he also is open about the list of Zappos employees who also Tweet and a few other juicy tidbits that are worth navigating through. How does this open up conversations and increase Zappos’ visibility…and credibility? What from this example might help your business begin a dialog with users, potential customers, and other people you can learn from?

Your Twitter activity will work best if it comes from a place of authentically wanting to communicate something that matters: your value to your users; tips and inspirations for using your product or service; a genuine desire to understand your customer community and deliver a relevant product or service to them.

Next: Twitter Tips for Business #9 & #10. Stay tuned!

MicroPost: Data Portability…what’s in it for me?

Am I the only one that’s not jumping up and down with excitement over the recent data portability announcements from MySpace, Facebook and Google?

I mean, I can understand why opening up the data on these platforms is good for them, but I’m still waiting for an innovation that feels like it’s good for me—the person who uses these platforms.

Sure, being able to share with, invite, and find new friends serves their business model. They have my data, and now they’re going to make it easy for my friends to know what I’m doing, buying, saying…but all, it seems, with a mind to promoting more products and pushing more media.

But what part of these innovations helps me do what I want to do socially? What part helps the picture I upload to BrightKite find its way over to Flickr or my Facebook albums…to let the stats I upload on Concept2 show up on my Twitter feed, or better yet to a place that I choose within Facebook…to let a link to my latest blog post automatically show up on my LinkedIn profile? MySpace may be doing some of this…but it feels more “MySpace-centric” rather than “what people really want-centric.” If that makes sense.

Mento.com—from Berlin, natch—gives me a whiff of this value. When one of my friends opens a link I’ve sent the, I get a direct message in Twitter, if I’d like. There’s value for me in that (thanks, Mento!).

I do so many “thin” things on different social networks these days. Real utility for me would be about bringing some of these things together in a way that made it more fun, social and valuable (hey, relevant) for me to put my data up on these networks. I’d rather do that than see more ads and automatically blast my friends with updates on what I’m buying and doing.

It seems that all of this data portability has been shaped by the platform provider’s business plan, and the need to keep up with all things open, than by any real sense of what people might want to really do socially, or by providing a service that delivers real utility and satisfaction.

Am I missing something? What do you think?