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Twitter’s Takin’ Care of Biz-ness

So Twitter caused a bit of controversy this week as they changed their @replies feature in a way that actually effected just 3% of their users twitter-birdbut the backlash felt like they had flipped Twitter nation the bird. One couldn’t help but be reminded of the terms of service soap opera that Facebook endured in the past few months as well.

So what’s one to learn from this? Well, if you are Twitter co-founder Biz Stone you learn the ropes of blogging before you do your homework. In his post from late in the day on Thursday he talks about some of the mistakes he made in this process as well as attempts to explain the whole situation more clearly.

As for his mea culpa Stone said the following:

eMarketer Predicts Social Media Advertising Will Fizzle in 2009

If you’ve not stopped popping champagne since we published Forrester’s predictions for social media marketing, you might need the Alka-Seltzer after you see eMarketer’s contrary estimates.

Not good with tables? Bottom line, eMarketer is predicting a 3% decline in social network ad spending in 2009. That decline comes after a 129% increase in 2007 and a 33% increase in 2008.

Why the contrast to Forrester? Two things to note. eMarketer has revised its data based on the gloomy prediction from MySpace parent News Corp. Also, we’re not quite comparing apples with apples here. This decline is for social media advertising–we assume Forrester’s prediction includes other marketing and PR efforts that utilize social media.

Twitter Wants to Please’em All

twitter-logoIt looks like Twitter is now in the process of deciding how they can please everyone all the time. Its most recent change to its service is to eliminate the option to see @replies that involve folks you don’t follow. Here is part of Twitter’s explanation from their blog

We’ve updated the Notices section of Settings to better reflect how folks are using Twitter regarding replies. Based on usage patterns and feedback, we’ve learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow—it’s a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don’t follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today’s update removes this undesirable and confusing option.

Google Getting Twitterpated?

Marissa MayerWith the media-sweetheart microblogging service eyeing the search market, is it any wonder than any mention of any of those buzz words from a Googler gets everybody all excited about Google-Twitter convergence? If that’s not enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, check out what Marissa Mayer said in a press conference last week.

We are interested in being able to offer, for example, micro-blogging and micro-messaging in our search. Particularly in Blog Search and possibly in Web Search, but we don’t have any particular plans to announce.

The first reports, from Reuters, didn’t feature an exact quotation, so the first stories on this subject focused on the Reuters line about “integrating microblogging capabilities, such as those popularized by Twitter, into its search product.”

CEOs and Twitter

BusinessWeek is reporting on over 50 CEOs that are usingboardroom Twitter to some degree or another. Last August the magazine covered just 18 folks of this ilk but apparently there is a lot more to choose from these days.

Each CEO has a profile attached to them that gives their handle as well some some insight as to view of Twitter and who they follow but here are some of the basic stats that may be of interest to you. How do you view the use of Twitter by CEOs and other important corporate folks regardless of the size of the company? Is there more good or harm that can be done? Here’s some highlights.

Richard Branson, Virgin Group Chairman
Following: 6,589
Followers: 98,382
Updates: 98

Twitter Gives TinyURL the Big Boot

Twitter’s “World Dominance 140 Characters At a Time” Tour continues as it tries to help users squeeze more into twitter-logotheir messages. This time, however, there is casualty. TinyURL was the default URL shortening service for Twitter until recently when was deemed the service of choice to shorten the URL’s of millions (that sounds painful, doesn’t it?) as reported by TechCrunch.

TinyURL has been with Twitter since its inception but the service has a few advantages over it and some even benefit the users. makes URL’s shorter than TinyURL which in the limited space that 140 characters is can be advantageous. Just think of the tragedy if one of your followers couldn’t get the additional exclamation point you had to share so you could really get your emotion across to them. Oh, the humanity!

Are You Breaking the Law with Social Media Marketing?

624824_restrainedDoes anyone else hear Judas Priest after reading that headline? No?

Um, anyway, the FTC has been cracking down on the newer methods of marketing, and social media marketing is not immune as SEOmoz’s general counsel, Sarah Bird, pointed out recently in an interview with Eric Enge. The new guidelines, available from the FTC, appear to threaten the future of SMM. The bottom line?

If you’re being compensated to talk about someone’s product, then you need to disclose it.

Rand Fishkin (you know, Sarah’s bossman) summarizes a few important points for us:

  • Most SMM is okay: “Want to create accounts for your client or project at social sites, interact with the community under those accounts or build up popularity/followers? You’re in the clear, and can do so without saying who’s paying you or why you’re engaging in those activities.”