Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We're just Mad about Mad Men

Amazing story today about Mad Men. So rich on so many levels. First, for those unaware, fans of AMC's Mad Men had created Twitter accounts in the show's characters names and the characters were tweeting within their personas.  As you can imagine, they were quite popular on Twitter with many followers.  Alan Wolk has a great synopsis of the concept and Twitter impact. But then just as we got used to tweeting Don Draper and receiving fun messages from Peggy Olson, it stopped. Twitter and AMC pulled the accounts as violations of the DMCA. But we're not done yet...No, sensing the value that the show was getting from its characters on Twitter, the decision was reversed and all of the fictional characters' accounts were restoredScott Monty has all of the details in his most recent provocative post. Isn't the whole point of social media to give your customers a voice and understand that you don't own the brand?  There is another story on brandjacking here that I will get to (one day soon), but let's take a look at the brand's popularity impact.  Using Twitter StreamGraphs, you can see how much buzz was generated today.

As another indication of the buzz, you can read more about Mad Men and Twitter in the following blogs:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A few questions for companies to consider as they join Twitter

More and more companies have joined the Twitterverse. Over the past week, I have been followed by Whole Foods, Starbucks, American Airlines and Popeyes Chicken. Hopefully, these companies and others are discovering that Twitter is a great place to join the conversation with those customers.  Much has been written here and elsewhere about ways to facilitate those conversations. But as companies jump on the Twitter bandwagon, I have a lot of questions that they should consider since Twitter is designed for individuals:
  • Do you set up a Twitter account with your official brand name or an employee spokesman?
    • Great naming conventions by Dell (RichardatDELL) and Zappos (Zappos_Alfred) let customers know that their companies have a human face.
    • Another best practice: Zappos uses a page on their website to let customers know all of the "official" company Tweeters.
  • What are your goals and objectives for Twitter?
  • Who speaks for your brand?
  • Which department manages the Twitter account: Marketing, PR, Customer Service, Sales?
  • Is there a Twitter editorial policy?
  • How often do you send links to your website?
  • Do tweets comply with SEC and SOX regulations?
  • How do you protect against your brandjacking?
  • If you are not ready to be on Twitter, do you Twittersqat your company name?
  • Who do you follow?
  • Do you follow back those that follow you?
  • How often do you promote the brand in your tweets?
  • Do you offer unique coupons to Twitter?
  • How do you track those?  And what is success?
  • Do you have a policy or guidelines for employees who tweet?
  • Whose account is it?
  • Must employees include the company in their bio?
  • Which department enforces the policy?
  • How do you bridge the line between being "big brother" and protecting the brand?
These are just a few concerns that companies should consider as they join the community.  I am sure there are many more.  And like all things Twitter, there is no hard and fast rule or right answer. It must feel right based on the objectives and culture of the company.  What else should brands consider as they get active on Twitter? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Twitter Magic

Tonight while playing around on Twitter, I noticed an interesting tweet from Guy Kawasaki:
I didn't pay much attention honestly.  I thought maybe Guy had a heavy fetish or it was related to the lovely hat and boa set he is now wearing in his Twitter avatar. 11 minutes and 25 answers to Guy's question later, I saw this tweet from Guy:
Obviously, this is great Word of Mouth Marketing for Oriental Trading.  But even better, I know the Oriental VP of Marketing,  Neal Patrick. Unfortunately, Neal doesn't use Twitter nor does his company.  However, I have a feeling that will change soon.  So I connected Guy with Neal on Facebook and sent Guy Neal's email address.  Hopefully, they can help each other out.  More importantly, we saw the magic of the Twitter community with our loosely joined networks.

Now Guy, I do know a great little blog about Twitter that would be an awesome addition to Alltop! What do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More on brands that get it

I've written a few times on brands that get Twitter:
Since then, much has been written about brands that get it:
You can find more articles about brands on Twitter and best practices from my delicious tags.

So for all you brands out there, we've teed it up for you, told you how to do it the right way, and the wrong way.  It's up to you!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cool Dell event using Twitter

Found this on Lionel Menchaca's Dell blog. The Dell Global Mobility Event has a dedicated Twitter account to enable customers to engage in conversation with Dell during the event. Great use of Twitter, in my opinion!
clipped from direct2dell.com

Dell Global Mobility Event & Twitter

DM - green I love it when I get to blog about Twitter. Lots of you out there in the blogosphere are aware that we are having a global mobility event tomorrow (Tuesday August 12—register here). We're adding Twitter into the mix to have discussions and answer questions from folks in real-time online the event.
Sound interesting? If so anyone who wants to chat with us from 9am - 10am PDT can go to www.twitter.com/Digital_Nomads. An even better way to track the conversation tomorrow is through this link on Summize.com. I'll be part of a group that will be an
What: Live event featuring demonstration of a new generation of fresh and innovative designs, extreme power-efficiency and connectivity that will allow users to work anytime, anywhere.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

News travels fast

Many of us have often marvelled at how Twitter often scoops the mainstream press and news is announced first on Twitter by ordinary people.  Last week's earthquake in Los Angeles is evidence of that. 

And this morning's propane explosion in Toronto really demonstrates the impact of Twitter as well. Jeremiah Owyang (does this guy ever sleep?) was following the story on Twitter.
Photographer Rannie Turingan awoke to the sounds of explosions and went to work, twittering as he posted photos. His blog, Photojunkie, captured the story before any of the mainstream media. However, not only were the Photojunkie pictures picked up my major newspapers and magazines, but LA Times Travel blogger, Jen Leo, wrote about the story this morning based on her reading @jowyang's twitter stream. 
For a steady stream of Twitter explosion updates, Search.twitter.com (Summize) has a great feed. 

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Twitter makes the mainstream press - The hottest Web startup

A great article in Wednesday's Fortune on Twitter, The hottest Web startup! Fortune Writer, Adam Lashinsky, not only explains Twitter to his mainstream audience, but also interviews founders Jack Dorsey and Ev Williams. By the way, don't feel bad for Biz Stone as he was profiled in Conde Nast Portfolio, earlier this week.

Lashinsky covers alot of ground, moving from explanation of the service to the Summize acquisition, monetization, Fail Whale and significant milestones. The milestones cited include:
  • Jon Stewart mentioning Twitter on The Daily Show
  • Obama campaign sending out tweets to followers.
  • John Culberson and his Twitter travails in the House
  • LAFD using Twitter to track California wild fires
Regarding monetization, Lashinsky hints about the impact that Summize will have. Although no new ground is broken on how to monetize Twitter, I did learn a lot about CEO Jack.  He meets with a CEO coach weekly, has removed his nose ring, but still sports a forearm length tattoo of an F-sharp (symbol of an integral for all of you calculus deficients).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Serious Spam

We've all seen the Twitter spammers, those people with weird Twitter names like Stella613 or MikeGravel832 whofollow thousands and broadcast a single message multiple times. In fact, I've written about the spammers before and Twitter's efforts to control it. Unfortunately, Twitter spam and malware is turning a lot more sinister.

Adam Cohen told me about a site, Twitpwn, that is focused on logging all past and current vulnerabilities in Twitter. The guys at Twitpwn write about the potential for distributing malware via Twitter. Security experts at Kaspersky Labs have identified  a malicious Twitter profile twitter.com/[skip]/ with a name that is Portuguese for ‘pretty rabbit’ which has a photo advertising a video with girls posted.
This profile has obviously been created especially for infecting users, as there is no other data except the photo, which contains the link to the video.
If you click on the link, you get a window that shows the progress of an automatic download of a so-called new version of Adobe Flash which is supposedly required to watch the video. You end up with a file labeled Adobe Flash (it’s a fake) on your machine; a technique that is currently very popular.
In reality, this is a Trojan downloader that proceeds to download 10 banker Trojans onto the infected machine, all of which are disguised as MP3 files. We first detected the downloader proactively as Heur.Downloader and then added a signature to detect it also as Trojan-Downloader.Win32.Banload.sco.

News of the malware/virus profile has been spreading fast as it has been written about on Ars Technica, TechCrunch and The Register, but of course good Twitermaven readers don't go to those minor sites and only depend on the maven for news. :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Twitter's impact on big brands

Scott Monty wrote about his first big assignment, as Ford's Social Media Czar on his blog today.  Tomorrow is 2009 Model Year Media day, and as we've come to expect from Mr. Monty, he has come up with some innovative ideas. Monty has invited a bunch of bloggers to the event so that they can get the inside scoop on the new cars and write about them for their communities.  So far, nothing new, I know.  But he's not inviting just the car bloggers. Don't worry, they are going.  But so are alot of lifestyle bloggers, people interested in areas like technology, environmental issues, family and luxury. The big Ford event will include:
 I'm sure you recognize these people as they are all very prominent on Twitter. I'm not sure if Scott Monty met these bloggers on Twitter, but I do know that his relationships with each of them was strengthened by Twitter. So based on the relationships that we make on Twitter, we can have an impact on big brands.  Bravo and best of luck! Well done, Scott Monty!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Back from vacation

Ok, it's been a little quiet as I was out on vacation for a couple of weeks.  Yes, a vacation from twitter as well.  Vacation's are a great way to recharge the batteries and I found that even taking a little break from the twitterverse works wonders.  Some readers may know that I try to catalog any Twitter articles that I find using Delicious.com tags.  Due to the volume of Twitter posts, I compiled over 600 tags.  While on vacation, I realized that the catalog was getting a little unruly, so I have created more categories and reorganized things. As a result, I have created 8 Twitter tags:
  1. Tools - Twitter tools and applications
  2. Twitter101 - Intro to Twitter
  3. Twittersearch - All about searching on Twitter
  4. Twitterpress - Twitter in the mainstream media
  5. Twitterforgood - The use of Twitter for social good
  6. Twitterspam - Antispam efforts
  7. Twitterbrands - Brands on Twitter
  8. General Twitter - The remaining catch-all
Each tag is posted in the Catalog of Twitter stories from Delicious section on the blog.  How else should I organize the posts? Are there any other tags that you would recommend?