Archives - October, 2009



27 Oct 09

I’m often asked how I could POSSIBLY manage to keep up with the constant stream of tweets from SO many followers (I don’t have nearly as many followers as many of my friends, but compared to others, 2700 is a lot).

Here’s my top 10 list of actions, applications and websites that will help you be more productive and keep on top of the Madness.

  1. TweetDeck – You have to get this.  You have to learn how to use it.  It will change how you look at Twitter.  A couple months ago I put together a “Video: Intro to TweetDeck” (program has been updated since my video blog, but still very similar).  It’s quite a simple program, but what I love most about it is that I can categorize all the different followers into different columns.  So, I’ll have “Friends” in one column, “Legal Tweeps” in another, and “Seattle folks” in a third column.  I’ll also have one column dedicated to @replies, DM’s and one for my Facebook stream.  With all this you can now see everything spread out on one screen.
  2. Upload a picture to your Twitter profile – I’ve actually heard some friends say they refuse to follow someone who doesn’t bother to change from the default image.  If you don’t like the idea of it being a picture of you, get one of your dog or a tree.  Anything but the default twitter image!  People will respect you more.  :)  While you’re at it, make sure to add your real name, your location and a bio.  Also, for a web link use your LinkedIN page if you don’t have a blog or website to direct folks to!  :)
  3. Get involved in your local Social Media Community – in Seattle we have the Social Media Club Seattle (a/k/a SMC Seattle) and you can also find events going on locally at twtvite.  Why bother with Twitter if you’re not going to use it to it’s advantages?  Turn those online relationships into real ones!  If you have a hard time finding people to follow, go to an event and meet some folks.  It will energize you to get involved.
  4. Find Followers – Using websites like wefollow will help you find twitter followers in topic areas you might be interested in.  If you work in Legal (as a lawyer or otherwise) you can check out LexTweet (operated by LexBlog).  There are TONS of other websites out there to help you find followers.  Plus your friends will likely participate in #FollowFriday (#FF) where they recommend people to follow!  This is a great way to for you to find like-minded people.
  5. Tweet on the Go! If you use a “Smartphone” there are lots of options for reading and sending Tweets on the Go.  For iPhone, a must have app is Tweetie (that’s the extend of my iPhone knowledge).  For BlackBerry I would suggest SocialScope, IF you get it.  It’s been in closed beta since January of 2009, I have hope it’ll be released to the general public soon.  Otherwise Ubertwitter is a great alternative.
  6. Tweeting Articles – Some folks live on Twitter simply to share and read articles that they love!  One easy way I do that is by using Viigo on my BlackBerry.  Every morning when I’m on the bus I’m constantly reading articles from news papers and blogs.  Using Viigo with just two clicks I’ve submitted the article to Twitter.  Very simple.  Also, if you’re reading a blog you might notice that beside each article you see a Share This button or a Twitter/Facebook button.  USE THEM!  Tell your following you’ve found something they might be interested in!  (TweetDeck has URL shrinking build in.  So if you paste a long URL address it will shrink the address for you)
  7. Re-Tweeting – Want to get someone’s attention? When you see something that someone has sent out and want to share it with your followers you “re-tweet” it.  On TweetDeck that’s a specific command.  You’ll know retweets because they start with “RT”.  When you RT someone’s tweet it tells them you like what they’ve circulated.  Some even take the time to thank folks personally for RTing their tweets.  This is a great way to increase your social profile. (Found this Re-tweet Etiquette very interesting)
  8. Sharing Twitter Responsibilities – If you have a Twitter account for your company, organization or non-profit you should consider sharing the Twitter responsibilities with others.  One very popular and EASY way to do that is to use a site called CoTweet. Here you can both send out tweets from your organization OR from your personal account.  You can also assign specific people to reply to specific tweets.  This takes the burden off of one single participant and allows others to get involved.
  9. Read Trust Agents!  If you want to feel part of the Social Media community and really be able to best “take advantage” of the relationships you build, Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, is a fun and very helpful read.  I recently wrote a review of the book “Review: Trust Agents“.
  10. Distributing Your Twitter Handle – First off, DON’T protect your Twitter profile.  It’s just dumb.  If you don’t want certain people to see what you say, then either Twitter isn’t for you OR you shouldn’t say “it” to begin with.  Next, I put a little clear sticker on the back of my normal business cards that have my Twitter handle on it and my blog URL.  This allows me to give folks that info when doing a traditional business card exchange.

BONUS: Be a person, not a company.  People want to connect with People, not companies.  It might feel nicer for you to be more anonymous as “XYZ Corporation”, but you’ll end up just that, anonymous.  People usually hate following companies and are generally suspicious of companies who follow them.

OK, that offically wraps up my rendition of “Top 10 Twitter Tips”.  Hope you find them helpful.  Drop me a line anytime.  I love interacting with folks.

Tweet ya later!!!


Filed under: Social Media,Twitter

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25 Oct 09

First off, I believe this book is well intentioned for corporate folks who have large organizations begging them to understand what this “whole social media thing” is all about.  It’s very appealing to this audience for a few reasons.  1) The methodical approach to much of the first 2/3 of the book are getting folks to understand the statistical value of target markets relating to technology, referred to as “Technographics”.  This approach could be very helpful to folks who need statistics to prove anything to someone else.  2) Lots of large companies are used in the Case Study examples.  Again, I believe this approach gives anyone who works in what they believe is a “stodgy corporate environment” hope that their organization too can overcome the fears of innovation.

My biggest concern about this book is that it really seems more as a sales pitch for consulting company where the authors work, Forrester Research.  This really puts me off, but alas, there were lots of gems gleaned in these pages.

This book couldn’t be further opposite of “Trust Agents” if it tried.  They only really have one thing in common and that is “people connect to people”.  I repeat, “People connect to People!”

Although I like the idea that they have a winning step by step approach for entering the Groundswell (the large uprising of customers voicing opinions and blogs about you online where you have no control), but I also worry that issuing a step by step approach to a crowd who are likely reading this book because they don’t know where to start, is like telling someone how to build a watch when they ask for the time.

The one missing message of this book was “just try it”.  Especially if you are in a much smaller environment (and I’ll bet you are) than the examples of companies given in the book.  In the legal administrator ranks we have a term called “Paralysis by Analysis” and it’s exactly what it sounds like.  People and companies will continue to put off the inevitable by over analyzing the circumstances or waiting for one more example of what can go wrong.

I don’t believe this book gives you everything you need to start a complex groundswell engagement if you’re a large company, but after all now you know that Forrester Research has the capacity and technical skills to help you over analyze the situation of your customer base and determine exactly what direction you need to go in.

I found it absurd to state things like, “This solution only cost the company $280,000 to start and maintenance is only $25,000 per month.”  Statements like that help me fully understand that Forrester is targeting much larger fish than me or my firm!  LOL

Don’t get me wrong, I did like the book, but just having finished Trust Agents (a very feel-good and personal book), the writing style and approach from a corporate formula approach just hit me wrong.

I think it was mis-titled.  Should have been “Groundswell: How your Fortune 500 Company will be Transformed by Social Technologies

(This was my second Kindle book completed, but this one I started and finished on my new International Kindle 2! Much nicer to read on!)


Filed under: Management,Social Media,Twitter

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25 Oct 09

Trust Agents is written by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

First off, this was the first book I read “cover to cover” on my Kindle 1 (Kindle gifted to me by my good friend Devri Owen).   As for my Kindle experience, I think more time should have been spent by the publisher to ensure proper formatting of the Kindle version.  It appeared that much of the book was “centered” with the exception of some excerpts which had a significant left indent, leaving 1/3 of the left side of the page blank, which you couldn’t entirely understand why in the Kindle.

So, about the book and content.  I loved it.  But I’m heavily involved already in Social Media.  So, because of the amazing relationships I’ve already built using Social Media, I felt this book perfectly worded my experience.  Of course I’m going to love a book that expresses my own experience.  :)

The big thing about this book for me was simply explaining that it didn’t matter what online tool you were using (twitter, Facebook, etc.), this book is about connect with people using these tools.  It’s about building relationships and becoming a Trust Agent.

One of my favorite messages in the book refers to the “One of Us” mentality. “One of Us” refers to the group of social media fanatics which, if you operate by the methods explained in the book, you get to become “One of Us” and accepted into the inner circle.  Once in the inner circle, you have new social responsibilities.  Perhaps more importantly for this message was that instead of being seen as another corporate sales person you’re “One of Us” by contributing to the overall success of everyone participating.  You connect with people for the sake of helping them accomplish what they need, instead of just reaching out to accomplish the sales needs of your company.

What I loved most about the book was the writing style.  I love reading blogs because people talk like people and not like corporate types.  That’s how this book was written.  It’s written in a very casual blog style.  Writing in this style helps the reader personally identify with the writers.

I work in the legal field (Accounting Manager for Summit Law Group).  So, as you may not know, trying new things in the legal field is very suspect to those around you.  Especially when you operate by the “Trust Agent” standards of just meeting people, trying to connect with them, helping them out with things, all while not forcing your own business down their throat.  So, I am often asked how my social media involvement helps my firm (usually by those outside my firm).  I often have to explain that I love helping people connect with others.  I’ve met HUNDREDS of the people that I tweet with and those folks I consider good friends.  I know that if/when they need legal services they will contact me to see if I know of someone (inside my organization or other) who can help them with their issues.  They contact me for a few different reasons.  MOSTLY because I’ve built a “One of Us” relationship with them where they feel I’m a friend and can be trusted for such a reference.  Although I have hundreds of Social Media contacts, I have even MORE contacts in the local legal community and will work very hard to help them find the counsel they need to solve their issue.

If you are already using Twitter (in specific, although Chris and Julien avoid specifying the online tools), this book will help you enhance relationships on Twitter.  It’s excellent at reminding you that people connect with people, not businesses.  A business who is involved with Social Media will never be a trust agent (my words not theirs).  A business might be a source of information.  But people connect with people.

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

If you have a Kindle, pick up this book here at Amazon.com or you can buy the hard-copy book also at Amazon.com


Filed under: Social Media

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13 Oct 09

Today Doctor of Blogging for Lawyers Kevin O’Keefe posts his newest blog entry “Companies and law firms blocking use of social media : Insanity is rampant“.  And even though the author of the statistics posts a correction to Kevin’s blog, the results are quite amazing!

You have to take a look!


Filed under: Blogging,Social Media,Twitter

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