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I Tweet for Myself. Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Too.

10 Jul

twitter-maskYesterday, I tweeted that I’d rather someone not have a Twitter handle than have someone else tweet generic stuff for them.

Suffice it to say, the reaction was interesting. I got responses that ranged from “a good [social media] specialist can tweet like the person without making it seem generic,” to, more amusingly, “Wouldn’t that put a lot of social media specialists out of a job?”

I replied that yes, good social media specialists may be able to do a decent job of ghost tweeting. But more often than not, they just tweet headlines and links, and maybe an occasional “thanks,” and that makes the real person look bad, like he/she doesn’t care. Ideally, people would just tweet for themselves. After all, it’s really not that hard.

And I meant that. People should be tweeting for themselves. This “ghost tweeting” stuff is for the birds. (Pun intended.) Continue reading

5 More People from Twitter Who I’d Like to Meet Offline

15 Mar

twitter-logo-circleI love Twitter the most when it’s people talking to people, not marketers promoting their products and services, or people autosharing their Foursquare check-ins or Instagram photos, or readers generically sharing an article headline.

Just good ole person-to-person conversation.

When people on Twitter let you in, and show you that they’re about more than their job, and they actually show a personality, then you want to learn more about them and everything they want to share.

Even better, you begin to feel like you actually know these people, even if you don’t.

Because a simple “Follow Friday” tweet wouldn’t suffice, last week I shared a list of five people I follow on Twitter who I’ve never been in the same room with but I feel like I kinda sorta know, and who I would love to meet offline.

Here’s another five, in no particular order:

Continue reading

5 People from Twitter I’d Like to Meet Offline

8 Mar

twitter_logoIf you use Twitter the right way — that is, you use it to engage with other people, not just to share headlines or Foursquare check-ins — then you provide a window into who you are.

That’s why, if you’re active on this social network, you often find you think you know people really well when you’ve never actually met them in real life.

I have that “problem” all the time: I forget that I don’t really know some of the people I interact with on an almost-daily basis.

But that’s a good thing, I think (thus the quotation marks around “problem”). I wish more people used Twitter in a way that made it seem equally personal.

I wanted to find a way to recognize some of the people I enjoy following, but I didn’t think a simple Follow Friday tweet would do it. So I thought I’d start a regular feature here on my blog, a list of a few people on Twitter who I feel I kinda already know and would love to meet offline.

You won’t find celebrities or politicians or other big names here, even though, sure, I’d love to meet Cory Booker, Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, the writers of Modern Family, and others like them. I’m keeping this list limited just to regular people, ones with whom I’ve never been in the same room.

Here are the first five, in no particular order: Continue reading

Are You Ready to Check in to a Life Less Social?

6 Mar

Foursquare-stickerHow times have changed.

It wasn’t so long ago that I used to check in on Foursquare everywhere I went, to an almost obsessive-compulsive degree.

The supermarket, the gas station, the post office, my home, every store I shopped at in the mall, T stops, my parents’ apartment, my friends’ houses … if it was on Foursquare, I’d check in there right away. And if it wasn’t, then I’d create a place or find somewhere close by to check in to.

I was a stalker’s dream.

But now, I hardly check in at all. Only when there’s a mayorship I need to maintain, or it’s a particularly interesting place (like a movie or a good restaurant or a special event).

Otherwise, checking in to the same places all the time — whether it’s an office, gym, coffee shop, or whatever — isn’t all that exciting anymore. And more important, no one really needs to know (or, if I’m being honest, cares) where I am at all times. Continue reading

Fool Me Once, LinkedIn … Shame on You

13 Feb

LinkedIn emailLike so many other people, I recently received an email from LinkedIn telling me that my profile was one of the most-viewed ones of 2012.

Specifically, that I was in the top 5% of all profiles.

That’s awesome, especially given that there are now more than 200 million people on the social network.

Woo hoo! I’m so proud.

And I’m definitely cooler than all those people who’ve been bragging that they’re in the top 10%. Ha ha!

The email from LinkedIn gave me a nice ego boost. And clearly, I’m not alone: A ton of people have been bragging on Facebook and Twitter that they were also in the top 5% … or the top 1% or the top 2%. Continue reading

22 Important Lessons I’ve Learned about Twitter

22 Jan

twitter_homepage

Twitter is so much more than just a social network.

It’s a news service, a networking party, an instant messaging platform, a marketing channel, a photo album, a customer service tool, a personal journal, and a performance venue, all in one.

That’s just one thing I’ve learned from my three-plus years of being a tweeter.

I’ve also learned that the more you give to Twitter, the more you can gain from it: relationships, job opportunities, laughs, support, discounts and deals, insight, information, and connections. Lots and lots of connections.

If you use Twitter well, and you keep at it, people will find you and want to connect. It’s worked for me, and last week, I made my 2,000th connection — or rather, she connected with me. So for that, let me recognize and say thank you to Heshie Segal, who was follower number 2,000. Hooray!

Why do 2,000 people follow me? I’m just some random guy who tweets a lot. If you have that same question, then maybe you can understand why I consider that many followers to be a bit of an accomplishment.

So on the occasion of having reached this milestone, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve learned from my years of tweeting. Here are 22 easily tweetable lessons … things that may help you reach a similar milestone:

Continue reading

Something’s (Cat)Fishy on MTV

7 Jan

catfish-tv-show-logoWhere do all these gullible people come from?

On MTV’s (relatively) new show Catfish, week after week, young people learn that the person they’ve been chatting with on Facebook (or some other site) isn’t who they think he/she is.

If the name and premise sound familiar, it’s because the show is based on the movie Catfish, in which New York photographer Nev (pronounced “nieve”) Schulman meets and falls in love with a girl on Facebook, then learns she’s someone completely different when he and his two friends travel to Michigan to meet her. It’s a true story. (Mostly, anyway — depending on how cynical you are.)

In the hour-long TV show (which airs Monday nights at 11 p.m., and multiple times throughout the week), Nev and his buddy, Max (and a film crew from MTV), travel around the country interviewing people who have met and fallen for someone online. (Like, seriously fallen.) These people chat all the time, speak on the phone, and develop a bond. There’s just one problem: Every time the subject of meeting offline comes up, or even of chatting via Skype, the faker comes up with an excuse, like that he/she has to go out of town.

catfish-the-show-mtvThe stories always sound suspicious and too good to be true — especially to television viewers who (should) know better — which is partly why it only takes a simple web search and a phone call or two before Nev and Max have evidence that the online paramour is likely a fake. Then they take the episode’s subject to meet the person offline, where they all learn that the person is, indeed, not who he/she said he/she was. Continue reading

Could You Ever Quit Social Media Cold Turkey?

21 Aug

A friend of mine disappeared last week.

One minute he was there, and the next, I couldn’t find him.

Perhaps I should clarify: He disappeared from Facebook last week. He had posted something funny, I commented on it, and when I went to look at the post an hour or two later, it was gone — as was his entire profile.

I checked Twitter, and he wasn’t there either.

These days, that’s tantamount to someone disappearing off the face of the earth. Continue reading

Is Your Brand in on the Joke? Or Is the Joke on You?

13 Aug

One of the best ways to show your brand’s social media accounts are managed by an actual person is to show a sense of humor.

That doesn’t mean posting a lot of jokes.

It means lightening up and having a laugh — sometimes at your own expense. Continue reading

5 Reasons Why I Still Use Foursquare

6 Aug

When it first hit the scene in 2009, Foursquare was the next big thing in social media.

Instead of telling people you did something or went somewhere, now you could say where you were at that very moment, and if your friends were close by, they could meet you there. If you went to a place often enough, you could be its Mayor, or you could earn other badges or perks.

It was Location: The Game, and it was meant to be fun for users and beneficial for businesses too, because the more people used Foursquare and shared their location, the more they’d promote businesses, and that word of mouth would drive more customers.

But location-based gaming apps in general never really and truly caught on like they were supposed to. There was a major competitor — Gowalla — but it was purchased by Facebook in December 2011 and promptly killed. Facebook itself tried to get into the game with Places, but then had second thoughts and folded the ability to check-in and tag yourself at a place into the rest of the site. And SCVNGR barely even made it out of the gate (it has since moved into mobile payments with its LevelUp service).

There have even been other kinds of check-in apps — like GetGlue, which lets you check in to TV shows, movies, and music — but they haven’t had much traction either.

That’s basically left Foursquare as the only location-based check-in game in town. And yet, despite the perceived limited appeal of such apps, and lots of people who don’t feel safe revealing their whereabouts, three years later Foursquare still claims more than 20 million users, who have checked in more than 2 billion times (and counting).

That’s not too shabby.

So who are these people who still use Foursquare and check in all over the place? Well, I’m one of them — and have been for more than two years, as the app recently reminded me.

Friends often make fun of me for checking in so often, and ask me why I do. So I thought I’d answer them with this blog post, and share those reasons with you too.

Here are the 5 reasons I’m still using Foursquare: Continue reading

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