qwitter is not so great

Qwitter sends you an email when someone stops following you and says what the last message was that you sent.

Aside from the fact I’m not 100% sure that services like this are a good idea – I’ll save that debate for Sean Bonners post which covers some of what I’d of said – twitter is best when not used like a social network, if i stop following you, its not because we’re not “friends” any more, it could be for any number of reasons, I frequently follow and un-follow people, although I’m increasingly using tweetdeck’s grouping feature to just follow everyone – more on that another day.

I was interested to trial Qwitter as a means of seeing why followers go up and down, I had some theories I wanted to test.

The first major thing i found is that the emails you get from Qwitter come in groups, now either I keep tweeting things that make people stop following me in groups… or its grouping the qwitters  together. Judging by the tweets that people stopped following me on, its almost certainly the latter.

The second was that some user accounts were adding and removing me more than once, the majority of these were spam-like accounts, I guess hoping for an auto-follow.

There were a couple of non-spam-like accounts doing it, this was curious, the only explanation i can have is that it keeps them near the top of my followers list – meaning new users who thought “ah, I wonder who else of interest I might find on Luke’s followers list” would more likely see them.

Its vaguely useful to know who has stopped following you, as long as you remember that its not personal and that the qwitter alerts most likely aren’t on the right tweet.

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what if twitter

started charging to sign up?

Part of the value in Twitter for a user is the ability to communicate with a wider circle of influence than you might otherwise of been able, as the masses join twitter the danger is that the noise to signal ratio increases making it less useful – but what if they’d started charging when they hit a certain number of users?

Would it start to make some real money that so far it has only hinted at being able to earn? Would people of left the service for another? Certainly charging existing users, would create a mass exodus… but some of the attraction for early adopters is the exclusive club feel – that would be, in some ways, amplified.

This is a very hypothetical post btw – it came from being asked why twitter was anything more than “the next big thing” – in their words, “it was all about friends reunited, then myspace, then facebook… now everyones joining twitter – its just another fad, I’m not signing up”.

That conversation led me to the thought above and also to wonder, what’s the next big thing?

What if twitter IS just a fad?

Some people lose a lot of money, the cool kids move on, the spammers and randomness takes over – this is based on what some people would perceive happened to myspace as a platform, although I would argue its reverted back to its “native” state of being a good place for bands/musicians/DJs/performers.

So what do you think?

Is it a fad?

If so, what’s next?

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twitter favourites

A great tip for sharing the wheat and not the chaff from your twitter feed is to make use of the favourites feed – anything of interest I see on twitter, I’ll click the star to add it to my favourites.
My favourites are then published as an RSS feed, which I’ve added to the side of my blog under my twitter updates – have a look, you’ll find some interesting stuff.

I’ll add to this post a diagram of how all my RSS/twitter stuff floats around the interwebs later

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the speed of news

the speed of news

This weekend, I heard the sad new of Tony Hart passing away via twitter first.

Image from B3ta

In the last few months news and eye witness accounts (and photos) of major events are often coming first from Twitter – the viral nature of the RT (retweet) phenomenon meaning that a story goes viral in seconds, after an initial tweet from an eye witness…

The BBC talks about the coming of age of twitter, through recent event in Mumbai and of course the incredibly skilful ditching of an aeroplane into the Hudson river…

Outside of news, how does this speed affect YOU as a business?

Anything can go viral very quickly, regardless of accuracy, are you prepared?

At talks I give, I often start with a quick survey…

1) How many of you use some form of the social web/networking personally? (Facebook, myspace, linkedin, bebo, twitter…)

2) How many of you have a strategy for the social web in your business?

At a recent talk of around 40 business leaders, about 35 raised their hand for question 1 and about 3 for question 2.

It always seems to work in waking people up to what I have to say about the power and opportunity of the network.

Being engaged with the changing way people use the internet, having channels open to spot threats and opportunities makes for a more agile and successful business.

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comparing the meerkats

Simply genius.

I was going to write a longer analysis of why i think this is a superb campaign, but most of it has been done very eloquently on the SEO Optimise blog.

Compare the meerkat works as a campaign for one key reason, it sets them apart from what has become a very competitive sector where the offering and price (ie free) is essentially the same for everyone.

How else would you compete in this market? Superior offering, better customer usability/feedback or huge market awareness?

A simple clever play on words, with a good social media marketing strategy (facebook fan page, twitter etc) and a simple mock website equals brand recognition though the roof.

The only thing I would of done differently would be to make it possible to link to specific meerkats on the site, if you find one that amuses you, all you can share with friends is the options that you chose to find that meerkat – people like to share the specifics too.

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