Stone Atwine – Social Media Simplicity

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.

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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 | http://bit.ly/dCYLk6 or #How To Disable Google #Buzz| http://bit.ly/981wxp 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 bit.ly

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

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] http://goo.gl/fb/HAhq

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.

Facebook

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

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.

Google To Launch Social Media Feature For Gmail Users

Posted in Uncategorized by stoneatwine on February 9, 2010

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is about to launch a Twitter and Facebook killer.

It is a feature which will make it easier for Gmail users to view and share their status updates.

Rumor has it that Google could launch this feature as soon as this week.

It should be noted that Gmail users can already update their statuses but as soon as a new update gets posted, the previous one disappears. Users will be able to see stream of updates and the feature will be integrated with YouTube and photo-sharing site Picasa.

I doubt that this will have a huge bearing on Twitter and Facebook but it will all depend on how Google delivers this one. Yahoo previously launched a feature that’s almost the same but not many people are using it.

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What is Twitter?

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on February 4, 2010

I was wondering what my first post about Twitter would be and my friend David K asked me to start by explaining Twitter.

Wikipedia gives this explanation:

Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.

It’s a Microblog

Let’s start by saying that Twitter is a blog, a small blog but a blog nonetheless. It is a smaller, more stripped-down version of Facebook. Imagine if all Facebook had were status updates. With Twitter you can only broadcast messages not more than 140 characters long.

Tweets

Tweets are those messages that one sends out which get displayed in the author’s homepage and also in the time-lines of the people who follow him/her. They can include any kind of information, be it what one is doing, a new blog post, opinions, links to articles, anything.

Followers

A follower is one who subscribes to another person’s tweets.

There’s a follow button on every Twitter profile that is used to ‘follow’ people of interest. On the profile page, Twitter also shows the number of followers one has and the number of people one is following in addition to Name, Location, Website, number of tweets to-date and a short bio also 140 characters long.

Don’t Leave Too Soon

Newbies can easily misunderstand Twitter but if they take time to stick around and understand it, they soon realize that it is quite interesting and beneficial.

So tweet away and don’t forget to follow me here.

Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.

First Post

Posted in Uncategorized by stoneatwine on February 2, 2010

Hello,

My name is Stone Atwine and this is my ‘official’ blog.

I own an ICT company called BlissOne MEDIA. (I also do a drive-time radio show but that’s not very critical to this blog)  We do lots of computer related work like computer training, computer software & hardware sales, ICT consulting and outsourced online work. We also have an Internet café wing. Of late, companies and organizations have contacted me hoping to get some help with social media issues. Because of this, I decided it was time to turn this social tech blogging idea that I’ve had for a very long time into a reality. I can offer a bit of knowledge and advice in that field. I am a life long student of all things computer and a very big fan of emerging technologies.

I am sure people who have consulted me about issues concerning social sites like Facebook and Twitter have found my advice very useful. I have over 8 years experience in the ICT sector in Uganda and a number of ICT related articles have quoted me.

I will be blogging about these particular sites (and others like them) and most of my posts will be about basic tips and tricks to help enhance the experience of using them. I believe that simplicity is key to understanding this often misunderstood concept of social media. I am a news junkie and so expect a lot of social media news too; new trends in social media & ICT, services, products, apps and other news along those lines.

I am blogging to bring all things social media closer to you. So I hope you come back.

Feel free to leave comments, questions, disagreements or advice of any sort. You can also drop me an email at: stone@blissonemedia.com

This is just the beginning.

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