Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

Assault SERPs with Twitter Lists

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

I knew real-time search was up and running, but hadn’t been incorporating it into my SEO. After a tweet from @eric_andersen I realized I am missing a trick and better get on with it. See video post below for the full story.

Some people are quite rightly criticising the way Twitter Feeds are showing up, and the best posts I have found on this topic are http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/twitter-lists-orm/ and http://www.wolf-howl.com/google/google-monkey-games/

Facebook Networking is Giving me a Headache

Friday, January 8th, 2010

@crowdmanage on Facebook

As you can see I have set up a Facebook page connected to this blog:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/crowdmanage/221221204057

As the spiel goes, with 350 million users you can’t afford not to be there. But I am going to suspend judgment until further investigation.

My initial frustration is that there are a number of restrictions on what you can do with a ‘fan page’ versus a personal profile. I couldn’t even use the search function without also setting up a personal profile. Although this personal profile is not directly associated with the fan page, it is the only way I can reach out to other users on Facebook to let them know about our shared interest and the page I have set up.

Of course I already have a personal profile on Facebook which I use for connecting to friends and family. To my knowledge none of them are interested in crowdsourcing, and I shouldn’t think any of my blog readers are interested in seeing photos of me intoxicated in a New York bar, or riding my bike through the Formentera countryside wearing a funny hat. So the ‘fan page’ and personal profile stay separate.

But this means that I don’t have any profile on Facebook with which I can network with like-mined people. I don’t want to use my personal details to join internet marketing groups and then have my buffoonery show up in their feeds. Furthermore, it is very fiddly to adjust privacy settings on Facebook so I don’t want to constantly adjust my settings for different types of friends.

So this means that I have a fan page, but the only way anyone will find it is if I refer them to it from another site such as this blog or my @crowdmanage Twitter account. This doesn’t make much sense because I am already interacting with people on these sites, and Facebook doesn’t offer any extra features that encourage me to direct them to it.

Another problem is that there is no easy way to synch your Twitter updates with a fan page. There was an ap that did this, but the designer took it down as it was unreliable. The only option I know of right now is the Selective Twitter app which will sync updates to your fan page so long as you end them with the #fb hashtag.

An alternative is to set up a group, but you come up with the same issue. As Mashable wrote, “Groups are also directly connected to the people who administer them, meaning that activities that go on there could reflect on you personally.” The Mashable article covers all the differences between group and fan pages.

Right now I am not sure what I will do. Maybe I should start a group using my personal profile, and just decline friend requests from the people in the group. Or maybe I should just forget about having a Facebook page for discussing crowdsourcing. When I look around at my peers such as Elliot’s Blog I don’t think that it is really adding much for him to have a fan page – take a look at the page he set up a year ago. With Elliot having such a vibrant blog with rich comment threads I guess that this fan page is surplus to requirements.

I see what Facebook is trying to do – push genuine profiles onto the web to encourage higher quality interaction. It makes sense and I am a big fan of Facebook Connect. But on the other hand Facebook is a great tool for sharing some intimate moments with close friends across the world, and it seems to me that you have to compromise this if you want to make the best use of Facebook for networking purposes.

I’m not going to give up though – I will investigate and let you know if I can make Facebook work for me.

Buy my Snakeoil

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Ah, the lure of affiliate marketing. There is nothing that I would like better than to spend $5m a year on AdWords and collect $6m in revenues. I’d be so satisfied that I wouldn’t even feel the need to write a blog telling people how I did it. But of course that is how most of the ‘super-affiliates’ actually make their money, and why not when folks like me have a tendency to read the dream rather than live it!

Anyway, one of the uber affiliates in my feed reader has recently been publishing some interesting posts about his use of Twitter. With companies now lining up to pay for sponsored tweets it seems that this is the new holy grail, and instead of running PPC, I am going to tweet myself rich. Or not. Anyway, Jonathan Volk published the results of his sponsored tweets, and it turns out that it costs advertisers 42 cents per click for him to send out a sponsored tweet. Not too shabby for reaching the make money online crowd that make up Volk’s followers.

What interests me is that Volk has 16,000 followers yet he is averaging less than 50 clicks on a sponsored tweet, or 0.3%.  This follows Anil Dash’s recent comments that most of his 200,000+ followers have zero interaction with him.

I think the most valuable type of Twitter account for advertisers is one where there is high levels of interaction between followers and the account. I have accounts I created for web sites with over 1,000 followers that are essentialy worthless since I used auto-follow tools.

My guess is that the conversion ratios from Volk’s click thrus don’t match that of Adwords and thus the 42 cents may not be such a bargain. However, luckily for tweeters companies have proved over the years that they need to spend on advertising even if it doesn’t work, so maybe I should look at registering some of my accounts for sponsored tweets. I am not talking about @crowdmanage here as that is my account for using Twitter as is should be used – for a genuine dialogue and exchange of ideas.

If you were an advertiser what sort of characteristics would you want the Twitter account to have?

New Management Paradigm Is Tribal

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Yesterday I got a bit ahead of myself by reviewing Seth Godin’s new book Linchpin without having read it. I did read the 60-page preview sent to European readers, but the fact that I think the book lacks some meat makes sense given that my American cousins are being treated to an extra 240 pages, so until we Euros get the full package let’s talk Tribes.

There are few books that will get the skeptic in me excited, and it seems even fewer as I get older, but in Tribes Godin did the trick! Of all his books it is the most relevant to my main area of interest – crowdsourcing. To put it in a nutshell this book inspires you to lead, not manage, and explains that by building a tribe you are creating more value than via a typical top-down approach.

It’s a book of ideas, including the one that you should believe in what you do, and try to create change around those beliefs. You do this by inciting a movement, and providing the structure that enables your tribe to communicate and advance your believe. These are what I consider to be some of the underlying principles behind building a solid crowdsourcing platform.

The book explains that technology, and the emergence of the social graph, are facilitating the conversion of groups into tribes, and making it easier than ever to be a leader. These tools are giving individuals more power than ever before, and there is a real opportunity for those who can reach a mindset where, ‘the safest thing you can do feels risky and the riskiest thing that you can do is play it safe’

Beyond the presentation of ideas, Godin goes on to give you practical advice on how to build a tribe:

  • Publish a manifesto
  • Make it easy for your followers to connect with you
  • Make it easy for your followers to connect with one another
  • Realize that money is not the point of a movement
  • Track your progress

He briefly discusses each, and goes on to explain the guiding principles of forming a tribe, but this is no nuts and bolts guide on how to become are leader. That is a problem for many senior managers – they  know that they gotta change, but they need more than a philosophy. I think that this is where platforms specifically set up to help companies and managers build tribes come into play. Of course, there are big ones like Twitter, but I think we will start to see company-specific technologies. I have a few ideas on this that I will flesh out in future posts.

So where do I stand on Godin’s Tribes? It’s an exciting, and inspiring read. Digest it and build a tribe of your own!

Crowdsourcing is Evil

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

crowdsourcing-translationSo say the 102 misguided translators who have signed up to the petition, “Professional Translators Against Crowdsourcing and Other Unethical Business Practices

According to their petition professional translators and interpreters all over the world have been expressing their concerns over the ethical problems posed by crowdsourcing and how this practice negatively impacts an already suffering industry.

Basically they are saying translation is a skilled task that requires training, whereas crowdsourcing bases itself on non-professional translation provided by people who are not qualified to translate in the first place. In particular, they take issue with Twitter and Facebook asking professional translators who use their sites to provide free online services.

As someone who has worked with translators and interpreters extensively I totally agree that these are highly skilled professions. You really do get what you pay for, and the top professionals can pretty much name their price. I know of a Japanese to English translator who works out of Australia for US$350,000 per annum. Having built up his credibility doing translations for banks in Japan he hopped on a plane to Aus to work freelance from Perth. It wouldn’t be my first choice of location if I could live anywhere, but there you go. I also remember that when we did financial press conferences there was one interpreter who charged $2,500 for an hour, which was around 30% greater than her peers. But we always tried to get her because she was so much smoother than the others.

Whilst I have great respect for translators I don’t see how they can seriously object to companies sourcing poor quality translations if that is what they are happy with. It’s not like someone posing as a doctor and messing up your heart by-pass when they cut into the wrong chamber in the heart.

But what is really going on here is that these crowdsourced translations are pretty good, and thus a serious competitive threat to translators. It’s one further example of the rise of the amateur and the effectiveness of crowdsourcing in certain situations.

Good translators should not be complaining. They should be looking at ways to remain competitive.

Good Godin He’s Done it Again!

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Nobody works a crowd like Seth Godin, especially if it’s his own.

This week, marketing’s answer to Alain de Botton launched the free presentation ‘What Matters now.’ You can download it here. The project gathered some of the smartest digital thinkers and asked them each to contribute a slide on what we should be focused on right now. Then boom – it’s launch time, and each one of the contributors announces it on their blogs, and the download becomes a Twitter trending topic for seven hours.

On the first slide of the download our guru informs us that ‘In a digital world, the gift I give you almost always benefits me more than it costs’ and at the same time lets us know that his new book Linchpin is coming out in January. Aha.

The presentation itself is a mash-up where the contributors fuse their personal styles with Godin-like sage and concise advice. It’s pretty good, but I just wish they’d asked Scott H. Greenfield to contribute – there’s a man who’ll get internet marketers thinking. One of my highlights was the Long Tail’s Chris Anderson, ‘Peer production, open source, crowdsourcing, DIY and UGC—all these digital phenomena are starting to play out in the world of atoms, too. The Web was just the proof of concept. Now the revolution gets real.’ My, it sounds exciting! The diagram below is a good one too.

source: http://thisisindexed.com/

source: http://thisisindexed.com/

This is the second wave of Seth’s book launch strategy, following on from him sending a pre-release copy of Linchpin to the first 3,000 people who made a donation of at least $30 to the Acumen Fund. This latest effort is twofold. First he has accessed the tribes of the contributors, and secondly he has brought these contributors further into his inner circle. No doubt we will see Aaron Wall and others reviewing Linchpin in January.

If as Guy Kawasaki says on his slide ‘the future belongs to people who can spread ideas’ then Godin is sitting pretty good, and  I need a few more readers, so why not hit my RSS button? Oh yes, I’m supposed to give you something first.

The Monetization of Social

Monday, December 7th, 2009

social-media-monetizationA recent article on TechCrunch describes the current situation succinctly, “Social seems to be the future, and Facebook just may do to Google what Google is doing to Microsoft (ripping apart their core business), if they ever find the right way to monetize it. Social graph monetization may be the next huge wave of revenue growth on the Internet.”

Who knows where Twitter will come in all this? By opening its API it has made massive strides, but I can’t help feeling that it is letting many monetization opportunities pass by. Shouldn’t Twitter be trying to keep Sprouter, StockTwit users etc. on the main platform by giving them the tools they need?

And while we have ringside seats to the rise or fail of social media, Google is going to be busy shifting us to cloud computing. Meanwhile over in Seattle Microsoft has Bing and the X-Box!

Things can change quicky. I still remember when Yahoo! was my homepage and I used MySpace. Maybe in a few years I’ll be using Bing and subscribing to Microsoft online for my software. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how it all plays out, and what impact the monetization (or failure of monetization) of social media will have.

If I had to invest my entire net worth in these tech players today and rely on it for a pension in 30 years, I would go for a balanced portfolio of Google (50%), Microsoft (30%), Twitter (15%) and Facebook (5%). How about you?