Thursday, September 24, 2009

I need to spend more time on FriendFeed!

So, recently I've been posting in my blog about social media and then tweeting even more about it. As a result, my Twitter followers have climbed to surpass 600 (I was at something like 350 a few weeks ago), and I just took a look at my Feedburner stats over the past week. I have a "respectable" number of subscribers to this blog, and so I found the data to be pretty telling.

First off, the green line to the right is my number of subscribers. So you can truly see that this has jumped only in the recent past.

The blue line is "reach", which I have yet to look into with Feedburner, but I'll post more on that later.

Next up is Feedburner's analysis of the types of feed readers that my subscribers are using.

Wow! Shock to me. I had no idea that FriendFeed had an integration with Google's Blogger platform. Here's what happened:

My FriendFeed login is my Google account, and my Blogger blog is tied to that. So really, people are subscribing to my FriendFeed, and as a result they will "see" when I post a blog post because it will show up in my FriendFeed, but they are not necessarily subscribing to the blog content - to the blog's RSS feed - itself.

Anyone else out there spend much time on FriendFeed, or, more relevantly, do you have a Blogger account tied to your FriendFeed, and what are you seeing in your FeedBurner (or similar) analytics?

And by the way, what is PubSub? The site says it is "undergoing development"...then, how are people subscribing to my feed using it?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, speaks at St. Louis' Webster University

I really enjoyed watching the live broadcast of Jack Dorsey's speech at Webster University. I typed out a lot of the quotes that really stuck with me and also took some additional notes of concepts below. I think these notes serve as a good recap of the event. Jack is simply a wealth of information and insight into many areas: mobile messaging, instant messaging, social behavior, product development, product management, product marketing, product support, user experience....Wow! (photo courtesy of friend, Jordan Koene, @jtkoene)
  • "If you have immediacy, it's a lot easier to inspire transparency."
  • "Health is the most precious thing we have as human beings....and it needs innovation."
  • "The greatest lesson that I learned in all of this is that you have to start." "Start now, start here, and start small. Keep it Simple."
  • "I am burdened every day by email. It is a nightmare. I will go back tonight to 500 emails which are, basically, TO DO's that I hvae to work through. This is an area where we've lost the idea of keeping a singular focus and a way to be effective. There are times that I have to give up because I can't keep up with it." 
  • "Twitter is one of those things that's easy to get into and also easy to get out's more of an information network...completely recipient controlled." Because it's 140 characters, you minimize the canvas size.
  • "Twitter doesn't make any money right now. In fact it has no revenue." But this is a risk because we're building a utility. "People build products on top of utilities. People build products on top of utilities." 
  • "We raise money to be patient enough so that we can recognize when there's a model that speaks to the entire network." 
  • "The company, right now, today, is trying a bunch of different models."
  • "Google also, for 5 or 6 years, had no revenue. It waited. It tried a bunch of things, and then it built a revenue model that spoke to what the product is doing, which is returning search results."
  • "We wanted to evoke a physical sensation with the name."

One of the times where immediacy has compelled him most was when Barack Obama gave his speech to Congress while legislators like Claire McCaskill tweeted the event. He said he has never felt more close to his own government.

He was able to get the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq on Twitter, and (more importantly) he updates 3 times per day. His updates were direct, frank and they connect people. It helped to solve the issue of the Iraqi people not trusting their government.
"If you're allowed to have communication with a head of state like that, and you feel that things are being taken care of, you can start taking risks." The Iraqi people can begin starting companies, going to school and doing more with their lives publicly and in trust with their government.

Because our government and the government of Iraq have adopted these technologies in the process of democracy, he feels this is one of the greatest things ever.

He said the two greatest industries that stand to benefit from micro-blogging and the immediacy and transparency of them are: 1) Health Care, and 2) Finance. He said there's too much ambiguity in finance (banking, etc.) that needs to be brought into the open. He said that the body is one of our most precious assets and that this massively complex and fragile system needs innovation.

Company name started as twitch because it was founded on SMS messaging - your phone would buzz when you got any tweet. Noah, one of the co-founders, searched the TW's in the dictionary as an inspiratoin from twitch.

The definition of "twitter" by Oxford English dictoinary at the time was a "short, inconsequential burst of information. Chirps from birds."

Follow: @jack | @websteru | @websteru_biz | @webstersoc

Monday, September 14, 2009

Following St. Louis events and restauarants on Twitter

One of the things I enjoy most about Twitter is when one of my connections tells me about something going on in St. Louis, MO that I might be interested in participating in - like a festival, concert, special event, even drink specials....and often they are at restaurants or in a hot spot like the Loop, Clayton, Mapelwood, Central West End or down on Washington Avenue - some of my favorite places in St. Louis.

Over time, I've found a few businesses who are tweeting, and I follow them. I often get early notice about deals, bands, or other events as a result. If you're like me, here's a list of those companies I recommend following. I am sure there are many more, so if you have any additions, please mention @erine in a Tweet or comment to this post.

Also, if anyone has any tips for me on whether it's best to search Twitter for #STL or #StLouis or #SaintLouis or otherwise in order to find events/comments about things going on in town, please give me a shout!


The Muny in Forest Park
Fox Theater

Local Restaurants:

The Crossing in Clayton
Schlafly Brewery
Caito's Pizza in Chesterfield and Glendale
Feraro's Pizza in Soulard
Nadoz Cafe (on Lindell or at the Boulevard)
Robust Wine Bar in Webster Groves
Pi (pizza restaurant across from the Pageant) in U. City
Wave Taco on Washington
CJ Muggs in Clayton and Webster Groves
Llywelyn's in Soulard
The Wine & Cheese Place (more of a shop...four locations in STL)
Kaldi's Coffee
Araka Restaurant in Clayton, near the Ritz Carlton
Cicero's in the Loop

The newly renovated Hyatt in downtown STL

Scene STL
St. Louis Business Alliance

St. Louis Post Dispatch
Other St. Louis Post Dispatch Twitter Accounts
St. Louis Post Dispatch's Weather Bird (believe it)

St. Louis Magazine
Fox 2 News
Riverfront Times

Special Events:
St. Louis area trivia nights
Citypulse_stl : They tweet about drink specials for a lot of St Louis bars/restaurants

Some Chain Restaurants:
Pei Wei

I gathered a lot of these through the STL Twitter Group on Ning, of which I am a member. (Thanks!)
Note: This post does not contain any St. Louis area people who tweet (who tweet often and well, to be specific). To find a good list of those, I actually use a "StLouis" tag search on WeFollow and get pretty good results. How do you find local Twitter users who would be useful for you to follow (aside from Follow Fridays and retweets you see from current connections...)?

I always appreciate when Web sites that I frequent often - whether personal blogs or company sites - have a call-out (an obvious blue bird in a bubble or a short feed of recent tweets) to call my attention to their Twitter account. That's probably the most common way that I grow my network of those I follow online. Sometimes it's enough for me to follow even if I've only visited the site once but I see a call-out -- I'm just interested in seeing what companies are doing (or attempting to do) with Twitter. Of course we all agree that having a Twitter account just to have one and not doing anything with it is the worst!
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