Monday, January 31, 2011

Your "Custom" Image

We're either wrapping up the month or kicking off a new week today.

It all depends on your perspective, because both are correct.

In Social Media, there are very few absolutes. You and I can have opposite opinions and we can both be right.

Your Image is a part of your Brand.

Last week I mentioned how I decided in 2010 to go "New School" with my home page:

That's what looks like. It is a design that I customized and you can too.

I recommend buying a domain for yourself if you don't have one. I use GoDaddy.

And here's the link to

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Power of Connections

On my Collective Wisdom website, I post 3 to 4 times a day something fresh.

I don't write 3 or 4 original blog posts everyday, I use "Guest Posts". These are items that are written by others and I repost them with a few of my own comments and proper credits and links back to the author.

On ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure, I'll write most of the material you read, but I'm saving Friday's for Guest Posts.

Today's is from the DLM Blog.

But first, a personal aside to the topic of Social Media Connections:

I serve on a marketing committee with the local Boy Scout Council. We met for lunch yesterday and it was brought up that we could use a few more volunteers. I posted the following message on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN:

Looking for #FortWayne Marketing Professionals that are interested in serving on the local Boy Scout Marketing Committee

So far three people I know have asked how they can help.

I'll post the message on all 3 sites again a couple more times over the weekend to get even more exposure.

How to Make Powerful Connections Through Social Media

Posted: 16 Jan 2011 08:17 AM PST

Last year Facebook passed up Google for the most visited site in the world. What an interesting trend we are seeing, where people are searching for connections more than answers. Yet, for many, the full potential of social media eludes them.

One of the most impressive benefits I’ve found from social media has come from making powerful connections with my idols, mentors, and people I looked up to. We live in a remarkable time where the barriers to reaching those people are now lower than ever.

How I Met Brian Bendis From Marvel Comics
Ever since I was little, I have been a fan of superheroes. At the age of 8, I was fighting Leukemia and spent many days at Phoenix Children’s Cancer Center. One of the distractions I took advantage of was painting the hospital window of my room with whatever lit on my imagination. With my mother’s help, Spider-Man and Wolverine would watch over me as I underwent chemotherapy, surgeries, and any other cancer treatment. Those images stuck with me as I looked back on the successful life I’ve had from over a decade in remission.

Coming out of cancer survival, I had one person I always wanted to meet, Brian Michael Bendis.

Very few people outside of the comic book industry probably know who Brian M. Bendis is. However, he happens to be one of Marvel’s top writers. He’s won 5 Eisner Awards (picture Oscar’s for Comics), 9 Best Writer of the Year Awards, and many other nominations.

Thanks to the power of social media, I’ve now met with Brian Bendis, as well as made connections with other writers, artists, and industry giants. Furthermore, it has led to amazing opportunities where I’ve received autographs, read scripts, and more. All from following 6 essential steps.

6 Steps to Make Powerful Connections
Even though I use the writers, artists, and creators of one particular hobby as an example, these same steps can be used to make connections with future employers, your inspirers, business leaders, authors, more.
  • Identify Those You Want to Connect With
    Do you remember how it felt when you were a kid at Disneyland the first time? You were excited for the rides, but you also were probably excited to meet the different characters.

    Our grown up lives are not much different. We all have those people who if we happened to see on the street we’d die to go up and get a picture with, ask some questions, or get lunch together.

    Before you can make connections through social media you have to know who you want to connect with.

  • Listen
    Ever go to a book signing when you haven’t read the author’s book? Interviewed for a job without researching what the company did? Of course not, so why would you expect to start building a new relationship with someone without knowing more about them on a personal level? This may be one of the most crucial steps to connecting with others, so do it right.

    The other part to this step is knowing what to listen for. It’s quite simple, PASSION. Just because someone is a movie star, a Grammy winner, or a National Best Seller, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own personal passions.

    When I found out Brian Bendis was going to be in town I prepared. I listened to detailed hour long interviews he gave to special niche bloggers and friends. I found out from listening that his daughter at only 8 years old was co creating a new graphic novel with him. What could a father be more excited for? When I got to meet him in a crowd of hundreds, I knew what to really ask. Bendis answered question after question about all the popular books and characters, Iron-Man, Spider-Man, and The Avengers. I then asked him, “Can you tell us about your daughter’s involvement with Takio, the book she is co-creating.” He smiled and went on to share a great story. Afterwards, when I spoke with him one on one, he thanked me for asking thoughtful questions, signed some books, took a picture with me and then followed up with me on Twitter. All this because I had listened.

  • Interact
    Once you have identified and listened to what your connection is passionate about and where you can connect, the interaction becomes easier.

    See if they have a Facebook fan page, Twitter account, or LinkedIn profile. Google them to see if they have a blog or site as well. Once you have an avenue to interact, make a positive first impression.

    Another important note is to interact with the people they communicate with as well. So if you have a leader in a particular field you want to get in touch with, see who they follow, friend, and share information from. Then put yourself in their circle by taking the next step.

  • Contribute
    Possibly one of the reasons Facebook was able to pass Google in ranking was because of its ability to contribute what people wanted. We didn’t have to search for that funny video or topical article, because “so and so” on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter is already finding those things for me.

    If you want to make strong connections, you need to be recognized as a contributor as well. Find ways to add to the industry of those you want to connect with. If you know what they are passionate about, keep an eye open for any fascinating articles, videos, or content that they would love to see.

    For instance, I made a twitter account just for comic book related matters so I could contribute to that industry and therefore make connections with those involved as well. One person I wanted to reach out to was Johnjay Van Es, a popular radio dj who has 10’s of thousands of followers he might be able to send my way. Asking him directly to do that would never work, so I thought of a clever way to get his attention. After listening, I knew he always had a strong self-image. I thought he carried a resemblance to Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, so I took five minutes to edit a side by side image and sent it to him saying I saw a mighty resemblance. Two seconds later he was sharing it with all of his own followers and sent me his own comments.

  • Be Interesting, Relative, or Entertaining
    Making connections requires work, but it can be a lot of fun as well. I’ve found if you want to get the USEFUL attention you need to be interesting, relative, or entertaining.

    Even though comics carry such a negative connotation and are seen as a very small niche, I gathered many mainstream followers by commenting on current events and pop culture from a superhero perspective.

    The tweet below on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell beat out Barak Obama’s tweet on the same topic.

    “All this #DADT talk makes Thor really excited. Finally Batman and Robin can enlist in thee army without fear!”

  • Be Consistent
    The last thing to help you connect through social media is to be consistent. Just as a NBA pro has to keep making baskets or a pilot needs to land airplanes, to thrive in social media you need to be consistently interesting.

    If it feels like a chore, than consider if you are passionate about the people you are connecting with. If they aren’t the Mickey Mouse of Goofy of your childhood dreams, than they might not be worth the effort.
All in all, there is a great opportunity to make connections, unlike any other time in our history. We all understand, “it’s who you know that counts.” Social media just makes it all the more easier to approach those people.

Written on 1/16/2011 by Bryce Christiansen. Bryce is the Marketing Coordinator for the Balanced WorkLife Blog, where he writes on personal growth, career development, and value based networking.Photo Credit: chaztoo

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Old Style vs New School

Yesterday I did a little comparison of Blogs vs Websites.

Today, I'll show you a comparison of two websites.

I own a couple of domains: and

I use the site and the site is a backup for people who automatically think that websites should be a "dot com".

I spent a few evenings a couple years ago building a traditional website that includes a home page, an our company page, a testimonial page, and a contact page. There are plenty of click-able links to the radio stations I work for, the Hispanic Newspaper that I do some consulting for, the Advertising Federation that I am a V-P of, and links to 3 of my blogs.

It is much more current than a lot of websites I have seen in the past couple of years, but it is also pretty main stream, or "Old Style" in "Internet Time". You can click here to visit it, or here's a shot of the home page:

I am not a website developer or designer. This was built with Google Sites. You can spend some time doing a site like this yourself if you want and you'll be pretty current and up to date.

A couple of items I want to point out on this site is the far right side has logo's for the click-able links, and the middle column has click-able links to the latest blog posts that are updated automatically. Both are pretty cool features. This is one way to merge your blogs with your business website.

This is what my site looked like until I decided to create a New School homepage.

My Blogs are the heart of ScLoHo Marketing Solutions.

They are what has created a ScLoHo brand.

So in 2010, I created a cleaner, less complicated and cleaner home page for that looks like this:

If you click on the green links, the latest posting on the blog that you clicked will appear on the same page. This is my example of combining blogs with a website. Each has it's own separate place online, but I use my homepage to tie it all together. Click here to visit and try it out.

Monday, I'll share with you how easy it was for me to create this New School home page for

Tomorrow, a guest post on the subject of Power of Connections via Social Media .

And feel free to ask me any questions, comments, suggestions, etc. My email is Scott (at) or you can leave a comment in the comment section below.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blogs vs. Websites

The "Web World" is changing faster than most of us can imagine.

10 years ago, you were cutting edge if you had a website for your company. And you may have spent $10,000 to someone who built it for you.

Blogs were also cutting edge 10 years ago. According to Wikipedia, Blogger launched in 1999 and was acquired by Google in 2003 and by 2006, Blogger was fully integrated as a Google Service and most of the main features that are available today were included.

Google has continued to improve Blogger and there are plenty of additional features you can add and explore.

Recent thinking is that a blog is a website, which if true I would say a blog is better than a traditional website if:

  • You want to be found online.
  • You want to keep customers up to date on your business or industry.
  • You want to use the web as a communication tool.

The time and expense of redesigning a traditional website, is prohibitive for most small businesses even though the cost has gone down, it may not be the best way to be found online.

There is an industry built around the term SEO.

SEO is Search Engine Optimization.

Traditional thinking has been that people would type in a few words into a search engine, like Google, or Yahoo! and the SEO people's job was to make sure your website appeared in the top 10 results, meaning you would appear on the first page.

A couple things have happened to change the traditional thinking.

  • Search Engines have changed and refined what it takes to get noticed and get in the top results. They are doing this for the end user, the person doing the search, not the businesses that are trying to be found. So the website you had designed 3 years ago may not be getting the results it used to.
  • People are using Search Engines differently than the did a few years ago. We are typing in more words to refine what we are looking for. For example I can now type in "Movies 46805" and Google will show me links to all the movie theaters and showtimes for today.
As a nod to my friends who are in the SEO business, it is still important, but I have found that with a blog, I didn't need to be as concerned with that compared to a traditional website. I do use certain SEO principles with my blogs, which I'll talk about in the future.

Finally today, I know that some companies have included a blog built into their traditional website. I honestly don't know if this as effective as having a separate blog. Tomorrow, I'll show you a couple of sites that I created so you can compare.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Illustrated Guide to Creating your Blog

I have 7 Blogs, 6 are on the Blogger platform, like this one. Today, I'll take you through the steps to set up your blog. Click on the pics to make them bigger.

Start by going to the Blogger home page. Click here.

If you have a Gmail account that you want to associate with your blog, just sign in. If you want to create a new Gmail account or if you don't have Gmail, click on the Get Started Link.

(Your Gmail account can be used for using most Google Services including Blogger.)

Fill out the required information, do the CAPTCHA and you've created both a Google Account and a Gmail address. You will need to confirm your account by clicking on the link that was sent to the email address you just used.

If you have done everything correctly this is what you should see. Now click on the CREATE YOUR BLOG NOW button and this is what comes up on your screen:

Step 2 is naming your blog. The first section, Blog title can be changed in the future, but the blog address cannot be changed. Pick an address you want to hang on to and check the availability. Once this is completed press CONTINUE.

Now you get to design your blog. There are several templates to choose from and each have options that you can play with. And if you don't care for the design in the future, you can change the design. For demonstration purposes, here's a basic blog I created that is ready to go:

At the top of your new blog is a toolbar. On the right side of the toolbar you can create posts, or customize the design.

Those are the basics of getting started, in the days and weeks ahead, I'll have some more tips on blogging.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Why Blog?

I'll give you a few reasons, in no particular order of importance:

Blogging can be an online journal. For years, I asked my mom to write her story. I even bought her a tape recorder a couple of times but she never got around to it.

My oldest daughter used to keep a journal and then a blog, which is what inspired me to start one back in 2004. Since then I have started several, each with a different theme or purpose.

Blogging is a way to share information. When my daughter was looking for some additional sales training, instead of emailing her, I started a blog and posted some of the articles I had saved on my computer. Later I decided to find more articles, post them on a regular basis and that's the origin of ScLoHo's Collective Wisdom blog which now gets around 6,000 page views each month.

Blogging gives you a voice. I come from the traditional media world. When I was 16, I studied and passed the Federal Communications Commission test for a 3rd Class License with a Broadcast Endorsement. That was a requirement for working on the air at a radio station at the time.

Today the cost of owning a radio station is hundred's of thousands of dollars, often a million plus.

The cost of a blog is your time and an internet connection.

Blogging creates a Personal Brand. There are many people whom I never knew until I discovered them online with their blogs. I have created an online persona as ScLoHo and when you combine the online with offline relationships, it creates a more complete picture.

Blogging helps you get found online. I am not a SEO expert. (Search Engine Optimization). But I discovered that because of my blogging, Google and other search engines where finding me. I was even quoted in a Wall Street Journal article a few years ago due to something I wrote about Starbucks.

Recently I Googled "Scott Howard" and there were over 6 million results. When I Googled "ScLoHo" there were 255,000 results.

Tomorrow, I'll take you through the steps of setting up your profile on Blogger.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Does LinkedIN Matter?

Guest Post today from the Inside View Blog:

LinkedIn is the go to place for sales people doing discovery on their prospects. It is also the place customer 2.0 prospects go to do some discovery on the sales people they do business with. With over 85 million people on LinkedIn, it always surprises me when I talk to a sales team (especially in the high-tech industry) and find even one without a LinkedIn profile.

Every sales person needs a LinkedIn profile. It is your single most important online asset besides your email address. You are doing yourself a huge disservice professionally if you do not have one.

  • Find past coworkers: You may be new in your career as a sales professional or maybe a veteran, either way, LinkedIn will help you keep the connections and friends you make at work only a mouse click away. Sure you have their contact information already but you can lose your computer or delete the record on accident. LinkedIn lets you keep people in a digital address book that makes sure you dont lose contact. Your address book wont keep you up to date on the latest happenings with your coworkers either.
  • Build your online identity: Your professional sales 2.0 career is more dependent on your online identity than ever before. If you are serious about becoming a sales leader or expert, without your personal brand being stamped in cement you will be facing an uphill battle. There are many things you should do to make sure your personal brand is front and center but having an well crafted and interactive LinkedIn profile is the best place to start.
  • Get new opportunities: People use LinkedIn to find recommendations on products/services. From the LinkedIn Groups to the Answers page, thousands of people a day are looking for help making decisions. As a sales person you should be in these groups or at least setting up email alerts so you can scan the groups to see if you can offer some help and create a new opportunity.
  • Learn something new: As a professional you should spend a portion of your day getting better educated on your industry or the latest sales trends. LinkedIn is a focal point for these types of discussions and you have the ability to tap into a network of experts that can help guide you through some of the obstacles you face in your sales efforts.
  • Get some credibility: This goes along with #2 but in more detail. As you get more experience, you should be helping other professionals by answering questions. As you help people even if its only a couple times a week you will see your profile being looked at by more and more people. Your prospects are looking at your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile and give your prospects an excellent representation of who you are.
  • Become an expert: The quickest way to get and grow your credibility is to become a social selling expert. The ability to be seen by millions of LinkedIn users trying to make decisions will help build your credibility to the point you are the go to person when it comes to getting help. This could be one of the most influential moves you could make to build your career into exactly what you want it to be.
  • Grow your pipeline: Speaking from experience, LinkedIn is a great way for you to take your sales career to another level. As you build your network, become an expert in your space and build your personal brand, you will find more people coming to you for help related to your product or service. This will create a snow ball effect and eventually people from all over LinkedIn will be singing your praises and driving more leads to you.
  • Help out a friend: Let’s face it, these are some tough times when it comes to finding a job. Being on LinkedIn will let you connect people you know with others in your network that may be looking for some new talent. You can be the connector that brings someone out of unemployment or maybe you will need to tap into your network when you are looking for a job. Either way, LinkedIn helps facilitate this process easily.
  • Find a new job: The job board on LinkedIn is more likely to land you a new position than Because your job inquiry will be directly linked to your LinkedIn profile, employers and hiring managers will be able to quickly decide if you are the right person to talk to. The search features in LinkedIn jobs is one of the best I’ve seen and should be used if you are looking for a new place to work.
  • Get found by a new job: Recruiters make up for a decent chunk of people on LinkedIn along with hiring managers. Even if you are not actively looking for a new gig, here may be companies out there looking for someone with your exact talents. They run searches based on expertise, interests, past company and other identifiers that all lead them to your LinkedIn profile. This is more of a reason to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you are seen is the most positive light possible.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Name it & Claim It

Tuesday, I mentioned how you get to create your own brand, your identity, your name.

Here's a website to check to see if the name you want is available and then you can claim it if it is:

And if you still haven't set up your LinkedIn profile, tomorrow I have a guest post with 10 reasons you need to do it this weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Merging Your Brand with Your Name on Facebook

A quick tip today.

Facebook has over 500 million users. Yesterday I mentioned how you get to choose your own Social Media identity, mine is ScLoHo.

But Facebook wants you to use your own name.

So how do you merge the two?

Here's what I did:

Facebook lets you set up your own personalized url for your Facebook page.

Mine is

If you haven't done this yet, check out these instructions from Facebook's blog:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Get To Chose

your name, in the Social Media world!

As I mentioned yesterday, when I Googled my name, Scott Howard, over 6 million listings popped up. Bing, the Microsoft search engine produced 49 million listings. Yahoo lists 50 million listings.

Before I started this Social Media Adventure, I was looking for a way to distinguish myself from all the other Scott Howards in the world.

It started with an email address in the 1990's. I took my the first two letters of my First, Middle and Last names and mashed them together and invented the word and name ScLoHo.

Because ScLoHo is unique, I was able to register it on 50+ social media sites. (More on that Thursday).

ScLoHo is also only six letters which is helpful on Twitter since you are only allowed 140 characters and a short name is an asset.

All of my websites, blogs, social media sites and emails use a version of ScLoHo. I even registered my own company name around the ScLoHo name a few years ago.

What about you? Is your name Unique? If not how can you create a unique identity?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Quiet Social Network

Last week I was doing a presentation to a college class at Huntington University.

I was invited to talk about Personal Branding, the @ScLoHo way.

Part of the demonstration was a Google search for my name, Scott Howard.

There were over 6 million results. But on page 2, there I was.

It was my LinkedIn Profile, followed by my Twitter profile.

I call it the Quiet Social Network because it is not as well known as Facebook or Twitter but as of last November "...LinkedIn, which now has 85 million users and is adding a member every second...", according to TechCrunch.

If you have not yet set up your LinkedIn Profile, Go here and start.

And for more info on LinkedIn, check this video:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Twitter? Get Real! (Part 5)

Wrapping up this week of Twitter indoctrination with some of my tips and tricks.

When I was writing this post Monday evening, I had 1332 followers and was following 856 people.

I find following 856 people impossible.

So here's what I do:

Most of my social media activity is done on my computer, a 3 year old laptop. At home we also have a desktop computer, but my wife is the only person who uses it.

Last summer I upgraded my old cell phone to a Droid, but if my laptop is available, it is still my computer of choice.

Twitter has a way for you to organize the people you follow that I started using once I started following a couple hundred folks. They call it Lists.

Everyone I decided to follow, I put on a list. Currently I have 4 main lists:
  1. Newsmakers
  2. Marketing-Advertising
  3. Fort Wayne Area
  4. On The Edge
I also have a temporary list: JTerm11 which includes the students I spoke to yesterday at Huntington University. JTerm11 is the HashTag they are using to identify themselves as they are just starting out using Twitter since it is a class requirement. I'll keep tabs on the students to see if they continue using Twitter, or quit.

There is one more list that I created that I usually don't tell people about. It is the RF list.

RF is my own shorthand for Really Follow. I'll get back to this in a moment.

Like I said, everyone I follow goes on one of the 4 lists. Some folks are on a 2 of the 4 lists. Twitter limits a List to 500 people. So as I increase the number of followers, I may need to add some more lists.

Instead of using the website ( I use one of the various Twitter applications on my laptop. There are several available, free of course and the two that I have used most are Tweetdeck and Seesmic.

I currently prefer Tweetdeck but both are fine depending on what your own personal preferences. Another Twitter application that is popular is Hootsuite. I tried it, it doesn't have all the features I want.

So, I'm going to help you set up Tweetdeck. Here's what you see when you go to

(Click on the pictures to make them bigger, if you want).

Click on the Desktop button at the top and you'll see this:

In the lower right side of your screen is the download button. Click on it and install on your computer.

As you go through the installation and set up of Tweetdeck, you'll see all kinds of options.

One of my favorite is the ability to update my Twitter account, my Facebook account and my LinkedIn account all from Tweetdeck. Play around with the options and in the weeks ahead I'll point out some of my favorites.

But for now, I have one more Tweetdeck tip and it involves columns and lists.

Tweetdeck allows you to set up multiple columns and you can decide what each column will contain. Take a look at mine:

4 Columns fit the screen on my laptop. My usual 4 columns:
  1. My RF list
  2. Mentions
  3. Direct Messages
  4. Facebook Status Updates

Remember Twitter lists are limited to 500 people. My RF list currently has 450 people on it of the 850+ that I am following.

My RF list is fluid. I'll put people on this list for awhile and then if I'm not really interested in keeping up with their tweets all the time, I may drop them from my RF list. Some people come and go on my RF list and come back again.

About once a week, I'll look at some of the tweets from folks who are not on my RF list and decide to add them to the RF list. If you are not currently on that list, don't worry about it, you probably will be in the future.

The Mention column shows tweets that include @ScLoHo.
The Direct Message column shows private messages sent to or from me.

I have the Facebook status update column so I can be aware of what my Facebook Friends are up to.

(By the way, I am currently using Tweetcaster on my Droid.)

Starting next week, Fridays will be a guest post day. I have a few lined up, but if you want to write something for me to consider as a guest post, let me know.

Next week, I'll introduce you to LinkedIn and we'll see where else this Social Media Adventure takes us.

Your comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Twitter? Get Real! (Part 4)

Today, we're going to talk about what you need to do to set up your Twitter profile.

(You can click on any of the images and make them BIGGER)

First go here: and click on the sign up button.

That will take you here:

Fill this out and continue and you will get a captcha to make sure you are a real person, and then you will see this page.

You can skip this and click on the Next Step: Friends button on the bottom.

This step I would recommend you NOT skip. Since this is social media and you want to socialize with people, why not start with your friends?

You're going to have to confirm your email address and then sign in and set up your profile.

On the right side of the page, I want you to go to the What's Next section and do Step 2 First.

Pick a nice headshot. And fill out ALL THE INFORMATION.

For me to consider following you, I want a website link that I can click on to see what you're about.

If you don't have your own website, then use your LinkedIn or Facebook page.

Here's an example of a good Twitter Profile page.

Kevin has a link to a website about him, there is info in his bio that gives me an idea of what he is about, and he has a recent picture of himself.

I also look at the number of tweets, how many he is Following and how many Followers he has.

His Following/Followers number is pretty close and he is very active.

A couple of things I look for:

If a person is following a lot more people than are following him, than they are probably not a thought leader. I usually keep my number of people I am following at least 100 less than than are following me. But as you are getting started, you can keep those numbers pretty close.

I also read their latest tweets. Some people are only broadcasting, and not interacting. I interact with anyone who mentions me.

How do I manage following over 800 people and 1300 followers? That's the subject I'll tackle Friday.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Twitter? Get Real! (Part 3)

Yesterday's post was a bit overwhelming for even me, so today, it's back to basics.

As I was researching the topic Twitter Terminology on Google, I found way too much "Geek-Speak" in the articles I was reading so I decided to write this myself:

Twitter Terms:

Twitter. This is the micro-blogging site It is also used as a verb, "Do you Twitter?" in the same fashion that Google is both a site, a service and a verb.

Tweet. This is the act of sending a message on Twitter. "Did you Tweet that?"

Tweeple. This is one of the "cute" terms for people who are on Twitter. Most of the cute terms that were being used involved removing some letters and replacing them with Tw. Not really necessary.

Following. These are the people You are following. You can read what they tweet.
Followers. These are the people who are following You. They can read what you tweet.

Notice that this is different from the Friends feature on Facebook. You do not automatically follow everyone that follows you.

RT. This is short for ReTweet. One of the ways to share with others is to Retweet what someone you are following tweets so that the people who follow you can read it too.

DM Short for Direct Messaging. This is a private message sent between you and the other person. You have to be following each other in order to do this.

# That is a HashTag. You can tag your tweets by subject and others can look for them. I use the #FortWayne hashtag when I post something about Fort Wayne including my daily Fort Wayne site of the day on my Really Blog.

#FF and #FollowFriday is the most common Hashtag that is used to promote friends that you recommend other follow and it is done on Fridays.

Fail Whale. It happens less frequently than it used to but there are times when Twitter servers are overwhelmed. This shows up on the web page and usually if you wait a few seconds or minutes, everything works again.

Tomorrow I'll review how to set up your Twitter profile.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Twitter? Get Real! (Part 2)

Today I have a guest post from Brian Solis on the state of Twitter from his blog.

On Wednesday I'll share with you some of the Twitter terms you should know.

Thursday, I'll give you some tips on setting up your twitter profile and Friday I'll tell you how I manage it all and still have a life!

Here's Brian:

How Twitter is Changing: A new study reveals Twitter’s new direction

2010 will be forever commemorated as the year Twitter matured from a cool but undecided teenager into a more confident and assertive young adult. While there’s still much room to mature and develop, Twitter’s new direction is crystallizing. With a new look, Dick Costolo as the new CEO, and an oversold new advertising platform, Twitter is growing into something not yet fully identifiable, but formidable nonetheless.

At a minimum, Twitter is an extension of each one of us. It feeds our senses and amplifies our voice. We’re connecting to one another through shared experiences creating a hybrid social network and information exchange tied by emotion and interest. While Twitter provides the technology foundation, it is we who make Twitter so unique and consequential by simply being human and sharing what we see, feel, and think – in Twitter time. It’s both a gift and a harbinger of enlightenment. As new media philosopher, and good friend, Stowe Boyd once said, “It’s our dancing that makes the house rock, not the planks and pipes. It is us that makes Twitter alive, not the code.”

Combining our senses with digital inner monologue is something that we must learn to use wisely . While we may have freedom of Tweet, we are also witnessing that in some cases, common sense is not so common after all.

As there are multiple sides to every story, in this case, Twitter, its users, and the sentiment in between, let’s look at the opposite end of the stream for a moment. Twitter isn’t the only character in this tale to have matured. You, me, and the other 150 million Twitter denizens also changed over the last year. Social media monitoring service Sysomos released new data that highlights just how far we have come between 2009 to 2010.

Let’s start with the population of Twitter. Twitter reportedly attracted more than 100 million users in 2010. While it’s not quite the size of Facebook, which currently serves as the digital residence of 550 million, its impact on media, culture and society is profound.

Social Biography

As Twitter is an extension of your digital identity, users are finding comfort in sharing more about who they are. In 2010, 69 percent shared a bio which is more than double of those who did so in 2009.

Bios are only one part of establishing a digital identity. Whereas with instant messaging services of old, with Twitter, we are encouraged to share our name rather than an alias. The jump here is also profound. 73 percent provide a detailed name or descriptor. Last year, only 33% were as revealing. This is part of the transition from Twitter as a micromessaging or microblogging network to a more personal extension of who we are.

Where in the world are we? On Twitter, 82 percent want you to know. In 2009 however, the number of those who shared their location was only half the size.

If Google “was” the resume of the individual in 2008 and 2009, perhaps Twitter, and also Facebook, are presenting us with a more favorable opportunity to design our online persona. Now 45 percent, up from 22 percent, share a URL in their Twitter profile.

As we can see, privacy is something that’s discussed on the “other” networks…not just Twitter. Here, its natives live in public and do so willingly.

Who are These Tweeple Anyway?

We are what we say. How we describe ourselves says much more about the greater community as well. Twitter’s citizens are expressive, combining emotion and fact as their verbal self portraits. Love. Life. World. Friends. Family.

In 2010, Twitter realized its greatest velocity of growth in its short four-year history. In just one year, 44% of its total population moved in to the micro utopia in the hopes of finding and sharing something missing elsewhere online and IRL.

Who you follow says a lot about us. While many use the follow as a strategy to boost follow-backs, following the right people is also where we can fine tune the signal versus noise in our social stream. As we can see, only .05 percent of the total Twitterverse have more than 10,000 friends and only 2.05 percent connect to more than 1,000. The majority of Tweeps, 95.8 percent, maintain a network of less than 500 friends.

On Twitter, one of the most popular discussions is popularity versus influence. No, influence is not popularity and popularity is not influence. But that doesn’t mean that earning a vast network of followers isn’t a remarkable achievement in and of itself. Only .06 percent of micro socialites on Twitter boast more than 20,000 followers. Again, the trend continues across the network. Still only 2.12 percent have more than 1,000 followers. This leaves the greater population to connect everyone else with 95.9 percent maintaining less than 500 followers. For those who pay attention to influence however, influence is measured by the quality and resonance of a network, not its size.

I always find it so fascinating when the Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, continues to prove itself over and over again. In Twitter’s egosystem, Of all Twitter users, 22.5 percent post 90 percent of Tweets.

.18 percent have published more than 25,000 Tweets. 2.7 percent have Tweeted more than 5,000 times. Just over 80 percent have either a bit of stage fright or they’re still finding their voice, with only sub 500 Tweets to their avatars to date. After almost four years on the service, I’ve published just over 9,000.

To this day, the friend to follower ratio continues to serve as an important benchmark. I think this is a dying stat as it only encourages us to dilute our streams with updates that don’t improve our Twitter experience. In 2011 and 2012, we will focus on ridding ourselves of the information overload that buried us in email and social networks in the past, concentrating on substance over numbers.

According to Sysomos, the follower-friend ratio is even until users reach about 1,050 followers. After, the numbers skew greater towards followers. The trend continues as followers outpace friends. For example, someone with 5,000 followers usually averages 3,700 friends. As we approach 10,000 followers though, the ratio balances again. Sysomos found that someone with 10,000 followers will most likely maintain an average of 9,600 friends.

Twitter continues to change how we discover, communicate, and share. Each time we do, we reveal a bit more about who we are and what moves us. As we embrace the new year, Twitter’s numbers will expand, but I believe the nature of the service and also how we use it will change significantly.

What do you think? Is this you?

UPDATE: To balance this post a bit, I ran traffic numbers for using Compete and I found something worthy of sharing. It appears that visits to in the U.S. is receding. Between July and October 2010, visits have gradually diminished from a high of roughly 29 million down to 26 million – close to the ~24 million closing out 2009. While many users access Twitter via third-party apps, traffic to the dotcom is a good indicator for potential growth. I should point out however, that globally, earned just over 100 million visitors in October, up 79 percent from 2009.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Twitter? Get Real! (Part 1)

Twitter seems to get no respect.

Which is too bad, but don't worry about it.

Facebook, Google and Yahoo! didn't get any respect when they were starting out either.

So when some of my radio station co-workers said to me last year that "Twitter was stupid" and "Twitter was dead", I simply ignored them and continued doing what I have been doing.

I have been on Twitter since the end of 2008, and I believe it is the single best investment I've made in the Social Media world besides my blogs.

I explain Twitter as "texting to the masses".

With Twitter I can talk privately with their direct messaging option.

Or I can say something that the whole world might see now that Google search engines are also looking at tweets.

There are very few absolutes with Twitter. Even the 140 character limitations can be overridden, but I don't recommend it.

I use Twitter to promote all of my blog posts with a direct link that followers can simply click on.
I use Twitter to promote what others are posting on Twitter with the Re-Tweet feature.
I use Twitter to make friends and connections.
I use Twitter to find out what is going on with almost any subject.
I use Twitter to share my sense of humor, my insight, my personality.

And as of January 2. 2011 at 2:30pm I had:
Tweeted 15,965 times
1304 Followers and am Following 813.

Yesterday, January 9, 2011 at 2:30pm, a week later I had:
Tweeted 16,185 times
1329 Followers and am Following 854

That's 220 Tweets/7 days= 31 Tweets daily average
Increase in Followers = 25 Increase in Following = 41

Sometimes I am amazed by this.

Because of the number of followers I have, I am among the top 2% of everyone on Twitter.

Over 95% of the people have less than 500 followers.

This week our Social Media Adventure will be focused on Twitter and how keeping it Real is essential.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Different Focus, Different Readers

We're wrapping up our first week of ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure with a closer look at why I have so many blogs.

First, the blog that gets the most readers, is ScLoHo's Collective Wisdom.

I started this blog in 2005 without a lot of thought or focus. Since then, I set a defined purpose and schedule for this blog and it is now being viewed over 6000 times each month.

Collective Wisdom's purpose is simple and focused...

News, Insight, Research and Training on the Subject of Advertising, Media, Marketing, and Sales. It's a collection from many experts, writers, and gurus, updated at least 3 times daily.

I start with a sales training tip at 6am, 7 days a week.

Monday thru Friday evenings at 6pm, I post Advertising and Marketing News that I receive in a daily email from Mediapost.

Then on most days, I have one mid-day update at noon, or I'll do two updates, one at 10am and another at 2pm. I always have at least 3 updates, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The majority of the updates are from others. I post information from their emails or blogs with full accreditation, and a link back to the source if it is available.

I'll add my own two cents, but the success of Collective Wisdom is the ability to use the wisdom and resources of others instead of having to write everything myself.

I do have another marketing blog that is entirely my own words but first let's look at my second blog.

This blog was created in 2004 but was dormant for a year as I was deciding what to do with it.

In 2005, I decided to create a personal journal for my friends and family and named it Really?

A couple years later I started branding my blogs with the ScLoHo name and I also started to do some regular features on the Really? blog.

At 6am, 365 days a year, a feature a Fort Wayne site of the day. These are randomly selected websites and blogs that are based in my home town of Fort Wayne Indiana. At 4:08pm, I do an afternoon update of either something personal or something I've found online. Really? has been receiving between 3000 and 3500 views each month.

Now let's look at the other marketing blog that is entirely my own words.

In 2007, my wife thought I should write a book on marketing. Instead I decided to start another blog, The Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo. Each update would be another chapter and it would be never ending.

I publish a new chapter each Tuesday. As a newer blog with a fraction of the number of posts compared to the other two I've mentioned, it also gets less page views, under 1000 a month.

At the end of 2007, I decided to start writing down some of my political thoughts.
This was when there was a lot of heated debate with the upcoming 2008 Presidential campaign in full swing and I have friends and family who would freely express their thoughts.

I decided I wanted my family to understand my perspective and I started the Political Side of ScLoHo on the WordPress blogging platform.

I do not want my political beliefs to be a detriment in any of my business dealings as I have not let my Christian beliefs get in the way of developing friendships with those who have different beliefs. That is why I kept this blog away from the Blogger blogs that I write.

There are two more blogs to mention besides the one you are reading right now.

In 2007 I started a picture blog that is now updated 3 times a month with random photos.

And last year, I found a website that I could use to create a sort-of radio station. My musical tastes are pretty far ranging and I'm in the process of creating a 5000 song ScLoHo Soundtrack in my sparetime. So far I have about 700 songs saved and ready to play.

Next week I'll introduce you to Twitter; we'll include some guest posts and in the weeks ahead, LinkedIn and I'll also give you more details on how I can post 40 to 50 times a week on these blogs.

Your comments, thoughts and questions are always welcome!