Thursday, April 29, 2010

Twitter terminology

As a newbie to Twitter, I have found the terminology a bit baffling. So I went in search of some relevant information and found this useful site.

Godaddy customer service

Just a thought on Godaddy's customer service: I have a few domains with them, and have had to contact them from time to time about various issues. They always got back to me very quickly, and answered my questions fully. This is refreshing, because you don't tend to get such good customer service from other big online companies.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Source Bottle

Via Twitter I just found an interesting site called Source Bottle. It would be of interest to anyone in Australia who works in media, or who wants media attention. It works by listing media call outs for sources for stories, as well as requests for media attention from public relations people, event managers and the like.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finding Twitter followers who share your political views

I joined Twitter recently and I'm gradually getting into it. I'm just tweeting randomly, mostly about news, media, politics and entertainment. It's not an SEO, blogging or marketing related Twitter page - although I might start one of those in time.

Anyway, the first thing you want to do upon joining is get more followers. Many just start following as many other "tweeple" as possible, knowing that a certain proportion of them will follow them back. But I think this is a bad strategy. It's kind of like traffic exchanges. The only reason people look at your site is so that you will look at theirs!

In the long run it's best to find people to follow who have a genuine interest in what you're tweeting about. Then you'll enjoy their updates, and there's a better chance that they'll follow you back. That takes a bit of time, of course.

One good way to do this is to search for some specific keywords and see what comes up. So it's kind of like Googling, except in real time (the tweets get indexed instantly).

If you are into something that tends to be quite polarized, like politics, then you'll want to find people who see the world as you see it. That's a bit trickier, since keyword searches might reveal people who are tweeting about what you are passionate about, but they might not have any particular interest in it.

Say you're a climate change activist, and you want to find others to network with. You search for those two keywords in the tweets. There will be an ocean of results, since it's such a big issue now. But most of them will be from people who have no specific interest in the subject. They are just posting about it because it keeps coming up in the media. They might be worried about it, but feel they are powerless to do anything to stop it. Or maybe they don't believe it's real at all and couldn't care less! Clearly, following them would be a waste of time in the long run.

So here's a better strategy: If you type in the name of a columnist, public figure or even media outlet renowned for espousing a particular view related to your political passion you'll find a lot of twits who are very clearly for or against. (In the case of climate change these might be search terms like "Al Gore", "Christopher Monckton" or "Fox News".)

You'll still have to wade through the tweets to find those on your side. But it's pretty quick because they will generally be passionate and therefore unequivocal.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Facebook causes relationship problems

I'm sure that the vast majority of Facebook users have a good experience. But there's definitely a dark side! There have been a lot of horror stories in the media lately. Numerous people have been stalked and harassed through the site. And there have even been several murders that had some kind of Facebook link.

These cases are extreme, of course. But I'm sure there's a lot of much milder conflict that goes on as a result of people joining the site that doesn't get reported. I think it's got something to with the fact that Facebook is like another world that has its own culture, rules, regulations and etiquette. Some people get right into it and feel very comfortable. Others don't, and that's where the problem starts.

For instance, say one partner in a couple loves Facebook and starts telling his Facebook friends about what's going on in the relationship. He doesn't see there's anything wrong with this, since he's just doing online what he does offline in conversation. (And his partner has joined also, so he assumes that she doesn't have a problem with it - even if she logs in only occasionally.)

But of course on Facebook this gossip is not mere spoken words that are not recorded. It's all there in black and white. And it gets shared all over the place! Even if what's being said is benign, even positive, that's an invasion of privacy. It's pretty obvious why that could enrage someone.

So ultimately it's all about privacy. I think that's the fundamental problem with it. And here's a much more specific look at how and why Facebook can harm people's romantic relationships. While the problems included in the post relate to dating, it's easy to see how variations of them could affect platonic friendships as well.

Because of these pitfalls, I'm going to be careful when I get back into Facebook. I won't use it much for personal interaction with people. Rather, I'll use it in a more professional way as a means to promote my expertise.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thoughts on Tumblr

I have been looking into social networking and bookmarking sites. Tumblr kept appearing in lists and posts about the subject. So I joined it to try it out.

It is excellent. Even though it's known as a "micro-blogging" site (similar to Twitter) it's actually a lot more versatile than the label implies. Unlike Twitter, you're not limited to very short posts. And it actually has as much functionality as most other blogging platforms, if not more.

It is similar to Twitter in that you can follow other members of the site, and have your posts "re-blogged" which is like having them "re-tweeted". So, if you've got a knack for writing stuff that attracts this kind of treatment you could end up with a lot of traffic pretty quickly.

The various site templates you can use are much more unique and creative than those you'll find elsewhere. Which is why there seem to be a lot of arty types (as opposed to newsy, pundit types) using the site.

One attractive aspect is that you can use your own custom domain for your site at no charge as well. Not many blogging platforms offer that.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Versatility of Wordpress

I haven't ever used Wordpress, but one thing that I keep reading about it is that not only is it a great blogging platform - it's also a good all round content management system.

And here's evidence of that: A free classifieds site built using Wordpress.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Page rank variation at Ezine Articles

I was looking through my stats for Ezine Articles and I noticed something interesting. The articles that I'd submitted related to internet marketing generally hadn't accrued page rank themselves. But some of those that went into other categories like "pure opinion" and "movies and TV" had. And this wasn't just those I'd submitted a long time ago; they'd only been up there a couple of weeks.

I suspect that this is mainly due to the numbers. That is, the internet marketing and seo niche is pretty well saturated with articles, since every money-making webmaster and his dog is busily building backlinks with them. But those other niches are simply less full, and so the average page rank for each article is higher.

Whatever the reason, it's something to remember. You should tend to get better SEO results from your author bio-box links if you submit to the less saturated niches at Ezine Articles - and probably other article directories as well.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Twitter becoming first choice for public announcements

Twitter just keeps on growing. Here are a couple of examples of its vast reach:

Recently Malcolm Turnbull first announced his resignation from politics via Twitter. Also, Jim Carrey and Jennifer McCarthy announced their amicable breakup on the social networking site.

Clearly Twitter is a big part of these people's lives, since it was the first mode of communication they thought of after deciding to make these announcements.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Add This is a great way into social media

Up until now I really haven't looked into social media much. I've been flat out blogging, writing articles, and basically making a living in my "real" job. But lately, I have finally started getting into social media. I can now really see the benefits.

One tool that is a great way to get into it is Add This. It's basically a button that you can add to your blogs, sites and posts which facilitates their addition to a whole host of social bookmarking, networking, blogging and micro-blogging sites. (You can see the button below and also in the right panel.)

Apart from anything else, just the list of these sites on Add This is a great resource. There are hundreds of them! This aspect of internet promotion is fascinating, and I regret having neglected it for so long.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Company and product names in blog post titles

Just another thought about choice of keywords: I have found that it's worth putting the names of organizations, companies (and even specific products) in the titles of the posts that you write about them.

The reason is not just because people search for these keywords when trying to get honest, unbiased information about them. But those representing these entities will sometimes search for them as well, usually seeking out positive comment. (And of course their critics will do the same, looking for negative blog posts. So it cuts both ways! You don't always need to write nice things. Still, it pays to be fair and balanced, even if you are being critical.)

As a result of this tactic, you might get the odd link back from one of these company blogs or sites, or even have your post submitted to various social bookmarking sites.