Reading Time: 4 minutes
Time flies, good times or not. I realized the other day that we have not posted here since November 15, 2011. That’s 90+ days, one quarter of a year or three months! Like many bloggers who take a hiatus, we have plenty of good reasons why we haven’t written lately. Let’s see:
- Holidays are always a good excuse. In the last 90 days we have celebrated some or all of these holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Years, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Valentines…
- Closing out the year-end books for any business can and does take time.
- Vacations or business trips impact all of our schedules
- Working with new clients, designing new web sites is always a good way to spend time
I think it is obvious that the above list could go on ad nauseum. I am also pretty sure you get the point, time is precious and we need to manage our time to accomplish all that we would like to with our blog, personal or business. Isn’t this what we tell our clients? Engage!!!
Let me tell you what really brought this point home to me. Last week one of my favorite bloggers, Julien Smith, posted “A Short Contest”. He was asking his regular and new readers to tweet a quote from one of his posts. I was game and here is the quote that I tweeted:
If you aren’t current, you may as well not exist. http://inoveryourhead.net/protip-your-inactive-blog-makes-you-irrelevant/ @julien
Julien’s quote “If you aren’t current, you may as well not exist” isn’t just about social media in general or blogging in particular; it really has to do with all aspects of our lives and the success of our businesses. Be inquisitive, learn about new software, read about new business concepts, dust off the shelves, do an inventory, wash the windows, and don’t cheat yourself or your clients. And as another blogging friend says: “Don’t cheat on your blog!”
Today I am pushing the reset button on Webconsuls’ blog. I hope you will subscribe and if you want to share some stories about how you “reset” your blog, please leave a comment.
|A Tucson sunset can inspire you to push the reset button!
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Wordmark for Twitter logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What is it about Twitter? A simple question, a simple program, a complex answer – maybe even unexplainable. If you were to type “twitter” into a Wikipedia field you would find this: “Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications”. If you have a basic understanding of the World Wide Web today you probably understand words like blogging, add a micro- to the beginning and you have tiny blog posts, called Tweets. Simple, Right! What isn’t so simple is why one would ever want to broadcast short transmissions about their day-to-day activities; why would I want to ask questions, and take interest in what a total stranger is doing with their life?
Twitter has been around since 2006, it quietly gained steam at first while people figured out its potential and spread the word. Twitter grew exponentially worldwide and although it has slowed down in the last year, its user numbers are in the millions! Twitter is a tool for the 21st century speeding up the flow of information, allowing people to tap literally into the resources of the entire world. Twitter has no time zone, no deadlines; it is not bound by conventionality! We don’t have to check our favorite news websites to know when a story has “dropped” anymore, no more one sentence emails either – Send a Tweet! Web 2.0 is about life, interaction and feeling like the impossible is possible; the World Wide Web is alive and constantly expanding, now it even has a voice.
Can anyone explain why Twitter has been so successful in such a short period of time? Maybe not, but I do know that in general people want to feel like they have a voice; now, everyone can guarantee an audience, hopefully a full house. The fact that Bill Gates signed on board yesterday says a lot. In eight hours he had over a 100,000 followers!
Reading Time: 4 minutes
It seems it is almost impossible to keep abreast of all the SMO and SEO news. You can scan the headlines on Google, Yahoo, your favorite newspaper or tech magazine and the amount of information is astounding. Just today I again realized I have an account with Google Reader which automatically sends me more information. I signed in and saw my Google Reader inbox had 851 items! I guess you now know I have been too busy for Google Reader. But this post is not about the Google Reader, it is about how to keep our Webconsuls’ clients abreast of internet marketing news. Turns out Webconsuls set up SMO and SEO news feeds for you and our clients over two years ago. So again I ask the proverbial question: Is anybody “listening” or in this case reading?
The experts keep talking about Twitter. I have a Twitter account, I follow and am followed; however, there are a few things about Twitter that annoy me. Today I will just mention two: (a) some people provide TMI (too much information) or should I say information that is redundant (since they have more than one account) and useless information; (b) it often takes two to three clicks to get to the meat of the message. Let me give you a real life example. Today I signed into my Twitter account around 6:30AM (MST). I read a Tweet that said: “6 Reasons to Embrace Social Media Today Web 2.0 Journal”. So I clicked on the link, but instead of being taken directly to the article I was taken to a TweetMeMe page that listed 65 Twitterers who had RT (retweeted) this article. I then click on the original link and I am taken to a blog post by Web 2.0 Journal. I read the article, it was interesting, but didn’t really provide too much new information, it was more one writer’s opinion. Just like my blog post today, is basically my opinion.
Here is my advice for today. If you want to go to one place and read the headlines for SMO, then I invite you to visit Webconsuls News Page. There you will find the current SMO headlines and you only have to click once!
P.S. If you want to find me on Twitter, click here.
P.P.S. As always, let me know what you think.
Reading Time: 9 minutes
This year I had the opportunity to attend BWE09, better known as Blog World and New Media Expo 2009. This event took place from October 15-17 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unlike many of the 2500 attendees this was my first year participating. And unlike many attendees I did not spend my days there blogging, tweeting, or otherwise updating my friends and followers. I just tried to take in the process, that is I tried to listen and learn. And hopefully, I will be able to care for and serve some, if not all, of Webconsuls’ clients. I actually thought about writing this post as soon as I returned home or even while I waited in the Las Vegas Airport, but then it occurred to me that it would be better to really write about BWE09 looking in the rear view mirror. So here are some of my “bytes” on BWE09.
- While I have been participating in blogging for about two years and I am on Facebook and have a Twitter account, I would not rate myself as someone that knows everyone in the blogging and new media world; therefore, attending this event was not about hooking up with old friends, but meeting new people and learning from the “experts.”
- The exhibitors were varied and engaging. I enjoyed talking to people from all over the world, like the Zemanta team from Slovania (and, yes, I intend to learn more about their product). The ArmyStrongStories.com team was engaging and they had a great display. And then of course, I enjoyed speaking to Robby Berthyme who was representing wheretogetengaged.com
- Brian Solis moderated a good keynote discussion about the “New Celebrity” with Anthony Edwards, Jermaine Dupri and Robin Antin. All of these participants made it very clear that if you are using Twitter, Facebook, etc…you need to be yourself, engage with people, and manage your own accounts (don’t hire a staff to do this). Write about yourself or your cause, don’t just keep re-tweeting!
- One “outtake” from this keynote discussion is that I found it incredible how rude 70% of the audience appeared to be behaving. This was an hour long presentation and it was beyond me why people could not just sit and “listen”, as opposed to working on their laptops, running their fingers over their iPhones or thumbing it on their Blackberry. This behavior was annoying and to top it off, even though they were really not paying attention, they would join in the intermittent applause like robots or dummies.
- Dave Peck of LSF Interactive was interesting and provocative in his conference “How to Socialize Your Content”. I just discovered that he posted many of his “rules” here for the small business owner. His advice I intend to try to incorporate into Webconsuls and to share with our clients.
- I really enjoyed the conference “How Twits Lay Golden Eggs – The Art of Social Engagement for Business”…Chris Brogan and Laura Fitten had a lot to offer and they did not make the audience feel inept, but offered real guidance.
- Dan attended this conference for Webconsuls also. It was interesting to watch Dan, who had not been to Las Vegas since he was 13! It was great to attend the conferences and then share what we had learned.
- Las Vegas is an aging city and I don’t think it is aging gracefully. As we rode the marvelous monorail I noticed that many of the buildings look dated and dirty on the outside, almost as if the original architectural plan did not allow for majestic aging. Many strange and vacant lots can be seen as you ride “behind” the strip.
- I don’t think I am the only BWE09 participant that questioned the parties that BWE09 sponsored. As one person said on Twitter: “bwe09 parties are a lot like Twitter – noisy, loud, dark, and ineffective at organizing communication”. I couldn’t agree more! Imagine being at the Mirages’ Jet Night Club with many of the same people who could not put down their laptops and iPhones during the keynotes, only it was too dark to read their nametags and the music was too loud for introductions. Another person echoed these sentiments: “The parties at #bwe09 remind me of college. How old are we? Where are the real parties?”
- Flying Southwest Airlines will be a subject for another post.
- Finally, I would like to thank the three ladies that shared a Hilton Limo with Dan and me. We were attempting to get a taxi to go to the airport and we found ourselves sharing a limo with Kim Rowley and Joanne Dinslage of Key Internet Marketing and Maarika Neudorf of Enterprise Estonia. We had a fun ride and got to meet three more BWE09 attendees.Ok, that is it for today. I am going to get busy learning how to apply all that I learned – stay tuned.
Reading Time: 4 minutes
How Twitter’s spectacular growth is being driven by unexpected uses
Serendipity the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.
What is Twitter? Is it a status update? Is it a Social Network? Or is it a search engine akin to the Minority Report? I guess you could say it is all of these things and more, but you will not get “Twitter” unless you use it.
A meme (pronounced /mi:m/ – like theme) is a unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices; such units or elements transmit from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word mimema for mimic. Memes act as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.
Ok Great Darin, now we know what a meme is, and we have heard about twitter on tv, but seriously, how do you use it?
1) If I find a good link, movie, app, picture I tweet it.
2) If I need help on a project that I am not an expert in, I tweet it,
3) If I want to find out more on a current event (Like TED or SXSW) I search and follow those that are live “onsite”
4) If I am at a current event, and I want to keep track of old friends like http://twitter.com/Roebot, or find new like minded folks, I set up a feed of the twitter search in reader,
5) If I want to know what the hive mind is buzzing about, I check out http://twitter.com/trendingtopics
These are just a few of the ways that I am using Twitter, I hope they give you a reason to play with this “Tool / Meme” so that you can find some serendipitous uses for it that you can share back with us.
Do You Follow Me?
I hope you do.
If you would like to check out more of our blog posts on Twitter Click Here
Reading Time: 5 minutes
It is Saturday, March 7, 2009, and I have a lot of work to do. And because I have so much to do this will be a very short blog post. I am sure you are relieved. This morning when I thought about what to write about, it occurred to me I could remind you that tonight most of you will have to remember to move your clocks forward one hour. Thankfully, living in Arizona I can scratch this task off of my list as most of Arizona does not participate in daylight saving time. Yeah! I won’t be losing an hour of sleep tonight, unless I decide to read every-one’s Twitter posts or tweets. Following Twitter posts can be exhausting and for the most part a waste of time.
Do I have a Twitter account? Yes. Why? Because one of my team members “hinted” it would be a good idea. Have I ever tweeted? No! Why? Because I don’t have time and I am sure my 20 Twitter “followers” (notice Twitter calls them “followers,” not “friends” like on Facebook) could care less about what I am doing or thinking at any given moment.
So today I will just offer an observation: Twitter has been around since 2006. But, of late, it seems that one cannot just watch the news on TV or follow a news website for headlines, you must also follow the Twitter account for the newscasters. In 140 characters we are suppose to understand the essence of the tweet. Great! So let’s see: you have the television on and you better be watching the television while sitting at your PC or with your laptop in your lap or with your Blackberry or iPhone in your hand. God forbid you would miss an important “tweet.”
Now most politicians are tweeting. Hmmm…I am amazed they have time to tweet, given our current state of affairs. Priorities!
I have one final thought before I get to work for our clients and prepare the paperwork for my personal income tax return: Have you ever looked up the meaning of “twitter?” As a noun the #1 definition for the word “twitter” is “a trembling agitation.” By the way, an agitator is “one who stirs up public feeling on controversial issues.” Imagine if Twitter’s inventors chose to call Twitter “agitator?” Twitter sounds so much more innocuous, we tend to think of that cute little beloved “Tweety Bird.” So, today, twitter away or tweet with your followers…I have work to do.