Tag Archives: social media tips

Taking up ProBlogger’s 7-link challenge

7-link challengeFour days ago, ProBlogger Darren Rowse challenged fellow bloggers to publish a post based on the following seven themes.  Hooked by the idea, I rolled up my sleeves and got to it.  Then I read Darren’s own seven-link post.  If you don’t already know, Darren is a highly successful blogger, speaker consultant and founder of several blog networks and blogs, including ProBlogger, which features tips on blogging.  His Wikipedia entry notes that “as of 22 May 2009, Problogger was listed as number two on Technorati’s most favorited blogs list and number 40 on the most linked to blog.”

I reconsidered my participation in the challenge. It seemed audacious to hoist my hand — I’ve only been blogging for five months. However, the whole point of the exercise is to learn by doing.  So, here’s my contribution.

  1. My first post: Go slow, just don’t stop.  The date was March 6, 2010.  I shared how I was setting out on a brand new course in life, to learn to apply social media, out of my job and comfort zone, and how I planned to research and learn from the best, using the blog to distill and demonstrate my findings as I go.  I wrote:   Step four is harder—where to go online?  It’s a bit like entering a packed exhibition hall or a Saturday-morning market, full of noise, bright colours and lights, a sea of rows/directions. I didn’t mention how anxious I get in crowds!
  2. A post I enjoyed writing the most: The not-so-obvious: visiting the Shrute farm and learning to blog.  Writing this post was fun, inspired by a Consumerist news item tied to the TV program, the Office.  Newcomers to social media can feel like outsiders.  As I wrote in this post:   It’s just as easy to “not get” a key element or step when you’re learning to blog.   If you’re new to social media tools, the language that’s tossed around online, especially on discussion floors, can be confusing.  You’re there in your Walmart sneakers and they’re bouncing around in their spiffy Air Jordans. Continue reading
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Peepers and tweeters, mating and muting

spring peeper

photo by Cameron Rognan

The loud chorus of tiny Spring Peepers punctuated the warm night air, proclaiming their presence to potential mates with a shrill peep, peep, peep.   Incessantly.

Yet, standing close by as we waited for owls to return our calls, the noise was somehow soothing and wanted.  Unlike the silent but nerve-jangling twitter tweets that burst from my computer screen throughout that very day, coming at me rather than to me.

Peepers and tweeters do have common ground though:

  • Both emitters are small but mighty.  The spring peeper is the size of a thumbnail but FrogWatch
  • Both peepers and tweeters compete to attract attention, and I’m discovering both have their place and purpose. There are many many blogs and articles on how to use twitter for marketing and PR as well as CRM. And they’re tweeted out of course!

Wikipedia says their chorus can carry half a kilometre.  The twitter tweet is 140 characters or less. This powerhouse has some 75 million users, of which 12 million sent a tweet last December, according to online measurement firm RJMetrics.

But I clearly need a lot of  field experience  before twitter changes from a predator to a pet.

I know there are tools that help you tame the noise–tracking, sorting, scheduling, analyzing, all elements I’ll need to learn before I can assist others in their businesses.  I’ve been researching them.  And in all honesty, I have been getting many leads to social media tips and truths in the few weeks I’ve had a twitter feed.

Yet there were days, especially recently, when it became disruptive and distracting, raising my anxiety level, making me feel out of it rather part of it.  As everyone was touting “see me, see my new iPad”, I was struggling with 803 registry errors unmasked by the system scan of my aging and failing desktop.  Finally, I just shut it off.  After five days of silence, I’m ready to bring it back.  I’ve discovered that I can check it out as often or as little as like.

Some of my other findings.  It helps to be selective in those you’re following.  Avoid the I follow you, you follow me to build followers–I check out the profile of everyone who follows me to see if I want to follow them back.  I’m now following 76 people, a mix of influencers/authorities and individuals/subjects of interest– bloggers, Web designers, researchers, lifehackers/frugal living, infographics sites, local news/resources/events.

I found some of these through the list of influentials.  The twitter list directory at listorious is another source. Continue reading