Twitter really is a lot like the radio

I’m driving a different car these days. My borrowed car is low tech and forces me to listen to the radio *gasp* if I want to listen to anything on my commute. I’m used to plugging in my iPod and listening to what I want, when I want. I can rewind, fast forward and skip around to my little heart’s content.

But in rediscovering the radio, I’m practicing my listening and observing skills in a different way. 

The funny thing is that old media meets new media in a really interesting way because the radio reminds me so much of Twitter!

1) They promote.

Some stations (accounts) run promotions - whether it’s their content or advertising from other businesses. 

2) They have conversations.

Think about morning DJs that banter through the rush hour traffic between commercials, news and music. The social aspect of these discussions starts in the studio and extends outwards to callers who join in. (Sounds an awful lot like people who jump in on Twitter.)

3) They share.

It’s balanced sharing, too - human interest stories, community events, news, and all sorts of other really great content that the audience might find interesting or - even better - want to hear and know about.

4) They inspire action.

I think what I like best about listening to radio is hearing really creative commercials. There’s the usual car dealership commercials that sound the same as they’ve sounded my entire life, but other businesses are getting really creative and clever. It worked, too! I was interested in going to a couple of businesses I hadn’t previously even heard of. 

Radio is a finite interaction.

Lara has used this analogy of “Twitter is like a radio” for a long time. It helps newer users understand that they don’t have to read every tweet sent when they weren’t logged in and it’s true. Radio doesn’t allow you to pause, fast forward, or rewind - a lot like Twitter. 

However, there’s a difference with interactions. Radio is primarily one-sided and finite. You turn it off and you can’t go back and listen to what you’ve missed later.

Twitter allows you to come and go, picking up the thread of conversations as you have time. BUT you don’t have to read through everything that everyone you’re following has said while you’re logged out. And thank goodness for that, because that would be incredibly overwhelming. 

The bottom line is that old media and new media influence each other. You can find inspiration from one that can be used successfully with the other. The most important thing is to evolve and be creative. Find unique ways to grab your audience’s attention. 

Tips for making your blog posts shareable

I wrote a blog post awhile back called the anatomy of a blog post where I outlined what I believe the layout of your blog post should be for ease of reading online. In short: Keep your posts brief and scannable.

Here are a few tips on things you can do to make your blog posts as easy to share as possible:

1) Enable social sharing  

There are many plugins (AddThis, ShareThis, and Shareaholic to name a few)

I’m a big fan of the layout that allows people to share to the most common networks with one click. 


2) Use a photo or video in every post  

This makes the posts more visual on Facebook, Google + and especially on Pinterest.  People won’t share a post on Pinterest if there is no image or video to accompany it. 

What entices you to share a post?

Is "frictionless sharing" truly free of friction?

There's been a fair amount of talk in the last week about Facebook's new frictionless sharing experience and I wanted to cover that a bit more than I did in last week's Buzz and Brilliance. In Sunday's post, I summarized the recent flurry of controversy about frictionless sharing. We're about two months in to its use, so it's been enough time for users to adopt and annoy. Today I wanted to explore this issue in more detail. I'm starting with a detailed overview. There have been far more views expressed, but these are the five I happened to find first.

Quick Recap: The Players and Their Views

Molly Wood, CNET - How Facebook is ruining sharing:
"Sharing and recommendation shouldn't be passive. It should be conscious, thoughtful, and amusing--we are tickled by a story, picture, or video and we choose to share it, and if a startling number of Internet users also find that thing amusing, we, together, consciously create a tidal wave of meme that elevates that piece of media to viral status. We choose these gems from the noise. Open Graph will fill our feeds with noise, burying the gems."

Marshall Kirkpatrick, ReadWriteWeb - Why Facebook's Seamless Sharing is Wrong:
"Violation of reasonable user expectations is a big part of the problem. When you click on a link - you expect to be taken to where the link says it's going to take you. There's something about the way that Facebook's Seamless Sharing is implemented that violates a fundamental contract between web publishers and their users. When you see a headline posted as news and you click on it, you expect to be taken to the news story referenced in the headline text - not to a page prompting you to install software in your online social network account."

Richard McManus, ReadWriteWeb - Facebook Hasn't Ruined Sharing, It's Just Re-Defined It:
"If you installed the Washington Post Facebook app and gave it permission to publish what you read, then everything that you read on Washington Post (while logged into Facebook) is announced in your Facebook news feed. For example, "Bob Bobson read [article on Washington Post]." But wait, you may argue, Bob didn't manually share anything. All he did was read it and Facebook shared it on his behalf. But Bob gave Facebook permission to do that, when he installed the Washington Post app. So, effectively, he did choose to "share" that article into his news feed.

So Facebook has re-defined sharing. It has cunningly merged sharing with archiving."

Scott Fulton, ReadWriteWeb - Facebook, "Sharing," and the Freedom to Opt Out:
"Up to now, I haven't felt the need to "share" with the world what I eat, where I walk, what I listen to or read, on what point of the Earth I stand or sit. It's nothing personal; as a journalist, I just seem to have this inner feeling that you don't actually care. One of the skills that comes with journalism is filtering out unimportant information. If I were to write an article about my music listening habits on a day-to-day basis ("On Monday starting at 11:28 a.m. I listened to Joe Bonamassa, followed by Chris Smither, then Diana Krall...") you would not stick around to read the complete list. You would rightly ask, what kind of conceited maniac shares everything short of his own bowel movements with the general public?"

Mathew Ingram, GigaOm - Why Facebook is (mostly) right about sharing:
"For me, what Facebook’s rollout of frictionless sharing highlights more than anything is that we need better filters to cope with the rising tide of information on social networks, and that includes Twitter and Google+. Google’s introduction of “circles” and Facebook’s addition of “smart lists” are a step in the right direction, but they are still too cumbersome, and require a lot of ongoing management (which many people likely just won’t do). Idealab founder Bill Gross introduced a “partial follow” model with his new social network, where you can follow only certain topics that a person posts about, but that also requires a lot of up-front management."

What does it all mean?

This new model is a sign that sharing is shifting to a new dynamic and change always generates discussion, if not controversy. Molly Wood is famous for her resistance to new trends. Even the ones she claims to like aren't immune to heavy criticism once she sees the final implementation. It doesn't make me dismiss her views - they're valid and valuable. Facebook knew that there would be resistance to its frictionless sharing model. I have thus far refused to install any of the Open Graph apps because I know how annoyed I am by the very things Molly brings up in her article. I click on links expecting to see content, not an invitation to an app. When I can't see the content, I lose interest in it. That is a huge friction-filled barrier.

Richard McManus - as confusing as his take on this may be (Is he for this or against it? Oh, I see. He's just uncomfortable with it personally but doesn't like categorizing it as "ruining" or "wrong".) - makes essentially the same point that Molly does: sharing should be intentional, but that doesn't mean it isn't frictionless. Because, let's be honest, clicking a "like" button on a Web page really doesn't create friction, does it?

Ultimately, I think we have to accept this new mode of sharing. It isn't going away. It's too valuable for too many people, i.e., Facebook and the companies utilizing it. Which leaves users where? Well, you either opt-out, as Scott Fulton suggests - to keep your stream valuable and relevant, or you push for better filters. Mathew Ingram is right about that, but it still doesn't give us the happy medium that a lot of users will want. Copy/paste, as suggested by Molly, is clunky and time consuming. Filters are a bit better, but there's another option:

I'd like to see Open Graph apps give users the option to share seamlessly OR share at will - at the click of a button. I'd be far more inclined to use these apps if I could pick and choose what people see. Not because I have something to hide, but because I share items that I think are valuable. It's a recommendation or endorsement of the content. Frictionless sharing leaves a big question-mark in my audience's minds as to what my purpose is in reading that content. Is she endorsing it? Is she accidentally clicking on it? Does she actually think that's valuable? Right now, anything posted to my Facebook profile or pages is endorsed by me. I want to keep it that way, so Open Graph isn't something I'm ready to use just yet.

Just a couple of final notes: Molly says there's always Google+. We'll see. I wouldn't be making any bets that this won't ever happen over there. One last take on this issue that is interesting is Robert Scoble's. He thinks users are going to dictate a "freaky line" that they won't cross. The power of the community to influence networks is well-documented. And there is no shortage of opinions about how this should play out.

What are your thoughts? Have you installed any Open Graph apps or do you avoid them?

Image source: stock.xchng

Social SEO and You – Part 2

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru... Image via CrunchBase

I’m thrilled to welcome Brandon for part two about Search Engine Optimization.  If you missed his first post, check it out here.

Brandon is a consultant, business marketing grad, strategist, house music junkie, avid reader, speaker, and coffee fiend. He likes to make and break stuff, currently working in the Light Apps division at Corel and the CEO of his own start-up Incentify.

You can find him @BrandonWaselnuk

SEO in Facebook Posts

Facebook is a wonderful platform that almost every business has taken to. It has many benefits and few drawbacks; one of those benefits is boosting your SEO ‘juice’ as some cool kids would say.
When looking at your Facebook posts there’s two pretty big questions most ask when thinking about SEO:

  • How do Facebook Posts get SEO?

  • How do I Increase the odds of Feedback on my Posts?


How do Facebook Posts get SEO?

The first step in getting any SEO on your Facebook posts is to make sure they are flagged as ‘Public’ posts. Anything that isn’t can never get SEO as they are closed behind the firewall basically.

The More a Post is Shared

Any post you make now has the ability of being shared (and you can track who shared it!) the more people who decide to share the more SEO that post gets. Remember though, it’s a pretty drastically high amount of sharing you require if you’re hoping for your post to show up on a Google search, however if someone is doing a Facebook search, they can come across your Page rather than a competitor if your content is more often shared.
Note: The idea of getting someone to share your posts is simple but difficult in practice. A few tips and tricks are to think like your readers, what would make them enact the need to share what you’ve said with their friends? Also consider the ‘selfish sharing’ factor, something I got from Scott Stratten (unMarketing) it’s the idea that people share things that are important to them, regardless of whether they think all their friends will care. So connect with the individual in your posts if at all possible.

The More Comments and Likes a Post Receives

The more commenting you get the higher your SEO, it’s pretty basic. Much like above, it’s all about giving your readers a reason to engage with you, think like them, what’s a good conversation piece?

How Do I Increase the Odds of Feedback on my Posts?

These are two simple rules to consider, on top of the tips above, but definitely help when you’re thinking about making your posts count.

Increase the ‘Awesome’

Better content means more feedback, engagement, sharing and more, not frequency. There’s no equation for awesome unfortunately so it’s up to you and your understanding of your market, what’s awesome to them? Find it and talk about it to help give your page the boost it needs.

Note: Consider looking at competition for the ‘angle’ they are taking, you can pretty easily see by the number of fans they have VS. The comments and likes a post gets what their feedback % is. Then you have a benchmark to work against.

Ask Questions

Asking open ended questions is usually a really great way to get your audience engaging with you. You can stimulate conversation from there and start to learn who in your audience is really connected to what issues (worldly, work related, or other depending on your page’s function).

E.g. ‘The newest article from SEOMOZ (a popular SEO blog) talks about Google+ implications to SEO. What are your thoughts on all this G+ news lately?’

It’s Too Long

Again, I think that’s enough of a run through some SEO for one blog post. I hope you’ve enjoyed the discussion on Facebook and I’d love to answer any questions you may have, so please comment and/or send them my way!

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What is it and why should I care: Pinterest

What is it?

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. ~Pinterest

When you click on a pin it will bring you through to the original place on the web that it was found.


There are different ways to use Pinterest

1) Follow lots of people on Pinterest and then see what they are pining. Repin what you find interesting to your own boards for future reference and to share with your friends.

2) Pin things you see online that you like to your pin boards with an easy to use button you can add to your browser’s tool bar, to go back to for future reference and to share with your friends.

3) Browse through the most recent and most popular pins without following strangers, but to see the neat and fun things they pin. Repin as above.

Why should you care?

I think there are a lot of different reasons to use Pinterest.  Most of them are not business related, but sometimes things just need to be for fun don’t they?


I can spend huge chunks of time just browsing through other people’s pins looking at beautiful things. It’s like looking at a magazine put together by your friends… the chances of there being things you like to look at are even higher than in a regular magazine (and it’s easier to save the ideas than to tear out a page from a magazine and shove it somewhere you may or may not ever look in again).



There are all kinds of great cooking and organizing ideas, decorating ideas, ideas for activities with kids of all ages, weddings, etc.


I have run into several community run pinterest boards which I think are phenomenal. It is a great way for a group of people to share a common interest by sharing pins.  A couple of examples of such boards are:

Curvy Girl

Apartment Therapy


Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Pinterest as something that should be in your top ten things to do for your business online, if you are already pinning for fun then pinning some of your own content can be useful.

If you have tutorials, images, tips, etc, pin them into a business account for people to hopefully repin. Because Pinterest brings people back to the original site for more information, it could drive more traffic to your site and to your products and services.

Are you in pinterest? Do you use if for business? (If you aren’t and would like an invitation, I can invite 6 people per day. Leave me a comment and I’ll invite you)

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