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When Twitter suspends your account, you will not be offered gift cards.
Twitter phishing continues. You are warned!
My Personal Blog
Photo by darnok.
Whether you’re using social media for personal reasons or business, there’s nothing like carefully nurturing relationships, especially those that start with an @. The @ is the opening door; when we get invited to walk through it, that’s when we know we’re friends.
Given that Facebook rewrote the definition of friendship, what does it mean to you if I am your friend? Why do I follow you? Can we be different people to different audiences? Is it necessary to present the same picture of ourselves everywhere we go?
I want Facebook to represent the people in my life. Whether we see each other on a daily basis or once a year, I want to accept friend invitations from people I know face to face.
I want LinkedIn to represent the interests in my life. Whether we share common backgrounds or if you merely enjoy reading my blog, I want to accept connection invitations from people who satisfy my intellect.
I do not know what I want Twitter to represent.
I’m experiencing an identity crisis.
Twitter used to be very valuable to me. It used to be very interactive but is now polluted with noise. Because I am happily active on Facebook and LinkedIn, I sometimes think about deleting my Twitter account. I tried different tactics in recent months to maintain my Twitter attraction but everything failed.
Amanda Coleman, Jess McMullin, Shauna Causey, Will Perrin, Dan Slee, and Lynn Williams are my Twitter idols. Their tweets range from nonprofit communications to public administration to social media marketing.
Each has a unique voice. Their tweets are their own. It does not behoove me to copy or emulate but to follow, admire, and interact. They are why my Twitter account did not repeat the past and still exists.
How should Twitter represent me when Facebook and LinkedIn perform well? Maybe if I don’t follow strangers but only people I know in the flesh I’d get more out of it. I suppose I could try that.
Then again, perhaps I should say goodbye to my old friend Twitter.
I don’t know.
The following article is written by Lior Levin.
What is involved in having a successful business blog?
This is a question that many companies both new and old often struggle with when deciding to start a blog. Blogging is not as easy as many think and, with all of the competition out there, it’s even harder to achieve true success.
You can spend 12 hours a day working on your blog but, if you’re not doing the right things, you’ll waste your time and lose potential customers.
What are the best elements to include?
Choose a domain to represent your brand. Pick something that’s short and memorable. Anything too long or ambiguous will be hard to remember and easily forgotten. Your URL should also contain a keyword or two, which is great for SEO and will help you with your rankings.
You should own a domain and not use a free sub-domain, such as yourdomain.blogspot.com or yourdomain.wordpress.com. This also means that you’ll need to host your own blog. If you already have a company website, then you may want to set up http://yourdomain.com/blog or http://blog.yourdomain.com.
The name of your blog is important, especially if you’re using your own domain and not a sub-domain. It should be unique and memorable so that visitors will remember it and hopefully return. A good name with the right keyword or two also helps with search engine optimization, since it will be part of the title that shows in search results for your homepage.
A relevant tagline is also great to have below your title because it gives a short, yet informative description of what your blog is about. You want visitors to be able to look at both your name and tagline and already have a general idea of the information that they will find on your blog.
The more visitors receive from these two elements, the more they’ll want to click and read.
The design is the first thing that a visitor will notice about your blog, so be sure to give a good first impression.
If you have a company website, your blog should match it and include the same look and feel. If you only have a blog, make sure to have a clean, yet unique theme and style for it. Whether you’re looking for free or premium themes, there are hundreds of creative blog themes available on the Web.
You want a design that stands out from other blogs in order for your blog to be memorable.
Do you grasp the takeaway yet? You have to be memorable. Visitors remember themes they see on multiple blogs but likely won’t remember the actual names of those blogs. On the other hand, a unique header, style, and theme will make your blog unique and easy to remember.
Ensure everything on your site is freely accessible and easy to find. No one will spend unproductive time finding your search box, categories, tags, recent posts, etc. You have to make sure every element is in clear sight.
Important items such as categories, pages, and a search box should be above the fold so scrolling is minimal.
I’m sure you’ve heard the overused expression, “Content is king.”
Content helps increase your traffic and improve your rankings. Internet users are very smart these days and they can tell the difference between good and bad content.
Trust me, they’re not going to stick around to finish reading any bad, plagiarized, or auto-generated content. You really have to put a lot of time and effort into your content so that your readers find it useful and worthy of sharing.
Go a step further and add creativity to your publishing schedule. For instance, each day that you publish could have a different theme. Maybe on Mondays you’ll post reviews, Wednesdays marketing tips, Fridays contributed articles, and Sundays all other topics. This helps engage your readers and gets them excited for each day that you deliver new content.
Social interactivity is a must for your blog. This can be accomplished with plugins or widgets. Make it easy for readers to share your content across the web, increasing your inbound traffic and expanding your company’s reach.
Include a Facebook like button, Twitter button for retweeting, and the new Google +1 button. Other buttons are optional, but these 3 buttons should be on every blog. If you create great content, people will come and share you with the world!
Insist your readers can connect with your company. You should already have a Facebook page and Twitter feed, so include a way for your readers to follow and like you. There are various widgets and plugins for this as well.
Along with social plugins, there are thousands of other plugins available for your blog; take advantage of them. Whether you’re using a Blogger or WordPress blog (the two most popular blog platforms), there are plenty for you to choose from. Plugins can help you with SEO and speed of your blog and are great for enhancing features and adding other functions.
There are numerous online sources to help you find the best plugins for your blog. Peruse through the WordPress plugin directory or this Blogger widgets repository. These are the main tools that will help take your blog to the next level and help make it a site that others will want to return to over and over again.
Speaking of returning over and over again, subscription options for your blog are a great “reminder service” for your readers.
Letting your readers sign up to receive future articles via email or RSS feed will help them stay up to date with your new content. Whenever your blog is updated, they’ll be notified and can either read it from their email, feed reader, or by revisiting your blog. So make use of the built in RSS capabilities, or create your own email newsletter to help keep your readers and encourage repeat visits.
Once you implement these corporate blogging tips, what’s next?
Success doesn’t occur overnight. In time and with continued dedicated and hard work, your efforts will pay off and you’ll soon be reaping the fruits of your labor. Care to share any tips below?
Danny Brown presents a solid argument that Klout, a social influence website, should never have created a profile for my friend Naomi without Naomi authorizing its creation. Yet, because she has a Twitter account, Klout assumed she would want a Klout profile — and here it is.
“No permission – there you are, as bright as day online, with whatever score they deem you fit to have based on their perception of you,” writes Danny. “You don’t add people to something and not ask them their permission (unless there’s some legal reason to do so). Especially when that information is there for anyone to see, and make a snap judgement on.”
Klout should never have created that profile for Naomi without enabling her to give Klout explicit permission to do so.
Klout is not alone in this backward thinking.
Stepping away from individuals and focusing on municipalities, there are a host of websites that offer municipal services and assume people want to read about their communities on their corporately-branded websites. In my hometown of Newburyport, for instance, here is one page on CitySearch and another page on SeeClickFix.
These companies never asked city leaders for permission to create these brand pages. Nor did either company inform the city that people were writing reviews and issuing complaints.
Should permission take precedence all the time?
If I want to review your company on a peer-review website such as Yelp, and if your company lacks its own Yelp page, I can create your page myself. I frequently review restaurants to share my knowledge with others, such as last winter’s review of a New Hampshire cafe.
Yelp’s popularity lies in the fact that anyone can review anything.
Should people not be empowered to create a page for your business on Yelp? Should people not be allowed to give thumbs up or thumbs down to your establishment without your opting in and giving permission for the reviews in advance? Should you be in control of everything or should you let critiques occur organically?
Are the rules for opting in and opting out different for individuals than for communities and organizations?
Photo by doctor_bob.
Wikipedia tells you that Aretha Franklin, Charlotte Church, Peggy Lee, Josh Groban, and the Jackson 5 are among the numerati who covered Bridge Over Troubled Water during their musical careers. It’s one thing to read their names, but what if you want to listen to each performer’s version in alphabetical order — without paying to own the songs?
How do you do that today? Where do you go?
Trekking to the library or CD store is out of the question because you won’t be able to search for the title across 15 million+ artists. Brick-and-mortar libraries and stores don’t stock databases to that level.
Watching music videos on YouTube would be great if only everyone made a video. It is rare for musicians and record labels to upload videos, so you are more likely to see a keyword match for a group of teenagers singing it — and YouTube doesn’t allow you to filter them out easily.
Listening on iTunes is the next thing you would try, but when you visit the iTunes music store to trial selections in their cloud database, you are limited to about 60 to 90 seconds of time. You would need to buy every covered version (at about $1.29 each) to listen to them in full. But who buys songs to only listen once?
Audio streaming services and internet jukeboxes are the obvious route to go. With memorable names such as Pandora, Last.fm, Rhaposody, and Rdio, which do you choose? The existing online music market is competitive because record labels want you to buy, not listen for free. It’s been a challenge to find a happy medium since Metallica sued Napster in 2000.
You input the song title into the search box and — before you finish reading this sentence — every cover can be sorted and played in alphabetical order. Its database contains millions more selections than the above choices; and unlike iTunes, which requires your songs to be stored on your computer, your Spotify selections are stored online — accessible from your desktop or smartphone.
After a 36-month success in Finland, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, Spotify launched in the United States in July 2011 — and yours truly joined others with an invitation code to try it out.
Is Spotify an iTunes killer? The jury is out with pros and cons — but I appreciate my 2,200+ songs on iTunes, some burned in 2006 and others purchased online since 2010, were easily transferred to Spotify and all can be played in one place.
Want to view and listen to a growing mix of songs found on Spotify? Here’s my current mix list. Note: You need a Spotify account to view it.
With Spotify’s ability to search nearly 15 million songs and play them — in full — with a snap of the fingers and no purchase required, where’s the value in traditional and older online music applications anymore?
Note that Livefyre was removed two months later. More here.
Reviewing blog analytics since July 25 when Livefyre was installed here, you will notice a steady count of visitors.
Your fine eye may notice a slight decline in readers which is likely due to a mere 12 articles published here over the past month. Weekly visitor metrics from every Monday elaborate:
June 20: 408
June 27: 516
July 4: 338
July 11: 430
July 18: 429
July 25: 400
August 1: 364
August 8: 399
August 15: 444
If visitors remained near-constant, what of comments? Disregarding the initial article that introduced the comment system, the subsequent 11 articles saw an average 8 comments.
It is notable that frequent commentators prior to July 25 are no longer here — but that may also be due to my commenting on their blogs less. It’s hard to know for sure.
Questions develop every week about the commenting interface and kudos to support whiz Jenna Langer for her quick responses. As for you, thank you for continuing to read and share.