Best Practices for Businesses on Twitter — Twitter has released a blog post detailing best practices for business on Twitter. It’s well worth your time to check out. Some take home points:
- Think about Twitter as a place to build relationships
- Understand the real-time nature of Twitter
- Before you set up measurement tools, focus on the quality of your engagement, and use your gut to check how things are going. How’s the feedback and interaction with your followers? Are you responding to most or your @messages?
TwitViewer is a scam. DO NOT use the service — Twitter, on its Spam update account, said this, “If you gave your login and password info to TwitViewer, we strongly suggest you change your password now.” Let me repeat, do not use TwitViewer and be very cautious of any site that wants your username and password from Twitter.
69 percent of adults don’t know what Twitter is — From my experience, most people have heard of Twitter, but that don’t really get what it is at all or why it is useful. Some think it’s just like the Facebook status update (it’s not), while others think it’s a way to talk about what you eat (could be).
This problem is compounded by the fact that many of the big name, celebrity users are very poor Twitter users. Sure they have lots of followers, but they are very poor role models for new users.
One of the most interesting tidbits of this study is this: “20% felt Twitter was only for young people.” It’s funny because Twitter is not popular with tweens and teens and is doing so-so with college students. Twitter is popular with professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s. I’m not sure why this misconception exists, but Twitter is one of the least ageist social networks out there, and there are plenty of successful older Twitters.
Jon Gruber on paywalls — When one of the smartest Web writers and technologists around writes about a topic, it’s well worth reading. Some key parts:
The consumer psychology of web subscriptions for news just doesn’t work out. It’s right there in the language we use to talk about newsstand prices for print periodicals: per copy. A dollar for a newspaper or a few bucks for a glossy magazine feels like a fair price for a copy. Trees have been cut, presses have been rolled, trucks have been driven to get that copy into your hands. Even subscription pricing for printed newspapers and magazines is always stated in the context of how much you can save compared to per-copy prices at the newsstand.
What feels like a fair price for a copy of a web page, on the other hand, is nothing. They’re just ones and zeroes.
Newsstand and subscription prices have never been the main source of revenue for newspapers anyway — advertising is. But they can’t make as much money from web advertising as from print for several reasons. Pre-Internet, newspapers had inordinate control over the supply of news, and therefore over the supply of advertising, and they grew fat on the profits.
Read the full post. Trust me, it’s well worth your time.
Social Journalism: Curate the Real-Time Web — Publish2 released new tools to allow users to curate the real-time Web:
What’s Social Journalism? It’s what you do when you gather information in social media channels and then report it to your readers. Watching a Twitter #hashtag for posts related to a critical local issue or big event, then publishing them in a roundup or sidebar on your news site? That’s Social Journalism. Scanning YouTube for the latest video from a protest, county fair, or city council meeting? That’s Social Journalism.
Sharing on Facebook Now More Popular than Sharing by Email — Facebook tops all other Web sites and even e-mail when it comes to sharing content via the AddToAny widget. Yes, this is just one widget, but it is one of the most popular. 24 percent of shares were via Facebook, while e-mail had 11.1 percent and 10.8 percent via Twitter.
Personally, I’m much more likely to share links via Facebook or Twitter than via e-mail, and I suspect this is increasingly becoming the case for many people. Now, we have some data to back up this point.
For content producers, this means getting content onto Facebook. People are using Facebook more and more and sharing is a big part of that.
Confirmed: Digg Just Hijacked Your Twitter Links — “Earlier today we mentioned that Digg.com appears to have changed the behavior of its short URLs so they no longer go to the source of the story for logged-out users: instead they direct visitors to a landing page on Digg ().com.
The change has many negative implications for publishers, including the fact that readers who think they are creating a link to your content are actually just pushing traffic to Digg.”
Content creators, there are plenty of better short url services out there like tr.im, bit.ly and the original, tinyurl.com.
Love it or hate it, spymaster is invading Facebook — Spymaster is now on Facebook, but that’s not the real news here for content creators. The real news is how a viral game like Spymaster has exploded all over Twitter and now Facebook. It’s an innovative concept, and it’s one content creators should study closely.
Twitter’s 1,928 Percent Growth and Other Notable Social Media Stats –This is a great collection of stats. Here is my favorite
- MySpace () leads all social media sites (presumably excluding YouTube ()) in unique video viewers, with 12.9 million.
MySpace is still relevant in the entertainment sector, it’s just stagnant elsewhere. I think we’ll see MySpace drastically change within the next year or two into more of an entertainment portal and less of a traditional social network.
Ten issues I have with Twitter (and its community) — There are some very legitimate issues listed here, and I hope many of them will be fixed in time. First, Twitter does need a better search engine. There is a so much information on Twitter, and it is a real shame that is so hard to sort through.
Content producers, you should be actively lobbying Twitter to improve its search engine. It can help us all do our jobs better.
The other big issue listed here, for me at least, is groups. Twitter needs them. Now that people are following more and more people, it’s getting harder and harder to track the conversation. If I could create groups ala FriendFeed, and put my friends into groups like journalism, social media, Web dev, politics, news, etc that would make my job a lot easier.
Yes, TweetDeck has groups, but they are only contained within the application itself, not within the whole Twitter universe. FriendFeed is an excellent model for Twitter groups.
Seesmic’s Browser Client Is Like Gmail For Twitter — For content producers who aren’t allowed to install Twitter applications — or any applications without way too much approval — Seesmic’s browser client should be a big help. Seesmic’s browser client allows for multi-columns, which can make Twitter much more usable and efficient.
Seesmic also brings over all your saved searches from the Twitter.com client. This is worth checking out. I prefer TweetDeck, but then again, I can install whatever I want on my computers. If you want a more advanced Twitter experience, but aren’t allowed to install desktop applications or you don’t want to deal with all that, than Seesmic’s new Web client is your best bet.
Tumblr Submissions: Create Your Own Community-Powered Blog — This sums it up well, “With free content from your readers, what’s your excuse for not updating your blog?” Tumblr’s new submission feature may be a good way to tap into — trusted — community members for links.
Location-Based Services: Are You Using Them? — Location-based services are still in their infancy and mostly appeal to tech-savvy people. That, like social media was a few years ago, will be quickly changing. Location-based services make a lot of sense for geographically-based news orgs.
HOW TO: Manage Social Media Goals and Expectations –You’re not going to get 1,000,000 followers on Twitter overnight — or ever — and it takes time to build up a solid reputation on social media sites. Having realistic goals and expectations will make your social media experience much better.
Social media is about people, conversations, friendships, education, and communication. Social media is not a race. If you get over-competitive with people over followers, retweets, and popularity, you lose sight of the communication and learning aspects of social media, and the fun gets sucked right out.
When you are setting your social media expectations and goals, remember to avoid pitfalls that many enter. Really assess what you want to get out of your experience. If you do this early, you can avoid the frustration of aimless wandering quickly.
NJ Court Rules Bloggers Not Protected By Shield Law — Let’s call this a small win for newspapers and a big loss for the public. It turns out there are curmudgeon judges too:
The judge ruled that Hale shouldn’t be considered a journalist because she hadn’t shown she was affiliated with a “legitimate” media outlet, according to Law.com. While Hale said she had written articles that had been published in trade journals and at least one newspaper, the judge found that she hadn’t proven that. Therefore, the judge ruled, Hale can be forced to tell a company suing her for libel the names of people who served as sources for a post she made on the message boards at Oprano — a site that covers the porn industry.
10 Stunning (And Useful) Stats About Twitter — There are some great nuggets of information on here. My favorites:
- 5 percent of Twitter users account for 75 percent of activity on Twitter.
- 21 percent of Twitter accounts have never even sent a tweet in. Many of these are most likely placeholders. Some might just be for people reading tweets but not sending tweets.
- Tuesday is the most active day of the week on Twitter, followed by Wednesday and then Friday.
The Trouble with Twitter trends — Twitter has to figure out a way to curate its Twitter trends. Right now the top trends that show up under Twitter trends are automated, which leaves them open to being gamed, especially by spammers or, worse, malicious links.
Twitter is growing rapidly, which is leading to some of these issues. The best way to solve this problem is to employ a combination of automatic trending topics based on popularity with human curation. Before that though, Twitter needs to find a way to block spammy links and accounts better.
Social Media marketing spending to hit $3.1 billion by 2014 — A good way to gauge the value of something is to see what people are willing to spend money on. If marketers are willing to spend a lot of money on social media, it makes sense for content producers to be on social media too. There is value in social media.
Amazon’s Kindle 2 gets a $60 price cut, now at $299 — Many in traditional publishing fields view the Kindle as a potential savior. I’m not so sure about that, but I do think the Kindle has a chance to get more people reading again. Now that the price is finally under $300, it might start seeing more mainstream adoption.
If the Kindle drops to $249 for Christmas, look out. Not only do Kindle readers read more books than the average person, but they also subscribe to newspapers on the Kindle, which run up to $14 a month. The Kindle won’t save newspapers, but it can certainly help to bring in more revenue.
Facebook’s ‘09 Revenue to Top $500 Million — Facebook is starting to take off as a company and expects to have billions of dollars of yearly revenue within five years. See, you can make money off the Internet.
News orgs need to start developing platforms and communities. Making money off of just reporting will be a tough sell moving forward.
How I tweet: Just the FAQs — This is how a master tweeter Guy Kawasaki tweets. Learn from the best.
A few tidbits:
- Guy follows everyone back because that allows people to Direct Message him. DMs are limited to 140 characters and Guy finds them much more efficient than e-mail.
- Guy uses TweetDeck on his Mac. It’s probably the best desktop application around (available on Windows and Linux too).
Search photos on Twitter with twicsy — This is the best photo search for Twitter that I’ve found so far. A useful tool for content producers.
14 iPhone Apps With Push Notification for Productivity — By far our favorite use of Push notifications on the iPhone so far are instant messaging applications. Now a content producer can stay logged into IM on the go and the iPhone will pop up notifications when new IMs arrive.
Twitter Cops: Nobody cares what your eating — This is a hilarious Twitter spoof video. The video highlights something to take note of, however. Most people probably don’t care about the mundane details of your lives. But Twitter can be a fantastic tool for work. This video contains strong language. (link via @NickHeller)
HOW TO: Get retweeted on Twitter — Getting retweeted on Twitter is a great way to gain more followers. It turns out there is a science behind getting retweeted. Here are a couple of take home points from this excellent post:
- People like links — Tweets with links in them are much more likely to be retweeted.
- Complex tweets get retweeted — This may seem counter-intuitive, but tweets that require a higher reading level are more likely to get retweeted. Don’t try to make your tweets more complex to get them retweeted, but rather, don’t dumb down your tweets either.
This post over at Mashable also has a bunch of sexy charts and graphs.
ReportingOn 2.0 is live — Creator Ryan Sholin dubs it as “the backchannel for your beat.” Here are some excerpts from Sholin’s post announcing the new version:
For those of you who haven’t been keeping score, ReportingOn is a project funded by the Knight News Challenge, and it’s a place for journalists of all stripes to find peers with experience dealing with a particular topic, story, or source.
You can ‘watch’ users, beats, or a particular question, viewing everything in an activity feed that brings you the latest questions and answers from the journalists, topics, and particular issues you’re interested in.
We’ll have in-depth coverage of ReportingOn 2.0 soon. But I strongly encourage journalists to check it out ASAP.
Google enhances Gmail labeling with drag and drop feature, retires right-side labels — I’m on the record as saying that Gmail is the best e-mail solution around, especially for work. It’s powerful search features alone make it great, but Google keeps improving Gmail, making it even more irresistible for content producers:
Of the more innovative features that has been added is the ability to drag and drop messages into labels, just like you can with folders. You can also drag labels onto messages too. It’s also possible to drag labels into the “more” menu to hide them, making it easier to change labels than going to the Settings function. This feature is huge for those people who complain about Gmail not having some of the drag and drop features of Outlook.
Facebook for iPhone 3.0 Coming Soon – Preview and Details — The biggest take away from this story is that nearly 25 percent of iPhone users us the Facebook app. That’s simply staggering.
The Facebook app is quite good, and it’s probably one reason why the network is growing much faster than the faltering MySpace. In addition, the new Facebook app looks incredibly good. Later this summer, the Facebook app will be getting push notifications.
Facebook started as a Web site, but it has moved into other grounds, like mobile apps. This is a lesson that content producers, journalists, newspapers and others should take to heart. Just because you start doing one thing, doesn’t mean you can’t do something else (especially something that is the logical next step).
Twitter increases API limit to 150 –This is huge news for Twitter users who use Twitter clients. Before, power users would run out of API calls (it was set at 100) and would have to wait for their API limit to reset every hour. This increase certainly makes clients like TweetDeck even more irresistible for work purposes.
Centenarians show it’s never too late to tweet — If someone 100 years old can use Twitter and social media, so can anyone. Hear that journalists:
Three percent of U.S. centenarians questioned in a new survey said they use the service that allows users to send short text messages, or tweets, of up to 140 characters at least once a week to keep in touch with their friends and family.
Another 10 percent sent emails to stay connected, 12 percent shared photos on the Internet and 4 percent downloaded music from the web.
Link from Yahoo breaks traffic records at New York Times — How does a Home & Garden story about bargain homes in undesirable locations set traffic records for a news organization? When that link comes from Yahoo!
Links are valuable. This story proves it:
Behold the power of Yahoo: A link at the top of the site’s front page helped send more than 9 million page views to The New York Times in the span of two hours last week, breaking records for web traffic at the newspaper.
Now, the Times and other papers still haven’t figured out how to monetize these traffic spikes. That’s the next frontier.
Facebook to emulate Twitter’s follower model with profile fans — It appears that Facebook will be trying to emulate Twitter even more with followers, in addition to friends:
Could it be that you will soon be able to have followers, not just friends, on Facebook too? That definitely appears to be the case. Just take a look at your email notification settings for a little proof.
Notice something different? Look closely and you’ll see the new option to receive an email notification whenever another Facebook user “Connects to me as a fan.” In other words, Facebook followers, here we come.
WARNING: New Facebook scams today, junfunrun and bulitre — Here are the latest Facebook scams to be aware of. Be careful on Facebook when it comes to clicking on links! I received one of these scam links in a private message from someone I haven’t talked to in years. That was a pretty big tip off that it was in fact a scam (plus the message made no sense).
Use common sense on the Internet.
6 gorgeous Twitter visualizations — There are a lot of really cool ways to visualize Twitter and all its tweets, but my favorite might just be Just Landed:
Just Landed is a beautiful geo-visualization of tweets containing the words “Just landed in…”. It finds the tweets containing the phrase, checks for the location they’ve landed in, and the location they were sent from, and shows all this on a 3D map of the world. For more information check out the author’s blog,blprnt.org.
YouTube Mobile Uploads Up 400% Since iPhone 3GS Launch — We said that the iPhone 3G S was a game changer and early returns support that. The 3G S makes it so incredibly easy to shoot, edit and upload video on the go. It might just be a must-have tool for mobile journalists.
YouTube has seen an explosion of mobile uploads in the last year, and this trend appears to be picking up. If journalists don’t get in on the action now, they risk being supplanted by citizens with mobile phones really fast. Look at Iran, most of the video coming out of there is from mobile devices.
Expect mobile phones with 3G s-like capabilities to become the norm in the coming years.
Nielsen: Teens Spend Much Less Time On The Web Than Older People — Adults spend more time online than teens. Teens apparently really like TV and are watching more of it than ever.
So what does this all mean for journalists? Adults, the people with disposable money, really like the Internet. That key 18-49 demographic? They’re all about the Interwebs. It’s not tomorrow’s readers, but rather today’s readers that are flocking to the Web in droves.
The Real Genius Of The Kindle? The Return Of ‘Unitasking’ — “When’s the last time you did only one thing at a time? If you’re reading this—particularly if you’re in the news or content business—there’s a good chance you’ll have trouble answering that question.
But one new technology is taking consumers in the opposite direction, and I’ve found it has unexpectedly helped me reclaim control of my attention span. It’s the Kindle. Unlike most digital devices, Amazon.com’s e-reader makes it difficult to multitask.”
This is an excellent argument for the power of the Kindle. Journalists are struggling on the Web, because the Web naturally takes advantage of people’s willingness to multitask. But the Kindle isn’t a multitasking device, and it has the ability to get people to spend more time with a single kind of content.
That is surprisingly powerful.
Did Shaq Just Find Out He Was Traded On Twitter? — I can’t say if Shaq 100 percent found out he was traded via Twitter, but that’s what it sure looks like.
Twitter is breaking news left and right.
Story of Neda’s Death Reveals 7 Elements of Next-Step Journalism — This is a great read about how pros and amateurs can work together to report news. And even though average citizens are able to report more and more, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for professional journalists.
Flickr zaps photos: Bad for citizen journalism — This troubling report about a user being deleted (and all his photos) without warning isn’t good news for Flickr as a tool for citizen journalism. The person and account in question was deleted because his comments were flagged by other users.
Fair enough right? Well no, not if there isn’t an appeals process.
Let’s say I post a bunch of comments critical to the current regime in Iran. The regime could have people systematically flag my comments as “abusive.” Enough flags and then my account will be deleted.
That doesn’t sound like a very good tool to use for citizen journalism, does it?
It seems logical that Flickr needs to add an appeals process. And even if a customer loses an appeal, they should be given a few days to at least back-up their photos from Flickr.
How LIVESTRONG Uses Social Media for Good #FindingTheGood — The Lance Armstrong Foundation is using social media to help bolster the foundation itself and also reach new people. In addition, the foundation’s use of social media has helped spread awareness about their goals.
For journalists, however, what’s most worth emulating is how the foundation uses Facebook and Twitter to create a community:
However, LAF probably spends most of its attention on its Facebook and Twitter communities, which serve as an extension of the organization’s mission of creating an atmosphere of support for those affected by cancer. The organization uses its Facebook fan page as a way to directly connect with cancer survivors on a personal basis, and encourages them to share stories on the discussion boards. According to McMillan, people on the site have come together and organically formed a support group. “People have been very awesome on Facebook,” she told me.
WARNING: Yet Another Twitter Scam Invades Trending Topics — This isn’t the first malware warning about Twitter we’ve had on this site, and unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be the last one we’ll be warning you about either:
Today is Alan Turing’s birthday, and there’s nothing unusual about “Alan Turing” being one of the trending topics on Twitter. However, if you aren’t careful, you might end up clicking the wrong link and picking up some malware along the way.
Now, malware is avoidable if you take precautions. Be wary of clicking on links in the trending topics area. You’ll notice that many people spam the trending topics. You might notice them posting a random string of popular people and phrases with some hashtags and a link: “Britney Spears naked Ed McMahon dies #IranElection Jon and Kate plus 8 http://fakelinkhere.com”
When people do that, they are just trying to scam the system and show up under the trending topics. They want you to click their links (at best just spam, but often far worse).
In particular, Mashable is warning users to stay away of low.cc and myworlds.mp links.
Run Well: The New York Times branches out into a web app to manage your marathon training — The New York Times recently created a new application, Run Well, to help people prepare for marathons:
It lets you choose an upcoming marathon to run and offers six training programs — from famous coaches including Greg McMillan and Jeff Galloway — tailored to a reader’s running experience. Once you chose a program, the tracker displays a full training calendar, a progress chart, and detailed information about each day’s run. You can log each day’s workout, adding any specific comments you’ll want to remember later.
I’m not a marathon runner, so I’ll skip talking about specifics of the app itself, but the idea itself is quite interesting. New York is home to one of the more famous marathons, and The Times has marathon and distance running coverage throughout the year. Creating an interactive application like Run Well could create a special bond with distance runners all over the world.
What can this tool ultimately do for the Times? First, and most importantly, it can help create a more loyal audience. Other news outlets also cover distance running, but how many others offer a valuable tool like Run Well for free? None, last time I checked.
Run Well, and products like it, are exactly the kinds of things that news organizations should be creating. Run Well makes perfect sense with the Times’s editorial product, and the Times maybe able to charge for Run Well in the future. I could also imagine a whole community springing up around this app on nytimes.com.
Technology Review: Wikipedia Gets Ready for a Video Upgrade — Over the next 2-3 months, Wikipedia will be adding video. Contributors will be able to add videos to entries on the site, which should further increase the utility of Wikipeida.
Ultimately, one of the main ideas is to “encourage content providers to put more video into the public domain via the vast online encyclopedia”
Mobile access far outpacing Internet access — In low-income countries, Internet access grew 700% this decade, while mobile access grew 7000%.
All around the world, mobile is quickly becoming the new frontier to conquer. Smart content producers realize this, especially those who operate globally. In many countries, there is far greater access to mobile products like cell phones than there is to computers.
“If you want to reach the poorest countries in the world, it looks like mobile phones are your best bet.” In the U.S. we see much of the same. While many poorer people in the U.S. do not have computers, most people have a cell phone (pay as you go is exploding right now).
What does this mean? This mean news organizations need to start producing more products and content that work on mobile platforms — and not just mobile platforms like the iPhone that skew wealthy.
Facebook’s inbox was fine for basic communication, especially if you didn’t use it that much. But, become too active on Facebook, and it became a mess. The new Facebook inbox has more powerful search tools, makes it easier to filter messages and, perhaps most importantly, has a way to flag spam.
Hopefully Facebook gets ahead of the spam wagon, because MySpace is plagued by spam and is all but worthless as a personal communication tool because of it. I’m also hoping by having a way to flag spam,Facebook will catch on quicker to phishing schemes.
Google readying microblog search? — “About a month after saying it was taking real-time search seriously, Google seems to be preparing a microblogging search tool.”
Earlier today we reported on the new real time search engine for Twitter, CrowdEye, and rumors are swirling that Google is looking to get into the microblog search game too. It just makes sense.
Twitter is a phenomenal communication tool, and it is helping to change the world right now. But searching Twitter — especially as it grows and grows — isn’t very easy. It’s one thing to search random topics, but it can be very hard to discern what is going on with a major topic.
Every second hundreds of tweets are sent out about Iran. How do you make sense of it all? That’s where better search technology would benefit all of us greatly.
There is a lot of room for real time search, and expect Google to be at the forefront of it.
How to be generous: a guide for social media brands — This simple guide will help you use social media better. The core message of this guide is to forget what you knew in the past, because social media is a totally different kind of media.
The guide implores people and companies to A) celebrate your customers and B) share more of yourself. this means that companies have to take customers seriously and realize that they are human beings (and not just a random person to sell something to). It also means that to be successful on social media you have to be social and offer people something that they couldn’t get otherwise.
Another key point is that if you’re on social media in order to build or promote a brand, you should be having a positive effect. If you go about offending people on social media, for instance, that’s not going to help build your brand.
iPhone 3.0 a cut-and-paste win for Twitter — Copy and paste was the last major feature missing from the iPhone. Now that it is no longer missing, the iPhone has become a pretty complete reporting tool. You can blog from it, send in tweets, snap photos and video and more.
Twitter and Twitter users are going to be big winners with the new iPhone OS. It’s hard to be a prolific Twitter user if you can’t copy and paste. This makes sharing links on the go really hard.
Just uploaded a photo, story or video on the go? Now, finally, it is much easier to share the link to that content in Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms while on the go.