Twitter is thrilled to announce that we've entered into an agreement with Atebits (aka Loren Brichter) to acquire Tweetie, a leading iPhone Twitter client. Tweetie will be renamed Twitter for iPhone and made free (currently $2.99) in the iTunes AppStore in the coming weeks. Loren will become a key member of our mobile team that is already having huge impact with device makers and service providers around the world. Loren's work won the 2009 Apple Design Award and we will eventually launch Twitter for iPad with his help. People are looking for an app from Twitter, and they're not finding one. ...
10 Newbie Twitter Mistakes Made By Businesses by Mike Johansson on 03/08/2010 Businesses jumping into social media often see Twitter as a “simple” part of the plan: set up an account and start tweeting. Sadly some even get stuck right after the set up part. Here are 10 mistakes business newbies on Twitter should avoid: 1. Doing Little or Nothing With an estimated 25 to 30 percent of Twitter accounts either empty or “one tweet and done” is it surprising that these accounts generate little interest from others on Twitter? Your inactive or virtually inactive account sends a clear messa...
Twitter Ad Plan: Copy Google by Peter Kafka Posted on February 26, 2010 at 9:04 AM PT What will Twitter long-awaited ad platform look like? Something like Googles. That the general description of Twitters plan, according to people who have been briefed by the company. Here are the very broad strokes: Ads will be tied to Twitter searches, in the same way that Google (GOOG) original ads were. So a search for, say, laptop,may generate an ad for Dell (DELL). The ads will only show up in search results, which means users who dont search for something wont see them in their regular Twitterstream...
A nice milestone for Twitter: It has now passed 50 million tweets per day, up from about 2.5 million per day at the beginning of last year. This is one of Twitter's most important metrics, so it's a good thing that it's still growing rapidly. Because Twitter is a distributed service all over the Web, on desktop clients, mobile apps, etc., "unique visitors" to Twitter.com has always been a somewhat flawed growth metric. (Though it's obviously important for Twitter's user base to continue growing, too.) Here's Twitter's blog post on the achievement, posted by analytics staffer Kevin Weil...
It sounds like there is another Twitter hack making its way around today. If you think your account has been hacked  for example, you see unexpected Tweets from your account then this is what you should do Change your password (if you can). Log in, change your password from the password tab under account settings. If you can remember your password, use the password reset feature. Once you are. implement a strong (upper and lower case, numbers, special characters; more than 8 characters) password that you have NOT used before. Revoke connections from third party applications After you...
Dec

28

How to Use Twitter Without Twitter Owning You – 5 Tips 131 Comments

Written by Tim Ferriss Topics: Low-Information Diet


(Photo: Timothy K. Hamilton)

Total read time: 5 minutes.

I’ve evolved as a user of the micro-blogging tool called Twitter.

That said, technology is a great slave but a terrible master, and Twitter can turn the tables on you with surprising subtlety. This post will explain how I use Twitter and the 5 rules I follow to keep it from using me…

I use it mostly as a digital diary for recording the fleeting moments, fun online findings, and useful tools that are worth sharing but not worth a separate blog post. For those of you who want more from me than 1-2 posts per week, Twitter is where I put most of my discoveries.

It is also amazing for real-time polling of followers on topics ranging from strength training to the best online back-up tools (in descending order of preference: www.getdropbox.com, www.sugarsync.com, www.jungledisk.com, the last of which uses Amazon’s S3).

I avoided following people until one month ago, as I didn’t want another inbox (which direct messages or “DMs” produce), and I didn’t want to inadvertently hurt the feelings of acquaintances I might neglect to follow.

Following no one avoided both problems. I elaborate on this approach in a short video here.

I started following because I was interested in observing effective, interesting updates and also measuring the impact of following on my time use. Secondarily, I noticed some fine print in Twitter’s seldom-read Terms of Service (bolding is mine):

*Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:

* If you have followed a large amount of users in a short amount of time;
* If you have a small number of followers compared to the amount of people you are following;
* If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;

Though it seems these rules aren’t yet strictly enforced (some business and RSS accounts are almost exclusively links), I didn’t want to risk being banned, as I find Twitter both fun and useful. [Update: as several readers pointed out, I read this and got things backwards. Following no one is fine; following more people than follow you can get you banned.]

The 5 Rules of Keeping Twitter Use Under Control

1. Don’t post and read at the same time.

Here’s the problem with following others, as fun as it can be.

You decide to make a quick post on Twitter.com, but then you notice the stream of updates from the people you follow. Then you click “older” a few times and peruse a few quick links like “World’s fattest cat (pic)”. Before you know it, 30 minutes have passed and you have forgotten what you were going to post, as well as your to-do list. Repeat this whenever your mind wanders throughout the day = nothing done.

Having your friends’ updates as the default dashboard helps Twitter’s pageview count but can kill productivity.

I suggest writing updates (”tweets”) separately from reading friends’ updates, so that you can better prevent entering the hyperlink blackhole. I read friends’ updates after 5pm and use Ping.fm, which automatically shortens URLs, during business hours to update both Twitter and Facebook status at the same time. I found TweetDeck and other applications, while full of cool features, too seductive and easy to overuse.

2. Set alerts or blocks on Twitter usage.

My time on Twitter immediately more than doubled once I followed others, despite the misperception that I was still spending roughly the same amount of time on the site. I used RescueTime (Disclosure: I am now an investor in RT, but I recommended them for months before we were introduced) to track usage and then set alerts, which is how I measured the increase and reigned in overuse. Use a program like RescueTime or MeeTimer to alert you when you exceed a pre-determined time on Twitter, or when you’re about to load the Twitter page.

For those who want to stronger methods for preventing time wastage, download Firefox and use LeechBlock to block certain sites entirely for set periods. From their site:

“You can specify up to six sets of sites to block, with different times and days for each set. You can block sites within fixed time periods (e.g., between 9am and 5pm), after a time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour), or with a combination of time periods and time limit (e.g., 10 minutes in every hour between 9am and 5pm). You can also set a password for access to the extension options, just to slow you down in moments of weakness!”

3. Follow those who won’t create another inbox, or follow everyone and go Gary V.

I follow mostly close friends and celebrities, both of whom are unlikely to send me many direct messages, as the former knows I prefer phone and the latter doesn’t know I exist. The other approach, which bruises fewer egos, is to follow friends and strangers alike but make it clear that you don’t read any DMs, a la Gary Vaynerchuk. Based on attempts to the do the latter on Facebook and LinkedIn, I’ve concluded that most of the world doesn’t read directions or alerts, so I opted for the friend and celeb option.

4. Don’t post unless you add more value than the attention you consume (both yours and others’):

1. Add value if you consume attention.

I use Twitter as a “micro-blogging” platform, exactly how it’s most often described. Just as I wouldn’t put up a blog post that reads “just ate a burrito. Mmmm… good,” as it consumes readers valuable attention without adding value, I wouldn’t put up such a post on Twitter. On the other hand, “Just had an incredible mahi-mahi burrito at [best unknown taco stand] in San Diego. Must-eat: www.website.com In NYC, try: www.website2.com” adds value with actionable details. Mundane perhaps, but still a cool “to-do” that ethnic food lovers can tuck in the back of their heads.

Some self-indulgent tweets are fine, but make sure 90%+ help or entertain your readers somehow. Information empty calories are parasitic.

2. Use the tool for its best purposes and ignore the rest.

Use a tool for what its best suited to do. Don’t make a Swiss army knife out of every social media tool or you’ll end up with nothing but overwhelm, passive-aggressive “friends,” and a dozen separate inboxes.

I use the blog for testing ideas/campaigns/memes, catalyzing social change, and introducing more developed concepts so I can watch and track their impact and evolution in the blogosphere.

I use Twitter to broadcast time-sensitive suggestions, questions, events, random facts, and happenings, and other ideas that don’t justify an independent blog post. I don’t want another IM program.

3. Linking is fundamental to adding value.

Twitter is perfect for honing your word economy and value-to-attention contribution: offer a brief takeaway and quicks links to more resources for those interested. Minimal attention impact for the uninterested with gateways to more goodies. Here are a few recent examples.

5. Do interact, but don’t try to respond to everyone. Don’t overuse Twitter out of a compulsion to please others.

To quote @karmakorrupt via Twitterholic extraordinaire @sacca: “Seeking approval from others is a full time job with no vacations or benefits.”

Remember: Twitter is something you chose to do. Unless you work at Twitter, chances are that you have another job (or family) that’s more important. Focus on doing big things and enjoying Twitter and similar tools in the downtime.

Dec

19

The Six Twitter Types

The Six Twitter Types

Dec 11, 2009

It took me a few months to figure out that all Twitter users are not created equal and don’t have the same agenda. It’s much more complex than “cool people talking about cool things.” In order for you to come up to speed faster than I did, here is an explanation of the principle types of Twitter users, how they predominantly tweet, and a recommended approach to each of them.

  1. The Newbie. “What am I doing?” The Newbie signed up for Twitter less than three months ago and thinks it’s all about lifestreaming: “Watching my cat roll over.” These people quickly progress to a different type of use or abandon Twitter when no one pays attention to them. Motivation: curiosity about Twitter. Recommended approach: understand.
  2. The Brand. “What can I get away with?” The Brand balances the tension between using Twitter as a marketing tool and socially engaging people so as not to appear to be using Twitter as a marketing tool. Motivation: greater brand awareness. Recommended approach: observe.
  3. The Smore. “What’s in it for me?” The Smore (social media whore) sees Twitter primarily as a self-promotion tool to get something from people although a transparent Smore (“Bubbles”) is often a delightful person. The delusional ones are the pains. Motivations: making a buck off and gaining followers. Recommended approach: tolerate.
  4. The Bitch. “What can I complain about?” Despite deriving this name from female dogs, this is usually an angry man who envies people who generate content. They can be briefly amusing in a “shock jock” kind of way, but their bark is greater than their bite, and their bite is greater than their insight. Motivation: generating angry reactions. Recommended approach: block.
  5. The Maven. “What’s interesting in my niche?” The Maven is an expert in a field such as recruiting, marketing, or web design. If you’re interested in their field, following them is a rich, rewarding, and time-saving experience. Motivation: getting retweeted and recognized as an expert. Recommended approach: follow.
  6. The Mensch. “How can I help?” Mensches are few and far between. They lurk in the background until people need help and then they either know, or know how to find, the answer. They are seldom well-known or highly followed, but they save you tons of time and effort when you want to know something like the ideal dimensions of a profile background. Motivation: helping others. Recommended approach: adore.

Now comes the hard part: What kind of Twitter user are you? To make Twitter an effective tool, you need to be a Brand, Maven, or Mensch. To go even further, you need to be able to adopt the roles of Brand, Maven, Mensch, and a touch of the Smore, and that is truly an art.

Tags: send to a friend http://bit.ly/8S2Sdd” title=”twitter” rel=”The+Six+Twitter+Types+%3a+The+World+%3a%3a+American+Express+OPEN+Forum”>2

Thanks @DanMartell for passing this one to me

Dec

03

Twitter Tao ImageSoren Gordhamer works with individuals and groups on how to effectively use new technologies. He is the author of the book Wisdom 2.0 and the organizer of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. He is @SorenG on Twitter.

It doesn’t take much skill to tweet — you simply type what you want to say in under 140 characters. But while the barrier to entry is extremely low, tweeting well is something else entirely. I’m sure we all follow people who consistently offer enriching and insightful posts, and about whom we think, “Wow. They really know how to tweet.” We have also likely come across people on Twitter (Twitter

) about whom we have felt the exact opposite.

If we consider tweeting to be something of an art form, then what are the characteristics that make for “good art” on Twitter? It is probably too early to identify them all, but a two-thousand-five-hundred year old text, the Tao te Ching, offers what I believe is some useful guidance. Below are the top four lessons that I think are most relevant.

1. Show Versus Tell

“The person of superior integrity does not insist upon his integrity; For this reason, he has integrity.” – Tao te Ching

Telling people how knowledgeable we are about a subject or bragging about our achievements via Twitter is generally a sign that we are out of alignment with the tao, which is often defined as “the flow” or “the natural way.” If a person is tweeting about how successful, smart, and knowledgeable he is about a subject, we can be pretty sure he’s not as wise as he claims.

Another, more tao-friendly approach, is to show more than tell. Rather than using Twitter to try to tell people who we are or what we know, focus instead on providing people good, quality information related to a subject matter. We can show knowledge through actions. People then feel a connection to us, and may even be impressed by us, not because we tell them that they should be, but because it shows through our tweets.

2. Have a Passion for the Process

Office Woman Image

“The Way alone is good at beginning and good at ending.” – Tao te Ching

One mistake I often see when people use Twitter is that they approach it without a real interest in or passion for the service. They may start an account because they think they “should” or because they seek to gain a million followers or increase sales, rather than to connect with people.

There is nothing wrong with those goals. But in order to create authenticity and value, you must maintain the same enthusiasm at 5 followers as you do at 50,000. One should approach both the beginning and end with equal attention.

What matters is not only how many followers we have, or how much our sales have increased, but the level of passion and curiosity with which we approach the process. The former will follow if the latter is there.

3. Find a Balance

“Hearing too much leads to exhaustion; Better to remain in the center.” – Tao te Ching

Even at just 140 characters per tweet, there are only so many tweets we can digest per day. Our capacities may vary, but we can all experience “tweet overload.” When that happens, you might not be able to fully digest the information you’re reading, and the quality of your own tweets may suffer.

The challenge is to find the balance – “the center,” as the tao encourages – so that we engage from a place of ease and focus. It’s the state that athletes refer to as “being in the zone.” Accessing this flow or zone is just as important while tweeting on our keyboard or phone as it is while playing on the basketball court. This means not only knowing when to tweet, but also when to take a break.

4. Focus on What You Can Add, Not on the Technology

Twitter Input Image

“Thirty spokes converge on a single hub, but it is in the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of a cart lies.” – Tao te Ching

I always find it curious when people get into arguments over how useful or silly Twitter is. Sure, Twitter is an online service with some interesting features built-in. But essentially, it is an empty box in which to share content. As the quote above alludes, it is “the space where there is nothing” that matters the most.

No matter what you think of Twitter, it is not the technology itself that will determine its usefulness, but what we add to the empty box that is key. One person can find Twitter useless and another essential, and they can both be right.

Conclusion

Of course tweeting, like any art, is partly subjective. What I like you may not, and vice versa. In this sense, what matters is not so much our knowledge or skill, or how long we have used Twitter, but how we approach the process with an open, creative mind. It is only then that we can say that we have accessed “the tao of tweeting.”

More Twitter resources from Mashable:

HOW TO: Use Twitter’s New Retweet Feature
10 Ways You Can Use Twitter Lists
5 Ways to Write Retweetable Tweets
TWEET IDEAS: 13 Things to Do on Twitter Besides Tweet
Twitter for Beginners: 5 Steps for Better Tweeting

Image courtesy of iStockphoto (iStockphoto

), kot2626

via mashable.com
Dec

03

For as long as we can remember Twitter has left application development to enterprising third-party developers. In recent months, however, the company has pushed out a number of additions to the platform, and today they’re unveiling a preview of the spiffy new mobile site that rivals Twitter.com in design and function.

You can try out the new mobile version of Twitter (Twitter

), which works best on Webkit browsers, by visiting http://mobile.twitter.com/ on your mobile device. Since it’s a preview, the new mobile interface will not replace the m.twitter.com experience for the time being, but you can look for that switch to happen in the coming months.

If you’re wondering why Twitter was compelled to redo their mobile site after years of silence, look no further their blog post on the subject. Leland Rechis of the User Experience team writes:

What may be a less known fact is: Lots of people access Twitter on their phones via our good ol’ mobile website, and trusty ‘m’ has been delivering tweets faithfully. However, ‘m’ doesn’t fully feel like Twitter, and could probably do a bit more things for you.

‘M’ should also be fantastically innovative — naturally the best way to do that is use our own APIs. So, the mobile team here built a brand new mobile web client from scratch, using only Twitter APIs, and we’d like to share the results with you.

Take a look at the new mobile version of Twitter below.

twitter mobile

twitter mobile user

twitter mobile tweet

via mashable.com

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