Thursday, August 06, 2009

28/52: "Twitter Power" by Joel Comm

Book 28/52: "Twitter Power" by Joel Comm, 3/5 Stars

Remember my one and only New Year's Resolution? Yeah, to read 52 books in 52 weeks... well, I'm behind, but I'm still at it.

Though Twitter Power was published earlier this year, it's already beginning to show it's age. In the wide world of the web, connections are narrower and internet time is four times faster than real time, at least I think that's how the quote goes. That said, this book would be awesome for someone that wants to leverage the connection power of Twitter, is new to the medium and doesn't have much online marketing background.

There is a fact about our culture that is not discussed in the book. Americans love to accumulate and we love to see our name in lights (ranked). I realize that Twitter is an international channel, but that doesn't mean that other cultures aren't similar to ours. We collect frequent flyer miles, credit card points, baseball cards, coasters, dolls, bottle caps... so it only makes sense that we'd want to accumulate Twitter followers, too. Quality far and away outshines quantity. Unfortunately, most of the ranking engines on Twitter weight quantity for too much and too many profiles are influenced by accumulation. Be wary of those that only care about gaining followers and not engaging because they may just want to see their name in lights.

Comm takes the time to talk about strategy in reference to quality, but doesn't get into the fact that users can now ramp up thousands of followers in a mere matter of days using follow engines. I'd love to see him address whether it's possible to glean quality from this massive influx of quantity simply from the sheer numbers of it.

There really are four parts to the Twitter day and they can be broken up into six hour segments. This analysis would make an interesting addition to the scheduled updates portion of the book. Because of the international nature of Twitter, I can promote one blog post in the morning, afternoon, evening and then overnight. Since I only grab about 6-7 hours of sleep each night, I can do all of this without using scheduled tweets. Of course, I also have no girlfriend, no wife and no kids, so that makes it a heck of a lot easier, too. It might be rewarding to see how this technique impacts traffic logs. So far, I've not had any detriment from my avid readers, partly because they are avid and partly because I engage with them throughout the day between the broadcasts.

I've taken to being very stingy with my follow-backs. Because my primary purpose on Twitter is to engage, I don't return follow profiles that are obviously pornographic, link farms and those with a very high follower to update ratio. I block them. I also avoid the celebrity profiles that don't seem to engage, they just broadcast their doings. I make a few exceptions based on my own interests; when Lance was riding in the tour, for instance.

With time on Twitter, you'll start to see accounts that are identical to each other, I've simply made a decision to avoid following them and, in fact, I typically block them. One day each week, I perform maintenance on my followers through the use of Friend or Follow to see who I'm following that's no longer following me back. This can tell you how your tweets are impacting your followers.

Because it's such a new medium, it's not as reliable as we'd like. Just last night, Tweetdeck blew up my group filters and I had to spend an hour creating them from scratch. I also suggest using Tweetake to download a text file of your followers on a regular basis... it didn't help me with my Tweetdeck groups, but it's security against Twitter blowing itself up.

Speaking of Tweetdeck, there's no way that I can follow several thousand people with any degree of regularity, so I use it to filter search terms and specific types of groups into columns that are easier to track. Those that I don't follow become those that receive my updates, but may or may not engage. If they choose to engage, then I move them into an engagement filter so that I can to converse more regularly with them.

Twitter Power does a great job of covering the basics and even provides a step-by-step program for launching yourself into the Twitterverse. Much like anything else in the world, though, once you get into using the channel, you'll begin to hone your subjective approach based on the objective considerations that Comm has presented.

Follow me @zamees.

GOAL: 52 books in 52 weeks!

Book #27 = "The Cluetrain Manifesto" by LLSW, 3/5 Stars
Book #26 = "What Kind of World Do You Want?" by Jim Lord, 5/5 Stars
Book #25 = "The New Rules of Marketing & PR" by David Meerman Scott, 4/5 Stars
Book #24 = "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell, 3/5 Stars
Book #23 = "Lisey's Story" by Stephen King, 1/5 Stars
Book #22 = "My Favorite Place on Earth" by Jerry Camarillo Dunn, 4/5 Stars
Book #21 = "Wisdom 2.0" by Soren Gordhamer, 4/5 Stars
Book #20 = "Oath Of Gold" by Elizabeth Moon, 5/5 Stars
Book #19 = "The Age Of Engage" by Denise Shiffman, 3/5 Stars
Book #18 = "What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20" by Tina Seelig, 4/5 Stars
Book #17 = "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, 4/5 Stars
Book #16 = "Divided Allegiance" by Elizabeth Moon, 3/5 Stars
Book #15 = "The Curious Incident of the Dog..." by Mark Haddon, 2/5 Stars
Book #14 = "The Sheepfarmer's Daughter" by Elizabeth Moon, 3.5/5 Stars
Book #13 = "Love Is The Killer App" by Tim Sanders, 4/5 Stars
Book #12 = "Fight Club" by Chuck Palahniuk, 4.5/5 Stars
Book #11 = "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger, 5/5 Stars
Book #10 = "The Finder" by Colin Harrison, 3.5/5 Stars
Book #9 = "Veronika Decides To Die" by Paulo Coelho, 1/5 Stars
Book #8 = "By The River Piedra I Sat Down & Wept" by Paulo Coelho, 3/5 Stars
Book #7 = "Stiff" by Mary Roach, 2/5 Stars
Book #6 = "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, 1/5 Stars
Book #5 = "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, 3/5 Stars
Book #4 = "Eleven Minutes" by Paulo Coelho, 2/5 Stars
Book #3 = "The Good Guy" by Dean Koontz, 3/5 Stars
Book #2 = "My Ishmael" by Dan Quinn, 2/5 Stars
Book #1 = "The Zahir" by Paulo Coelho, 3.5/5 Stars


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