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March 2009

I Love Twitter

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I love Twitter, and I might be addicted.

Fortunately – or unfortunately – I have to work all day and so can’t access Twitter until I get home around six.  Even then, I don’t dwell on Twitter Lane as many people seem to do; I just love to walk up and down the Twittersphere and look into people’s windows every chance I get.

I think we choose our Twitter friends as we choose our blogroll; someone interests us in some way, so we add him/her.  Oh, sure, there are people who add and follow anybody and everybody, but I’m not that girl, either.  I have to be interested in the potential Twitter friend, and the potential Twitter friend must have a blog.  MySpace doesn’t count.

That’s right, that’s right, you read it right:  I don’t follow anyone who doesn’t have a personal blog.

I also don’t follow anyone who uses a lot of profanity or too much text code.

Perhaps I’m an odd Twitterer, but I don’t really think so.  But, just what’s the Twitter attraction for someone like me?  Answer:  many things!!!

There are some really nice people following me, and BEING followed by me.  I find their tweets interesting, and I like to join in when I can.  I also discovered that people on Twitter are helpful and knowledgeable: a lovely combination indeed.  I asked a techie question (sort of) last night, and a whole lot of people were kind enough to tell me what to do.  I appreciated that a lot.  A WHOLE lot!  I took their advice and my problem was solved, too.

To sum up:  Twitter is cool.  The people there are nice.  I like Twitter.

Oh, I’m sorry, did you say something?  I was looking at these really sweet pictures a Twitter friend sent me; they’re fascinating.

Mmm, Twitter.  Love it.

CBS Sunday Morning's Two Takes On Blogging

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I never watch this program but for some reason I did this Sunday. I took it as a sign when Tim Bourquin sent me a link to the first video online that it required a post.

This first piece is pretty good considering the audience and despite the little dig equating bloggers with yellow journalism.


Watch CBS Videos Online

We should all heed the implied word of warning to avoid the consolidation that took over and some say ruined the newspaper business.

Doesn’t this piece remind you a little bit of the great videos Lee Lefever makes?

Then comes the next piece on Twitter by Nancy Giles who doesn’t quite get Twitter.  Now wait just a cotton picking minute, she actually embeds one of Lee’s videos in the piece.  Now I really want to know if the Fast Take guys were ripping Lee off errr showing him the greatest  form of flattery.


Watch CBS Videos Online

She’s not sure how she feels about the news being interactive and at the end of the piece Nancy poses the question:

I’m wondering if you use Twitter are you considered a Twit?

In your case Nancy the answer is yes. What do you say tweople, am I being too hard on Nancy?

CBS Sunday Morning’s Two Takes On Blogging

Author:

I never watch this program but for some reason I did this Sunday. I took it as a sign when Tim Bourquin sent me a link to the first video online that it required a post.

This first piece is pretty good considering the audience and despite the little dig equating bloggers with yellow journalism.


Watch CBS Videos Online

We should all heed the implied word of warning to avoid the consolidation that took over and some say ruined the newspaper business.

Doesn’t this piece remind you a little bit of the great videos Lee Lefever makes?

Then comes the next piece on Twitter by Nancy Giles who doesn’t quite get Twitter.  Now wait just a cotton picking minute, she actually embeds one of Lee’s videos in the piece.  Now I really want to know if the Fast Take guys were ripping Lee off errr showing him the greatest  form of flattery.


Watch CBS Videos Online

She’s not sure how she feels about the news being interactive and at the end of the piece Nancy poses the question:

I’m wondering if you use Twitter are you considered a Twit?

In your case Nancy the answer is yes. What do you say tweople, am I being too hard on Nancy?

Twitter To Offer Commercial Accounts…For A Fee

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The fact that Twitter has had, well, issues, coming up with a way to actually make some money off their service has never been a secret.  The fact that they’ve been desperately needing a way, also, has never been a secret.  Looks like steps have been taken for Twitter to do exactly that as it appears they are going to be offering commercial accounts sometime in the upcoming future.

Could this be the way to a profitable future?  Perhaps.  As Microsoft just recently rolled out ExecTweets using Twitter technology, Twitter is hoping to bring in some much needed revenue by offering accounts that are aimed directly at commercial users and give them some expanded features beyond the standard free accounts we all enjoy.

No price points or even what features that will be added to spruce up the deal have been even hinted at, but I’m thinking that in order to get companies to actually spend money on accounts, they must be pretty substantial.  The question remains, as long as the free service is offered, why would businesses pay money to open up accounts?  What features could lure them into that?

The fact is, micro-blogging and Twitter style updates are becoming much bigger and more prevelant in the world of business as a way for companies to interact much more directly with their customers and the public at large.  The time is now to get on board, as new research is showing that “By 2011…some 80 percent of social software platforms will include enterprise microblogging as a standard feature.”

So, what do you think?  Will people pay?  Will they stay for the free account?  All of these questions are big ones and all need answers.  The financial future of a lot of these companies could be at stake.

Bloggers Blog Because. . . Well, Because!

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Why in the world would someone like me want to go to Blog World Expo, or any other blogging conference?  Would would someone like me NEED to go?

Aren’t bloggers twenty and thirty-somethings?  Don’t they write about diapers and projectile vomit and daycare and breastfeeding at the workplace?  Bloggers are also techies, right?  Bloggers are always comparing/contrasting various computer anatomies and social media widgets, and arguing about the merits of Vista over Linux.  Bloggers like the jargon, and don’t know how to spell out “you” or “anyway.”  Well, u know, NEway.

HAH, absoLUTELY wrong!

Bloggers are people like ME.  They are also people like you, and people like her, and him, and that guy over there, and that really old lady by the window, and that high school kid, and those young mothers on the park bench, and that bunch of middle-aged teachers in the CostCo lot, and those businesspeople, and that airline pilot, and those doctors, those lawyers, those Indian chiefs, those accountants, those Daddies, those Mommies, those grandparents, those convicts, those veterans, those soldiers, those nurses, those factory workers, those unemployed people, those college students, and everybody else in the universe.

Bloggers can’t be categorized.  Sometimes their types of writing can be, but not the bloggers themselves.  New parents aren’t always in their twenties.  Not all familes are conventional, nor do they wish to be.  Not all primary breadwinners leave the house to go to work,  and not all stay-at-home parents watch Days of our Lives when the kids are napping.  That’s when some of them do their blogging!

Some of us blog for fun, for self-improvement, for nostalgia purposes, for reasons so varied and diverse it would take an eight-volume series to properly describe them all.  Some of us blog for money, and get it.  Some of us blog for fame, and get it.  Some of us use blogging as a stepping-stone, and use it.  Some of us blog because we like to blog.

No matter who or what you are, or what you do or wish you did. . . no matter if you are conventional or non-conventional or somewhere in -between. . . . no matter if you’re a parent or if you’re not. . . . no matter if you’ve been blogging for eight years or eight days. . . . there is something for you at a blogging conference.  Whether it’s BlogWorld Expo, in Vegas this coming October, or BlogHer,  in Chicago in July, or any other blogging convention, there is something for you there.  There is something for you to learn, and something for you to share, and something for you to discover, and, BEST OF ALL, there are PEOPLE there with whom you will something in common.

I can’t wait – I’m going to both BlogWorld Expo AND BlogHer.  Why would I do that?  I’m not young or perky, and my kids are grown and gone.  I don’t use much jargon, and my tech skills are laughable.

I’m going because these conferences are loads of fun.  I’m going because there is always something to learn and something to share.  I’m going because the world of blogging and social media have shown me that many things that matter so much in some aspects of our lives, don’t matter at ALL to bloggers.

Bloggers find each other because we are bloggers.  Minor things like age, looks, health, kids (or not), social standing, popularity. . . none of these things is important to a blogger.  We care about these things, yes, of course we do, but ultimately, when we seek out someone to talk to in a crowd, if we can find another blogger, we’ve found what we’ve been looking for.

Come to BlogWorld Expo, and come to BlogHer.  You’ll find what you’ve been looking for, too.

Seriously.  You will.

Shaq Tweets At Halftime

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Shaq In a word:  Wow.  We’ve been talking a lot lately about just how big social networking is getting, how huge Facebook and Twitter have become over the last few months and how they are more than likely going to continue to do so.  In case you were still a non-believer (didn’t the simple fact that the QUEEN of ENGLAND has an account convince you?!) I think the events that transpired on Shaquille O’Neal’s Twitter account Saturday should have convinced you.

Just how big has the service gotten?  Try this on for size:  Leading up to his game on Saturday, Shaq was promising his Twitter followers that he would, in fact, Tweet DURING the game or during halftime.  Did he hold to his word?  Yes, Yes he did.  At halftime of his game against Washington, Shaq simply tweeted:  “Shhhhhhh.”

Here’s the even crazier thing, Shaq wasn’t the first one to Tweet during a big event, like a professional sporting event.  Last Sunday, Charlie Villanueva of Milwaukee actually got in trouble with his coach for sending out a Tweet during the game.  Did Shaq suffer the same consequences for his “Shhhhhhh?”  Nope.  Here is what his coach, Alvin Gentry, had to say:

“As long as he gets 25 [points] and 11 [rebounds], he can do whatever he wants. He can Twitter, Facebook, MySpace…”

That, coming from a coach that also has a Twitter account.  All this leads to the question:  What’s next?  Are we going to see Tweets coming in between rounds at boxing matches or MMA fights?  Are we going to to have the President sending out updates during Oval Office meetings?  Pitchers updating their Status while their team is batting during the World Series?

The short answer…Probably.

The Pricelessness of Blogging

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I live out in the country, several miles from the nearest small town.  I know only one other adult who blogs, living in this area.  We met and became friends because of our blogs.  We have little in common besides our passion for blogging, but a passion for blogging is a big enough passion to suffice.

One reason – and there are many others – that I love to go to blogging conventions is to meet other bloggers.  There are all kinds of conventions for all kinds of interests, of course.  I’ve been going to writing conferences and education conferences for years, and I love them.  I love meeting people who share these interests with me, exchanging ideas, learning new things, teaching new things, and just generally hanging out with congenial people who have similar interests in addition to their individual quirks and qualities.

Not all writers are bloggers, however.  Bloggers are writers who put an extention of themselves down on a public blog for the world to see, and judge, and comment on.  Bloggers experience exultation from this, and occasionally heartbreak.  It’s worth it.  I have to get a bank loan in order to go to these conferences.  It’s worth it.

And to meet others who understand this?

PRICELESS.

Social Networks Changing The Way We Communicate

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Remember the days of long winded phone calls, answering machine messages that filled up the entire tape, handwritten letters delivered by snail mail, or worse, horses?  Yeah, me either.  Those days are fading further and further into obscurity with every day that passes and the simple fact is this:  We do not communicate with each other like we used to.  At all.

The question then, is why?  What is changing and why is it changing?  When did the shift from length to brevity take place and will it continue to do so.  As far as blame, that’s a bit trickier to pin down but one thing is for certain:  Social networks and new social media is walking around with a giant bullseye on its back for playing a major role in exactly how we express ourselves, and how many characters we’re given to do so.

The fact is, status updates and “what’s on your mind” is rapidly replacing email conversations and back-and-forth dialogue.  We are all able to now express ourselves in tiny packages, what we’re doing, thinking, feeling and believing in 140 character tidbits.  I guess the question is Why?  When UPI.com asked FriendFeed founder Paul Buchheit these very same questions, here’s what he had to offer about the changing landscape of communication:

“I think it’s a new form of communication; not quite e-mail, more lightweight and more real time, often with a little bit of a publishing flavor to it…”

Yammer founder David Sacks agreed, saying:

“What people want to do on social network these days is post status updates…We think it’s all people want to do.”

It’s all changing, it’s all happening.  How do you feel about it?  Careful…you only have 140 characters to answer that…

Blogging for Bargains!

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I used to clip coupons from newspapers and magazines, but I don’t any more.  I don’t even take the newspaper, and haven’t for several years.  I still get a few magazines in the mail, but I’ll probably let the subscriptions lapse when they come due again.

That being said, I still use coupons every time I go to the grocery or drugstore, and I save tons of money every month.

I just don’t clip coupons any more.  Not these days.  Now, I just download them!

I download my coupons from several places, and more often than not, I am POINTED to those places by bloggers.

I’ve gotten great deals from coupons.com, and from Coupon Cabin, and from Coupon Mom, and from My Coupons, and from RetailMeNot.  Sometimes, I get coupon codes from blogs and websites and use them for online purchases.  I have discovered that quite often, a store will offer a “free shipping” code on top of a sale, and I’ve gotten some tremendous bargains with those.

Everything is so expensive these days, and a few cents off might not seem like much, but it adds up, especially when you’re feeding a family.

I loved reading a real newspaper, and I adore relaxing with a magazine, but again, everything is just so costly now, these things had to go.  Fortunately, I’ve got their equivalents, complete with coupons, on the amazing and wonderful internet.  Just read some blogs, and you’ll see.   Bloggers know where the bargains are, and they’re happy to point the way to YOU!

Blog World Expo Wants to See You At Web 2.0 Expo

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webexsf2009_home_header_bg1 We are giving away a free badge to a special Blog World and New Media Expo blog reader, radio listener or other friends.

You can win a badge to Web 2.0 Expo very simply. Here is how.
Just tell us you want to go to Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco coming up on March 31, 2009 through April 3, 2009, and let us know why we should give you a badge.
Link to this blog post and to the folks at Web 2.0 Expo and tell your best yarn about why we should give you a badge.  The badge includes all of the conference awesomness:

Conference Plus Workshops
Access to

* All sessions (Wed-Fri)
* Workshops on Tuesday, March 31
* All keynotes
* Expo Hall & events held there
* All networking events
* Web2Open
* Lunch (Tue-Fri)
* Official schwag
This is a $1745 value that we will be providing via the generosity of the folks at Techweb and O’Reilly Media, Inc.

UPDATE:  3/2609:  The deadline for entries into this giveaway will be Midnite tonight, March 26, 2009.  Get your entry in before that time.

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