Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

Kristen Nagy, an 18-year-old from Sparta, N.J., sends and receives 500 text
messages a day. But she never uses Twitter, even though it publishes similar
snippets of conversations and observations.

“I just think it’s weird and I don’t feel like everyone needs to know what
I’m doing every second of my life,” she said.

Her reluctance to use Twitter, a feeling shared by others in her age group,
has not doomed the microblogging service. Just 11 percent of its users are
aged 12 to 17, according to comScore. Instead, Twitter’s unparalleled explosion in popularity
has been driven by a decidedly older group. That success has shattered a
widely held belief that young people lead the way to popularizing

“The traditional early-adopter model would say that teenagers or college
students are really important to adoption,” said Andrew Lipsman, director of
industry analysis at comScore. Teenagers, after all, drove the early growth
of the social networks Facebook, MySpace and Friendster.

Twitter, however, has proved that “a site can take off in a different
demographic than you expect and become very popular,” he said. “Twitter is
defying the traditional model.”

In fact, though teenagers fueled the early growth of social networks, today
they account for 14 percent of MySpace’s users and only 9 percent of
Facebook’s. As the Web grows up, so do its users, and for many analysts,
Twitter’s success represents a new model for Internet success. The notion
that children are essential to a new technology’s success has proved to be
largely a myth.

Adults have driven the growth of many perennially popular Web services.
YouTube attracted young adults and then senior citizens before
teenagers piled on. Blogger’s early user base was adults and LinkedIn has
built a successful social network with professionals as its target.

The same goes for gadgets. Though video games were originally marketed for
children, Nintendo Wiis quickly found their way into nursing homes. Kindle
caught on first with adults and many gadgets, like iPhones
and GPS devices, are largely adult-only.

Similarly, Twitter did not attract the young trendsetters at the outset. Its
growth has instead come from adults who might not have used other social
sites before Twitter, said Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst studying
social media. “Adults are just catching up to what teens have been doing for
years,” he said.

Many young people, who have used Facebook since they began using the
Internet and for whom text messaging is their primary method of
communication, say they simply do not have a need for Twitter.

Almost everyone under 35 uses social networks, but the growth of these
networks over the last year has come from older adults, according to a
report from Forrester Research issued Tuesday. Use of social
networking by people aged 35 to 54 grew 60 percent in the last year.

Another reason that teenagers do not use Twitter may be that their lives
tend to revolve around their friends. Though Twitter’s founders originally
conceived of the site as a way to stay in touch with acquaintances, it turns
out that it is better for broadcasting ideas or questions and answers to the
outside world or for marketing a product. It is also useful for marketing
the person doing the tweeting, a need few teenagers are attuned to.

“Many people use it for professional purposes – keeping connected with
industry contacts and following news,” said Evan Williams, Twitter’s
co-founder and chief executive. “Because it’s a one-to-many network and most
of the content is public, it works for this better than a social network
that’s optimized for friend communication.”

Wendy Grazier, a mother in Arkansas, said her two teenaged daughters thought
Twitter was “lame,” yet they asked her to follow teenage pop stars like
Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift on Twitter so she could report
back on what the celebrities wrote. Why won’t they deign to do it
themselves? “It seems more, like, professional, and not something that a
teenager would do,” said 16-year-old Miranda Grazier. “I think I might join
when I’m older.”

The public nature of Twitter is particularly sensitive for the under-18 set,
whether because they want to hide what they are doing from their parents or,
more often, because their parents restrict their interaction with strangers
on the Web.

Georgia Marentis, a 14-year-old in Great Falls, Va., uses Facebook instead
of Twitter because she can choose who sees her updates. “My parents wouldn’t
want me to have everything going on in my life displayed for the entire
world,” she said. (Of course, because of the public nature of social
networks and the ease of creating a fake identity on the Web, even sites
with more privacy settings have proved dangerous for young people in some

Many young people use the Web not to keep up with the issues of the day but
to form and express their identities, said Andrea Forte, who studied how
high school students use social media for her dissertation. (She will be an
assistant professor at Drexel University in the spring.)

“Your identity on Twitter is more your ability to take an interesting
conversational turn, throw an interesting bit of conversation out there.
Your identity isn’t so much identified by the music you listen to and the
quizzes you take,” as it is on Facebook, she said. She called Twitter “a
comparatively adult kind of interaction.”

For Twitter’s future, young people’s ambivalence could be a good thing.
Teenagers may be more comfortable using new technologies, but they are also
notoriously fickle. Although they drove the growth of Friendster and
MySpace, they then moved on from those sites to Facebook.

Perhaps Twitter’s experience will encourage Web start-ups to take a more
realistic view of who uses the Web and go after a broader audience, Ms.
Forte said. “Older populations are a smart thing to be thinking about, as
opposed to eternally going after the 15- through 19-year-olds,” she said.

You might be familiar with social media, but hopefully you’ll give me a pass
as some of this stuff bears repeating. However I think this A-Z is going to
be more useful if you’re somebody who is trying to convince your boss that
adopting a social media strategy is a good idea (it is). Good luck with

Note that I’ve avoided writing D is for Digg, F is for Facebook, T is for
Twitter. Instead I’ve looked at the more strategic areas that you’ll need to
consider before giving the likes of Facebook and Twitter a green light.

Let me know what I missed. Especially for ‘X’!

The A-Z of social media for brands

A stands for AUTHENTIC. Most people, apart from some notable PR execs, have
a finely-tuned bullshit radar. They can smell it coming and many are
allergic to it. You must be authentic. No funny business, no hidden clauses,
nothing untoward.

B stands for BENCHMARK. You need to take a snapshop of where you’re at,
before fully launching yourself into social media. Otherwise you’ll have no
clue about ROI. A benchmarking exercise can help you define a social media
strategy. Find the gaps, and figure out what you need to do. Use our social
media templates to help you.

C stands for CUSTOMER SERVICE. You’d better believe it. The problem most
wayward greedheads make with social media is that they think it’s all about
free marketing. It isn’t. It is about service. I’ll come onto Zappos later
but I love their mantra: “We are a customer service company that happens to
be in the business of selling shoes.” Smart. Zappos generates three quarters
of its $1bn annual sales from existing customers. Go figure, as they say…

D stands for DISTRIBUTE. Why? Because social media should not be ‘owned’ by
one person, but spread throughout an organisation. Your people are your best
asset, truly. They’re closer to your products, brands, customers and issues.
Encourage them to get involved, and share the workload.

E stands for ENGAGE. We know that an engaged customer is a far more valuable
one. They’ll tell you what you need to know. They’ll tend to buy from you
again, and more frequently. And they’ll be more likely to refer your brand
to their friends. Customer engagement and social media go hand in hand.

F stands for FEEDS. You can use feeds to power your social media presence,
as we do on Twitter (which sucks in headlines from our blog via
Twitterfeed). You should also use them to monitor your key brand terms

G stands for GOOGLEJUICE. Some people aren’t sure about the effects of
social media on search. They doubt social media can have any tangible effect
on search results. Take it from me: they’re wrong. Why? Because articles
featured prominently on social media sites are likely to be picked up
elsewhere (good for traffic, great for inbound links). Consider what happens
when one of your stories hits the Digg frontpage: sure, you pull in big
traffic from Digg itself, but you also tend to accumulate links from dozens
of other sites.

H stands for HONESTY. This follows on from A. No pulling the wool please.
The days of old school PR spin are coming to a close, and if you’re active
on these networks then it’s best to hold up your hands and admit errors or
lapse of judgement, as and when they arise. It happens. We’re HUMAN, after

I stands for INTERACT. Well what else was it going to be? If you try firing
out one-way messages on the social media sites then you’ll soon know about
it. You must get involved with your audience, your community, your user
base, your fans. Make sure they know they’re being listened to, and they’ll
participate more often. The flipside is that if you IGNORE them they will
pay little interest / take it personally / move on.

J stands for JOIN. There’s no point standing on the sidelines, and hey, you
need those social media profiles, even if you’re not immediately planning on
using them. Take the lead. Sign up. And make sure you do plenty of reading
and research before you jump in. Line up your ducks, then start shooting.
There are tools than can help you check whether your brand names are
available on the social sites.

K stands for KILLER CONTENT. If there’s one thing that works, it is quality
content. Cream rises to the top. Five years ago it was all about Google, but
now it’s about recommendations, referrals and retweets (all of which can
underpin your Google rankings). Make the most of it. Content remains king.

L stands for LISTEN. As mentioned in F you need some feeds set up to track
what’s being said about your brands online. There are various free tools to
let you monitor your reputation, the needs of your customers, and what’s
being said about your competitors. You also need to listen to people at an
individual level, and to respond to them. Social sites help people to cosy
up to your brand, and if you’re actively encouraging that (by being there)
then it’s best not to kick them out of bed when they want some attention.

M stands for MEASURE. Because how else are you going to know if this whole
social media malarkey works. I wrote a post called ’10 ways to measure
social media success’, which will help you see the bigger picture. Measuring
the detail is one thing, but it is worth considering how a social media
strategy can improve your overall business at a macro level.

N stands for NETWORK. Let’s step back for a moment and remember that sites
like Twitter and Digg are essentially networking sites. People are
connected. This means that you can wade into the fray and seek out followers
by participating in a wider conversation. Or by being retweeted. Or by
actively following interesting people who say interesting things. It also
means that if you get it wrong, the network effect can massively multiply
your embarrassment, regardless of whether or not you’re active on these
sites. Keep this in mind before you do a Ryanair.

O stands for ORGANISE. This is about defining a strategy, and then figuring
out who is going to execute it. And if you look again at D and then at R
you’ll see that I don’t really believe in a single social media stakeholder.
It’s a team game. At Econsultancy we encourage people to get involved if
they want to. There is no social media dictator at this end.

P stands for POLICY. It could have been PARTICIPATION but that’s kind of
covered under the letter E and I. So look, if you’re going to do this in a
smart way then it’s best to set a few guidelines. Not rules, as such, but
helpful pointers. And look at Z if you want to see the best, most concise
social media / Twitter policy you’ll ever need to see.

Q stands for QUESTIONS. You can expect a bunch of them, and the bigger the
brand the more questions people are going to throw at you. If they want to
choose Twitter as a makeshift customer service channel then doesn’t that
tell you something? Twitter might not be the best way of responding, but
make sure you are LISTENING and react quickly. Questions need answers!

R stands for RETENTION. Here’s a tip for you: forget about customer
acquisition, and start concentrating on your existing customers. They’re
cheaper to keep hold of, and if you get it right they’ll do your marketing
for you (see E). Seriously, FORGET ACQUISITION. Times are changing, and the
smarter operators will be focused on keeping customers happy. And that
brings us neatly onto.

S stands for SATISFACTION. Mick Jagger once sang about this and was
obviously referring to customer satisfaction. It’s so important. If you
don’t already measure customer satisfaction then you’d better start soon,
because it’s one of the most important metrics and you should be on a
constant quest to improve it. Social media can really help you keep on top
of things, and can help you connect. I refer once again to the letter C, and
the value of happy customers to your business.

T stands for TRAFFIC. Social media sites now account for a large chunk of
our traffic. The Telegraph pulls in 75,000 unique users from these sites
every day. If traffic is your thing, then a solid social media strategy will
help you attract in the big numbers. T could also stand for TWITTER, since
Twitter is obviously a big deal these days. If you’re new to Twitter start
here, and if you’re doing it on behalf of a brand / company then aim here.

U stands for USER PROFILE. The last time I looked the world’s biggest FMCG
brand was Coca Cola. And you’d imagine that such a heavyweight would have
claimed user profiles on various social media sites for its key brands.
Well, you’d be wrong. Make sure somebody claims these for your brand. Don’t
say I didn’t warn you.

V stands for VIP. By getting nearer to your customers / prospects / audience
you’re going to make them feel special. Most organisations are still light
years away from treating customers as individual people, but social media –
and a distributed social media / customer service team – can help you to do
this. Remember also to add VALUE, whether that’s sharing tips / insight as
we try to do, or providing a 15% discount voucher, as a retailer might do.

W stands for WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Because look, if you don’t, then what on
earth do you expect to get from all of this? I believe that pretty much
every company / brand should have a blog, with frequent updates (about their
products, services, company, market, etc). These articles can provide you
with lots of excellent social media fodder. Spread the word.

X stands for X RATED. To be honest X is a difficult one. But then I
remembered that not everybody likes to read the word ‘fuckface’ on Twitter,
much less your straight-up 68-year old CEO with churchgoing tendencies. I
swear like a trooper but tend to keep the language on these sites to a
minimum, especially when representing the brand. Ok, maybe you can suggest
something better for the letter X.

Y stands for YOU. The minute you start freaking out about brand language and
tone of voice and what the PR department might think is the minute you fail
at social media. Sure, that stuff IS important, but the main thing to
remember about social media is that it is a highly personal medium. As such
you need to communicate, as much as possible, as a PERSON rather than as a
BRAND. People form relationships with other people, as opposed to brands,
which they have opinions of, and an affinity with (or otherwise). There’s a
real distinction.

Z stands for ZAPPOS. The online shoe retailer is a Twitter posterboy, no two
ways about it. It encourages staff to get involved with Twitter (it also
uses Facebook and YouTube) and has the best Twitter policy I have yet seen:
“Be real and use your best judgement.

1. Collectors: You must prominently display the signup for your noozles if
you want people to sign up. This should be automated using email service
providers like Aweber, Feedblitz, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.

2. Content: To attract subscribers you must offer valuable content (not just
promote your own products).

3. Curate: You don’t have to write all your email content yourself.
Instead you can find and select the best stuff in your field from around the
web for sharing. (This also draws attention to your list from bigger
players and potential promotional partners (two fer!).

4. Coupons & Contests: To convince people to sign up for your email list,
bribery is definitely an option. Incentives like discounts, ebooks, and
access to exclusive information can help a lot.

5. Customer Case Studies: Talking about your customers both demonstrates
how to actually use your products/services successfully, plus it makes your
best customers feel important. (another two-fer!)

6. Concise: Everybody is in a hurry these days. Keep your content short to
increase its appeal.

7. Controversy to Attract Comments: Getting people talking – whether its by
forwarding your emails, Tweeting, “liking” it on Facebook, or commenting on
your blog – is good publicity.

When people are looking for information about almost any topic, they turn to
Wikipedia. This encyclopedia project is written collaboratively by
volunteers around the globe. Any visitor or user can edit a Wiki. MediaWiki
is a free Wiki software package. It is written in PHP and originally was for
use on Wikipedia. The scope of Wikis has broadened to offer a variety of
options for webpreneurs.

Today MediaWiki is used by other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, the
non-profit company that funds and manages them. Many people who work on the
Wikimedia projects also work on the MediaWiki software. The result is the
best possible software for wiki sites so you can build a robust, interactive
website. Users can update content, participate in development and become an
ongoing participant in your website.

A MediaWiki website can handle millions of hits every day. It is very
powerful software with great scalability. The wiki implementation has many
features. MediaWiki uses PHP to process and display the information in its

A major benefit of building a Wiki with MediaWiki is the pages can be easily
edited without any special html or coding knowledge. When a user edits a
page, MediaWiki will write it to the database but doesn’t delete the former
version. Reverts are easy if a page is spammed so your content is always
valuable and fresh. Users don’t need advanced technical savvy to make
changes, revisions or additions to Wiki pages.

Images and multimedia files are easily stored in the MediaWiki file system.
If your Wiki has a lot of users, caching is supported. Pages can be modified
with no programming skills. MediaWiki makes it easy to create updated pages
for your website and allow others to update them as changes and new
information becomes available. The result is the most accurate, updated info

MediaWiki offers a variety of useful options for users. They are able to
supply and edit the summary when they are editing a particular Wiki page.
This snippet of text is typically one line and summarizes the changes made.
While it is not inserted in the article itself, it is stored with the page
revision. Users can then explain what was done and why. With every version
of the page stored, the most accurate article can be developed very. Each
revision is viewable and accountable.

Building your own Wiki is a streamlined process even if your computer
knowledge is very basic. MediaWiki software offers prompts to make your Wiki
exactly what you want it to be. Include visuals, graphics and meaningful
content to attract targeted traffic to your online offerings. With editing
that shows you exactly what you get, you know what it will look like right
away to make necessary changes immediately. Add links to boost your targeted
traffic even more. Get into the Wiki wave is a breeze with MediaWiki.

Are you having a hard time taking your company to the next level? Are you currently taking advantage of the powerful referral business? I can’t speak for most companies in the credit card processing arena, but puts 100% effort in obtaining as many referrals from current customers as possible. You can too and here are several ways of doing it. I will skip the reasons as to why you should go after referrals, but simply put, they are the best leads any business could ask for. 1. Be cautious with the timing of your referral request. You want your customers to experience your service before you ask for referrals. 2. Always remember, not all clients are referral candidates, only about 20% generally are. 3. Offer incentives for your customers to refer your products or services. Such as, we offer our clients $50 for anyone they refer that signs up and gets approved. 4. always sends out hand written thank you cards after a customer signs up. This may be a great time to ask for a referral. Also, be sure to ask for referrals whenever your customer needs assistance in the future and you have helped them with their problem. People love to spread the word about a company after they have fixed their problem for them.

There are a number of handy tools to help you target and monitor relevant online conversations. Here are several:

You may set up Pipes to create one RSS feed that aggregates results from Flickr, Digg, YouTube, Technorati and other social media sites. Yahoo Pipes is a widely used resource to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.

Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services. The results are aggregated from the top social media
sources, such as Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Delicious, Twitter and more. Like the other services, you can subscribe to your results by RSS or email.

BlogPulse is a specialized search engine that helps you patrol the blogosphere with four tools – (1) Trend Search, (2) Featured Trends, (3) Conversation Tracker and (4) BlogPulse Profiles. Use them to track the conversation about you or your competitors.

Trendpedia is a buzz-monitoring service that allows you to search the world of blogs by keyword, brand or topic to see whose blogging about the target topic and what they’re saying. Moreover, you may compare one keyword vs. two
more related keywords or brands.
Keotag offers a simple search tool for single-word tags or combinations of them. It allows searching for tags across several search engines and social media sites, including Google, Technorati,, Twitter, BlogPulse,
Newsvine, Digg, YouTube and others.

Summarize is a search tool designed for Twitter that allows you to search by keyword to find out who’s tweeting on any topic and what they are saying.

* HOW TO: Disable Facebook’s “Instant Personalization” [PRIVACY]
New menus on the Facebook home page this week took users by surprise, and
left many concerned about the privacy implications of being suddenly more
“connected” to their favorite sites and interests. If you’re looking for
ways to opt out of these new features, this guide will show you how.

* HOW TO: Spring Clean Your Twitter Account
An untended Twitter feed can quickly become overgrown with useless tweets
and dead weight users. These great tools will help you streamline your
Twitter account in no time.

* How Freelancers are Using Social Media for Real Results
Social media can be a boon for those who make their living gig-to-gig. Sheer
networking is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to landing work via
the social web. We spoke to freelancers in a variety of fields to find out
how they make it happen.

* 9 Essential Social News and Bookmarking Sites for Designers
The design community is always hungry for content, inspiration, and
tutorials. These nine networks are a great place to discover and share
creative resources.

* 4 Ways One Non-Profit Uses Location to Increase Engagement
The National Wildlife Federation has been getting creative with their social
media awareness campaigns, particularly when it comes to location-based
technologies. This post discusses some of their innovations.

* Tim Ferriss: 7 Great Principles for Dealing with Haters
For all the personal connections and open sharing done on social networks,
you’ll always find a fair share of scathing negativity. Tim Ferriss, author
of The Four Hour Work Week, gave a talk at The Next Web ’10 event in
Amsterdam, and had these seven points to share on the subject.

* Gowalla CEO Talks About the Future of Social Media [INTERVIEW]
We sat down with Josh Williams to discuss the origins of his location-based
network, and what current trends in the space mean for the future.

* 5 Free Services for Pre-Scheduling Your Twitter Updates
Whether for marketing purposes, event promotion, or just keeping your
account fresh while you’re on vacation, a tweet scheduler can be a handy
tool. Check out these five great ones, all of them free.

* How Twitter’s New Media Blog Aims To Teach By Example
Twitter’s new blog highlights news organizations with smart Twitter
integration in the hope of becoming a resource for the media. We spoke with
Twitter about their strategies and goals.

* Top 10 LEGO Movie Tributes on YouTube
Those stop-motion goodies are back, this time reenacting our favorite flicks
in all their colorful plastic glory.

* Top 10 YouTube Cover Songs
For better or worse, YouTube has become the ultimate repository of musical
tributes. From guys in their bedrooms, to a capella cleverness, to
guitar-wielding toddlers, this hand-picked list highlights some of the best

* 5 Ways to Support World Malaria Day Online
The fight to end malaria in the developing world has become a rallying cause
on the social web. Check out these five easy ways you can make a difference

* How Non-Profits are Using Social Media for Real Results
Social media has become an essential tool for non-profits in their efforts
to spread awareness and raise funds. Check out some real-world examples of
how some organizations have put the social web to good use.

* Why Content Curation Is Here to Stay
At times, content creators and content curators have been at odds. But the
sheer volume of “stuff” and noise on the web has made curation essential.
This post discusses the status of the curator on today’s social web.

* Social Enterprise: 5 Tips for Getting Execs on Board
There’s no longer much question about whether corporations need to be
engaged in social media, but convincing the head honchos of the value can be
challenging. We spoke to some of the top names in social strategy and got
some great tips on bringing the boardroom up to speed.

* How Does Twitter’s New Social Good Initiative Stack Up?
The recent launch of Twitter’s Hope140 campaign has already done some good
for important causes, but how effective is it when compared to other social
awareness and fundraising campaigns? This post discusses the pros and cons
of tweet-based charity.

* 5 Ways Facebook’s Open Graph Will Impact E-commerce
Facebook’s new Open Graph technology could dramatically change how we
interact with the web, especially when it comes to online shopping. These
five predictions lay out what to expect from your favorite e-commerce sites
in the near future.

* Top 10Wedding Dance Videos on YouTube
If you think you’ve seen some crazy nuptials, check out some of these dance
moves, immortalized forever in the hallowed halls of YouTube.

* HOW TO: Find Long Lost Friends on Facebook
400 million people are using Facebook. If you’re looking for someone,
chances are you can find them there. Here’s how to do it.

* HOW TO: Make the Most of Your Twitter Profile Page
There’s a lot more to Twitter than just sharing your favorite foods in 140
characters. If you’re looking to make an impression with your profile page,
check out these tips.

* 5 Ways Government Works Better With Social Media
Social media has the potential to make government more transparent and
accessible. Here are five examples of how the social web can improve public

* 8 Tips for a Successful Social Media Cause Campaign
Social networks can provide unprecedented reach to non-profits and their
partner companies, but there are some strategies to note before diving into
the next campaign. Check out these eight tips.

* 4 Tips for Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom
Education has long faced resistance to new technologies, but social media
can be a great resource in the classroom. Here are some tips on bringing it
to the fore.

* Top 5 Social Media Tips for C-Suite Execs
While your web-savvy employees may be hip to social media, getting upper
management on board can be challenging. We gathered some expert advice, and
lay out the value proposition in this post.

* Why the Fashion Industry Loves Foursquare
Lifestyle brand Diesel recently launched a fairly tacit Foursquare campaign
that demonstrates the great marketing potential for location-based services.
This post details where they succeeded, and where they fell short.

* Why Hasn’t Location Reached the Mainstream Yet?
Despite all the buzz about location-based services, most people don’t use
them. Here are some of the reasons why, and a few predictions about the
future of the trend.

* HOW TO: Turn Slacktivists into Activists with Social Media
Non-profit Twitter and texting campaigns may be tapping thousands of new
cause contributors, but is a $10 SMS really where their engagement ends?
This post speaks to how non-profits can deepen that connection through
social media.

* Social Media Parenting: Raising the Digital Generation
Who are your kids friending on Facebook, and how much online time is too
much? We asked the experts to weigh in on some concrete strategies for
raising the first fully digital generation.

* HOW TO: Get Notified When Someone Hacks Your Facebook
Did you know that Facebook can alert you when someone logs into your account
from an unknown computer? Follow these simple profile steps to set up this
important security feature.

* In Defense of Facebook
With all the vitriol surrounding Facebook’s latest privacy gaffs, this post
takes a moment to look at the people most responsible for our online privacy
– ourselves.

* How Facebook Makes Edgy Concepts Mainstream
Two years ago, the thought of sharing your location or credit card purchase
history online would have seemed ridiculous. Today, it grows ever more
mainstream thanks to major social networks like Facebook that make these
early-adopter trends more comfortable for the average user.

* Why Twitter Needs to Do More to Save Trending Topics
Twitter recently amended its trending topics algorithm in the hopes of
producing more relevant and newsworthy results. But is this an interference
in the natural development of popular topics? And is Twitter doing enough to
remain a relevant source of real-time news? This post takes a hard look.

* How the U.S. Engages the World with Social Media
You might be surprised to learn that the U.S. Department of State and many
of its embassies around the world are having great success shaping America’s
image abroad through social media. We spoke with some of the diplomats and
officials who are making a difference through Twitter and Facebook.

* 21 Rules for Social Media Engagement
If you’re creating a social media policy for your business, or even your
personal brand, these 21 points are a surefire way to stay on track and on
message in an online world full of noise.

* 5 Innovative Websites That Could Reshape the News
While traditional journalism remains in upheaval, a handful of startups have
provided a glimpse at what the future of news gathering might look like on
the social web. Whether these models are sustainable remains to be seen.
Check out this post for look at some of these innovators.

* 5 Essential Facebook Privacy Tips
If you’re not cognizant of your Facebook privacy settings, you may be
broadcasting things to the world (or even certain groups of friends or
family) that you may not have intended. Note these important settings to
ensure you stay in control of your social data.

* How Social Media is Changing Government Agencies
Agencies around the world are finding that social media is more than a
broadcast medium. Active engagement can serve the public in important ways.
Here are some examples.

* EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at the “Married on MySpace” Wedding [VIDEO]
We got an exclusive chance to go behind the scenes at the actual wedding of
winning couple Dehlia and Graeham Ford-Feliz.

* TwitPic Founder Talks About the Future of Twitter Photo Sharing [VIDEO]
TwitPic has become one of the most popular ways to share photos on Twitter.
With a recent facelift and a lot of attention from prospective buyers, the
company has some big plans in the works. We spoke to the founder, Noah
Everett, to get his take on TwitPic’s rapid growth and future.

About GordonGus
"Whether selling products, services or information I have helped others succeed online by clarifying goals, simplifying technologies, motivating players and executing tasks. My energy and perseverance has helped others reach their goals. Of course, some wanted to shoot me in the process."
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