Meet Screenr

November 30th, 2009

Screenr is a cool app that is married to Twitter but also lets you connect to other parts of the web. What it does is let you record your screen movements in a resizable window and then upload it as a video. It pretty much begs you to Tweet it through its tight integration with Twitter, but you can upload from the admin to YouTube, or you can embed it in your blog, as I do below.

I made this screenr for a presentation at SLOSTC — Hope I get a chance to use it! — so there’s no sound on it because I’ll talking over it (I won’t have good speakers at the event, but online it would work well with voice).

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Social Media Promo

November 17th, 2009

Erik Qualman wanted to get help promoting his new book, Socialnomics, so he made this video viral-bait (can I say that?).  It’s been kicked around the Internet so much I’ll be surprised if you haven’t seen it.  But if you are one of the few, this is a pushy, catchy, in your face statement that Social Media Marketing is HERE and NOW.

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Using Google Wave

November 14th, 2009

Google Wave has been in beta for several months now and it’s still a trending topic.  In this post, I want to link you to some Wave examples collected by Mashable.  For a basic review, re-visit my earlier post on Google Wave.

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Has Twitter Had It?

November 14th, 2009

Amazing how fast this meme has spread:  did you hear?  Twitter’s visitors fell in October! The party is over!

Or maybe not. The information that is generating all this buzz is in the new data that shows Twitter unique visitors declined 8% in October, to a bit under 20 million.  The chart I’m importing here is from Mashable’s article, which uses data from Compete.

Mashable: Compete Data Shows Twitter Flatlining

Mashable: Compete Data Shows Twitter Flatlining

Not to be outdone, TechCrunch published a trouble with twitters article using similar data, this time from ComScore.  Their chart looks pretty much like the one above.

Can it be true?  I’m betting it’s not.  The unique visitors counts certainly don’t include all the mobile use, and do they include users who never actually go to Twitter to post their tweets, using Tweetdeck or Seesmic or something (someone out there knows the answer to this question — please let me know).

In addition, Twitter just signed big search deals with Bing and Google that are barely off the ground. These deals cannot manufacture Twitter visitors overnight, but they certainly can help Twitter keep operating while they build out their platform — and who knows what we’ll see.  I for one am going to be more inclined to use Twitter now simply because I can post updates to LinkedIn simply by adding #in to the tweet, an upgrade just about a week old.

Twitter is a professional’s tool, a business tool.  So it’s not going to get a lot of purely social users and that limits its growth.  But not its value.  I’m more interested in seeing how intensely people use it to share and communicate with peers, or between company and customer. Building out from the Lists function to give companies private networks has often been mentioned as one direction Twitter can go.  There will be other uses.

I think it still has legs.

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Google Wave

November 12th, 2009

There has been so much buzzzzz around Google Wave.  It’s like the launch of the iPhone except I can’t get one!  I’m not on the list!  Can some one help, please?

Luckily, there’s a lot of publishers online who DO have beta accounts, so you can get a look at Google Wave in advance even if you are among the unwashed. Of all the short treatments I’ve seen so far, the one I’ve liked best is from Mashable. This was first published in May and updated several times since — it’s still a hot topic on Mashable for good reason.

Now, if you want the long treatment, take a look at this free ‘Complete Guide to Google Wave‘ by Gina Trapani and Adam Pash.  Edited by Trapani with an assist from Pash, you can browse through chapters online at the site in the link.  You will also be able to purchase a PDF download any day now.  Maybe right now.  Thanks to these guys for putting this together.

My biggest problem in this post is that I don’t know how to categorize it.  The Wave is something new.

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Tweets to LinkedIn

November 10th, 2009

Yet another deal for Twitter, this time to connect tweets to update feature in LinkedIn. This is more confirmation that Twitter is in for the long haul – who needs advertising when you can cut deals like this?

I think it also confirms Twitter’s status as a professional’s tool.  It’s a good place to follow and talk with people in your industry, or to search for conversions about your business. You can use it, like LinkedIn, to market yourself.

And, finally, one more time:  open networks beat walled gardens on the Internet.  People are starting to speculate whether Facebook is at its peak or even starting to decline, while Twitter continues to grow.  The very public nature of Twitter is what makes it go.

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Eric Schmidt on the State of the Internet

October 28th, 2009

Yeah, pretty big topic, but this video is a quick intro, and if you want more, you can link out to YouTube and hear the whole thing.  This is really exciting stuff.  No place for cynicism here.  (Thanks to Marshall Kirkpatrick and ReadWriteWeb)

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Follow Search on Twitter

October 23rd, 2009

Lots of search engine deals with Twitter this past week, first Bing, then Google.  I like Adam Ostrow’s comment at Mashable about how these deals validate Twitter’s model:  With a fresh $100 million in the bank and both Google and Microsoft implementing tweets in search, it looks like Twitter is in it for the long haul.

First, there’s Bing.  Bing Twitter is Microsoft’s take on the up to the second data stream of tweets.  It would simply be another Twitter search, except Bing has analyzed the data stream to eliminate a lot of redundant tweets, and you can select a ‘best match’ option rather than the default ‘latest’ post option to try to boost relevancy. Bing also gives you two sets of results, first the most recent tweets themselves in chrono order, and then the most popular links within tweets.

Bing says they evaluate the authority of tweets by looking at the number of followers of the post plus the retweet pattern.  This is a beta release, so it isn’t always right on target, but it’s an interesting addition to the ever-growing world of search.

I think it helps a lot with some of the kinds of searches I might do, like reputation management for a customer.  For a really thorough and typically good treatment of this, see Danny Sullivan’s post at Search Engine Land.

Then Google makes a splashy announcement almost within a day that it has reached an agreement with Twitter to use its data in real time search results.  Google hasn’t yet rolled out how it will integrate that data into search results — might be a separate index, like Microsoft — but I think it will  have some kind of user option built into it, probably in the ‘show options’ like you have for blogs, video and so forth.  Then again, that’s probably way too easy for Google.  What will they think of next?

On that note, there’s Danny Sullivan again, this time gushing about Google Social SearchI don’t see a lot of things that make me go “wow,” that’s useful. This did.

Google has yet another beta product here (and I do not know where in the world they get the ideas for all the stuff they roll out, but they are busy!).  The basic idea of Google Social Search is to extend the personalization of your search results by linking them to your networks of friends.

To make it work, you need a Profile set up on your Google account.  On that profile, if you list your social network accounts (especially Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn — aka the big 3), Google will recognize them and — to the extent they are visible — filter your search results through your friends.  Somehow.  I haven’t seen it done yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

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Stairway to Social Media Heaven

October 21st, 2009

Always on the lookout for ways to simplify (and understand) complex things, I ran across this column from Erik Qualman in Search Engine Watch.  He’s got this nice quick way to summarize how a company might use social media to promote its products or services (and a couple of the comments on the column add to it). I don’t think you’ll see anything new here, but it really helps to lay out the framework — the pieces make more sense that way.  In bullet points:

  • The very first step is to listen to what’s being said in the social media world about your company and your product.
  • THEN you begin to interact, without a hard sell, building your brand reputation.
  • THEN you begin to make sales through these channels because your brand and your authenticity are recognized.
  • AND THEN you continue the cycle by remaining engaged with the customer who bought your product.
  • And begin again in a virtuous circle.

Qualman has a nice diagram (see below) that captures the idea as an escalator that carries you in an upward direction by continuously cycling steps up around and down.  Continuous monitoring and improvement, one more time.

Socialnomics Escalator of Erik Qualman

Socialnomics Escalator of Erik Qualman

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Shakeout in Social Media

October 14th, 2009

Facebook is kicking sand in MySpace face.  And walking away with the prizes, too. Twitter has leveled off heading into fall — a lull?  or a ceiling?

Hitwise recent research shows some huge changes in the social media world over the past year. Facebook’s surge seems to be continuing as it climbs toward 400 million subscribers worldwide. First, here’s the numbers as reported in Online Media Daily:

chartOMD-1012a-475

The fall of MySpace must make Rupert Murdock’s teeth ache.  It still has lots of loyalty (a class-leading time on site nearly 30 minutes), but the numbers are hard to look at from an ad network’s point of view.  Nothing here about the demographics on MySpace, but my guess is it stills skews very young which makes it a good target for lots of products aiming at the college kids and younger.

Facebook, though, is catching on with the older crowd.  Fastest growing group on FB is 55+ — all those jokes about Grandma spying on her grandkids by getting on Facebook have been overtaken by the reality that Grandma’s circle of friends is getting into the game as well.  And Facebook is still about personal networks of friends keeping up with each other efficiently and in a convenient way online.

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