A nice presentation from Mojave Interactive for Marketers looking to use Twitter.
Hat tip to @Twitter_Tips
If you have used Twitter search before, you may notice that you can only go back a certain amount of time and/or number of tweets for a given search. In fact, if you read the Twitter search documentation, you’ll note that the folks from Twitter say, "We also restrict the size of the search index by placing a date limit on the updates we allow you to search. This limit is currently around a month but is dynamic and subject to shrink as the number of tweets per day continues to grow."
Thus was born The Archivist, a Windows application that runs on your local system and allows you to archive tweets for later data-mining and analysis for a given search. The Archivist allows you to start a search and will get as many results as it can on the initial search. If you leave The Archivist open, it will update with the latest results every 10 minutes. You can also close The Archivist and open it later. The Archivist will save the tweets and get all the tweets it can since that search.
The Archivist will display a chart that shows the number of tweets per day for a given search, so that you can quickly assess traffic for a given search. For more comprehensive data analysis, The Archivist lets you export Tweets to Excel. It also natively saves tweets in an XML format, which could also be parsed for deeper data analysis.
Install The Archivist today!
Picture Credit Twitip
I have been working on a Top 100 Twitter Tools list for some time. However, I found this great list from Online Best Colleges. The list should serve as a great resource for Twitter users looking to extend this experience.
If your goal is to be popular and influential on Twitter, be sure to check out these tools that will tell you how you’re doing.
With these tools, you and gather information for market research, blog posts, and your own simple curiosity.
Network Building & Management
Find more relevant Twitter users with the help of these tools.
Save your time and cull your Twitter list with the help of these tools.
Promote your business, share photos, and more using these Twitter tools.
Organisation & Productivity
These Twitter tools will make your life a bit more streamlined.
With these tools, you can work on relationships, life tracking, and more.
Business & Finance
Use these tools to improve your business and finances through Twitter.
Track your health using these Twitter tools.
Bring your blog life and Twitter life together with these tools.
Via the fantastic Twitip Blog
Twistori is a great visual tool, where you can tweets flow on your screen that are related to a selection of keywords. I love Twistori and wish the team would open up the platform to allow any user to add their own search criteria. By far one of the best web flow applications around!
With just under 24 hours to go till the American Presidential Campaign, I thought it apt to review how Barack Obama’s campaign has been using social media technologies to raise funds and to engage with younger voters.
Obama has taken grassroots campaigning into the digital age by embracing Web 2.0 and using it as a central platform of his presidential campaign. From YouTube to social networking, Obama has navigated Web 2.0 and turned it into a major force within his campaign.
Obama and Social Media
The first rule of social media marketing is to put yourself “out there”. This can be achieved by becoming an active blogger, establishing a presence on the major social networks, and embracing new forms of communication. Obama has done just that. From social networking to his blog to his Fight the Smears campaign, Obama has made his Web 2.0 presence known. Obama is using a number of tools including Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Twitter
At the time of writing, Jeremiah Owyang compares Obama’s social media presence with that of John McCain. The statistics make interesting reading.
Obama: 2,379,102 supporters
McCain: 620,359 supporters
Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain
Obama: Friends: 833,161
McCain: Friends: 217,811
Obama has 380% more supporters than McCain
Obama: 1792 videos uploaded since Nov 2006, Subscribers: 114,559 (uploads about 4 a day), Channel Views: 18,413,110
McCain: 329 videos uploaded since Feb 2007 (uploads about 2 a day), Subscribers: 28,419, Channel Views: 2,032,993
Obama has 403% more subscribers than McCain
Obama has 905% more viewers than McCain
Obama: @barackobama has 112,474 followers
McCain: @JohnMcCain (is it real?) 4,603 followers
Obama has 240 times more followers in Twitter than McCain
This personal activity in social networks allows Obama to quickly get the word out across multiple platforms.
It’s clear that Obama is dominating the social media activity, this could because of two reasons: 1) Obama campaign moved quicker to social networking and social media, McCain only recently launched his own social network with KickApps. 2) The Social Technographics (behaviours to adopt social media) skew heavier towards demographics, yet these percentages are far greater than the margins shown in technographics.
Obama and YouTube
Barack Obama has done an amazing job of making sure his speeches sound as good on YouTube as they do on the evening news. Obama’s campaign has also gambled on YouTube’s audience by creating a strong presence on the website. Historically, younger voters have been high on enthusiasm but low on voter turnout. But Obama has been able to utilise the power of social media to challenge that trend.
The popularity of YouTube gives a global audience access to the entire speech, not just a brief segment chosen by the news editors. This allows the full power of the entire speech to resonate with the audience.
Obama and Social Networking
Obama’s social networking success can be attributed to Chris Hughes. Hughes, was one of the founders of Facebook and with Mark Zuckerberg. Hughes has the knowledge and the experience of building social networks and may prove to be a major factor in Obama’s Presidential success.
Obama is not the first to politician to use social networking. Presidential contender, Howard Dean used Meetup.com to become a serious contender for his party’s nomination in 2004. However, Obama also decided to build his own social network. which was simple to use, rally supporters and proved vital in fundraising. The jewel in the crown is My.BarackObama.Com
As a fully fledged social network, My.BarackObama allows users to create their own profiles, friend lists and the ability to write their own personal blog. They can also join groups, participate in fund raising, and arrange events all from an interface that is both easy to use and familiar to any Facebook or MySpace user.
FightTheSmears.com is Obama’s initiative to address the many rumours that circulate the internet about him.
Here’s an example:
If Obama continued to let these rumours spread and grow, they would become facts in the eyes of the voting public. By hosting the conversation, the campaign can respond to rumours on individual blogs and forums.
Obama and the iPhone
Obama’s campaign also released a free application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch. The application allows the user to organise contacts by key battleground states, and measures statistics to see how the user is doing compared to other leading callers.
The application provides information about the campaign via text messages and e-mail, offers coverage of national and local campaign news. The application also helps the user to find local events, share information by e-mail, view campaign videos and pictures.
Win or lose, there is absolutely no doubt that Barack Obama has changed the face of politics in America today. Now it’s up to the voters to decide if he will win the election.
Obama on the Web
12 Viral Videos from the 2008 Campaign
If 2007 was the year of Facebook and Social Networking. Then 2008 is shaping up to be the year of what has been dubbed "microblogging". BusinessWeek have just published a special report, entitled the CEO Guide to Microblogging which makes interesting reading,
This special report includes several features on how microblogging tools such as Twitter, Pownce, and Jaiku are being used. The article looks at how well known American companies such as, JetBlue, Dell, and GM are taking advantage of the power of these new breed of "social connection" tools. Whether a company is listening for customer feedback, answering questions, or otherwise helping the customer meet their needs. Big companies are finding the customer at the point of need.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the BusinessWeek Special Report:
Web 2.0 technologies coupled with a focus on listening, are helping businesses to reach out to a previously underserved segment of its potential customer base. The report also provides general tips and examples that will be familiar for those who have already adopted 140 character exchanges of links, information, and socialisation into their daily routines. What’s significant is that businesses not already visiting these online gathering areas will find it increasingly harder to ignore the unfolding opportunities.
An excellent post by Chris Brogan. I was already compiling a list myself. However, Chris presents a compelling list.
What else would you add? How are you using Twitter for your business?
By the way, Jeremiah Owyang has a great post on this, too.
[UPDATE] Jake has just sent me his three Twitter business uses too (Via Twitter of course!)
A great post on Twitter via TechCrunch
Twitter isn’t for everyone, and you may have dismissed the service a long time ago. But regardless of your own use, it’s hard to dismiss the phenomenon itself and the passion of so many that has built up around it.
No matter how long the outage du jour, Twitter users continue to stay attached to the service despite an ever-changing backdrop of alternatives. Blogging isn’t for everyone either. But unlike blogging, Twitter enjoys a far a greater variety of users — they include people, many people, who would never think of starting a blog and people who would never touch an RSS reader. The 140 character limit is a plus for Twitter, but it isn’t all.
What explains the Twitter phenomenon then?
That produces the positive feeling and the strong attachment among those who tweet? And moreover: How can other systems learn from this?
The answer lies in understanding Audience.
Twitter has a simple premise: You tweet & the message is pushed to your friends. The actual mechanics are slightly different (messages go to everyone who follows you, whether they’re your “friends” or not, assuming your stream is public) — but from a user’s perspective, the circle of receivers consists only of the people they know. Everyone else is part of a faceless crowd that’s hidden behind the follower count.
This simple premise holds the key to Twitter’s success: messages go to a well-defined audience. In the moment you release a tweet, you know who’s on the line and you have an idea of who can catch a glimpse of your message. @replies are the best illustration for this sense of audience: Even though Twitter is not a point-to-point message delivery system (let alone a reliable one), @replies are sent with the understanding that they will be read by the intended people because they are known to be in the audience. (Imagine a newspaper article that suddenly greeted a specific reader.)
Blogging on the other hand has no such clearly defined audience. An aspiring blogger who hasn’t crossed the chasm speaks into the void. Direct feedback can only come in the form of written comments (a relatively high barrier of effort) and it’s diminished by spam and vocal trolls these days.
So it’s not surprising that the majority of blogs are abandoned — the most-cited reason being “No one was reading it.” No one might be following your Twitter stream either, but Twitter is designed for network effects to take hold and given the natural reciprocity among groups of friends, it’s likely that most people have at least a handful of followers they know.
Back to Twitter: Why Audience works
Twitter works and enjoys such strong attachment because it provides real-time access to a well-defined audience. The backlog of all previous tweets is a guarantee of permanence (you can even search it) and you can catch up on it anytime. As a result, people use Twitter because they have an idea of who will see their lightweight messages and this sense of audience is reinforced by @replies, re-tweets and references in future conversations (online and offline).
Designing for the sense of Audience is a powerful tool to create cohesion and a sense of utility among users of a service. This lesson from Twitter can apply to many other services too. But before leaving the current discussion, it’s helpful to look at a service that has missed the full power of Audience so far.
Facebook: Designed for Audience? Not so much.
Facebook isn’t about Audience? That’s ridiculous, you’ll say — so let me clarify. I fully agree that social network profiles are all about self-expression and being seen, but a platform for self-expression isn’t necessarily designed for the audience that does “the seeing.”
Profile Pages on Facebook can have audiences of course, but this requires that users continually roam Facebook to look for news in their network. Facebook realized this limitation and introduced the News Feed. Its intent was to move a user’s “acts and performances” from the stage of the profile page to a single and central stage, a single place for Audience.
Sharing with the News Feed: Did it ever reach my friends?
Facebook was the first major social network to introduce the News Feed concept, which has since become a standard sauce for stickiness in many places (although not StudiVZ surprisingly). But Facebook’s implementation of the News Feed doesn’t capture the full power of designing for Audience: While Twitter distributes every message consistently, Facebook decides algorithmically which update is shown to whom. Algorithmic filtering is nice in theory, but such black-box behavior is simply unpredictable for the user.
“When I post new things, will my friends actually see them?”, one might wonder. And conversely: “Have my friends posted something that I’m not seeing? The news feed is cluttered right now with people I don’t care about.” Anything that’s unpredictable produces a feeling of uncertainty — and that’s never a comfortable feeling.
Even with Facebook’s recent attempts to introduce smarter filters, users only have relative means to customize their feed (more of this, less of that). Furthermore, there is mostly just one kind of feedback that users can give on the News Feed: comments. Imagine a concert, in which you could only leave written notes as you left — no clapping, no booing.
Because users don’t really know who’s listening on Facebook and who isn’t, the platform hasn’t been embraced as a place to publish proactively. Publishing events or photos is mostly push-driven (and generates an email — “you are invited to an event” or “tagged in a photo”). But for everything else you share, do you know if it ever reached your friends?
Who capitalized on this gap? FriendFeed.
It’s the same setup as Twitter, but with more content: You know who’s listening and you choose the people you listen to. A useful premise but it also has a catch: the word “more”. Too much content, too many people — which is exactly the problem that Facebook is trying to address with its algorithmic feed. But what’s a solution then? It’s not the “middle ground” and it has nothing to do with smarter filters.
The answer is feedback loops. But that opens up another discussion. If you’d like to read more, I have a separate post on my website, in which I elaborate on how to design for Audience.
One point I would add, is the eco system of applications and services that have built around Twitter. Using a client such as Twhirl, greatly improves the Twitter experience and is highly advised when using the Twitter service.
Gregor Hochmuth is the founder of zoo-m.com Interactive, where he created Mento, LaterLoop and other services. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where he worked as an analyst for Hasso Plattner Ventures and has written about German startups on TechCrunch.