The History of Social Media [Infographic]

Love this infographic: It wasn’t called “social” in the early days and its depiction has evolved quite dramatically especially in the last decade. I found it in this blog post: ; Perhaps, this was the genesis as it reads, “40 years ago the first email was sent. The email simply said ‘qwertyuiop’, and was sent to the computer sitting next to it.” Enjoy!

Twitter Aggregated: Commands, Best Practices, Strategies and’s all here…hopefully

I am in the midst of providing indepth training for a client on Twitter. This is a “Get Started Version”. I’ve spent the last 4 hours researching blogs and document sites to provide me with this information. Here’s what I’ve come up with. If you have more info that’s relevant to newbies, please let me know and I’ll add it to this blog post.


Getting Started:

1)    Remember to create your profile in Settings:
•    Make sure your profile is complete. People decide to follow you based on the richness of your profile.
•    Make sure you upload a picture. It’s always nice to know who you’re connecting with.
•    Add a website URL  or better yet a blog or destination where you can invite conversation.

2)    Who to follow:
•    Use to target the users. This will depend on the account you created and the objective for the account. If it is to sell your product, then target people talking about your company, or products that your company offers.
•    Follow your friends first. Then look at their string of followers to determine whom you should follow.
•    Use to determine the top tweeps to follow — these are the influential voices in the twittersphere.

3)    What do I tweet?
•    Listen First: figure out what people are saying. Is there anything of value you can add? If so chime in.
•    Always provide value: is there information that you have first hand that you think would benefit others? Provide the link and let others know.
•    Emphasize another person’s tweet: if you think it’s important, then RT (retweet). This not only makes the other person appreciate that you’ve recognized their contribution, it also opens you up to further followers.
•    Promote your programs ONLY once you’ve created credibility: This is OK to do once in a while. If others see you have contributed valuable content, then the more likely they will come to your site.

4)    Tweeting long URLS: Since you’re constrained to only 140 characters, many times you need to use tinyURLS or similar functions to truncate your destination URL.  You can use your client Tweetdeck to shorten URLs before you post. It gives you more room to add some commentary to your post.

The DOs and DON’Ts:



Potential Executions:

  1. Customer Service: Anyone who has customers – B2C, B2B can use Twitter to quickly listen and respond to customer feedback before problems escalate or to activate brand ambassadors…
  2. Crisis Management: Using Twitter for Crisis Communications is much about preventing an isolated issue from becoming a full-blown crisis as it is about communicating to the public once a crisis has hit. Twitter is a fast way to respond and maintain an open channel.
  3. Corporate Reputation Management: Twitter offers an outlet for your brand’s personality and humanity. A Twitter handle is created to share the brand personality from real-live people behind the messages being Tweeted. It’s easy to see what others are saying about your brand and the topics of interest and create a strong presence within those conversations.
  4. Event Activation: The real-time ability to connect with others and share experiences makes Twitter a great platform for individuals, or companies to use during a major event. Live-Tweeting an event can be used to create a completely new channel of conversation and a way to enhance the physical experience of the event. Combining Twitter with blogs, video and other social media efforts provides more ways to interact with the content and experience you’re creating
  5. Product Promotion and Sales – A successful sales and promotion plan is based on identifying your audience, providing useful content, and being prepared to engage in the conversation. When done right, your followers will become loyal, and also advocates for your brand and your promotions.
  6. Issue Advocacy – Twitter’s ability to connect people with similar interests can be harnessed for the greater social good with non-profits and issue advocacy organizations creating a community and providing useful information to those they serve, volunteers, donors and other supporters.


From the web:

•    D username: sends a private message to a specific individual
•    @username: sends a public message to a specific individual; this message will archive in their replies tab, and be visible on your profile page
•    RT username: retweets content from another username. Use this function to amplify a specific message from someone you’re following.

From your Phone:

•    ON: turns phone notifications on
•    OFF: turns phone notifications off
•    STOP, QUIT: stops all messages to your device immediately
•    FOLLOW username: turns on notifications for a specific individual
•    LEAVE username: turns off notifications for a specific individual
•    D username: sends a private message to a specific individual
•    @username: sends a public message to a specific individual; this message will archive in their replies tab, and be visible on your profile page
•    WHOIS username: returns bio info for a Twitter member
•    GET username: returns the last update from a specific individual
•    FAVE username: marks the last update of a user as a favorite
•    TRACK word: returns updates from the Twitter community containing the tracked word
•    TRACKING: returns a list of words you’re tracking
•    UNTRACK word: stops tracking a word
•    UNTRACK all: stops tracking all words
•    INVITE 4155225678: invites a friend via SMS/text message to join Twitter
•    STATS: returns statistics

Essential Twitter Tools:

1) is the most popular client, using adobe air technology. Leave this on your desktop, instead of going to browser. Also these clients may be more accurate in seeing who’s replying to you. Through Twitdeck, you will be able to see four columns (or less) based on your preference:
–    posts from ALL friends
–    @ replies
–    favourites
–    Twitscoop ie Buzz trends on Twitter
–    Direct messages

2)    Search: Use
to see who’s talking about you, your brand, or a topic you’re interested in. Sign into tweetscan so you can can create searches by keyword and have the ALERTS sent to your email box, similar to Google Alerts. You can dictate frequency as well

searches Twitter by keyword. Initially, this was summize.

**For people who talk about your brand, it’s important to 1) follow them  2) respond to them on a timely basis

3)    Tagging Content: You can start to use the hashag “#” to add metadata around any tweet. This becomes more important as we rate and tag content. You can see the aggregated data on . Here’s an example of #myfirstjob

4)    Alerts: Often, people will blog about the conversations that happen in twitter, the conversation shifts back to blogs. As a result, I setup Google Alerts for the phrase @hessiej or any specific keywords.

5)    Paste the Twitter Badge on your Site: — use a flash or html version of your twitter handle and post it to your website. Use it to aggregate traffic to your twitter page for e.g. dealing customer service issues real-time. Be careful — be ready to handle an inordinate amount of traffic.

6)    To specifically target users and categories, use . Twellow is a site which takes the geographical information and bio information from your Twitter account and uses it to categorize your profile. One of the great things about Twellow is it allows you to find people with similar interests who you can follow and interact with.

Enhanced Services:

1)    To take Twitter UP a NOTCH: Power Twitter :
Download the Firefox version. Here are the features:

-search – not on original twitter
-search scoped to a specific user
-status history peeking on mouseover
-Facebook status updates – as long as you’re logged in, it provides friends’ updates shown as status’ on Twitter
-inline YouTube, Flickr, and TwitPic – instead of URL, shows full pics, video which you can play inline.
-url expansion – allows you to see actual topic as opposed to greeked URL.
-url translation to page titles
-open web update (news feed) mapping

2)    View the latest tweets of upcoming trends on Twitter through Updates fall from the top of the page in near real time. Unlike other Sites, this only tracks trends. The trends are listed on the left hand side of the page. Click on one to view the relevant tweets.

3)    Get the latest stats on the Top “Tweeps”,  Twitter Apps, Top Twitter Topics and Trends from

4)    FAVRD: most favourited tweets on Twitter. Search by keyword and see who else has favoured a particular tweet to identify like-minded contacts.

5)    See what’s hot right now on Twitter: is a trendcasting service that aggregates the top topics on Twitter and presents them in a visually rich tag cloud. You can hover over each cloud to see a pop-up overview of the discussions around the topic or click through to dive deeper into the analytics of the conversation volume and duration and also participate directly. TwitScoop provides the ability to search keywords and usernames to analyze the dialogue and frequency behind them.. See it also on your client: Tweetdeck.

6) FIND TWITTER Influencers and level of activity: Provides an interactive chart that chronicles the quantity of Twitter followers for any given username. The results are viewable by week, month, and quarter and the service will also predict the future volume of followers based on the average growth/loss over time. The chart is embeddable as a widget on any profile, blog, or Web site.

7)    Share your photos on Twitter through

8)    Twitterific A compact client that publishes tweets, shows unread tweets, has easy access to profile pages, shows either public or friend timeline, and more. This is a downloadable widget.

9)    Aggregation: puts all of our RSS content onto one page, making it easy to see from one glance (rather than going to different properties) and you can even reply from friendfeed to different tools. It’s smarter to organize around people, rather than tools. Add your bookmarks, facebook, myspace, and twitterupdates all in one interface.

10)    Measure the power of a user’s profile through . Just type in your username and get graded. The score is calculated as a percentlile of @users that have been graded. This is based on the number of followers you have, the power of the followers, the power of your updates, the completeness of your profile. Also use Grader to find the Twitter Elites — the top in your location and the Top Tweeps overall. Note, having an Elite follow you helps increase your ranking.

Please reference this link for other Twitter tools. It’s from

The Secrets Behind Many Viral Videos…..Part II: An Apology

My previous post drew some interesting comments from other bloggers but it also profoundly affected the person about whom the article was written. This blog post is to apologize to Dan Ackerman-Greenberg and The Comotion Group. I guess when you don’t have all your facts straight and you declare something in this “delicate” online space it could really harm reputations and I’m here to try to make amends for any damage I’ve caused. I’m also here to represent Dan’s point of view on this subject and his intent when he followed-up to his initial post on TechCrunch in December 2007.

When I initially found the video, I assumed it was a synopsis of the strategies that Dan and The Comotion Group employed to their client base. When I met up with Dan later he was frustrated with what my post implied, specifically using the term, “anti-Christ within the Social Web”. My intent was not to draw further controversy but to allow marketers to see an alternative to traffic building and how to implement it effectively within this space. The problem with the web these days is that every blogger assumes he is a journalist but most do not own those “values” that include depicting the facts first before they publish. Most of the stuff posted these days, mine included, are opinions — the bigger the blog following –> the higher the potential impact (good or bad) it’ll have on the subject matter. So, Dan, I apologize for any negativity this has caused. I truly believe what you guys are doing is remarkable. From a marketer’s standpoint, there is true merit in how you guys achieve success and to set the record straight — without “fakery” or “manipulation”.

Here are excerpts of the communication I received from Dan. I’d much rather put it in his own words so he can clarify his position without interruption:

“With all of the followup posts to the TechCrunch post, the trickiest thing to clarify is the fact that neither I nor my company engages or has ever engaged in most of the “strategies” I talked about in the post almost a year ago. That post was intended to be me, someone with insider knowledge, pulling back the curtains on what companies are doing to promote video virality. Not me claiming that my company ever paid bloggers to fake posts, manipulated hundreds of comments, or tricked anyone into watching videos. Of course that’s not the company I’m building, because that is not a sustainable company.

It’s the same as the SEO industry and the same as companies who help get “MySpace friends” – there are standard practices in the industry that no one talks about or blogs about. The same goes for the video marketing industry – the rules have not yet been agreed upon, but there are clear strategies that people are using (for a few examples see and I was naive enough to be the guy who explained these strategies to the public, which means now I get to be the fall guy (or Antichrist!) for an entire set of marketing practices that I don’t use.

Looking back, I think the reason I posted the article was just that I realized I had some really interesting information that no one else was talking about online yet, and I wanted to get it out there.

The short answer is that clearly, the key to success with viral video marketing (or any video marketing, on or offline), is to make a video that people enjoy and want to engage with. The “strategies” for marketing a video are still being explored, but I’d say that the single best (and most obvious) strategy is to create an awesome video, then send the link to all of your friends. If it’s truly “viral” (“viral” being the situation when on average, one person seeing a video results in that person sending it to an average of at least 1 person ), then sending it out to a few hundred people will be enough of a seed to get it started. If it’s not truly “viral”, then it’s never going to go viral. That doesn’t mean it’s not effective to use video as a marketing tool though. It just means you aren’t going to get marketing for free through peer to peer virality – you’re going to have to go through standard marketing channels to get people to watch your video, i.e. video ad networks. And if a video is compelling (even if not viral), it will engage people to explore your product further (even if they don’t share the video).

Open ID…Data Portability… seamless integration or lack of control?

This week’s announcements from MySpace, Facebook, and Google about their respective launches of Data Availability, Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect gives us a preview into the next evolution of web connectivity. To marketers it’s a amazing leap forward in being able to 1) tap into audiences behaviourally across mutliple social networking platforms 2) develop more efficient media strategies where previous fragmentation has been unable to capture user behaviour outside of individual walled sites 3) and, in essence, provide much richer data for targetting strategies.

It didn’t take long, however for today’s news to arise: Facebook rejecting Google’s Friend Connect. Already, concerns about privacy are arising. As great as it is from a business perspective, the idea of Open I.D. raises a lot of concerns about how my data, as a user will be used. Yeah, I love the fact that I can register and create my profile only once and allow my data to flow with me as I surf from one site to another but it begs the question of control. The reason that fragmentation exists is that the user has the option to maintain mutliple identities/personas across multiple sites. Friend lists will differ depending on the purpose of my presence on certain sites. Maybe my profile on scribd as a “health guru” does not necessarily want to integrate with my political profile on jibjab. My professional linkedin friends should have access to my blogspot and my twitter but not my facebook. The point is: only I should have control on who sees my stuff and which friends I want interacting with me wherever I go. Giving this control to Facebook, Google or MySpace, for that matter, gives up my right and my control over my data.

Facebook is already noticing the impacts of cross-pollinating users/friends from one platform to another. Privacy concerns must weigh in especially since each platform has its own policies for its users. It will be interesting how this will be architectured cross-platformed to give users full disclosure and opt-out control if they so choose.

%d bloggers like this: