Tag Archive | "twitter"

Google finds Twitter – Are Google & Twitter merging before our very eyes?

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Google finds Twitter – Are Google & Twitter merging before our very eyes?


Since Google joined Twitter back in February, the twitter.com/google account alone has over 1,290,098 followers – and if you want a specific category or even region from Google – well there are lots to choose from -  now over 50+ accounts (listed below), but is this just part of a much bigger plan?

Some saw this as a courting ritual especially when the rumours kicked off in April that Google was going to buy Twitter for $1 billion – but after that calmed down, Google emerged the following month with “Wave” and the exciting promise of Twave.(when will this obsession of “tw” prefix neologisms end?) Now, this form of  integration / mash up makes sense: Google Wave and Twitter are both forms of real-time communication after all, so bringing them together makes perfect sense – or is it just a way of consuming Twitter by stealth…?

The advantage that Twave offers from within Google Wave is that it appears you can manage your tweets like you would email, with replies, archiving, and even Google Wave’s remarkable playback feature. We have already seen Twitter attempt to improve its interface toward something that so many other 3rd party applications have managed to do better, but the prospect of Google’s designers and interface expertise behind this would make this a very compelling communication tool.
An advantage for Charities and NGO’s

To many early adopters, Twitter Search has been the tool of choice for real time, trending topics – especially in the immediate world of international news, politics and humanitarian crises and events, where Charities and NGO’s gain advantage over traditional broadcast channels and search engines, which generally take longer to formulate and in a search engines case, index information. Without the real time feed that Twitter offers, Google has to independently index each Twitter user periodically to look for updates. This is obviously a lot slower, not to mention very expensive from a computing resource (and climate) perspective.

In terms of the nascent real time search space, any advantage Twitter currently has over Google would be negated but subsuming them – or taking this feed via the back door – perhaps getting the golden eggs without having to buy the Goose…


Google said back in February :

“Like lots of you, we’ve been drawn into Twitter this year. After all, we’re all about frequent updates ourselves, and there’s lots happening around here that we want to share with you. Of course, we enjoy watching, and contributing to, the tweetstream (we hope you find our tweets useful, too). Because there are many programs and initiatives across the company, we’ve got a number of active accounts. Here’s a list of the current ones. We’ll update this list from time to time.”

twitter.com/Google – our central account
twitter.com/Blogger – for Blogger fans
twitter.com/GoogleCalendar – user tips & updates
twitter.com/GoogleImages – news, tips, tricks on our visual image search
twitter.com/GoogleNews – latest headlines via Google News
twitter.com/GoogleReader – from our feed reader team
twitter.com/GoogleVoice – updates & info on Google Voice
twitter.com/iGoogle – news & notes from Google’s personalized homepage
twitter.com/GoogleStudents – news of interest to students using Google
twitter.com/YouTube – for YouTube fans
twitter.com/YouTubeES – en Espanol
twitter.com/GoogleAtWork – solutions for IT and workplace productivitytwitter.com/GoogleSites – Google Sites updates

twitter.com/SketchUp – Google SketchUp news
twitter.com/3DWH – SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse
twitter.com/Modelyourtown – 3D modeling to build your favorite places
twitter.com/EarthOutreach – Earth & Maps tools for nonprofits & orgs
twitter.com/GoogleEarth – updates from the Google Earth team
twitter.com/GoogleMaps – uses, tips, mashups
twitter.com/GoogleSkyMap -Android app for the night sky

twitter.com/AdSense – for online publishers
twitter.com/AdWordsHelper – looking out for AdWords questions and tech issues
twitter.com/AdWordsProSarah – Google Guide for AdWords Help Forum
twitter.com/GoogleAnalytics – insights for website effectiveness
twitter.com/GoogleAdBuilder – re building display ads
twitter.com/GoogleAdManager – info on managing online ads & inventory*
twitter.com/GoogleAffiliate – info for publishers from Google network advertisers*
twitter.com/GoogleRetail – for retail advertisers
twitter.com/GoogleTVAds – info on our digital system for more measurable TV advertising*
twitter.com/TechnologyUK – for U.K. tech advertisers
twitter.com/UKretail – for U.K. retail advertisers
twitter.com/creativesandbox – for advertising agencies*
twitter.com/InsideAdWordsDE – for German AdWords customers
twitter.com/GoogleAgencyDE – for German ad agencies
twitter.com/AdSensePT – info for Portuguese-language publishers
twitter.com/AdWordsRussia – AdWords news & tips in Russian
twitter.com/DentroDeAdWords – Spanish updates from the Inside AdWords blog
twitter.com/AdWordsAPI – AdWords API tips

Developer & technical
twitter.com/GoogleResearch – from our research scientists
twitter.com/GoogleWMC – Google Webmaster Central
twitter.com/GoogleCode – latest updates for Google developer products
twitter.com/GoogleData – Data APIs provide a standard protocol for reading and writing web data
twitter.com/app_engine – web apps run on Google infrastructure
twitter.com/DataLiberation – our initiative for complete import/export of all data
twitter.com/GoogleMapsAPI – about using Google Maps embedded in websites
twitter.com/GoogleIO – Google’s largest annual developer event

Culture, People
twitter.com/googletalks – notes from our @Google speaker series
twitter.com/googlejobs – the voice of Google recruiters

Country or Region
twitter.com/googlearabia – news from the Google Arabia Blog
twitter.com/googledownunder – Google activities in Australia & New Zealand

twitter.com/googlebrasil – News & info for Brasil
twitter.com/googlecanada – News & notes from Google Canada*
twitter.com/GoogleDE – Google in Germany
twitter.com/GoogleKorea – News & notes in Korean
twitter.com/GoogleLatAm – Latin America (en Espanol)
twitter.com/GooglePolicyIt – Notes on Google policy issues in Italy

Posted in Communications, Social MediaComments (3)

Do Facebook and Twitter make us ‘bad’…?

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Do Facebook and Twitter make us ‘bad’…?


Do Facebook and Twitter really make us bad? There was an article in the Metro on April 13th that says it does… According to London’s free paper:

‘Fast-paced modern media, such as Facebook updates and news feeds on Twitter, do not give us time to reflect and could make us indifferent to human suffering, according to a group of researchers.’

I also recall an article, around the same time, that suggested the same, after a landlady saw video posting of her flat being trashed by the tenants – the implication being what? That without the advent of the internet and video streaming, the party would never have happened?!

I think it is worth reminding ourselves that people come in good, bad and indifferent flavours and that each and every medium can be used to demonstrate or enhance those traits.

Twestival would be a clear case in point and cmash and the case studies hosted here are testimony to the fact that social media can, and does create and contribute real and measurable social good, in ways and with reach that would have historically taken obscene ad budgets and mountains of precious trees for snail direct mail.

Covered in the Guardian, there is clear and compelling evidence that people can, will and want to use new social mediums for good, the success of Twestival being clear. The Guardian writes:

The team’s (behind Twestival) 10-page guide on how to hold a Twestival has inspired Twitterers in every continent, franchising the charity event.

Volunteers have found venues, offered design services, put together maps and found drink sponsors for all 175 official Twestivals. There is even a Live Aid-style Twestival radio project called Twestival FM which aims to raise $200,000 through donations for music downloads from artists including Bloc Party, Erol Alkan and Imogen Heap. See here for full aricle

Surely to suggest that a medium can ‘make us bad’ is nonsense? And yet, perhaps those of us in the world of social media should simply see the accusation as a compliment, being one that has been levied for years at television for years?…

Posted in Communications, Social MediaComments (1)

media140 is hosting London’s first microblogging event.

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media140 is hosting London’s first microblogging event.

On 20th May 2009, London’s South Bank will be the venue for an event bringing together journalists, bloggers and publishers to share and discuss the use and impact of micro-blogging and other social media tools on their industry. Featuring case studies & panel discussions with prominent journalists bloggers from the UK social media scene (Dare we say blogerati) the event will cover topics including:

  • what is news worthy, how do you recognise it?
  • breaking the news, how you can potentially undermine your own news room
  • will local community create local news through microblog technologies?
  • tools of the trade, what works and what doesn’t?
  • is microblogging and twitter really a game changer?

A limited number of early bird tickets available at £35 or visit http://media140.com/ for more info

Posted in MiscellaneousComments (0)

I don’t get Twitter… Help!

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I don’t get Twitter… Help!


I don’t get Twitter… am I the only one? I can’t be…surely?

I do not consider myself to be a digital Neanderthal. I am an accomplished marketer. I love the internet. and I am the proud owner of an iPhone, but, it seems to me that you can’t open a newspaper (yes, I do still read the paper version) these days without reading an article about Twitter or Facebook or some such other latest trend in so-called social media. Whilst I have signed-up to both of the latter, if I am brutally honest, I don’t actually get the point, much less see how it could help me in my marketing planning.

Am I too old? Too stupid? Both? The whole idea of being ‘followed’ on Twitter or any other which-way frankly, worries me. I don’t want to be followed, do I get to choose or can I be stalked by random people who for some strange reason think me interesting? And what can I realistically say in 140 characters that would be meaningful, be that personally or professionally? I was trying to just ignore the whole issue but have this week had my hand forced. I have been reliably informed by an eager intern that really, this social media stuff is, and I quote ‘the mutts nuts’ when it comes to charity marketing… and I don’t have the heart to tell him that his mentor has no idea at all where to start… HELP….

Posted in Communications, Marketing, MiscellaneousComments (0)

Twitter ye well…

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Twitter ye well…

green tea and keyboard

From my early days on Twitter (back in 2007) seeing the Frozen Pea Friday campaign, where folk changed their Twitter photo icon so it had some peas in it to help raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness in support of well regarded blogger Susan Reynolds, I kind of “got” what Twitter could do – don’t get me wrong, I didn’t know what Twitter was, or what I should do with it, but I saw what other people were doing and liked it.

Since then there have been numerous charity campaigns and fundraising events coordinated and launched in 140 characters: including the amazingly successful TweetsGiving set up by the indefatigable Epic Change – (who I understand have just completed TweetLuck) through to what some might call the “Charity meets Social Media tipping point” that was Twestival in february of this year, with over $250,000 US raised for Charity Water. Even the mighty Mashable have extended the #followfriday initiative to promote their top five charities on Twitter.

But this weekend – specifically at 20.30 across 400 cities around the world the power of the tweet will help dim the lights (I know bad metaphor) and hopefully make a significant impact on the folks that currently run the world to try just that bit harder…again.

There are of course many detractors who question what it’s all for and why bother – but like my early encounters with Twitter, as long as some people (and hopefully the right ones) “get it”, then that’s what counts.

By way of several tangents (that’s what I do), this is one of the reasons we’ve started this site – to celebrate the stuff that’s good when social media meets charity and good causes and to help raise the profile of these activities to a broader network – hopefully so more folk “get it”.

Posted in Fundraising, Social MediaComments (3)

10 Tips for NGOs on Twitter

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10 Tips for NGOs on Twitter


Last year you couldn’t get on the bus without overhearing someone talking about Facebook. This year it’s Twitter’s turn to be centre of attention and not without good reason. Twitter is all about connecting with people and like any conversation you have those that dominate it, others that join in and many that just listen and grunt approval occasionally. The problem is, for a lot of people, it’s a bit like turning up to a party and not knowing anyone; you feel self-conscious and don’t know what to say.

So I’ve put together this little introductory guide to help you get into the Twitter mindset so you can, at least, give it a spin and see if it works for you and your organisation.

Later on we’ll be following this up with more detailed and specific guides to monitoring, engaging, utilising the data from Twitter but those are all for another set of posts.

Twitter takes time, but Twitter gains value over time. Using Twitter is a bit like being in love: no-one can tell you how to use it, you just have to find out for yourself. It would be wrong for me to suggest rules and you don’t have to abide by these recommendations, they are presented purely as a good kick-off to get you into the flow. From then on, just have fun.

1: Monitor discussions and relevant issues

Once you’ve signed up, Start out by doing a search. There’s tons of services for searching Twitter users and messages and these are just a few.


2: Identify and follow the most influential and interesting Twitter users in your sector.

Follow them and, while you’re at it, look up your friends and colleagues. You’ll probably be surprised who is on there.

3: Add a bio, a link, upload a pic and customise your page

You can’t expect people to follow you unless you tell them who you are and what you are talking about. There’s just enough room for a short description in your Twitter Bio so use it; explain what you’re doing or, if you’re representing an organisation or campaign, use it to describe your activities. You can also put some more text onto the background image if you really need the space or want to brand it.

Add a link to somewhere useful too.

4: Create a voice for your organisation that is relevant.

Perhaps you want to inspire debate by asking pertinent, open-ended questions or maybe you want to inform about issues. It’s up to you which tone of voice you use but avoid going into rants or being rude. A rough rule of thumb is: If you wouldn’t say it to your other-half’s mum, don’t say it on Twitter.

5: Be patient.

There are techniques to build loads of followers quickly but you really want quality not quantity. Having 50,000 people who aren’t listening to you is not as valuable as 100 advocates who will evangelise your cause.

Post often with relevant and interesting messages, respond and engage with friends/folowers and you’ll grow a stronger following.

6: Engage with your audience

If you post interesting stuff, people will want to talk to you about it. Twitter is two-way communication so don’t be surprised when people want to talk to you or ask questions. If you have a large following you won’t be able to keep up, but that’s OK as long as you explain that occasionally, especially when you notice the 100 messages you haven’t responded to.

7: Look in the Mirror

It’s not a pleasant experience but, every once in a while, check your profile page. There you can see all the tweets you’ve posted and can get an idea of just how funny, interesting or informative you have been. You may be surprised but you can assess, adjust and improve accordingly.

8: Get an App

The easier you make it for yourself, the more likely you will post messages more often. There are tons of tools for Twitter which mean you don;t have to to the website everytime. TweetDeck is one of the most popular desktop tools and there are apps for iPhone and Blackberry amongst others.

9: Don’t just repeat the same information

As a charity / NGO, the chances are that your followers are actually interested in what you have to say. They really want to hear from you, especially if they’re a donor.

It’s quite common for people to post the latest blog article or retweet (forward) an interesting titbit and there’s nothing wrong with that but if that’s ALL you’re doing, then you’re not adding any value to your followers and they’ll stop paying attention.

10. Checkout HashTags

You’ll often see words like #PRfail #uksun #earthday #apprentice

They are known as hashTags and you include one in your tweet to make it easier for others to follow that topic (try searching for one of the above hashTags on Twitter). They’re also used for fun and games and all kinds of stuff so look around and you’ll soon pick it up.

And Finally, Don’t obsess

A few years ago it was MySpace, then Facebook, now it’s Twitter. Next week it might be something else so if it doesn’t work out for you, don’t worry. There’ll be something else along shortly.

Posted in Awareness, Social MediaComments (28)