Five in the Morning 112608

(Five in the Morning will take a break for Thanksgiving…be back on Monday!)

Geoff Livingston with some pithy lessons learned after 10K tweets on Twitter. Good stuff here. Geoff calls it likes he sees it.

Sticking with a Twitter theme, Pistachio‘s blog on Twitter means Business (with brief case studies).

Louis Gray makes the case that sharing and self-promotion in social media are a 2-way street. Good perspectives here. Plus a link to his earlier post on 35 tips to get started with social media.

Common Mistakes in Starting a Blog. From that recent transplant from the great Northeast to the wilds of South Carolina, Matt J McDonald.

An interesting customer service (or lawsuit avoidance, or…) initiative by Infiniti, from Jason Baer. Would you resist this bribe? Quite a story…

PLUS – So you suffer from Idea Heartburn? -from Jeff Pulver. And, a feeble attempt at a one-sentence summary of the financial meltdown (strange things come to mind when you awake in the middle of the night, I know!)

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The Financial Meltdown in One Sentence

People with an incentive to re-define risk for short-term gain will deceive themselves and others, distort the marketplace, and destroy value.

(this includes politicians who force institutions to make risky loans through market-distorting policies like CRA; institutions and individuals who willingly ignore long-term risk for the sake of short-term fees; and individuals who make commitments they cannot realistically expect to fulfill)

Five in the Morning 112508

From Jennifer Laycock – the influence of Twitter links to grow blog conversations. Twitter is like that outgoing guy or gal at a party who draws others into the convo… (btw, Jennifer’s blog posts about Twitter finally got me off my duff and into Twitter. I owe her.)

WebSuccess Diva (Maria Reyes-McDavis) gives us 10 Sinfully Good Social Media Marketing Diva blogs. Ah, but then Toby (Diva Marketing) Bloomberg spotlights 31 Social Media Marketing Communities for Women. It’s a diva y diva link fest, and everyone wins! Gender fairness would lead us to the conclusion that we need 15 Smash-mouth Marketing Maelstroms for keyboard-pounding Men – but I haven’t seen it yet…

Jim says: 37 Marketing Ideas in 140 characters. You tweeted it, Jim Connolly collected it.

The “Re-Tweet” and WOM marketing, from the always-thoughtful Jeremiah Owyang. One reason I re-tweet – I do not assume that all my subscribers are following everyone I follow. It’s a very time-effective way to expose your network to different voices.

Laura Fitton, aka Pistachio, is assembling Twitter for Dummies. And you can help!

PLUS – are you way geeky? Like, you really want to know what strange and hard-to-pronounce techie stuff is on the 2009 horizon? I thought so. This is for you.

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Five in the Morning 112408

5-dotHow NOT to: Build your Twitter community. Good tips from Sarah Evans. Oh, and the other side of the coin – How TO.

Growing through delegation/outsourcing – valuable thoughts here from Chaitanya Sagar. I’ve walked this same path and probably have other decisions to make in the future…and I agree that outsourcing (rather than do-it-all-yourself or hiring) is a very valuable and important strategy. There is potential business strength and growth on both sides of this equation.

Drew McLellan on the Best Way to Grow your Business. You might be surprised at his answer – but then again, I hope you’re not. Plus, this poignant remembrance of an effective leader.

42 Content-building ways to Attract and Retain Customers. From Joe Pulizzi over at Junta 42 blog.

Building your Brand through Networking. Walter Akana interviews Liz Lynch, author of just-released book Smart Networking: Attract a Following in Person an Online.

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Five in the Morning 112108

Well, I’m back from a 2-day trip to Chicago, and it looks like my little experiment in time-queued blog posts and tweets for Five in the Morning worked OK (yes, the last 2 days had been prepared in advance on Tuesday). I know, I know, this is hardly a cutting-edge technology advance, but I’m of a generation that still marvels a bit when stuff like that actually works!

So, without further ado, some fresh posts for your Friday:

I have lived in New Jersey for many years (still cannot bring myself to say I’m “from NJ” – sorry, but I’m from Connecticut). Anyway, there’s a lot that happens in this state that can make a resident grind his/her teeth into gnashing nubs, but Spike Jones points out this fabulous – and creative – and really helpful – promotion by the New Jersey Nets. Wow – now that’s how to take care of your fans!

The AdverGirl (Leigh Householder) has a series going on How Companies are using Social Media. A number of posts are already up – this link is to the first one. Tune it!

Legendary customer experience marketer and wanna-be rock star Doug Meacham has begun his own series on the Transaction vs. the Customer Experience (in retail). Here’s the first entry.

Seek criticism. From the creative David Airey. Sound counter-intuitive? Not if you want to keep improving!

Mack Collier writes a helpful post about GE’s initial foray into blogging/Twitter. What I want to point out here is Mack’s tone of helpfulness and his call for patience. After the Motrin fiasco of the past week, I think we all need to take a deep breath and be sure not to crucify companies that dip their toes in the social media water. Mistakes will be made, initial forays will be incomplete or askew. Let’s follow Mack’s example and be helpful, instead of battering newcomers and scaring them off. It’s a supportive tone of understanding and support (which has always marked our community) that will grow utilization. We all stumbled our way into this not many months/years ago, right…?

PLUS: Every blogger will understand why this is funny! Do not sip coffee before reading lest you snort it all out on your keyboard…

Oh…and did you know that you’re owed a free Dr. Pepper?

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Five in the Morning 112008

Has your company’s social media cat meow’ed yet? The glass-half-full guy, Terry Starbucker, has some valuable thoughts on this.

Is There a Hierarchy in Social Media? (as in: where should you start?). Nice overview of the basics from Jeff Paro, over at Small Business Branding blog.

Seth Godin has a free download for you – the Tribes Q&A book.

Brian Clark over at Copyblogger talks about strategic collaboration. I include this because I think it is the most important emerging business model for talented entrepreneurs to tap into. Many new businesses, and business models, are waiting to happen…

Socially fatigued? Interesting thoughts (that we can all relate to!) from Karen Swim.

PLUS – Andy Nulman having a little fun priming the market for his upcoming “Pow! Right Between the Eyes!” book.

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Twitter XR (eXtended Release)

Twitter is a great platform for sharing. But there is a bit of a problem – you can only be on it so much, usually in certain time slots – how can you share resources and links at other times, for audiences that “tune in” during other time slots?

Answer: Twitter XR. Or, in other words, time-delayed tweeting.

There are two tools that I use for this, each with strengths and weaknesses. Tweetlater is the incumbent, Twuffer is the newcomer. With both of these tools, you compose your tweet, choose a downstream time for it to appear, and forget about it. The tweet shows up in the Twitterstream later, maybe when you’re not even on-line or awake.

I tend to compose my Tweets in TweetDeck (my favorite desktop client) because it has integrated URL-shortening – then I cut/paste the tweet into Tweetlater or Twuffer. Because my best time for writing, finding resources, and composing tweets is early morning, I tend to blog, scan RSS, and load up tweets between 5:30-7:30 am to show up during the rest of the day.

Here is a very brief rundown of each tool.

twuffer-sm1Twuffer (Twitter buffer) has a more limited set of capabilities, and a very straightforward interface design. The learning curve should be nearly non-existent for most people. It also allows you to store a tweet beginning with the @ sign, a function not supported by Tweetlater. On the downside, it only allows tweet scheduling for “on-the-hour”, and once you’ve queued a tweet, you cannot edit. Both of these are serious weaknesses. If the tool can be beefed up slightly while maintaining its simple interface, it’ll be a winner.

tweetlater-smTweetLater is a far more robust setup, allowing you to schedule tweets by the hour/minute, but also giving you the capability of setting up an auto-DM reply for new Twitter followers, and an auto-follow if you wish. TweetLater does not support timed @ replies out of a fear of spam abuse by the tool. The tool also now provides you with e-mail alerts about your user name, and key words, showing up in Twitter. You can support multiple Twitter accounts. It’s a strong feature set, but the major downside is the clunky interface design. Some improvement has occurred in the last couple of weeks, but the layout and navigation are still non-intuitive and confusing.

For tweet-scheduling, I would abandon both of these tools in a millisecond if TweetDeck supported a timed tweet feature (Iain -are you listening?) – how much simpler to have the option, composing in TweetDeck, of sending a tweet now, or choosing a later publish time! But for now, I’ll continue to use both tools, because they fulfill a genuine communication need – sharing resources at varying times in the day (in fact, if you came to this post via Twitter, it’s because it was pre-scheduled for today, while I’m away in Chicagoland!)