Monday, December 28, 2009

Screenr - Instant Screencast for Twitter

I came across this cool free service from that allows you to create a screencast and post it to Twitter. The Screenr program allows you five minutes of recording, pre-set or custom screen size capturing, integrated audio, and a bookmarklet to record anytime. Each screencast sits on an individual URL and the service provides you the embed code to share the screencast. The service provides a reTweet function to send the link out, but fails to capture the Twitter conversation.  I found the Screenr program easy to use and I did not need to download any software.

Here is a quick example of one of my screencasts from Screenr,

Monday, December 21, 2009 Analytics - Analyze Your Followers, the Twitter sponsor ads company, has released a new Twitter analytic tool that allows you to analyze your Twitter followers. The tool allows you to see the percentage of Twitter followers who actually view and interact with your tweets, the male/female breakdown of your followers, and global and U.S location breakdown of your followers. The tool also provides a nice chart that displays the time of day you tweet, you get mentioned, and get retweeted.

Now this is the free version of the analytic report, but they do offer an Advanced Report for $9.99.  It looks like you can sign up for $9.99 a month or at a yearly rate of $99.99. The Advanced Report will provide you sentiment analysis, a list of followers who engage with you, and a list of your top 20 most influential followers. Not too sure about the last two features, but the sentiment analysis report may provide some nice information about how you are being perceived in the Twittershpere.

Friday, December 18, 2009

TWITin by Buzzom - Twitter Account Managment Tool

I came across a Twitter account management tool called TWITin by Buzzom. This free tool allows you to manage you Twitter followers and offers several tools to help you grow your follower count. When you first log into the tool, the TWITin dashboard will display users that will most likely follow you back. It looks like most of the suggested users have a 1 to 1 follow ratio. The interface allows you to easily select all of the users or to pick and choose which ones you would like to start to follow.

The second tool they offer is the Flush. The Flush tool allows you to unfollow users who are not following you. You need to be careful to not go and follow a bunch of people ( i.e. 2000) and mass unfollow them and then repeat these steps. Twitter may suspend your account. You really want to throttle this. would be a better solution as it allows you to set the maximum number users to unfollow at a rate of 4 to 100 users per day.

The third tool they offer is the People Search. I really like this tool as it allows you to search bios, location, or recent tweets by keyword. This acts in the similar fashion as Twitter's search feature, but gives you the ability to easily follow the users.

The tool also offers a Feed Management section that allows you to post feeds to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. This tool provides the options to post up to 30 entries, set the post interval rate, allow you to repeat the post X amount of times per day, as well as add a signature to the tweet.

Finally, the Cross Follow tool allows you to find people who are following a particular Twitter account and provides the ablility to mass follow all of their followers. This could be a good tool to find like minded consumers that may share an interest in you product or service.

Monday, December 14, 2009 - Google URL Shortner

Google announced their new URL shortening service, This URL shortening service is available within the Google toolbar and within Feedburner. You will need to download the latest Google toolbar to get the Share feature. Currently the URL shortener is not a standalone service from Google. So you can't use it to shorten URLs without going through the Google toolbar or through Feedburner.

A new feature for Feedburner is to use the new URL shortening service to automatically post your latest blog entries to your Twitter account. This feature acts similarly to TwitterFeed, but is much more reliable. ProBlogger has a nice overview of this new Feedburner feature.

There has been speculation on how this will affect the most popular URL shortener, Some think that Google will release this as a standalone service (and they sort of mentioned it in the original blog post that this could happen) with enhanced tracking features. I for one would like to see a seamless integration with Google Analytics.

Now let me put on the tin foil hat. I think Google may struggle a bit with this service. Google is trying to capture user data from too many points and many people may feel that Google is the next Minoirty Report. I for one will not be jumping ship from to for my URL shortening services.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 DoFollow Twitter Sites

Just because Twitter places a NoFollow tag on your links, it does not mean you can can not get DoFollow links from your Twitter profile. A lot of the third party development sites will pull in your Twitter profile (and bio link) and give you link love. So I have put together my first list of ten DoFollow Twitter sites.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

LinkedIn Works With Twitter

LinkedIn announced today on their new partnership with Twitter. With this new partnership we get two new ways to integrate Twitter with LinkedIn. The first is LinkedIn will now allow you to tweet your LinkedIn status to Twitter. The second way, Twitter will now allow you to post your tweets from Twitter to LinkedIn. This new feature is being rolled out over the next couple of days and is currently causing some outages with LinkedIn throughout the day.

Here is a look at the new LinkedIn status update.

Twitter will provide the ability to either share all of your tweets to your LinkedIn account or allow you to add the hashtag #in to individual tweets to post specific tweets to LinkedIn.

Read the full blog post from LinkedIn - LinkedIn works with Twitter, and vice versa

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Using Twibbon for Branding

I was doing a little research today and stumbled across the Search Mojo Twibbon page. A light bulb went off when I reached the page. Twibbon is not only a service to support a cause, but can be used for company branding. Search Mojo created their own Twibbon using their company logo and had their employees use the Twibbon for branding purposes. If you brand is not Starbucks or T-Mobile, you can encourage your employees to "support" the company with a company branded Twibbon.
If you currently do not have a Twibbon made for your company because there are only two employees, think again. These Twibbon pages are showing up for company names and can assist in Reputation Management for your brand.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Twitter Threaded Conversations

I ventured over to the Twitter search page today and noticed that a new featured pop up, Threaded Conversations. Twitter search now provides the ability to show and hide the conversation thread. I really like this feature and I wish they would bring this to the regular Twitter profile. Here is a quick screen shot of the feature.

Here is a screen shot of the conversation in full.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Twitter Stats Pew / Internet Fall 2009

Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new study, Twitter and Status Updating, Fall 2009. The study provides some interesting facts about Twitter users.

Online U.S. adults using Twitter or another service to share updates
  • 1 in 5 (19%)

Online adults that have said they have used Twitter or another status update service:

  • 33% - 18 to 29 yrs old
  • 22% - 30 to 49 yrs old
  • 9% - 50 to 64 yrs old
  • 4% - 65 and older

Household income levels across users is pretty even.

  • 22% - Less than $30,000
  • 21% - $30,000 - $49,999
  • 20% - $50,000 - $74,999
  • 20% - More than $75,000

The median age of Twitter users is 31 compared to Myspace (26), Facebook (33) and LinkedIn (39).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Twitter List Beta Now Live

Twitter has started to roll out Twitter Lists. A Twitter List allows you to group people into lists. You can set these Twitter Lists to private or public and each list sits on its own domain (i.e. Here are some additional screenshots.

You will now see the number of lists you have been added to on your public facing profile.

You now have link to each of your lists that you have created in the right-hand column, right above Trends.
You can go to your Follower list and easily add one of your Followers to a Twitter List. You can even visit a user's profile and add them to a Twitter List from their as well.

Once you create a Twitter List you have the ability to search by username or from your Follower list to add the individual to your Twitter List.

You have the ability to name your Twitter List. Just note that the name of the list becomes part of the URL for the particular Twitter List. You can also set the Twitter List to public or private.

The beta message to create a Twitter List.

TwitterFeed Goes Real Time

TwitterFeed is a tool that allows you to automatically post your blog to your Twitter account. I have been using it for several of my clients over the past year or so to publish their feeds to their Twitter accounts. It has had some relability issues, but TwitterFeed just announced that they have implemented a new architecture designed to handle the large number of posts they publish on a daily basis. With this upgrade they have annouced several additional improvements for their service.
  • Provide real time publishing for TypePad and Blogger blogs.

  • Real time publishing will be coming soon to Wordpress.

  • Provides the ability to post your Facebook status to Twitter.

  • Has Google Analytics integration that allows you to add tracking parameters to the feed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Twitter Implements Duplicate Post Filter

Twitter recently implemented a new filter that prevents you from creating duplicate posts. TechCruch first reported it in their Cleaning Up the Stream; Twitter Kills Duplicate Tweets. It looks to be a 24 hour filter that will prevents the individual from reposting an exact copy of one of their previous Tweets. When this happens Twitter deletes the new message and displays a "Duplicate Text" message. However there is a loop hole that I found in that you can post from a third-party app, like TweetDeck, and then repost the exact same post through the Twitter site.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tweleted - Find Deleted Tweets

A co-worker and myself got into a whole discussion about how people are leaving a digital footprint that you can never delete. He mentioned to me that even if you "deleted" a tweet that others can still find it on the Internet. He then proceeded to show me some of his old tweets that he "deleted" on a site called Tweleted. Tweleted scans the last couple of hundred tweets for a particular user and displays these so called "deleted" tweets. So just because you deleted something on the Internet does not always mean it was really deleted.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fantar - Brand Your Twitter Avatar

Tweetphoto launched a new service called Fantar. Fantar is "fan + avatar". Brands can create fantars for users to update their current Twitter avatar with a branded message or logo. Now the service only offers four categories of brands right now: Charity, Internet, Music, and Sports. There are a total of 12 brands participating in this service currently. I expect more brands will jump on board. Right now Music is the largest category with Kiss, Lenny Kravitz, Rob Thomas, Counting Crows, John Legend, Matisyahu, and Demi Lovato.

The service is real easy to use. All you need to do is to log in with your Twitter credentials (not sure why they are not using oAuth). Then the service pulls in your current Twitter avatar. You get to select the brand you want to add and then choose one of the many versions to preview. One thing I did not like is that some of the brands want to put their whole logo as your avatar. I think the smarter brands will use a smaller footprint to brand the avatar.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tweetboard - A Twitter Sidewiki

The Twitter application, Tweetboard, acts as a "Twitter-power forum" for your web site. I like to equate it to the new Google sidewiki. It is a sidebar tab that flies out to display your site's latest tweets and then proceeds to thread any conversations. Tweetboard also provides the ability to post a comments to the forum as well as notify the visitor of any new Tweets since their last visit to your site. Tweetboard tries to be real time, but they state that updates could take up to one minute.

My big concern was how much coding would I have to do to install this application and will it work for my site. The makers of Tweetboard made their application platform independent. It is also lightweight as it is only one small line of JavaScript code.

Currently Tweetboard is in private Alpha, but you will need to request an invite through a Tweet from your account. The application is also free and has a knowledgebase to assist in installing the application on several of the major blogging platforms.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Topify - Twitter Email Notifications

I came across Topify which notifies you via email when someone follows you or direct messages you through Twitter. The email notification provides some nice insight into those that start to follow you.

Topify lets you know if you are already following that Twit. If not, you just hit the reply button in your email application and you start to instantly follow that person. The Topify email notification also provides you with the Twit's Following to Follower ratio (a signal used to see how influential that person is). The notification also pulls in the data from Mr.Tweet. Mr. Tweet's data shows how engaging the person is and how many recommendations they have (another signal for influence).

In addition, the notification provides the ability to quickly block the person, unfollow them, or even report them to @spam directly from the email. I find this service very useful as it alerts me to new Twits that are worth the follow (or the block). I recommend signing up this service. It is currently in beta, but they are pretty quick in providing an account.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Twitter Group Lists - Create, Manage, and Share

I came across this interesting site called TweepML. TweepML allows you to create, manage, and share Twitter group lists. This service provides the ability to easily create a Twitter group by either searching on a specific website that has Twitter user names listed on it or allows you to manually enter a list of Twitter users. You then can manage the list, share the list or even embed the listing into your web site. Once the list is completed TweepML provides the ability to also follow the entire list of Twits or choose the individual Twits you would like to follow. The service is free and currently has around 1500 lists created so far.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Twitter Click Tracking Being Implemented

Noticing today that Twitter has implemented click tracking on all links. I think this is part of their bigger plans for business accounts, but could also lead to some type of tracking report for all accounts. You will not notice the tracking link until after you click on a link, but go back and hover over the link and you will see the tracking URL. Here is an example:


So you will notice that it tracks the outbound link, the type of link (in this case from the Twitter web site), the specific Twitter post id, the account id and some sort of authenticity token.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

MegaTweet - SuperTweet on Steroids

Once again @pageoneresults has out did himself. He originally brought us the SuperTweet. Now we have the MegaTweet, a concatenated SMS. A concatenated SMS can consist of up to 255 separate SMS messages. Here is a screenshot with the explanation.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brand Your Tweets - What Every Brand Manager Needs To Do

One of the first steps to brand your Tweets is to use a custom URL shortener. Coke is a great example of how they created their own branded URL shortner, This reinforces their brand, gives credibility to the shorten URL, and ensures that they have no broken links if a URL shortening service goes belly up (read about There are several resources to find a URL shortening script, but make sure you read Danny Sullivan's article, URL Shorteners: Which Shortening Service Should You Use?, to understand what you should look for in a URL shortening service.

When you post from an application like CoTweet, TweetDeck, or Twitterfon, the tweet posts a statement containing the date of publication of the tweet and at what source you have posted the message from. So in the above Coke example you will see that they posted this tweet from CoTweet. The actual text "CoTweet" links back to the site. So why not do what all of these other applications do and create the tweet from your own domain?

If Coke was forward thinking they would have created a Twitter application on their own domain and thus have the capability to brand this "from" link. This would totally brand the entire tweet. Why allow these third party apps to get all the glory?

Now your are asking do I need to put in the time and resources to create my own Twitter application? Well not exactly. A French programmer developed a PHP script to allow you to set up a brandable Twitter "from" link. The translated article can be found here. Now the script requires PHP5 and an Twitter oAuth account. This script was originally designed to exploit the fact that these "from" links were DoFollow links. Not sure if this script was the reason why Twitter recently closed that loop hole and started to noFollow these "from" links (first reported here).

I recently tested this script and here is a screenshot of my Tweet.

FavTwit - Announce Your Favorite Twitter User

Just launched is a new Twitter Application that asks the question “Who’s your Favtwit?” FavTwit allows users to announce who their favorite twitter user is. People can do this at the Favtwit website or by direct messaging Favtwit.

Dennis Dornon, the creator of FavTwit, calls it a "Silly Twitter App”

Although he calls it a "Silly Twitter App" I do see a couple benefits of such an application:

First, once it’s in full swing you will be able to tell who’s popular among other users of FavTwit and these users could be worth a follow.

Secondly, by using the Top Friends report you can find twitter users who actually interact with others.

The site uses Twitters OAuth for security but if you still can’t be bothered logging in you can send a DM to @Favtwit with @username and it will post both to the site and to Twitter.

Take a moment and pop over to Favtwit and answer the question of “Who’s your Favtwit?”

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Characteristics of the Top 5% Most Active Users on Twitter

I came across an interesting Twitter study, Inside Twitter, by Sysomos. The study looked at over 11.5 million Twitter accounts. Since this study found that 5% of users accounted for 75% of all Tweets, Sysomos went a step further and looked at the characteristics of the top 5% of active users on Twitter.

The biggest finding in the new study, An In-Depth Look at the 5% of Most Active Users, is that they found 32% of the top "users" were actually bots. They extrapolated this data and found that 24% of all accounts on Twitter were bots. Now Twitter bots are not all spam there are some useful Twitter bots (here is a short list of top Twitter bots).

Some other interest stats:
  • Over 60% of top active users reside in the United States. Followed by UK (6.9%), Japan (4.7%), and Canada (4.3%)
  • 33.7% of top active users joined Twitter this year
  • 16.5% of top active users Tweet more than 10 times per day
  • Retweets accounted for 5.06% of top user's activity versus 4.02% for overall users

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cotags – Signature Tags For Co-Tweeting

I was just introduced to two new Twitter terms, “cotags” and “co-tweeting”. Let me first explain what “co-tweeting” means. Co-tweeting is when you have more than one person montior and respond within a single Twitter account. It looks to be derived from, a Twitter platform being used by companies to engage their customers through Twitter. So the term cotags refers to the way you sign your tweets when you are co-tweeting through a shared account. The cotag standard is the caret sign followed by your first and last name intials. So my cotag would be ^BN.

Here are a few examples from several co-tweeting accounts:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sponsored Tweets - Interruptive Advertising

Izea recently launched Sponsored Tweets, an advertising platform for Twitter. The Sponsored Tweet service is similar to their blog advertising service, Pay per Post.

Sponsored Tweets is currently in "double secret beta", but is allowing Twits to sign up for the service. The Sponsored Tweets service provides several option to handle how you want to display advertising in your Twitter stream.

First, they allow you to choose between "I'll write" or "Advertiser writes" ad unit. You have to be leary about letting the advertiser write your Tweets. People follow you to hear your thoughts, not those of a third-party advertiser. It also looks like they will provide you the opportunity to review the sponsored tweet before pushing it out into your Twitter stream.

Secondly, the Sponsored Tweet service allows you to select a related category for your account. I am assuming this will help match up advertisers with Twits. They provided nine categories: Business/Finance, Entertainment, Family, Food, General, Health, Marketing, Technology and Travel.

In addition to selecting a relevant category, the service allows you to include 10 keywords to tag your account with. Again, it looks as if this will help advertiser match up with Twits.

The service provides two methods of payment, Charge Per Tweet or Charge Per Click. The Charge Per Tweet is an amount that you will make for each and every tweet. The Charge Per Click is the minimum you will be paid on a per click basis. There is an formula being used to determine the Charge Per Tweet and Charge Per Click. These payouts can differ great by the number of Twitter followers the account has. I tested it with a couple of accounts which had around 150 followers, 4,000 followers and one with 10,000 followers. The 150 follower account had a $1.00 Charge Per Tweet and a $0.15 Charge Per Click. The 4,000 follower account a $10 Charge Per Tweet and the 10,000 follower account had a $28 Charge Per Tweet. I don't have the Charge Per Click on the last two, but those accounts were significantly higher then $0.15.

The last setting, "My Content Rating" allows you to select whether your Twitter account is G-rated, NC-17 rated or R rated. I am assuming that R rated accounts were meant for porn related accounts (when Twitter gets to that point).

Izea is all about disclosure, as they should be. They are recommending to append #spon to the tweet to signal that the tweet is sponsored. While this is necessary, the majority of Twits are unfamiliar with what a hashtag is. So there is a gap in educating the casual Twit on what the #spon tag really means. A positive thing for a standard hashtag for these sponsored tweets is that scripts can be created to filter such ads out of your Twitter stream. We saw this when the Twitter advertising platform Magpie launched last year. One developer created a greasemonkey Ad Blocking Script.

There are some concerns I have in regards to Sponsored Tweets. The first one is what controls are there for how often a Twit posts an advertisement. I am going to see 3,5,25 ads being pushed into my Twitter stream from a single account. Multiple this by the 25 or even 100 accounts that I am currently following. This could get really annoying and clutter up my Twitter stream pretty quickly.

Not real sold on the Per Tweet Charge. As any seasoned "Twitter Marketer" knows that you can buy followers for pennies. So just because I have 10,000 "bought" followers, doesn't justify that I should get paid more if I had 500 home grown active and engaged followers. So as an advertiser I would be opposed to a Per Tweet Charge.

As a marketer I do believe that all advertising platforms should be tested for ROI. As a consumer I am not thrilled about the service.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When Is the Best Time to Tweet?

The recent "State of the Twittersphere" report had some interesting data to report this month. The report provided data points for the distribution of Tweets-per-Hour and Tweets-per-Day. They found that business hours during the business week in the US are the most popular. Their graph shows Tweet volumes spike between 9am -10am, 3pm-5pm, and 11pm-12pm. The most activity occurs at 11pm. The data does not provide the timezone.

Days with Highest Tweet Volume (highest to lowest):
  1. Thursday
  2. Friday
  3. Tuesday
  4. Wednesday
  5. Sunday
  6. Monday
  7. Saturday

I can see why Monday would be a slow day to Tweet, due to the start of the work week. It seems as if more people are Tweeting towards the end of the week when they have less work to accomplish.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why You Need to Modify Your @ Reply

On May 11 Twitter removed the ability to see @ replies from your Followers to another Follower that you do not currently follow (confused?). If I followed @someone and @someone replied to @sometwo I will no longer receive the Tweet from @someone in my Twitter stream since I myself do not follow @sometwo. There was quite an uproar about the removal of this reply setting. It was a great way to find and connect with new people as well as gain additional followers. This is only affected when the @ reply is at the beginning of the Tweet. There has been a trend of using the ".@" reply so that everyone sees your replies. It is recommended that you use the ".@" reply until Twitter remedies the issue.

Read the blog threads on the official Twitter blog about this issue.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Twitter Squatter - How To Handle a Sqwitter

I was recently asked about how to obtain a Twitter account that uses a company name as their Twitter user name. A Twitter Squatter or Squitter, can be handle through several steps, but the Twitter Squatter account needs to meet certain criteria laid out by Twitter's Terms of Service and Rules.
  • Attempting to sell or extort other forms of payment in exchange for user names will result in account suspension. Now this has been circumvented by @cnnbrk, where CNN hired the account holder as a "consultant" and had him transfer his account to CNN (see article).
  • If an account has been inactive for six months Twitter "may" remove the account. They state that they will not released the removed account unless their is a case of infringement. Twitter notes just because an account has no updates or no profile picture or has not shown any intent to mislead does not constitute infringement.
  • Account was created using a news feed from a third party. If someone is Twitter Squatting on your company name using your news feed, you may be entitled to that user name.

To report Twitter Squatting send a reply to @twitter with the user name of the squatter. They strongly suggest using the word "squatter" in your tweet for a faster response to the Sqwitter.

Another suggestion is to actually start following the Sqwitter account. Once you have started to follow them, I would try and send a reply to the account to start the conversation of acquiring the account.

Here is information on Twitter's Trademark Policy:

  • Using a company business name, logo, or trademark protected material in a manner to mislead or confuse may be considered trademark infringement. If this is the case then you need to submit a support ticket Twitter via their support form (will need a Twitter account to log in).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Twitter Follower - Auto Follow Your Way To The Top

Well I am not a big fan of auto following on Twitter, but @johnchow released a new free tool called Twitter Follower. The tool allows you to join a list of Twits who have auto follow enabled for their accounts. You can easily go down the current list of Twits and start following them right from the Twitter Follow site. Twitter Follow also provides another free tool to mass un-follow those who are not following you back. It is a pretty simple process that only takes seconds.

I also came across another Twitter auto follow site called Twitter Auto Follow. This site provides a list of current users that have auto follow enabled on their Twitter account. To get added to the site you will need to send an email.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Twitter Local Directory List

Even though Twitter allows people to network with other people from around the globe, there is an emerging demand for local networking. While local social networking on Twitter is starting to pickup steam I did some quick research in locating Local Twitter Directories.

GeoFollow is a location based Twitter directory that allows users to search by city, state, zip, country, tag, name, username, or keyword. The site suggests to get listed early, so your profile will be listed higher for your particular city and state. Note that the Twitter profile link and the bio link are NoFollows.

Loaded Web's Local Twitter Directory is another local Twitter directory that serves the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The current directory lists 1300 twitters from the United States. At the city and individual level, the site pulls in the top Hashtags as well as the top URLs being tweeted in the last week and for the month. Note that the links on this site are NoFollowed.

LocalTweeps features local Twits from the United States and Canada. The local directory results provide a DoFollow profile and bio link.

WeFollow directory (started by Digg's Kevin Rose) allows users to tag themselves with a city. As this is one of the more popular Twitter directories there seems to be a fair amount of users tagging themselves by city. The site does provide a DoFollow profile and bio link, but removes links from the profiles lastest Tweet.

Twitr is a clone of the WeFollow directory. You can leverage this directory by adding a city tag. Looking at a sample of users, most do not tag themselves with a city. So the validity of this directory for local networking may not be effective. The site does provide a DoFollow profile and bio link.

Twibs is considered a Twitter business directory, but the search feature allows one to search by city and state. This site does provide a DoFollow profile and bio link.

Twellowhood by provides a search feature that allows users to search by location. Currently Twellowhood includes only United States and Canada in their local Twitter directory. The site provides a DoFollow profile and bio link as well as social profile links.

Other Local Twitter Sites

ChirpCity provides the latest tweets from cities around the United States.

CityTweets provides "near" real-time tweets from and about individual cities. They only have around 23 cities listed from the United States, Japan and Brazil. They do allow you to grab their source code to create your own CityTweets.

TwitterLocal, while not a local Twitter directory, it is a desktop tool that allows you to watch Twitter streams based on a specific radius around a particular location.

On a side note, Lee Odden wrote a nice post on the Top 12 Twitter Directories to Find Brands and Companies on Twitter. Worth the read.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 - Send External Links to Your Site

Twittersplit is a cool tool I found on BirdsAll Social Media. Twittersplit allows you to send external links to your own URL. Yes, send external links to your own domain. Twittersplit requires that you install their script to do this. Basically it auto-frames every link you post to Twitter. Here is their example,

This can be a really good tool for branding purposes. Since you are sending the user to your domain, but I caution that framing someone 's content on your site may not be the right thing to do.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Unscheduled Maintenance Error Picture

No Fail Whale, but...

Twitter's Status..Err...Site Issues

Twitter has become a little more transparent in that they are now displaying a status update of the health of Twitter at The Twitter Status blog is being updated more frequently to display the latest site issues. It looks like the blog has been running since May of last year. Interesting to note that the blog is being hosted through Tumblr while their company blog ( is host through Blogger.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Twitter Takes Over Rankings

With Twitter's recent SEO tweak to the profile title tag a lot of users are becoming aware that their Twitter profile is starting to rank #1 for their own name. Now this can have implications for those who have a personal blog and have built up their personal reputation. Instead of funneling visitors to your blog (that may have ranked #1 for your name) there is more of a likelihood that those visitors are now going to your Twitter profile instead. Getting bumped from #1 to #2 can result in 3.5 x less clicks and from #2 to #3 1.4x less clicks (source).

You may also want to add the rel="me" attribute to all of the links pointing to your personal blog. This can create a "bi-directional" link, proving that you have ownership of the web site. Watch Google's "Introduction to the Social Graph API" to see how rel="me" links work. I have not seen any studies that the rel="me" has any influence in search rankings. Not all search engines have adopted this format as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twitter Stats from Neilsen Online

Neilsen Online released some new stats on Twitter usage and demographics. The report, Twitter's Tweet Smell of Success, notes that Twitter saw a 1,382% increase in unique visitors year-over-year. twitter went from 475K unique visitors in Feb 2008 to 7M in Feb 2009. The report also broke out the current demographics of Twitter users.
  • Age 2 -17 3.6% (250,000 Unique Users)
  • Age 18 -24 Insufficient sample size
  • Age 25 - 34 19.6% (1,379,000 Unique Users)
  • Age 35 - 49 41.7% (2,935,000 Unique Users)
  • Age 55+ 16.6% (1,165,000 Unique Users)
  • Age 65+ 6.8% (477,000 Unique Users)

Monday, March 23, 2009

SuperTweet - When 140 Characters is Not Enough

Have you heard of the SuperTweet? A SuperTweet post is a post that is larger than the 140 character limit provided by Twitter. A SuperTweet post can be as big as 250 characters in length. Edward Lewis (@pageoneresults) first discovered it and wrote about it, Twitter 250 Character SuperTweet. Edward mentions that you can post a SuperTweet directly from Twitter as well a Twhirl. You can see my SuperTweet.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Twitter Censoring Posts?

Eric Lander (@ericlander) noted that one of his Twitter posts that contained some explicit words within it had suddenly disappeared from his Twitter stream. It looks like Twitter has some kind of curse word filter. The orginial post can be found here. While still an active status page, it is not being displayed in his current Twitter stream.

Monday, March 16, 2009

We Follow - Twitter Directory by Users

Kevin Rose (@kevinrose), the founder of Digg, just released a beta version of We Follow is a user generated Twitter Directory that allows any Twitter user to tag themselves. To get started all you need to do is send a tweet to @wefollow. You can only place yourself into three categories at the moment. So to do this you would ad #categoryname to the post.

TIP: Just note, to create a multiple keyword category you will need to use the underscore (I do not think a lot of people use this - see socialmedia category). This could have better long term benefits since people will search by "social media" versus "socialmedia".

Monday, March 02, 2009

Twitoria - Find Inactive Twitter Friends

Twitoria is a nice Twitter app that allows you to discover which of your friends have not been active on Twitter for a given period of time. Twitoria allows you to see all inactive friends for the past week, past two weeks, past two months, past six months, or for the past year. A nice tool for cleaning up your Following list.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Small Business Twitter Case Studies

When discussing social media for small business clients we tend to bring up Twitter in the conversation. The first question we get from small businesses is, "What's Twitter?". The second question is "How can I generate business from it?". Well there has been several small business case studies released lately on Twitter. Here are just a few highlights on how SMBs are leveraging Twitter.
  • @52teas - Offers a different blend of tea each week. In addition, they post alerts to store specials. They stated that they were typically shipping one to two packages every two to three weeks and now they are shipping 40 to 50 packages. They attribute there success to Twitter. Read more

  • @namecheap - They set up a Twitter account in December and started to run a trivia contest every hour. The first three @ replies won a credit for one-year domain registration. Their follower count jumped from 200 to 4000 in one month. Traffic increased by 10% to their site in December. They also saw a 20% increase in domain registrations. Read more

  • @coffeegroundz - Self proclaims that they were the first to have a to-go order placed through Twitter. The Operations Manager credits Twitter with doubling their clientele. Read more

  • @orlandoichiban - This Orlando-based Japanese restaurant is now taking to-go orders via Twitter. They are also using Twitter to promote their specials and events.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spammers Exploit Twitter?

There was some recent discussion brought up by Jason Calacanis (@jasoncalacanis) about a sudden spike in some very high profile accounts. Jason determined that this spike occurred on Feb 11. Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, refuted the claim by stating that this influx was related to the new "Suggested Users" feature when new accounts are created.

It was pointed out that the spike occurred almost one month after the initial release of the "Suggested Users" feature and shows several graphs from Twitterific on how quickly it happened to several high profile accounts. Some state that there is a spammer creating fake accounts and adding these fake accounts to a circle of users, including the spammer's own account. Again this is just speculation. You can read the entire story with the long list of comments about the report at The Newest Way To Game Twitter - Fake Followers.

Another incident was also reported today from @Minervity. He woke up this morning to find that his account was suspended due to suspicious activity. After an uprising from the Twitterverse his account was restored. Twitter support replied:

"Your account has been restored. It would appear that you have a number of spammers following you and using your material for their own accounts and, as a result, you were caught up in a spam cloud (through no fault of your own) and suspended..."

@Minervity believes that the "spam cloud" is some kind of filter being used to check to see if something was retweeted over and over again.

The post, Twitter Suspended - The Full Story, does not make it clear if these spam accounts were pulling back in his tweets and posted them as their own. If so, it looks like if you get enough of these spam followers you can inadvertently be caught in a spam cloud.

This should be a wake up call for those using the auto-follow feature. Spammers love those accounts. There already has been reports of programs being able to determine which Twitter accounts have this auto-follow feature set up. So you may be prone to get caught up in a spam cloud.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Twitter Stats Pew / Internet

Pew Internet & American Life Project released a new study, Twitter and Status Updating. The study provides some interesting facts about Twitter users.

Online adults that have said they have used Twitter before:

  • 19% - 18 to 24 yrs old
  • 20% - 25 to 34 yrs old
  • 10% - 35 to 44 yrs old
  • 5% - 45 to 54 yrs old
  • 4% - 55 to 64 yrs old
  • 2% - 65 and older

As the majority of users tend to be younger, they also tend to live in lower-income households.

  • 17% earn less than $30,000
  • 10% earn more than $75,000

The median age of Twitter users is 31 compared to Myspace (27), Facebook (26) and LinkedIn (40).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tweet Me - Social Media Vcard is the brain child of David Brown (aka @neoblog - worth following on Twitter). Tweet Me is an "online business card" that is currently in beta. The site provides the opportunity to upload a personal video, but I did not see any upload feature. It looks like you can paste the embed code from YouTube to add your personal video. The profile page also allows you to provide a full bio. The profile displays your latest Tweet and will allow you to post a Tweet directly to your Twitter account from the admin section. You have the ability to place up to five "My Site" links and add links under "Social Sites" to some of the top social networks you may have accounts with.

Note: The "My Site" links and the links within the Bio section are doFollows. The "Social Sites" links are noFollows and any URLs within your latest Tweets are not rendered as hyperlinks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TweeterGetter - Ponzi Scheme for Twitter

TweeterGetter recently blasted onto the Twitter scene this month promoting that you can get 15,000 followers in 30 days. Basically you have to follow five Twits (including @garymccaffrey, the man who created the app) and then you hope those five get five more people to follow you and five more people follow them and so on and so on. Very similar to how a ponzi scheme or pyramid scheme would work. Those in early reap the benefits, in this case 15K followers in 30 days! Well the only one benefiting is @garymccaffrey.

At one point today 60 people had joined the "scheme" in a ten minute period. This came out to over 8000 people joining in a 24 hour period. One of my friends tried it out today and submitted his information at 8:00 am EST and by 8:00 pm EST he has a whopping 5 new followers from it. Lets cross our fingers for 15K! The moral of the story is that it is NOT all about the number of followers you have, but the number of real people that you can truly network with and share ideas.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tweba - Auction Your Stuff Off on Twitter

Tweba (pronounced Twe-bay?) allows users of Twitter to buy and sell items. They provide the ability to post classifieds as well as start auctions. You have 240 characters to describe the item you are selling and you can upload one picture per listing. Tweba will managed listing the item, payment processing as well as track the feedback. To get the details on using Tweba they have a handy "How It All Works" page. I really like the concept!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Top 10 Twitter Clients provides a running list of the top Twitter clients being used by their followers. Here are the top 10 Twitter clients:

  1. Web
  2. TweetDeck
  3. Twhirl
  4. Twitterfeed
  5. Twitterific (iPhone App)
  6. Tweetie (iPhone App)
  7. Text Message
  8. TwitterFox (FireFox browser Extension)
  9. (Social network updater)
  10. Mobile Web

Keep up on the most used Twitter clients at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5 Tips To Optimize Your Twitter Bio

I really think that people overlook the importance of their Twitter bio. There is real opportunity to leverage the information within your bio to gain additional followers. I have provided my top five tips to optimize your Twitter bio.

1. Provide a descriptive one line bio. What I like to do is to look at some of my followers and see who they are following. When in the followers list you can hover over the user name and a pop up will come up with that particular user's bio. If your bio is not filled out or is not very descriptive, you maybe missing out on potential followers. You have 160 characters, use them all.

2. Add a profile picture. If your Twitter account is not being used for corporate branding, add a picture of yourself. One Twit recently stated that when he asked his followers why they followed him, they came back and said it was because of his smiling profile picture. People want to connect with people and not avatars. The worst thing you can do is to not add a profile picture.

3. Use your real name. This is really important on two fronts. One is for reputation management, especially if your name IS your brand. Also if you are representing a brand, having a name behind the brand will allow people to connect with the company on a more personal level.

4. Fill out your location. Just do not put "Amongst the strawberry fields". There are plenty of opportunities to connect with other local Twits for possible offline networking.

5. Place the URL to your current blog, personal site or business. If you do not currently have any one of those, then link to one of your other social network profiles (i.e. LinkedIn). This will allow people to find out more about you, your business, or your interests.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Twestival - Tweetup For A Good Cause

Twestival is an organized event that will be held in over 100 cities around the world on February 12, 2009 to help raise money and awareness for charity:water. charity:water is an organization that is trying to provide clean drinking water to schools in developing nations. Twestival was conceived in September to bring together local Twitter communities, enjoy entertainment, and have a few drinks while raising money for this cause. They are still looking for additional host cities so visit their site to learn more about this worth while event.

Twit or Not - Choose Your Friends Most Boring Tweets

Twit or Not is a take off of the popular Hot or Not application. Twit or Not allows "you to choose which of your friends tweets are the most boring, resulting in a real-time chart of the most boring users on Twitter". The site provides a list of the top 100 most boring Twits. Some of the notable at the time of this post are @timoreilly #16, @mashable #26, @twitter #45, @mrtweet #57, and @twitterific #96. It doesn't look too hard to get on this list. The top "boring Twit" only has 24 points and it drops off pretty quickly after that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Twitter Stats by Hitwise

Hitwise released a new report, Twitter Catches Up To Digg. The report states that Twitter has surpassed Digg in market share of visits for the first time. Here are some other interesting stats on Twitter:

Age of visitors to Twitter (2009)
  • Age 18-24 7.39%
  • Age 25-34 44.64%
  • Age 35-44 14.04%
  • Age 45-54 13.90%
  • Age 55+ 20.03%

Top 5 website referrals

  1. Google - 9.23%
  2. Facebook - 8.82%
  3. MySpace - 7.56%
  4. Gmail - 6.24%
  5. Yahoo Mail - 6.05%

The report notes that there is a significant amount of traffic coming from Twitter Apps that are not measured in this report. You can read my previous post about the impact of Twitter Apps on your Analytics.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

CurseBird - Real Time Swearing on Twitter

Want to know which curse word is the most used on Twitter in the last seven days? Well CurseBird has your answer. CurseBird provides the top ten curse words being used on Twitter. You can also see the Twitter stream of the latest curse words people are using in their Tweets. I scored "Lame of 100" where I had zero swears. You can see my cursebird score .

TwitterFriends - Twitter Statistics Tool

Are you a stats freak? TwitterFriends takes statistical analysis to Twitter. I really like the Statistics section of the site. It provides some insightful information on your Twitter behavior and your network's behavior.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tracking Your Traffic From Twitter

While reading a blog post this weekend on tracking referral data from Twitter I came across a fascinating and eye opening stat about Twitter. The post pointed me to @TweetStats, a third-party site that provides stats on the top ten Twitter Apps. In their data they show that 50% of traffic comes from Twitter Apps. Some have even said that upwards of 80% of traffic comes from Twitter Apps.

The thing to note is that you may be receiving more traffic from Twitter then you realize. Since any traffic coming from a Twitter App will be shown as direct traffic in your analytics program. If you are using Google Analytics, you can overcome this by adding tracking parameters to your URL strings.

Friday, January 16, 2009

New URL Expand Feature in Twitter

Just noticed that it has been awhile since I last posted. Been really busy launching our new corporate site. Anyways, today I was doing some research for one of my clients by using I just notice that there is a new "expand" link next to all of the URLs within the search results. When you hit "expand" it allows you to see the full destination URL (up to a certain number of characters). Not sure when this feature will reach the Twitter account pages.

Friday, January 09, 2009

TwitterHat - Alternative Twitter Advertising

Have you been trying to figure out how to advertise on Twitter or make a few bucks off of Twitter ads? Well TwitterHat provides an alternative advertising avenue for the Twitter user. In short, TwitterHat is a short URL service. The twist is that they overlay the landing page with an advertising banner across it. You can see an example here.

TwitterHat allows bloggers to join their advertising network for a flat monthly fee. They will provide impressions and click data in their monthly service. There are no fees posted, but I imagine that there is a low entry cost. Probably worth testing out.

For the Twitter user, you can earn reward points for sending people to one of your Twittered links. As a Twitter users you will not become rich overnight. It takes 1000 visits to get a $10 gift card.

Twibs - Twitter Business Directory

Twibs is a directory of businesses on Twitter. It is a fairly new site with only 1,200 businesses listed on it. Currently the business directory allows you to search alphabetically or by category tags. It looks as if the directory is categorizing each business via keywords in the bio. It is simple to get added to the Twibs business directory, just send them a status update. The directory listing will also provide a DoFollow back link to your twitter profile.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

How To Value a Twitter Account

Are you considering selling your Twitter account? Well I have not seen one on eBay just yet. But an interesting question was posed by @BrentCsutoras, an Internet Marketing consultant. He asked, "If you could... What would you pay for a Top 100 Twitter account with over 14,000 followers?".

This posed an interesting dilemma. There has not been any precedence set on this that I am aware of. I know a while back someone sold the rights to advertise on their Twitter background on eBay.

How should one determine the value of a Twitter account? Using Twitterholic as your gauge as to whether or not the account is deemed "authoritative" could be a good start. But I see flaws in Twitterholic, no offense to @gavin and @alexrudoff. Take the number one spot for example, @barackobama. Now Barack has over 165K followers and he is following 170K, but has not posted a Tweet in over 60 days. Should we still consider Barack an active influential user of Twitter?

Should we just go by the shear number of Followers? Probably not. I think that the ratio of Followers to Following should be a benchmark. You would even have to weigh the Followers as well. Somewhat similar to authoritative back links. Some Followers have more credibility then others.

Should the number of ReTweets a person receives be a factor as well. Retweetrank and Most ReTweeted could be incorporated into the mix.

Finally, is there really a market for reselling your Twitter account? What are your thoughts?

Tweetbacks - Trackbacks from Twitter

@danzarrella, a self-proclaimed viral and social marketing scientist, created a new Wordpress plugin called Tweetbacks. Tweetbacks acts in the same way as a traditional trackback, but just displays the Tweets about a specific blog post. The code is pretty lightweight and easy to install (one line of JavaScript). You can see Tweetbacks in action on his site. Dan has some other cool free tools on his blog, so definitely go there and poke around.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Retweetrank - See How Many Times You Have Been Retweeted

Retweetrank allows you to find who is producing the most interesting content that is being retweeted on Twitter. Retweetrank provides a list of the top 50 Twitter accounts that are being retweeted. This site also allows you to search on your own Twitter user name to see who is retweeting your content. Retweetrank rankings are based on the number of retweets (including RT of RT), but there is no given time frame provide.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Top Domains Used on Twitter

Interesting post over on the Cligs blog, Analysis of Linking Patterns on Twitter. Cligs, an URL shortening service, performed some analysis on the top domains used on Twitter by analyzing over 10.2 million tweets that contained over 2 million links. They provide a breakdown of the Top 50 domains as well as the top URL shorteners used on Twitter.

You also might want to read the nice write up, The Only 3 URL Shortening Services You Should Consider Using, on WebChicklets.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Twitter Phishing Scam Alert

There is a current phishing scam going on targeting Twitter users. Be aware of direct messages or direct message email notifications with links to the redirected URL. Read more on the official Twitter blog about it and what happens if you have been duped and are now locked out of your Twitter account.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Twitter Cookbook

Mike Tremoulet (@coffeemike) had an idea to create a cookbook based on contributions from fellow Twitters. As an aspiring chef, he noticed that his friends were talking about upcoming holiday feasts and wanted to see just what they were all going to eat. Based on this he asked his followers to send him recipes. Within ten days Mike had created The Twitter Cookbook (PDF). Another interesting use for Twitter. 

You may also want o check out Recipes given in 140 characters or less that serves three to four people. 

Twoogie - For True Doogie Howser Fans

Came across this fun site called Twoogie. Now if you are a fan of Doogie Howser, MD then this site is a must visit. The creators emulate Doogie Howser's IBM PS/2, the computer where he typed in his journal entries on the show. Basically it allows you to type your 140 character message on the IBM PS/2, just like Doogie did, and post it to Twitter.  Nothing else to the site.