Follow me on Twitter!

January 17, 2009

 

January 17th, 4:26 am

 

We are picking up momentum! The turnout for last week’s webcast with Beth Anderson was terrific. Lots of folks joined us for the first time and the feedback we are getting in response to our focus on LinkedIn and other online networking websites has been overwhelmingly favorable.

 

Speaking of networking online, there’s a lot going on here at the Anytime/Anywhere Studios. For starters, I’ve been exploring the wild and wacky world of Twitter. From my vantage point, Twitter is like a mass text messaging service. In other words, you type up a brief message (140 characters or less), push ‘send’ and the message goes out to all the peopled who ‘opt in’ to receive your updates.

 

That’s right, people actually choose to “follow” your Twitter messages! Why? Because they are interested in what you have to say. In that sense, Twitter’s underlying function is really no different than people taking the time to join us for the FAST180 webcast, or visiting the website or blog to check up on our news. It’s all about sharing information.

 

But there are two key differences. Rather than simply posting information on a blog and passively hoping people visit, Twitter functions as a press release, giving you the power to notify your peeps that you’ve been at it again, cranking out some high octane material, with a link to your website, where they will find new and exciting stuff to explore.   

 

And in itself, the ‘announcement’ function is huge. Getting the word out is critical. But Twitter’s bigger benefit is the potential for explosive audience growth.

 

Here’s the deal: In addition to the ongoing power struggle of who has the biggest following, Twitter culture includes an informal competition of who can be the first to tell the group about an awesome new (insert any product, service, opinion or news item), which in turn, leads to more people checking out your messages. And those new followers tell their people, and so on. Call it “Viral” growth.

 

The potential result: a growing number of “followers” that can snowball into serious, exponential momentum. Example: it is not unusual for very active Twitter peeps to have a following of tens of thousands of people. Can you say: Marketer’s Playground?

 

For me right now, building a loyal Twitter following is a primary focus as we move step-by-step, building the FAST180 platform to launch the upcoming Power Team book to bestseller status when released later this year.

 

Progress so far: I started with Twitter on Christmas day (a free present to myself!) and as this journal is posted, I currently follow 81 people and 80 people following me. 

 

Maybe half of the people following me are folks I decided to follow based on recommendations from others, and in turn, some of those people responded by following me. Other followers just sorta pop up and join the parade, and I have no idea what path lead them to my door.

 

So, I’m learning about all sorts of strategies to build a huge Twitter following in a short amount of time, but that is not my goal. Yes, I want huge numbers. Maybe 10,000 or so when the book comes out. But I want the quality of the content to attract the following, rather than signing up to follow tons of people in hopes that they will follow me in return.

 

Like anything, the more you dig into something, the more you learn. Believe me, I’m learning alot each and every day. For me, using Twitter as a way to announce new blog entries, upcoming FAST180 webcasts as well as sharing cool websites and valuable information is a very stimulating activity. But it’s the material itself that remains the priority. Wanna know more? Follow me on Twitter! 

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Jack of all Twitter, Part 1 – Say What?

January 11, 2009

Blogging doesn’t happen. There’s work involved. And if you are like me, when there’s a job to do, my first tendency is to try to do the job myself. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes not so good.

 

Consider the wide range of activities that need to happen for an idea, spinning around abstractly in your imagination as a concept, to finding its way out of your head, onto the internet, bouncing around with a life of its own.

 

Adequacy isn’t good enough. Material has to be sharp and provide value. The internet is a huge audience, and reaching that audience is a monumental challenge. These days, most people (except maybe your Mom, heirs to your Will, and the family dog) are too busy to care about all the details of your life, your problems and most of all, your opinions.

 

Don’t believe me? Look around. Is it just me, or is everyone dazed and confused from information overload and macro economic meltdown? Quick reality check: did you receive more or less Christmas cards than last year? I’m betting the under. Why? Too much info day in and day out has numbed the collective consciousness, tapping the energy needed to communicate, to the point of societal distraction and inactivity.

 

In today’s world, it’s a crap shoot whether or not a friend will read and respond to an email about your personal news, or return a phone call. Don’t take it personal. People are on overload! Imagine the degree of magnetic attraction needed to interest cyberspace peeps, or at least a statistically significant percentage of them, into caring enough about your opinion on your topic of choice to make the effort to visit your blog check it out.

 

And that ladies and gentlemen, is where I’m at today. I’m trying to crack the code of mass online impact. I want to find out how some folks reach millions of people and then help other authors, artists and do-gooders of all stripes do the same.

 

All this set up leads me to a formula I started putting together for publishing blog posts. The idea is to break down the steps into a system of developing an idea from grain to biscuits into a blog post we can all be proud of.

 

The goal is to measure self sufficiency in all steps required to create and manage intellectual property promoted online with WordPress, Twitter, and others. For me personally, I’m trying to identify where I need to bring in an expert with real internet skills to take my material to the next level. But in the mean time, as someone still doing all the work myself, I’m trying to learn as much as I can.

 

So anyway, I started putting together the formula. While my intentions were good, it turns out to be more than a sit down and get ‘er done kind of deal, so I’m breaking this piece into two parts.

 

Today, I’m just going to identify the variables the formula includes. Seems to me that the more of these steps completed, and how well they are executed, will result in how many people on the net give a rat’s patootty about what I, or anybody else, has got to say.

 

Here’s the criteria:
 -Am I creating unique content with my own voice and message?

-Am I utilizing all aspects of online media (audio, video, graphics, etc.) to project my message? 

-Am I contributing on a regular, frequent basis?

-Am I my own webmaster, creating my own website or blog with DreamWeaver, WordPress or something similar?

-Do I update my blog/website myself?

-Does my blog/website have all the slick bells and whistles, RSS feeds, links, widgets, subscribers, store…

-Am I promoting my material online with LinkedIn, Twitter, email tags, WordPress, MySpace and Facebook announcements, and other outlets?

-Am I promoting my material with word-of-mouth networking by meeting face-to-face with people?

-Do I have a business angle? Am I creating content online for personal satisfaction or to make money (either directly or indirectly)? What is my Product or Service?

 

OK, so that’s the criteria. At least most of it. I’m sure there’s more. Please send me any thoughts or comments about what goes into creating and managing the intellectual property you post online and promote. I’d love to know what you are up to and what’s working!

 

So in the spirit of quality control and production output, I’m going to get this info off my word processor and out on WordPress. I will now tweak before I twitter the rest (as in tweak the formula before tweating its completion). So please check back with me next time for “Jack of all Twitter Part 2 – Your Score!” next time when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter