Twitter Use?

June 3, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Since then a lot has changed.  I completed my first full-time year of my MBA, added a puppy to my life and joined Twitter.  The first two changes are profoundly important, but Twitter has changed the way I operate unlike the other two.  I actually joined Twitter about 9 months ago; when I first joined I didn’t understand the craze.  Now I do.  I have three Twitter accounts; one personal (@eshooman), one for the company I work part-time for, and one experimental account (@munchmylunch).  I plan to promote my blog and partake in entrepreneurial chatter with my personal account once I have a better understanding of Twitter’s best uses, I utilize social marketing making announcements of new offerings and promoting other social media such as the company blog for the corporate Twitter account I administrate, and I use my experimental account for exactly that, experimenting.  My experimental account is where I’m really learning about Twitter.  I use best-practices and strategies I’ve learned from other tweeter’s blogs and the book Twitter Power by Joel Comm (@joelcomm).  This account focuses on food, so I follow other foodies, food press, chefs and restaurateurs.  Following others provides me with up-to-the-second information about Boston restaurants’ daily specials, menu additions, openings and closings.  I am currently working on building relationships by participating in conversations and initiating comments to others’ tweets.  My social network is expanding almost exponentially without getting up from my computer… with people I’ve never met before, but have always wanted to meet!!!  I am now holding direct conversations with celebrity chefs and TV personalities; providing helpful input they may never have honored if met randomly on the street.  Twitter is amazing for building relationships.  What else is Twitter useful for?  I like to break the usefulness of Twitter down into the personal, professional, and marketing contexts.  I have my own opinions, but would love feedback to understand how others are using Twitter.

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TBE Makes List of Top 150 Blogs for Entrepreneurs

December 6, 2008

The Boston Entrepreneur is proud to be included in Open Business’s list of Top 150 Blogs for Entrepreneurs. Being named in a list acknowledging TBE’s contribution to entrepreneurship is an honor.


Better Late Then Never: TechCrunch50 Review

September 13, 2008

In anticipation of next week’s EmTech08 conference in Cambridge I’ve been reading blogs about last week’s TechCrunch50 event from California. Many of the participants seem gimmicky, but few stand out as viable businesses. Yammer (the winner), and iamnews (the peoples choice award recipient) deserve recognition as the top two companies at TechCrunch50.

Based out of West Hollywood, California Yammer is Twitter for the business environment. ‘“Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”’ – yammer.com/about. Yammer should be used for collaboration, not as a tool to micromanage. If you see it as a tool to spy on employees then you either need to reevaluate your workforce or change your management style. Yammer is a tool for collaboration; allowing users with valid business e-mail addresses to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information over private feeds; it’s instant messaging on steroids. Yammer’s entrance into the complexity filled corporate social networking arena is the first answer to provide a simple solution for business collaboration.

imanews is a simple idea: let people contribute to the news. Their about statement is clear: “iamnews is an open newsroom platform. We empower publishers and reporters by giving them powerful, easy to use tools for co-creation of news in real time.” iamnews targets bloggers and small publishers that don’t have the resources to create news . Web Publishers are used to ensure accurate reporting. If iamnews’ system ensures accurate reporting (and I hope it truly does), then it could be a competitive threat to the traditional reporting of AP and Reuters. iamnews ‘ competitive advantage is providing original and unique video and photography to current events, but I still struggle with their ability to ensure accurate news text. The availability of original and unique photo and video connected to individual news stories is enough for me to see potential for long-term viability.

There are other TechCrunch50 participating and demo companies that have viable products, but I chose to present only the two winners. Again, in my opinion many were gimmicky, but I strongly recommend you take look and share what companies you find interesting.


The Art of Corporate Blogging

June 23, 2008

Last week I cam across a great blog post titled “7 Reasons Why Corporate Blogs Are Absolutely Useless.” Eventhough I disagree with the author, Ben Jones, I find the post thought provoking. Please find the 7 reasons from Ben’s blog (http://ben-means-business.com) and my response following the excerpt:

Reason#1: Fear of Transparency

People who read blogs expect to “know” the author, and participate in discussions with the author and other readers. They enjoy an atmosphere that is genuine and has a “living room” feel. In other words, they expect you to acknowledge problems, fixes, and incidents instead of using your blog to further validate cover-ups. Remember, PR ploys are for people who read the newspaper. Blog readers are a different breed and they respect and embrace what’s “real”.

Reason#2: Infrequent Posting

Even if you’ve created great content on your blog, people will stop visiting after they drop by a few times and there’s nothing new. A blog requires time to maintain and is important enough to assign somebody to the task exclusively.

Reason#3: Too Much Advertising

Advertisements, product introductions, and the like are great material for blogs. However, don’t overdue it. Remember, you have a website to market your great products. You have a blog to market your great company. Don’t confuse the two.

Reason#4: Blog is Just Plain Boring

Doesn’t have to be stocked full of information…Give them a peek “inside” the company. Tip: Post pictures from company gatherings, employee awards, run contests, polls, etc… Just make it interesting.

Reason#5: Blog Doesn’t Allow Feedback

Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought that blogs were meant to create discussion. If not, what makes them different from a website? Needless to say, I was absolutely floored to find that most corporate blogs don’t allow comments. Interesting…to say the least.

Reason#6: Lack of Participation

People want the chance to hear you respond to their thoughts, concerns, feelings, etc… It’s makes your customers feel like they matter. Don’t just ask their opinion and leave them hanging. Respond, and do so with grace, confidence, and a nice disposition.

Reason#7: Blog Lacks Substance

Your company already has arms, legs, and feet(yours and your employees), but none of those things are more important and/or powerful than having a voice. A blog gives your company a voice. So value that voice and use it with purpose.” (http://ben-means-business.com/7-reasons-why-corporate-blogs-are-absolutely-useless, June 16, 2008.)

I responded as follows:

First-rate blogging organizations benefit both the organizations and their customers. Well done corporate blogs are dynamic; they provide value to the public (hopefully future customers), but the blog has no value unless the public utilizes it, thus the organization must convince the public to choose to read it (while not seeming self-serving). The best strategy to direct people to a corporate blog without seeming self-serving is to create one which is NOT self-serving; create value for the public, embrace and promote participation, interact with the readers (reply to comments), and DO NOT promote. The best corporate blogs artfully present problems, which they have the ability to solve, and provide a piece to the solution. For many, the piece is good enough to independently solve the problem, but others will research further into the corporate blogger and become quality leads. The small sample of corporate blogs I’ve read impress me, and I’ve learned some great knowledge from them. One blog continuously comes to mind while typing this post: HubSpot out of Cambridge, MA… http://blog.hubspot.com/.

I am interested in knowing others thoughts and feelings about corporate blogging. Please utilize the comments section for your opinions.