Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Twitter 2009

2009 was an immensely important year for Twitter. The notoriously feature-shy service was largely turned into what it is today by its users. Originally, features such as retweets and hashtags were forged by the user base, not the developers. Furthermore, third-party clients such as TweetDeck and Seesmic raced to add the features that Twitter itself was lacking.

In late 2009, the folks behind Twitter decided to take a more active role in the shaping of the service by adding several important features, most notably Lists and built-in Retweets.

Adding Lists was a no-brainer. Twitter users pined for a tool to organize their friends into groups since Twitter’s beginnings. Retweets, however, were a slightly different take on the feature first invented by the community. Making such a change – even if it’s a subtle one – took some guts, as the community often greets such interventions with hostility. Luckily for Twitter, there were no mass riots over matters of retweeting.
The Growth Suddenly Stops

During the summer of 2009, problems began to pile up again. Twitter (along with several other services) were more or less permanently blocked in China. More importantly, they stopped growing in the US. After their amazingly fast growth during 2008 and the first half of 2009, we assumed it was an anomaly. But it wasn’t. According to Compete, Twitter’s traffic has flatlined, and co-founder Evan Williams eventually admitted that their US traffic had stalled. And in the world of web startups, once you stop growing, the cheers and confetti soon get replaced by mockery and, ultimately, oblivion

Twitter’s future is still uncertain. We still don’t know the overall business plan beyond a few hints at at least some current revenue, and we still don’t know if the service’s huge popularity boom in 2009 was just a passing fad. One thing is certain, though: The Google deal was the adrenaline injection Twitter needed. If Twitter is really destined to become the world’s new SMS, 2010 is the time to do it, and we’re happy to be along for the ride.

ref; - mashable

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Twitter, Facebook ,MySpace Oct 2009 numbers

Twitter predictions earlier this year was for Twitter to have about 18 million users by the end of 2009

twitter 18

Although there is a slight dip in October - they have already passed 23 million

Facebook surges to nearly 129 million with the biggest growth again coming from India and China (25% increase in 3 months)

By comparison MySpace dropped 65% to 59 million users

graphs from

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ten Best ways to use Twitter as a Business Tool


1. Use it to promote new pieces of content you or your company create to drive traffic to your site. From online articles to blog posts or from videos to webinars, each time you add something to the Web that is of value, tweet about it and include a link. (Most people on Twitter use to take a long URL and make it short.)

2.Use it for learning new marketing ideas, strategies and techniques. If you follow the right people, and you have to be picky about who you follow, you’ll get pointed to a good amount of useful tutorials, videos, e-zines and other things that teach you about marketing.

3. Use it to get new customers. Use Twitter’s search to find people who may be interested in your product or service. There are many ingenious ways to search for people on Twitter. For example, if you sell red widgets you could go to and find people who have tweeted specifically looking for red widgets. To do this, type the following into the search box: red widgets?

  • You’ll notice a lot of the results will be of others selling red widgets. These ones will all obviously have links in them to direct people to the site they’re selling red widgets on. To weed these people/tweets out, use the negative sign like this: -http red widgets?
  • Since every link has ‘http’ in it, using the negative sign in front of it will cause your search results to not include any tweets with links in them.

4. Use it to build your email list. Use Twitter’s search to find people who may be interested in the monthly newsletter you send out to your house email list. Invite these people to join.

5. Utilize Twitter tools, plugins or add-ons such as TweetMyBlog or The Twitter Updater, which both automatically make tweets of every new blog post you publish. Also check out TwitThis. When visitors to your website click on the TwitThis button or link, it takes the URL of the Web page and creates a shorter URL using TinyURL. Then visitors can send this shortened URL and a description of the web page to all of their followers on Twitter. Finally, look at TweetLater, a service that allows you to write lots of tweets at once and then schedule them to go out over time.

6. Use it to build buzz about an upcoming product or website launch.

7. Use it to better brand yourself or your business. Remember, when someone wants to learn more about you or your company, they are increasingly using sites like Twitter for research. You could easily use Twitter to establish yourself as an authority in your field.

8. Use it to update followers on breaking news regarding your company. If your company is mentioned in a new article, tweet about it and include a link to the article. Or if you’re at a conference or trade show, you could tweet what you’re doing and invite people to visit you in person.

9. Use it for business networking, master-mind groups (see Napoleon Hill), and getting yourself seen by high-profile people in your industry.

10. Use it as an instant messaging system to keep you and your team on the same page during projects. This is especially useful for those who work with teams spread out in different cities or countries.

You should note that this top 10 list is not in order of importance or in any particular order. I suggest that you give Twitter a try if you haven’t already. See if you can apply a few of these techniques and tactics to help you take advantage of Twitter as a marketing tool.

And one more important thing to remember is that there is no silver bullet in marketing. You should always be trying and implementing numerous tactics when marketing your business. Don’t only rely on Twitter or any other one thing. Instead, use Twitter (or any other Web 2.0 site) as simply one more tool in your entire social media and marketing toolbox.

About The Author : Jason OConnor is a Web consultant. He writes for The Net Gazette, a Web marketing newsletter, and owns Oak Web Works, LLC, a Web design and marketing company.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Youth move to Twitter - especially with mobile

In December 2008 the 18- to 24-year-old age group accounted for 19% of Twitter users. In September 2009 that figure has leapt to 37% with 25- to 34-year-olds also rising swiftly from 20% to 31%.

The reports said that age is a strong independent predictor for use of Twitter and other services with a status update feature. Overall, internet users age 18-44 have rapidly taken up Twitter over the past nine months whereas internet users ages 45 and older are slower to adopt.

The research also found that the more devices people have the more likely they are to use Twitter. Around 40% of internet users with four or more internet-connected devices (such as a laptop, cell phone, game console, or Kindle) use Twitter, compared to 28% of internet users with three devices, 19% of internet users with two devices, and 10% of internet users with one device.

The same is true for wireless connections. As of September 2009, 54% of internet users have a wireless connection to web via a laptop, mobile phone, games console or other mobile device. Of those, 25% use Twitter or another service up from 14% of wireless users in December 2008.

The Pew report said: "Statistical analysis also shows that wireless access is an independent factor in predicting whether someone uses Twitter or another status update service.

"It is not simply because this group is likely to be young or tech-savvy. Owning and using a wireless internet device makes an internet user significantly more likely to tweet."

As Facebook spreads its user base to a broader cross spectrum of society the transition of MySpace to an increasingly youth and entertainment centred social networking site continues apace. The average age of its users fell from 27 to 26.

Facebook was the only social networking service sited by the research to see the average age of its rise. Professional social networking site LinkedIn like MySpace also saw its fall 40 to 39.

The research also found that Twitter attracts users of other social networking sites. Those already using MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn are likely to also use Twitter: 35%, compared to 6% of internet users who do not use such sites.

The Pew Internet survey is based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research International between August and September 2009, among a sample of 2,253 adults who were 18 and older.

Youth flock to Twitter as Facebook users start to show their age

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Digg Twitter and Facebook

Comscore worldwide data says Digg, Twitter and Facebook have 32 million, 58 million and 411 million unique monthly visitors (September 2009), respectively. Google Trends says much the same thing, but the growth over time is fascinating visually. We started with Digg, then added Twitter, and then added Facebook. In the end, Digg and Twitter are just footnote blips in the chart.

About a third of all Internet users worldwide visited Facebook in September 2009, says Comscore. A year ago it was 17%. And what about Digg? They grew from 15 million worldwide unique visitors a year ago to 32 million today. And they tripled page views to 171 million. So it’s not really about Digg doing anything wrong. They just pale in comparison to the guys currently in the spotlight – Twitter and Facebook.

If you could only use one service, which one would you choose? I’d be unhappy about the forced decision, but I’d go with Twitter, even with all its flaws.

ref: TechCrunch

Monday, October 26, 2009

Twitter Sept Numbers - 58 plus million

Twitter’s growth these days seems to be coming from abroad.

ComScore data shows a 6.7 percent jump from August to September in worldwide vistors to 58.4 million (which translates to 949 percent increase from a year ago).

The 20.9 million visitors from the U.S., in contrast, has remained flat since June.

(These numbers do not include mobile or desktop usage.)

Twitter’s recently announced deals with Bing and Google should drive more traffic from the search engines.

And perhaps new features ( to make Twitter more manageable) such as Twitter Lists, which is expected to be introduced to all users sometime this week, will also reignite growth.

full report via Techcrunch

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Twitter Celeb Report - extract

For full report see this link- Brian Solis - Futureworks

In the month of August, Miley Cyrus topped the charts with 256,000 mentions with Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block following with an impressive 189,000 references. Rapper Soulja Boy checked in at third with roughly 86,000 tweets, 100,000 behind the number two spot. Controversial gossip blogger Perez Hilton also earned a top spot on the list with 72,000 tweets. Kim Kardashian took the fifth spot with just over 68,000 tweets. What’s surprising however is that Ashton Kutcher, The King of Twitter as the media affectionately proclaimed, captured less Twitter attention in August than one might expect. He does, as you’ll see, lead the list for overall followers. But, as discussed earlier, Twitter attention and conversations are usually driven by a series of sparks. In August, Ashton only published 309 tweets compared to the volume others who sent as many as 1,500 tweets that month. Expect interaction and events become a more significant factor as we continue tracking the industry.

1. @mileycyrus – 255,938
2. @donniewahlberg – 188,778
3. @souljaboytellem – 86,140
4. @perezhilton – 72,562
5. @kimkardashian – 68,547
6. @aplusk – 66,722
7. @theellenshow – 39,128
8. @stephenfry – 38,325
9. @petewentz – 35,478
10. @ashleytisdale – 34,967
11. @therealjordin – 33,799
12. @mitchelmusso – 32,923
13. @paulaabdul – 26,791
14. @lancearmstrong – 25,477
15. @rainnwilson – 23,433
16. @britneyspears – 22,703
17. @mrskutcher – 21,900
18. @ryanseacrest – 21,681
19. @kirstiealley – 21,316
20. @rustyrockets – 19,053
21. @the_real_shaq – 17,885
22. @wilw – 15,257
23. @thatkevinsmith – 15,111
24. @moonfrye – 13,286
25. @heidimontag – 13,213
26. @mariahcarey – 12,118
27. @jimmyfallon – 11,972
28. @oprah – 11,096
29. @sevinnyne6126 – 10,950
30. @questlove – 10,877
31. @michaelianblack – 10,585
32. @alyankovic – 10,001
33. @wossy – 9,417
34. @greggrunberg – 8,906
35. @denise_richards – 8,468
36. @johnlegend – 8,103
37. @tonyrobbins – 7,884
38. @jimjonescapo – 6,789
39. @chelsealately – 6,789
40. @spencerpratt – 6,424
41. @mchammer – 6,132
42. @eonline – 4,891
43. @cassieventura – 4,380
44. @gossipgirl – 4,161
45. @levarburton – 3,942
46. @pennjillette – 3,577
47. @nickswisher – 2,993
48. @ryansheckler – 2,847
49. @thisislilwayne – 2,774
50. @50cent – 2,774
51. @chriscornell – 2,628
52. @johncleese – 2,555
53. @snoopdogg – 2,409
54. @adventuregirl – 2,336
55. @hodgman – 2,117
56. @lennykravitz – 2,044
57. @robcorddry – 1,533
58. @paulfeig – 1,387
59. @justjared – 876
60. @nottinafey – 292


In examining the status of celebrities by followers, it comes with no surprise that Mr. Ashton Kutcher ranks at the very top. In many ways, Ashton is responsible for raising the global awareness and adoption of Twitter and also introducing the potential and value inherent within the vibrant network inspiring other celebrities to embrace it as well. Ashton as well as the now legendary race to 1 million followers, has also finally tipped the attraction of twitter beyond the older demographics that originally defined its importance. Teenagers are now flocking to Twitter in the hopes of not only connecting with their heroes, but also experimenting with prospects of flirting with and possibly earning a taste of micro celebrity themselves. I will publish a separate post on this subject shortly…

The top three spots cumulatively represent over 10 million followers, with each earning over 3 million followers each. Ashton, as mentioned is number one with almost 3.8 million followers in August. Ellen Degeneres is in hot pursuit with 3.5 million. And Britney Spears, who was among the original contestants in the race to 1 million, followed closely behind Ellen with 3.48 million followers.

The separation between the top three and those residing in the next several spots was at least one million followers. In fact, in August, the “2 million follower club” only housed nine members (in order of followers), Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Shaq, Oprah Winfrey, Demi Moore, Miley Cryus (who’s currently MIA from Twitter), Jimmy Fallon, Lance Armstrong, and Ashley Tisdale. An interesting observation is that the average number of followers for this current grouping of celebrities totals over 1 million at 1,304,518 exactly.

1. @aplusk – 3,778,464
2. @theellenshow – 3,496,041
3. @britneyspears – 3,480,582
4. @kimkardashian – 2,514,112
5. @ryanseacrest – 2,433,803
6. @the_real_shaq – 2,376,782
7. @oprah – 2,333,711
8. @mrskutcher – 2,146,519
9. @mileycyrus – 2,115,282
10. @jimmyfallon – 2,099,368
11. @lancearmstrong – 2,077,717
12. @ashleytisdale – 2,031,465
13. @mariahcarey – 1,783,439
14. @50cent – 1,762,874
15. @souljaboytellem – 1,668,493
16. @eonline – 1,625,453
17. @chelsealately – 1,620,765
18. @petewentz – 1,591,856
19. @mchammer – 1,540,286
20. @perezhilton – 1,524,611
21. @rainnwilson – 1,504,961
22. @tonyrobbins – 1,428,620
23. @thatkevinsmith – 1,390,081
24. @wilw – 1,367,757
25. @pennjillette – 1,355,782
26. @johnlegend – 1,333,071
27. @levarburton – 1,322,238
28. @alyankovic – 1,320,214
29. @michaelianblack – 1,286,746
30. @paulaabdul – 1,267,045
31. @lennykravitz – 1,262,223
32. @adventuregirl – 1,232,757
33. @jimjonescapo – 1,215,956
34. @denise_richards – 1,209,800
35. @moonfrye – 1,183,672
36. @greggrunberg – 1,157,317
37. @chriscornell – 1,149,016
38. @gossipgirl – 1,106,032
39. @ryansheckler – 1,095,415
40. @robcorddry – 1,094,003
41. @questlove – 979,500
42. @nickswisher – 929,752
43. @paulfeig – 903,726
44. @stephenfry – 795,684
45. @heidimontag – 632,138
46. @rustyrockets – 584,832
47. @snoopdogg – 479,882
48. @spencerpratt – 469,747
49. @wossy – 422,144
50. @justjared – 410,589
51. @nottinafey – 390,926
52. @sevinnyne6126 – 359,428
53. @therealjordin – 356,638
54. @mitchelmusso – 324,008
55. @kirstiealley – 287,064
56. @johncleese – 252,519
57. @cassieventura – 214,717
58. @donniewahlberg – 96,616
59. @hodgman – 94,233
60. @thisislilwayne – 2,610

For full report - Brian Solis - Future Works

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Study on those Twitter/Facebook users

New Study from

The Big Enablers for the under 25s

If you want to point a finger at one of the big causes of this wave of social media addiction look no further than smartphones and other mobile devices.

In the Gadgetology study only 19% of the older set (35+) use a phone as the preferred device for social media services with 81% preferring instead a desktop or laptop computer. Over on the other side of the generation gap we found 46% of those younger than 35 indicating their preference for a mobile device for all things social media.

What is your preferred device for checking facebook or Twitter?

Apparently there is a big difference between those 35 and younger and those older than 35.

The older crowd indicated they spend a reasonable amount of time checking in on social media services while the younger set spends what seems like an awful lot of hours texting, and checking in with their social media sites everywhere they are whether it's in the car, at work, on vacation, or even after sex.

Do you tweet/text/check-facebook often?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oct 2009 Reasons Twitter can suspend your account

Your Twitter account could get suspended for one or more of these reasons

User Abuse: A large number of people block the profile or write in with spam complaints.

Aggressive following: Using programs out there that claim to get you 1000’s of follow in just days could get you suspended. Just remember quality is better then quantity.

Misuse of the reply feature: I haven’t heard of anyone getting suspended for this but it’s on the list of things not to do.

Updates consist of duplicate links and/or text: Sending out the same tweet over and over again can get you suspended. You will also lose all your followers doing this.

Stealing: Updates poached from others’ timelines, passed off as one’s own. Putting your own spin on a tweet will keep you safe.

Technical Abuse: Updates consist of links pointing to phishing sites, malware, or other harmful material.

Multiple Accounts: A large number of accounts is created in a short amount of time. You can have more then one account just don’t create several in a short time.

Spam: An account is identified as belonging to a spam cluster.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Billion Dollar Twitter

From the latest info on Twitter - here are a few facts on the Billion Dollar instrument: -

As of September 1st, the actual number of live Twitter accounts was just above 50 million.

Twitter's user growth is no longer accelerating. The rate of new user acquisition has plateaued at around 8 million per month.

Over 14% of users don't have a single follower, and over 75% of users have 10 or fewer followers.

38% of users have never sent a single tweet, and over 75% of users have sent fewer than 10 tweets.

1 in 4 registered users tweets in any given month.

Once a user has tweeted once, there is a 65% chance that they will tweet again. After that second tweet, however, the chance of a third tweet goes up to 81%.

If someone is still tweeting in their second week as a user, it is extremely likely that they will remain on Twitter as a long-term user.

Users who joined in more recent months are less likely to stop using the service and more likely to tweet more often than users from the past.

The average Twitter user has 42 followers

Over 75% of all Twitter users have tweeted fewer than ten times.

The average time between any two tweets from the same user is exactly 24 hours.

Users who joined in 2009 are actually more likely to keep tweeting after their first month than those who joined in the same month in 2008.

TweetDeck appears to be aggressively gobbling up market share.

The investors are valuing Twitter, which has yet to generate revenue or finalize its plans for making money, at about $1 billion.

ref: - Twitter info

Saturday, September 5, 2009

As Twitter Grows - So grows your List

The figures for July are out and Twitter growth seems unstoppable. 51.6 million unique visitors. March was 19 million, June 44 million - so the growth grows.

For those who see Twitter as a marketing/Information machine this is great news - what is even more important is the study from Rapleaf that states thosewho have large numbers of followers are the ones who are 'lifted' the most as Twitter continues its growth.

In other words those who work hard to establish a base of followers on Twitter, grow exponentially more when Twitter grows and keeps growing.

Therefore if you want to get the 'free' growth from the seeming unceasing twitter surge - keep working at building you following. Its a free ride. But growth cant go on forever.

(Of course after the "Oprah' surge everyone rang twitters death knell. Well every week there's belles rung for Twitters demise. Though obviously Twitter hears no bells toll.

And its importance in all aspects of the Internet continues to rise.

And even Governments have their own Twitter manuals - see UK Gov info

Please note that 51.6 million visitors is the count at Twitters websites. (People still use that!). So not included are all the users at all the third party programs people use - Tweetdeck, Seesmic etc. So those are low numbers.Vey low.

Now as any new Internet Marketing follower knows - "The list" is the Eldorado Gold on the Internet -and the ultimate list is your targeted loyal email list.

Normally to get a list you use Google Ad words (PPC) , buy lists (useless unless you spend big money IMHO), then there are all the paid progras that help, or purport to help. Some are amazing - such as Tellman and Shawn Casey have a great program, called List, but their gold is The Perpetual Marketing Machine in my opinion, where they use Teleseminars to build a targeted list, very fast.

Then there are all The Niche marketing programs with their Frank Kern, Ed Dale inspired versions of "The Flycatcher" web pages or off-shoots thereof. Many extremely valuable and timely, many of course not.

(I will be going into the concept of list building and The LIST concept itself in a further post)

But as you do all this , here is this free machine that grows and grows and builds you a list. (that you can then turn into an email list, without that much effort). As it grows, so you grow.

And of course - Business being business - there are lots (ok hundred of 'programs) and web sites to 'teach' you how to get followers on Twitter.

A couple of the most reputable I find are Darren Monroes program and Al Ferretii and Skeeter Hansens page.

Though there are hundred of systems -with twotter you can build it your self. Use Twollo and Tweetlater and Twitter directory's like Twello (free programs) to find and follow people, and build your own list.

Twitter (by accident) had become an amazing tool.See - the B to B article - And every month tho is death is predicted ( or at least slow growth) - every month is grows more. Take advantage of this free list building machine. Its hot now and will be hot for a while. But nothing is forvere. Build your this list while its simple to do. And gives you a free ride.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Whos on Twitter - the Kids?

The New York Times has a lengthy piece about Twitter and the teenage population, which seems to be reluctant to embark into the wonderful world of 140-character messages, hashtags and retweets. However, looking at the numbers which are the basis for the article, it seems like a wider issue, which isn’t necessarily only related to Twitter.

According to comScore, only 11 percent of Twitter users are aged 12 to 17. Although ages 13 to 19 actually fit the “teen” definition, this percentage does sound a bit low. However, the article states that at MySpaceMySpaceMySpace, teenagers account for 14 percent of users. On Facebook, this number is 9 percent.

So, while teenagers aren’t exactly all over Twitter, one can argue that they use it just as much as other social networks. We wrote about this phenomenon recently: if you expect teens to be a majority on Twitter, you’ll be surprised: they aren’t.

Twitter’s unparalleled explosion in popularity has been driven by a decidedly older group. That success has shattered a widely held belief that young people lead the way to popularizing innovations.

“The traditional early-adopter model would say that teenagers or college students are really important to adoption,” said Andrew Lipsman, director of industry analysis at comScore. Teenagers, after all, drove the early growth of the social networks Facebook, MySpace and Friendster.

Twitter, however, has proved that “a site can take off in a different demographic than you expect and become very popular,” he said. “Twitter is defying the traditional model.”

In fact, though teenagers fueled the early growth of social networks, today they account for 14 percent of MySpace’s users and only 9 percent of Facebook’s. As the Web grows up, so do its users, and for many analysts, Twitter’s success represents a new model for Internet success. The notion that children are essential to a new technology’s success has proved to be largely a myth.

Adults have driven the growth. And perhaps marketers.Not Brands, not the Pro Marketers from the big advertising companies, but the individual, the small web business, the guy with an idea.

Twitter is the best marketing tool out there, and its fee. And the individual entrepreneur has definitely found it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

HummingBird - Twitter automation


What Is Hummingbird?

Hummingbird is a piece of software

that will help you build a large Twitter list by automating the following and unfollowing of Twitter users. Over the pass two weeks, I’ve used Hummingbird to add over 10,000 followers to my Twitter account, which stood at 32,856 at the time of this post. Why would you want so many Twitter followers? Because it makes you money!

Hummingbird has many features and advancements to make it far better than any other Twitter automation tools. It’s these professional level features that justify the software’s higher price tag.

It Follows and Unfollows The Way You Would Do It

The biggest advantage Hummingbird has over other Twitter automation tools is it doesn’t use the Twitter API to follow and unfollow users. Hummingbird follows and unfollow the way you would do it - by clicking the follow and unfollow button on the Twitter website. Hummingbird runs in its own IE styled web browser. The software is extremely easy to use. Watch the screen cast below to see Hummingbird in action.

It Remembers Who You Unfollow

Another really cool feature of Hummingbird is it remembers who you unfollow so you don’t follow them again. Other follow scripts don’t do this and that can get you into trouble. If you follow and unfollow users multiple times, they can report you for spamming and get your Twitter account banned.

Hummingbird also let you set up a VIP list for users who are not following you, but you wish to continue following them. Because Hummingbird unfollows right on the Twitter website by clicking the unfollow button (the way a real human would), it’s a lot more accurate than an unfollow script. It’s also safer as well since it does not make use of the Twitter API.

How To Use Hummingbird

Hummingbird is based on the principle that if you want people to follow you, you should follow them first. The best way to use Hummingbird to build a big follow list is by using Twitter search to find users in your niche. Once you find a user with a few thousand followers, use Hummingbird to follow all their followers. Then wait about 48 and unfollow the users who don’t follow you back. Remember once you are over 2000 you may hit Twitters new Follow/Unfollow restrictions. If so, wait the maximum 24 hours and go again.

Now $100 Off for Twitterthings Readers

Hummingbird originally sold for $197. I say it’s worth it given all the special features. Hummingbird does things that no other Twitter automation tool can. Still, $197 is a pretty high price to pay in a recession. So, Hummingbird has reduced the price to $97.00.

Yep $97.00

Click here to visit Mesiab Labs website! the home of Hummingbird

Download - use the free trial.

You can download and try Hummingbird free for 37 hours before buying. The trial is a full version with nothing disable. After 37 hours, you will have to purchase and enter a valid license key. By that time, you’ll see how great an automation tool Hummingbird is and will be happy to buy it.

Buy Now

When you are ready to buy - no code necessary - straight $97.00

Review from John Chow dot com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everything you needed to know about Twitter (From UK Gov)

An extract (via Mashable) of The Uk Governments Doc instucting the politicians on how to use Twitter

for more twitter 101-also see here


What is Twitter?

Twitter works like this:

You create an account.
Your account comprises your username and password, avatar image, optional background image to display behind your page

You find interesting people to follow, and they can choose to follow you back. Other Twitter users may also initiate contact by following you. This will include your reallife friends and contacts, but it is also normal Twitter etiquette to follow/be followed by people who you do not know offline.

In this way, unlike many social networks Twitter is a powerful way of building a network, making new introductions and accessing interesting and varied content. (Use by institutions is different - see corporate policy on following, above).

You post updates of up to 140 characters in length. You can do this using a variety of applications over the web on your computer or mobile phone.
Everyone who is following you can read your updates. People can also subscribe to your updates using the RSS feed (this means they can receive your updates via their preferred feed reader software or browser start page, without using Twitter), or see them in the Twitter public timeline

Twitter updates are usually in the form of an answer to the imaginary question: “What are you doing now” or “What holds your attention now”? This will often include links to other websites (using link shortening services such as

Two useful terms often used to describe this activity are “microblogging” – blogging in miniature by posting short updates throughout the day about thoughts and findings of interest – and “hyper-connectedness” – the idea of being in constant contact with your network and aware of what holds their attention right now.

Your Twitter stream (the information you see when you use Twitter) is made up of your own updates and those of all the Twitter users you are following.
Other users will see their own streams, which display the updates of the users they are following. Therefore what you see is not the same as what other users will see.

Users interact with each other in the following ways:

@Reply. You can reply to an update posted by another user in your Twitter stream by clicking the reply button or typing @ and then their username at the start of the message. Anyone following you will see this reply, irrespective of whether they are already following the recipient. (This is one of the ways in which users find new people to follow, as you are effectively introducing that person to your followers by showing his/her username and engaging them in conversation).

DM. You can send Direct Messages to individual users, provided you are ‘friends’ (i.e., you are both following each other). These are private and can only be seen by the sender and recipient.

Re-tweeting. Because people have different networks of followers, it is common to repeat interesting tweets from your own stream for the benefit of all of your followers, preceding it with “Re-tweet:” or just “RT” for short. You do not need permission to do this – it is considered a compliment to the originator to repeat their content.

Hashtags. You can include keywords in your updates in order to associate those updates with a particular event, movement, current trend or issue by adding a hash sign (#) in front of a word.

For example at events Twitter users will often agree a common tag to identify themselves to each other and form a Twitter ‘back channel’ for that event.

Tagging tweets enables users to collaboratively document a cultural happening, and aggregate all tweets containing that tag on another medium – for example on a blog, projected on screen at the event, or displayed on a map as a visual representation of what is being said in different places about the same issue. •

The Twitter website itself is not the only (or even the main) way that users access or post updates to their Twitter accounts. The majority of Twitter access is via mobile devices (such as Twitter applications on the iPhone), third party desktop applications (such as TweetDeck or Thwirl), web browser plugins (such as Twitterfox) or widgets on personalised homepages (such as iGoogle, Pageflakes or Netvibes).

It is also possible (and popular) to include photos and videos in your messages using third party add-ons, such as TwitPic. Your Twitter updates can also be integrated with your other social media profiles – for example you can use Twitter to edit your Facebook status updates and show your Twitter updates on your blog, if you have one.

Why is Twitter important?

It’s a place where news often breaks - e.g. Hudson river plane crash, Mexico earthquakes, Michael Jackson's death, It’s establishing itself as the main source of live update information – e.g. safety and travel info during the Mumbai terror attacks in Nov 2008; school closures during the heavy UK snow in Feb 2009; spread and prevention of Swine Flu in the UK. Trending:

As everything being discussed on Twitter is by its nature happening now, it is increasingly being used as a way of monitoring and reporting on trends.

Top trends are shown on the right hand side of every Twitter user’s stream, and tracked by other tools (examples include Retweetist, Twitturly and Twitvision).

For example, during the government's Digital Britain Summit on 17 April 2009, #digitalbritain
appeared at position 5 in the top 10 trending list on Twitter itself – further raising the profile and discussion around the event.

Search Engine Optimisation – because it is updated frequently, Twitter content ranks highly on Google, and is therefore an increasingly important way to generate traffic and disseminate messages online.

Stats on Twitter usage Nielsen stats from Feb 2009 at include the following:

1,382% year-over-year growth.

Total unique visitors grew from 475,000 in Feb 2008 to seven million in Feb 2009.

Twitter is not just for kids: In February 2009, adults ages 35-49 had the largest representation on Twitter - almost 3 million unique visitors from this age group (almost 42% of the entire audience). 62% of the audience access Twitter from work only, while only 35% access it only from home. This could suggest a trend towards professional use.

Hitwise stats from include the following: • •

Twitter receives the largest amount of its traffic from the USA, but its penetration is greater in the UK market Twitter is becoming an important source of Internet traffic for many sites, and the amount of traffic it sends to other websites has increased 30-fold over the last 12 months.

Almost 10% of Twitter’s downstream traffic goes to News and Media websites,17.6% to entertainment websites, 14.6% goes to social networks, 6.6% to blogs and 4.5% to online retailers.



Twitterverse or Twittersphere or Statusphere - the universe/world sphere of Twitter (cf. blogosphere)

Tweet – an update on Twitter, comprising a message of up to 140 characters, sometimes containing a link, sometimes containing a picture or video. Also a verb: to tweet, tweeting.

Reply or @Reply – a message from one user to another, visible to anyone following the user who is giving the reply. Also visible to the entire world (and search engines) in your Twitter profile page.

Direct message or DM – a message from one user to another in private (not visible to other users, the internet or search engines).

Re-tweet or RT – repeating a message from another user for the benefit of your followers and in recognition of its value (the Twitter equivalent of forwarding an email)

Twitter client or application – software on your mobile phone or computer that you use to access Twitter. Popular clients are the Twitter website itself, Tweetdeck desktop software and a number of iPhone applications.

Micro-blogging – the term given to the practice of posting short status updates via sites like Twitter (there are others, but none as big)

Follower – someone who has subscribed to read your tweets. Displayed on Twitter as: “Following” “Follower” “Friend” The people that you follow on Twitter Someone who follows you on Twitter Someone who you follow that also follows you.

Twitter API – Twitter is an ‘open platform’ meaning other people can develop tools (software and websites) which use the Twitter functionality and the published content (all the stuff that’s displayed publicly on, but not users’ private messages or personal information). The API (application programming interface) is the publicly available information used by coders to do this. It enables sites like Tweetminster, Twittergrader and Hootsuite and applications like Tweetdeck to be created.

For more info and tips on networking with Twitter - see here

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Review Of Darren Monroe's TwitterMember Sitea

What makes this site different ( and Darren has obviously put a lot of work into the site being different and truly useful from the "average' site out there) - is :-

a) It didn't just have a random multi page list of twitter 'maybe' tools. He had carefully selected what he had in that site. Twitter tools that did specific jobs that make the overall a marketing machine. By tools I mean websites - everything he suggested was free access.


b) The in depth teaching with videos and audio for every single site he recommended!! Very cool. Very helpful. You think - yea I've used that, then you watch the training video on that tool and you see what you've missed - tweaks and tips. Yep this site is a keeper

c) as this is a membership site, with monthly dues, Darren made sure there were constant updates and constant feedback on what was new in Twitter. His email updates are a wonder to behold, I'm telling you.

The site really has six key areas - from 'Begin here" (that's where you start you see!!) - to - 'How to create valuable Tweets', 'Locating Followers to Join you', "Social Proof", and "Building the Following

Darren puts a lot of work into teaching targeted as opposed to random followers, because the point of the site is to teach Twitter as a marketing tool. Targeted followers produce results, random followers are well - random

Each section has a list of the best web sites to create the thing he is teaching, plus a video and an audio teaching presentation on how to use -I mean step by step - how to use the web site or the tool.

Now this is a membership site - I think its $39 a month right now, (yes I pay membership) - although I see right now he has a deal for $59 - One Time payment - lifetime membership - one payment! (Ah thanks Darren - do I get that deal???) And unlike some, Darren tends to have time limited offers that actually only last a few days and then are gone - so check it out now. But if you miss the deal - its worth $39 a month -if you want to use Twitter as a business tool.

Now IMHO -If you just use twitter as a social tool, sign up for the cheap lifetime one payment and your done -$59 anyway - you will learn so much.

Anyway, so I signed up, just to see.

Now here's the serendipity I find with Darren Monroe programs - he follows up! Not AWeber, not a DM - Darren follows up. I asked a few questions (cos I was dumb) and he got back to me literally within a hour. Now I know the site is accumulating hundred of followers every hour right now, I think, so he may not respond that quickly, but he will respond, and he will update.Constant cool updates.

And just for fun I have signed up for a few of his email programs also as a test - and he is prompt, current and always on time with his follow ups and up dates - a wonder to behold.( I don't follow up that quickly-who has the time - I'm writing reviews for crying out loud!!).

If you are looking to use Twitter as tool, a marketing business tool, you need some inside scoop, and constant info on whats happening with that tool. let me repeat then -find a good teacher.

Now I personally recommend this site. (see I have ads for it on the side there - yes I do - because I believe in this site)

Anyway - try a few sites, a few programs - but definitely try this one. Money back guarantee - nothing to lose.Everything to gain.Everything.

O BTW also I noticed that when some of Darren's members got caught in Twitters wide , very wide anti-spamming net - if they were legitimate users caught in some error - Darren intervened on their behalf with twitter and reset them. Now that's cool.

Darren Monroe Twitter Member Site -

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Low Price for Hummingbird- The Twitter Tool


What Is Hummingbird?

Hummingbird is a piece of software

that will help you build a large Twitter list by automating the following and unfollowing of Twitter users. Over the pass two weeks, I’ve used Hummingbird to add over 10,000 followers to my Twitter account, which stood at 32,856 at the time of this post. Why would you want so many Twitter followers? Because it makes you money!

Hummingbird has many features and advancements to make it far better than any other Twitter automation tools. It’s these professional level features that justify the software’s higher price tag.

It Follows and Unfollows The Way You Would Do It

The biggest advantage Hummingbird has over other Twitter automation tools is it doesn’t use the Twitter API to follow and unfollow users. Hummingbird follows and unfollow the way you would do it - by clicking the follow and unfollow button on the Twitter website. Hummingbird runs in its own IE styled web browser. The software is extremely easy to use. Watch the screen cast below to see Hummingbird in action.

It Remembers Who You Unfollow

Another really cool feature of Hummingbird is it remembers who you unfollow so you don’t follow them again. Other follow scripts don’t do this and that can get you into trouble. If you follow and unfollow users multiple times, they can report you for spamming and get your Twitter account banned.

Hummingbird also let you set up a VIP list for users who are not following you, but you wish to continue following them. Because Hummingbird unfollows right on the Twitter website by clicking the unfollow button (the way a real human would), it’s a lot more accurate than an unfollow script. It’s also safer as well since it does not make use of the Twitter API.

How To Use Hummingbird

Hummingbird is based on the principle that if you want people to follow you, you should follow them first. The best way to use Hummingbird to build a big follow list is by using Twitter search to find users in your niche. Once you find a user with a few thousand followers, use Hummingbird to follow all their followers. Then wait about 48 and unfollow the users who don’t follow you back. Remember once you are over 2000 you may hit Twitters new Follow/Unfollow restrictions. If so, wait the maximum 24 hours and go again.

Now $100 Off for Twitterthings Readers

Hummingbird originally sold for $197. I say it’s worth it given all the special features. Hummingbird does things that no other Twitter automation tool can. Still, $197 is a pretty high price to pay in a recession. So, Hummingbird has reduced the price to $97.00.

Yep $97.00

Click here to visit Mesiab Labs website! the home of Hummingbird

Download - use the free trial.

You can download and try Hummingbird free for 37 hours before buying. The trial is a full version with nothing disable. After 37 hours, you will have to purchase and enter a valid license key. By that time, you’ll see how great an automation tool Hummingbird is and will be happy to buy it.

Buy Now

When you are ready to buy - no code necessary - straight $97.00

Review from John Chow dot com

Monday, July 6, 2009

Recent Twitter - by the numbers

This seems to suggest that the site (Twitter) has managed to engage a mass audience beyond those who typically engage with social media. (Sysomos)

Ref: -June 2009 care of TwitterGrader. com

and Sysomos


* 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.

* 85.3% of all Twitter users post less than one update/day

* 21% of users have never posted a Tweet

* 93.6% of users have less than 100 followers, while 92.4% follow less than 100 people.

* 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity

* New York has the most Twitters users, followed by Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Boston; while Detroit was the fast-growing city over the first five months of 2009

* More than 50% of all updates are published using tools, mobile and Web-based, other than TweetDeck is the most popular non- tool with 19.7% market share.

* There are more women on Twitter (53%) than men (47%)

* Of the people who identify themselves as marketers, 15% follow more than 2,000 people. This compares with 0.29% of overall Twitter users who follow more than 2,000 people.

THE NUMBERS - (as of June 2009)


• 79.79% failed to provide a homepage URL
• 75.86% of users have not entered a bio in their profile
• 68.68% have not specified a location
• 55.50% are not following anyone
• 54.88% have never tweeted (50.4% Sysomos)
• 52.71% have no followers

or look at that another way

• 24.14% of users have a bio in their profile
• 31.32% of users have a location in their profile
• 20.21% of users have a homepage URL in their profile
• 45.12% of users have tweeted at least once
• 47.29% of users have at least one follower
• 44.50% of users are following at least one account


Half of all Twitter users are not "active." If you take a general description of being "active" on Twitter to mean that you have posted a tweet at some point in the last 7 days (1 week), then the survey learned that 50.4% of all Twitter users fit this category.

If you remove the 21% that are empty placeholders (that is have never placed a tweet), this leaves about 30% of users who have an account and have tweeted before, but happen to be inactive now.


• The average user tweets .97 times per day
• The average user has tweeted 119.34 times in total
• The average user has a following-to-follower ratio of .7738


• 1.44% of all tweets are retweets
• 37.95% of all tweets contain an “@” symbol (mentions)
• 33.44% of all tweets start with an “@” symbol (replies)

A small minority creates most of the activity. A steep curve of a small minority of actively engaged content creators generating most of the activity on a site is common among social networks, but it is steeper and more pronounced on Twitter. 5% of users account for 75% of all activity, and 10% of users account for 86%.

This seems to suggest that the site has managed to engage a mass audience beyond those who typically engage with social media. (Sysomos)


Tuesday through Friday.

Tuesday the most popular for Sysomos numbers (up to May 2009)

Thursday for Grader


Between 9 - 4pm and then a growth spurt after 8 until around 12pm

TOP LOCATIONS as of 2009

Los Angeles
New York
San Francisco
San Diego
Washington, DC

Because the location field on Twitter profiles does not contain any structured data (Twitter does not require people to separate city from state or province, etc.) it is hard to do any detailed analysis on this data.

Fastest Growth Cities:

The cities with the biggest growing Twitter populations are: -

New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, San Francisco and Boston.
Los Angeles is the fastest growing city in the list.

Country by population
US is the biggest Twitter country by population percentage, followed by UK, Canada and Australia. (sysomos)

Nearly all of the data in this report comes from which has information on over 4.5 million Twitter profiles as of June 2009.
Dan Zarrella (inbound marketing manager and author of this report), Dharmesh Shah

Sysomos analyzed more than 11.5 million Twitter accounts, including the indexing of user profiles and status updates. Location and age information is based on information disclosed in their profile pages. Genders are based on the analysis of user's real names as disclosed against extensive lists of male and female names. Statistics for social media marketers is based on users who mention their profession in their profiles as social media practitioners, online marketers, and pr professionals.

Note: this survey report was produced in May and, as a result, hence data for May 2009 is not complete.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

140 characters - just enough? Artficial? Compulsory? Maybe - traditional?

Post by MG Siegler

In an age where we’re bombarded by tons of information, from multiple angles, all day long, there is something beautiful about brevity.

Most users know by now that the 140 character limit of Twitter is actually tied to the limits of text messaging. Text messages can only be 160 characters long (Twitter needed to reserve the extra 20 characters for usernames). But do you know where the 160 character limit comes from?


The LA Times ran an excellent piece a few months ago about Friedhelm Hillebrand, the father of the modern text message. He dreamed up the 160 character limit while working at a typewriter in the mid-1980s, trying to see how long sentences needed to be to convey something. He found 160 characters was the magic number he kept arriving at. But the deciding committee for SMS still wasn’t sure until they looked at postcards and found that most of those had messages of 150 characters or less.

And so you see, while you may think Twitter’s character limit is silly or frustrating, it’s actually born out of two other forms of communication that are widely accepted and used the world over. You may not think of Twitter being just like a postcard, but in some ways it is — one that you can instantaneously send to many friends or acquaintances at the same time. And minus the cost of a stamp.

Even with the rise of technology, the lure of the short message remains. And that was the key reason why I found Twitter compelling when I first started using it over two years ago. I never thought of the limitation in a negative sense, but rather as something that could inspire creativity in messages. And could even spur communication.

It’s liberating to know that you only have 140 characters or less to respond to something. For a lot of messages, that removes a huge burden of trying to say enough to the person you’re talking to so that they don’t think you’re being rude. With a 140 character limit, a correlation between briefness and rudeness doesn’t exist.

And that’s why more and more I’m finding myself telling people, “Just message me on Twitter.” It’s a two-way street. I don’t want to have to read you go on and on about something that could be said in one line, and you won’t have to listen to me go on and on about something in response. Again, it won’t work for all messages, which is why Twitter or something like it will never kill email, but for a lot of messages, it works just fine.

Characters and time are saved. It’s a limitation that is liberating.

via techcrunch

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Not Really a Twitter Subject

Online is a world of nearly infinite choices for ...

readers, advertisers, information gathering...

The difference , for news and journalists between the Internet and Hard Print Media, is the difference between scarcity and abundance.

A newspaper needs a lead story, a lead page for its advertisers, and then has only a finite amount of pages it can fill.

A website or a blog has almost an infinite number of pages and information it can pull in (via links etc)

So do we get more and better info through the websites?

The other thing to consider is that newspapers and magazines have editors (and advertisers) that check what is written. It is said The New Yorker has the most through Fact Checkers out there.

A blog may be a fifteen year old in a bedroom, or a seasoned journalist, or a dedicated group of newshounds, or a complete prank.

The Internet has also been likened to a public washroom wall - anyone can write on it, and anyone does.

The Internet has the newspapers worried of course - because of its abundance and the fact that anyone can write. But to get a following - and in the'noise' of the Internet that is a work in and of itself - to create and keep a following, the website, the blog has to stand up on its own merits -has to have value. Just like a trusted newspaper.

Are Blogs and websites biased? Are newspapers?

So a well read website carries more information, and possibly faster than the old media.

Advertisers still get more bang for their buck in print, unless you look at a local market. See link.

But as the eyeballs move away from print. As no-one both T.V. and print can afford large news gatherers.

As T.V. and Newsprint turns to "entertainment' to try and hold readership - the web, though no-one except google has figured out how to make money there - the web is the true form of news now.

Whatever is said the way information is created and disseminated had changed forever.

The really interesting question - whats next?

Below a quote from a web article with a journalist

Google is the enemy of newspapers. Agree or disagree?

Google doesn’t kill newspapers. People kill newspapers.

Assuming the business model works out either way, and you had to choose, would you rather live in a world with MoJos and no newspapers, or thriving newspapers but no web?

At this point I couldn’t live without the web.

re; Nieman Journalism Lab

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Twitter comes of age

Extract from AFP NEWS

NEW YORK (AFP) — Twitter may be only two years old and not making money yet but it has definitely come of age.

Just days after Time magazine put Twitter on its cover and weeks after talk show megastar Oprah Winfrey signed on as a user, Iranians turned to the service to protest the results of their presidential election and get the news out.

As Iranians fired off "tweets" about the disputed vote, half a world away in New York hundreds of entrepreneurs, advertisers, technology buffs, media and others from around the world were attending a conference dedicated to Twitter.

And if that wasn't enough, the importance of the San Francisco-based startup was underlined by the US State Department, which asked Twitter to postpone a planned maintenance shutdown on Monday because of the situation in Iran....

The brainchild of Stone, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, Twitter has been adding millions of users a month for the past several months and its website received 32.1 million unique visitors in April, according to comScore.

The actual number of users of the micro-blogging service is hard to figure since Twitter can be accessed using personal computers, mobile telephones and dozens of custom-built applications such as the popular Tweetdeck.

The Twitter co-founders have reportedly passed up offers running into the hundreds of millions of dollars for the service and have so far only unveiled vague plans to turn it into a money-making venture.


"Social media, particularly systems like Twitter and Facebook that are good at driving traffic out into the Internet the same way that Google does are very important and powerful economic forces," Wilson said.


"When more and more people have real-time information we're going to see transformations happen that no one expected," he said. "Businesses will fail, others will flourish and there will be billions of dollars of opportunity created."

full article here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

7 tips for Networking with Twitter

By Skeeter Hansen and Al Ferretti

These 7 tips will show exactly how you can get the most out of your networking efforts on Twitter.

1. Start by using your real name on your profile, upload a real photo of yourself and fill out your bio. Your bio is about you and not your business. People want to know they are talking to a person. Your website link will take care of your business.

2. Follow people that interest you and who can help grow your business.
Follow quality people. People you can connect with is more important than the quantity of people you follow.

3. People want knowledge, information and resources. It's always better to give first and then receive. I'm not saying you shouldn't self-promote, but if the whole time you're on Twitter and you're just self-promoting, people aren't going to care and will most likely un-follow you.

Note: Networking is about engaging, building relationships and
providing value.
A person who only has self-promotion on their
mind is looked upon and labeled a spammer.

4. People like freebies and tips. Offer your best tips on working from home, on direct sales, web design, marketing and even Twitter tips. There are tips for everything so find something in your niche that you think would be valuable information. Throw in a few freebies as everyone loves something for free.

5. It's important to engage in conversations with your new found "friends". Don't ignore their tweets. Use it to strike up conversations by asking a question or giving a compliment, as you will never know where these will lead.

6. If you read an interesting or newsworthy tweet, retweet it. This is a great way to say something if you can't find anything to say. Retweeting a quote is a great way to help promote others, others will help to promote you.

7. Expect to spend some quality time and be consistent in your networking. Try to visit daily and the relationships will start to take shape. Enjoy and be yourself on Twitter and be respectful. Your reputation should always be guarded as you brand yourself.

more tips at Twitter

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Twitter and Iran

BTW - if you want to see the amount of twitter info on Iran and 'the election' - type in #Iranelection -or just Iran into twitter search

Its not voting that is democracy - its the counting of them: Tom Stoppard

1)Twitter users were posting “#CNNfail” on thousands of tweets Saturday night saying that their coverage of important news like the Iranian elections were downplayed by the cable network.

2)The U.S. State Department contacted the social networking service Twitter over the weekend to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that could have cut daytime service to Iranians, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

"We highlighted to them that this was an important form of communication," said the official of the conversation the department had with Twitter at the time of the disputed Iranian election. He declined further details.

Bester News

On-line info fills the 'News' void for Iran

3)The absence of mainstream media in Iran has been filled with a dizzying array of clandestine video, cellphone photos, blogging and thousands of Twitter posts.

Below, the five best resources to use to keep up with the country's rapidly evolving post-election uprising.

Demotix: A citizen-journalism news and photo site with more than 5,000 members around the world, and the best way to get a handle on the flood of information. Supported by Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and openDemocracy, among others.

Nico Pitney's live blog with video: Housed on the Huffington Post website, this up-to-the-minute account covers both on-the-ground reports and mainstream coverage. Pitney has chops. He's Deputy Research Director at the Center for American Progress.

Twitter/Twazzup: For newcomers to the ubiquitous social-media service Twitter, this search engine aggregates real-time tweets on Iran from a variety of sources.

YouTube: More than 100 short, homemade videos, many of the cellphone variety, directly from the heart of the action.

Picasa: A photo-sharing website that presents a vast pictorial document of events on the ground.

Toronto Star

4)Fox News Video on Iran and Twitter and facebook and Twitpics - here

5)The University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies is one of many groups that have been providing software to Iranian Internet users to bypass government restrictions on web access.

The Iranian regime has ramped up efforts to stifle dissent in the wake of a controversial election result by cracking down access to text messaging and social networking websites.

But Twitter has remained operational because of proxy servers set up to bypass the government's cyber blockades.

"Iran's revolution is going to go down as our first real cyber war. Hacking, counter-hacking, spreading proxy servers," user withak53 said around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on the #Iranelection feed.

Twitter has been flooded with reports that the government has siphoned off access websites such as, Yahoo Messenger, Facebook and YouTube.

Ref: CTV

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is it Cnn? BBC? Fox? - no its Twitter

Live from Tehran, it's the Twitter revolution.

In the crackdown following the disputed Iranian presidential election results this weekend, the authorities shut down text messaging, blocked Facebook and YouTube and cut off the BBC Persian-language service — but they forgot about Twitter.

Because of that, the simple microblogging service has become Iran's lifeline to the outside, a way for Iranians to tell the world what's happening on the streets of Tehran in real time — and a vital means of communication among themselves

Also Associated Press extract: -

In Iran, as in many still-developing countries, Internet usage is mostly still a phenomenon of the affluent, the youth and city-dwellers — meaning Twitter and other networks are used mostly by the young and liberal — and may overemphasize their numbers while ignoring more-conservative political sentiments among the non-connected.

On Monday, the Twitter site showed topics that were getting the most attention, including "IranElection," "Mousavi" and "Tehran." In one 10-minute period, 12 users who identified themselves as being within 50 miles of Tehran posted Tweets.

Some media such as The Associated Press and others often monitor sites such as Twitter, looking for news tips and to assess the general mood.

Even Ashton Kutcher, one of Twitter's biggest fans, has weighed in on the elections. He tweeted: "I think that truely (sic) the only people that can change things in Iran are the Iranians themselves and they seem to be speaking their minds now."

Twitter has played a role in other world political events. This April, protesters of parliamentary elections in Moldova used Twitter and the Internet when mobile phones and cable news television stations went down. They rallied as many as 10,000 people to one demonstration.

Earlier this month, government censors in China shut down Twitter as well as other social networking and image-sharing Web sites as part of their attempt to block out news about the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

The latest tweets on the elections can be retrieved by typing in #iranelection into the Twitter search box.

And an aggregator that automatically bundles together the latest Iran tweets can be found here.

Other similar services that search twitter include Tweetscan andTwitterfall .

Twittersearch provides real time updates from Twitter as they come in.

article here

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Twitter not just a Social Network

According to the research, conducted on a random sample of about 300,000 Twitter users in May 2009, 25% of Twitter users don’t tweet at all, while 50% of users tweet less than once every 74 hours. Active users, on the other hand, tweet a lot, which makes Twitter a lot more like Wikipedia than an average social network

Although this may sound strange at first, Twitter really is more like Wikipedia than, say, Facebook Twitter is not so much about connecting with your friends, it’s about broadcasting information. Although it doesn’t necessarily take much creativity to create a tweet, only the most creative users actually persist in tweeting every day over a longer time period.

However, Twitter is also similar to a instant messaging tool, which should have a very different curve, with a larger proportion of users contributing to the number of overall tweets. It seems that Twitter’s micropublishing component is winning over its chatting component.

The Harvard Business Review study reveals another interesting tidbit: men seem to follow men more than women on Twitter. There are more women than men on twitter - approximately 55% of all users are female - but an average man will follow a man in 65% of all cases, while a woman will follow a man in 56% of cases. It’s hard to pull any meaningful conclusions from this anomaly, except one: Twitter is different than other social networks. But you already knew that

Ref Mashable

Warning Now Heavy research stats follow from Harvard: -

Twitter has attracted tremendous attention from the media and celebrities, but there is much uncertainty about Twitter's purpose. Is Twitter a communications service for friends and groups, a means of expressing yourself freely, or simply a marketing tool?

We examined the activity of a random sample of 300,000 Twitter users in May 2009 to find out how people are using the service. We then compared our findings to activity on other social networks and online content production venues. Our findings are very surprising.

Of our sample (300,542 users, collected in May 2009), 80% are followed by or follow at least one user. By comparison, only 60 to 65% of other online social networks' members had at least one friend (when these networks were at a similar level of development). This suggests that actual users (as opposed to the media at large) understand how Twitter works.

Although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women. Men also have more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other. This "follower split" suggests that women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships. This is intriguing, especially given that females hold a slight majority on Twitter: we found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%. To get this figure, we cross-referenced users' "real names" against a database of 40,000 strongly gendered names.

Even more interesting is who follows whom. We found that an average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman. Similarly, an average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. Finally, an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than by a woman. These results cannot be explained by different tweeting activity - both men and women tweet at the same rate.

These results are stunning given what previous research has found in the context of online social networks. On a typical online social network, most of the activity is focused around women - men follow content produced by women they do and do not know, and women follow content produced by women they know. Generally, men receive comparatively little attention from other men or from women. We wonder to what extent this pattern of results arises because men and women find the content produced by other men on Twitter more compelling than on a typical social network, and men find the content produced by women less compelling (because of a lack of photo sharing, detailed biographies, etc.).

Twitter's usage patterns are also very different from a typical on-line social network. A typical Twitter user contributes very rarely. Among Twitter users, the median number of lifetime tweets per user is one. This translates into over half of Twitter users tweeting less than once every 74 days.

At the same time there is a small contingent of users who are very active. Specifically, the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. On a typical online social network, the top 10% of users account for 30% of all production. To put Twitter in perspective, consider an unlikely analogue - Wikipedia. There, the top 15% of the most prolific editors account for 90% of Wikipedia's edits ii. In other words, the pattern of contributions on Twitter is more concentrated among the few top users than is the case on Wikipedia, even though Wikipedia is clearly not a communications tool. This implies that Twitter's resembles more of a one-way, one-to-many publishing service more than a two-way, peer-to-peer communication network.

ref Harvard Business Review

Bill Heil is a graduating MBA student at Harvard Business School, and will start at Adobe Systems as a Product Manager in the fall. Mikolaj Jan Piskorski is an Assistant Professor of Strategy at HBS who teaches a Second Year elective entitled Competing with Social Networks. Bill undertook research for parts of this article in the context of that class.

i Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Networks as covers: Evidence from an on-line social network." Working Paper, Harvard Business School.
ii Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan and Andreea Gorbatai, "Social structure of collaboration on Wikipedia." Working Paper, Harvard Business School.