Posts Tagged "social networking"

How do your friends, colleagues or admirers find you on Twitter?  One of the obvious ways is to click on “Find People” on Twitter and search for your name.

But one of the oversights for many people is that they list their Twitter handle as their name making them very hard to find in Twitter Search.  (e.g. if I listed msuster as my name rather than Mark Suster)

If you findy anybody who has done this please forward them the link to this post, which is –> and let’s make Twitter and easier place to find people.

UPDATE:  People have made the fix and say they still don’t appear in the search results.  It takes a while (a day or more) to get your name propagated in Twitter’s search index.  Be patient – it will appear.

I’ve posted three people’s examples to the left.

First is Amanda Coolong of TechZulu.  If you search for her (as of July 10, 2009 at 5:45pm) you will get no result and the text, “did you mean Amanda Choong?”

Second is Jen Raymond.  Search for Jen Raymond and you’ll get 2 of them – neither one is the Jen Raymond who works for Pfizer and lives in Santa Monica.  Search on Jennifer Raymond and you get 24 results – none our beloved Jen from SM.

Third is Bryan Hale, a former colleague from and former VC from DFJ.  You get my point – 7 results, none him.

So please go check your Name and make sure that it isn’t your Twitter handle (assuming you want people to be able to follow you).  While you’re at it put in a link (if you don’t blog or want to link to your company at least link to your LinkedIn or Facebook profile).  And write a short bio about yourself.  Anything.  At a minimum it will help people know whether they have the right

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There is much confusion on how to use the Twitter @ sign – even amongst daily Twitter users.  So as part of my ongoing series Twitter Insights, I wanted to cover how the @ actually works (even experienced users may be surprised by some of the points)

The basics:

1. When you use the @username (e.g. @msuster for me) the message you write appears in my @msuster inbox on and on any of the desktop or mobile clients.  Great. 

2. This is a good way to call something out to my attention since it is narrower than just broadcasting hoping that I might see the message

3. It is also a sign of attribution when you retweet a message by another user (e.g. RT @msuster).  People also use it in other obvious ways including suggesting users to follow such as #FollowFriday @msuster

4. You can send an @ message to anybody – whether or not they follow you.  You can only “d” people (direct message) who follow you.

5. I am currently not overwhelmed with people who @ message me so I read all of mine.  Usually in a timely manner.

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When Twitter first became popular with niche crowds in 2007 it seemed to take hold initially with bloggers.  People had been steadily blogging for 2-3 years and this crowd seemed to bifurcate.

On the one hand were the blogs that “blew up” and became real businesses like TechCrunch, GigaOm or TalkingPointsMemo.  On the other hand were  everybody else including those that tried to make a full time of it like Robert Scoble as well as those that did it as a side job like VCs, CEO’s and start-up entrepreneurs.

So Twitter was initially billed at a “micro-blogging” platform.  It seemed to save all of the bloggers from coming home at the end of the day from whichever conference they were attending and have to turn in long-form content like a journalist.  Suddenly it was about very frequent commentary in a bite-sized format.  Whew.  Now we could all sleep more.  Or could we?

So with the metoric rise of Twitter now forecast at 45 million as of August 3rd, 2009 (and rising fast), has Twitter Killed the Blogger Star?

I would argue it’s the exact opposite.  I believe that Twitter has sparked a resurgance in blogging.  Here is some anecdotal evidence:


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This post is part of my ongoing series Twitter 101 for all those that still “don’t get” Twitter.  I’m now moving from the 101 basics into the business applications.  I think we all know by now that a conversation is happening on Twitter and that this extends to talking about brands.

Twitter is the new CRM (customer relationship management) channel.  The volume of Tweets is enormous and growing at a rapid pace so tools are emerging to help brands manage this information.

In an earlier post I spoke about the asymmetric nature of Twitter vs. Facebook.  It turns out that this difference has a huge impact on the business applicability of Twitter that nobody could have anticipated.  On Facebook (and nearly all social networks that preceded it) the relationship was always reciprocal – if I accept your invitation to follow me then I have to follow you.  The default setting and behavior on Facebook has been “private” and therefore you need permission to follow my status updates.  It is a closed, two-way relationship between users in which brands are not invited into the discussion.

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This is the fourth posting in a series I’m calling Twitter 101 for all those that say “I don’t get it?”  If you want to see the full outline click on the Twitter 101 link.

In the second post I talked about Twitter being like Instant Messaging (IM) and text messaging (SMS) and that is the reason for the 140 character limit.  Many people I speak with mock the 140 character limit as it was even parodied by Maureen Dowd in this much mocked Op-Ed in the NY Times.   I actually think that the service would be slightly more useful if it was a 250 character limit but I do like the brevity imposed by a having a limit so I tolerate 140.

But the main point of this post is to point out to people who “don’t get” Twitter why the 140 character limit isn’t the problem they imagine it to be.  The usual comment I hear is, “what can anybody usefully say in 140 characters.”  The point that this comment is missing is that the most powerful use for Twitter is “link sharing.

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