Tag Archives: social media

Handling Social Media Overload

Wednesday night at Static played host to the second Liverpool Social Media Cafe and I was one of the speakers. The audio was recorded so you can hear exactly what I said or read below for some notes.

RSS is not dead

For the last few years various people have claimed that RSS is dead, like this article from TechCrunch:

“It’s time to get completely off RSS and switch to Twitter. RSS just doesn’t cut it anymore.”

— Steve Gillmor

And this one from ZDNet:

“RSS: A good idea at the time but there are better ways now”

— Sam Diaz

In my opinion claiming Twitter is a replacement for RSS is like saying you’ve stopped watching the news and find out what’s going on by listening in to conversations at the bus stop.  RSS readers may not have the same widespread appeal that Facebook has found but they are an essential tool for many purposes.

Google Reader

Google Reader

Many of the tips below make use of feeds so it’s important you know how they work.  I’ve been a fan of Google Reader for many years – it’s available for desktop and mobile and there are apps that integrate with it too.

Find a better Twitter client

Twitter.com isn’t perfect. Despite their best efforts to “fill holes” in the product there are still many things that the website doesn’t do on its own. Fortunately for the power user there are many third party clients available so find one that you like.

TweetDeck

If you’re sat at your desk most of the day a desktop client can be a very useful way to manage your Twitter stream.  The first thing you should do is turn off pop up notifications and sounds – they’re very distracting.  TweetDeck handles multiple accounts and even allows you to add Foursquare and Facebook to the mix.

HootSuite

HootSuite has quite a lot of fans.  Personally I’ve always been put off it by the awful ht.ly tracking bar it adds to links but recently I’ve started playing with it a bit more and I like some of its features.

CoTweet

CoTweet

But for companies wanting to track customer engagement, CoTweet is excellent.  It’s designed for exactly that purpose and you’ll see it being used by some very big companies like BT, Vodafone, O2

One feature CoTweet and HootSuite share is the ability to delegate access out to several members of a team without them needing to know the password. Both also allow you to make use of the carat syntax to show who in a team is tweeting, giving a personal fact to your account.

RSSFriends.com

rssfriends.com

Really simple site – plug in a Twitter username and RSSFriends will give you a feed to subscribe to showing new followers with far more detail than the standard notification email.  Helps you some way to achieving Inbox Zero.

search.twitter.com

Twitter Search

Search on the main Twitter website sucks so go to the standalone search.twitter.com. Better still grab your feed addresses and plug them into your feed reader.

TwapperKeeper

Twitter search has the fairly serious limitation of only keeping about 7 days of tweets available for searching. The solution is a service like TwapperKeeper which regularly polls Twitter Search and saves the results to an archive. You can access this through an API, as a feed or download the data for processing in other ways.

Automate, Consolidate, Mainstream

The final part of my talk was three ways of managing your social media presences better.

Automate: use a service like TwitterFeed#mce_temp_url# to send the contents of RSS feeds from a blog or news site to Twitter and Facebook.  Other sites such as Flickr or WordPress can auto-post to Twitter as well.

Consolidate: break up your messages into simple chunks that can be posted to multiple networks.  Both Facebook and Twitter have the ability to post to the other network but make sure your messages are relevant, for example by not posting @replies to Facebook.

Mainstream: once you know that a service is working for your organisation, try to mainstream its use – spread the load of people updating sites.  Make sure there’s a spread of people involved – it’s good to have both technical and marketing people for example.

Finally, don’t be afraid to Mark All Read and if something isn’t working, Fail Fast.

Social Media Café Liverpool

Last night was Liverpool’s first Social Media Café at Static. SMC’s are nothing new – they’ve been running in cities around the UK, and the world, for a while but it’s good to see one happening closer to home.

The format for the evening was three speakers with generous breaks between to grab a beverage and “network”. The organisers got some great talks:

Alison Gow: Data and the art of storytelling

From Alison we learn that you can’t get a job for the Guardian without talking about data! Alison has written up a blog post about her talk so go read it!

Josh: How to win Foursquare friends and influence people

How to win @foursquare friends and influence people by @technicalfault

Josh is involved in organising Social Media Café Manchester and popped down the road to talk about Foursquare. Once again, Josh has blogged about the subject so go read that.

I’ve got a blog post in draft (which has fallen foul to my 48 hour rule) about Foursquare and how we might be able to use it as a University. Hopefully I’ll be inspired to look at it again and publish it in the next week or two.

David Coveney: Social media and work

@davecoveney #smvliv #smday

Final talk of the night was Dave Coveney talking about how work and social media mix. Once again his slides – as a Prezi – are online. They probably make about as much sense as Dave’s talk, and I say that as a compliment! It was very engaging walk through the history of social media (anyone remember CIX?) and how he makes use of social media personally, with the business as a side effect.

So overall a great first SMC Liverpool. There was some discussion about the direction to take the events but it will probably be a monthly thing. I’ve added the hashtag #smcliv to TwapperKeeper so you should be able to read through the archive of tweets there as it fills up.

Get the most of your twitter experience

I know there are a lot of sites and blogs talking about the twitter phenomenon and I don’t intend to turn our Web Services blog into a Twitter blog. Just take a look at this sites and tools for getting the most out of your twitter experience:


Twitter Tools to optimize your twitter service:

twhirl desktop application
Twhirl: one of the most popular desktop applications, which allow you to synchronize to multiple services like Twitter, laconi.ca, Friendfeed and Seesmic. It’s worth it to take a look. Love it!

Twitterdeck: is a real-time desktop that allows users to monitor that information in a single concise view. TweetDeck currently integrates services from Twitter, Twitscoop, 12seconds, Stocktwits and now Facebook .

Twitpic: this service allows you share photos on Twitter from you mobile phone.

Twitterrific: Mac’s desktop application, recommended for iPhone.

There are more sites related to Twitter that allow you know more about interacting with the services, the users, statistics and much more:

  • FutureTweets: a free service that lets you schedule your Twitter messages.
  • Search.twitter: search that explores Twitter services allowing you to find subjects of interest.
  • Twitterratio: is the ratio of your followers to friends (or people who you follow). It is measured with the TFF Ratio (Twitter Follower-Friend Ratio). The higher the ratio, the more Twitter heat you pack. Try it!
  • Twitag: Twitag is a #tag finder, that facilitates and organizes the most recent content tagged by users.
  • Tweetrush: a service that aims to provide estimated stats on Twitter usage over a period of time. I need to tweet more.
  • TwitPickr: publish your photos from TwitPic directly in to your Flickr account.

I thing this is enough to give you more control over your experience using Twitter. Enjoy it!

Janeth