A Simple and Easy way to overcome your Twitter Addiction

Like most of you, I too am hooked to twitter – it is such a simple but awesome medium where you can talk to, connect with like-minded people and listen to those who you appreciate. I signed up for Twitter on Jan 29, 2007 which makes me amongst the first Million users (725,553rd) on Twitter.

Well, like many of you, I too have realized that it does take a toll on my time and eventually my productivity. In my ever-happening experiment for self-disciplinary self-imposed habits, I’ve successfully conquered my craving and yearning to be on Twitter all the time just like I did with emails long back. Of course, I’ve improvised a lot with email management since – keeping is much leaner, simpler and minimal yet effective and acting on them in a timely manner.

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News Channels aren’t impressed with Twitter

Social media has attracted not only individuals and businesses but also the reporting media. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ together with the use of some effective social media tools are spreading the news faster than that can happen through other sources. It is simple, fast and efficient.

Out of all social channels, Twitter has unique advantage to share information through its short messages, also known as tweets. Twitter has also attracted journalists to offer lively updates to their followers. These tweets are spreading so fast through journalists that sometimes the central news hub lags behind the general public. This situation has created embarrassment in media like BBC, Sky News and CNN. Telecasting channels have no other go than clamping down the access (or restriction) of Twitter to its associates in the form of rules & regulations.

Mainstream broadcasting and telecasting media is in embarrassing situation when its associates pass information to the audience without spreading enough to their own news hub. CNN went to the extreme by suspending its associate from live action until further investigations are completed. Sky news has fastened bolts on its news dissemination format.

Reporters are banned from tweeting non-organizational tweets. They cannot spread breaking news to the general public without conveying the same to its news desk. While it is reasonable that broadcasting media should have discipline and systematic approach in presentation of information, the freedom granted to its associated should not be curtailed in an abrupt manner. Organizational guidelines should be respected and reporters should abide by the rules and regulations laid by the management. As per sky news new guidelines, reporters cannot repost tweets other than from employees. It has totally banned posting of tweets that belong to rival journalists.

News Channels + Twitter

Now, they cannot post non-work related information from their official twitter accounts. These measures are intended to bring more discipline on the users within the organization. Journalists are shocked to hear the news from an organization that had drawn undue advantage by publishing information through digital media.

Sky News made huge success by spreading news through Twitter during the Arab crisis and when riots happened in England recently. As per new guidelines which are conveyed through email to all the reporters, information which is not filtered through Sky News Editorial process cannot appear in tweets. It has been clarified that News desks happen to be the central hub for dissemination of information.

BBC releases new guidelines to its reporters. These guidelines are rather soft than Sky News. BBC insists its reporters to file a story along-with the tweet. As the ‘news break story’ reaches BBC colleagues and editorial board, the news will also reach through twitter. These guidelines are understood to have introduced to implant certain level of discipline and there is nothing wrong in protecting the interests of the organization.

On the other hand, CNN went to the extent of suspension of its reporter for the unnecessary hype created through his twitter account. While it is true that as long as reporters represent an organization, the reporter should abide by the code of conduct in every way, the new changes will create opportunities to explore new ways of journalism. After all, reporters are human-beings and they would like to utilize their freedom to the maximum possible extent. More and more innovative and cautious guidelines are expected from news reporting agencies as the social media’s potential grows continuously.

Twitter-Yandex join hands

Social networking site, Twitter is popular with its short messaging tweets. These tweets greet others and let users connect with others on a continuous basis. Twitter has become an attractive source not only for individuals but also for businesses. In fact search engines are also befriending with Twitter. After Microsoft’s Bing association with Twitter, another search engine, Yandex has joined hands with Twitter.

Yandex is a listed IT company at New York Stock Exchange. In addition to search engine services, Yandex develops various internet based products and services. It is ranked No. 5 in search engines with more than 3 billion searches per day. It has its presence in neighboring countries like Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc. The new partnership with Twitter will help Yandex get instant access to new tweets in its search results.

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Social Folders – share your social content online

Social Folders

Ever get irritated that you can’t push/pull content between your computer and your social networks and sort it in handy desktop folders? Instead you have to manually update each as new content is added? Martin Pannier did. In response he created SocialFolders.

The SocialFolders app allows you to more easily manage content across your desktop and various social networks. It allows you to centrally manage your content, including backing up your photos, videos and docs. To put it more succinctly, MASHABLE summed it when they said — SocialFolders Is Like Dropbox for Social Media. If you’re not a MASHABLE fan, CNET also puts it simply when they say — It’s Photo Stream for everything“.

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5 Ways to Build an Online Community for Your Startup

There are multiple benefits from building an Online Community to create demand for your product. Unlike marketing campaigns, the efforts placed in building online community will give results in the long run.

Let us find useful ways to build online community especially for startups;

Appropriate Platform

Select the most appropriate platform to reach your customers. If some discussions are already happening about your products on a platform like Facebook then you can involve more in those discussions. You should ensure that ‘Facebook Page’ reflects up-to-date information and talks about new launches, etc. It is right opportunity for you to add the required material and facts and figures to convince or substantiate the effectiveness of your products and services. You can reply user’s queries and ask for more questions. If you are doing well at one platform gradually you can extend to another affective platform.

Engagement

Engage your audience or customers. This is very much important. As your concern is in the initial stages of growth, you should listen to the requirements of your customers. If you are able to satisfy existing customers, satisfied customers will bring in more numbers of new customers. You should respond to the comment placed by a visitor on your blog. You should reach audience in various locations like forums and discussion groups. Instead of expecting a sudden surge of visitors you should be able to serve the needs of existing customers. With consistent engagement with customers, you will be able to remove the drawbacks of your products and launch better products in future which will invite many more new customers. By engaging customers in proper way, you can build community that will add-up on a continuous basis.

Socialization

You should offer users ways and means to socialize. There should be an option to subscribe to your newsletter. You can offer multiple ways to connect with customers. Connectivity icons of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. should be easily accessible on your site. They should be placed in the most prominent location so that icons can be easily noticed by users. You should offer links that can be shared by users’ friends. You should also expand your presence on social bookmarking sites. These sites will draw lot of traffic as they create authority on your product.

Quality over Quantity

You should focus on quality in every aspect. You should deliver the best product. The product should be optimized as per the changing times and lifestyles. A lack of one single simple feature can make a very big difference. Hence, you should be in the forefront of adaptation of technology and grasp things from the market. In addition to the product quality and quality of service, you should also implant quality conscious customers who will promote or rather advocate your products.

Quantification

At the end of the day, what you obtain from all your inputs will matter your business. You should have access to data that pertain to different aspects of business. By quantifying the results you should be able to know in which direction your business is going. You will be able to find the returns on investments. The quality community build over the years will attract many new visitors.

SASS/SCSS version of Twitter Bootstrap v2.0

Twitter Bootstrap v2.0.0 was released recently.

Twitter Bootstrap is a Simple and flexible HTML, CSS, and Javascript for popular user interface components and interactions.

Bootstrap is powered by LessCSS. For those more comfortable with Sass, I did the Sass version of Twitter Bootstrap v2.0.0 sometime back. It’s got both the SASS and SCSS syntax.

→ Get the Sass version of Twitter Bootstrap v2.0.0.

Twusic – Tweet your Music

Twusic is Twitter meet Music.

After spending some time on Twitter as a user, you might notice that a lot of people share their music taste. But all this content only appears as text. For music lovers it’s great to share with others what they’re listening to but is it really relevant for their followers?

Actually, there are many tweets containing the #nowplaying hashtag, thanks to all the music services that allow users to automatically push their music onto their Twitter account.

Late 2010, Twitter started to include Apple Ping music information for those sharing their music via iTunes but, again, without the possibility to listen to that music, unless you already have it on your computer.

That was some sort of solution, but not good enough.

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“Sharing in the Bliss” – Social Media Marketing

The birds and bees of the social world are fighting it out in the marketing world to see who is leading. It is an all pertinent question – Which is better for marketing, Facebook or Twitter? And there are many answers to it.

Eventbrite analyses this question to reveal that, “Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our email friends application equals $2.34”. It further declares, “Social Commerce takes online commerce to a new level. It marries the natural act of sharing and socializing with friends and the act of buying something online”. Everything happens on the internet, and not even on different web pages.

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Can ‘Uber Cool’ Twitter mess up?

Twitter is understandably a fantastic platform for all users to put forward anything that they want to in the form of tweets. This ‘anything’ could be what one feels, what one did last night, what one experienced at office on a day or just absolutely anything that a user feels like tweeting about. Another thing that Twitter has gained recognition for lately is that it spreads news stories faster than any media channel on TV does.

A horrific fire incident that took place at Charlton Towers in Bangalore is an example of how Twitter was used to call for help. “The news of the fire break was actively spread with Social Media sites like Twitter which sent out an SOS as well as reported accurately as the fire happened. Social media to the Rescue as Tweets inform the breakout of a massive fire in Carlton Towers on Airport Road.” Also incidents like the earthquake in Haiti, Tunisia and the shootout of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, reported effectively through Twitter makes it easier to believe that Twitter is real-time news medium, just as similar as any other news agency.

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Future of tweeting about unfamiliar subjects!

There’s a subtle mystery behind why James Bond has always been portrayed as the savior of the capitalist economy. He is the messiah of the British superpower whose villains are essentially from socialistic nations – Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Hungary, etc.

Daniel Craig as James Bond

If Ian Fleming would have been alive now he would have definitely used the invincible power of social media to fortify James Bond in his latest appearance. The power of social media can be put to different use (or abuse) – the choice is completely vested with the knowledgeable and willing user. Twitter has been transformed as a public relations tool for keeping people informed by many agencies. Thus, secret agent James Bond with the help of followers online can gather snippets on everything – from the secretary of State’s remarks at Middle East peace talks to NASA’s take on commercial space travel. Further, James Bond can use Twitter to coordinate emergency response, meet his associates virtually or romance his woman, besides building network with others in their field.

Chuck fiction, reality is stranger than fiction in its queer ways.

Twitter is not just an Internet application that allows individuals to broadcast their thoughts and actions minute-by-minute on a massive blog. It definitely is beyond that. The omnipresent Social Media Enthusiasts probably overlook it. It’s time to break the perception that the tool is just for socializing, gossiping and keeping tabs on their friends’ whereabouts. It can also mean serious Social Business, a different method of conducting work, making relationships, sharing information, sense-making, situational awareness, etc.

Whether it is earthquake in Haiti or floods in Pakistan the Twitterverse has been extensively used for mission critical purposes – from crisis mapping to spreading salvage messages. But Tweets can take on a life of their own, and rumors are bound to spread. “Twitter offers agencies a chance to quickly correct misinformation”, says Luke Forgerson, who is managing editor of State’s blog StateDept and helps oversee the department’s Twitter account. For instance in March, State used Twitter to quash a rumor that Madagascar’s ousted president was in hiding at the island’s U.S. embassy. Officials were concerned the rumor would prompt an embassy attack so they Tweeted a denial of the episode.

NASA has been very active on Twitter and has drafted social media guidelines to help officials publicly converse outside of formal communication channels. The guidelines would also help the agencies to draw clear-cut lines so that employees do not break news on their Twitter accounts. In September last year an e-mail virus hit some of NASA’s servers, prompting employees to let colleagues know via Twitter and other social sites. Typically NASA employees would not even breathe a word about internal issue potentially impacting agency activities. But, immediacy and convenience of Twitter seem to remove that built-in filter people have when publicly discussing internal issues.

The definition of ‘internal’ would gradually change and thus, for years together, what was considered to be censored content even on private phone calls, people would think nothing of typing it on a giant message board for the world to see.

Isn’t that tweeting about un-familiar subjects? Dare you say a No!