Archive for TWITTER

Twitter Is Going Public. Here’s How It Makes Money.

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Posted Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, at 7:21 PM

Twitter is going public.

Twitter is going public.

Photo by Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

As long anticipated, Twitter is going public. It almost goes without saying that the social network broke the news on Twitter. Its announcement came in five characters under the microblogging site’s 140-character cutoff:

The offering is expected to be the tech world’s largest since Facebook went public in May 2012. Analysts valued Twitter at $10 billion earlier this year, and it may be worth a little more than that today. But as my colleague Matt Yglesias points out, the fact that it is filing confidentially implies that its annual revenues have not yet reached $1 billion. Following the lead of Facebook and other Internet companies whose fortunes depend on an enormous user base, Twitter has been cautious about turning its service into a money-maker so far, with ads few and far between on the site. So how does it make money, and why might it be worth so much?

Like Facebook, Twitter makes its money primarily by selling ads, which gain a lot of their value from the advertiser’s ability to target specific groups of users. Twitter’s disadvantage relative to Facebook is scale: It has on the order of 200 million users, while Facebook has some 1.15 billion. But its advantage lies in timeliness and topicality. People check Facebook casually, when time allows. Twitter users tend to use Twitter quite actively, and in conjunction with specific events, like TV shows, rallies, concerts, and breaking news. So advertisers can craft ads tailored not only to a Twitter user’s general tastes and demographic profile, but to what that user is doing at the very moment they see the ad.

The fact that the company broke its own IPO news via Twitter—and saw the news retweeted by thousands of people within minutes—underscores the company’s growing role as a global source of breaking news and instant analysis. It is in some ways the CNN of the Internet—the key difference being that it costs CNN an awful lot of money to produce its content, whereas Twitter gets it all for free from users. A disproportionate share of those users are, in fact, paid journalists for other companies, including CNN. They use the platform enthusiastically, bordering on addictively, as a way to build their personal brands and draw readers to their own sites. The result is that Twitter today is valued at some $10 billion, more than five times as much as the New York Times*—and it has the potential to become more valuable still.

Equally important to its business prospects in the near term is Twitter’s role as a “second screen” that people check while watching TV. That gives advertisers a chance to play off of a program that it knows millions of people are watching, as Oreo did during this year’s Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Twitter has acquired two startups in the past year that analyze social-network activity related to TV programming, raising the possibility that Twitter could raise extra revenue by providing finely grained audience data to TV advertisers. And in May it launched a feature that lets TV advertisers target Twitter users who have just watched their commercials. That gives advertisers a clear path from showing a commercial on TV to getting potential customers onto their website—or, potentially, even selling them a product directly through Twitter.

Finally, Twitter is poised to be a big player in the fast-growing realm of mobile advertising. Just three days ago it splashed a reported $350 million to buy MoPub, the world’s largest mobile ad exchange, which allows advertisers to target users on their mobile devices. That might sound mundane, but in a blog post on Tuesday, former Facebooker Antonio Garcia argued that it actually makes Twitter “the most interesting company in advertising right now.” That’s quite an assertion, coming from the man who built Facebook’s own ad exchange. His full post is worth a read if you’re into this sort of thing, but in short, MoPub will give Twitter a platform through which to sell mobile ads that target users based on data that Twitter has collected from them on their desktop computers. That’s big, because the relatively sparse data available on users’ mobile phones has made such targeting difficult in the past.

In short, Twitter doesn’t make piles of money today, but it has the potential to become a much bigger player in the years to come, especially as people continue to do more of their social networking, news-reading, and shopping on their phones. For further background on the company’s evolution and prospects as a business, check out Joe Hagan’s comprehensive New York Magazine piece. It was written nearly two years ago, which translates to ages in Twitter years, but a lot of its predictions have been borne out in the time since.

*Correction, Sept. 12, 9:35 p.m.: This post originally stated that Twitter has been valued at about the same amount of money as the New York Times. Its valuation is more than five times the Times‘ market capitalization.

HOW TO: Win Friends and Twinfluence People

December 19th, 2008 | by Mark Drapeau

In the last year or so, microsharing service Twitter (Twitter) has grown by leaps and bounds, in terms of both popularity and usefulness. Regardless of the precise companies or services that become the most popular in the future, forming and utilizing decentralized social networks through microsharing is most likely here to stay, because it is fun and useful.

But the lack of structure, bounty of third party applications, and global sources of expert advice can also be daunting to newbies. So, for those who are new to Twitter, here are 10 things I’ve learned about winning friends and twinfluencing people:


Win Friends


1. Be unique, but be yourself

Just like in everyday life, if you want people to notice you, somehow you’ve got to stand out in the crowd. Twitter is a complicated and growing mess of feeds and it’s difficult for people to find each other. However, always stay true to who you really are – don’t “peacock” just for the sake of attracting people to bizarre behavior. Marina Orlova uses her brains, beauty, and natural charm to teach people about history and linguistics in a really fun way. Broaden your horizons, but don’t fake it.

2. Participate in conversation

Twitter is inherently a conversation. By using search tools, reading blogs, etc., find people who are talking about things you’re interested in, and join the conversation in a respectful and hopefully unique way. Tireless blogger and new media business consultant Chris Brogan is a great example of this. Find something good to add to the conversation – or stay quiet; don’t just be a nag, a yes-man, or a me-too person.

3. Provide value to a community

walt

People get on my radar when they selflessly and repeatedly add value to a community of readers. Some people are funny, some provide free services, some give out advice. Music enthusiast and online guitar instructor Walt Ribeiro provides awesome value to his online community, and has turned his talents into a tiny empire of popularity. People like this slowly turn into rock stars.

4. Attract loyal followers

There are all kinds of ways to ‘game the system’ and attract followers, like you-follow-me-I-follow-you and following bots that auto-follow and then unfollowing them. But what does having 8,000 followers mean when they don’t know you or care about you? By making solid connectons over the years, Peter Shankman has built a loyal following of “hacks and flacks” who can be mobilized at anytime through his “Help a Reporter Out” (HARO) network. By participating in conversations and adding value you will accumulate followers that will help you when you need it.

5. Mix microsharing with other outlets

You can’t just Twitter; it’s too one-dimensional. Mix it up with whatever you like doing, whether that’s blogging about tech, short videos of you pimping your hot rod, taking nature photography, or attending black-tie galas and appearing in magazines.

Through running a family business, producing online video shows, and headlining social media conferences, wine expert Gary Vaynerchuk “brings thunder” to everything he does. Doing and cross-referencing different activities online creates feedback loops that increase viewers and can get people talking about you and your activities when you’re not there to participate yourself.


Twinfluence People


6. Find the influencers:

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s easy to find out who the popular and influential people are on Twitter – they’re giving keynotes at events, they’re at the top of the TwitterGrader and Twitterholic and other lists, and mainly, people talk about them. Self-styled geek blogger Robert Scoble is an influencer – the “Scoble Effect” can literally crash new startup websites with a rush of traffic. Learn who influencers are, what they do, and why people revere them. Imitate some of their behaviors when relevant, while still being yourself.

7. Become an authority

It’s nice to be good at something. It’s better to make yourself invaluable. If your tweets disappeared, would anyone notice? If you make yourself an authority on some topic being discussed in the Twitterverse, people will seek you out to be in the conversation – and that is evidence of influence. I can’t name many information technology or social software analysts, but I know Jeremiah Owyang – through his listening, writing, and conversation – he has made himself an invaluable part of the Twitter community. Find your niche and own it.

8. Be creative

Invent a contest. Conduct a poll. Document an exciting trip. Wear funny scarves on a YouTube (YouTube) channel. The innovative Sarah Evans founded both the popular Top 50 Tweeples contest and the frequent #journchat discussions that have bridged the gap between traditional media, bloggers, and public relations professionals. Surprise people with new ideas – anything novel that builds community, increases participation, and allows people to have fun is a winner. Don’t be boring.

9. Reward with shout-outs

shoutout

When you see someone doing something awesome, give them a high-quality shoutout. But be stingy and make it count. Here’s a shout-out that I gave to Army public affairs guru Lindy Kyzer for the great tweets she was sending from a conference she was attending. Everyone loves hearing that they’re doing something awesome – and they also remember who thought that in the first place. Put a virtual smile on someone’s face.

10. Always have fun

People use social media for many reasons, some more serious than others. But no one is immune from enjoying themselves. If all you do is post links to your latest influential blog, or link to current news stories you’re reading, you may be adding value, but you may also be boring everyone who follows you. Toss in an unexpected joke, complain about your dog, announce your engagement. Colleen Graffy, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, has a serious job – but that doesn’t stop her from showing her funny side. If you are enjoying yourself it will rub off on others.


The Bottom Line


There aren’t any secrets. You get out what you put in. Work hard, add value, and don’t rest on your laurels. Note what’s happening in the news, and in life. Always evolve; adapt to your environment. Embrace trial-and-error and a spirit of lethal generosity. Take risks. Be surprising. Be awesome.

10 Twitter Tools to Organize Your Tweeps

June 9th, 2009 | by Josh Catone

As Twitter surges toward an estimated 12 million registered users by year’s end (though some new stats may disagree), some of us are starting to deal with what we recently dubbed “followholism.” You’ve followed so many people, it’s hard to keep up, and it’s probably time to do a little housekeeping. But where do you begin? Twitter (Twitter)’s own tools for managing followers are subpar. It’s nearly impossible to figure out who among your followers are following you back, and the interface for paging through followers is clumsy and difficult to use. Fortunately, Twitter’s API has given rise to a vast universe of amazing third party apps. So we’ve assembled a toolkit below of 10 services that can help you take control of Twitter and organize your followers. If you know any other tools that would be helpful for organizing tweeps, add them in the comments.

Find Out Who You’re Following

twittergrader

When I first joined Twitter, I started following people right out of the gate in order to get some utility out of the site — after all, the only way to join the conversation is to start following it. After I got used to Twitter, though, I had the urge to clean up my follow list. Eventually, I found that some of the people I had initially followed as a way to get into the community weren’t necessarily people that I was interested in continuing to follow. Here are some tools to help you investigate your tweeps and make an informed decision about whether to keep following them.

1. Twitter Grader – Using a detailed 5 piece algorithm, Twitter Grader assigns every users you run through its system a grade from 1-100. Using this tool you can investigate how engaged the people you’re following are and that can help you decide if you want to keep following them.

2. Twinfluence – Twinfluence is a scientific approach to measuring the influence of Twitter users. It’s another set of metrics you can use to help you figure out who you want to follow.

3. Tweetcloud – One of the most important factors when deciding whether you want to follow a Twitter user is what sort of content they tweet about. If someone tweets mostly about topics you don’t care about, they might not be the best person for you to follow. Tweetcloud creates a tag cloud of a person’s tweets to give you a bird’s eye view of the type of things they tweet about.


Find Your Friends


twitterkarma

Not all relationships on Twitter are equal. Unlike many social networks, Twitter allows you to follow (most) people without their permission. There might be a bunch of people who are following you that you aren’t following back, and likewise there are probably some people you’re following who aren’t reciprocating. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — if their content is good, then you shouldn’t worry about whether they follow you back. But knowing who your friends are is helpful when you’re trying to organize your Twitter follows.

4. Twitter Karma – Twitter Karma is a great app that lets you sort through all of your follows and see who’s not following you in return, who you have a mutual follow/follow-back relationship with, and who is following you that you’re not following back.

5. Friend or Follow – Friend or Follow does essentially the same thing as Twitter Karma, helping you figure out who your friends, follows, and fans are on Twitter. The difference is in the presentation, and it might be a little easier to use for those with a large number of follows or followers.

6. Qwitter – Once you’ve done your initial cleaning, Qwitter is a nice app that will update you via email whenever someone stops following you. It will even let you know what you tweeted that caused them to stop following you, which could be useful (if you lose five followers every time you tweet about your cat, for example, that might be a hint to stop talking so much about your cat if you want to retain followers).

UPDATE: We’ve had some reports that Qwitter hasn’t been as reliable lately as it had been in the past. An alternative service that also notifies you when you lose a follower is Twitterless. If you really want to keep on top of when your followers jump ship, it might be a good idea to sign up for both services to make sure you have all your bases covered.


Get Rid of Inactives


nestunclutterer

According to a recent study, 80% of Twitter users have less than 10 total tweets. That might not be a bad thing — some people might join Twitter specifically to follow others and track their updates. But inactive users might also not be the best people for you to follow. Here are two tools that can help you weed out the inactives.

7. Nest.Unclutterer – Nest.Unclutterer will automatically block Twitter users who are following more than a certain number of people or who have been inactive for a certain number of days. You can specify those thresholds and white list certain tweeps so that they are exempt from the cleaning. Nest.Unclutterer is actually less about who you’re following, and more about making sure people following you are actually friends you want to be associated with.

8. Twitoria – Twitoria scans through your Twitter account and finds anyone who has been inactive for the past week, two weeks, month, two months, six months, or year.


Manage it All


tweetsum

Now that you’ve cleaned up your Twitter follow list, you’ll want to keep on top of things from here on out. Here are two apps that will help you better manage new follows and followers.

9. TweetSum – TweetSum digests all your new followers, rates them using what they call the DBI (”Douche Bag Index”), a number that supposedly weeds out Twitter users likely to be annoying, and then lets you easily follow them back or categorize them as tweeps you don’t want to follow. You can see a list of recent tweets for each new follower as well, which is helpful.

10. Tweepler – Tweepler is a new follower management application that lets you make quick, one click decisions about whether to follow people back or drop them into an ignore pile (out of sight, out of mind). In addition to being able to view recent tweets, Tweepler gives helpful stats about new followers, such as average tweets per day.

Why You Should Be Twittering More

Posted by: www.1918.com

Not everyone in your business gets it. When they walk by your desk and see you looking at Facebook or Twitter they sneer, or even say, “get back to work.”

They don’t “get it”, because you are working!

twitter-logo

The social media space is becoming more important everyday. You can tell it’s gaining influence because traditional marketers are now spamming it in hopes of proving some ROI plan they sold to their boss.

Recently, activity on Twitter crashed servers with an overwhelming surge of traffic and has been dubbed The Twitter Effect.

How could a single tweet generate that much traffic?

First of all, of course it was a big factor that Pete Cashmore is one of the people on Twitter with the most followers (people who have subscribed to his tweets). According to Twitterholic, he has more than 50,000 followers.

But the key here may not be just the number of followers of the initial tweeter, but the retweets. A retweet is when a Twitter user resends a message so that his/her own followers can share it. Pete Cashmore was the most retweeted Twitter user during the period when the affected blog went down (according to Retweetist).

In that case, the tweet was:

“Reading: “How to use Twitter to find your next job” – http://tinyurl.com/8n8bm8

Clearly a hot topic put forward by a respected member of the Twitter community. Of course, don’t overlook the good work done by Michael Litman who came up with a powerful title for his post, good social media is usually tightly intertwined with good seo/sem.

So how do you become a bright light within the Twitterati? It takes time and work. One of the best analogies I have come across was by Todd Defren at SHIFT communications. He talks about entering the arena the same way you would enter the neighborhood block party if you had just moved into the neighborhood.

You’d hang back a little, insert yourself mildly into a wedge of conversation, and ingratiate yourself. You’d be a gentleman.

And yet there might still be moments of awkwardness. All the neighbors already know each other. There are cliques. There’s context, politics and in-jokes to figure out. You wouldn’t expect to be the life of the party right away. But, you knew that going in… so, to help grease the skids, you brought some nice bottles of wine and some of your killer BBQ ribs.

Can you dedicate 2 minutes out of each hour to check twitter? That would only be 16 minutes in an average work day, you probably spend more time than that figuring out where to go for lunch.

Start slowly by following people you respect in your area, or your business. For example if you are a newspaper in Raleigh, you might want to check out twitterholic and see who the top tweeters are. You could even use something like TwitterLocal to see who might be worth following that tweets less often, nearby tweets shows you who is tweeting all around you right now.

Once you get an idea of the ebb and flow within Twitter, you can start contributing. Don’t start selling your site, start selling yourself. You are someone who contributes good stuff. You add to the conversation. When you respond to others, help them, they will allow you in. They will “follow” you. Once real people start to follow you because they think you add something valuable, you have made progress.

If you were a newsie and could retweet (RT) that you your followers quickly, they would have been impressed. You probably would have picked up a few new followers.

Another bonus is that you are sometimes privy to information that slips out via Twitter. You might even come across a Tweet from the head of the BBC newsroom, Peter Horrocks, to the director of global news, Richard Sambrook about some new appointments at the BBC that were meant to stay private.

Then comes the next hard question. Michael Gray had a great tweet a while ago:

For all those people out there who want more followers on twitter what will you do with them, for them or to them when they follow you

If you had 50,000 tweeple following you, what would you do with them?

Whatever you answer is, that’s the reason you should be twittering more.

9 Benefits of TWITTER for Bloggers

By: PRO-BLOGGER

http://www.problogger.net

Twitter-Benefits

I was a little slow getting onto Twitter last year (when so many other bloggers embraced it). To be honest I didn’t think it had much to offer me – I’m beginning to see how wrong I was.

In this post I want to explore how I’m using Twitter to:

  • improve the quality of my blogs
  • network with other bloggers
  • widen my readership
  • grow my profile
  • drive traffic to my blogs

Before I get into some of the benefits of Twitter – let me say that I’m still new to it as a medium. I’m in a phase of experimenting and finding my voice. So please treat this as a progress report rather than a complete and definitive one.

Also note that tomorrow I’ll share some of the more practical tips of how I’m finding Twitter to be most useful. Today is more the ‘benefits’ and tomorrow I’ll make some suggestions about how to use the tool more effectively. Subscribe to my feed to ensure you don’t miss that post.

The Benefits of Twitter (to me)

One of the main things that I’ve discovered about Twitter is that no two Twitter users are using it in the same way. Almost every Twitter user that I come across tells me that they have a different objective when it comes to using it and are benefiting from it differently.

As a result I won’t attempt to write a definitive list of the benefits of Twitter – but will share how I’ve found it to benefit me (feel free to add your own comments).

1. Research Tool

One of the things that I’ve come to enjoy about Twitter the most is the way that it can be used when you’re researching a post.

  • Stuck for inspiration? Twitter and idea and see what others add to it.
  • Need an example for a point you’re making? Twitter it and you might get some good ones.
  • Got a question that you’re stuck on? Ask it to your followers to see what they think.
  • Need to test a hypothesis? Do a straw poll on your followers.

The beauty of Twitter is that it’s quick, is used by a wide variety of types of people and because of the 140 character limit to messages it keeps interactions concise, manageable and productive (usually).

Example – Let me illustrate this with a ‘live’ example. Lets just say that I’m writing a post on RSS feed subscriptions and wanted to find out how many feeds people were following. I’d post a Tweet like this:

twitter-research.png

Now I actually posted that Tweet a few minutes ago and in the time that it took me to grab a screen shot of the tweet and made myself a coffee I’ve had the following responses:

twitter-research-2.png

What other medium can you gather that kind of data in 5 minutes? (actually by now – 10 minutes later there have been 30 responses and it’s the middle of the night for most of my followers).

2. Reinforce (and expand) Your Personal Brand

twitter-branding.png

I’ve written previously about how I’ve found interacting on multiple mediums can be important in building your personal brand. Whether it be social networking, blogging, bookmarking, real life interactions etc – all of these ’straws’ when added together can go a long way to building your own brand. Twitter is another ’straw’ in my personal brand (and that of my blogs).

What I’ve found is that I’m getting emails and messages from people saying things like:

  • ‘I used to read you at ProBlogger but had lost track until I found you on Twitter’
  • ‘I subscribe to your RSS feed on the blog but seeing your posts on Twitter reminds me to read them more’
  • ‘I was scanning through someone else’s Twitters yesterday and saw your face. I recognized it from your Facebook account so thought I’d check out you.’
  • ‘I saw your name mentioned the other day on Scott Karp’s Twitter feed. I hadn’t seen your blog for a while and it reminded me to resubscribe.’

This type of comment to me illustrates that Twitter is another useful tool in putting you as a blogger in front of readers and potential readers.

The other thing that I’ll say about branding and Twitter is that it can be used to expand your brand or to show a different side of you. Some of the people that I enjoy following the most on Twitter inject humor into their Twittering that I don’t see on their blogs. There’s also something a little more personal about many of the people I follow on Twitter (even if they Tweet on a ‘professional’ topic – their voice is often more personal than on their blogs).

Example – the wonderful thing about Twitter is that it’s actually others who brand you and not just you who does all the work. Look at the example above and you see that 30 people (it’s now up to 40) answered my question and each time they did they publicly used my blog’s name and linked to my Twitter account. Those 30 or 40 people are collectively being followed by thousands of others and by responding to my question they ’sneezed’ the ProBlogger virus out to them (incidentally I’ve had 15 new followers join up since posting that question just minutes ago).

3. Promote Content

The first thing that people usually ask me when I say that I’m on Twitter is ‘how much traffic does it drive back to your blogs?’ I’ve purposely held off on writing about Twitter as a means to drive traffic until this point in this post because I don’t see it as the main benefit of the tool. Having said that – it can potentially promote content and drive traffic.

I’ve been using a tool called TwitterFeed for the last four weeks (31 days to be exact) to take the headlines and URLs from my blog’s feeds and to publish them in my Twitter account. In that time I’ve seen just over 1350 visitors come from Twitter to Problogger after something like this appears in my Twitter feed each time I post:

twitter-promote.png

That is not a massive amount considering I have over 1000 followers at the moment and considering that it’s .38% of the total traffic that the site has had in that time – however it’s not insignificant because I suspect that Twitter users are a fairly influential bunch of people and could potentially be spreading my URLs wider than just on Twitter (on their blogs etc).

Here’s how my traffic has grown since starting to use Twitter more seriously a month ago.

twitter-traffic.png

One surprising thing that I found when I started publishing my stories on Twitter was that some Twitter readers told me that they now read ProBlogger exclusively through Twitter – to the point that they didn’t check the feed any more. At first I was a little concerned by this – but then i realized that it was a good thing because those readers had found a way that fitted more with their own rhythm to read my content.

Twitter had become an alternative subscription method for them. Plus it actually caused these readers to read the blog on the blog rather just in their feed reader – creating increase page views/unique visitor counts.

4. Extend Audience – Find NEW Readers

One challenge that bloggers who’ve been around for a while in their niche can face is that they reach a saturation point. They sometimes feel like everyone who will hear about them has already heard about them and they can see a plateau in their stats. This often happens 6-12 months into a blog.

My encouragement to this type of blogger is to think about where potential readers might be gathering that they’re yet to tap into. I’ve found that this has happened for me with Twitter.

I’ve already touched on how this happens above in the ‘branding’ section – however a number of Twitter users have told me that they’ve just discovered my blogs through my Tweets (and the Tweets of others). There hasn’t been a flood of new readers from this – but my Google analytics says that 27% of of the visitors who have come to ProBlogger from Twitter are ‘new’ to my blogs. For me that’s about 15-20 new readers per day through Twitter – over a year that could definitely add up and those 5000 – 7000 new readers could have a significant impact upon a community.

5. Networking

twitter-network.png

Another obvious benefit of Twitter is the ability that it gives you to network on a different level with other bloggers, readers and ‘others’. I’ve lost count of the direct messages and group conversations that I’ve had with people that I’d never have ‘met’ any other way.

Already this has opened up some fascinating opportunities to work together on promoting each other’s content, sharing advice etc. It’s also opened up 3-4 opportunities for me to find new guest bloggers for my blogs.

One more thing on a networking front – I find it difficult to put this one into words, but there’s a certain camaraderie that develops when you read what someone’s written every hour or so throughout a day (and know that they’re doing the same with you). For me it’s something like that feeling that you get after spending a couple of days with someone at a conference – you know each other on a whole other level. Difficult to explain and I’m not sure I’ve quite put my finger on what this is (anyone able to say it better?).

6. Previews

Last week on a couple of occasions I released exclusive little previews to Twitter followers of information that I hadn’t yet posted on my blogs. I did this in two ways.

1. Once I posted news that I was yet to break on ProBlogger (I think it was about AdSense retiring their AdSense referral program). I did this because it was important news and I hadn’t yet had time to write up a post. I included in the Tweet that I’d post about it shortly – this created a little anticipation among followers (to the point where a few started direct messaging me asking when my post would go up).

2. The other time I shared a link to a post on ProBlogger that was yet to go live (ie I’d published it as an advance post at a time that was yet to happen – this created a page but no one would have known it was there). I did this as an experiment to see what would happen. The result was that when the post did go live on the blog on the front page it already had comments and a good discussion. I also found that three people had already linked to it. It also helped some readers to feel a little special to get a Twitter exclusive (in fact I’m publishing the link to this post on Twitter 3 hours before it actually goes live on the the blog).

There’s one more thing that I’d like to try in terms of combining this idea of ‘preview’ and the ‘research’ point mentioned above – and that’s to create a private post on my blog that I reveal only to Twitter followers and to then post a draft there of a post I’m working on to get feedback on before publishing it publicly. This would be an interesting exercise and explore the idea of a more communal writing of a post.

7.Speedlinking

twitter-speedlinking.png

One of the things that I’ve been doing lately instead of posting so many ‘Speedlinks’ here on ProBlogger is to share these links on Twitter. I’m doing this largely from Google Reader using a Firefox add-on created by Bob Lee. While Speedlinking is something that has worked reasonably well here on ProBlogger (in posts like this for example) I’m actually finding the medium of Twitter to be well suited to it also.

Note: – if you’re not into Twitter but still want to follow my speedlinks I’m posting alot of them in my Shared Items feed via Google Reader.

8. Story Gathering

A number of times this past week I’ve heard of breaking news in my niches via the Tweets of others. I would have heard of these stories via my news aggregator and the RSS feeds of others eventually – but due to the immediacy of Twitter I heard them just minutes after they broke.

This can be the difference between breaking a story to readers and being second or third at it.

9. Find Out What People REALLY Think

Another observation that I’ve made in the last couple of weeks while on Twitter is that people have a certain level of honesty and rawness on Twitter that they sometimes mask or hide on their blogs. I’m not sure why this is – but perhaps when confronted with saying something in 140 characters they have to strip away some of the disclaimers and politically correct language and just say what they mean.

The good thing about this is that it gives you a sense of what people are really thinking on a topic. This helps you to get to know them on a new level but also helps you keep your finger on the needs and feelings of your potential readers.

So they are some of the benefits that I’ve found of using Twitter. I’d be fascinated to hear how others have found it to be useful. Don’t forget to look out for tomorrow’s post with suggestions on how to improve your blogging with Twitter.

PS: I wrote this post over a number of days. Since starting it Maki at DoshDosh put together his 17 Ways You Can Use Twitter post which has some good suggestions too.

TWITTER TIPS: How and Why to Use #HashTags

Reasons You Should Blog – Not Just Tweet

Advertising and Marketing Info on TWITTER

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HEY ALL! Please bear with me while I get myself up and running on WordPress.  In the meantime, please visit me on TWITTER :: http://twitter.com/@EFranz13

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