Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Israeli Consulate Uses Twitter as Virtual Press Conference

The Israeli Consulate in New York has started to leverage Twitter as a virtual press conference. They have been answering questions posed by Twitter users about the ongoing conflict. The Israeli Consulate wanted to bring their point of view to the younger demographic on Twitter that may not read the main stream media. The Israeli Consulate first launched their Twitter account, @israelconsulate, on Monday. So far they have over 2700 followers. This is just another great example of using Twitter for public relations.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Geek's Guide Yourself or Business with Twitter

Geekpeneur has an e-book, A Geek's Guide to promoting Yourself and Your Online Business in 140 Characters or Less with Twitter. This 48 page e-book on Twitter is a good resource for businesses or individuals to get caught up on using Twitter.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

State of the Twittershpere by HubSpot

Hubspot released their Q4 report, "State of the Twittersphere". Hubspot first released this report in Q1 of 2008 so any comparative analysis will have to wait until Q1 2009. Some interesting data to note:
  • 4-5 million users
  • 70% of Twitter users joined in 2008
  • 20% of Twitter users joined in the past 60 days
  • 5-10K new accounts are created everyday
  • 30% of Twitter users are relatively new or unengaged - do not post more then once a week and follow few people
  • Traffic has grown by 600% over the last 12 months

The report also looked at what days were the most active to Tweet. They found that there is about 50% more activity on the weekday versus the weekend. People tend to tweet most often on Wednesday and Thursday. So it may be best to release a product or promote a blog during these two days.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Twanslate - Translate

The Twanslate service provides translation services through direct messages on Twitter. The service can translate the direct message into 21 different languages. All you need to is to follow @twanslate and then send your direct message with the appropriate language code. Twanslate will respond with the tanslated text through a Twitter DM. Could be a handy tool to have when vacationing abroad.

Twitblogs - Macro Blogging Meets Micro Blogging

Twitblogs is a "macro blogging" platform. When I say "macro", I mean the traditional blog platform without the 140 character limitation. Yeah so what? Well the interest thing is that Twitblogs has integrated in a 120 character section to the input form so you can write your "micro" blog entry for your main blog entry. As you post your blog entry it will post your "micro" blog entry to Twitter with a link back to your "macro" blog entry. I see this as one of those a-ha moments where you see into the future. I really think that this is a feature that we will start to see with some of the "macro" blogging platforms.

Tip: Since the service is in Alpha there are still some bugs with it and it could change quite drastically after this post is published. Currently they pull in your Twitter bio and provide a DoFollow link to the link in your bio. They also provide a DoFollow link in the post itself, but you need to use the without the http:// to make it active.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PollDaddy - Twitter Polls

Came across this nice little service to send out polls in your Twitter stream. The service, Twitter Polls, is offered by PollDaddy. It is pretty straight forward to use. They provide you 110 characters to ask your question and allow you to have up to 20 answers. The service is offered in 30 plus languages. You can see my test poll at

Tip: Each poll gets an unique landing page that pulls in your Twitter bio. The Twitter profile link and the bio link are both DoFollow links.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tweeple - Twitter Group on LinkedIn

There is a pretty active group of Tweeple (aka people on Twitter) on LinkedIn. The group boast over 3000 members and provides some insightful information and discussions about Twitter. If you are on LinkedIn and are a fan of Twitter, you should consider joining this group.

Mr. Tweet - Conceirge Service to Build Your Twitter Network

I was first alerted to Mr. Tweet through a tweet from @leeoden. Mr. Tweet is a service that finds influential people that you should be following. All you need to do is follow @mrtweet and the service will generate a report of influencers outside of your network based on your existing network and interactions. The service also provides a report of current followers that you should be following back (somewhat similar to FriendorFollow). Once the report is generated Mr. Tweet will send you a direct message with the link to the report.

The "Influencers in my network" report ranks the influencers from most important to least important. They show you the top Followers for each person as well as how often they post Tweets. The report provides a Following-to-Follower ratio. This ratio provides some insight into how influential the person is (the higher the ratio the more influential). There is also a link to the Google search results for each person. I like this feature because it provides some additional insight into who the person is and how they relate to your network.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tweetwasters - Find How Much Time You Waste on Twitter

Want to find out how much time you spend on Twitter? Tweetwasters will just do that for you. Tweetwasters estimates that on average a user spends about 30 seconds on creating a Tweet. Multiply that by the number of Tweets you have produced and they provide you with the approximate number of days of your life you have spent on Twitter. The site provides a Hall of Fame of the Top 50 wasters on Twitter. Since this is a new service the Top 50 is changing often as more people come aware of the site. If you really want to promote how much time you waste on Twitter, just use the handy Wordpress plugin. You can see an example of the plugin in action on Sugarrae's blog.

Tip: The site provides an individual link to each profile that they calculate. While they nofollow the website link from your Twitter profile, they dofollow the Twitter profile link. So another easy way to build back links to your Twitter profile.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

TrackThis - Track Packages Via Twitter

Need to track you Christmas package? Well the TrackThis program can help. TrackThis allows you to track packages from FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL right from your Twitter account. Just follow @trackthis and they will automatically follow you back. Then just send a direct message with the tracking number at the beginning of the message, followed by your nickname for the package. Every time there is a change in the location of the package TrackThis will send you a direct message. Another cool Twitter program!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

TwellowHood - Find People in Your Hood

If your familiar with Twellow (a Twitter user directory) then you must check out their new addition, TwellowHood. TwellowHood allows one to search by state and by city to find neighboring Twits. It is pretty simple to find other interesting people within just two clicks. I searched Orlando and found over 1100 people from Orlando on Twitter. They rank the users by the number of followers and I come in at #78. This may be a great tool to use if you want to start a TweetUp in your area.

TwitSnip - Quote Text on Any Web Page

The folks at are providing a free tool called, TwitSnip. TwitSnip is a bookmarking tool that allows you to highlight a portion of a web page and post it to Twitter. The service will provide a shorten link back to the original source as well as the @user name associated with the URL. The service will also shorten any text within the snippet to decrease the length of the Tweet. The tool is available for FireFox, Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Webinar: Twitter for Business

Duct Tape Marketing will be providing a FREE webinar, Twitter for Business. The webinar will feature guest host, Chris Brogan, a community and social media expert. The webinar start at 12noon CST on December 11. Register here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Brand Yourself on Twitter

When setting up your personal or corporate Twitter profile, there are several things you should keep in mind.

If the Twitter account is to extend your personal brand always use the combination of your first and last name when setting up the account (note you only have 15 characters for the Username and 20 for the Name fields). If it will not fit you may even consider adding your profession (i.e GaryK_Lawyer). This may even help gain additional followers that maybe looking for people in a certain profession. If your name does not fit within the allowed number of characters you may want to include your full name at the beginning of your One Line Bio.

I have found that the character limitations prohibit some companies from using their branded name within the Username field. This can be a challenge, but there always seems to be a way to provide a meaningful Username that conveys the corporate name. I would also recommend adding "The official account of COMPANY NAME." to the beginning of the One Line Bio. This can help separate your real company account from a "fake" one. Jeremiah Owyang, of Forrester Research, even goes as far as to recommend cross linking your Twitter account from your corporate website to bring additional credibility to the Twitter account.

Well what happens if your company name is already taken? There has been some companies that have successfully gained control by contacting Twitter support and pleading their case. Darren Rowse, of Problogger, suggests following the account name and then @reply to them to see if they are willing to transfer the account over.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tweetmas - Christmas Gift List

Want to create a Christmas Wish List? With Tweetmas, you can let all of your followers stay up to date on what Christmas gifts you would like to receive. All you need to do is just tweet @tweetmas and they will pull your gift request into their Twitter stream.

Monday, November 24, 2008

TweetStalk - Anonymously Follow Someone on Twitter

Tweetstalk allows you to follow Twitter users without showing up in their Follower's list. Currently you need to have an invitation code to sign up for their services. It is pretty easy to get the code, all you need to do is to follow @tweekstalk. You will then need to download the FireFox Add-on to get the "Stalk" button to show up on Twitter accounts.

There are many reasons why you would use an application like this. Maybe you want to monitor what your employees are saying on Twitter, stalk your ex-girlfriend or boyfriend to see what they are saying, or you want to follow one of the many job related Twitter accounts without your friends/colleagues knowing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Real Shaq is now on Twitter

As a Orlando Magic fan it was always exciting to see Shaq play. Now Shaq has taken it from the court to Twitter. Looks like he just started his @THE_REAL_SHAQ account on Nov 18th. He is pretty outspoken on it already. You can read about the guy trying to call Shaq out that it could not possible be "the Shaq" on Twitter. The guy ended up getting a personal phone call from Shaq.

Tweet4Good - Donate Via Twitter / Fundraising Through Twitter

Today a Tweet came across asking for help in finding a kidney donor match for the daughter of @domesticdiva (read blog). In a Re-Tweet, @Bofu2U said,"Everyone tweeting about @domesticdiva do we have any donation information? If I can't donate a kidney I'd at least donate some cash." I thought that was a novel idea and did some searching to see if there was a way to donate through Twitter. I quickly came across the site, tweet4good. This service allows you to donate through Twitter by having you follow @tweet4good. If you tweet the organization or cause you would like to donate to, they will send you a direct message with a link to Network For Good. On Network For Good, you will be able to donate through their shopping cart. Now they do charge a fee, but they state that they use the money to train and support over 50,000 nonprofits in their fundraising efforts. Nonprofits can leverage this service to solicit donations through Twitter as well.

Magpie - Twitter Advertising Platform

There has been some buzz lately on the service, Magpie. Magpie is an ad network for Twitter. The service will push out advertising tweets on your Twitter stream. You get paid based upon the number of followers you have as well as the tweet topic. All of the tweets are preface with #magpie to alert users. Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research performed a Magpie test today and received mostly negative reaction to it. You can read his full write up, Why Magpie’s Advertising System Is Self Diminishing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

7 Places To Syndicate Your Twitter Feed

I was reading up on Reputation Management and came across a resource,, to manage your online profiles. As I was going through the list of online profile sites there were a couple that I found where you can actually syndicate your Twitter feed.

  1. Facebook - The Twitter Facebook App (good tutorial) will pull in your status updates from Twitter.
  2. FriendFeed - Another social network where you can import your Twitter feed. While you do not receive any link love, you still have the opportunity to share your Tweets with your friends on this network.
  3. LinkedIn - This professional networking site now provides the ability to incorporate your Twitter feed right into your profile. Just note that you have to list your Twitter URL as one of your "Websites" in order to use the "Blog Link" application. A visitor will not be able to see this feed on your profile unless they are logged into LinkedIn.
  4. MyBlogLog - This social networking site allows you to managed your online profiles, including Twitter. Once you add your Twitter information, it will pull your feed onto your profile page. The links within the posts are dofollows as well as the link to your Twitter page.
  5. Plaxo - This site allows you to pull in your Twitter feed here as well. They provide dofollow links to your Twitter page, but they nofollow the links within the post itself.
  6. Tumblr - A hosted blogging solution will pull in your Twitter feed as a daily aggregated post. The blog will provide dofollow links within the Twitter posts.
  7. Yahoo!360 - The profile page on Yahoo!360 allows you to add RSS feeds to your profile page. No link love here. All of the links redirect, but you still have an opportunity to share your Tweets with your friends on this network.

Also do not forget to submit your Twitter feed to RSS directories as well. Here are a couple of strong RSS directories: Feedage, RSS2, Feedest, RSSMotron, and Feedagg.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - Service to Update Your Social Networks is a service that makes updating your social networks, like Twitter and Pownce, real easy. The service allows you to post blog entries, micro-blogging entries, or even status updates to over 30 social networking sites all from one dashboard. The thing I like about this service is it allows for "triggers". So if you just wanted to send a status update to MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster you can set up a custom trigger to control where you post your message. It is a very simple process, which I like. The service also provides the ability to post you message via email with a custom email address. The only thing this service is lacking is the ability to pull in a RSS feed and syndicate it across all of the social networking sites. I did find that someone is working on this, but the issue has been outstanding for over six months.

Monday, November 17, 2008

TwitPic - Post Photos to Twitter

The photo sharing site, TwitPic, allows Twitter users to upload and share there photos directly on Twitter. Now the site will not post an image into Twitter, but an URL to the hosted image on TwitPic (unless you get their Twitpic Greasemonkey script). You can either upload the photos on the site, post them from any cell phone or use one of the many Twitter clients such as Twirl or Twitterrific.

Tip: You do get an individual profile page with an unique URL. While they nofollow the URL in your Twitter profile, they do provide a dofollow back to your Twitter profile.

OutTwit - Integrate Twitter into Microsoft Outlook

Just came across this cool app, OutTwit, by TechHit. You can update your Twitter status, receive friend's updates, send direct messages, as well as track keywords across the Twitterverse right from Outlook. The application looks to be update often.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How To Increase Your Number of Followers on Twitter

Guy Kawasaki's post, "Looking for Mr. Goodtweet: How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter", provides some great insight on how you can effectively increase your followers. Here is a recap of some of his tips.
  1. Find the big players on Twitter and follow them.
  2. Send a message to these big players. Perception is sometimes reality. In that it may look like you know these big players. People see that and will start to follow you.
  3. Provide a professional looking avatar, but one that stands out. Upload a larger version (around 500x500 px) for best effect.
  4. Follow everyone that follows you. (Not a fan of this school of thought)
  5. Link to interesting stories, just don't keep writing about your cat.
  6. Repeat your tweets. (I would say at a maximum twice...otherwise looks desperate and spammy if any more)
  7. Ask people to follow you

I encourage you to read the entire post as well as the 100+ comments for some additional insight to increase your followers. Good luck!

Twitterless - Notification System For Un-Followers

Twitterless is a notification system that sends you Tweets when someone un-follows you. One of benefits to using this notification system is that you will be able to cross check your Follow list to see if the Twit was just using you to beef up their Follower numbers. If you log in to their system you are provided with some additional tools like filtering and searching Follower posts and seeing a Google Maps mashup of where you Followers are located. The other cool tool that they provide is the ability to auto-Follow or auto-Block someone that has started to follow you. So if someone has a high Following to Follower ratio you can block them from becoming a Follower. A very high Following to Follower ratio typically screams SPAMMER.

Twellow - Directory of People on Twitter

Twellow is a directory of people on Twitter. As of this writing there are over 613,000 people in the directory. The directory allows you to find individuals in your same industry or niche. It is free to get listed and you can select up to 10 categories to be listed in.

Tip: The profile you create will pull in your personal URL from Twitter as a dofollow link. You can also add additional dofollow links to the bio by entering in No HTML needed. It will convert this into a linked URL. The profile will also allow you to add additional dofollow links to your online profiles as well.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hashtags - What's The Deal with the #?

Do you keep seeing the # in Twitter posts and wonder what the heck it is? Well this is an easy way to tag your Twitter posts. There is a service called Hashtags. This service aggregates those tags to find out what is happening now on Twitter. Simply place a # before you tag. Just note that you can only tag a single word (i.e #coolshades vs. #cool shades). The second example would only use the tag "cool".

Tip: Also something to note is that the site creates a user page that lists out your recent tweets. This generates a dofollow link back to your Twitter profile. If you use the full URL in your tweet they are also dofollows. Sometimes it pays to use the original URL versus using a tiny URL.

TwitterFeed - Post Your Blog To Twitter

TwitterFeed is another utility that I like to use for some of the clients I work with. TwitterFeed will use any existing RSS or Atom feed and automatically twitter any new blog posts directly to your Twitter account. This can help syndicate your blog content to your followers and drive significant traffic back to your blog. It is very simple to set up and requires an OpenID account. TwitterFeed provides the option to post new links as fast as every 30 minutes. If you publish content on your blog frequently, this option maybe too much for your followers. Otherwise you can set it to post once a day with up to five of your latest blog entries.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Friend or Follow - Management of Twitter Followers

Friend or Follow is a great tool to find like minded individuals who are currently following you but you are not following them. In the Twitter Universe there is a school of thought that anyone that follows you, you should follow them. I shy away from that mantra because my Twitter stream would easily be clogged up of unimportant information and spam. That is why I use Friend or Follow. This tool separates "People Who Don't Follow Me Back", "People I Don't Follow Back" , and "Mutual Follows". I take a look at those "People I Don't Follow Back" and scan there latest Tweets to see if they are producing insightful information relevant to me before I follow them back. Do you use this tool or a similiar tool to find Followers you are not following?

Twitterank - Twitter Profile Rank

Came across Twitterank today. It is "Google PageRank" for your Twitter Profile. It has a secret algorithm that uses many signals, not including your follower count. Looks to be some sort of index, because I have seen some scores above 100. My current Twitterank is 97.99

READ: Just an update on this tool. It came out that this site was thought to be a phishing scam for your Twitter login information. You can read more about it here and here. This just brings more attention on how these Twitter apps/programs can be used maliciously. LinkOne tip I read was to change your password temporarily when using such services and then afterwards change it back to your original password.

Twirl - Twitter Desktop Software

One of the frustrating things about Twitter is that you have to constantly refresh the screen to see any new tweets. This is unrealistic. I found a popular desktop application called Twirl that can help you keep up with current tweets. The program is pretty simple to use and to install.

Some of the things I like about Twirl are:

  • Easy to use
  • Can post you tweets to Pownce
  • Sound notification for direct replies
  • Can manage multiple instances. So if you have more then one Twitter account you can track them all.

Some of the things I do not like about Twirl are:

  • Can't get rid of direct messages or replies. I find that they keep appearing on startup even when I deleted them.
  • Can't click on a link within the pop-up notification box

Twitter Tools, Reviews, & News

I now repurposed my blog to take a look at the popular micro bloggin platform Twitter. I will be posting Twitter tools, reviews about these tools, as well as any interest news about Twitter.