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 tinyurl.com).

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 http://www.twistimage.com 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 http://weblogs.hitwise.com 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 twitter.com, 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 - http://darrenmonroe.com/twitter

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 Twitter.com. TweetDeck is the most popular non- Twitter.com 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 http://Twitter.Grader.com 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