Dec

10th

Panning for Gold in the Twitterstream

Software | Web Marketing | Website Development


Just about everybody has used their website and blog to promote their businesses, and, in the past few years, have supplemented those efforts with the use of other social media outlets such as Facebook, and Twitter.  In the case of the blog and website, these efforts may be categorized as passive in the sense that the business owner sits back and waits until clients are attracted through his website, and make contact, and ultimately, business.

SalahibidenFacebook and Twitter were innovative at the time, and helped businesses form a relationship with clients with a more personal approach, allowing a subtle transition from a purely passive approach to their prospective clients to a more pro-active and personal one.  A lot of folks missed the point of Twitter and Twitter and came late to the party.  The same can be said for the late adopters of Facebook, who didn’t understand their kids’ fascination with the social aspects of Facebook.  College kids live on facebook.  Andif you had any doubt about the centrality of Facebook to the zeitgheist of our society, one need look no further than Michaele and Tarek Salahi’s crashing the Whitehouse state dinner late last month.  Pictures of them and Obama and them and Biden were on their Facebook page before dawn.

I wish I had a nickle for everyone who commented on my embracing the Twitter idiom with a snide comment like, ‘What do I care what people had for breakfast.’  A lot of folks are missing the point of both of these social sites:  they provide a way to form quasi social relationships, and so called weak friendships.  Their point is that people are more apt to do business with people with whom they have some sort of connection.  If you’re looking for someone to re-do your kitchen, you’re much more likely to choose someone from your church, or even someone who is friendly with the butcher whom you lilke.  I am not a big Facebook user because it is too time intensive, but I have met quite a few friends, professional colleagues, and business partners on Twitter.

But Twitter is still a quasi passive platform, though the lines are blurry.  I do know that the easiest way to turn someone off on Twitter is to come onto him with a hard sell:  ‘I’ve made $15,000 this month on Twitter, and I can show you how to do it, too!!!!!’

But thee are now on the horizon two very important developments which promise to significantly enhance the power of using Twitter.

But first a small diversion.  Earlier this year, an enterprising your Australian named Chris Duell developed a site called Twitterhawk.  Now the idea of Twitterhawk is that the site sifts through the Twitterstream looking for key words that you set that occur near a geographic location that you specify.  So if you were a carpenter in Peoria, you might set up a search that looks for kitchen remodeling in Peoria.  Twitterhawk would return to you a list of those tweets,  And, for a few cents a tweet, Twitterhawk would send a series of rotating tweets to those whose tweets you designated as appropriate targets.

Back to those new Twitter innovations.  The first was the implemenjtation of lists on Twitter.  Now you can create lists of folks on Twitter that you follow.  And you can categorize them with common traits, for example software architects (like Paladin Consultants, LLC ), or economists, or photographers.  It helps you keep track of people, especially when you have lots of followers.  You can see the Twitterstreams of these lists, and even get an RSS feed of them.  Better still, in most cases everyone has access to virtually all of everybody else’s lists!

And where can you find and mine these lists?  Listorius is one of the first resources dedicated to managing the new feature.  Mashable also has a growing arsenal of Twitter Lists.  Unless I miss my guess, new sites dedicated to this new tool will be popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain!

The second innovation comes from a site called Listimonkey, a site designed by a very clever young Belgian expatriate named Xavier Damman, now living in the Bay Area.  He has also managed to secure a domain name in his own name!  Anyway, his wrinkle on Twitter is that if you send Listimonkey the name of a twitter list, a key word or phrase, and your email, Listimonkey will email you with a set periodicity the tweets from members of that list contain your key word or phrase!  Now, although there is some SEO juice and pride in having a large list, this is not necessary to work with Listimonkey.  In fact, you can use anybody’s public list!  (Most lists are public.)

Now think about that.  If you are a real estate agent in Chicago, you might watch somebody’s Chicago list for the key word ‘moving’.  If you were a photographer in Atlanta, you’d watch somebody’s Atlanta list for the keyword ‘wedding’ or ‘getting married’.  And, Listimonkey allows you to create as many of these list/keyword combinations as you like!  Very powerful, and a dimensional abstract improvment on Twitterhawk’s idea!

But Listimonkey is good not only for finding new customers and clients.  It’s great for finding out about new products, techniques, people, trends- wealth of information from one site that harnesses the communal information it mines from the Twitterstream!

I’m afraid Xavier’s innovation will spell bad news for Chris Duell and Twitterhawk.  It’s a shame, but the market marches on.  One can only wish Chris Duell luck, and hope that he has another great idea.  But with talent like he’s shown, I am sure that his next idea is right around the corner.

But getting back to Listimonkey, as those emails come rolling in from Listimonkey, it would be pretty easy for a good software developer to come up with a program which would parse those emails as they came in, and then tweet appropriate messages to the originators of those tweets mentioning the keyword(s).  Xavier has such a good idea, that I predict will soon overrun his mailserver.  But that will be an happy problem for him to solve!

Please leave a comment, so we know whether or not we are on target!  It helps us find out what our readers think.

Jul

16th

Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO: Metatags

Website Development


Meta tags are road signs for search engines that are found at the beginning of each well-formed HTML page on your site.  They are not visible to the user on the page because they are buried in the HTML code, and are of value to the search robots, and therefore of critical interest to those in charge of marketing the site.  It is the meta tags which guide the search engines to what the developer of the site thinks is important on that page. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul

9th

Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Developing Realistic Expectations

Website Development


This article discusses the practical aspects of running a successful website, and the ongoing tasks associated with maintaining a good competitive position in the search engines over time. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun

22nd

Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Developing an Effective Keyword Strategy

Website Development


This article is about how to choose key words and phrases in your web copy to target more effectively visitors to your site who are likely to buy your product. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun

13th

Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Choose Your Battles and Your Terrain

Website Development


In our last article in this series, ‘Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Understanding Search Engine Boundaries‘, we discussed the working of search engines and how they go about doing their job – matching a users request with a list of appropriate responses in the form of web pages.  This article is about how to make your website coexist with that paradigm, and how to effectively compete with the thousands of other sites which offer the same product you do. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun

7th

Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Understanding Search Engine Boundaries

Website Development


In a large sense, search engines are the gatekeepers of the web.  Unless you can learn their rules, you will not be attracting too many people to your website or blog.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jun

4th

Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Start with a Plan

Uncategorized | Website Development


Most of the time, companies will develop their websites, and achieve something that looks attractive, and then pay attention to the real business and reason for their developing a web presence in the first place: marketing their product and employing effective SEO techniques.  That’s because web development is an easy sell.  Read the rest of this entry »

May

26th

Don’t Try This At Home, Kiddies!

Website Development


A few days ago, a new follower of mine on Twitter send me a private direct message, asking me to take a look at his new website.  Figuring that he might be spamming me, but allowing for the possibility that he was really asking me for my opinion, I messaged him privately asking if he REALLY wanted my opinion.  He replied that he did.  And inasmuch as web development, marketing, and SEO are significant portions of out business, I agreed to take a look. Read the rest of this entry »