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A Beginners Guide to Twitter

There’s so much hype for Twitter, and against it, I can’t make up my mind whether to try the service or not. It seems like just another application designed to distract me during the day, without actually bringing me any value.

Anyway, should I decide to jump in, I’ll definitely follow closely the excellent “Newbie’s guide to Twitter” by Rafe Needleman.

Any readers using Twitter? If I joined, it would be good to know that I could find someone to actually “tweet” with.

Via Jeremiah.

Imagini Offers Visual Social Network

With new social networks popping up virtually every day, standing out from the crowd is becoming a tougher proposition. One that has caught my attention is Imagini, which offers a slick and unique sign-up process.

New members fill in their profile by selecting images that best represent their personal thoughts on life.

Here’s an example question…

After you’ve completed about a dozen questions, Imagini reveals what your selections say about your personality, then offers to connect you with others in the network, that share your interests and views on life.

There’s even the obligatory widget, that allows you to show the world your photo selections. Here’s mine…

Google Updates Privacy Practice; iVillage Goes Social; Google Talk Gets Gadget

Some quick news items for you to wrap-up your day…

  • Google’s updated their privacy practices. They’re somewhat vague, but “in the coming months” they’ll make your search data anonymous “after 18-24 months”. If they can anonymize individual data, why not let us opt-out from the get-go?
  • According to Mashable, iVillage has launched iVillage Connect, a “MySpace for Moms”.
  • You can now get Google Talk as a gadget for your Google personalized homepage – cool, yet another why for people to annoy contact me.

Answering Four Tough Questions on the Convergence of Search and Social Media Marketing

I know that Jordan already linked to my Podtech interview with Jennifer Jones, but social media guru (and blogging buddy) Jeremiah Owyang asked if I would embed the Podtech flash player and also posed four tough questions for me to answer.

 

The original interview was aimed at CMO’s and Jennifer asked that I keep it very “high level”, so I’m happy to answer Jeremiah’s tougher follow-up questions.

Here are Jeremiah’s questions, re-posted from his excellent blog.

Question 1) Because blogs score high in Google Search results, how does this impact corporations who spend resources on SEO campaigns for their websites?

Andy says…I think companies should consider a corporate blog first and foremost for its ability to reach out to customers, clients, partners and investors in an informal, honest tone. That being said, blog content tends to do well in the search engine results for a number of reasons.

48% of Marketers Will Try Social Networks in 2007

JupiterResearch has issued a new report entitled “Social Networking Sites: Defining Advertising Opportunities in a Competitive Landscape” (rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) and ClickZ is all over it.

In 2007, as many as 48 percent of brand marketers will deploy marketing on social networking channels. Last year, about 38 percent were messaging on the channel. Adoption of social marketing tactics stems from the discovery “30 percent of frequent social networkers trust their peers’ opinions when making a major purchase decision, but only 10 percent trust an advertisement,” said Emily Riley, JupiterResearch analyst and lead author of the report.

Now would be a good time to be #1 on Google for social media marketing then. ;-)

The Blogosphere’s All A-Twitter

Must be spring, since, as I said, the blogosphere’s all a-Twitter. (FYI, the first day of spring is next week. So lay off with the 600 stories of the weekend, okay?)

Yeah, that’s right, I had nearly 600 stories in my feed reader. And several of them were, in fact, about Twitter. Chris Brogan at lifehack.org has a good description of Twitter:

For those of you not yet using it, Twitter is a communications gateway that asks the question: “What are you doing now?” Users can answer and hear their friends’ answers via SMS, via IM, or on a webpage. Updates have to be under 140 characters. Think somewhere between IRC and IM and that’s Twitter.

Yahoo Updates Answers Algorithm for Main Search Results

It seems Yahoo has updated the algorithm used to determine which Yahoo Answers questions get posted to the main SERPs. So what’s changed?

Before the change, the results on search.yahoo.com were directly related to the search results that where given on answers.yahoo.com/search. For example, “what color is the sun” would include only answers that where returned here and in the same order but minus certain listings. The difference being Answers search results included listings that could be open or closed and may not have had a best answer while the main Yahoo SERPs included only listings that where closed and had a best answer chosen.