Links for 28 September 208 through 01 October 2008

Here are the web links I’ve found for 28 September 2008 through 01 October 2008, posted automatically and covered in badger fat.

Oh, I’m a heavy user of Twitter

Hugh MacLeod stylised cartoon of a twittering bird

TechCrunch has some figures on Twitter usage. It seems my own Twitterings at 16+ a day makes me a “heavy” user.

March 2008
Total Users: 1+ million
Total Active Users: 200,000 per week
Total Twitter Messages: 3 million/day

What’s most interesting is the rabid Twitter usage by active users — they send an average of 15 Twitter message per day.

My Twitter stats show that my usage is spread across my waking hours right across the week. Yes, Twitter has become a core communication tool — though I’ve said that before [1, 2]. Maybe you should follow me.

[Credit: Cartoon Twitter-bird courtesy of Hugh MacLeod. Like all of Hugh’s cartoons published online, it’s free to use.]

Thoughts on Twitter

High MacLeod cartoon Twitter logo: a stylised bird of some sort

In just two months, Twitter has become one of my core communication tools. Non-Twitter instant messaging and Facebook have all but disappeared from the mix. Here’s why.

Actually, before that… If you don’t use Twitter, or if you’ve taken a look but don’t “get it”, watch this 2.5-minute video Twitter in Plain English from those wacky Canadians Common Craft. Love their style.

OK, back?

Like the character in the video, I was sceptical about Twitter. Why do people need to know every little detail of my life? Who cares? I said as much to Perth’s Twitterati late last year. But then I actually tried using it — and I “got it” immediately.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Twitter”

Sometimes I want to be a writer…

I enjoy writing (and talking about the things I write about) far more than I enjoy farting about with technology. For me the technology is a means to an end, not the end itself. But do I really want to be a writer full time?

Sometimes I do. Especially on days when things haven’t gone so well with clients. Then on other days I read stuff like Hugh MacLeod’s piece the quiet life of a writer yak yak yak. Explaining how he loved Hemingway and Graeme Greene, he says that even though their books were very different their daily routines were pretty much the same.

Basically, they’d live somewhere cheap, quiet and relatively conducive to getting a lot of writing done. The Florida Keys and Cuba in Hemingway’s case, the South of France in Greene’s.

They’d get up early each morning, then write diligently till noon.

Then they’d head for their local café, drink gallons of booze for hours on end, and stagger home late at night.

Then they’d do the same thing the next day. And the next. And the next. For years on end. Women came and went, friends came and went, children came and went, money and fame came and went, but the daily writing-booze combo remained the great constant.

I’m not sure I like the idea of staggering home drunk every night, but as somebody who likes to write, likes his beer, and likes the simple life, I can’t say I find their overall Modus Operandi unappealing.

On a sunny Friday morning in Sydney, in the city’s most beautiful time of year, I think I agree.

And now, back to reading a company’s office manual so we can build them a CRM system…

Social Media: It’s about the people, not the tools

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when thinking about social media is that it’s all about the tools — that if only they choose the right software they’ll be a success. That’s about as sensible as thinking your retail business will be successful if only you buy the right bookkeeping software.

Yesterday a client asked:

My friends at [some business] wish to create a social networking section as part of their site, with home pages or profiles for each user. Do you recommend any third party apps for this or a currently operating system?

No, I don’t recommend the tools until I know what the job is.

That question is like being asked, “I want a motor vehicle, can you recommend one?” Before you could answer you’d need to know the requirements. How many passengers? An answer of “6” means a people-mover, not a sports car. An answer of “40” means you need a bus.

Does it have to go off-road? Land Rover time! Does it have to carry 3 tons of bricks? Well, you need a truck, not a car. Do you need to make a social statement with your vehicle? Then maybe you need a Rolls-Royce. Or a Porsche. Or a Ferrari.

Or a packet of Viagra.

Continue reading “Social Media: It’s about the people, not the tools”