Tag Archives: Online Communities

Sites I Have Recently Come to Enjoy

The Savoia

Another cool blog: The Savoia

Here are some websites I’ve discovered via other websites, with excellent shareable content …

I’m a regular consumer of and contributor to Pinterest and StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon’s mission, of course, is to deliver the best of the web based on personal tastes, and I happen to use Pinterest in a way that leads me to other sites with similar content — i.e., compelling visual art and photography.

I’ve arrived at many destinations just by clicking through to the original sources of things I find interesting:

Denis Budkov

Photo by Denis Budkov in an ice cave near the Mutnovsky volcano in an area of northern Russia via The Colossal

The more this happens with the same sites, the more I seek them out specifically. I now frequently rebroadcast content from these portals on my Twitter stream, or mention them here — in addition to simply enjoying what they have to offer.

If you’re a fan of my stuff (chances are that’s the case since you’ve read this far), definitely have a look at these others – you just might find a new favorite.

7 websites with highly tweetable content

What do you think? What are some new-to-you websites you have enjoyed lately? Do you click through images or writing you like to other sources and find interesting destinations? Let us hear from you in the comments.

The Month in Review, Twitter-Style

rsmithing at TwitterSo I’ve committed to writing at least one post per month on social media. Sometimes it happens organically, sometimes deliberately. This is one of those deliberate months, what with this being the final hours of the month. But this is a good one – in fact, it’s the very best… of my Twitter over the past few weeks.

Man, I love embedding tweets

Here are some of my favorite tweets I crafted this month, to give a little more depth to the hyper-fleeting nature of our favorite micro-blogging platform. Oh, and you should follow me on Twitter if you’re at all amused by any of this…

Started off this month with a visit to a local winery, Divine Llama Vineyards. Made for a sweet photo-op and a Foursquare moment:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/242003882446831616 align='center']

These haikus inspired by my frustration with MS Office evolved into a full-on blog post but were Twitter gold initially:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/243530569273720833 align='center']

I’ve also taken to posting my favorite songs occasionally via the excellent Soundhound app:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/246038943706001408 align='center']

In the middle of the month, I attended a great webinar by Mark Schaefer, and had several great twitter-interactions meanwhile:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/245961643752820736 align='center']

And finally, I commemorated the annual Talk Like A Pirate Day by getting into #Pinchat completely in pirate voice:

[tweet https://twitter.com/rsmithing/status/248593444379975680 align='center']

What was your best tweet this month? Did you discover any great new Twitterers to follow? Do you participate in Twitter chats or share updates though other networks? Let us hear from you in the comments.

5 Really Useful, Really Easy Twitter Tools

5 Really Useful, Really Easy Twitter ToolsHere are five Twitter tools to give insight or new functionality to your Twitter experience, without requiring much more than a login on your part. These utilities are so self-explanatory, I hardly feel the need to add descriptions. But that’s what makes them worthwhile: instant benefit and utility with minimal explanation.

Review of Twitter Helpers

I’ve used each of these consistently, so I can personally vouch for their value. Each is good for a different function, and while not necessarily the most feature-rich, the benefit is immediate and actionable — those are the criteria I’m evaluating for the purposes of this post. See if you agree.

1. Dynamic Tweets

Before I started using Hootsuite (not detailed here because it’s slightly more intricate), I was a longtime user of Dynamic Tweets to schedule tweets. You pick a date, compose your tweet, and you’re all set. It works especially well for recurring tweets, such as yearly holiday-themed tweets.

2. ManageFilter

Does it annoy you when someone doesn’t follow you back? Hey, it happens. Check out ManageFilter to see who’s not following you back , when you started following them, and other useful details that can help weed out your stream.

3. TweetStats

If you’re a visual learner like I am, you’ll love TweetStats. It’s a detailed, informative representation in chart form of how your Twitter activity looks to the outside world. It’s a good way to keep tabs on what you’re sharing, and to help balance your efforts if needed. NOTE: TweetStats is sometimes buggy or slow to load, but it’s worth the wait — just let it do its thing and try again later if it gets stuck. In the meantime, If you’re looking for something similar but not as detailed, check out Tweetcharts.

4. InboxQ

Here’s a super-handy tool for finding questions being asked on Twitter, based on subjects of your choosing. Did you just write a cool blog post about photo sharing networks as alternatives to Instagram? Maybe you’re making a sweet Pinterest board of awesome iPhoneography? Just enter some associated keywords and you can easily engage with like-minded folk on Twitter.

5. Fakers - by StatusPeople

Ever wonder how many of your followers are bots or spam accounts? This utility will break it down for you by percentage.

>>> Impress your friends: share this on Twitter! <<<

What do you think? Have you ever used any of these utilities? What are some Twitter utilities you like that aren’t listed here? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Social Media Selectiveness

Social Media Roulette

Where are your contacts landing?
Photo by Håkan Dahlström / Edit by rsmithing.
Click for original.

Are social networks a gamble? Do you spin-off your contacts from one to the next?

With each new social network I actively participate in, beyond simply creating an account for, I become more selective with the people I follow. This started with MySpace. Initially, I followed bands and other folks whose profiles seemed vaguely interesting. I made some real friends (still in touch to this day), and as my offline friends got into social networking, I racked up contacts at a steady clip. This was fun until MySpace started to go downhill with spammers and overly customized profiles. But that was fine, because Facebook was ready with open arms as a fresh start.

Facebook Got This Right

Once on Facebook (just after they opened up beyond universities in 2006), I made it a point only to add familiar folks and people I knew in “real life.” What a difference this made! Pretty soon, I was reading status updates on MySpace about how folks were abandoning their profiles there and going to the cleaner, faster, more relevant Facebook. It’s my theory that this “fresh start” element was part of Facebook’s early mass appeal. That they got other things right also helped — photo sharing is what really sold me on embracing Facebook.

The one exception is Twitter, where following can become a free for all. Being selective there is somewhat counter to the experience, because content there moves so fast. I personally tell folks new to Twitter that until they follow about 200 active users, the experience just won’t be that interesting. I also use lists to sort those I’m interested in, some of whom I may or may not follow.

That said, I’ve been selective about my Instagram, LinkedIn, and now Pinterest accounts. As I’ve become familiar with Pinterest, I’ve found the experience at the site more rewarding now that I have a stream of cool and inspiring images coming in– rather than lame pictures from folks I don’t even know (or may actually know, but whose tastes don’t match mine).

So did LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another example of the fresh start approach, at least in my experience. The longer I’m there, the more steadily my colleagues trickle in. And I can truly say I’ve worked with, done business with, or somehow professionally interacted with each contact there. For me, LinkedIn represents quality over quantity rather than a numbers game.

Who’s Next?

My theory is that Pinterest will experience similar adoption, but these are still early days, and the site is more about visual content than social interaction. Only recently have I gotten serious about the site, and it takes some work to find boards to follow that really catch my eye. I think that’s a good thing for now, since it keeps the content I see relevant – not unlike when I signed up for Facebook after ditching MySpace a few social networks ago.

Did you welcome Facebook as a fresh start from MySpace? Do you welcome Pinterest as a fresh start from Instagram, now that Facebook owns Instagram? Do you follow people on different social networks all the same way, or does your criteria change from one to the other? Let us hear from you in the comments!