Monday, December 28, 2009

@HiltonAnaheim – There’s more to Twitter than broadcasting your ads

Last week we took a family vacation to Southern California and spent a couple of days at Disneyland. I noticed that the hotel where we had a reservation, the Hilton Anaheim had a Twitter account and was even advertising a special Twitter rate.

ha rate

We changed our reservation and were able to save some money thanks to the great offer.  In appreciation for the discount, I followed the hotel and tweeted that we would be arriving the next week.




Having been on Twitter awhile, I knew what was supposed to happen.  I’d get a follow from the hotel and a response to my tweet. Perhaps even a note from the hotel at check-in.  So I waited and waited, but nothing happened.





While at the hotel, I tried again. The accommodations were lovely and the hotel staff provided great service, so I wanted to let people know.  But the same thing happened.




ha tweets

As you can see from their tweets, the Hilton Anaheim is using Twitter as a one way stream to send out updates and special offers.  Obviously, it can be effective as witnessed by my stay.  But of course, we know that Twitter can be so much more.  As Twitter has grown in usage and become more mainstream, some best practices for brands have emerged.  People want to be engaged and have relationships with brands. In a survey that Peter Sorgenfrei and I did of 208 Twitter users in May, 97% of respondents agreed that brands should engage their customers on Twitter.  They certainly want to know about discounts and coupons (71%), but they want more – a relationship. There have been many other studies which have demonstrated this.  This is why you see brands following the best practices of following, responding and engaging with their customers. That is how they get so much more out of Twitter.  In the hospitality field, two hotels that do a fantastic job in this area are the Roger Smith Hotel in New York and Seattle’s Hotel Max. As a result of his customer engagement and relationships, Brian Simpson of the Roger Smith has been recognized as a leader in using social media in the hospitality industry.  And not only does Jen at the Hotel Max send out offers and hotel news on Twitter, but she is very responsive to guests and is a vibrant member of Seattle’s Twitter community.

The glass is half full for the Hilton Anaheim, you can advertise your specials on Twitter or you can engage with guests to turn them into evangelists. Which one do you think the guests would choose?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Follow-up to my People Magazine Twitter Post

We’ve had some great dialog in response to yesterday’s post about my People Magazine Tops on Twitter post. I really appreciate your insights and conversation.  The comments were spread all over the different social platforms, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and here.  Sometimes it feels like you’re playing three dimensional chess. There were some great analogies that people gave to describe the phenomenon of mainstream users following celebrities in a big way.  I’ve consolidated them and placed them all here. Thank you all for sharing your points of view. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

On the blog Veronica Sopher said that “It's like everyone in the house goes for a different section of the Sunday paper: politics, news, classifieds, funnies, coupons, etc.”  She also compared “having a high # of followers = # of direct mail postcards sent”.

On Facebook, Timothy Carter said, “I'm sure you'd agree...bigger, isn't always better.”

On LinkedIn, Chris Hare said, “It goes back to quality of conversation rather than # following. Vast #'s of Americans are also overweight but that doesn't make it healthy.”

Many Twitter comments were in response to Diane Hessan who tweeted, “When I read this post, it makes me want to cancel my twitter account”

On Twitter, Eric Andersen equated the most followed list with a “TV analogy: change the channel”

Ann Batko, in response to Diane Hessan said, “Nah, to me it's akin to saying one should stop watching Weeds because so many more people are watching The Bachelor!”

And Todd Randolph posted on Twitter,” lots of idiots drive, but I don't sell my car.”

The post also compelled Todd to respond on the blog and create his own blog post, twitzophrenia: the hard road to critical mass


Which analogy did you enjoy?  Can you come up with another one?




Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Can you believe these are the Top Twitter users?

The recent People magazine (makes time on the elliptical at the gym go faster) lists the ten most followed people on Twitter. Quite a surprise to me, maybe even a shock.

Celebrity Number of Followers
Ashton Kutcher 4,091,518
Britney Spears 3,942,948
Ellen DeGeneres 3,868,521
Barack Obama 2,829,240
Oprah Winfrey 2,757,922
John Mayer 2,723,642
Ryan Seacrest 2,688,172
Kim Kardashian 2,664,702
Shaquille O’Neal 2,626,098
Ashley Tisdale 2,374,478

All I can say is yecch! I don’t follow any of these people, although I followed Shaq when he first joined Twitter.  Where are all the tech and social media people? Thanks to the controversial suggested user list, Pete Cashmore of Mashable has over 1.8M followers. But Scoble, just 107K and social media Trust Agent, Chris Brogan, 113K. 

What does this all mean? I think we can definitely say, it is another indication that Twitter is today mainstream. Twitter has certainly distanced itself from its tech and social media community origins. But has it jumped the shark?  Is this list and the followers behind it representative of today’s twitter? And finally, do you think it’s a good thing.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, December 18, 2009

It’s my anniversary – what a difference a year makes.

Exactly one year ago, I was laid off from my job as Digital Strategist at  Wunderman/VML.  The resulting job search was fairly public and I’ve written about it a few times.  I’ve even been fortunate to have been interviewed in the mainstream press and spoken at conferences about my story.  I’ve presented this deck at those events.

As I’ve said many times, I feel very fortunate for the support, assistance, and encouragement that my community on Twitter provided during my abbreviated job search.   Since that heady time, a lot has happened. Obviously, I got a job, but it wasn’t the right job.  As a result, I was unhappy and unfulfilled which motivated me to find a new job.  For the last 90 days or so, I’ve been enjoying my tenure at Lift9.  It is fantastic to work at a company where my efforts are appreciated, I can make a strong contribution daily, and my counsel is sought after. I had forgotten what it is like to work in an environment like that and be excited to get to work.

In retrospect, much has happened over the last year in my professional life: 

  • I’ve worked for three different companies.
  • I experienced working remotely, which I didn’t like.
  • I experienced both a job search for need and a job search for choice. The one for choice is always better.
  • I’ve been recognized for the success of that job search and have used what I learned to help others.
  • I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago.

    December 18th will always have a special meaning for me in my life.  I’m glad and fortunate that I’ve been able to move forward from those unfortunate times.  And I certainly hope that those who have been in this situation can say a similar thing a year later.


    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

  • Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    A Bigger Ant Hill

    Great news from the WOMMA Summit today – Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba, co-authors of the book, Citizen Marketers have joined Sean O’Driscoll, Jake McKee and their fabulous team at Ants Eye View. The move expands Ant’s Eye View’s services by adding industry expertise in word of mouth marketing, digital strategy, customer evangelism and social media.

    Ben and Jackie have been recognized as two of the web’s most influential marketers with over 120,000 daily readers of their Church of the Customer blog and best selling Word of Mouth Marketing books, Citizen Marketers and Creating Customer Evangelists. Forbes has described their work as “the word of mouth gospel.” As Ben says, "We're very excited to be part of a group that helps business get smart about being social. It's a good time to help convert that into action at a larger scale."

    I am so happy for Ben and Jackie as I’ve found their books ignited my strong interest in word of mouth marketing and ultimately, social media. I met Jackie at my first WOMMA summit in 2005 when she keynoted and captivated the audience with her stories of customer evangelism. Her storytelling of the success of a YouTube Shakira video where fans danced to Hips Don’t Lie was captivating. By the end of the keynote, the whole room was dancing with Jackie. I was so inspired by Jackie’s speech that I made sure that Ben came to Seattle to keynote the annual Seattle Direct Marketing Association (SDMA) conference the following year. I think the association still has a few hundred books if anyone is interested. :) Last year when I was laid off, Jackie wrote a blog post which helped bring much needed visibility to my job search. Needless to say, I am grateful for their support and friendship.

    I’ve known Sean for a similar amount of time. Rather than boring you with more minutiae, let me just say that Sean is one of the most outstanding individuals that I know in Seattle. In addition to his superior drive, integrity and intelligence, he is forthright, helpful and very humble. A true leader that anyone would want to go to battle with. In a short year, Ant's Eye View has built an impressive roster of clients like Cisco, Apple, Pemco and a bunch of others. I am truly delighted to see these talented individuals team up together.

    Sean and Jake’s goal has been simple, “to field the most experienced and capable team in the industry to serve their clients.” I’m confident that this announcement delivers on that promise and more!

    Congratulations and best of luck to all.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Social media makes the world a smaller place

    As some of you know, I’ve been in Vietnam for the last 2 weeks working with the Lift9 research team. Vietnam is a fantastic place and our wonderful team has really made me feel welcome.

    During my visit, I’ve been able to keep in touch with friends and family using all of the social media tools.  Once I got accustomed to the International Date Line and being a day ahead, the tools of social media have enabled me to continue conversations as if I was still at my desk.  Using Twitter, I’ve been able to keep in touch with friends, wherever they are.  For example, Seattle friends Paolo Tosolini and Eric Weaver have also been away at the same time; Paolo in Italy and Eric in Mumbai. Yet, as Paolo said, “We are on the opposite side of the world, yet tweeting like normal. very cool.”

    It’s been pretty interesting to participate on Twitter in such a different timezone than I am accustomed to. Not only am I getting up when people I’m used to seeing are going to sleep, but it’s been cool to tweet live with friends in Asia, Australia and Europe.

    I haven’t been as creative as Paolo and Eric in taking video of their trips, but I have been updating trip photos to Twitter, Facebook, and Posterous.  Most of my photos have been food related, showing exotic meals and street food, but I’ve also taken photos of some unique scenes like this one of a man and his son at an outdoor cafe.

    iphone 021

    I’ve only been using my iphone to take photos, but I’ve been pretty excited about the results. Of course, using tools like FlashforFree and Photoshop Mobile have helped dramatically.

    In addition to the Twitter and the photos, I’ve used Skype to keep in touch with family and the office. Once my wife figured out how to use it, it’s been a godsend.

    We’ve all talked about how social media has made the world a smaller place.  This trip, I have experienced it first hand.


    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    Real time flight status…or not

    After reading Mashable’s review of Lufthansa’s real time flight status update program, Myskystatus, I decided to try it out on my trip to Vietnam. The system posts status updates to Twitter and Facebook in real time and is pretty easy to use.


    However, it’s not real time, at least not in my case. You see, due to mechanical trouble, my Delta plane turned around and returned to Seattle after flying for 3 hours. Yet, the system kept sending updates that I was flying over Asia, even though I was sleeping in my bed. My suspicion is that Delta never updated the flight status, so Myskystatus kept reporting that I was in the air. In fact, I am writing this from home as I get ready to fly on United Airlines today. When I arrive in Vietnam (hopefully, tomorrow night), I will write about that post.


    Personally, after having seen the service in action, I don’t think I will use it again as it provides too much useless information for me.  My wife even thought I was spamming her.  I do think the usage of tools like Myskystatus for automated status updates to Twitter and Facebook will grow as we have a strong appetite for real time status and search. I just think it needs to be tempered with some discretion on how it is used and affects your friends and followers. What do you think would be some useful applications of real time status via Twitter?


    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Making my list, checking it twice…

    As I am sure many of you have noticed, Twitter introduced the new list functionality yesterday. It is still in beta, so not everyone has been able to see it. When you log in, you will see this screen for the first time.

    FireShot capture #003 - 'Breaking_ Twitter Begins Lists Rollout' - www_techcrunch_com_2009_10_15_breaking-twitter-begins-lists-rollout

    Lists work as advertised, you can:

    1. Create a list from your followers.
    2. Make it public or private.

      FireShot capture #001 - 'Twitter _ Home' - twitter_com_#

    3. Your public lists can be followed by others.

     FireShot capture #002 - 'Twitter _ Lists' - twitter_com_warrenss_lists_memberships

    On your Twitter page, the number of lists that you are on will be displayed next to your follower number and your public lists will be shown further down the page.

    FireShot capture #004 - 'Josh Weinberger (kitson) on Twitter' - twitter_com_kitson

    When you click on one of your lists, you only see tweets from the members of that list.  Sounds like Tweetdeck, right?

    So what other functionality would I like to see in lists?

    1. Creating lists from your followers page is pretty slow going, especially if you have many followers. You can also go to someone’s page directly, but that is not much more efficient.
    2. It would be great to be able to send a tweet to all list members, sort of like L + name of the list. This would work just like Mike Langford’s great product, Tweetworks.

    One thing that I will be curious to see: Once Twitter Lists becomes popular, will more people flock to using Twitter on the web instead of the clients like Tweetdeck and Seesmic? 

    What are your impressions of Lists?  How are you using them?  What other features do you need for it to be really useful? Do you think you will migrate from Tweetdeck?

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Win a Scholarship with Twitter

    You may have seen some of these tweets posted. has announced a twitter contest where they are giving away $14014.00 to college students on Twitter.  One lucky tweeter can win a scholarship of $10,000. Similar to most contests designed to increase a company’s followers, the task is not too difficult, even for time-stressed college students:

    1. Create a Tweet highlighting how we can use Twitter to improve the world.
    2. Forward your tweet as a link to @scholarships and include the hashtag #scholarships. (A little redundant to me, btw).
    3. Follow @scholarships.

    The contest expires on 10/29 and the winner will be announced on the 30th.

    You can learn full details about the Twitter 140 Scholarship here.

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Don't Read that DM

    You may have seen the report on Mashable about a Twitter worm virus being spread via DM.

    Unsuspecting users are receiving DMs with the following text:

    If you get this DM, DO NOT VISIT THE LINK. It takes you to a replica of the Twitter (Twitter) login page where the hackers will steal your account and use it to send out more infected DMs to your friends.

    The Twitter spam account has its latest status as:

    By all means, don’t click on suspicious links, even if they are from friends without taking precautions. Here is some great advice from the folks at F-Secure about avoiding the problem.

    How to Tweet Safely

    Avoiding Bad Links, Dangerous Twits and Sneaky Spammers

    More than 18 million people already using Twitter, and it probably already feels as if everyone in the world is tweeting away. But on the Internet, great growth comes with great vulnerabilities.

    Capitalizing on the trust we have for our online “friends,” criminals are increasingly targeting social networks. So, stay on your toes! To protect your irreplaceable content and invaluable financial information, remember the following while you’re tweeting, re-tweeting and hashtagging away.
    1. Be Aware
    Twitter is the new frontier of the Internet. And as in any gold rush town, there’s all types floating through. People going to have to learn some of the same security lessons we got used to as e-mail made its way into our lives: Watch where you click; don’t sign up for/follow everything; expect a lot of silly forwards.

    2. Trust but always verify

    In about two minutes, you could create a Twitter account that impersonates almost anyone living or dead. Twitter has added “Verified Accounts” for celebrities, but no one is really verifying if that page was really put up by your co-worker Stu. That said hackers probably aren’t going out of their way to impersonate your co-worker Stu.
    Give any Twitter you’re thinking of following a careful scan. Check if there’s a respectable image; make sure all tweets aren’t entirely repetitive self-serving spam; see if there’s a reasonable follower to following ratio. Then, if you have an interest in their Tweets, follow away.
    But don’t let your guard down.
    You can never really know if any Twitter account has been taken over by someone with criminal intent. Hackers have hijacked accounts and use them to spread links to spam and phishing scams. We have also seen links point to malware sites where the end goal has been to steal online banking credentials or other personal information. You can keep track of some current Twitter spam risks by following the official Spam Account.
    3. Watch those links
    Now we come the biggest threat on Twitter: the LINKS. As you know, once you click a link, you could end up anywhere. And Twitter is well aware that bad links have the potential to wreck some real havoc. That’s why they’ve started filtering for malicious links. But they can’t catch everything, especially because the 140 character limit demands that most URLs be abbreviated. Shortened links—even from Twitters you know and trust—can present a unique security challenge. Links from tinyurl, and other services have, in rare cases, led users directly to infected files or phishing scams. You can always expand the shortened links you find. But that doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of landing on a site that has been infected, hacked or spoofed.
    4. Guard your passwords
    Once a hacker has your password, you’re completely vulnerable. So guard your little jewels jealously. Most importantly, DO NOT use the same passwords for your e-mail accounts and your social networking. You should also use different accounts for your business and social accounts. Never use “password” as your password.
    5. Never give yourself away
    Your bank probably isn’t going to contact you through Twitter—but someone pretending to your bank or PayPal or a credit card company may. Verify any financial concern directly with your institution. And don’t trust anyone that’s asking for financial help. That’s pretty obvious, but the reason that scams exist is that they work!  When something is new and a little exiting like Twitter, people may lose themselves and slip up. Don’t be one of those people.
    6. Be smart
    A good question to ask yourself before you Tweet anything is: Would I say this in a room of strangers? Unless you “protect your tweets,” everything you post goes into the public timeline. So never share sensitive or confidential information—including your e-mail address. Specifically , don’t announce vacations or even too many details about your schedule in advance or while you’re away from your home.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    Can I Catch Happiness from my Twitter Community?

    A year ago, Clive Thompson wrote a provocative article in today's NY Times Magazine, Brave New World of Digital Intimacy on the social realities of Twitter and Facebook. This was the article that introduced the term, Ambient Awareness. You may recall how he described the myriad relationships of loose ties that are now possible with the platforms and how we deal with incessant online contact.

    Well, Thompson has done it again, a fascinating piece in today’s NY Times Magazine, Is Happiness Catching. The article describes an innovative study by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. Some key points in the article:

    If you want to be happy, what’s most important is to have lots of friends. The happiest people in Framingham were those who had the most connections, even if the relationships weren’t necessarily deep ones.

    The reason these people were the happiest, is that happiness doesn’t come only from having deep, heart to heart talks. It comes from having daily exposure to many small moments of contagious happiness, When you see others smile, your spirits are repeatedly affected by mirroring their emotional state.

    Interesting parallels with Ambient Awareness, don’t you think? If social platforms like Twitter and Facebook enable us to have friendships far in excess of theoretical Dunbar numbers, then wouldn’t those loose tie relationships affect our happiness?

    Christakos and Fowler have even determined that each additional happy friend boosts good cheer by 9% and unhappy friends bring someone down by 7%. Uh oh, is this the next generation of the dreaded Twittergrader?

    Seriously, it is a fantastic study that looks at the benefits of community on serious health issues like smoking and obesity. Jonah Lehrer has also written about the article in Wired, The Buddy System: How Medical Data Revealed Secret to Health and Happiness. There are some fascinating charts which demonstrate the community effects.

    So what do you think? Can your social networks affect your health and happiness?

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Tweet Your Way to a New Job Presentation

    Last night I presented Tweet Your Way to a New Job to the Greater Seattle Jewish Business Network (GSJBN). I talked about my experience using Twitter to help in my job search. We had some great discussions around job searches and how to use social media to further your efforts. I think several people found it helpful. The presentation is posted here.

    Next week, I will be presenting again to the Internet Marketing Conference- Vancouver. Then on September 23, I will also make the presentation to the Eastside SIG of the Puget Sound Chapter of the American Marketing Association (PSAMA.

    I’d love to hear your feedback and experiences in using social media as part of your job search.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Monday, September 7, 2009

    One player shows the NFL how to Tweet

    Last week the National Football League (NFL) announced that it was banning Twitter, before, during, and after games. The NFL said that it will let players, coaches, and other team personnel engage in social networking during the season. However, they will be prohibited from using Twitter and from updating profiles on Facebook and other social-networking sites during games. The Twitter ban goes into effect from 90 minutes before gametime until the post-game press conferences end. They don't call it the No-Fun-League without a reason. Apparently, the league is trying circumvent its players from becoming the NBA's Charlie Villanueva or Shaquille ONeal who each tweeted during games last year.

    Much has already been written about the unsocial nature of this policy, impact, and overall unenforceability of this decision. I highly recommend fans read posts by Brian Solis, Adam Ostrow, and Don Reisinger.

    Not all of the teams have shied away from Twitter. One, the New York Jets, have embraced it.
    As a long suffering fan, I am proud to see so many Jets (Kerry Rhodes, Jay Feeley, Nick Mangold, DBrickashaw Ferguson, James Ihedigbo, Chansi Stuckey, Dustin Keller, David Clowney and Mark Sanchez) active on Twitter. Even team owner Woody Johnson has an account, although he's not very active. It's great to see the players and team support social media. On Brian Bassett's bible for Jets fans, there was a recent post that articulated the Pro's and Con's of the team's Twitter activity. Personally, I am a strong supporter of players engaging directly with their fans. It's fantastic to connect with players and learn their opinions on sports and life in general. It seems like the players are really enjoying it, too.

    One Jet, has really taken to Twitter. All-Pro Safety Kerry Rhodes has been chatting with fans all weekend about potential trades and teasing us about a big announcement tomorrow at 2:00. Like most fans, I can't wait to learn what it is.

    Kerry has been responding to fans with over 100 tweets this labor day weekend. Access and engagement like that is something that every fan yearns for. This is what social media is all about! It's what every company seeks- healthy conversation between fans (customers) and the team about the product. I hope that the NFL follows the example that Kerry has set and reconsiders its policy. As a Jet fan, I'm proud of Kerry Rhodes. I hope he leads the team not only to social media excellence, but also excellence on the field. Whether you're a fan of the Jets or another team, I'm sure you'll agree that the access to the players on Twitter adds a whole new dimension to being a fan.

    Friday, September 4, 2009

    Tweet Your Way to a New Job

    As some of you may remember, I’ve had some experience with using Twitter and Social Media to find a new job. I’ve been asked to speak about my experience a few times this month.

    On September 9, I will present Tweet Your Way to a New Job to the Greater Seattle Jewish Business Network. The event will be at 7:00 at Seattle’s Temple Beth Am is at 2632 NE 80th Street. The presentation will answer:

    - How to use social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
    - The importance of personal branding
    - Is the resume dead?
    - Which networks work best?
    - How to make connections that matter?
    - Who do I turn to for help?
    - What should I ask my friends to do?
    - What are some potential roadblocks?

    The following week, on September 18th, I will give a similar presentation at the Internet Marketing Conference- Vancouver. This is a great conference that I highly recommend, especially if you’ve never been to that beautiful city. Now you have a great reason to go.

    On September 23, I will also make the presentation to the Eastside SIG of the Puget Sound American Marketing Association (PSAMA).

    Finally, it’s not too late to vote (but please hurry, tonight is the deadline) for the panel that Saul Colt and I would like to give at SXSW, Tweet Your Way to Your Next Job.

    I hope that by sharing my story and experience, I can help some people to navigate social media and find a new position.  I hope to see you at one of these events.  Please let me know you’re coming.  Also, please share your experience in using social media as part of your job search below.

    Once it’s complete, I will post the presentation to Slideshare.  Stay tuned.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Internet Marketing Conference Vancouver

    Last year I spoke at the Internet Marketing Conference Vancouver on a fantastic, spirited social media panel. The reviews must have been good because I will be back for this year's conference, September 16-18. :) Not only will I be participating on the social media panel with Patrick Schwerdtfeger of Tactical Execution and William Azaroff of Vancity again, but we will also be joined by JP Holecka of Powershifter Media and Christopher Berry of Critical Mass. This panel should be even better than last year's as so much has changed in social media and we are joined by JP and Christopher.
    I will also have a second session where I will be demonstrating the Radian6 social media monitoring platform.

    The conference organizers have been kind enough to provide a 20% discount to readers of this blog for the main conference (the first day, training day is already sold out). Please use discount code: imc-speaker when you register.

    Vancouver is a gorgeous city and this is a fantastic conference. I hope to see you there.

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    The most wonderful time of the year

    Staples is bringing back The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, perhaps the most well-known and loved back-to-school television commercial ever created. I can’t believe that the commercial series first ran 15 years ago! As a parent, it is kind of exciting to send the kids back to school. But that’s not what is making the summer doldrums fun in the social media world. Today was panelpicker day for the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. It’s the chance for the social media fishbowl to get its e-ticket to their version of Disney World, SXSWi in March. You’ve heard the stories about the panels, the parties, the technology and the fun! Well, this is a way for social media peeps to get their e-tickets. SXSW is a community driven event, where your voting accounts for about 30% of the decision-making process for any given programming slot. Personally, I find it exciting to read all (well, maybe not all) of the interesting and creative panel proposals from so many talented people.

    I am especially intrigued by:

    There are over 2000 proposals, so it is pretty competitive. With the opening of the voting, SXSW was a hot topic on Twitter with many people asking for votes and promoting their panels. And several people didn’t appreciate it.

    Sonny Gill wrote a great post today about the process, SXSW – Panelpicking or panelpimping. It seems that the community was a little overzealous in the pursuit of votes. I appreciate Sonny’s point of view and hope that I can be less intrusive in my solicitation of your vote.

    I have been invited to speak with Saul Colt, Zoocasa’s Head of Magic on a topic near and dear to my heart:

    Tweet Your Way to Your Next Job

    Obviously, we all know that Twitter is more than having a sandwich. Learn from two savvy marketers who used Twitter to further their careers. Saul Colt and Warren Sukernek have each used Twitter effectively to find new positions.

    As faithful readers (my wife and kids) know, this is a subject that I have some experience in. Therefore, I’d certainly appreciate your vote. Please vote early and vote often!

    Thanks for your help and support! I really appreciate it.

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    ESPN WTF???

    Yesterday I read how the NFL was fining players who tweeted from training camp. I guess that is not surprising since the NFL is the most buttoned-up sports league and I doubt that they really get social media. As we've seen countless times, all command and control messaging. So I guess Mark Sanchez won't be tweeting during halftime a la Shaq or CV31 here.
    But to see this tweet from ESPN's Ric Bucher, now that's a shock. Pretty bizarre and not very fan friendly, if you ask me.

    And I agree with Twitter newbie :) Robert Scoble. This is very lame!

    What do you think? Is this the new trend in uptight sports and the media who covers them?

    8/4 Evening Update
    A more detailed Follow-up from the NY Times,

    "The guidelines are more detailed than Bucher described them. But they restrict the freedom that ESPN employees might previously have enjoyed.

    “We’ve been in the social networking space for a long time, and will continue to be there,” said Chris LaPlaca, an ESPN spokesman. “But we want to be smarter about how we do it.” He said that Bucher’s “interpretation of the policy is mistaken.”

    The guidelines say that on-air talent, reporters and writers are prohibited from having sports-related blogs or Web sites and that they will need a supervisor’s approval to discuss sports on any social networking sites. They will also be restricted from discussing internal policies or detailing how stories are “reported, written, edited or produced.”

    And from Mashable, a detailed report on ESPN's social media guidelines and Nate Smeltz, ESPN Publicist twitter response.

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Boston Tweetup Pix

    Last night's tweetups in Boston were great fun. Here are a few photo's that people took from the events. Many thanks to Rachel Levy for organizing. Now it's on to Cape Cod for me.

    Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

    Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

    Heavenly beer from the Asgard Irish pub #warrenup on Twitpic

    Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

    Images courtesy of Rachel Levy, Derek Wilmot, Jeff Cutler, Philip Zannini

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    Vacation: Boston

    Fenway Park press box, Boston

    Image via Wikipedia


    It’s that time of year when I take my annual pilgrimage to my personal mecca: a trip home to Boston.  This year we plan to visit friends and family on Cape Cod, visit Maine for a few days and of course spend time in Boston.  Unfortunately, no time to stop at Fenway and see the Sox. 

    I am planning to attend a few tweet-ups! On Thursday night, July 16, Forrester Research is sponsoring a Social CRM tweet-up at the Middlesex Lounge. It promises to be a great event and there are over 100 people signed up. They are even offering a chance to win one of these two door prizes:

    The hash tag for this event is #ForrJulyTweet.

    On a more personal note, prior to the Forrester event, my good friend Rachel Levy, has organized a tweet-up for me.  She is calling it the embarrassing #Warrenup. Embarrassing or not, I am excited to see friends, Gradon Tripp, Rachel Happe, Doug Haslam, Peter Kim, Jim Storer, Mike Troiano and of course, Rachel.  For some of us, it will be the first time that we have met in person, not an unusual tweet-up experience.  If you are around, I’d love to meet you too.

    You can learn all about the upcoming tweet-ups in this cool video produced by BostonTweetup.


    If you’re in Boston (Cambridge actually). I hope to see you at the tweet-ups on Thursday, July 16th. Now if we can only get the sun to come out!

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Camps do Social Media, sort of.

    Yesterday my daughter left for summer camp, 7 1/2 weeks away from home. Yes, it’s hard on us, but it’s something that she loves.  I’m sure that’s something that many of you who send your kids to camp struggle with. In fact, we like to say that she goes to camp for 2 months and then talks about it for the other ten.  If you’ve never experienced it, here’s how one of her counselors describes summer camp in his blog. Alex’ feelings resonated with me (as a former camper) and I know the feelings are shared by my daughter. Hopefully, Alex will blog throughout the summer about his wonderful camp experience.

    I met Alex through the camp’s Twitter account. That’s one of his roles at the camp.  He was just told, “you’re the tech guy, you should handle the Twitter account”.  Although it is a similar analogy to the intern managing a company’s Twitter account, the difference here is he is a camp veteran with some strong experience in social media.  He gets Twitter and has the voice of the camp. However, like many employees of companies starting in social media, he wasn’t really given much direction nor does the camp even have a goal for social media. He’s not even sure he can follow parents back. Certainly not the best way to manage your social phone.

    One thing that I am finding is that many counselors are using Twitter to connect with their homes and outside the camp world. Most likely they are using it on their cell phones, which obviously is one of the benefits of Twitter.  In the old days (last year), camp was a technology-free place. We could only call our kids once per week and see some photos posted on the website.

    Now they post photo’s and videos all the time, and even tweet as you can see below. 

    Picture 1

    That’s a great way to keep us abreast of the day to day. It helps to explain the invariable, “we did stuff” that we are told on our weekly phone call.  Camps may see Twitter as a broadcast channel, a way to give parents short, frequent updates of the day’s activities.  But we know it can be so much more.  What happens when parents start asking questions about those activities?  Specific questions/comments about their children. Are the camps prepared for that?  What happens if they don’t answer?  Now that’s with the official camp account.  What about those counselors that are tweeting?  Just like at a conference, there is now a back channel.  I don’t have to worry about only communicating with my daughter once a week.  I can tweet her all the time through the back channel. I can find out what’s really going on. Will the camp director establish a social media policy and try to restrict his employees and control the message?  How old school!  Will he be successful?

    You see the same disruptive revolution that social media had on companies is coming to the camping industry and enabling customers(parents) to communicate with employees (counselors) all the time.

    What do you think? Should a summer camp be the bucolic, quiet, relatively technology-free place?  Or should the social media revolution come to camp? And what would be some beneficial changes that you see occurring?

    Saturday, June 6, 2009

    Favorite posts of the week

    There have been a lot of great blog posts focused on Twitter this week?  Of course, you can always find blogs about Twitter. Here are some of my favorites.

    On TechCrunch, On Twitter, Most People Are Sheep: 80 Percent Of Accounts Have Fewer Than 10 Followers.

    Anne Handley gives great advice in Mashable’s, Everything I Need to Know About Twitter I Learned in J School

    Have you read Marshall Kirkpatrick’s provocative post, How Twitter's Staff Uses Twitter (And Why It Could Cause Problems), on ReadWriteWeb?

    For a little humor, Conan O'Brien introduces Twitter Tracker as pointed out by Biz Stone.

    Also, on the humorous or maybe ridiculous side, Tony La Russa’s suit against Twitter for an imposter account. and Twitter’s response which also talks about the upcoming Verified Accounts. More on that, here.

    And speaking of sports, did you see, Mashable’s Shaq vs. Dwight Howard on Twitter, and What It Means for Sports by Ben Parr

    And one you may not have seen, Derek Peplau’s first blog post, Spamifest Destiny, where he shares his strategy for combating follower spam. A pretty nice debut!

    What were some of your favorites? Did I miss any?

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    97% of Twitter members think brands should engage with customers on Twitter

    There have been a lot of studies of Twitter users lately. Have you seen this study by PMN that says only 22% of Gen Y consumers are using Twitter. Or this Harvard Business Review study of 300,000 users reveals that the 10% of Twitter users account for over 90% of Twitter messages sent. The Harvard study also determined that:

    • “Men have more more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other.”
    • "Men have 15% more followers than women."
    • "An average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman."
    • "An average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman."

    Interesting stuff!

    Well, I’ve got my own interesting study to share. Recently Peter Sorgenfrei and I conducted a survey of 208 Twitter members to learn their perceptions of brands on Twitter. We asked 6 questions and then some demographic questions. This is a exact repeat of the “Do I want to follow your brand” survey that we ran last fall.

    question1 May 09

    As you can see, 97% of users believe that brands should engage with their customers on Twitter. Other highlights are:

    1) The majority also have a better impression of brands that use Twitter for customer service (88%). This is 7 percentage points higher than the original survey.

    2) Proper usage of Twitter however, is paramount as 90% of users would frown upon poor or inappropriate brand use of Twitter. This is equivalent to the results found in the original survey.

    3) The power of a relationship is extremely strong on Twitter. 80% of respondents would recommend a company based on their presence on Twitter, a huge 20 percentage point increase from the prior survey and 84% of Twitter users will reward those brands they have key relationships by being more willing to purchase from them. This was a 5 percentage point increase from the original survey.

    4) Influencers: More than 80% of respondents have 100+ followers and almost 35% of respondents have posted more than 1000 Tweets since they signed up for the service.

    Twitter Brand Perception Survey 5 09
    Feel free to download the images or slides as well.
    This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit Creative Commons or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Twitter Presentations

    Last week at the WOMMA University conference, I was one of the leaders of the workshops focused on optimizing your Twitter performance.  As a takeaway for the attendees, I sent links to a few Twitter presentations that I had created. 

    A few months ago, I presented Become a Twitter Ninja at a webinar sponsored by The Society for Word of Mouth.  The webinar and presentation seemed to be quite popular, especially on Slideshare.


    As a follow-up to that presentation, here is Become a Twitter Grandmaster.  This presentation has already been a featured presentation on Slideshare as well.

    Feel free to download the presentations and let me know if you have any questions.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    WOMMA rocks South Beach: Inside the numbers

    I returned from a great WOMM U. social media and word of mouth marketing training event put on by WOMMA in South Beach. It was a great event and I got to lead a few workshops on Twitter. You can find those presentations, Ninja and Grandmaster. We’ve all experienced how Twitter enhances events via note-taking, sharing, reporting, and meeting others and that was certainly in evidence here. John Moore did a great job organizing and curating the conference tweets. Using our Radian6 listening platform, I hope to show some of the analytics behind it. There were 2035 posts dedicated to the conference over the last week.

    topic trends

    As expected, traffic spiked during the two days of the conference, peaking at 458 posts on Thursday, 5/14 with just a few less, 426 on Wednesday, 5/13. Of the 2035 posts, the majority, 95% were tweets. The remaining conversation took place in blogs, videos (mainly from Co-Brandit) and pictures (primarily from Josh Hallett). There were 432 retweets, with the majority occurring on the two conference days (157 on Wednesday and 214 on Thursday).

    You can see a sample of the detailed posts below.

    womma ron

    The tag cloud below shows the most popular subjects on Thursday’s busy day.

    topic cloud day 2

    As you can see, Facebook, Myspace and Disney were popular presentations. The trend chart below shows the most active conference conversations as Yelp’s presentation was most popular on Day 1 and then the big three of Facebook, Myspace and Disney made up 69% of the activity on Day 2.

    top 5 tweets

    To better understand why Facebook was the most popular subject, please read John Bell’s excellent blog about the MySpace and Facebook face-off presentation, providing great insight into how marketers can work the platforms.

    I loved the WOMM U conference, and as you can see from the graphs, so did the other attendees.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Monday, May 4, 2009

    140: The Twitter Conference – Who’s in?

    Every day we hear about Twitter’s popularity - Record number of users, new celebrity members, Ashton Kutcher and his 1,000,000 followers. Another indicator of Twitter’s growth and popularity is the number of conferences popping up. Jeff Pulver is putting on his 140 characters conference in New York on June 16 and 17th. There is a one day conference, Twtrcon, in San Francisco on May 31st. And on May 26th and 27th, the Parnassus group is presenting the 140: The Twitter Conference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

    So where will I be? I am excited to join the 140: The Twitter conference as a speaker. I will be co-presenting a session titled: "Mining Twitter: Extracting Value From Conversations and Connections", where the latest tools and techniques for monitoring your brand will be discussed. I think this conference is fantastic because I will join fantastic speakers like 3 members of the Twitter team including API lead, Alex Payne as well as Jeremy Pepper, Jeremiah Owyang, Robert Scoble, fellow Seattleite Kathy Gill, Warren Whitlock and Jennifer Leggio. Great company, don’t you agree?

    I agree with Jennifer when she says on her blog, “I might be slightly biased, but the topics at this particular Twitter conference seem to be centered and focused on real-world use scenarios, not just grandiose marketing ideas. If you’re serious about implementing Twitter as part of your strategic marketing practices, or want to use it to build a brand, this is the con to be at”. This is also the only conference that has a very strong developer track as well!

    To register visit the official site. The conference is an extremely affordable $249, but you can save 10% off the standard two-day pricing by entering the code 140tcr6 when you check out. And if you tweet about it, make sure you use the #140tc hash tag.

    Please let me know if you are coming as I am sure there will be some great tweet-ups and I'd love to chat face to face. It’s an event not to be missed.