Only Geeks would come up with something like RSS. The really funny thing is that nobody knows what it stands for, really simple, rich site syndication. (http://www.voidstar.com/node.php?id=140) So what does that mean to the average person than? Not a lot as you can imagine. Most people have no idea about RSS and what it can do. So we have hundreds and thousands of Geeks all following what is going on the Internet through RSS feeds. You see if they’d call it something like, really simple sex, it would have got out of that geeky mould. One can use RSS to keep updated with information on your favourite websites (BBC, Blogs, Email, etc). Sounds complicated, it is not and of course you can compile it in whatever reader you like to read.
Unlike computers, which are incredible unpredictable that you never know what they are doing. Using RSS is easy. While it may take a long time visiting your favourite sites. Using a reader such as Google, there are a few others. It will make your reading life a lot easier. As a result you will be able to see all the content your heart desires in one browser window.
So what does this icon look like and do? here is a video to show you.
Now that you have got your shiny new reader, and content streaming through. What is it that you may like to reflect upon.
Well some of my reflections from RSS goes something like this.
It seems that good old Gordy (British PM) is getting bushwhacked all over the place. Interestingly, I noticed last night on ‘Have I got news for you ‘(TV program) that Paul Merton was not laughing, maybe he is one of the few Brownites left . I do feel a certain amount of compassion for him but as John Wayne once said “you have got to go, when you have got to go” Which kind of reminds me of an old school friend who did not befriend me on Facebook considering that I have not seen him for 20 years. It was hard to imagine what he could be concerned about. Maybe it was the fact that we use to call him ……. and he considers himself beyond such school humour. One does have to be careful what they write on the Internet as a magistrate found out this week due to twittering he lost his job in the courts. What is the problem he asked? all the information is already in the public domain and published by the record division of the courts.
One can see there is a vast array of information to be gathered through RSS. From your Google e-mail through to your Facebook status. Pretty much everything. For the boys if you think of it as really simple sex and the for the girls as really simple shop. You should find it a lot easier than everything else that you may do on the computer.
You can subscribe to my feed here.
What is it that people do these days? If you are to believe the headlines twitter is all the rage. What defines a good twitter profile? What defines a good online profile? Is it the fact that one may have 2000 followers. Is it the fact they have almost twittered over 10,000 tweets. What characteristics would define someone that you follow?
If you’re a famous off-line celebrity say for example Schwarzenegger or Stephen Fry then without much ado it easy to be successful online. An example of this is Oprah Winfrey who set up an online Twitter profile only three days ago and already has over 10,000 followers. This is all probably very predictable.
What about from a personal point of view those of us who work every day and do not suffer from celebrity status. Is there really any benefit to using twitter. I am amazed at just how many companies and people use twitter try to sell me things most of them don’t understand the first thing about permission marketing. Can one really build a relationship in just 140 characters. It is not easy and like any relationship takes time and mutual interest. To put it in perspective this idea I suggest that you are only as successful on-line as you are offline. Some of my best relationships that I have online also exist in the real world when I go to a restaurant or the cafe. I think that I am just staying in touch. As it is not always possible to see people on a regular basis.
What about the business development and customer care opportunities. Out of experience I will never follow anyone unless I have a particular interest. Ones that use a company name I will not follow. In my experience the company never offers or interacts in the way an individual would. There is always a feeling that they are protecting or selling something. A company that could break this mould could achieve a significant amount of followers and would have a real story to tell to the media. Plus this would certainly gain a lot of extra free publicity. It is conceivable that a company could employ a group of people just to respond to people’s questions on twitter.
If you are going to stay the distance it is about quality. It is better to have 10 followers that are really interested in what you got to say then 10,000 who are not. An example of this is the Velvet Underground whose first record only sold a couple of hundred copies. Their influence though is felt by just about every major rock band that has ever made music. Although comparatively they are still not that well known.
So in summing up if you are genuine and have a genuine interest to interact. Then it is possible to build a quality network a word of warning though when I survey the number of people that follow me 90% are not interested in a two-way conversation and significant less amount are operating highly queastionable/fruadelent activities.
I came across a really interesting interview today with Reputation management expert Andy Beal which summed up simply how to make the most of online social media. I do not think I could say it better. It has so many benefits establishing a social media policy.
“When a company creates an interactive online profile, it’s effectively telling its stakeholders -customers, investors, employees, etc- that it cares about the community and wants to be a part of the conversation. When an online reputation crisis hits, companies that have an social media profile are more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt and more likely to be able to respond quickly, within that channel.
I advise my clients to look for the “centres of influence.” Where are their stakeholders hanging-out online? When you understand the types of social media your stakeholders are using -maybe they prefer blogs over forums -you’ll increase your chances of successfully engaging them.”
Social media channels that you may find useful for establishing a thriving social network, depending on your market and your niche, include:
What networks would you add to this? Which ones do you enjoy the most?
We haven’t had a honeypost in some time and my bookmarks are just overflowing with interesting snippets for all of you to enjoy. I have so much to choose from that I decided to focus today on
- How Twitter was born: Some interesting insight into the birth of Twitter.
- How to use Twitter for Business: An excellent introduction to Twitter which walks through how it can be applicable to marketing, PR and customer service.
- 8 patterns in social media ecosystems: Not directly about Twitter but relevant to anyone interested in learning more about social media.
- Pancheros integrates Twitter into stores: A real life example of how a US retailer is embracing new technology. Expect the trend to grow. It’s only a matter of time before you can buy New York Yankees tickets on Twitter too
- Add a TweetRoll to your blog: How to add a WordPress widget that shows off your friends and followers.
- Top cigar aficionados on Twitter: Yes, you can find anything your heart desires on Twitter.
- TweetWheel: A great way to visualise your friends and who’s connected to whom.
- Twhirl: My favourite Twitter client. Much recommended. Especially as the new version includes a spell checker to stop those embarrassing typos.
- Twittervision: An awesome way to while away your free time. Watch as Tweets pop up all over the world. Great visualisation mashup.
So great links there, especially if you’re into Twitter. If you’re not, well maybe now is the time to sign up and give it a try. If you’re in there, don’t forget to follow me.
Here’s a great video you might find interesting:
Don’t discount the first few minutes of the video, Perry talks through the basics of social media, then puts together a flow of how the Marketing side of it works. He compares social networking websites to a Party, your blog as your Home. When you go to a party you don’t ram what you do down people’s throats. Rather you are nice to people, you may even invite them to your home and possibly tell them what you do. The people you meet will remember you for this and recommend you to their friends, extending your reach way beyong the few social contacts you have made.
Moral of the story: Be Cool .. interesting concept.