Thursday, November 18, 2010

KFC Scholarship Contest via Twitter

The restaurant chain KFC is giving away a $20,000 scholarship via Twitter. KFC wants students to write in 129 characters or less why they exemplify Colonel Sanders' commitment to education and enriching their community, and why think they deserve a college scholarship. The contest runs through November 26 and KFC ask that the #KFCScholar hashtag be used for all submissions.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Twttr Old Skool

Techcrunch points to there very very first post about Twitter back in 2006. Michael Arrington wrote:
I imagine most users are not going to want to have all of their Twttr messages published on a public website.

That statement is quite funny now. But the other historical item noted in the article is that Twitter was actuall Twttr. They have a old green logo of Twitter on the post as well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Twitter To Offer Official Tweet Button

Twitter is rumored to be launching a new Tweet Button potentially this month. The Tweet Button would provide the same functionality that we are accustom to with the Tweetmeme buttons. Since Twitter will be aggregating the data, you should be able to see a more comprehensive look into the sharing stats for links being shared. The new Tweet Button will allow web site owners to easily insert a single line of code to enable the button. The button will be offered in three sizes, 110×20, 55×20, 55×63. 

Mashable's article, "Twitter Launching Official Tweet Buttons This Week [Exclusive]", has an example of the embedded button as well as some additional screen shots with additional information about the new service.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Twitter Moves One Step Closer To Business Accounts

Twitter recently announced the acquisition of Smallthough Systems. Smallthough had provided Twitter with two internal tools, Dabble DB (an online database tool) and Trendly (an Google Analytics tool to analyze trends). Some have speculated that the acquisition of this company brings Twitter one step closer to business accounts. The Trendly tool looks like it will help bubble up trending data within Google Analytics. The Dabble DB tools looks more like a CRM system. Not sure if this program would be integrated into the business dashboard, but it could be.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Twitter Rolling Out Official URL Shortner

It looks as if Twitter will be rolling out their new URL shortner service this summer. It is currently being tested with Twitter employee accounts and will take the structure of Twitter is currently integrating their own URL shortner ( within Direct Messages (see Twitter Quietly Rolls Out Own URL Shortner). Twitter also goes on to state that there will be some sort of integration within the interface to automatically covert long URLs to  URLs. This has been a wanted feature for a very long time as users had to use a third-party URL shortner and copy and paste the link into the status update form. They also mentioned that third-party apps will be able to use this URL shortening service. Not sure if all links from these third-party apps will be automatically converted.

With the roll out of this URL shortening service, I believe that this is one step closer for Twitter to provide analytic link data to the user. So my guess would be that we will be seeing some sort of stats dashboard in the near future.

For those technical folks - you will want to stay away from shortening a short URL (i.e to This will cause a "chain redirect", which Google frowns upon. If you shorten a link like you are now producing a 301 redirect from to The URL will produce a 301 redirect to the original URL, thus causing a "chain redirect".

Monday, May 24, 2010

The End of Paid Tweets

The latest Twitter blog post, The Twitter Platform, discusses Twitter's long term strategy for their advertising business model. Buried within the middle of this post is a reference to paid tweets.

"...we will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API. We are updating our Terms of Service to articulate clearly what we mean by this statement..."

It looks like the end to third-party sponsored tweets.  A wise man once said, "Never build a business model off another business' API.".

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Twitter Filtering Out RT in Search Results

It looks as though Twitter has started to filter out Retweets (RT) from their search results. Now this algorithm change has only affected the "integrated search" algorithm according to @Charles (Twitter UX Supprt Team member).

What is "integrated search" exactly? It looks to reference the search box within your profile page. I tested the home page search box as well as, but this functionality has not been implemented yet. @Charles goes on to further explain "RTs are usually a lot of noise in search results/ Excluding them makes the results cleaner and (in most cases) better.".

@RayBeckman posted, "Has @ Twitter Declared War on Traditional Retweets? #TR", about his disgust with the removal of RT from the search results. He points out that he is more upset that Twitter did it in a "..sneaky, slient, back-door way.". He has started a petition at and urges Twitter users to use "TR" instead of "RT" to signify "Traditional Retweet". @RayBeckman also notes that "TR" has been used in the past to represent "Translated" tweets (which I did not know).

As of yet, the only official response has come from @Charles and the Twitter blog has made no reference to this change.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Library of Congress To Archive Drunk Tweets

The Library of Congress has partnered with Twitter to start archiving your drunken tweets as well as all others, starting from the first tweet in 2006. The Library of Congress announced the partnership on their blog yesterday. There are currently several billion tweets which account for about five terabytes of data. This will be on top of the current 167 terabytes that the Library of Congress has in digital assets. The Library of Congress noted that the data would not be made available for commercial use. After a six month delay, the data will be accessible "for internal library use, for non-commercial research, public display by the library, and preservation." One big sticking point concerned the use of URL shortners. We have seen numerous URL shortners come and go, what will happen to those tweets that use these services? The Library of Congress looks to be working on a solution to preserve the links, but a solution will not come for some time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Twitter News Roundup

Official Twitter Apps - Twitter recently acquired  the parent company of the Tweetie app, release a new Blackberry Twitter app, and is developing a official app for the Google Android. All of these apps were referenced as "Official Twitter Apps", but Twitter quickly retracted the "official" label due to backlash from the developer community. This anouncement worried third-party developers that Twitter was going to buy or develop competing "official" apps. Read more  

Promoted Tweets - Twitter is going to place promoted tweets within their search results. These promoted tweets will allow companies to only promote their own tweets. Users will be able to to reply to them, retweet them, and add them as favorites. The promoted tweets will come with real-time analytics, which is one piece of the soon to be released business accounts. Here is a cool tool that displays the sentiment on the topic of promoted tweets.

Twitter Releases Data - During their Chirp conference, Twitter released some user data. Twitter reported 105 million users and is adding 300,000 users every day. They mentioned that they are currently handling over 600 million search queries each day, almost as many as Yahoo. Another interesting fact is that 75% of traffic comes from third-party applications. These third-party applications account for 60% of all tweets sent.

Twitter Places - A new app that allows users to check-in at different locations by attaching geo-location data to the tweets. The app will aggregate what people are saying, who has been their, as well as the opinion of the place. Some see this as a competitor to FourSquares and Gowalla.

User Streams - Twitter launched a developers network site at With this new dev center, they are providing a new streaming API. This API will allow developers to have near-realtime access to various subsets of Twitter public statuses.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Twitter To Have Major Redesign

Doug Bowman @stop (I like this handle), the head of Twitter's design team released a sneek peek into an upcoming site redesign for the Twitter web interface. The picture shows some additional stats and a more rounded layout. See the Twitter redesign picture

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Toolkits - Twitter Lists for Twitter Apps

The web site,, is a well known repository of the best Twitter tools and Twitter apps. They recently announced a new featured called Toolkits. Toolkits are a way to create lists of your favorite Twitter tools and apps. These Toolkits are community driven and allow their members to bundle the best tools and apps for particular business or social functions. has highlighted a couple of these lists.
The idea is pretty neat, but I think that should have developed these Toolkits and had the community vote on the best tools or apps for each ToolKit theme. One can already see that these Toolkits can get pretty redundant and there will be a lot of competing Toolkits. does provide a list of  "trending" Toolkits to help sift through the clutter. Currently there are about 60 Toolkits already created in the last 48 hours. Be sure to check out my own Toolkit, Brent Nau's Essential Twitter Tools.

Stwickers - Personlaized Decals for Twitter

Stwickers is a small company that is providing personalized vinyl decals of your Twitter name. The Stwitcker comes in a variety of colors and sizes. They currently offer 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch, and 5 inch stickers. These Stwitckers could be a great promotional item to draw potential clients / customer to your Twitter profile. The site has a couple of examples of the Stwitckers on laptops and car windows. You could also place them on the window of your storefront as well. The price range for these Twitter stickers range from $7 to $20. You can follow them at @stwickers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Co-Tweeting Being Pushed Live on Twitter

Co-tweeting is when you have more than one person monitor and respond within a single Twitter account. Recently there have been sightings that Twitter is starting to push a new co-tweeting feature that will identify the author of the Tweet. Twitter is now adding a by-line to the post. So instead of "5:52 PM Mar 3rd via web" you will see "5:52 PM Mar 3rd via web by jennadawn". Some say that this may be a premium feature that Twitter will be providing for their business accounts. By including this co-tweeting feature, business accounts will be able to have a more personal feel. Here is a example from the official @twitter account.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Obessed Twitter Users Check in Day and Night

Retrevo Gadgetology's latest blog post, Is Social Media a New Addiction?, reports some interesting findings from their latest study on how people spend their time on social networks. Some of the highlights of the report:
  • 48% of respondents check/update Facebook or Twitter whenever they wake up during the night or as soon as they wake up
  • 42% check/update Facebook or Twitter first thing in the morning
  • 16% under the age of 25 check Facebook or Twitter as their source for news in the morning
  • 15% over the of 25 check Facebook or Twitter as their source for news in the morning

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where Do People Go After They Visit

Hitwise recently posted, Twitter and News and Media Websites, that took a look at where Twitters go after they visit The report found that almost sixty percent of them visit another social network (appx. 30%) or an entertainment site (appx. 30%). This was followed by search engines (appx. 7%), lifestyle sites (appx. 5%), news and media sites (appx. 4.5%), portal frontpages (appx. 4%), and then shopping / classifieds, business and finance sites, and email service (all appx. 3.5%). The report also looked at "down stream" visits to media / news sites versus all other categories. Visits to media / news sites increased by 54%, while all other categories increased by 138%.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

#OMGConan Hoax Shows Social Irresponsibility

In Daniels Terdiman's latest blog entry, #OMGConan: The big Digg party Twitter Hoax, he writes about the recent hoax that was retweeted across Twitter about Conan O'Brien joining the Internet TV network, Revision3. The hoax was orchestrated  during the South by Southwest Interactive festival as a way to eclispe the biggest Twitter hoax to date, the death of Jeff Goldblum.

I am glad that no traditional media outlets were involved, as their credibility would have dwindlee down to the levels of  TMZ. Any ways, this Twitter hoax clearly displays the power of a few highly influential social indiviudals that have strong online credibility with their followers. With that power comes social responsibility in reporting or sharing information. But when individuals abuse this trust and post rumors or hoaxes, that trust erodes away. Will their followers think twice about retweeting their next tweet due to this hoax?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Twitter Quietly Rolls Out Own URL Shortner

Twitter recently posted, Trust and Safety, a blog entry that discussed the steps they are taken to prevent scams and malicious links on Twitter. This was in response to the recent Barracuda Labs report that showed in October 2009, one in eight accounts created were deemed to be malicious, suspicious, or otherwise misused. But at the end of the Twitter post there is mention that they are going to be redirecting links within Direct Messages and email notifications. It looks like they will be using the URL shortener to do this. It seems to be open ended as whether they plan to roll this shortening service out to status updates.

Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land, put the Twitter URL shortener to the test to see if the tracking of the originial shorten URL would be lost. He found that there indeed seems to be NO impact.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Over 30 Percent of Twitter Accounts Never Tweet

A new study by Barracuda Networks, dubbed Twitter's Red Carpet Era, took a look at 19 million Twitter accounts to analyze frequency, user interaction, and overall activity of an account. The study produced some interesting stats on how people are using Twitter.
  • 34% of Twitter users have not tweeted since they created their account
  • 21% of Twitter users are classified as "True Twitter Users" (see study for definition)
  • 17% of Twitter users have zero followers
  • 36% of Twitter users have more followers than the accounts they are following
  • Users with an average of 1000 followers actually tweet the most compared to accounts with less than 100 followers or more than 100,000 followers
The study uses the term "Red Carpet Era" to denote the period between November 2008 and April 2009 when celebrities started to join Twitter. The study shows how the impact of celebrities coming on board helped propell Twitter to a 20% growth rate in April 2009. The average growth of Twitter is about 0.34% per month.

Study Shows Twitter Followers More Likely To Buy

A recent social media usage study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies found that followers of brands are more likely to recommend the brand as well as buy their products. The study surveyed 1500 consumers (18+ years of age) throughout the United States. The key finds:
  • 79% of Twitter followers are more likely to recommend brands that they are following
  • 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy the brands that they are following
  • Cconsumers believe that brands not engaging in social media are out of touch

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Twitter Experiences a 347 Percent Jump via Mobile Browsers

ComScore released a new report today, Facebook and Twitter Access via Mobile Browser Grows by Triple-Digits in the Past Year, that looked at social networking access via mobile browsers. The study found that over 30% of smart phone users had accessed a social network via their mobile browser in January 2010. Twitter  saw almost 4.7 million mobile users access their site in January 2010. This was a 347 percent increase over the same period last year. Twitter still lags behind Facebook (25.1 million) and MySpace (11.4 million). The report also notes that these numbers do not include access from mobile phone users who exclusively use mobile apps. So these numbers may be a bit higher, especially the Twitter numbers.

Friday, February 19, 2010

7 More Places To Syndicate Your Twitter Feed

This post is a follow up to my previous entry, 7 Places To Syndicate Your Twitter Feed, where I provided some online resource sites that allow you to add your Twitter feed while providing DoFollow links. So here are a couple of social network profiles where you can syndicate your Twitter feed.

  • - This site allows you to create a free domain with the .mp TLD. The site will allow you to pull in your latest Tweets as well as other RSS feeds.
  • - A social profile site.
  • - A social profile site.
  • - A social profile site that will hyperlink the Twitter update back to the Twitter post. It will not link to any links within the actual tweet.
  • - A user profile page on the popular social media news site, Mashable. The profile will allow you to add a RSS feed to display.
  • - A social profile site.
  • - A social profile site.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How To Pick The Right Person For Your Sponsored Tweet

I recently had a client that wanted to venture into testing Sponsored Tweets (with a little nudging on our side). Now I can't go into specifics of the test, but I wanted to at least share some of the struggles and insight that I obtained going through the process of setting up the test account. For this test we choose to use the company, Sponsored Tweets.

The first obstacle (and it was a high one) was how do I choose which person to solicit based on my budget as well as my product? Well Sponsored Tweets provides the advertiser a couple of data points to filter their pool of candidates. One metric you can filter by is based off of's TwitterGrader score. The score is betwen 0 and 100 (100 being most influential). They also provide a filter based on's Klout Score. The score is between 0 and 100 (100 having the most clout). You can also filter by max cost per tweet, minimum number of followers, by the person's follower ratio (Followers to Following - typically want this number to be under 1), keyword tags, and by geographic location.

Once your results are filtered, you are presented with a list of matching candidates. On this results page Sponsored Tweets provides another metric to sort by called FAR (Follower Activation Rate).
"...measure of the Tweeters influence with their followers based on percentage of people who click through. The scale is 0-10, with 5 being the system wide average. The higher the number the better."
I took a look at several of these accounts with high FAR score and found that it did not correlate to the scale provided. I found a lot of candidates with a 6 were not very engaging. Again I found these accounts to contain mostly ReTweets. This could of been due to seeing a snap shot of the last 24 hours of their account.

So we started looking at a max cost per tweet of $2. What we found is that 99% of these accounts were non-engaging (some RT, but no conversations). These accounts also tended to be set up through a RSS feed in a "set it and forget" mode. Probably until we reached the $10-$30 range did we start to see better engagement within the candidate accounts.

So here are some important tips that we used to decide if we wanted to offer our ad to a particular person.
  1. Take a look at the candidate's Twitter stream. Take note how ofter they are responding, versus just posting and ReTweeting. You do not want a wall flower.
  2. If they are using links in their posts (not ReTweets). Take the URL and add the plus sign (+) to the end of it in a browser. This will show you the click stats on the link. This is a great measure of engagement. What we found in the range of $2-$30 was typically 15 clicks per link.
  3. People can buy Followers, so don't always get hung up on the shear number of Followers someone has. Those with thousands of "real" Followers will be on the $50+ range.
  4. Go to the candidates Twitter account and look at the byline at the bottom of each status update. If all of the "about X hours from ...." containTwitterFeed, HootSuite, or even Ping.FM this means that they are using a RSS feed to automate the posting to the account. So they tend to be very little engagement on those accounts.
Here is a nice Twitter advertising case study by Jeremy Schoemaker (but just know he was on Sponsored Tweets parent company, Izea's Advisory Board).

Hopefully this helps a bit. Let me know any strategies you may use.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

10 More DoFollow Twitter Links

This is a follow up to my 10 DoFollow Twitter Sites post. I come across some additional Twitter API sites that will provide DoFollow links from the imported Tweets as well as from the Twitter profile. So here is Volume II of DoFollow Twitter links;


Friday, January 15, 2010

TwitterPeek - The Ultimate Twitter Device

Are you addicted to Twitter or does you job revolve around Twitter, then the TwitterPeek handheld device is what you need. This dedicated Twitter handheld device allows you to keep up to date on your latest tweets. It allows you to send and recieve unlimited tweets (no Twitter jail for you), reply, retweet, direct message, view Twitpics, and read links. The service runs off of cell towers, so an Internet connection is not needed. There is no data plans or texting fees, because the product runs on its own mobile network. The product states that the battery life is around three to four days. The great part is that they offer lifetime service for just $199. The only down side I see is that you can only run one Twitter account on the device.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Most Effective Twitter Tactics Used By B2B and B2C

MarketingProfs released their The State of Social Media Marketing report that surveyed over 5100 marketing and business professionals about how they are using social media. From this report (that costs $599) eMarketing published an excerpt, What's Working for Social Media Marketers? and looked at some of the most effective Twitter marketing tactics used by B2B and B2C marketers.