Archive for twitter

10 000 Little Thoughts

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags on November 15, 2010 by wisdomlondon

I’ve just passed my 10 000th tweet. A year ago, I was not an active Twitterer, now a good part of my life is played out through it, be because it’s such an important communications channel for me personally, and for my business.

So those 10 000 little thoughts represent not only a personal minor milestone, but paint a real picture of my life – personal and professional – over the past year. Has it been worth my time? Undoubtedly. I’ve connected with an amazing community which genuinely supports my business, I’ve learned more than I can ever remember learning in such a short period of time. I’ve made amazing friends and met people who have genuinely changed my life.

It also answers a question I had year ago about Twitter and why I should use it. Those 10 000 little thoughts might seem insignificant at the time, sometimes irreverent, but I’m not the best judge of how meaningful they are. It’s the people who choose to interact or not, listen or ignore, follow or unfollow who decide that. And for my part, the value is in the millions of little thoughts of others I consume, act on and learn from. That’s the real value of Twitter.

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Experiments in Social Media Number 3, Part 2: Rationing Twitter

Posted in creativity, social media with tags , , , , on October 7, 2010 by wisdomlondon

By Jill Ruthenberg

Finally, I’m back to my normal twittering (with some improvements hopefully) but I thought I should share how I got on with my latest Experiment in Social Media which attempted to address some frequently asked questions about Twittering.

Recent stats suggest that more than 70 per cent of all tweets fall on deaf ears, while 96.9 per cent of replies and 92.4 per cent of retweets happen within the first hour of existence. Reactions nearly never occur once a tweet ages beyond 60 minutes. So we asked the questions, how much tweeting is too much? And if we think it could be too much, if we pare it down will anyone even notice?How do we make content more meaningful? Will it help?

The challenge

The challenge was put to you and me: to ration our tweets to make them count.

The method

We had decided that limiting tweets to 1 per day would be too extreme. Mostly because Twitter can and should be used for loads of stuff: listening, trendspotting, broadcasting, sharing, conversing… and a little because, well, 1 just isn’t enough.

So, with extra thought and attention to make sure we’re saying something meaningful we were to tweet only 5 times a day for 1 working week. But not just any 5 tweets willy-nilly, we had to use the tools available to us:

  • 1 original content
  • 1 RT
  • 1 direct message
  • 1 reply
  • 1 link share

(I decided hashtags could be used liberally… or else I don’t think anyone would’ve been willing to take part.)

The Process

To make my tweets count I thought about how I could use each of my 5 a day quota and worked at refining what I really want to share with you and where I could be of most use.

Here are snippets from my experiments journal:

Day 1:

I have to say the today was a little distressing; I wasn’t quite sure how to prioritise things.

I avoided my routine of logging in first thing and instead logged in at 12pm. Not 30 minutes in and I was so tempted to share how full I was after my curry lunch, or how that Malteaser on Kate’s desk was teasing me (get it?). Fortunately for everyone else, I had reached the limit. And I couldn’t completely fail on the first day… So I started thinking about what I was going to tweet tomorrow.

Day 2:

Was actually not so bad. I still had urges to tweet nonsense and have realised that RTs and link shares are the easiest (laziest) types of tweets to do, but I don’t use DMs nearly as much as I could/should.

I felt kind of proud of how I used my 5. I also felt liberated after my five were up so that I could focus on my work…

Day 3:

I’m not so sure this experiment was a good idea. I can’t join into conversations – they’re just happening around me and I’m failing miserably at taking things off of Twitter into other channels…

I wonder if people still remember me.

Day 4:

So I cheated a little. I got Follow Friday fever and went a little overboard with the @s!

Day 5:

Monday… remorseful after my slip on Friday. I thought I should take a break. Didn’t even log on. Went slightly insane from the isolation.

The result

It was great to see that several people took me up on the challenge and got involved. They were kind enough to give me some feedback along the way.

So the results in the words of some of the tweeties that got involved:

“Moderation and discipline can do a great deal of good from time to time.”

– @ZofiaMS

“I think that I couldn’t get by, by minimising contact… We should remember its the quality not the quantity.”

– @Charliesaidthat

“It has made me realise how much I depend on it – not just for business, but as a release…”

– @CloudNineRec

“It [was] difficult!”

– @IamSilverFox

About halfway through the experiment, I started regretting starting and I’m not sure if the experiment overall was a success. There were some surprises though.

On one hand, the benefits I saw from doing this ration:

  • I did get more work done
  • I was often shocked at how much of what I wanted to share was actually nonsense, so have determined to take it down a notch now that the experiment has ended
  • I’m definitely going to rethink the many RTs and link shares I do (although I might’ve slipped into my old habits already today)
  • I’m going to utilise DMs a little more (maybe for all those things I want to share but directed towards someone who will get it)
  • I thought my self-discipline was quite outstanding really; I didn’t break the ration once… if you don’t count Friday… I made up for it…

On the other-hand, why I’m never doing this experiment again is:

  • By the end of the first day I was already missing the human interaction!
  • I couldn’t join into conversation and I’m still feeling out of it… just 5 days did really affect my relationships.
  • I still think in 140 characters or less!

Massive thank you for those tweethearts who got involved, even if you broke the ration (it was probably a good thing)! If you have anything you want to add, what you found, what you missed most, what you’ll do differently now – please share!

Jill Ruthenberg is Communications Specialist at Wisdom London and promises to only tweet those things which she believes will actually add value to your day.

Follow Jill on Twitter

Experiments in Social Media Number 3, Part 1: Rationing Twitter

Posted in creativity, social media with tags , , , on September 27, 2010 by wisdomlondon

I don’t know about you but these days, I think in tweets and Facebook status updates.

Today I tweeted 20 times before lunch…

…. Okay, make that more than 20 times.

20’s not that bad – right? I don’t want to be the Twit that floods your feed. And I certainly don’t want to be the Twit that floods your feed with stuff that’s completely irrelevant to you!

But how much is too much? Is the right answer relative? Relative to what you do for a living? Or to what you say? Or to what sort of response you get?

Is it true that the more you tweet, the more valuable you are to followers? There must be a limit to this?

Is it better to be consistent throughout the day/week or to have bursts of activity just when you feel like it? Is it wise to tweet for the sake of tweeting?

Is what you say just noise? How do you make sure it isn’t? Could it mean limiting yourself to just 1 tweet a day? Or 10?

Self discipline and Social Media is not a common combination, but from time to time it is good to take a step back to make sure the time we spend using it, is worthwhile and meaningful. It comes back to the age-old question of quality vs quantity; can I derive as much value from my Twitter usage if I ration it and place the emphasis firmly on quality?

The challenge

We’re rationing our tweets and making them count.

This is an invitation. If you feel like you’re spending too much time on Twitter and need to stop your thinking in 140 characters or less… Or if you would like to take a stand against those that flood your page with meaningless blah-ing… Join me!

Are you up for it??

The method

Discipline doesn’t have to mean going to extremes. Limiting tweets to 1 per day could be a step in the wrong direction. Twitter can and should be used for loads of stuff: listening, trendspotting, broadcasting, sharing, conversing…so it makes sense that we still do that, but with extra thought and attention to making sure it’s worthwhile and meaningful.

And where you feel like you could just keep tweeting away – challenge yourself to find other ways to do this stuff too – take it off Twitter to email, convos, face to face, etc. Push yourself not to be lazy.

So here’s the deal.

1 week, 5 tweets a day:

  • 1 x original content,
  • 1 x RT,
  • 1 x direct message,
  • 1 x reply,
  • 1 x link share

The process

Kick off is tomorrow, September 28! Be there or be square, yo.

The result

This time next week we’ll reconvene here – I’ll post my findings and I’d love for you to share how you went and what you found!

Make them count.

By Jill Ruthenberg

Experiments in Social Media Number 2, Part 2: Conversations with Power

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags , , , , , on September 20, 2010 by wisdomlondon

Earlier this month I shared with you about an experiment that I wanted to do on ‘conversations with power’ via Twitter. The idea came about partly as somewhat of a celebration of the fact that, with Twitter, communication barrier between so-called power players and the majority (us ordinary mortals) appears to have been broken down. There is the possibility to engage with anyone you want to – and people you may never really have had the opportunity to reach before.  Pretty hypothetical  but I figured it was worth a look.

The challenge:

In a broad sense, I wanted to flex the biceps of Twitter.

The method:

With the help of some very helpful tweeps we curated a hit list as long as your arm, with the likes of Lily Allen and Richard Branson (and yes, Nick Clegg) making an appearance. And then I took it to the tweets.

The Process:

I thought I’d build my confidence starting slow, ticking two of my list on the first day. First I asked @BillBailey to tell us a joke. No response. At first we gave him the benefit of the doubt because apparently he was on tour and was perhaps in different time zones. So I scheduled a retweet to reach him where he was. I even told him a joke first, hoping he would reciprocate. Still no response.

Maybe I wasn’t funny enough.

Then I asked @jamie_oliver what he was having for lunch. Three times. I saw you tweeting, Jamie, don’t pretend you didn’t hear me.

Needless to say the experiment wasn’t off to a good start.

Throughout the experiment I asked @richardbranson about business and even complemented his mother.

I suggested @lilyroseallen try @mooli’s to satisfy her cravings. I also replied to her comment about that #meatdress and said she could totally pull it off.

I asked @dianebirch where she gets her hats from (which I still really want to know, and if she says they’re ‘vintage’ I’ll cry).

I checked in with @kanyewest to see how he was doing since his meltdown on Twitter.

I shared a really cool link with @tyrabanks. Bitch.

I asked Mark Watson why the chicken crossed the road and @Nick_Clegg if his favourite colour really was orange. Yes, Nick Clegg.

Eventually I openly approached ‘celebrities’ asking them to ‘help me with my experiment’… in their own language!

I figured the hashtag #pleasetalktomeimnotmad might of come into play in moments of desperation. Not sure if it worked…

The Result:

Well, I wouldn’t call the experiment a failure, but then again, some of the best lessons are usually learned from failure. Basically, no-one (from the list) really talked to me.

So what lessons can we take away from this experiment? Well in the words of existential psychologist, Rollo May:

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”

While the celebs didn’t respond to my plea for attention – something even better happened. It was my existing friends and followers (my Tweeps) that got behind me.

I had Tweeple, some I had never met in person, taking the time to suggest celebrities which celeb would be interesting or more likely to respond. Most of the time I had no idea who they were talking about (I’m not from here, Toto), but we gave it a shot. In some situations this required guest Twitterer @AntDLewis to create some relevant content…

It was so much fun to see people getting involved, retweeting my messages and sharing what I was doing (big thanks to @PinkTipi).

And those translated messages – they were in Welsh! Translated by the very beautiful and very talented Lucy Payne aka @rubylup, who I met (through Twitter) in the flesh that same afternoon.

It was this that was incredibly encouraging.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, as a business, remember to not forget those in your immediate network because they are potentially your best ambassadors waiting to be involved in what you’ve got going on, and to be engaged with. Thank you, real people. I will not forget you. In fact, we’ll probably chat very soon.

By Jill Ruthenberg

Ever wondered about… Paper.li

Posted in Ever Wondered About... with tags , , , , on September 16, 2010 by wisdomlondon

Posted by Anthony Lewis

What is it?

You’re bound to have seen it by now. Paper.li converts your Twitter stream into a digestible daily online newspaper. Every 24 hours, all the links and information shared by the people you follow, or by a selected list of people, is arranged onto a newspaper-like webpage for your convenience. It’s one way of finding the most popular content being shared and making sure you don’t miss out on anything big, or it can simply aggregate up to date content on a specific subject. This program is still pretty new and seems to have some developing yet to do, but with the current buzzword “curation” flying about…well, it does just that.

Why Should I Care?

There are two main ways of using Paper.li – personally and publicly. For an individual, there are significant perks to this free service. Speedy and focussed feed sifting is one. It’s particularly useful for those who find the constant torrent of information a bit overwhelming, but who trust their sources to tweet good stuff. It makes sharing the content easy, too, with built in retweet and reply options, although social interaction is not so much the point here.

The other approach – widely seen and in some cases, resented – is to collect current content on a specific subject to share with the world. The owner of the feed is the “curator”, and the people they follow become “contributors”. There are very practical applications for this. For example, you can create a list of people who you know consistently share worthwhile content, or who are authorities on your subject, and create a “newspaper” of what they share.

You can also create a page based on a #tag, so you can collate everything on a certain subject, or let people submit content to your page specifically, using your tag.  Nice for events, for example. We see that it could be used to feed curated content to groups of people, such as employees of a company, who are too busy to check the Twitter stream hourly, but who need to keep up to date with developments. The downsides? Publishing your Daily isn’t appreciated by everyone – there have been mutterings about vanity and self-indulgence.  We say:  you know those in your stream better than anyone – it’s a case of judgement.  Maybe ask your followers if they’d like to see your Daily in the stream or not? If the answer’s a resounding ‘no’, well, you can still benefit.  If the answer is ‘yes’, happy days.  Just make it good.

Anything Else I Should Know?

As a young product, Paper.li is not perfect. The design is functional but rigid, and you can’t combine newspapers to create one compound paper. For example, you can’t yet combine your Facebook and Twitter streams, or your Twitter stream and someone else’s into one daily page. Paper.li is a good alternative to the acclaimed Flipbook for us plebs who haven’t yet taken up the iPad, and as a practical tool for individual users, it can serve a great purpose. There is definitely more potential to exploit in the future.  But whether you use it as a time saver or enjoy the glory of being a curator of fine content, the possibilities of Paper.li are well worth exploring.

Ever Wondered About is a new series on the Wisdom London blog, where we aim to demystify and explore what’s shaping our social interactions.  Coming up: Paper.li, and PPC. Wondering about anything else?  Tell us and we’ll investigate!

Ever wondered about how Android could be useful for your business? Wonder no more.

Experiments in Social Media Number 2, Part 1: Conversations with Power

Posted in social media, wisdom with tags , , , on September 7, 2010 by wisdomlondon

You know what I love about Twitter?

Before Twitter, the world was different.

Before Twitter, it was difficult to interact with people interested in the same things as you without leaving the comfort of your desk. Especially if they lived on the other side of the world from you.

Before Twitter, you couldn’t get updates of sweet quotes, bite-sized inspiration, tips on what’s happening in your area, or real news from people you actually wanted to hear from – all in less than 140 characters, all on the platform of your choice.

There’s always something new and exciting going on, the community is alive and bubbling with so much to share. Step away for a few minutes and you would have missed 175 Tweets from your beloveds… Or just Kanye.

But what’s more – and what it all boils down to is, you can engage with anyone you want to. People you would never really have the opportunity to reach without it. With Twitter, it’s possible to get business advice from the most successful businessperson in the world; or approach a leader in your industry for help on a project; or – if you’re really bored – even ask a footballer what he had for breakfast.

The barriers have been broken down; Are you taking full advantage of this?

My next Experiment in Social Media is a celebration of the limitless potential of Twitter for you and your brand. This experiment involves befriending celebrity and power – just to see how much is possible.

The challenge:

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actually want to be best friends with these people.

In a broader sense, I want to flex the biceps of Twitter.

How far, really, is my personal reach?

The method:

I’ve asked around and have compiled a list of  power-players, celebs (and ah, a politician) suggested by you, as well as those who I just wanted to stalk…

Did I say stalk? I meant talk… to directly.

The Process:

So over the next few days via Twitter, I will be initiating conversation with each on my list and seeing if I can inspire a response. By the power of Twitter, will we connect?

The Result:

Let’s see, shall we?

Jill Ruthenberg is Communications Specialist for Wisdom London, and is a true believer in the potential of Twitter. She may or may not also have a bit of a crush on Justin Bieber.

Follow Jill on Twitter

Ever Wondered About…. Klout

Posted in Ever Wondered About... with tags , , , on September 1, 2010 by wisdomlondon

By Jill Ruthenberg

What is it?

Wondering how your Tweeting rates? Ever asked yourself how likely you are to be retweeted?
What type of Twitterer are you?

This is where you can find out just how much clout you have.

Klout is a free online tool that measures your Twitter influence based on what messages you send out, how often, how much engagement you have on that message and who engages with you.

Why should I care?

Megan Berry, marketing manager at Klout, explains: “In a larger sense [we measure] engagement. How many people are actively participating and interacting with you?”

Klout scores look “at the types of messages you tend to send out (links or not, conversations or not, etc.), your activity level, how much engagement you have for every message and in general, who interacts and engages with you and other factors to determine their influence style.”

Taking into account 25 variables, your score is broken down into three categories, to give you a score out of 100 for each in each of these areas:

  1. True Reach: the size of your engaged audience
  2. Amplification Score: the likelihood that your content will be acted in and,
  3. Network Score: the influence level of your engaged audience.

These scores are then combined to give you your Klout Score, the measurement of your overall influence. If you’re new to Twitter, it’s a perfect way to track your progress.

Klout lets you know who you are mostly influenced by and who you are an influencer of. It even analyses your content.

Our view? We think the most useful feature is the Influence Matrix, which provides context by classifying what type of Twitterer you are. It’s like a personality test for your influence. There are 16 categories based on the extent to which you participate, how focused your tweets are, whether you share or create content and how often you tweet. Are you a curator?  An exlorer?  A dabbler?  Or a mighty thought leader?

It’s definitely worth looking into. Once you know what your style is, it’s easy to think about goals for where you want to be. More on those influence styles here.

Anything else I should know?

The Official Klout blog has some great advice and information on understanding Klout, improving your Twittering and fun stuff like 10 Most Influential World Cup 2010 Players on Twitter.

Stay posted with more on our interview with Klout’s marketing manager, Megan Berry coming soon.

Ever Wondered About is a new series on the Wisdom London blog, where Kate Spiers and Jill Ruthenberg aim to demystify and explore what’s shaping our social interactions.  Coming up: Ning, Paper.li and PPC.  Wondering about anything else?  Tell us and we’ll investigate!

Have you Ever Wondered About….Audioboo? Click to wonder no more.