88 posts categorized "Twitter"

WordTwit Pro Gives You Excellent Controls for Auto-Tweeting of Posts

I've long been a fan of the WordTwit plugin from BraveNewCode and used it on both Voxeo's blogs as well as my own to auto-tweet out new blog posts. Given that I write 99% of my blog posts offline (using MarsEdit) and send them to the blog site for posting, the fact that I couldn't configure the resulting auto-tweet in WordTwit was never really a big deal to me. Some of my Voxeo colleagues who used the WordPress editor, though, really wanted to be able to modify the auto-tweet.

Primarily they wanted to add hashtags, although sometimes they wanted to change the tweet to be different from the title of the post.

The BraveNewCode folks came out with WordTwit Pro back in June and with my chaotic summer I'd never really taken a look at it... but now that I have I admit to being quite impressed! This video gives a great tour:

I admit that what I personally find most interesting is the ability to automatically schedule multiple tweets. I know from my own reading of my Twitter stream that there is no way I can even remotely keep up with the stream... and so I only see things that happen to come by at any given time. I've often thought about auto-tweeting a blog post... and then tweeting it again maybe 8 or 12 hours later when a different group of people may be monitoring Twitter. This plugin now helps automate that.

I haven't installed it yet on my own site... but I'm definitely thinking of doing so...


Fascinating Chart of Growth of Google+ Relative to Facebook and Twitter

Fascinating chart on the growth of Google+ relative to Facebook and Twitter, courtesy of Leon Håland:

Growthofgoogleplus 1

Now, of course, being the newcomer Google+ benefits from already having Facebook and Twitter out there to spread the news about Google+ ... and to spread the links to Google+ material.

Google also has the massive directory of users of Google services... from Gmail to Google Docs and everything in between.

So on one level it's no surprise to see the phenomenal growth... still, it's quite impressive by any measure.

P.S. And of course I am on Google+...


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Video: Rocketboom Provides A Great Explanation of Google+ vs Facebook and Twitter

With all the hype about Google+ lately, a lot of people have been seeking to understand how it is different - or not - from Twitter and Facebook. The folks over at Rocketboom came out with this video that does a nice job of explaining the differences - kudos to the team!

And yes, I'm naturally on Google+ these days...


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Great Photo of President Obama Tweeting Out of The Twitter Town Hall

Sure, you can argue that Wednesday's "Twitter Town Hall" was a clever publicity stunt for Twitter, Inc., but I think you do have to admit this photo from Geoff Livingston is pretty cool!

The First Presidential Tweet

I mean... here is the President of the United States getting involved with interacting with people over Twitter.

Fun to see...

And, gee, it turns out that the first tweet answered in the town hall was from someone here in New Hampshire. Now... why would that be? I mean, N.H. doesn't play any real role in politics, does it? ;-)


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My FIR Report - June 13, 2010 - How Apple's WWDC News Impacts Communicators

In my report into today's For Immediate Release (FIR) podcast, I spoke about why communicators should care about the news coming out of Apple's WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) last week. In particular, I spoke about the deep integration of Twitter into iOS 5, the next version of the operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. I also spoke briefly about iMessage, the new IM service that Apple is introducing in iOS 5.

I also discussed iCloud and how Apple is truly moving to viewing Mac laptops and servers as "just another device" connected to the cloud... and how this is another sign of our true migration to a "post-PC era" (using "PC" generically for desktop computers) where functionality moves into the cloud.

I also explained why I thought communicators ought to care about all of this, even if they don't use Macs or Apple devices... but for that, you'll need to listen to the episode ;-)


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It's Official - Tweetdeck Is Now Part of Twitter

The rumors were right... it's official...

Tweetdecktwitter

Here's hoping that they don't screw it up ... and that our fears turn out to be unfounded...


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More Tweetdeck Acquisition Rumors - Now Led by a CNN Money Report

TweetdeckMore rumors out today that Twitter has acquired Tweetdeck for $40 million USD, this time led not by TechCrunch (although TechCrunch naturally commented) but by CNN Money, followed by a whole host of other sites reporting on the CNN story.

Yet to be seen, of course, is whether or not the deal actually happens. As I wrote back in early May, I'm not thrilled by the idea of a Twitter acquisition of Tweetdeck, primarily because I like the fact that I can use Tweetdeck with NON-Twitter platforms like Facebook... and worry that this might be removed in a Twitter-owned platform.

We shall see, eh?

Meanwhile, I did enjoy this tweet from Twitter's PR team...


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Why I Am NOT Thrilled About Twitter Buying TweetDeck...

Oh, Tweetdeck, say it isn't so... rumors have been swirling for months and now appear to be confirmed by TechCrunch that Twitter will be acquiring TweetDeck for $40-50 million USD. A zillion other sites have written about this in the 21 hours since TechCrunch posted their piece (well, all the ones that weren't engaging in the feeding frenzy about Osama Bin Laden), but here's my view:
I fear for my TweetDeck!

You see, TweetDeck has become far more for me than simply a "Twitter client". It is more my "social media command console". When I'm in my home office I have it running on a large iMac screen, complete with all my various Twitter lists, Twitter searches, Facebook updates and so much more:

TweetDeck

As you can perhaps see at the very bottom of that screenshot, I have a ton of columns in TweetDeck, lining up with various searches, lists, for different accounts. I've arranged the columns so I can easily move back and forth to scan what is going on with various areas of interest or for different accounts. It works great. Sure, it's an Adobe AIR client, so it naturally sucks up more CPU and memory than I'd like... but the convenience and power of the app make it such that I'll live with the drain on my system and hope that maybe some day AIR will suck less.

When I'm on the road, TweetDeck is fired up on my laptop providing me a mobile command center. I was even using it for a while on my iPad... although there were too many crashes and I actually tried out the "official" Twitter client for the iPad... and have admittedly come to like that client on the iPad.

Part of TweetDeck's strength is its support for multiple accounts. I'm currently using it to manage:

  • 5 Twitter accounts
  • 1 Facebook account (my own)
  • 1 Facebook page

The beauty of TweetDeck is that you can so easily post out to multiple accounts... or retweet from multiple accounts. If I post something to one account and then want to retweet it from other accounts, it is a simple matter of clicking the "retweet" icon for a tweet and then clicking the buttons associated with the accounts I want to retweet from. I've yet to find a Twitter client that rocks the multiple account feature better than TweetDeck.

Ditto the support for the "classic" retweet (that you could edit) and the "new" retweet (that is a pointer to the tweet). TweetDeck gives you the option to choose between the two approaches and, if you don't set the choice in your options, you get this box each time you retweet, giving you the flexibility to choose right then what kind of retweet you want to do:

TweetDeckretweets

I love it! It works perfectly for me.

Add to this the ease at spawning new searches... viewing profiles... launching new columns on hashtags.... and on and on...

It is, indeed, my social media command center.

So Why The Fear of Twitter?

So why my fear? I mean, on one level this is great for the TweetDeck gang... kudos to them for making a product strong enough to be acquired! (And I mean that, seriously... they are great folks there!)

But that strength is my concern... I worry that:

1. TWITTER WILL KILL TWEETDECK - Twitter already has an "official" Twitter client, at least on Mac OS X. Why does it need a second? If, as the TechCrunch article suggests, this is a purely defensive move by Twitter, will they truly invest in keeping TweetDeck alive and improving?

2. TWITTER WILL STRIP THE NON-TWITTER FEATURES FROM TWEETDECK - Note that I said above that TweetDeck is my "social media command center", not my "Twitter command center". One of the great aspects of TweetDeck is that it also lets me bring in my Facebook status updates, my LinkedIn updates, my FourSquare updates and, if I cared, updates from MySpace and Google Buzz. I've come to really only use the Facebook updates... but it's excellent to have both together in the same client. Particularly in that I can post to both using the single client.

Why should Twitter keep all this non-Twitter functionality in the client when all they really care about is.. well... Twitter?

Sure, they might not immediately remove it, but will engineers really spend time improving or fixing the non-Twitter features? When they have so many Twitter-related improvements to fix? I have to question how long the answer would be "yes".

3. THE THREAT TO THE LARGER TWITTER ECOSYSTEM - On a more macro level, I worry about the acquisition of TweetDeck putting even more of a chill on third-party development than is already there. Twitter is at a point where they really have to choose between being an "open" platform or being an entire solution or service. They certainly seem to want to be more of the entire solution... and further client consolidation is only going to drive that.

And we, as users very definitely lose if there is not a broader ecosystem.

In the end...

Ultimately it may be that TweetDeck needs this acquisition. I don't know their finances or what they are trying to do. It may be that this is their best path to growth.

And maybe my fears will be unfounded and Twitter will let TweetDeck thrive and grow as the multi-service command center that it is.

And maybe the rumors of the acquisition may be completely unfounded...

It just does cause me to be concerned.

What about you? Do the rumors concern you? What concerns you most about a potential acquisition of TweetDeck by Twitter?


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Empire Avenue Gives Me Flashbacks to Farmville & Highlights A Fundamental Difference Between Twitter & Facebook

EmpireAvenueLately, several friends and others whose opinions I value highly have started to play "Empire Avenue", a new social "game" where "Everyone's For Sale" and you can buy and sell shares of "people" who are on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

No big deal, really... I mean, hey, we all need breaks and escapes and if that is how they want to spend their time, that's perfectly fine by me. It's undoubtedly much tamer and better than half a zillion other activities, and being personally a big fan and player of traditional board games, Empire Avenue sounds a whole lot like Monopoly or another similar game.

What's my issue?

All the Empire Avenue updates pollute my Twitter feed.

Suddenly I'm scanning down my tweet stream and keep seeing tweets like this:

Empireavenue 1 1

Grammatical error aside (Hello, Empire Avenue? You need to do a basic check of "if number = 1, use 'share', else use 'shares'.), here's the thing:

I don't CARE if you bought a share in someone!

Really and truly... I don't.

Do I Care About Your (Virtual) Cow?

Which is where I'm getting the flashbacks to Farmville. When it first started in Facebook, suddenly we all saw messages in our Facebook NewsFeed about:

  • how so-and-so bought a new cow; or
  • how their plants needed to be watered; or
  • that they had plowed X new fields; or
  • that we could help them out by buying them a pig.

And either you loved the idea and started playing the game yourself or you hated seeing the updates and wanted to get rid of them.

The Fundamental Difference

Which serves to highlight a fundamental difference between Facebook and Twitter:

On Facebook you can hide updates from an APPLICATION, whereas on Twitter you can't.

As most all of us on Facebook now know, you can click on the "X" next to an update in your news feed and if it is from an application you can "hide" updates from that app:

Facebook hideapps 1

Once you do this, you never see another update from that application until you go and unblock that app. (And do any of us really remember where that unblock option is?) So for me personally, Farmville, Cityville and all the animal and jewel games have just gone away... they no longer "pollute" my Facebook newsfeed.

The issue, of course, is:

We don't have this blocking option in Twitter.

Twitter is a much simpler system and in that simplicity is really a great part of its beauty and the reason, in my opinion, for its great success.

The process of using Twitter's API is drop-dead simple... and there isn't any complex process behind it. Anyone can create an app that connects to your Twitter stream... and there are loads of toolkits and services out there that will help you with that.

But you can't easily block updates from an application that someone is using. You have to either "unfollow" the person...

or just learn to ignore their updates.

Which, to be honest, is what I've done with FourSquare updates that many of my friends publish out to their tweet streams... and is obviously what I'm going to be doing with regard to Empire Avenue tweets.

I don't expect Twitter to offer us a solution - although perhaps some of the third-party Twitter clients will offer that option (since they can gain access through the API to what app is posting the tweet and could conceivably block on that app). Of course, with Twitter's recent war on third-party clients, we may never see this kind of innovation, but I digress...

It just highlights a fundamental difference in the level of control that you have between what you see in your feeds for Facebook and Twitter.

P.S. I Could, Of Course, Be Wrong

I should note that I'm still trying to stay open-minded about Empire Avenue itself. I haven't signed up yet (Hey, I was on vacation last week building garden beds and writing :-) ) and I've read what Jeremiah Owyang, Scott Monty and others have written, as well as an interview with the Empire Avenue CEO:

I'm still reading and watching. My initial reaction is what I wrote above... maybe that will change over time... maybe it won't.

Meanwhile, I do find myself wishing I could just hide all updates from some apps like this in my Twitter stream..

What do you think? Do you wish there was a way to NOT see updates from games or apps in your Twitter stream? Or have you just gotten really good at ignoring tweets like these?


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Breaking News: MediaSift (makers of TweetMeme) Licenses Twitter Firehose to Merge With Klout And Sentiment Data

Data20conMoments ago at the Data 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, representatives of Twitter and MediaSift (the people behind Tweetmeme) stood onstage to announce that MediaSift is licensing Twitter's "firehose" to provide a way to obtain filtered feeds from the Twitter firehose. The service, which will be branded "DataSift", will be available at:
http://datasift.net/

Right now the service is in "Alpha" only and will be launched, per the news post, in Q3 2011.

The intriguing element here is that instead of dealing with the entire Twitter firehose through, for instance, the service that Gnip provides, with DataSift you will be able to filter the feed down based on keywords... or even Klout scores (or PeerIndex scores) and/or sentiment analysis.

This is where it could get interesting. You could then set up monitoring for tweets mentioning your brand name that had a negative sentiment and were from someone with a certain "authority" (remembering the issues with any such system). You could then act on those tweets in some fashion (sending out an alert, responding via Twitter, pinging someone via SMS). The key is that the filtering is done in MediaSift's cloud and you get to interact with an already filtered and merged feed.

Pricing was not disclosed in the announcement, although it was said that you only have to pay for the tweets with which you interact - and could also do that on a time-driven basis (i.e. for an hour). On the DataSift web site, there is a pricing page with little detail, but a pricing calculator may give some view into the pricing (if that price there is in US dollars. I can't tell from the symbol).

All in all it sounds like an intriguing service... now we just have to wait for it to actually be launched and publicly available.


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