According to my profile on Twitter, I signed up 29 days ago, during which time I made 188 tweets. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I had my doubts about Twitter, but decided to try it based on others I know saying that it proved its value after a few weeks.
Twitter is described as micro-blogging, but I feel that does Twitter, and the concept, a disservice. Blogging is often said to be a conversation, but I've never found it to be so. As I've stated before, to me, blogging is like speaking from a podium. Turning on comments is akin to taking questions from the audience. Using trackbacks and pingbacks akin to a panel discussion. Twitter is much closer to being a true conversation. I find it to be like a cocktail party. Conversations are all around you, streaming past. As you find topics interesting, you might listen, or join in. Like a cocktail party, you might continue conversations with old friends, or even acquaintances that you only see at similar events. You might meet new people, and make new friends. You might find business contacts, kindred spirits, people of like interests or personality. It's a giant, asynchronous cocktail party, with thousands of participants.
The past month has been a rough one for Twitter. It's original architecture wasn't created for what it has become. The implementation of that architecture has shown many flaws. It's often down, in toto, or with some of its most useful features disabled to keep the basics going. But even with all that, I've found Twitter to be useful.
I've found other twits tweeting on Twitter, and have been entertained. I've made new business contacts, extending my LinkedIN network thereby. I've been pointed to news events, technical happenings, venture undertakings, and information that is of professional and personal interest. And I've heard it on Twitter first, so that when I read it in the news or in a blog, sometimes days later, I would smile and think "I know that".
: One of the folk with whom I now have a tweeting relationship is @tawnypress. Since she's also relatively new to Twitter and has blogged about her experience, I thought I would trackback to her "Twitter - Two Months & Counting" post.
So, yes, after a month and with only a couple of dozen followers while I follow less than an hundred, I find Twitter to be useful. I most like using it through Hahlo3 on my iPhone; Hahlo3 is an iPhone specific interface to both Twitter and Summize (a service that searches Twitter by hashtags, people or location). There have been problems, and some frustrations, but it's a cocktail party. No reason to get upset if the bar is crowded or the buffet table empty. You'll get your drink by-and-by, and someone will refill the trough soon.
Twitter can fail if it doesn't overcome it's architectural and scaling issues. I hope not. I like it. I would like to see it succeed, expand, and become a part of my daily communications.
Join in. You'll like it.
Another instance of not being able to leave a comment at a WordPress powered blog happened today. I tried to leave the following...
The primary reason that I click through to the web site from a feed, is to read comments or leave one... As now. Full articles are much more likely to draw me into the conversation.
I generally don't subscribe to partial feeds.
BTW, feeds can contain enclosures. That being said, the day an article opens in my feed reader [RSSowl] and automatically launches some flash spam with sound at full blast, will be the day that I'll have a new reason to unsubscribe from that commercialized feed.
... to The RSS dilemma by Matt Marshall in Venture Beat.
After submitting my comment, this URL appears: http://venturebeat.com/2007/04/19/the-rss-dilemma/#comment-49841, but no comment does.
This is getting frustrating.
By JAdP on April 18th, 2007
From our own experience with a Squidoo Lens, we can agree with Seth Godin's recent advice to very small businesses, that a lens can drive traffic to your blog. Our Open Source Business Intelligence lens is #8 in Computers with an overall LensRank of #159. Our lens and blog are now on the first or second page of results from a Google search for Open Source BI or Open Source Business Intelligence. We've been as high as #2 overall. We think this is pretty amazing for an enterprise focus lens of such arcane interest competing against lenses on MySpace themes and designer laptop bags. Our OSS blog gets upwards of 300 hits per month from the lens.
So, I agree with Seth on the value of third-party, high SEO value sites like Squidoo and Flickr. I also have a great deal of respect for TypePad and Six Apart. However, I think that branding through your own domain is very important. I don't think that myDomain.typead.com or myDomain.blogspot.com is as powerful nor as useful as blog.myDomain.com. Most hosting companies, such as our own, where your current web site and email get provisioned now, likely have some open source blog engines like b2evolution and WordPress available. There are many themes under creative commons licenses or freely available for use with these blog engines. Another consideration is whether or not you, the very small are going to do what you're told and blog frequently enough not to look abandoned. After all, as the Nox say, the very young do not always do as they're told. And the very small business owner may be too busy to blog even monthly or weekly, let alone several times per day. So, first consider if blogging is right for you, or if a content management system (CMS), that allows you to easily update your web site with news about your business and articles or reports of interest to your customers, or forums that can serve as a community site for your current and potential customers may be more important for you. Both content management systems such as Joomla! and forums are as easy to update as blogs.
Blogging allows you to speak as if from a podium, add comments and you're a speaker taking questions from the audience, allow trackbacks are you've created a type of panel discussion. Wikis allow you to author or community author a book or magazine. CMS allows you to provide fresh information to your audience. Forums, where registered users can also post, allow the most free-form type of discussion. So, first decide what you need, alone or with an adviser, and then decide if you'll do as you're told.
By JAdP on April 14th, 2007
/dev/null on a *nix computer is the bit bucket, the place where things go to disappear, the black hole of the computing universe. It appears that any comments that I try to write recently just disappear. This is mostly happening with Wordpress powered blogs, either on wordpress.com or self-hosted using the open source Wordpress blog engine. With the help of Nicholas Goodman and Gianugo Rabellino, I know that the comments are NOT going into the Akismet queue of comment spam on their sites, and Gianugo even reposted the comment that I sent to him in email "pretending" to be me by putting my name, email and URL in the appropriate fields - it went through just fine. I've even tried leaving the comment with Camino and Safari, as well as the Firefox that I normally use on my MacBookPro. I don't think it's a cookie thing; it doesn't seem to be browser related; nor do I seem to be marked as spamming. The only other thing that I can think of is that it is somehow related to my IP address. I'll try commenting from my "south bay office". Any one with any ideas... please HELP.
By JAdP on January 13th, 2007
I noticed that GoBloggit has a single post from their blog trackbacked to two of my blog posts. The first one to which they trackbacked was somewhat related, at least to part of my article, the second trackback, not so much. I almost deleted both after the second one today, thinking it was blog spam, even though I had responded with two comments to the GoBloggit post. Then I saw that GoBloggit is using DigBack.
DigBack is a desktop application that helps you get more readers and more traffic to your blog. It searches the Internet for blog articles of similar content to your own and puts a link in the articles of those blogs.
-- from the DigBack website
Is this blog spam? It certainly doesn't seem to be an effort to enter into a conversation. I'm letting it go for now. Certain aspects of DigBack seem useful; but that second trackback, with no relevance to my post at all, shows that DigBack isn't going to be good for blogging as it's easily misused, even if inadvertently. It even trackbacks to GoBloggit's own post multiple times. Not good.