Alexandra Samuel's blog

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How Twitter groups can make your twittering more a meaningful, conversational and connected

Twitter thoughtfully

Friend and SoSi advisor Leda Dederich asked for my thoughts on Virginia Heffernan's New York Times Magazine article last week, Let them eat Tweets. Heffernan riffs on Bruce Sterling's recent SXSW keynote, and writes:

I have only lately begun to wonder whether I’d use Twitter if I were fully at liberty to do what I liked. In other words, I’m not sure I’d use Twitter if I were rich. Swampy, boggy, inescapable connectivity: it seems my middle-class existence has stuck me here.

Heffernan is just about my favourite writer on tech culture, and while I can't concur with her subjective experience -- my fantasies of wealth involve having more time to spend online, not less -- her article prompted me to think about how much of my Twitter use is compulsive, rather than fulfilling.

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When bad things happen to good networks

Vendetta of the week: Twitter ponzi schemes for building followers

Vendetta of the week

Tonight i stumbled across a website that promises to get you more than 20,000 followers. How? The same way that letter you got in grade 2 promised to make you $500 dollars.

What's wrong with this picture?

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Three weeks to Twitter credibility, part 3

Twitter quickstart: 10 ways to make time to Twitter


Whether you're an ambivalent Twitter newbie or a chronic tweeter in the throes of a growing addiction, your tweeting is going to take time that you're currently using for something else. Even if you're following our guide to effective tweeting in 5 minutes a week, those five minutes have to come from somewhere. So here are my suggestions for activities you can pare back on -- or give up entirely -- to make room for tweeting.

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Three weeks to Twitter credibility, part 2

Twitter quickstart: Effective twittering in 5 minutes a week


If you're new to Twitter, you want to quickly eliminate the five sure signs you're a Twitter newbie:

  1. An empty user account with no tweets (see part 1 of our quickstart guide for 21 tweets that can help you avoid that fate!)
  2. Following fewer than 20 people (Oprah, please take note!)
  3. Having fewer than 30 people following you (Oprah, your 472,000 followers have got you covered on that one.)
  4. Updating less than twice a week
  5. Letting your feed peter out after an initial flurry of posts

Here are some quick ways you can follow people, attract followers, and keep your feed regularly updated -- all in less than five minutes a week. You read that right: five minutes!

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Three weeks to Twitter credibility, part 1

Twitter quickstart: Your first 21 tweets

N00b on Twitter

Gillian Shaw pointed out a "Twitter squatter" to me last night -- Mel Lehan, the NDP candidate in our riding, who'd nabbed his name on Twitter but not actually posted anything. It's smarter than not squatting -- the last thing you'd want as a candidate is to see someone else posting in your name! -- but there is a better way.

If you need to stake a claim to your Twitter identity, but you don't know what to tweet about, here's an easy way to get your Tweeting underway. You don't need to look like the world's most longstanding Twitterer (after all, Oprah just started tweeting last week!), but an empty Twitter feed is just, well, a little forlorn.

So I've taken the liberty of writing your first 21 tweets for you. That's enough for you to post something once a day for the next three which time you should have the hang of Twitter and know what kinds of things you want to say. If not, at least you'll look like you gave it a decent try.

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Plugging into Social Signal

Social media strategy and tech tips, now available through Firefox search


Looking for social media advice, examples or tech tips? The resources in Dear SoSi, on the Social Signal blog and on the rest of our site are now as close as your Firefox search bar.

This morning I whipped up a Social Signal search engine that you can install in your Firefox browser; now, whenever you need a little social media help, you can just type your search terms into your search bar and instantly find helpful resources.

Install the Social Signal Firefox search tool now (You'll need to click on "Social Signal" to install.)

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3 great options for Twitter and delicious integration


With the increasing attention I've been giving our Social Signal Twitter account, I've found myself in a bit of dilemma. Tweeting web links is one of the simplest and most effective ways to offer regular, useful info of value to your followers. But the links that would be most useful to SoSi followers are the very links I need to keep track of myself -- for which I rely on delicious.

In principle, there are lots of ways I could integrate the two services. But I have several criteria:

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Innovation keynote mashup

Using social media to drive business innovation: insights from Guy Kawasaki and Target's Michael Axelin

Last week I heard Guy Kawasaki speak at the JFSA Innovators' lunch. (Thanks to Raquel Hirsch of WiderFunnel for the kind invitation.) Hearing Guy on the Art of Innovation reminded me of a blog post I wrote last year after attending a talk by Michael Axelin, V.P.

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I will follow

3 steps to jumpstart your corporate Twitter account by moving friends and followers from other accounts

Twitter _ Home.png

Updated: the third step isn't working at the moment, because that service has closed its doors for a while. We'll let you know if that changes.

If you've launched a Twitter account for a company or project, you've faced the same problem we've got here at Social Signal: how do I translate all the follows and followers on my individual account into a set of follows and followers on our Social Signal account?

There's no way to move my followers to @socialsignal, except by renaming my @awsamuel account, and then what would I use to twitter personally? What I can do is get Social Signal to follow the same people I'm following personally; that will give me an easy way to get into a conversation with my new @socialsignal hat on, and encourage them to follow our @socialsignal account too.

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How much social media can $200 buy?

14 tips for Twitter contests that build followers and brand visibility

Twitscoop on Threadless

Today, we're launching Social Signal's first Twitter contest, inspired by another great contest that ran today on Twitter.

Twitscoop is a service that tracks the hottest topics on Twitter. This morning, one topic jumped out as the super-hot discussion of the morning: 200k.  It turns out that hipster T-shirt company threadless had made the following offer:

@threadless In celebration of passing 200k followers, we're giving away $200 in GC today! RT this to be eligible to win 1 of 8 $25 GCs

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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