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Twitter is Web 3.0

Posted on : 26-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : user

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1827262Twitter is a preview of the third generation of the web, where we are communicating in real-time. The first generation was rather static.  It was mostly companies displaying their products and services on web pages. Individuals started creating personal websites, but they too were static.  The Web was used for publishing and a lot of screen scraping was done to cut and paste from other websites.

The second generation of the Web, the so-called ‘Web 2.0’ was more interactive. With the advent of webServices, the web became a more connected place. Companies started using the social networking media like MySpace and FaceBook, to set up a dialogue with their customers. Individuals were using social networking media to connect with their friends and to keep them posted on what they were doing. Everywhere ‘wikis’ were being set up with individuals blogging about a wide range of subjects. This created a web where you could follow what was going on in a certain niche and take part in the discussion.

The third generation of the Web is about to break loose.  It takes things one step further than interactive; it’s real-time. Here the Web is connecting everything and everybody. We will see real-time interactions between devices and people. These interactions are taking the form of a constant stream of data that comes to you, rather than messages or web pages you have to look for. People will still be concerned about what has happened in the past, but this generation of the web is all about what’s happening now.

Twitter gives us a glimpse of this the third generation of the Web. It lets us communicate in near real-time, but it resembles a stream of a gigantic stream of data that everybody can jump into, to pick up what they like.  Many things that happen in the world are first reported on Twitter. When that plane landed in the Hudson River early 2009 a guy called Janis Krums was on the ferry picking up the first survivors. He took a picture of the plane and tweeted this to the world.

When the elections in Iran in June 2009 were over, the world learned from the many tweets from Iran that there were violent protests against the election results. When the protests started, the regular news media like CNN did not pick this up for hours.  This in itself caused a big discussion on Twitter (#cnnfail) about the role that the regular news media should be playing.  The issue here is: can what is tweeted be trusted by the news media or is further investigation required? The answer is a difficult one, but one thing is clear “the truth is more seen than read”, so anything that is documented on video or photos, can be trusted more than what is written.

Twitter from the social scientist point of view

Posted on : 25-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : Tips

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Twitter from the social scientist's point of view

Twitter houses a significant number of people. Let’s start with a few examples of small companies using twitter to reach their clients we have Jetpens.com, Field Notes, and Doane Paper. Jetpens is an imported Japanese pen company, that broadcasts things like pen reviews, pen giveaways, sales, and offers on money off, along with their new products in their updates. Field Notes recently gave away notebooks as well. Doane Paper is a company that sells 3 products, all of them based around the idea of graph paper+lined paper = best paper for everyone. It’s exploded with a cult following, especially among fountain pen users, because the paper takes the ink well, and has small spacing, for those with tiny handwriting.

On top of that, we have some larger companies, with representatives that form the all-important human side of their huge business. Uni-ball has a person, Sharpie does as well(despite being the same company overall), Staples and Office Depot. The point of these is having a part of a company that will actually talk to you on a daily basis. Comparing favorite pens with a member of the Uni-ball corp definitely encourages you to get their pens next time, or at least remember them when you’re shopping.

A lot of people still only see twitter as a way to stalk their favorite celebrities, or perhaps to interact with Neil Gaiman, or Amanda Palmer. The difference, though, is between the celebrities who tweet back, like Felicia Day, and the celebrities who don’t tweet back. The ones who tweet back are likely building a dedicated fan base around the fact that they’re talented, social, and willing to talk with their fans.

A similar thing is done by Webcomic artists, such as Lar deSouza and Sohmer, the creators of Looking For Group and Least I Could Do. Perhaps a more recognizable pair is Gabe and Tycho, of Penny Arcade fame. Jeph Jaques, who writes and illustrates Questionable Content, also keeps and updates a twitter.

Most of these semi-famous people use it to let their fans in on their daily lives, for things such as grocery shopping, movies they watch, whatever they’re randomly doing(which brings to mind the night a few weeks ago that Amanda Palmer accidentally took over the internet because she didn’t want to clean her apartment—you can google or check the tags on twitter for “#lofnotc” if you’re interested about learning more.

Twitter has many different uses. For companies, and for individuals. Mainly companies use it to immediately broadcast things like sales, or the above-mentioned giveaways. But for individuals, it’s an easy to way to follow your favorite blogger, even if you’re not familiar with RSS feeds.

The recently added @ tab on the right-hand side, allows you to see how many times you’ve been re-tweeted by people. And lastly, my definition of Twitter: Twitter: A selective, global chatroom that has the pulse of the world. Whatever we’re concerned about, it’s on there. Whatever we’re thinking about, it’s in there.

It’s a new way to connect without being too personal or too invading, a fun new way to send messages across the inter-webs.

Nothing beats Twitter when it comes to spreading the news

Posted on : 25-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : Tips

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Screen shot 2010-02-01 at 10.43.12 AM

You ever fancied yourself a blogger but failed to have the energy or time to post considerate or daft missives at regular intervals? Twitter could set your inner blogger free. While some folk call it microblogging or moblogging, I really like to think about Twitter simply as blogging for regular folks. Perhaps you are actually busy. Perhaps you do not have much to assert. Or perhaps you are just lazy.

No problem. This free service works by letting you broadcast a group SMS message to your friends’ mobile telephones from your own telephone, a rapid message or an Internet form at twitter.com. All of your notes are then stored and shown on your private profiling page on the site, which includes links to your friends’ Twitter pages, a thumbnail picture of your choosing, and a short bio. You can even send text updates immediately to your FaceBook or MySpace page. Just don’t forget to keep it short: posts are restricted to one hundred and forty characters, and the subject is, usually, “what are you doing?”. More frequently than not, it seems, Twitter’s 25,000,000 members (twice as many as it had merely six months back, according to Twitter business development director Biz Stone), are simply killing time.

Even presidential candidate John Edwards is on it, though he appears to be the sole one pondering more than lunch. As I type this, Caroline is mulling over some Girl Scout cookies, ian_hocking is “Waiting for Jessica to arrive so we will be able to eat!” and hlantz is “having a pleasant cup of Soft Starmint tea.” Exciting .

The gossip about Twitter escalated into a virtual roar last year in the South by Southwest multimedia festival in Austin, Tex, when the barebones service owned by Blogger founder Evan Williams, 34, was named the best blogging tool and attendees used it to meet up at parties.

Since that point, the fawning attention to the service has come full-circle as reviewers have started to realize how uninteresting most of the people’s lives actually are. ( As if YouTube’s studio of puppy and kitten videos had not already driven that point home. )

Nevertheless, Twitter has been the top term on blog search engine Technorati for the previous 12 months. Lots of folk would happily have Twitter muzzled, instead of endure the beeping alert for yet another new text. But I am gambling that Twitter will get a lot noisier before tweople move on to the following new thing. Why? Because Twitter targets the same crowd that digs FaceBook and, candidly, that site is getting off. We cyberjunkies need a new thrill, and what could be better than a service that mixes social networking, blogging and texting? Dozens of other corporations try to do a similar thing with services like VelvetPuffin and Google’s Dodgeball.

But only Twitter has worked out the easy way to make it easy. I know, it’s absolutely mad and shallow, but that is exactly why Twitter is on its way to turning into the next killer app.

And if you detest it, well, in the words of one Twit from San Francisco, “I’m so sick to death of Twitter-haters. If you do not like it, why waste your time writing, reading, or talking about it?

Well, last night’s Grammy awards showed a new feature of Twitter.  Seconds after Steven Colbert pulled an iPad from his jacket, it was tweeted and live on YouTube! It was interesting to see how it looked when someone captured the TV image on his iPhone and then sent it to YouTube and tweeted about it…This works? well, except the quality of the video is below standard…So can anyone tell me how I can get the TV feed on my iPhone so I can record it in real-time and share it with the world now?

Twitter as a Sales Channel

Posted on : 24-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : Tips

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Dell OutletAs well as the variable distribution channels, leveraging Twitter as a selling channel has another benefit for the users / customers: anonymity. Consumers can eavesdrop and follow messages without giving away their identity, email address, or any other contact info. While a selling dept may not like this ( if the mind-set is to concentrate on harvesting email addresses ), the customers will like it better and should be more ready to take part in a well planned selling event knowing that they are not signing themselves up for a future crammed with promotional spam.

For a CPG company (Consumer Packaged Goods), you could try running a competition or some other promotional program through Twitter that leverages the short-message, group-chat nature of Twitter. Send out clues and have users answer with guesses…

Sponsor a Twitter channel for something in your demographic… Sponsor a live reporter covering something interesting… Do something clever with tweets sent to your account.  It will definitely help if your products are something the tech-hipster, early adopter, social-networking-kids want. Also, bear in mind that you wish to approach with caution — the Twitter demographic isn’t keen on enrolling for spam, or having corporations attack their social scene with advertising, so you want to add value to the conversation.

Social-media tools are fostering consumer service through:

Direct sales: Dell explains it has sold millions worth of refurbished computer parts and obsolete inventory thru its @Dell Outlet account (over 750,000 followers) on Twitter since 2007.

Promotions/Marketing: An obvious temptation for consumer brands is to use their Twitter account for promotions and marketing.   A word of caution here.  You should be aware that overly aggressive marketing will backfire.   Many avid Twitterers see this as a form of spam. They can report to you to Twitter’s spam account which could cause your account to be suspended by Twitter or that they can block your account and when many users block an account again put your might suspend your account.   Unless, like @DellOutlet, you have a specific account that is used only to promote certain products, jobs or services you should be very careful to blast promotional Tweets all the time.  Remember that your tweets should always add value to the reader.  A useful tactic could be   well-defined and executed Twitter-based coupon campaign, or a prize draw with some nice incentives.

Brands aren’t about ‘messages’ anymore – brands today are conversations — and today the most important conversations are happening through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.

Tweeting Adventures

Posted on : 24-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : user

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adventures2134a

As a user on Twitter there are a lot of features you might not be wholly familiar with. The following are Twitter features you will come across, if you follow a lot of different users. You might not completely understand these techniques when other people use them until you try using them yourself when you tweet! You can visit these links I’ve compiled that highlight these common Twitter methods that can make your tweeting experience much more rewarding.

URL Shorteners

Sometimes you want to tweet about a website or URL of an article you’ve just read and want to recommend to your Twitter community. However, hyperlinks are often longer than the 140 character limit imposed on your tweets. The solution is to use a tool called ‘URL-Shortener’. You can go to a number of sites that will shorten a URL for you, such as TinyURL , tr.im, p.ze and others to receive an abbreviated version of your URL that still brings you to the same website. Use the tinier version in your tweet without it using up all your 140 characters!! It also makes your tweet easier to read. More and more of these ‘URL Shorteners’ or ‘URL Cloakers’ are springing up. bit.ly is a very popular one. This shortens your URL automatically if you enable that, but more importantly it shows you how many times your short URL was clicked on.

Re-Tweet

In Twitter you will often see people use the term “RT” in their tweets. RT stands for ‘Re-Tweet’ meaning you have tweeted what somebody else already tweeted. Basically “retweet” just means quoting what someone else has already posted on twitter. Users often also ask you to retweet (RT) things in their own tweets if they want to spread the word about something very important to them. Read more about retweeting at http://wiki.answers.com

Hashtags

Another common phenomenon that you will encounter on Twitter, is the use of the “hashtag” or #. This little symbol allows the user to tag keywords within their tweet. Follow the user’s hashtags along with real time results for keywords that other Twitter users are tagging. You can read more about the use of hashtags here: Hashtags.org.
StockTwits is an excellent application based on Twitter for real-time updates on stock trading. Whatthetrend.com allows the users to see what is most popular on the twitter and why it is popular. It is a wiki so that anybody can add the information. Twitter-Atlas- allows users to view tweets on a world map. Twittelicious- Combines twitter and delicious.com. Twitpic- A way to share pictures on Twitter Twitterfeed- Offers to tweet the last posts published in a blog via the RSS feed.

Advanced usage

Twitter can be used in many ways. For example Twitter can be used as a marketing tool. You can find and add people within a geographic area or people interested in particular things using the search feature provided by Twitter. In that way you can track potential customers and market your product to the right people. In another way Twitter can be used as a real-time news agent. You can see what is hot in the world from the trending topics section at the twitter page. Many people now use automated tweeting softwares to update tweets. For example developers can create tweeting application from a blog posting automatically as it is created.

It is surprising that Twitter itself does not offer a way of controlling and measuring which keywords are being used in real time since they do mark trends of the most tweeted about terms. This might change on Twitter’s part in the future. These are just a small example of the type of methods you will see people using on Twitter that can make your own Twitter usere experience more fun.

Go out explore and find more useful techniques and enjoy your tweeting adventures!

Don’t waste time on Twitter

Posted on : 23-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : Tips

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WeirdoWasting time on Twitter is like sitting around the water cooler and chatting with coworkers about last night’s American Idol segment – it might be fun, and it passes the time, but it wasted time that could have been used to make money.
Here are some tips on how to keep your Twitter time under control:
1. Schedule a time for Twitter. Just like you can spend hours online checking eMails and just surfing the ‘Net, getting on Twitter 10 times a day doesn’t help you at all. Schedule two Twitter times per day – once in the morning and once in the evening – and then stick to it. Your Twitter buddies can survive without knowing your entire itinerary for the day.
2. Decide the purpose for your visit before getting on Twitter. Are you sending a tweet about your latest blog post? Are you trying to find local business people to network with? Deciding what you want to do before you log on is a big time saver.
3. Jot down notes during the day for your Twitter time. It doesn’t have to be anything long or fancy. A sticky note will do. Just keep track of your thoughts so when you get on Twitter you can accomplish what you want and then leave the site.
4. Do not tweet about every single thing you do. No one cares if you are going to the store. They don’t agonize over the fact that your hamster ate too much. Keep your tweets limited to important stuff.
If you take control of your Twitter time, you can take control of how well it works for you. Be strong.
Tweets are like the phone, they touch every aspect of business and companies should be prepared to allow interaction with Twitter at every level and in every department of their company. Twitter is not only useful to promote products and services, it also provides a method to benchmark your company against your competitors, increase the quality of customer support and create better customer intimacy.
For many businesses this must be a horrific scenario. They have always believed that they should funnel all information on the company through very well trained spokespeople. Just the idea that anyone in the company can now be talking to the customers looks like a nightmare scenario. Undoubtedly, internal issues will be brought to the public’s attention and this can hurt the reputation of the company in a great way. However, companies should realize that the worst thing people could say about the company is nothing. Companies should want to hear what the happy customers have to say as well as the criticism on the company itself its products or services.
Especially when companies can promote their corporate All-Star, they are in a position to win the hearts and minds of people and increase the strength of their brand. Sometimes the corporate All-Star is simply the CEO. There seems to be an enormous attraction in the general population to listen to what a CEO of a well-known company has to say. Where’s before the CEOs would say nothing so they cannot divulge confidential information, CEOs in today’s world should realize that there is enormous power in their person as a brand.
Remember one thing: at the other end of a tweet there’s always someone that doesn’t appreciate being hit with advertisements or sales links. They can unfollow and ignore you. Most people on Twitter are smart and educated and don’t appreciate sales pitches. Work on building as many relations as possible with your current followers, and then move on to the next batch of followers and do the same. Treat your Twitter friends as pals and not as clients. Provide true value in everything you do on Twitter.

Using Twitter to check out colleges

Posted on : 23-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : user

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Checking out College using Twitter

Most everyone today is familiar with Twitter. While it may be fun to view the goings and comings of your favorite celebrity or athlete, I used Twitter in a very different way. Harnessing the power of Twitter was very easy once I realized that you could use the search application to narrow the types of people or entities you follow. For me, I have a son in high school that is quickly becoming college age. While there are the traditional methods of researching everything about a college including the average grade point of applicants, courses offered and other information from its web site or through a visit, using Twitter provided a very personal way to get insight into various colleges. True not every college we are considering has a Twitter site but they are growing every day. The first group of Twitter sites I added was the admissions department of every available college. These tweets consisted mainly of the daily goings on in the department as well as excerpts of the essays from applicants the admission counselors found good enough to share with the world. Frankly, this provided insight into the background, extracurricular activities and overall personality of applicants that the college admission representatives obviously believed had great merit. Another group of Twitter sites added was the sports. My son plays baseball and we added every college sports and baseball site we could find. These sites keep us up to date on the team’s goings and comings, scores and in some cases insights into the coach’s views. Like interviewing for a job, it is of the utmost importance to be as familiar as possible with aspects of a sports team you might join when discussing any recruitment or tryouts with the coach or coaching staff. Finally, but not least important were the Twitter sites of the college students. They maintain sites relating to their feeling about the schools, their campus activities, other students, teachers and the administration. We have found these Tweets to be quite informative as to not only the overall personality of the students taking the time to make entries but even the support and opportunities in the community surrounding the colleges. Using Twitter as an extended college recruitment tool dramatically increased our knowledge of the colleges and surrounding communities. It continues every day to grow as the network of those we follow increases. You can use this type of focus with relation to any type of networking group. It can be used for personal or business goals to both enlighten you and keep you in touch with people and groups in which you have an interest.

The Power of Twitter

Posted on : 22-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : Tips

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superheroes02Twitter gives you two ‘Superhero Powers’: the power to be a fly on the wall and listen to people’s conversations, undetected. And the power to hear what people are thinking. There are many stories of people who have found meaningful relationships on Twitter. They feel they are in a community that is supportive of their needs. They actively promote the interests of the community and they bring value by supplying useful information. Twitter is called ‘micro-blogging’, but it is actually different from a regular blog. In a regular blog you have the chance to go deep into a subject. Twitter is more suited to address a wide range of subjects.

In Twitter you are asked a very simple question: ‘What are you doing?” Actually, this is something your parents would ask, or your teacher or a policeman or another figure with some authority. It doesn’t look like the kind of question you would ask your friends, but as it turns out this simple question provokes a lot of discussion. Simply telling the world what you’re doing may seem trivial, but if you’re being arrested and brought to jail, tweeting that fact could bring on a massive response. Like an American student found out when he was jailed in Egypt – his Twitter messages allowed people to get in touch with the proper authorities and free him! Some people are getting quite creative with Twitter. For instance when you say the words ‘bad luck’ in a tweet, a user called @a_dark_cloud will start to follow you.

Until early 2009 Twitter was relatively unknown. A number of events triggered Twitter’s popularity and in the first half of 2009 Twitter exploded. When that plane landed in the Hudson River in New York some guy took a picture of it and tweeted it. That was the first the world learned of the accident and it proved Twitter’s value for up-to-the-minute news reporting. This was really the first act of ‘Citizen Journalism’ that got widespread attention. Today it is clear that everybody can be a journalist. Everybody that has a phone with a camera in his pocket and happens to be at the site of a world news event can now report it to the regular news media. All the big networks and most notably CNN, ESPN and Fox have picked up Twitter as a way to interact with the public during live shows.

When Oprah Winfrey started tweeting at her show, millions of people, mostly women, started to follow her example. When you look at the growth of Twitter pre-Oprah and post-Oprah you will see a remarkable difference. Oprah is now one of the most popular people on Twitter, a position she shares with a number of other tweaking celebrities like Ashton Kushner, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres and even the President. They all have over 2 million followers!

It is amazing to see how many people are following these celebrities. Apparently they get a kick out of tweeting something interesting to a celeb and getting a tweet back. There is nothing more ‘cool’ than that – it is like getting a celebrity’s signature. The attraction that celebrities apparently have on Twitter is one of the most amazing features of this new social networking platform.

When the elections in Iran in June 2009 showed a result that many people in Iran believed was manipulated, riots broke out in the streets where the police was beating up protesters. The regular news media were kept far away from these protests come up but many protesters who were right in the middle of the riots started tweeting and sending photos and videos into the world. This was the only evidence of what was going on in Teheran and other cities in Iran. That weekend Twitter had scheduled an hour for maintenance so it was planning to shut down for a while. On the request of many people including the State Department Twitter decided to postpone the maintenance, so the people of Iran could continue their reports.

This is interesting. Now apparently Twitter is crucial for the world. The fact that many people were asking for Twitter not to shut down is amazing too. Most people are not concerned with what happens on the other side of the world. They are concerned with what happens in their neighborhood and what affects them only. It appears that Twitter is changing that. Many tweople changed their location in Twitter to Teheran, Iran in support of the people in Iran who were tweeting while the government there was trying to shut them down. Changing their location would create hundreds of thousands of people that apparently use Twitter from Iran and would make it all the more difficult for the Iranian Secret Service to find them. In support of the protesters millions of Twitterers also colored their profile picture on Twitter to green. The massive response to this initiative might be a sign that the mentality of the global population is changing towards a keener interest in what goes on in the world, rather than just the neighborhood. It looks like Twitter is a positive influence here.

An interesting phenomenon is ‘live tweeting’ during an event or a TV show. This is becoming the trend at conferences, where Tweeting (and thereby the use of the mobile phone although be it in ‘silent’ mode) is encouraged. On big screens, the tweets from the audience are displayed, which is easy to do as long as everyone uses a certain “hashtag”. Sometimes you see that moderators of panels are picking up tweets from the live audience. Especially on the news TV channels this is happening often. This has contributed greatly to the popularity of Twitter.

#IranElection – Twitpocalypse

Posted on : 22-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : user

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twitpocalypse

by Jane Craford

“I survived the Twitpocalypse!” blasts the graphic on the organic cotton T-shirt available from cafepress.com.  What’s the Twitpocalypse and why should I care?  Tweets are being sent to Twitter at the current rate of 202 tweets per second.  Each tweet has a unique identifying positive number.  When the torrent of tweets exceeded the number 2,147,483,647, some third-party Twitter applications were not designed to handle this condition and would crash when their application would suddenly turn the number into a negative sequence. Thus, the verities of computer science seeped into the consciousness of everyday Twitter users.

Tweople of all types start paying attention to the tweets in the substantial Tweet Stream.  The Italian Futurist artist, F. T. Marinetti, would probably delight in the blend of popular and high culture that mixes in a Twitter stream.  Marinetti would probably recognize his ideas, handed down to us in his Variety Theater Manifesto, living in the Twitterverse.  The absurd juxtapositions, the random surprises, the illogical interruptions, when popular and elite, high and low culture are syncretized in the Twitter stream echo what Marinetti saw as the ‘great Futurist hilarity that should make the world’s face young again.’

The new meaning or unexpected perspective that is sparked by the collisions from the juxtapositions of contrasting types of information is one of the addictive pleasures of Twitter.  A mind dulled by the tedium of a boring job can be revived quickly by as little as a half hour of exposure to the effervescent Twitter stream.  At the rate of 202 tweets per second, that calculates to 363,600 tweets in 30 minutes.  The number of tweets flowing in one Twitterer’s stream, however, represents the tweet activity of only the set of people that Twitterer is following, rather than the sum of all people logged into Twitter at that moment in time.  The hilarity of random surprises would be minimized or maximized, depending on the characteristics of the Twitterer’s group being followed.  If you follow only elite, high culture-type Twitterers your Twitter stream may be less effervescent than it would if you also were following pop culture Twitterers whose tweets when juxtaposed with the high culture Twitterers could add some gas to your Twitter stream.

Twitter can be a refreshing flow of tweets that make your ‘face young again.’  At the same time, it can be a lifeline for an endangered person or community desperately seeking connection to a rescuing world. On the same weekend that the Twitpocalypse occurred, the Twitter stream was carrying immediate reportage of the election in Iran.  Twitter’s highly evolved search function sprung into action as news about the Iran election was sought, causing a proliferation of Twitter search tags (hashtags), such as  #IranElection, #tehran, #CNN, etc. that could be clicked on within a tweet to enable rapid response to the breaking news event.

Two billion, one hundred ninety-two million, ninety-two thousand and counting unique tweets have been sent since Twitters inception in March 2006.  This instantaneous global communication (for those who have access to at least a texting cell phone), like a swiftly flowing river, is cutting new shorelines and reshaping the geography of our minds at the rate of 202 tweets per second.  If F. T. Marinetti were alive, I’m sure he would be twittering and I’m sure his face would be young again.

Twitter is for Business!

Posted on : 21-10-2014 | By : DickRaman | In : Tips

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Glossy Waxed Wood Social Twitter birdWhen people first encounter Twitter they just don’t ‘get it’. They think it is rather silly to start sending SMSes that the whole world can see. Just about all people that first encounter Twitter have a similar reaction. It takes a while before people start to recognize how powerful Twitter can be.

Especially Business people have a tendency to overlook social networking as a valuable business tool. They are busy running their company and they usually ignore the social networking sites altogether.

That is mistake number one. Social networking has become a major driver of traffic on the Internet and businesses need to take this seriously if they don’t want to miss out on a great opportunity. Every company today should have a FaceBook account and engage in conversations with their customers and prospects on Twitter.

After all, businesses are a collection of individuals and these individuals start to express themselves on the Internet more and more. Through the social networking sites employees are engaging in conversations with their friends and family and increasingly with total strangers. There is great value for businesses to tap into this source and generate more brand awareness and traffic to their websites.

Twitter is especially suited for this purpose. Be- cause tweets are easy to read and easy to write, it wouldn’t take much for a business to actively use this medium.

Twitter is a hot social networking tool, but business owners can really profit from it. Twitter is fast, free and simple way to get immediate results for your business. You can increase your traffic today, and reap the benefits quickly.

Here are some ways your business can profit from Twitter:

1. Find local people you can network with or find local events to meet local customers. Use the search feature (http://search.twitter.com) to find people who are near you, then follow them. Especially for business professionals like lawyers, doctors and accountants this is a great way to find new customers.

2. Get great quality traffic by sending messages (“tweets”) that are meaningful and helpful. Twitter users come from many walks of life and income levels, so build a relationship with them to get the best results.

3. Remember the old saying, “It’s not what you know but who you know that counts”? That is true on Twitter, as well. If you need a favor, send out a tweet – you never know who can help (or who knows someone who can help).

4. Know the power of the “re-tweet,” which is what it is called when someone takes a message (“tweet”) you send and then sends it to their followers. It is sort of like the way a forwarded email works. Send a quality tweet to your followers and see how it gets passed along to others.

5. Use the search feature to find like-minded people across the world. Use it to find people who may not possess the same talents as you, but complement your talents.

Twitter is an excellent tool for building your on- line business. If it is used properly, it is a free asset to your Internet marketing plan. Let’s investigate the few areas in which a business could use Twitter to their advantage.

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