Thursday, December 24, 2009

One of Twitter's Co-Creator's on How Twitter's "140 Characters" Was Born

Everyday is a new adventure of the social networking phenomenon Twitter. I've had my account since January of this year, and I am now a certified addict! In a good way of course.

I've met some amazing people: visual artists, media consultants, business visionaries, tech enthusiasts, and blogger extraordinaires. It's been the most life-changing, life-affirming time of my life thus far. Previously, I only thanked @Jack, @Ev, and @Biz for their work in creating Twitter. But last night, I ran across the feed of another Twitter co-creator, @Dom. And this man has the goods.

Below is the cool video interview he granted to explain the genesis of Twitter, as well as rationale for the "140 characters". Good stuff. Great insight. Can't wait to meet him at the upcoming Twitter Conference that's slated to be here in Seattle in March 2010.


Dom Sagolla on Twitter, 140 Characters, Square, and more from tracy sheridan on Vimeo.

Monday, December 21, 2009

MUSIC MONDAY (Female Edition)


This is one of my favorite Janet Jackson tunes. I had the biggest crush on her for years, and I attribute it to this video. So hot!


Classic Madonna. No one has ever accused her of not speaking up. She's a talented, brutally frank woman, and that powerful combination has paid huge dividends for her career.


I love Amy Winehouse's voice. Her sound is a great throwback and nod to the singers of the 60s, and the great tunes they created.


Mary J. Blige has been through so much, and music has been her way of expressing the range of dramatic peaks and valleys that have characterized her life. I love this woman.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Glimpse into Sarah Palin's Future

Journalists, bloggers, pundits, commentators, and political strategists are at a loss over what Sarah Palin will be doing in the very near future. I have no doubt that she will not be running for president. I'll spare my readers a lengthy expose of why I believe this. Let me say just say this: her recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien should provide us with a clear idea of Palin's actual ambition: television.

Yes, I believe she's angling for her own show. No, not a late night gig, but something Oprah-esque. I have no concrete proof, but I definitely think it's in the cards. She hasn't been doing any hard-hitting policy interviews, and probably won't do any. She's just going to continue going on shows where she can showcase her humor, and maybe even take a few jabs at her rivals. There is nothing wrong with this route of course. It's just not exactly the way you get elected president.

Trust me, Palin is not running for president. As I wrote in the Huffington Post in September, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will be the first woman to be president or vice-president. Palin's future is in television, and its conceivable that she could have some modest success.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Why I Will NEVER Give Up Twitter's Follow Friday

You read that title right. I will never stop participating in the long Twitter tradition of Follow Friday. Lately, there has been a push in many quarters to shut down the practice altogether. I can't speak for anyone else, but I love it because it allows me to be creative. I use lots of Twitter Keys to enhance my tweets: smiling faces, arrows, hearts, stars, and of course hashtags. It has never ceased being fun.

I do understand the concern that many have voiced. Many now view Follow Friday as "spammy" because many just put lots of names in a tweet. There is a point to this criticism. People should be more creative and targeted in their Follow Friday tweets. Yes, this is true.

But at the end of the day, I'm not going to tell someone how to construct their tweets. I'll show them how I do it. If asked, I'll even give advice. But for many, it's simply harmless fun. And one must remember: its a recommendation, a stamp of approval, if you will, for all that are fortunate to be included.

I suspect that Follow Friday will continue, as Twitter itself evolves and matures even more. It should always be apart of the fabric of the Twitter-verse!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiger Woods Needs to Step Forward...and Tell it to Oprah

I don’t get any satisfaction in seeing the unraveling of Tiger Wood’s personal and professional lives. The nonstop parade of sordid and salacious tidbits about alleged mistresses is disgusting. But this is the reality he’s staring at because he didn’t get out in front of the story early.

By granting a one-on-one interview with Oprah Winfrey, Tiger would effectively slow down the daily feeding frenzy. Over 85% of Oprah’s viewership is female. An appearance on her show undoubtedly helped Arnold Schwarzenegger in his 2003 run for California Governor. If you’ll recall, Schwarzenegger’s poll numbers among women voters was terrible, which were fueled in part from rumors of infidelity as well as his own admission of having been on rowdy movie sets. Oprah’s interview made the difference. And it is no reason to believe that an appearance wouldn’t also benefit Tiger, and help him to stop the bleeding.


Tiger needs to steer clear of the writers who are currently claiming they have a right know what he’s doing at 2am every morning, who he’s in the shower with, and the name and zodiac sign of every single contact in his iPhone. Give that crowd the cold shoulder. This is a nightmare, and a circus. The last thing he needs is a Q&A with someone looking to extend the controversy, and someone who gleefully and intentionally defines alleged mistresses to mean confirmed mistresses.

I know Tiger is a notoriously private person, but conversations about his "transgressions" have become an unwanted volleyball. The human costs to his family and himself are more important to me than the financial costs associated with his endorsements and billionaire status. With so many unanswered questions, an Oprah interview is indeed his best bet. He can deny what's false, confirm what's true, and talk about his life going forward before what would be a massive TV audience. A highly recommended scenario for sure. I hope this happens, and happens soon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guest Blogger: Blair Semenoff aka @Flipbooks

Today's Guest Blogger is marketing visionary Blair Semenoff, known on Twitter as @Flipbooks. He graciously allowed me to share his great post with my readers. This is one of the best, most thoroughly reasoned posts on Retweets, and, how to get the most out of Twitter as a whole. Enjoy!

How @Flipbooks Hit 80,000 RTs

by Blair Semenoff aka @Flipbooks

Here is an article that has gotten me well over 250 Re-Tweets (RT) by one of my favorite sources of information Fast Company ~> ‘Nine Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Retweeted on Twitter’….and believe it or not, after I wrote this blog was the very first time I ever read it! lol What I’m going to share with you isn’t Science, but simple tips to help increase the amount of RTs you get. So who am I to tell you how to get an RT? Well…. on December 6th I celebrated my 80,000th RT which according to this article ~~> Ranks me 31st most RTed person/brands in the Twitterverse, so I think I know a thing or two…. So if you’re serious about “succeeding” on Twitter, I’m going to HELP YOU reach a higher level of RTs GUARANTEED!

1. Say THANK YOU!! I can’t stress this enough. This is AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF TWITTER! And this is the part of Twitter I miss the most. I don’t care who you are, or who you THINK you are, say THANK YOU! I used to do my BIG SHOUT-OUTs (groups of 10) and did them for every RT until I hit 150+RTs/day and it became so stress full & time consuming (had to type names manually at that time) that I had a semi-break down! lol Personally I think until you get 100+RTs/day you should be saying Thank You to everyone. (Exceptions & Alternatives are at the bottom of page)

2. #B-Tips It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they’re not listening. Build friends, not followers. My first Tweet was sent on May 13th 2009 at 7:49pm. So for me to reach an average of 384 RTs/day (now-a-days 500+ daily) with only 14,000+ followers, obviously I’ve tried my best to keep in some sort of contact with people (usually w/ the RT to show I care enough to see what they’ve said & am thinking about them) I suggest you concentrate on friendships instead of how many people are following you. This is Social Media btw…This isn’t a step, just should be common sense. Take care of your inner group of people who RT you the most first. And en-less you’re a major news source, you should be RTing people. If you’re not RTing in my opinion you’re just “stealing” Tweets from certain people and Tweeting them for yourself and that’s that!!

3. Killer content. And how do you find killer content? By following YOU, ya you the one who’s reading this! Twitter is about sharing information gathered on Global scale. A mind blowing amount of information is in each & everyone of our time-lines if we just LOOK. And of course you are only as strong as the people you’re following. (and the people in my stream are the BEST!) I’m not going to go into detail on how to find these ’gems of the Twitterverse’ I’ll save that for another post.

Where else? Guess what its right in front of you! Every Tweet contains articles or blogs that have an archive, recent post and usually MOST POPULAR. Obviously Digg, StumbleUpon yada yada… are AWESOME sources of info for the community. Search around you’d be amazed what you’ll find! And get subscriptions and/or RSS of articles you enjoy reading. I do Copyblogger, AdAge and way too mention! lol

4. DON’T REMOVE PEOPLE FROM THE RT. Look for Tweets that have been RTed 3 or more times. While leaving yourselves 12-15 characters, so another RT can be achieved. Why? A) This means it’s great content. B) When people see friends in an RT, they’re more likely to RT it. C) Great way to make new friends since its likely someone you’ve just RTed you’ve never met. *I like to follow anyone I RT & people who RT me.

5. Make your Tweets sound RT worthy by adding descriptive words, excitement and purpose! One of the masters on Twitter is @Twitter_Tips. You don’t see as much ’copy & paste’ over there. K, think about it like this….your Tweet is actually a news/magazine headline more or less. Look at the copywiting, structure etc… of those junk magazines beside the check out isle. I’m gonna leave it at that….but adding ‘Beautiful’, ’in the World’ or ‘ ! ‘ has gotten me a few extra RTs I’m sure. Expanding on tip #5, remember one of Twitter’s most important features is the keyword searches. The more useful keywords you use (while avoiding duplicates) the more likely you’ll get seen. And that brings me to my next point. Add your source if its from a reputable feed. This also builds creditability to your Tweet, and ads VALUABLE KEYWORDS. Example, you’ll see me adding (TIME), (LIFE), (Mashable) and a great one that hits two keywords (Yahoo! News).

6. FIGHT FOR IT! You need to put the effort in to make what you just RTed SIMPLE for the next person and the next person and so on…to RT as well. And it’s the little things you do that make it all the difference! K, so at the end of our names there is ( : ) @Flipbooks: ALWAYS REMOVE IT! Remove any periods ( . ) located before links *since obviously the sentence ends* as well as at the end of Tweets. Next look for ‘and’ & switch it to ’&” FYI doing this double (RT @….. via @……) is a waste! **I’ll be going on a rant soon on how RTs are being performed on a later date…lol**

Here is a very good example of me fighting for RTs, which JD ‘@earthxplorer‘ Andrews & I got! RT @earthXplorer: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” ~Dr. Seuss (138 Characters)
What I did ~>

RT @earthXplorer Be who you are & say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter & those who matter don’t mind ~Dr Seuss (128 Characters = 12 characters left for possibly two RTs per Tweet)

7. Use #Tags, but don’t over abuse or use them incorrectly. I’m going to be brief since this subject is VERY IMPORTANT and needs to be discussed with it’s own blog. Think of #tags as a community & a place to anchor your brands message. Too many #tags (more than 3) and you look spammy, while releasing too many Tweets consecutively to the same #tag gets you ignored and possibly blocked from Twitter searches. You should be doing a keyword search judging flow of timeline prior to Tweeting.

#B-Tips If your user name is too long and/or difficult you should change it. If its to long you’re robbing yourself of extra RTs and if it’s too difficult there leaves too much room for error. Refer to this article by @Kim ~> How to Change your Username on Twitter

8. DON’T USE 2 or especially 3 Links in 1 Tweet. That’s called mass confusion & no one wants to put out that kind of effort validating EVERY link so they can RT ya!

9. According to provided to me by my very good friend @ScottATaylor there are approximately 20,000 Tweets per minute. The question is who reads yours and which of your friends are likely to RT it? And although this next tip will annoy those not using Twitter effectively (under 1000 friends in their stream) sending out 2 Tweets consecutively will increase the likely-hood you’ll be seen by your friends.

10. Another thing to take into consideration is Tweeting during busy times. From my experience 4-6:30am, 4-6:30pm & 10pm-12:00am PST are all peak times for me to obtain followers. As one of my closest friends @Paul_Steele says, depending on what country you’re Tweeting in the peak times and subjects (eg. TV shows) will repeat themselves weekly. Regardless you want to be Tweeting when the majority of your closest friends are on.

11 . Have I failed to mention I’ve Tweeted over 35,500 times and sent over 5000 DMs in only 208 days with an average of 177.2 Tweets sent a day….basically like someone who should be in the Internet Rehab Center? lol. No you don’t need to Tweet like a mad man/woman to get RT-ed, but you do need to Tweet on a consistent basis to keep up with what's happening and to maintain friendships.

So I hope these tips were of assistance to you and I want to thank each and everyone of you for all your support and RTs!

Friday, December 4, 2009

President Obama's Aggressive Move on Job Creation

I am very happy that President Obama is being more aggressive on job creation. Everyone knows he came in with a tall order: to clean up an unbelievable mess while simultaneously preventing our economy from falling off a cliff. Yes, his first year has a been a legislative and diplomatic success, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

And yes, the Stimulus Bill has worked. It created and saved jobs. So says a report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. In fact, The USA TODAY examined data that shows how stimulus cash has lifted Blue & Red States alike, and has offset a major drop in tax collections. And if that's not enough, the ultra conservative Wall Street Journal even admitted that the stimulus (which they campaigned against) is helping the U.S. climb out of the current recession.

But, the jobs picture still isn't improving fast enough for many Americans.

So yesterday, President Obama brought together Big Labor, Big Business, and ordinary citizens to field questions, and share his thoughts on what he can do immediately to reverse job losses. According to my sources, President Obama is going to lay out his plan of action next Tuesday.

Among the things he's considering: getting the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make it easier for small businesses to get guaranteed loans; freeing up more capital for start up ventures; and tax breaks to small and mid-sized businesses that hire workers. He is also looking for ways to jump start an impressive number of green jobs now, instead of waiting for the impending Climate Bill, which Obama will sign next year.

With Americans hurting, this is the right move.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day

"WorldAIDSDay is the time to remember those who we have lost to AIDS and to take stock of progress in responding to the pandemic."
- Yasmin Beitollahi

The words ring true. Don't let this day go to waste. New AIDS cases are on the rise around the globe, and our governments, our elected officials, and our communities need to engage this issue with all that we have.

The lead singer of the group U2, Bono, believes AIDS awareness and education is one of the defining moral issues of our time. I agree. There needs to be a big push to reduce the rate of infection, and, an even bigger push (with FUNDING and not just rhetoric) to find a cure.

Get involved on World AIDS Day, and, any day of the year for that matter.