Quiz Result: I’m a Twitter bad ass!

Not that wasn’t aware of this, but now it’s official: I’m Twitter bad ass, says SEM-Group.net’s Which type of Twitter user are you? quiz I found via SEOSmarty:

Learn Which Type of Twitter User You Are

datadirt’s Result: Twitter Bad Ass
You Tweet like a bluejay on crack! You spend hours upon hours each day/week
finding quality content and relevant news to tweet to your followers. You have a reputation for tweeting quality content and along with this comes a small cult
following that thanks you. Excellent job you “Twitter bad ass”!

Twitter bad ass

Quiz School Take this quiz & get your result

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Interview: Loïc Le Meur on Seesmic and Twitter

During the World Blogging Forum 2009 us participants where quite busy, even during the breaks – so I interviewed French web-shooting star Loïc Le Meur, who left Baguette et Bourdeaux behind and moved to Silicon Valley, in the bus, on the way to the conference.

Loïc Le Meur was Excecutive Vice President of Europa, Africa and the Middle East for SixApart, the inventors of Movable Type. Before he took this job, Loïc had already gathered reputation as a “notorious serial-founder” in France, having successfully sold two of his previous start-ups (RapidSite webhosting and Ublog blog-hosting). These success stories definitely proved helpful in the process of raising investor money for Seesmic. 13 investors, among them TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington and AOL co-founder Steve Case, handed Loïc Le Meur 6 million dollars to establish Seesmic as the prime service for “video-twittering”. But when user growth stagnated in a pretty early stage, Loïc decided to change the strategy and threw the moving images over-board. Since the beginning of 2009, Seesmic is focussing on Twitter Clients. Currently the company offers two free producs: Seesmic Desktop is a windows client software (comparable to Tweetdeck), and Seesmic web offers a browser-based Twitter inbox. Enjoy the interview!

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/7865227[/vimeo] Read more

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 26/2009

“Welcome to the world of tomorrow!” No, that’s not right. Let me try again: “Welcome to the world of the last seven days!” That sounds better! There’s a lot to show-and-tell, so without any further ado, let’s jump straight into last week’s social media news.

The Future of Facebook

There’s been a lot of talk about Facebook’s future last week. Regular Geek views the new multiQuery API plus the profile search as two important steps in opening the walled garden:

There is a very strong feeling from developers that a closed system like Facebook cannot succeed. While I tend to agree that a completely closed system will have difficulties, Facebook has slowly opened up little by little to a decently open system. They still have some work to do before they become as open as Twitter, but the foundation has been started.

And Copyblogger, even goes a step further in explaining “How Facebook kills SEO”:

But the rise of Facebook creates a growing segment of the web that’s completely invisible to search engines – most of which, Facebook blocks – and can be seen only by logged-in Facebook users. So as Facebook becomes ever larger, and keeps more users inside its walled garden, your web site will need to appear in Facebook’s feeds and searches or you will miss out on an important source of web traffic.

ReadWriteWeb looks even further into the future. My guess is that scenario 4, “distributed social networking”, has a huge potential, and Google wave might give this a huge boost:

The next step after Facebook may be no social network in particular at all – it may be social networking as a protocol. A set of standards that let you message, share with and travel to any social network you choose. Suddenly all the social networks have to improve because they are competing on quality of service, over customers that have free will and are able to leave at any time.

From blogging to lifestreaming?

Blogging is dead – that’s what they’ve been saying for a couple of years now. But is lifestreaming here to stay? Of course a social media feed is a welcome guest on many sidebars, and the time budgets are indeed shifting:

It seems as if blogging is becoming old hat, or at least evolving into something smaller, faster, and more portable. I’m with Louis Gray, I’m not going to give up my blog, instead, I think of it as the hub of content, and the rest of the information I aggregate (notice the Twitter bar up top and the Friendfeed integration below). To me, joining the conversation is certainly important, but it doesn’t mean the hub (or corporate website) goes away.

19 Twitter apps compared

Mashable compares 19 twitter clients, from pro-dream-machine to keep-it-simple:

Now that Twitter is older than a toddler, you have a variety to choose from. From apps for groups, Mac and PC specific clients, and apps that let you do a whole lot more than tweet, you can use this guide to help you find the desktop client that’s right for you.

And just in case you don’t know what to do with these clients, take a look at his Mashable posting on twitter strategy..

The matrix tie-knot

I found Henry’s video on Lifehacker – this one should make many Matrix fans quite happy:

If you’re a very sharp-eyed fan of Matrix movie trilogy, you’ll recognize the knot captured below as a rare specimen sported by “The Merovingian.” The knot itself didn’t originate with the movie, and isn’t rightfully named “The Merovingian Knot,” but the Ediety Knot. Still, it’s nearly impossible to find any reference to it independent of the movie, so let’s just keep the Wachowski-an etymology for now.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA-n2xkYX6s[/youtube]

It took me a couple of tries and my knot is still not perfectly symmetric – but I must say: great video-tutorial!

The cost, the pay-off, the quickie

The Cost (and Payoff) of Investing in Social Media sure is an impressive title. So there’s no need for actual arguments, especially when the introduction acts as a series of climaxes:

But is social media right for your business? Could it be a free substitute for a traditional (read: expensive) advertising plan? How much time should be spent in the care and feeding of all those profiles? The answers may surprise you.

It sure did not surprise me – actually, I’d have guessed that the answer would be “maybe”. But one thing I do know for sure: SM strategy (read: social media. don’t read: Sado-Maso) is not a series of quickies and requires careful analysis and planning. So this is probably one of the dumbest quotes I’ve read in a while:

Time is money, but Weathers says it’s all about how you manage it. “Previously wasted down time like sitting in taxis for 20 minutes or standing in a bank line for 10 minutes is now spent on my mobile phone, bouncing between Twitter and Facebook. It’s getting easier and easier, and for branding an entrepreneur, I think it’s golden.”

While writing the occasional tweet on your way to the airport or answering Facebook messages via Smartphone-client is a great time-killer for geeks, this is not what social media marketing is about.

btw: bad, bad entrepreneur.com! Using a javascript that dangles with the contents of the clipboard when copy-pasting is just… not a good thing.

Most WordPress Themes suck!

And it’s Blair Williams who claims that – author of the mighty and highly acclaimed Pretty Links for WordPress. Now we all know that good looks are sometimes sufficient for a night of fun, but if you’re thinking about a long-term relationship, there are plenty not-so-visible factor to be considered: in the case of a WordPress template comment formatting, landing pages and many more are among these. In his post, Blair outlines the 10 most common issues with WordPress templates – definitely worth a look if you’re thinking about switching!

I’ll think a theme looks clean, beautiful and professional — then I install it, have a look under the hood and realize that it has fatal flaws.
This really makes me wonder how many people are slaving away on their websites and blogs all the while their site is dying a slow death because of a WordPress Theme that they think is fine.

Brüno comin’ up

It’s been a while since Sacha Baron Cohen shocked the world as Kastachstan reporter Borat. In his new movie he portrays a gay Austrian fashion journalist – I’m so looking forward to see this film – starting on 10th of July. The trailer is *very* promising:

Pic of the week

Man’s Best Friend is the title of zedzap’s bw-shot – very nice pic, no HDR this time :mrgreen:

hundewoche

Video of the Week

This movie has got it all: action, car stunts, daring love scenes… unlike the director of the latest Bond movie, Asim Varol did a great job:

And that’s it – see you again next week! Thanks for you whuffies and never forget: comments and feedback make blog authors happy :mrgreen:

Input for weekly round-upGot any news you’d like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don’t hesitate to contact me! Of course I’ll include a backlink to your original story.

So don’t hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Weekly Blogistan Round-Up no. 23/2009

This weekly round-up comes with a built-in 24 hours of delay, as the author was extremely busy during the last weekend launching the Austrian Internet Council [site in German]. This was an amazing proof of the power of social media: within the short time span of 5 days we our project was the cover story on ORF FutureZone, Austria’s biggest Tech News site. Crowdsourcing is great, but it can be quite time-consuming, especially when there’s a lot of interest and involvement. So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into this week’s hot social media topics!

Ignore everybody!

breas! Hugh Macleod of Gapingvoid published his first book titled Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity. Just ordered my copy – I’m looking forward to some inspiring quotes and cartoons:

The first rule of business, is never sell something you love. Otherwise you may as well be selling your children.

The Real Pip-Boy Deal

The Pip Boy saved me various time – while I was strolling through the post-nuclear wastelands of Fallout 3. But the nifty little arm-computer might soon enter real life: Engadget shows pictures of an impressive flexible OLED-Display:

The 4-inch organic electroluminescent display sports up to 1.67 million colors, QVGA (320 x 240) 100ppi resolution, and can be bent to a curvature radius of about 2 inches. Hopefully, this doesn’t become a must-have fashion accessory any time soon: while it’s perfectly appropriate attire for post-apocalyptic wastelands, we don’t know how well it’ll fly at the sorts of high society social events we normally frequent.

Seesmic Desktop: no Air required

TechCrunch interviewed Seismic founder Loic LeMeur – and the most charming Leena Rao managed to make the man talk:

According to Le Meur, Seesmic will soon be offering a browser based client. This offering is actually appealing, considering that Adobe’s AIR platform has some strange UI bugs and quirks and tends to use a good amount of resources on computers. And Seesmic will also launch an iPhone app, which is currently under wraps along with the web-based product.

Jeremy’s own Affiliate-Network

Jeremy Shoemaker has been writing about affiliate marketing for quite some time; but recently he launched his own affiliate-network and published a post about his experiences. I’m really curious about his plans:

Sure I hear you… your thinking “Why the hell would you pay people to sign up for a free course?” It’s a great question and I think when the dust settles around the shoemoneyx.com program I will write all about it, why I did what, and what exact effect it had. I do have a method to my madness but it’s not as many have guessed. We will see if it works but that is for another post

Twitter is becoming infrastructure

Regular Geek posted an interview view on twitter – his main point: Twitter is shifting from an online service to a basic infrastructure upon which early adopters are constructing an eco-system:

So, why is marketing and economy so important to Twitter becoming infrastructure? Without an economy building on top of Twitter data and functionality, Twitter would just be a toy. With people researching the data that is generated from Twitter, it becomes much more important. In order to monetize the system, they can sell the data, but monetization becomes much easier when you become ubiquitous.

Can’t argue with that – with all the various mash-ups and the growing interest in real-time search, it seems that Twitter is here to stay. At least for now.

Bing beats Yahoo

Microsoft’s new search engine hat a great start: TechCrunch reports that Bing overtook Yahoo – now the question is: will this trend last or will the wearer of the ancient headband #2 leap for a comeback?

The company’s analysis for Thursday finds that in the U.S. Bing overtook Yahoo to take second place on 16.28%, with Yahoo Search currently at 10.22%. For the sake of comparison: Google’s U.S. market share is pegged at 71.47%, and its worldwide share at a whopping 87.62% (vs. 5.62% for Bing and 5.13% for Yahoo).

Content ain’t king

“The idea that ‘content is king’ in blogging is total bullshit” says Viral Garden:

Every day I read hundreds of blog posts. And every day, I see dozens of truly GREAT posts that get no comments. Every day I see dozens of pretty good posts that get dozens of comments and have vibrant conversations.
The difference? Most of the bloggers that write those pretty good posts are also pretty good about leaving their blog and interacting with people on OTHER sites. They comment on their reader’s blogs. They tweet their links on Twitter. They are ACTIVELY social with social media.

Interesting thesis… I’d say that both factors come into play. Social media spamming will just piss people off unless you got some stories that are actually worth watching your moves.

Pic of the week

I admit: I just couldn’t decide between these two beautiful shots. A direct path was taken by eyesplash Mikul, it’s a free-handed shot. The seconded picture portrays a female lying wolf in the zoo of Zürich and was taken by Tambako the Jaguar:

picweekbird

picweekwolf

Video of the week

Boats are only people – pretty unreliable ones, to be exact. These love boat passenger are in for a wet treat – feel the pain of these great sailors:

This is the end – of this week’s round-up. Thanks for stopping by and offering me some of your Whuffies. Let’s do it like this: I’ll keep posting and you’ll keep coming back and drop a dime from time to time :mrgreen:

Input for weekly round-upGot any news you’d like to read about in my weekly round-up of current blogosphere events?
Don’t hesitate to contact me! Of course I’ll include a backlink to your original story.

So don’t hesitate – just click here for the contact form and give me an update on your issues: Give me input!.

Epic fail: Why is twitter walling the reply-garden?

Today’s Twitter update was not a minor bug fixing issue: the reply-policy has been completely revamped, and most twitter users are not too about the fact that from now on users no longer see public replies sent by friends to people thy themselves are not following. This is how ReadWriteWeb puts it – and after reading 4 Pages of heated discussion on this post, I’m still not sure what the new policy *really* means.

And that is the fault of the official explanation on Twitter’s corporate blog which is quite short and leaves some questions open. The first paragraph seems like a good explanation:

We’ve updated the Notices section of Settings to better reflect how folks are using Twitter regarding replies. Based on usage patterns and feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow—it’s a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today’s update removes this undesirable and confusing option.

But later today Biz Stone updated the text with a second paragraph which kind of nullifies the message of the first:

Spotting new folks in tweets is an interesting way to check out new profiles and find new people to follow. Despite this update, you’ll still see mentions or references linking to people you don’t follow. For example, you’ll continue to see, “Ev meeting with @biz about work stuff” even if you don’t follow @biz. We’ll be introducing better ways to discover and follow interesting accounts as we release more features in this space.

This is the whole blog-posting by the way – and it seems to imply that the “reply”-status of a tweet solely depends on the position of the @username either in the beginning or somewhere else in the message. This doesn’t make a lot of sense. Before today’s update users had to chose the reply-behavior via a drop-down box in their settings/notices section. This dropdown has vanished without a trace. And frankly I do have no idea about Twitter’s motivation for cutting us off from third party replies, which are one of the best ways to discover new users. Naturally, you’re much more inclined to be interested in new people your friends talk to, but Twitter takes all this away. So please stop walling the garden – we want our old reply-policy back. Or, as tet3 puts in on Twitter’s public support page:

Removing configuration options which substantial numbers of users used, rather than educating users is lazy, stupid, and insulting. Twitter is a great service, and it’s where the people are, but boy, does the management know how to screw good stuff up.

The Twitter Auto-Follow accounts list…

The Twitter Auto-Follow List …is deprecated. When I started this project a couple of months ago, Twitter was in its early stages and far from being as spam-flooded as now. While the system worked perfectly for a couple of month, at some points more and more users began turning off the auto-follow feature as an increasing number of spam accounts became more and more annoying. Keeping in mind the current state of Twitter, such an auto-follow list doesn’t make sense any more, so I decided to remove the list.

But the increasing success of Twitter did not only show us the downsides of tweet-spam but also produced a couple of very interesting mash-ups. In the Last weeks I found out that TweetLater Pro’s brand-new “FriendFinder” feature and Pretty Link Pro’s Pretty-Bar are the two most efficient strategies if you want to increase your followers with targetted micro-bloggers and leave spammers and feed-accounts out in the cold. Take a look, TweetLater, an online-mash-up service as well as Pretty Link, a WordPress plugin for using your own domain as a URL-shortener, are available in free trial versions:

tweetlater-250x250prettylink-250x250

For historical reasons…

…I’ve left the old text online. Thanks for visiting – I’ll keep a sharp eye on our favorite micro-blogging service and I will keep you updated about my experiences (by now I run one of the largest European accounts with more than 30k followers. Feel free to follow me; I don’t auto-follow any more, but I take a short look at the timelist of all new contacts and follow back everybody who has something interesting to say:

twitter.com/datadirt

Like all web 2.0 services, twitter works best on a give-take (reciprocal) basis. That’s why I am starting this list which will help you to build a lot more twitter followers much faster than you usually could, and it’s a great way to promote your own account, too! There are a couple of services out there that offer an auto-follow option meaning that you automatically follow every new user who follows you. This is a list of such accounts – which basically means that all you have to do is follow those guys and you are sure to increase your twitter-followership very fast, which is extremely useful if you start new accounts. Update: I have a done a major update today (2009-04-26) and split the list into three sublists: English, German and other accounts. This will make the list a lot more usable as it keeps growing and growing. Also, I’ve added a mini-FAQ: please read and save you and me some time.

To make targeted following a little easier, I added a couple of additional info. Every entry consists of a link to the twitter account, three tags that specify the general topical field of the account and finally and optional language entry which only applies to twitterers who are not tweeting in English. Being part of this list of course means that you will gain many followers yourself – the longer this list, the greater the gain for all tweet-geeks involved.

Microblogging-Ad-Time: Magpie sells tweet attention

mplogoAs social media services grow, they become more and more interesting for advertisers. Magpie, a brand-new “twitter advertising network” (and in no way affiliated with the RSS-parser library bearing the same name) is offering tweepers money to embed spam ads in their timeline. This sure was unavoidable, but at first glance, the European-based network is doing a pretty nice job.

Since I’m an online entrepreneur, I’m naturally very interested in new ways of monetizing my social media activities – but I would never recommend any service which I’m not a fan of, which ultimately leads to the one requirement that any ad network *must* take serious: I want control over the messages I’m sending out – whether to my followers on twitter or as banners on my blog. And Magpie takes this factor into consideration: every paid tweet can be pre-approved before it is sent out.

Psychologically, Magpie is doing quite a great job: new twitterers are encouraged to enter their username, based on which Magpie displays the amount which “could be earned” – I guess that this is a pretty rough and very optimistic approximation, since the systems tells me that I could make nearly 2.000 Euros a month. The tutorial video explains how the exchange of attentions actually works:

And how does it *really* work?

The sign-up process is really simple – advertisers need to apply for a dedicated log-in, twitterers have to deal with the ol’ trust problem: Magpie requires them to enter their passwords; I hope that an authentication-token is on twitter’s top priority list.

  1. You define a tweet frequency at which you will accept magpie-tweets for your Twitter account. Given your current tweet rate permits it, our service will try to find a matching magpie-tweet and twitter it. For maximum control, you’ll be asked to pre-approve magpie-tweets.
  2. To help your followers recognize magpie-tweets, you can define a custom disclaimer which we’ll happily append or prepend to all your magpie-tweets.
  3. Depending on the compensation model of each successfully delivered magpie-tweet you will be rewarded in cash.

That’s pretty much all there is – and since the publisher’s terms and conditions do not require you sell your soul to any kind of devil, I became curious and signed up, as it is possible to pause one’s account at any time. I’m really curious if Magpie will be able to turn tweets into bling-bling or if users will rejects ads at all. This is what the dashboard looks like:

mpdash

You have to be aware though that Magpie is discussed quite controversially: While Marshall Kirkpatrick senses dark-side qualities and Dave Fleet feels abused, Studio Rizzn explains the truth about “evil Apple”.

What about the earnings?

Magpie is using PayPal, you have to earn at least 50 bucks to qualify for your first virtual paycheck. Besides from intercultural gaps (European users tend to be a lot pickier about commercial tweets and US citizens), I guess that Magpie’s success will largely depend on the advertiser pool: if they offer enough interesting contents and manage to successfully pitch their system to the right advertisers, this could be huge. I’ll try Magpie for the next two weeks and keep you updated, or you might want to start your own experiment: Sign up for Magpie