Stone Atwine – Social Media Simplicity

Why I Tweet And You Should Too – Commentary in Kampala Dispatch Magazine

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on September 22, 2010

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I did a commentary for Kampala Dispatch Magazine.

Check it out here; Why I Use Twitter And You Should Too

Follow Kampala Dispatch on Twitter here: Kampala Dispatch Twitter

Kampala Dispatch Homepage


Why Would Twitter Fight Us, The Users?

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on May 19, 2010

@arkarthick has brought it to my attention (by way of a tweet) that Twitter has started screening tweets with RT out of their searches.

I think this is a deliberate way of forcing us to use the official twitter retweet button that has now been around for some time.

Problem is; the official Twitter retweet button has some setbacks that make people hate to use it.

I think Twitter is going wrong here by removing information that is very vital to the twitter ecosystem.

As for now, use ‘via’, ‘TR’ or ‘R’ in place of ‘RT’ e.g. R @username. Also, mark that any retweet that you make which includes ‘RT’ will not come up in Twitter searches.

When we all agree on one way to retweet, maybe we will get a new standard. I am sure Twitter will shoot the new one down as well but let’s not give up.

HOW TO Block People On Facebook

Posted in facebook by stoneatwine on April 13, 2010

How To Block Someone On Facebook

Some people on Facebook are so annoying with their comments, status updates and other means of communication that you just want to block them and tell yourself they never existed.

Today I’m going to explain how to block that cyber bully or that annoying person completely so you never have to hear from them again.

Blocking Someone

There are 3 ways to block someone.

1. Navigate to the Facebook Privacy Settings page and click “Block List.” Enter the name or email address of the person you want to block in the appropriate field and click “Block.” You can also use the “Privacy” link from the Account Drop-down menu when you are signed in to Facebook.

After clicking the highlighted “Privacy Settings” link highlighted on the right, click the “Block List” link highlighted in the image below.

2. If you fail to search for and find that person, go to their profile page. There’s a “Report/Block this Person” link at the bottom left hand corner of their profile page. After clicking this link, check the “Block this person” box and then click “Submit.”

3. You can also block someone through the “Report” link located next to messages in your Inbox.

What Happens When You Block Someone?

A block prevents the blocked person from seeing your profile. Any Facebook ties you have with that person will be broken. You wont appear in their search results and your profile will be invisible to them. Before you block someone, take it in mind that the blocked person will also be invisible to you. It’s a two-way thing.

Also, if at any point you want to reinstate a connection with that person after removing them from your blocked list, you will have to initiate a new friend request.

Will They Know?

The Blocked person will not be notified. If you are unable to block someone using  the above method, they have probably left Facebook, restricted their privacy settings or Blocked you themselves.

What If You Can’t Find The Person You Want To Block

If you fail to find the person you want to block, you can also block that person by submitting their email address. Go to the Facebook Privacy Settings page and click “Block List.” Enter the email address of the person you want to block in the Email field and click “Block.”
If the submitted email address is associated with a Facebook account, that user will be blocked. If the address is not associated with an account, the user will be automatically blocked if they open an account in the future.

Top Ten Ways To Get You Retweeted

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on March 23, 2010
Retweeting is posting a tweet that has already been authored by someone else. It’s usually expressed by preceding the original twitterer’s username with ‘RT’ or ‘via’. E.g. RT @Flipbooks Six Ways To Increase Your Twitter Followers by @StoneAtwine | or #How To Disable Google #Buzz| via @StoneAtwine

For various reasons, most of us want to get retweeted on Twitter.

I have compiled the top ten ways to get retweeted.

1. Share Links

Sharing links in your tweets will most probably get you retweeted. If there’s a link, it means that there’s more information attached to the tweet so it provides more value and people like to share valuable things.

2. Tweet New Information

If your tweet has information that has been around the twittersphere for some time, people will not develop an interest in the tweet and will not retweet it.

3. Don’t Swear

No one likes to share swearing language so avoid swear words as much as possible.

4. Short Tweets

Keep your tweets short. Twitter has a limit of 140 characters which must include the subject of your tweet, maybe a link, RT or via and the username of the original twitterer. Endeavor to leave enough space for the person retweeting to add your username.

5. Tweet About Twitter

Many people like to read about Twitter or to learn things about Twitter. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing this post about Twitter. People like to share information about twitter.

6. Break News

If a tweet breaks the most recent news, it will most probably get retweeted because people like to share the latest news. Imagine how the first tweet to break news of the Haiti earthquake got retweeted.

7. Please RT

Ask people to retweet your tweets. It’s amazing how big a difference people who ask for help get helped. I once asked Blair Semenoff (@Flipbooks) to retweet my tweet and it got me hundreds of retweets and more than 1000 blog visits.

8. Use

There are so many link shortening services but the most widely used is which seems to get more retweets than any other. Maybe this trend will change with time but now the biggest percentage of retweets have links.

9. Teach New Things

If your tweet has a link that teaches people how to do something, then you will get retweeted. People like to learn new things and will share them with friends.

10. Tweet Quotes

Nice quotes always get retweeted. I like to retweet interesting quotes that I find on Twitter and I’m sure so do many other people.

HOW TO Disable Google Buzz

Posted in Google Buzz by stoneatwine on March 15, 2010

Since Google Buzz was launched, a big number of people have complained about it.

Maybe you were unhappy with Buzz privacy settings which were confusing and you couldn’t tell if your information was public or private.

Or you already use Twitter and Facebook and you are not ready to take on another social networking service.

You might even not be happy with having Buzz within Gmail.

Whatever your reason is, here is how to disable Google Buzz

1. Click Settings at the top right of your Gmail page

2. Click the Buzz tab

3. You’ll see options for disabling Buzz on the Buzz tab. Choose the appropriate one. You can even disable Buzz completely.

4. Save changes

Another way to do it simply scroll down on you Gmail page and click turn off buzz in the Gmail View section

Six Ways To Increase Your Twitter Followers

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on March 14, 2010

We all want to increase the number of followers we have on Twitter. Unless you are a celebrity or popular for other reasons besides tweeting, you have to take the slow road to Twitter stardom.

Pic courtesy of djcodrin

Here are my top six ways to gain Twitter followers.

1. Tweet Content

People will consider following you if your tweet content is informative, educative, funny or somewhat useful to them. I tend to look at a Twitterer’s stream before I decide to follow them to see if they will give any value.

2. Bio

Twitterers who fill out their bio and explain who they are and what they do gain people’s trust easily. It gives the follower a feeling that they know you already and they can trust you.

3. Be Nice and Human

I find that it’s easier for me to follow twitterers that are warm and friendly. I have had to unfollow a few people because they seemed cold and heartless just from their tweets. People who are all business no fun really don’t impress me.

4. Engage/Interact

This is almost similar to 3 above but I wanted to mention it separately. Everyone loves a conversation or argument of some kind. I have silently fallen in love with some tweeter accounts just because the people behind them are constantly talking to other people. Providing value, jokes, inspiration and many other nice things through engagement.

5. Follow Back

This is one way that can surely gain you followers but I am not a fan of. There are lots of people out there that try to follow back as many people as they can. All you have to do is follow them. Whereas this works, I think it diminishes the value of your stream. I like to see tweets that are relevant and informative to me so I never follow people just because they’ve followed me. I have to mention that there are many people who are on Twitter to send out a message but don’t read that many tweets. This is  great for those kinds of people.

6. ReTweet

Everyone loves having their tweet retweeted. If you show people some retweet love, they might show their gratefulness by following you.

Whereas none of these points is a sure way to gain thousands of followers, doing most or all of them is a good start to increasing you follower numbers.

Twitter Glossary – 15 Common Twitter Terms Explained

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on March 10, 2010

Here are some common Twitter Terms that you might find helpful.

Tweet: A post made on Twitter by a user.

ReTweet or RT: Reposting something that has already been posted on the Twitter stream. RT usually precedes the original poster to give credit. E.g. RT @problogger New at ProBlogger: How to Blog: Choose a Niche for Your Blog [Why Niches are Important]

DM: This is a Direct Message sent to a twitter user. One has to follow you in order to DM them. DMs don’t appear in the public twitter stream but go directly to the receiver’s inbox.

Via: This can sometimes be used in place of RT. E.g. What are some of the good alternatives to PayPal? via @stoneatwine

Follow: If someone’s tweets appear in your stream then you are following them.

Follower: Someone who is reading your tweets

Unfollow or De-Friend: This is when someone stops reading your tweets.

@ Reply: The @ symbol is used to reply to a twitter user. E.g. @StoneAtwine @normzo Orange Uganda is a very new entrant into that market & best of class, so they’re able to screw us over. #nocompetition

# (Hashtag):A hash symbol is used to comment about a certain topic in a tweet so that people searching for it can easily find it. Searching for #iran will give you all the tweets that contain news about Iran

Twitterer/Tweeter: Someone who uses Twitter

Tweeple: People who use Twitter

Tweeps: Twitter friends that one is constantly in touch with. Think about ‘Peeps’

Twitterati: A-list Twitter users or Twitter élite. These usually have a big number of followers and are somewhat famous and influential in Twitter circles. These include people like @chrisbrogan, @Scobleizer, @GuyKawasaki, @mashable, @aplusk and @tmsruge (upon request in comments below).

Twittosphere: The collective group of people who tweet.

Link: Including a URL in your tweet.

Feel free to add some common twitter terms that I might have left out in the comments.

Google Buzz Explained

Posted in facebook, Google Buzz, twitter by stoneatwine on February 24, 2010

What is Google Buzz?

Google Buzz is a social networking tool built within Google’s email service Gmail. Buzz is like an RSS feed but it’s also completely social and has some Facebook-like features like sharing links, updates, pictures, and videos in real-time. It also allows us to like and comment.

Like Friendfeed

If you have used Friendfeed, (acquired by Facebook) then Buzz will be easy to grasp. Although Buzz has both Facebook and Twitter Features, it looks and works more like Friendfeed than Twitter of Facebook.

Mobile Support

Both personal computers (Mac too) and mobile devices can access Google Buzz. At a later date, Google will release Buzz for business. Buzz can also be turned on and off from inside Gmail.

Other Websites

Google Buzz allows you to add other sites like Picasa, Google Reader, Flickr, Twitter and other blogs or sites to your profile and every time a new you post from any of those sites, your content will automatically show up in Buzz.

It also sends responses to your posts straight to your Gmail inbox so you don’t get to miss out on anything of interest.

The Buzz Experience

I have found Buzz excellent for engagement. Many people who are actively using it testify to its ease of use in regards to engagement and discussions. But it is also very very noisy. Every post that gets a comment is automatically sent to the top and this makes it hard for me to keep track of things.

Google has solved the privacy issues that people were initially complaining about upon launch where Buzz would automatically follow people it deemed your ‘friends’ on your behalf.

Social Media in Business

Posted in Uncategorized by stoneatwine on February 15, 2010

Social networking is the in-thing online now. It’s so in vogue with web people that every business needs to hop on the train before it’s too late.

Social networking sites make it easier for people to stay in touch with each other and with businesses.

I would like to talk about the role that the two most popular social media sites play in business. Those two are Facebook and Twitter. The reason that today’s businesses need to join social networking sites is because that is where an increasing number of customers and potential customers are hanging out. Businesses always want to engage with customers and to attract others so these social media sites offer yet another platform for improving the customer service experience.


Some people continue to use email less and less and rely more on Facebook messages as the number one way to communicate.

Facebook has over 400 million active users with the average user spending 55 minutes on the site daily.

Facebook allows people and companies to create profiles and pages where information like status updates, links, pictures and video get shared. Using Facebook pages, groups and profiles, people, organizations and businesses form ever-expanding networks of friends and fans that constantly share information.

Businesses with a Facebook presence have a huge chance of being more connected to their clients and customers. The more fans a Facebook page has, the higher chances of interactivity.


Twitter is a micro-blogging platform where short posts (known as tweets) are sent out in real-time. Tweets are limited to 140 characters and because of this it helps to make them clear and to the point.

Users post tweets and/or follow other people, businesses or organizations. Hash tags are words or statements preceded with the # character (e.g. #Vday) that aid in searches for information on Twitter. User addresses preceded with the @ character (@StoneAtwine) are used to identify Twitter users.

Twitter has gained so much popularity that some businesses (like Dell, Starbucks, Whole Foods) have taken full advantage of its use to increase or improve their customer interaction.

Businesses can gain followers on Twitter by running giveaways, promotions and all kinds of competitions. If a business gets a big number of followers, every tweet that the business sends out has the potential of sending out a positive message to a huge number of customers.

Twitter can also be used by businesses to keep track of competitors’ plans and promotions just by following the competitors.

It can be used to engage followers and find out what they like and don’t like. It helps businesses to listen to what customers are saying and does help to even out the one-way communication route that most traditional businesses are used to.

Be Social

Friends, fans or followers on social media sites should not be treated as consumers by constantly pushing adverts down their throats. They should be engaged as real people which should help businesses maintain a human touch.

Don’t Miss Out

C.E.O’s and other decision makers may wonder why they need to take on extra work on Facebook and Twitter but social networking can only be ignored at your business’ loss because that’s where an increasing number of your customers and potential customers are hanging out.

Google Buzz Launched

Posted in Uncategorized by stoneatwine on February 10, 2010

In trying to save itself from totally being drowned out from social media scene by Facebook and Twitter, Google has – as previously rumored – launched its service, named Google Buzz.

Google Buzz makes it easy for Gmail users to share status updates and content across the web including photos and video. It will be integrated with Google’s photo-sharing site Picasa and video-sharing site YouTube.

Buzz will also have a mobile site and Google intends to launch Buzz for businesses at a later stage.

At the Tuesday press conference, Google Buzz product manager Todd Jackson said “You will automatically follow the people you e-mail and chat with on a regular basis. You will be able to share content from around the Web, including YouTube videos, Flickr photos, site links and other materials. You will be able to share your thoughts in a public way and in a private way. You will get social updates in your inbox. And Google will help you find only the stuff that matters by recommending popular content. The mobile version of Buzz can figure out where you are and show you nearby buzz posts.”

Google has so far failed to get a stronghold in social networking with its Orkut service failing miserably in other parts of the world apart from Brazil where it is hugely popular.

Even with this effort, I think Google will still struggle to beat Facebook and Twitter because I don’t see any reason anyone already using the latter two would want to sign up for Buzz.

If you don’t see Google Buzz in your Gmail, take heart because it is slowly being rolled out and all Gmail users will eventually be able to use it.