Entries tagged with “Social network”.

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The blog has been quiet for some time now, we have been doing some house cleaning. In the coming months there will be some interesting changes, one of these changes is our presence on Twitter.

Twitter is a brilliant source for News and Information. In this the first of many Twitter Monthly Roundup posts I’ll share with you some of the best articles I found related to small business online. If you would like to find us on Twitter look for @ebc_chet and @ebc_ali.

Put Ad on Web. Count Clicks. Revise (NYtimes.com)

A good read that talks about the strengths of data analysis when adevertising online.

How site personas can enhance your site. (boagworld.com)

When developing a website it’s a great idea to create user personas, it’s a great exercise for understanding the readers coming to your website. Have you overlooked you websites persona though? It’s equally as important, this article will explain why.

7 Tips for Effective Calls to Action (blog.hubspot.com)

Have you defined your websites goals? If so is your call to action statement well designed? A good read talking about the importance of well designed call to action statements.

12 Tips For Designing an Excellent Checkout Process (smashingmagazine.com)

Shopping Online can be a painful process, help ease the pain and make your customers experience shopping at your online store secure, reliable and easy.

9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design (psd.tutsplus.com)

It’s all about the details, this article is a little more web developer focused however it’s still a valuable read for any company that is relaunching or getting a new website developed.

How to Improve Your Branding With Your Content (smashingmagazine.com)

Your content is a very large part of your Companies branding online, Rick Sloboda wrote an excellent article for Smashing Magazine discussing this very topic. For all you Vancouver locals, Rick has been a long time speaker for eBusiness Connections and he has an upcoming “Writing for the Web” Seminar on June 8th. You can register for this seminar at the Small Business Education Center

Creating Your Own Deadlines and Setting Aggresive Goals for Your Business (thenetsetter.com)

A great read discussing the benefits to setting aggressive goals for your business.

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Twitter can be an invaluable tool for business networking, but most new users don’t get it at first. Learn why in this look at the four stages that the average Twitter user traverses on the path from newbie to devotee.


There’s a strange phenomenon that happens almost every time someone joins Twitter. They hate it. At least at first.

But many of the people who once hated Twitter — or at least, didn’t quite get it in the beginning — are now many of its most active users and raving fans. So what’s going on here?

There seems to be four natural stages that the average Twitter user goes through from the point of first trying it until the point of fully embracing it and making it a part of daily life. Obviously, not everyone sticks with it and becomes a Twitter devotee, but there’s definitely a growing cadre of people who believe that there’s some magic happening in the Twittosphere

You can find me on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonhiner

Because I think Twitter can be used as a valuable business tool, it’s worth talking about the four Twitter stages in order to help recognize users in these stages when you’re choosing who to follow and to keep new Twitter users from getting discouraged and missing the opportunities available on Twitter. So here they are:

1. Confusion and indignation

When a person first signs up for Twitter, the first challenge is figuring out who to follow. Twitter now has its “Suggested Users” feature to help people get started. I’ve put together a list of technology personalities worth following on Twitter to help new techies when they sign up for Twitter.

However, even when they find some people to follow, new Twitterers usually look at their Twitter stream and start wondering, “Why would I care what my colleagues are eating for lunch?” or “What’s interesting about a software engineer posting that she’s walking her dog?”

That experience usually leads people to shake their heads and not come back to Twitter for a few days, or even weeks or months.

2. The first “Aha!” moment

Eventually, the user comes back periodically to check Twitter out of pure curiosity. During those casual forays, the person often has a first “Aha!” moment, where they find something really interesting or timely on Twitter that wasn’t available from news, RSS feeds, or word of mouth from their friends.

This could be a piece of news that someone reported on Twitter before it actually hit the wires, it could be a rumor about something that a company like Apple is doing, or even something like NFL teams announcing their picks for the draft on Twitter before they even went up to the podium to make the official selection.

3. Remembering to tweet

After the first “Aha” moment, the user typically starts checking Twitter more often, but still tends to post very infrequently. The next stage of Twitter initiation comes when the user reads something useful online or makes a mental observation about something and then thinks, “I should post that Twitter!”

At this point, the user is still relying mostly on the twitter.com homepage to access Twitter but is starting to go there at least a couple times a day to check on the latest buzz, and has typically found a good mix of friends, news feeds, industry celebrities, and thought leaders to follow.

4. Thinking in 140 characters

Once the person becomes a daily Twitter user, it’s over. The person is almost always hooked, and is now on the path to becoming a power user. This is when most (though not all) users switch from using twitter.com to using a desktop Twitter client like Tweetdeck or Seesmic.

Meanwhile, the user also often has a mobile Twitter client like UberTwitter (for BlackBerry) or Tweetie (for iPhone) in order to stay connected to the Twitter stream on the go. Those that don’t have smartphone often use Twitter via SMS text messages.

At this point, the person is a Twitter power user who regularly adds new people and brands to follow and also regularly unfollows people who post too many inane messages about their meals or just doesn’t post enough useful stuff.

The power user also tends to regularly think about and look for things to post on Twitter throughout the day, to the point of self-editing thoughts for brevity in order to fit into Twitter’s 140 character limit.

Final word

The beauty of Twitter is in its simplicity of use and the direct connection it provides to people whose activities and opinions you care about.

Apple recently wrote a case study about Twitter because Twitter uses a lot of Apple products. In the article, Apple wrote, “Twitter’s meteoric rise to ubiquity is proof positive that the world, in all its complexity, is eager to embrace simplicity.”

As I’ve written before, I think Twitter can be an very useful tool for business and technology professionals. For more, see:

And here are a couple external links worth looking at:

If you use Twitter, which of the four stages are you in?

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Want to find out why you suddenly don’t have Internet access or cell phone service? You might want to check out the social-networking site Twitter. Want to find out why you suddenly don’t have Internet access or cell phone service? You might want to check out the social-networking site Twitter.

It seems that Twitter was one of the main ways that phone company AT&T has been communicating with customers and updating the public about the fiber cut that caused thousands of people in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area to go without broadband, phone, and wireless service for most of Thursday.

Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse, whose company has been affected by the outage, said the only way she has stayed on top of the situation has been through Twitter.

“All of my real time updates have been coming from the AT&T Twitter feed,” she said.

Indeed, she isn’t alone. Nearly 2,400 people have been keeping tabs on the situation via AT&T’s Twitter feed.

Twitter is a Web-based social-networking service that lets people send messages to a group of followers in 140 characters or less. It’s been around for a couple of years now. I have to admit when I first heard about it, I thought it seemed like a service only narcissists would be interested in. After all, who really cares what I am doing or where I am going or even what I decide to eat for lunch. But the service has taken off in the past year, and it’s now hitting the mainstream as everyone from doctors to restaurants are using the service to update patients and patrons.

And it appears that large companies, such as AT&T, are using the service to keep their customers and anyone interested in the company, informed in real time about a crisis.

AT&T began “tweeting” updates about the massive service outage in California around 7 a.m. PDT. With the first message saying:

“CA customers: We are aware of a cable cut situation impacting services in Santa Clara and San Jose areas.”

From then on the company has sent about eight more “tweets” or messages informing customers that technicians have been on the scene and service would be restored as quickly as possible. The company apologized for the outage and also informed its followers that the outage was likely caused by vandals who had cut the fiber cables.

The company’s most recent “tweet” actually notified its Twitter followers that AT&T is offering a reward for anyone responsible for vandalizing the company’s infrastructure:

“AT&T offering $100,000 reward for info leading to arrest/conviction of those responsible for CA vandalism. Call 408-947-STOP.”

The outage has affected thousands of people throughout the Bay Area, even non-AT&T customers. Because AT&T provides the fiber connections that link cell phone towers to their respective networks, wireless subscribers from almost every carrier were also affected by the outage. Some Verizon Communications DSL customers also saw service disrupted, because their service uses the AT&T fiber-optic cables to send its data traffic to its own nationwide network.

Sprint Nextel, whose wireless customers experienced service interruption, hasn’t provided official updates via Twitter, but the company’s spokeswoman Crystal Davis has also been updating customers and reporters via her Twitter feed. Davis’ most recent tweet indicated the company still had no idea when service would be restored.

“Still working w/ our network and disaster recovery team on fiber cut issue in CA.”

An earlier message tried to offer encouragement to those affected:

“Assessing fibercut issue in CA w/ network + emergency response team. We’re all in this together folks. Let’s have a day of peace in telecom.”

Jeffrey Nelson, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless, has also sent updates with links to news stories about the outage. He even sent a message to AT&T’s media relations representatives asking who reporters should call for updates.

“@ATTNews Understand spokesperson has been tough for reporters to reach at AT&T on Silicon Valley outage. Who should they call for info?”

While hundreds of messages were sent back and forth on Twitter throughout the day among angry customers looking for more information on what has been happening, some affected business customers were also using Twitter and other social-networking forums to keep their customers updated on the outage.

For example San Francisco-based VerticalResponse has been following AT&T’s updates via Twitter, and it’s also been updating its own customers using Twitter. VerticalResponse works with roughly 56,000 small-business customers to distribute direct email marketing campaigns. And even though the company is based in San Francisco, its servers are collocated in Palo Alto, which was affected by the outage.

For most of the day, VerticalResponse was unable to send marketing campaigns on behalf of its customers. And because the company was disconnected from the Net, it also had no way to communicate with its customers through its corporate e-mail system.

So instead the company leveraged several social-networking platforms, including Twitter, to get the word out to its customers about what was happening. Instead of coming into the office, most of the company’s employees stayed home, or went to coffee shops in San Francisco where they could get Internet access.

“Our clients are pretty pissed,” said VerticalResponse’s CEO Janine Popick. “And rightly so. When something like happens you just have to throw your hands up. There’s nothing you can do. But the good news is we have been building up a Twitter base, and we have nearly 4,000 people as part of our online community, so we can communicate directly with them through Twitter or Facebook or some other social networking medium.”

Amen for Twitter. But the big question still remains, “When will AT&T fix this mess?” I guess you’ll have to check Twitter to know exactly when. VerticalResponse’s most recent tweet indicates that its servers are up and running. And the company has sent all its email campaigns for the day.

This article was originally posted on CNET News.

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I was talking to a client lately, who suggested that I remove the AdSense ads from DSB.

It makes your site looks cheap – He said.

Hmm…That’s an interesting point.

In fact, DSB does not run on AdSense nor the revenues is any good to call it a credible, sustainable source of revenue. It’s around 3-5 hundreds a month, which I believe is negligible for the space it occupies and the highlight it receives.

But I’m not surprised. AdSense ads are meant to perform well for websites who have tailor made content, or so I believe. For everyone else who focus on quality writing, it’s probably a bonus.

And a lot depends on what domain you are in. Right ? If you are running a “MFA” then you got to keep AdSense units all over, but for a service/product related website, it might have to be cornered.

I think it’s taking too much of space on DSB, and is thinking about cornering it. It does give good referrals to interesting websites however. If it does not, I might completely take it away.

But what do you think ?

Is it un necessary or good enough just to be cornered ?

Daily SEO blog – SEO Tips and Social Media for the learner

Does adding AdSense ads to your site make it look “cheap” ?

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One product that produced a lot of hype at the recent CES show was the GiiNii Mini Movit. The mobile Internet and social networking device allows you to stay connected any time and anywhere. One of the most intriguing elements of this device is the fact that it is carrier-independent. Dennis Sones, the Chief Marketing Officer of GiiNii, told Mike McDonald the Movit permits free calling wherever you find a WiFi hotspot.

Other features include:

-    Skype-enabled
-    Built-in microphone and speaker to make Skype calls
-    Bluetooth 2.0
-    4.3-inch, 480 x 272 pixel touchscreen
-    Easily accessible touch keyboard
-    Address book
-    Front-facing camera (used also as a webcam) and video functionality
-    Built-in lithium battery (lasts 6-8 hours)
-    Easy access to social networks
-    256 MB of internal storage
-    MicroSD slot

The Movit is Android-based and contains an open source platform. An exact price for the device has not been revealed, but GiiNii representatives did say the cost would be lower than the iPod touch. GPS Obsessed reports the expected price to be $149.

GiiNii Movit is set for release during the third quarter of this year and will be available at Walgreens, Walmart, Amazon.com, Target, and zbezt.com.

Now for your thoughts – some speculate that Movit poses a threat for the iPod touch and the iPhone. What do you think? Is this a device that will shift the focus away from Apple?

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