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Dealing With Twitter’s Information Overload

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) are developing a new Twitter client application that aims to derive meaning from the next-ending influx of tweets. The application, called “Eddi,” automatically groups tweets for you into topics mentioned either explicitly or, unlike most Twitter clients that also provide topic browsing, implicitly. The end result is a Twitter app you can use to quickly find the popular discussions within your own personal Twitter stream, either by search, tag cloud, timeline or category list. It even suggests tweets you might be interested in reading, helping you sort the signal from the noise.

Project “Eddi”

Ed Chi, area manager and principal scientist for the Augmented Social Cognition Research Group at PARC, told MIT’s Technology Review that the way people use Twitter is that they “dip in” to the Twitter stream from time to time, but don’t want to consume it all at once. The Eddi Project was created so that those brief dips into Twitter are more valuable to the end users.

The tool, Eddi, a Twitter client application named after the idea of eddies in a stream, has the barebones look of something built by data researchers as opposed to web designers. But its user interface isn’t the most important aspect – it’s the algorithms behind the facade that are its standout feature.

In order to filter Twitter’s content, Eddi provides two tools: a topic browser that shows tweets broken down into categories and a recommendation engine.

Twitter Topics – And Not Just the Popular Ones

The idea of browsing Twitter by topic is not unique – plenty of Twitter apps do the same, as does Twitter’s own search interface at search.twitter.com. But the problem with most of these systems is that they rely on keywords or hashtags – the latter being the annotations preceded by the pound sign (#) which users add to their tweets to make them searchable.

When there is a major event, such as the Icelandic volcano eruption, Michael Bernstein, a researcher at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT who is involved with the project, explained, the sheer volume of tweets provides a lot of information for an algorithm to use. What’s harder is to figure out are the topics attached to tweets that are more unique.

“The essence of the approach is to coerce a tweet to look more like a search query and then get a search engine to tell us more,” says Bernstein. After cleaning up the tweet, the tool feeds them into Yahoo’s Build your Own Search Service interface in an effort to surface web pages related to the tweet in question. This helps the system to appropriately categorize the tweets into topics.

Recommendation Engine

The second aspect to the system is a recommendation engine that ranks tweets by how interesting they are to you. To determine this, Eddi’s algorithms look at your own tweets and interactions with other Twitter users.

The new system will go live on the web for public testing sometime this summer. In the meantime, you can sign up for another of PARC’s experimental Twitter recommendation engines, this one called ZeroZero88. Information on sign up is here.

via ReadWriteWeb by Sarah Perez on 4/30/10

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Using Social Media to Connect with Other Entrepreneurs

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

When you first start your business, it can be stressful and lonely. You have taken a huge risk, have given up a steady income and benefits, and are now all by yourself.

Actually, you are not really alone. There are many others around the world who are in exactly the same position as you. Many of those people have not only ventured down the entrepreneurial road but have become successful. Many of them are delighted to share their stories, insight and advice with you. You just need to know how and where to find them.

This is where social media comes into play. Establishing new relationships nowadays is easier than it has ever been because of the steadily increasing access to information, ideas and people.

Web communities that revolve around entrepreneurship, business and programming are flourishing all over the place. Using Facebook, Twitter and various other social media networks makes it very easy for you to learn new information and to stay connected to other entrepreneurs.

Here are some helpful suggestions on how you can easily share your experiences with other entrepreneurs in order to enrich your professional life.

Follow entrepreneurs on Twitter

Twitter currently has a feature called “Lists,” which allows users to create lists of their favorite users. Many Twitter users take advantage of this feature to create lists of top entrepreneurs and startup business founders. That is an excellent first step toward building connections that are of value. Once you have built your lists, you should reach out to those on your list either by Email or by phone.

Connect with communities of entrepreneurs

There are several places on the Internet where entrepreneurs congregate. Discovering these treasured communities will definitely prove to be extremely valuable for you and your business. You can look at PartnerUp, a site that will assist you in finding co-founders and business partners; TheFunded, which concentrates on raising money for your startup company; and Hacker News, which is an online community site that shares useful articles on startups, human nature and development.

Find local events through social media

Although it can be very productive to connect with people online, it isn’t the same as meeting face to face and shaking hands. Social media can really help you by keeping you abreast of events that you would be likely to attend. A good way to start with this is by using a tool like Meetup. There are numerous meetups that may be appropriate for you and your business. Remember that it isn’t enough to attend a meetup once or twice. Attending meetups on a regular basis helps you to build rapport with people who share a common interest. You can also search for Facebook or LinkedIn events to attend.

Simply reach out to people

Remember, social media is a tool that is designed to make it easier for you to connect with other people. You still need to do the relationship building with other entrepreneurs once the connections have been made. You should use social media to find the people and reach out to them. After that, you will need to go to the next step and start more personal contact, which you will build over time.

HEY! Should I Change My Twitter Background?

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

I often wonder if changing the background on my Twitter account would be a good idea?

Here are some of the obvious reasons, I think,  justifies someone customizizing their Twitter background.

  1. Self expression:  How we are precieved is important to us.  I like that we can also use twitter to express our  interests, abilites, likes and dislikes and creativity.
  2. Brand recognition:  Promoting yourself or your business is an important element for developing more followers.
  3. Twitter only allows you 160 characters in your bio.  By customizing your background you can add more content.
Here is a good example:

Try too remember, while designing your new background, Twitter is not a forum for selling goods and servcies.  It is a social media, microblogging site for people (tweeps) who want to engage others in realtime. Exchanging content with the added challenge of only using a maximum of 140 characters.

Below is the background I created for my Twitter background.  What do you think?

Do you like this or is it too much?


Pope to Priests: Thou Shalt Blog

February 4, 2010 2 comments

You know the old marketing adage: Go where your customers are.

Pope Benedict XVI has apparently taken this to heart. In anticipation of the church’s 44th World Communications Day on May 16th, he has issued a statement, The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word. In it, he urges priests to use social media for outreach in conjunction with their traditional means of communication. The Pope feels that it’s urgent and necessary to be online, where so many people spend their time — especially young people, a key target demographic for the Church.

Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: As new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word. The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different “voices” provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.

The Pope obviously knows his social media.

pope Pope to Priests: Thou Shalt BlogHis comments dovetail with the Vatican’s effort in recent years to establish a larger online presence. The Holy See created a YouTube channel last year, offering video and audio clips of Pope Benedict’s addresses, along with news about the pontiff. The recently launched Pope2you portal offers an iPhone app, a Facebook app, Papal videos, and a link to the YouTube channel. The Vatican was on the bleeding edge when it created its own Web site 14 years ago, with access to the Vatican Museums and Vatican Secret Archives; there’s even a section in Latin for classical language buffs. The Catholic News Service, which is affiliated with the Vatican, is no technical slouch either — it has its own Facebook page, featuring news stories, notes, and blogs, with over 3,000 fans.

As CEO of the Catholic Church, the Pope knows the importance of guidelines. He’s clear to his followers about how he wants them to use social media and the message he wants them to communicate:

The increased availability of the new technologies demands greater responsibility… Using new communication technologies, priests can introduce people to the life of the Church and help our contemporaries to discover the face of Christ. They will best achieve this aim if they learn, from the time of their formation, how to use these technologies in a competent and appropriate way, shaped by sound theological insights and reflecting a strong priestly spirituality grounded in constant dialogue with the Lord… In this way the Word can traverse the many crossroads created by the intersection of all the different “highways” that form “cyberspace”.

Regardless of your religious convictions, it’s hard to deny how impressive it is that the 82-year-old leader ‘gets’ social media. It will interesting to see how many priests follow his lead.

Pope Benedict’s call to action is valuable advice for businesses, too. If he thinks that Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and blogging are good ways to spread his message, maybe these tools can help your company. If your firm’s leaders don’t see the value in developing a social media strategy, you can point to His Holiness’s commitment to the social Web as a branding and communication tool.

From: pamorama | January 28, 2010  | By Pam Dyer

Exposing Yourself On Twitter

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment

[tweetmeme source=”javilabbe” https://javilabbe.wordpress.com%5DAlright people calm down, I didn’t mean it in that way. Twitter is a great tool to network, build authentic relationships, communicate ideas, and relay powerful messages but what good will that do you if you haven’t found your twitter voice? Late at night, in my Brooklyn apartment, I stay up late for two reasons, one, because Mrs. Pinkus in 3f, my 85-year-old Russian neighbor, loves to blast Madonna’s Like a Virgin at full stereo, and two, to review the day in twitterland to see what I’ve missed (in case I failed to do so during the day). Often I’ll find twitter users trying so hard to gain followers by tweeting inside their niche, but then reveal too much information about their personal life in other tweets which backfires–worse than Tiger Woods having Elin talk to Rachel Uchitel–what was he thinking? I’ll give you an example. A little twitter blogger mommy I’ve come across will often tweet away about her blog posts on raising her children and ask for people to follow her. There’s nothing wrong with that–right? Her posts and tweets are filled with the best juice boxes to give your little ones and how to handle the “peanut butter-in-the-hair” moment when your child turns two. And when I read her tweets, it’s a calming, mommy sensation that takes me over. Really, I feel like Mother Goose. But then, in a disconnected, brash manner, she’ll tweet about the one-night stands she’s having and complain how those men are treating her like filth, dirt, and common gutter trash in very explicit language, if you know what I mean–and I think you do. (And by the way, her dating life sounds like an improvement on mine, but I digress) Main idea: If you’re going to use twitter for mommy blogging and your blog is rated G, then you want to keep your explicit rant-and-rave tweets separate, otherwise you’ll come across as someone who forgot to take their little purple pill that day. When you’re on twitter, you want to find your niche and roll with it. Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever have a bad day and feel like verbalizing, but I just cringe when I see tweets chirp across my screen that should be saved for therapy day. I mean, I’m sure Guy Kawasaki has bad days too, but you won’t catch him tweeting about his horrid love life issues in explicit details (not that he has any) on his regular twitter account. But if he does, I’m sure he rants and raves on a separate account, like, NoMoreMrNiceGuy (not that he has one). When you’re trying to establish yourself as an expert in your field or niche, find your twitter voice and stay within it. You’ll have cross-overs tweets, that’s to be expected because if you are utilizing twitter properly and engaging with your follower, you’re bound to go off your field’s topic. Just because you’re a pirate out on the sea doesn’t mean you aren’t going to retweet Perez Hilton’s tweet about Lady Gaga, but if you are a pirate people will expect wild and crazy tweets anyways–I assume because of the hot sea sun. But if your business is all about gardening and how to pick the perfect daisy, and your tweets center around that, then, all of a sudden you talk about “Death to the Man,” well, you might lose a follower or two–and gain three that will send you succinct instructions on how to do so. Rule of thumb, while on twitter, find your twitter voice and stick to it. Yes, you’ll sway once in a while, after all twitter reflects your life, business and habits, but be careful what that voice says, you want to engage and add value to the people who are currently following you, not cause them to dial 911 and stay up to watch the local news to see if some mommy blogger in South Carolina was just arrested on a morals charge.

by: Nando Rodriguez | February 3, 2010

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Is Twitter and Blogging Creating Phonies?

January 29, 2010 Leave a comment

big phonyThere is a lot of discussion about Twitter, Blogs and Social Media in general creating Illegitimate Experts, Gurus, Leaders… or iPhony’s. Lets’ look at the definition of Illegitimate– not in accordance with the principles of valid inference. By this definition Twitter, Blogs and social media may be creating illegitimate experts.  The beauty of the Internet and online community is the fact a person does not have to be “in accordance with a valid inference” to be successful.  No one is forced to follow or listen to anyone online, it’s a game of personal choice.

In the online world each individual is responsible for creating their own validation (whatever that means).  My personal opinion is this, “If a person has an audience, voice, knowledge, experience, personality, talent, information, the ability to influence and people are listening, They have been legitimized.”  If the above things are happening, the people are confirming that John Q. Twitterer or Suzy Q. Blogger aren’t iPhony’s.

There have been some very real and very legitimate online leaders that have risen out of the ranks of Twitter, Blogging and Social Media.  If people buy into what you are selling it’s only a matter of time before some degree of success and influence happens.

Traditional would-be experts are no longer the source of legitimization.  The market, the consumers, followers and the online community dictate whether or not a person is the “Real Deal.”  It doesn’t matter what I think or what you think, the only thing that matters is what the people think.  Let’s take a look at a relatively recent product that in my mind was not legitimate, The Snuggie.  Seriously a backwards robe is not a legitimate product.  The Snuggie has sold well over 4 million of their backwards robes; therefore the market and the people legitimized the product.  “Who am I and what do I know?”

Is Twitter & Blogging Creating iPhony’s?  Share your thoughts!

Posted by Scott Williams on January 30th 2010

Engaging Your Relationships

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Relationship Marketing

Get connected… what does that mean to you? Good question, let me explain what it means to me.

Get connected, is a social media phrase I use to describe the process of dynamic networking for engaging your online relationships. In the past we communicated differently, we connected by meeting face to face, or out in public settings, talking on the phone, sending letters and emails. We focused more on pushing information out with the intended plan of getting the message to as many people, in as short a time as possible.

In today’s virtual multitasking world, old school marketing alone won’t cut it anymore.  Social media has forever altered the marketing landscape.  Relationships are no longer static. We communicate more dynamically than ever before. Information exchanged today is interactive. Subtlety, suggesting we start new relationships. Gone are the practices of broadcasting products and services to markets expecting immediate gratification with, unfortunately, minimal responses. Consumers demand open access so they may ask questions, talk to other customers, read reviews, research comments and find support. They want to know, if you have a Face Book page, an account on Twitter, a LinkedIn profile or a blog for a reason.

I’ve invested a lot of time researching online social media & relationship marketing. The common denominator I’ve found, in all the blogs, websites, social media and online community networking sites is the emphasis on how to get connected. Once you embrace these emerging technologies, you will appreciate the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment felt as you engage your relationships or when you get connected.

This is an exciting time we live in and there is no limit to the ways in which we can get connected. Connecting is the first step in developing relationships. Social media is only a tool. We are going to have to engage if we want to develop our relationships.

I don’t expect to have all the answers; and I am definitely not a so-called “Social Media Guru.” What I am is… a highly motivated professional who wants to learn and share as much knowledge as possible.

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