Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

#NotAtSXSW

For the past four years, I’ve made the annual trek to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Conference and have fond memories and some great friendships that were forged during those weekends. This weekend will be the first year in 5 years (I even made it last year despite the chaos) that I’ll be missing out on the action – partly due to a bruised rib and partly cos I haven’t had a chance to breathe since my return from Toronto.

Bringing #SXSW to Twitter

Over this weekend, I’m gonna do my best to avoid staring at my Tweetdeck screen that will taunt me with tweets from friends streaming into Austin, sharing their Instagram photos or checking in non-stop over this weekend, I figured why not get other non-attendees together do something constructive – a Twitter chat.

Who better to host the chat than Mack Collier. Mack and I started blogging at roughly the same time over 7 years ago, we shared the stage at Southby years ago and he runs a weekly twitter chat (#blogchat) on topics related to social media every Sunday. And, that’s exactly what we’re doing this Friday to distract ourselves from SXSW.

Here are the details:

  • Time: Friday, March 10 at Noon Central for an hour (see Mack’s post here)
  • Topic: Using Social Media tools to network (here’s a hint on some of the things we’ll cover)
  • How to: Log onto Twitter (ideally use a desktop app via Tweetdeck or Hootsuite). Create a search column for #notatsxsw and you’re off to the races. And, hashtag your tweets #NotAtSXSW

How do I participate? And, what’s a Twitter Chat?

To the uninitiated, Twitter chat is an online unconference, if you will. What’s an unconference, you ask. Well, never mind. It’s a great way to bring together peers with a common interest on common topics. Frankly twitter chat will be a perfect example to illustrate how to “Use Social media tools to network”. For you newbies, here’s a short description from Mack on how Twitter chat works:

If you’ve spent any amount of time on Twitter, you know that there are a lot of conversations happening at any one time, and it can sometimes seem like a jumbled mess. But when we add a hashtag like #blogchat to our tweets, then it becomes much easier for us to track and keep up with the conversation that’s happening!

Think of the #blogchat hashtag as a ‘mark’ that we add to our tweets, then if you are searching for the term ‘#blogchat’, you can quickly and easily see all the tweets that are related to our discussion!

The only difference this time is we’ll be using the #NotAtSXSW hashtag both during the chat as well as for the rest of the week, as we lead up to it. So, look forward to seeing you guys there. Don’t forget to follow @mackcollier and you know me – @mariosundar. See you guys on Friday!

Follow me @mariosundar

Filed under: HOW-TO Use Social Media, Twitter, , , , ,

My frustration with Twitter

First off, a huge hat tip to MG Siegler who wrote this sentimental post on TechCrunch the other day about the early days of Twitter and how far we’ve come (on the occasion of the President’s Twitter town-hall).

Aah, those were the days. Were people scoffed at the idea that Twitter was a passing fad. I remember those days when Steve Ganz would walk all the way up to my cubicle to try and get me using Twitter more actively. I relented, attended the next SXSW, got hooked on Twitter and have never looked back.

Since then, Twitter became a media phenom in the spring of 2009, culminating with this TIME cover. They scared the bejeezus out of Facebook who copied some of their innovations (@mentions anyone?), fended off apparent threats from Friendfeed and grew to over a quarter of a billion users making me and every other early adopter – a proud user.

But, what frustrates me till date is Twitter’s inability to corner the brand identity ecosystem that they were made to win.

You break my heart, Twitter! (Note: If you don't get this movie reference, you'll be breaking my heart too, dear reader)

The Brand Identity ecosystem

Twitter’s model (following) is far more well established to create a brand identity ecosystem vs. Facebook’s model that lends itself far more easily to creating the personal identity ecosystem (for more on the difference between the network models, I recommend an earlier post of mine). But, I digress.

Since the very beginning, I’ve shied away from liking or promoting brands on Facebook since it feels inauthentic to sell or promote (even inadvertently) to people I really care about. Twitter, on the other hand pioneered (kinda like Blogger) the follower model that was more about building your brand identity that makes it far easier to share your thoughts on the services you’re most passionate about to people who care for your thoughts. Guess what? I do it every single day and it feels natural for me to love or hate brands and products publicly on Twitter. It’s got an in-built reward mechanism for both individuals and for brands.

That’s also the reason, I feel it poses such an opportunity for Twitter to pioneer the lead in building out this brand identity ecosystem for brands.

Instead, I’ve been surprised and impressed by Facebook’s relentless second mover foray into the brand identity ecosystem. They’ve successfully and despite many concerns, impressively built out many a subtle innovation for brands along the way. Whether it is making it easier for all of us to build out brand pages (much like personal pages), tag brands in photos (my thoughts then), and give brands as close to a human identity as possible. Facebook has single-handedly created the online equivalent of treating brands / corporations like people. Brilliant, elegant solution.

Herein lies my frustration with Twitter.

Why haven’t you guys nailed the brand identity ecosystem. Given the obvious intent of folks who use your platform, you’ll be permitting a far more organic use case of the system. Everybody on your system is a brand — be it companies or marketers:

So, why don’t we see the following:

  1. Why can’t I create an auto-fill for brands when I update my status? Not just brands I follow. Make auto-fill possible for every single brand in your database. Kind of like Quora does today on all questions, names in their system. Or, like Facebook does when you go to their search bar and start typing in a name. Make it as easy as possible for me to find and share brands. You know the part that’s aggravating. I rarely go to Facebook to pimp my brands, but I talk about brands all day on Twitter and till date I don’t have an easy way to @auto-fill those brands. That’s like a golden opportunity waiting to happen.
  2. Why isn’t this auto-tagging of brands available across all your twitter products and services (tweetdeck, tweetie, twitter.com, etc.)?
  3. Why can’t I tag brands on any picture or video shared through your ecosystem?
  4. Why can’t I tag brands on my phone right after I take a pic or video? (Hopefully, with tighter iPhone integration these things would be possible)
  5. As a brand myself, why isn’t there a way for me track my twitter stats? I’m sure other brands are wondering the same. And, why do I have to turn to a slew of social media monitoring products to help me do this when this is obviously your bread-and-butter. Or, at least should be.

I could go on… but you get the idea. I know, you twitter elves are busy at work probably making many of these dreams come true. And, I know making changes in a company (startup or otherwise) takes effort and serious planning. But, given the obvious advantage you have in this segment, it’s about time we see some magic.

Signed, a loving 4 year old Twitter user.

C’mon, Twitter! We love you guys. Now, chop-chop.

Filed under: Twitter

The ROI on Social Sharing vs. Email

My “LinkedIn” twitter search is buzzing with this recent blog post by Tamara of Eventbrite (h/t: All Things Digital), where she compares the ROI on social sharing for their company. Social commerce is a growing phenomenon (think Groupon) but data like this helps marketers understand the true value of incorporating the social graph into their websites. A couple of interesting tidbits from the post:

  • The growing increase in the effectiveness of sharing on social networking sites – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90.

  • The resilience of email

…and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34

That’s not bad at all. In terms of effectiveness, they’re ranked – Facebook, email, LinkedIn and Twitter. And, here’s the methodology:

We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook “Like” vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

Reminds me of a post from Dan Yoo on the LinkedIn blog, where he talked about the effectiveness of Groupon.

“You can see the initial spike in revenue in the graph below. That’s to be expected after distributing a coupon. What we found even more interesting was the “new normal” that resulted. Even after the bump from Groupon, our revenue has leveled off to almost 50% higher than before.”

Of course, Dan works at LinkedIn and was profiled in our Talent series, where we feature employees who do cool stuff outside of their day job at LinkedIn. And, if you haven’t guessed by know, by way of disclosure, I work at LinkedIn.

Are there other studies that compare sharing ROI around? Let me know in the comments section.

Filed under: Facebook, Linkedin, Social Media ROI, Twitter

The only Twitter List a Business User needs

One of the biggest challenges using Twitter lists is that there’s no way to auto-update those lists. What this does is that very soon it loses value since its no longer an accurate representation of the folks I intended to follow on this list. What if I told you that starting today, you could add all your business connections to a list that also auto-updates every day.

Enter the latest avatar of LinkedIn's Tweets App

Adam Nash just announced the latest version of LinkedIn’s Tweets App, which allows you to do just that by automatically creating a private Twitter list (let’s call it Business List for now) of all your LinkedIn connections that dynamically updates each day. Connect with more folks on LinkedIn and they automatically get added to your Business List on Twitter. Remove connections from LinkedIn and they drop off your Business List. I may go as far as calling it “magical”. But, I won’t, cos that would be hyperbole.

So, here are three quick steps to set up your Twitter Business List via LinkedIn:

1. Have you connected your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts?

If you haven’t done this yet, I’m not sure why you would want to try out Twitter lists, but I digress… Get your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts synced so your friends can find you when they create their own Business Lists.

It's as easy as 1-2-3. Click. Go.

2. Find and install the Tweets App on LinkedIn

Find LinkedIn’s Application Directory under the “More” header tab.

Find LinkedIn's Application Directory

Clicking on the Tweets app (via Application Directory) will take you to the Tweets Homepage.

Connections tab on the Tweets homepage with Business Lists

3. How can I create a Twitter list of my LinkedIn connections?

Adam’s post describes the feature set in detail, but let me just say that there’s something for every user in this release.

a. LinkedIn users who are just getting started on Twitter

Try the “Connections to Follow” widget on the Tweets App homepage. Left sidebar.

Source: The LinkedIn Blog

b. LinkedIn users who are starting to get Twitter

Try the “Connections” tab for a longer list of your LinkedIn connections’ Twitter ids to follow.

c. LinkedIn users who can’t live without Twitter

Try the “Dynamic List” option, which creates the private auto-magically updated Twitter List that you can then access from Tweetdeck and a host of other Twitter clients. It’s the “Save as Twitter list” widget on the left sidebar of the Connections page.

Source: The LinkedIn Blog

As I said, you may notice that following your business connections still doesn’t include either media brands or just brands in general that you’d like to follow. That’s why I’ve created a public list of carefully nurtured Twitter list of Tech blogs / news outlets to complement my private Twitter Business List.

Filed under: Linkedin, LinkedIn Features, Twitter

Are you hurting your business relationships by syncing Twitter and LinkedIn?

Quick Update: Chris Brogan just posted his tips on using LinkedIn effectively. Sheds light on best practices he follows, some of which I’ve outlined below. Read more on Chris’ blog. And, here’s another on how to use LinkedIn status updates. Priceless.

I noticed my good friend, Chris Brogan, seems to have come down with a case of Twitter overkill, on LinkedIn. Let me explain. Recently, we started letting our users sync up their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. That lets you stream your status updates from LinkedIn to Twitter and vice-versa. You do have the option to selectively update your LinkedIn account with only those tweets tagged #in or you could let the whole fire-hose of your twitter imagination run riot on LinkedIn.

Keeping Business and Social Connections separate

Keeping Social and Professional unique and separate. Pic Source: nutmegthepuppy, flickr

Would you take your vacation pictures and paste it in your cubicle. No, you wouldn’t. So, why does it seem ok to let in your entire twitter stream directly to LinkedIn. That said, I’m sure you’d love to show off a picture of  you standing next to a business celebrity you may have stumbled upon and paparazzi’d while on vacation. The problem with these auto twitter streams is that folks like Chris start seeing a relentless twitter stream when they log into their LI homepage.

Of course, this is dependent on the # of friends you’re connected to on LinkedIn, as well as how twitter friendly they are. In Chris’ case, since he’s both a best selling author and marketing expert he probably has a ton of connection invites (most of which he accepts – more on that later) who also have a lot to say on Twitter. Unfortunately, some of them chose to stream all that Twitter to their LinkedIn accounts.

Chris Brogan's LinkedIn page with Tweets

So, here are three quick tips for those of you who are interested in nurturing your business relationships on LinkedIn via network updates but would like to avoid annoying your business connections with a meaningless interfering Twitter stream:

1. Control the flow of tweets in your stream:

As Chris recommends, go to your LinkedIn-Twitter sync Accounts and Settings and turn down the Twitter faucet. Secondly, make sure the tweets you bring in to your professional LinkedIn ecosystem are hashtagged #in and have a business context.

For e.g.
or

vs. the random LOST tweet that popped in to my LinkedIn stream today.

2. Hide the noisy twitterers in your stream:

Secondly, increase the quality of your connections (keeping it business) and spring clean your LinkedIn accounts every once in a while. Many times when I see persistent, random tweets come in from people I don’t very well recognize I use that as an opportunity to weed out the connections that may have sprung up inconsequentially.

When you see someone spam you with their tweets, all you’ve to do is mouseover the right of each status update, which will pop up the HIDE button. Click on that and you won’t receive updates from that user no more. You can also do this on your Facebook feed, if you’ve a noisy friend, for e.g.

For a more granular control of the updates you see on the homepage, click through to this Update Settings page where you can then tweak updates by either connections or Type.


Let’s not forget, LinkedIn is a business focused networking site, so letting in all your tweets – all personal and business – will have the exact opposite effect you were hoping to achieve by using the site. And, by that, I mean it’d end up hurting the same business relationships you were hoping to nurture.

Plus, be thoughtful while you send out those LinkedIn connection invites. My rule of thumb is to invite folks I’ve met a few times, talked to and who can recognize my personalized invite right away. What is yours?

3. Time your status updates for maximum effect:

Now that you’re no longer that noisy neighbor everyone’s calling the cops on. Learn how to use your LinkedIn-Twitter sync to maximum effect for your business. Time your relevant, most impressive tweets or status updates for maximum effect. By that I mean scheduled updates at the most effective timings. Here are some tips on what’s the best time to tweet. There are a slew of services that allow you to tweet information to select services. Three that come to mind – Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Seesmic – all of which allow scheduling your tweets.

Tweetdeck’s new update in particular has me wowed since it allows me to not only shorten and track the effectiveness of links through my bit.ly account, but it also let’s me schedule tweets across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

One last tip: If you’re a small business owner or the social media manager who runs your company’s official Twitter account (like I do here), I’d recommend tying that to your Twitter account. If your company does not have a Twitter account but you’d still like to share the latest happening at your company with your LinkedIn network, then consider adding your company’s blog to LinkedIn. More on that here.

These tips are just the beginning. I’ll continue to blog on ways you can use social media effectively at work and for your business, right here on this blog. Please consider subscribing to my blog or following me on Twitter.

Questions or comments are also highly appreciated. Fire away in the segment below.

Filed under: Linkedin, Twitter

Top 20 CEOs who Twittered in 2009

Since yesterday, there has been some blog chatter about Google CEO Eric Schmidt joining Twitter and the two auto populated tweets his id seems to have generated since yesterday. What’s even more odd are the tweets he’s following on Twitter: Heidi Montag, Diddy, and the Dixie Chicks, among others. Wow!

But, I digress. As you know one of the most popular posts on this blog; actually the post that got Marketing Nirvana initial recognition was a Top 10 CEO blogs post I did. I followed that up with the equally popular Top 10 Corporate blog series. And, I’ve wanted to focus on the next avatar of CEO communication – CEO Twitter ids.

Which CEOs have been naughty or nice on Twitter in 2009?

We have two types of “CEOs who Twitter”. Those famous for utilizing social media the right way – as a means to engage with their users (think @zappos) and on the other hand you have the already famous CEOs who may just be creating another channel to broadcast their “message” to users (think @ericschmidt) as TechCrunch suggests here. Irrespective of the rationale behind their joining, the correct way to tweet is to share your personality and engage in real conversations with your audience (think @padmasree). And, if a CEO’s twitter channel doesn’t possess these traits a twitter channel is nothing more than a meaningless personal billboard.

A final caveat: Before we get into the popularity contest, let me warn you that this ranking is far from accurate partly because it’s comparing apples and oranges. Some of these Twitter ids have had preferential treatment meted out to them, thanks to the much hated suggested users list. So, for what it’s worth – this list should be something you bookmark if you’re interested in checking out the state of CEO communication in social media. And, now, I give you the Top 20 CEO Twitter ids (based on the # of followers).

  1. Pete Cashmore – @mashable
  2. Tony Hshieh – @zappos
  3. Biz Stone (Twitter) – @biz
  4. Jack Dorsey (Twitter) – @jack
  5. Tim O’Reilly – @timoreilly
  6. Padmasree Warrior (CTO, Cisco) – @padmasree
  7. Evan Williams (Twitter) – @ev
  8. Kevin Rose (Digg) – @kevinrose
  9. Richard Branson (Virgin) – @richardbranson
  10. Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks) – @markcuban
  11. Jason Calacanis (Mahalo) – @jason
  12. Loic Le Meur (Seesmic) – @loic
  13. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) – @finkd (Facebook fan page)
  14. John Battelle (Federated Media) – @johnbattelle
  15. Michael Arrington (TechCrunch) – @arrington
  16. Marissa Mayer (Google) – @marissamayer
  17. Bob Parsons (GoDaddy) – @drbobparsons
  18. Eric Schmidt (Google) – @ericschmidt
  19. Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn) – @quixotic
  20. Jonathan Schwartz (Sun Microsystems) – @sunceoblog

Executives across the globe are slowly beginning to see how Twitter is easier than corporate blogging (as I’d recommended here) but also demands caution now that SEC regulations will be extended to this corporate social media tool as well. Stay tuned in future posts, for best practices on how executives can adapt their personal and company brand to emerging social media channels like Twitter. In the meanwhile, feel free to follow this CEO Twitter list I created with the above CEO twitter ids.

Question to you: which of these CEOs above are using twitter the right way, and who are not? It’s your chance to separate the naughty and the nice. Leave a comment.

Filed under: Social PR, Twitter

Is Twitter a fad or the next Facebook?

The faster a fad rises in pop-cultural consciousness, the faster it falls in the popularity ratings. Thus says a recent study that surmises that “people believe that items that are adopted quickly will become fads, leading them to avoid these items, thus causing these items to die out”. Weird, uh?

Besides baby names, the symmetry between popularity rise and fall can carry over to other cultural items. For example, the scientists noted that similar outcomes have been observed in the music industry, where new artists who shoot to the top of the charts right away also fall quickly, and so have lower overall sales than those who rise more slowly. While this finding seems counterintuitive, since a quick rise in popularity would seem like a good thing, it shows that a backlash to perceived fads should be taken into account. As the researchers explain, people who want to ensure the persistence and success of particular items should seek to popularize the items at a slow but steady pace.

I’ve read a bunch of articles in the recent past, that talked about users’ disillusionment with Twitter after signing up en masse, thanks to (maybe) Oprah. But my experience has more closely mimicked that of TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld who explains Twitter’s adoption curve thus:

Ever-increasing waves of hype, links, and attention bring in the newbies to Twitter.com where they get their first taste of Twitterdom. Some portion of those set up an account out of curiosity or a fear of being left behind. They try sending out a few Tweets, look around, get bored by the initial banality of the service and abandon it for other pursuits.

But that is not the end of it. A lot of them come back, either because they keep getting links from friends or keep hearing about it on TV or whatever, and then they slowly start to see the usefulness—a funny Tweet from a friend, a link to breaking news, a way to keep an eye on the general zeitgeist. Twitter is the kind of thing that is easier to experience than it is to explain. But it is an acquired taste and often requires repeated exposure before people get hooked. Once they do get hooked, there is no going back.

So, what do you think? Is Twitter a fad or the next Facebook?

p.s. And if you’re wondering what the chart above means, read the entire article here. (via Rex)

Filed under: Facebook, Twitter

Tweetie could improve its notifications

For the uninitiated Tweetie is a Twitter client for the Mac that looks like it may have come from the house of Jobs! There has been a ton of hype about the app. The more I think about it, I realize that it’s addictiveness stems from the notifications mechanism that Tweetie alone possesses (correct me if I’m wrong). It’s also something they could improve immensely.

Let me explain. As much as I LOVE Twitter I find it unmanageable because of the real-time stream of tweets that keep moving on without my ability to differentiate between what I’ve read and what I’ve not. The worst part of any Twitter app or Twitter itself is that there’s no notification mechanism to let you know that you’ve received a NEW response or a direct message unless  you drilled through the different tabs. Nor is there a way to identify which tweets I’ve read just by looking at my “All Friends” stream of tweets.

But, Tweetie solves that by visually notifying me when there are new tweets or replies/mentions or direct messages with a blue circle adjacent to that tab. Not only that the scroll-bar stays at the last tweet I read.

Tweetie notification icons

This reminds me of the red notification icon on the Facebook toolbar (one of the main reasons I preferred FB to twitter – notice how I used the past tense – more on that later).

Facebook notification icon

Tweetie also has a neat little visual notification box on the OS bar (see below) which turns blue when there are any new tweets for me to check out. I’d actually love it if there was a way to set my preferences so that it turns blue only when I have new replies/mentions or direct messages (quick update: I found out that’s possible. Go to Preferences -> Advanced -> Highlight Status Icon) and that way allowing it to grab my attention only with higher priority items. Showing the # of replies or DMs would be great too (see FB notification in red above).

OS bar notification tweetie

The other reason I love Tweetie is because it allows me to manage multiple Twitter accounts (the other account being the Twitter LinkedIn channel that I manage as well). The best part is it allows me to cross post or retweet between the two channels. So if I find an interesting tweet from a colleague (on my @mariosundar account) that I’d like to broadcast on our LinkedIn channel, then I can cross-post it from where I am. Sweet!

Cross-posting on Tweetie

As promised, here’s an interesting look into the design of the app, featuring a quote from the creator of the app (Loren Brichter), where he muses on the radical new design that has earned a few skeptics (not me):

How did you approach designing Tweetie for the Mac? It almost looks like a radical departure from the standard Mac app.

Radical, yet not. It’s an evolution of UI concepts, many borrowed and extended from the iPhone. It fits in as a Mac app, looks and feels like one, but the navigation and functionality is next-generation. The drill-down is inspired by iPhone, it was important to be able to make it easy to delve into tons of information without requiring the app to sprawl across your entire monitor.

The sidebar was particularly interesting to design. I needed a UI that worked well with exactly one account but also scaled to many accounts. Old school Mac implementations might have had a double set of tabs, or a Mail-style sidebar, or a tab bar with an account dropdown box. All of these are flawed. Some take up too much screen real estate, some aren’t good enough at providing at-a-glance badge notifications on a per-account-subsection basis. The sidebar design in Tweetie for Mac solves these problems in an extremely elegant and scalable way. It’s new and different, which is hard for some people to swallow, but somebody needs to push the envelope and try new things or we’re all going to rot in UI hell.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Twitter

Twitter’s Monetization Conundrum – Solved?!

New York Times’ Randall Stross wrote a piece yesterday, outlining some of the “difficulties in making brand advertising work on social networking sites. Members of social networks want to spend time with friends, not brands.”

That’s a theme I’ve stressed on in posts as far back as in August, when I compared it to a Pyramid scheme. Call it what you will, but this idea of becoming pitch-men to your close friends could damage your social brand. As Randall writes:

And when they try to take advantage of new “social advertising,” extending their commercial message to a member’s friends, their ads will be noticed, all right, but not necessarily favorably. Members are understandably reluctant to become shills.

Why is Twitter different

However, in my estimation, Twitter may be immune to such ad targeting hardships primarily because of the inherent promiscuity in following and lack of intimacy with the nodes in the network that Twitterers exhibit. This strangely enough, leads to your sharing an incredible amount of information about yourself as candidly as possible!

So, while I carefully prune and maintain my true social network (~230 friends), I’m followed by nearly 2000 folks on Twitter. While I’ve shared ~600 Posted Items on my social networking site of choice, I’ve shared ~4000 tweets on stuff I love and hate in half that time. Here’s a sampling of thoughts/tweets, which is less than a week old:

Subscriptions to GQ & Esquire, Ads for Gap, Banana Republic?

What’s your favorite scarf wrap? http://tinyurl.com/6rmjmf I prefer the Loophole.

Targeted Fandango ads, please…

Such a flattering review of “The Wrestler” and Rourke’s performance by the New Yorker – http://tinyurl.com/6djqa5

Benjamin Button LA Premiere – Variety Photo Gallery http://tinyurl.com/5mocyf

Netflix/Blockbuster DVD ads for either Jim Carrey movies or Nolan’s Dark Knight:

The Existential Clown, Jim Carrey – The Atlantic (December 2008) http://tinyurl.com/5k6shb

Christopher Nolan analyzes his favorite scene in ‘Dark Knight’ | PopWatch Blog | EW.com http://tinyurl.com/5566oy

Guess what? I don’t mind if I’d received ads for a Dark Knight DVD or premiere tickets to the Wrestler. Twitter is like Google in that it’s intent based – in Google (you search for stuff and advertisers find you), while on Twitter (you say it out loud and advertisers could find you). Either way, there is massive benefit for the user.

In conclusion, Twitter would be a terrific buy for a search engine, where much of this valuable information is already being indexed. And, Given Ev’s (Twitter co-founder) history with Google (he sold “Blogger” to Google in 2004), the possibility seems all the more intriguing.

What do you think is Twitter’s easiest path to monetization?

Follow me on Twitter – http://twitter.com/mariosundar

Filed under: Twitter

Finding “Birds of Your Feather” on Twitter!

Twitter is the rage all again, what with folks following layoffs on Twitter, their favorite music celebrities (Kanye West, Britney Spears, etc…), sports celebrities and more. But most professionals I know give Twitter a try and then give up for a variety of reasons – chief among which is that Twitter can be a huge time sink and a distraction if not used properly.

PBS Media Shift’s Simon Owens laments the increasing frequency with which his email Inbox fills up with Twitter alerts of new followers, which owes its genesis to “reciprocal friending” – the compulsion to follow someone who starts following you! The post goes on to stumble upon an important commandment of social network “friending” (via Minjae Ormes):

For me, it’s just simple mathematics: Every person I add is just another set of tweets that I’ll have to scroll through to get to the ones I really want to read.

That’s the only rule I follow on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. And, that’s the one rule everyone will realize sooner vs. later…which is friend those individuals whose updates you actually want to read! Interestingly, LinkedIn started the trend of showing you who those valuable connections may be with a feature “People You May Know”. Facebook has something similar and now for Twitter you’ve got Mr. Tweet, which I highly recommend.

Step 1: All you’ve to do is Follow Mr. Tweet

In return, Mr. Tweet will suggest

1. Your followers you should follow

2. Influencers you should follow

Saves you time and ensures you follow the folks you ought to be following. Do you have a “friending” strategy? Explain in the comments. Speaking of Twitter friending, Jeremiah has put together a tweet-up at the British Banker’s Club in Menlo Park tomorrow. If you’re attending, let me know by leaving a comment or DM me on Twitter.

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Twitter

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