By: Jason Roberts How influential are you on the internet? That is the question Klout is trying to answer. I joined Klout when I was invited to their Beta after discovering their site through a start up list blog I read. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the site at first since you could only link your Twitter and Facebook accounts to it. I’m not a big fan of Facebook so I hardly use my account. On the other hand, Twitter is where it’s at for me. I’ve been a heavy user of Twitter since 2008 under various handles but jason_. I’ve watched Klout grow and the media attention increase as the months go by. As your Klout score increases you unlock perks made available through certain advertisers. So far I’ve grabbed the perk for the TNT show Falling Skies, where I received a cool survival package of a army compass, army canteen, army field nap satchel, and army style cap and this stuff isn’t cheaply made either. The other perk I snagged was an invite to the U.S. release of Spotify. I’ve enjoyed this perk quite a bit and I was even able to earn a full month of the premium service when I got five people to sign up under my referral link.
Klout now allows you to link your Klout account to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, You Tube, Instagram, tumblr., Blogger, Last.fm, and Flickr accounts. I’ve seen where connections to Google +, Quora, yelp, posterous, and Wordpress are coming soon. Each connection you make to your Klout account will increase your influence therefore increasing your overall Klout score. As you see I’ve got each one tied to my Klout account with the exception of Instagram because I don’t own an iPhone yet, which will change soon. Recently, I’ve read where Klout is being used by hiring managers to find talent to gauge the applicant’s social media influence. Your Klout account is broken down into the following: Score Analysis - Your Score - The Klout Score measures influence on a scale of 1 to 100. Network Influence - Network indicates the influence of the people in your True Reach. Amplification Probability - Amplification indicates how much you influence people. True Reach - True Reach is the number of people you influence.
Klout also provides the user with the following information:
Topics - these are the topics that Klout feels you’re influential about to your connections. Influencers - shows who you influence and who influences you. Lists - You can build a list of people on Klout - for example I have http://klout.com/#/JoeFernandez - who is the CEO and Cofounder of Klout on my list that I just started yesterday, Klout Style - You are a Specialist - You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience. Achievements - So far I’ve managed to earn the Klout OG - “You’ve been around the block with us and then some. Thanks for being there in the early days and sticking it out. Just kick it a while longer and see how far we go. Or else…” and Summer of Klout - “Way to go! Your Klout Score braved the dog days of summer and still came out on top! Maybe it’s time for a vacation?”
Your Klout style will vary as your Klout score goes up or in some cases down. I use a handy Klout extension for Google Chrome that displays the Klout score for each person / company in your Twitter feed as shown in the screen shot below.
I can see how companies can easily utilize Klout to market new products via Klout perks to those who are more influential across the internet. It’s quite entertaining to see just how much what you say and do on the internet can determine your Klout score in either direction. Klout has made me think much more about the content I post and how I go about doing it as well. I suppose only time will tell if Klout will continue to be a benchmark for social media influence.
This past Friday my daughter started Kindergarten at her new elementary school right down the street from our home. Yesterday she turned five years old and she’s been attending Montessori since she was two and a half years old. When my wife and I took her to her new school Friday we were so happy that she easily transitioned into her class. Once she stored her backpack away and gave her teacher an apple and the required school supply items she found her seat. She read the welcome note on her desk to her teacher and began doing her morning work. On the 11th of August her school had an open house which we took her to and she was able to meet her new teacher and see her classroom for the first time so I believe this enabled her to just jump right in on day one. Someone asked me if I cried when I dropped her off on Friday and I responded to them that I did not. I told them that I was way more emotional about dropping her off at Montessori for the first time when she was still so small because I was worried about the thousands of things that a parents of an only child drives themselves crazy with. I was extremely impressed how much her Montessori school had prepared her for Kindergarten and there was no crying, screaming, or wanting to go back home with Mommy or Daddy from her whatsoever. I’m so happy that we opted to send our daughter to Montessori to allow her to have the jump start on her education that she needs so much in this day and age of academic competitiveness because I can already see that she’s reaping the benefits.
A while back I established a blogger account for my daughter’s cake creations she loves to make on the iPad. On Saturday I showed her the blog and she decided she wanted to make an entry. We went back and forth with ideas about what she could post and finally one stuck in her head that she wanted to go with. She told me about her experience of her fist day of Kindergarten so I decided to help her document it into her blog post.
I was raised by my mother and grandmother until I started private Kindergarten so I was never in a pre-school class of any type. I can remember that it was the very first time that I had ever stepped foot in a classroom. My wife works on the administrative side of education and her mother and step-father are full graduate level professors. I’ve learned a great deal about the value of a education through the three of them because I didn’t get that from my family growing up. Like many teens I had thoughts of going to a division one college but it never panned out for me. I went to high school in Mississippi which is one of the worst states in the country for education. We were living in Biloxi, MS because my step-father was stationed at Keesler AFB. I was never pushed by anyone to achieve a level of academic excellence that’s expected of a graduation high school senior who wishes to attend college. I blame myself a great deal for not being assertive to find out how to make my dream of attending college a reality. I’m a Florida native, so my natural college selection was Florida State University because it’s just down I-10 East a 196 miles, or 3 hours 13 minutes away from my hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
Unfortunately for me this never transpired and I ended up going to work the winter after I graduated from high school. I’ve since attended college classes on the junior / community college level for networking, media technology, and web development which have helped me a great deal in the current position I hold. I say all of this about myself because I absolutely refuse to allow my daughter to fall through the cracks of the educational system like I did. My wife and I are on a mission to ensure that our daughter will always get the most out of her educational experience from Kindergarten all the way to college.
The artists, entrepreneurs and digital gunslingers of our creative culture.
Intro by Jennifer Levine What can I even begin to say about this woman? Dina has become almost a myth for female glassblowers in Colorado. Not only in her personage, but also in the powerful female figures which define her work. Her background in dance and gymnastics has allowed her intimate knowledge of the human body. She imbues her glass with dynamism. The figures become dancers, frozen in space and exemplary of womanhood, grace and beauty. For the 11 yearsI’ve been a female glassblower in this state, people have asked me, “Do you know Dina?” Her reputation for quality and technical capability has been a call to arms for many in our community, and a role model for all females in our community. She is an artist’s artist. As a rule, form follows function when describing art. With Dina, she breaks the rules of form and function to create perfectly balanced sculptures. She is a creator, in the most classical sense. The art that comes out of Dina’s studio has never before existed nor could ever be replicated. As a person, Dina’s a firecracker! I thoroughly enjoy the heck out of her! I cannot explain what it is to be part of the glassblowing sisterhood; we’ve seen and heard it all. It’s a special breed of woman that gets called to blow glass. Aside from all the “cute” jokes about blowing, there are also power tools and heavy gas tanks and a healthy splash of machismo. One learns new definitions of what it is to be a woman, becoming a woman glassblower. There is something to be said about a woman that handles the most delicate of art forms one moment and gets grease under her nails working on an engine the next. It’s all in a day’s work; one learns to laugh, a lot. And, Dina personifies it all! Without further ado, here’s the gal behind the delicate dance, Dina Kalahar:
I am as small as a spec of sand and, my actions are as significant as the universe is. I was born in Cheyenne Wyoming. I make every moment a creative endeavour, and get paid for it. I grew up cradled and guided by the hands of the great spirit. I imagine a plane of existence where all incarnations of the great spirit are at complete peace with in their hearts. My hero is any individual past present and future who has fought and overcome the obstacles of life as an artist; facing the overwhelming fear of true freedom mentally, spiritually, and creatively.
My body is my most valuable possession. The best place to vacation is our quiet center,inside our hearts and soul. If I could do anything I’d never have a complaint. Favorite book: the tao te ching.
I think people are ever changing and always the same. I am inspired by flowers growing in desolate places. I wish I had absolute peace and connection of mind body spirit. I’m just so sick of complaining. I’m really excited about whats going to happen next. The best way to relax is to let go. My parents are my structure and my backbone.
My family’s first experience with Colorado took place back in July of 2008 when we flew into DEN from BNA on Southwest. At DEN we picked up our Enterprise rental Nissan Xterra and drove five hours to Lake City, Colorado to stay for the week with family. Lake City which is located in Hinsdale County, is an absolutely amazing place to visit and see. If you’ve not had the chance, I strongly suggest you go and truly you will be able it get away from it all. The five 14ers in this area of the San Juan range of the Rocky Mountains was a beautiful sight to see each day and is still ingrained in my memory three years later. Uncompahgre peak at 14,321 feet in elevation was absolutely incredible to see for the first time and Lake San Cristobal offered us quite a stunning landscape.
A few factoids I learned about Lake City when I was there like it doesn’t have a hospital, instead they opted to purchase a helicopter. You will not find any commonly known chains like McDonald’s, Walmart, etc in Lake City and I honestly didn’t miss them. One local person informed me that the previous winter they had ninety inches of snow. The former silver mining town of Lake City has a census of around three hundred plus but in the summer it swells to many more than that thanks to tourism and the many fans from the Lone Star state of Texas. I lived in Texas from 1991 through 1994 in Wichita Falls and Waco and I loved every moment I spent in Texas. I spoke with quite a few people in town I totally understand why they dig Colorado so much. The high summer temperatures in Texas can’t compare with the mild summer climate in Lake City with an elevation of 8,671 feet. I recall being somewhat chilly a few nights as we sat on the deck and chatted and noticed the absence of mosquitoes.
Our rental house was situated on a hill and we all enjoyed sitting around the table working the thousand piece jig saw puzzle of the moment. Every once in a while you would get that feeling that someone or something was staring at you. When you looked up you would see a mule deer quietly staring you down through the open window. Mule deer are much larger than their cousins the white tail deer that I’m used to seeing around where I live. The howls of coyotes in the middle of the night as they stalked the area was something I wasn’t quite used to hearing. One night my wife and I heard a loud ruckus only to find out the next morning that a large bear was rumbling through our area.
One of my favorite times in Lake City was when we visited the Vickers Dude Ranch for the half day horse back ride up the mountain.
I must say if you visit Lake City, then it’s a must that you head over to Vickers Dude Ranch and have one of the ranch hands saddle you up with one of their many fine horses. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our horseback adventure up the mountain and back down it. When we reached the top of the mountain we tied the horses up and enjoyed a fantastic bbq. The view from our lunch spot was spectacular and you could still see snow on the caps of some of the mountains.
Outside of going to visit my family in my hometown of Pensacola, Florida, I honestly had never been on a true vacation getaway before. I was totally happy with our first choice in Lake City and we were able to spend a lot of quality time with our family and have fun without the external distractions that we’ve so commonly allowed to filter into our daily lives like cell phones, television, video games, and computers just to name a few. Although I didn’t totally go off the grid the entire stay, for the most part I did my best to spend time with my family because after all that is what our vacation was all about.
View of part of downtown Lake City from the park which my daughter loved dearly.
The artists, entrepreneurs and digital gunslingers of our creative culture.
“Um… well… yeah, I think I’m going to…” and with that unassuming intro, one never knows what will come next with the ever-entrepreneurial Jesse Eastburn. But whatever it is, you can be assured it will soon manifest. I am constantly amazed by this guy’s stories of life, from tattoo apprenticeships in the Middle East while serving in the US Navy to guerilla painting buildings with renowned graffiti artist Banksy to cofounding “The Pitbull Art Show,” a Denver based drive to legalize Pitbull ownership within the city and county of Denver. Today alone, he staved off two dog owners from tearing each other apart, saved a cat from a tree, booked another art show for the weekend, stretched a canvas, tattooed a midget and took his wife to dinner! He is Everyman’s hero. If the man has not done it, I would wager he will find a way to make it happen! He is a one man show, no matter which way you slice it! In 2009, Jesse and Peter Lewis met at an art gallery. The two talked shop, mainly the determined effort of both to not be “starving artists.” A dynamic duo was formed, kicking ass and taking names on the Denver scene ever since. In their wake, they have painted the town fresh with art shows, movie length cartoons, late night graffiti jams, Heritage Square caricatures booths and other events which help redefine Denver’s art scene. As a dynamic duo, these two might argue as to who wears the tights, but there is no question of the impact they have in our community. It is not a small thing to say that Denver is going through a renaissance. This change is an inevitable evolution with the trajectory of the arts in Colorado, especially Denver and its art walks. So, this being said, I’ll put my two cents down now that Jesse and Lewis will be some of the people to watch as we move forward in making our mark on the art tourism marketplace. Without further ado, I’m honored to introduce the guy behind the Pitbulls and spray cans, Mr. Jesse Eastburn:
I started art like most children with good old Crayola. In middle school I started tagging anything I could find with a sharpie. In high school I picked up my first can of spray paint. This would later become an obsession. I painted all over the metro area until I found the art of tattooing. I did my tattoo apprenticeship while I was in the navy. I would later end up with two jobs, the navy as a cop and a tattooist. My Passion is Pitbulls. Being a heavily tattooed male I know how it is to be judged on appearances and stereotypes. That’s why I created the Name BullyOne and founded the Pitbull Art Show. A dedication to the education of the masses through art of the loyal, loving, misunderstood and man’s best friend, the Pitbull.
Nickname: Easterbunny, Bunny, Rabbit, Rabbit 187, BullyOne. I drive to become better, there isn’t a free moment wasted. My preferred vice is money and the occasional Strip club. I’d most like to live in a cave in the middle of the mountains. Diet: Mexican food and junk along with an assortment of high caffeine energy drinks. I’m a comic book fan boy so I don’t feel like typing on ‘heros’ forever. My real-life heros are my parents. Work is Tattooing, Gallery Art, Street Art, Advertising, etc. ect. It never ends. I connect online most on Facebook. My favorite person to follow on Twitter is @brandonbond
The question I get asked the most is: “How much for a butterfly on my ankle?”
I’m PTSD like a MF’er. The internet needs to implode on itself and shut down. No one meets in person anymore, and everyone is stuck on-line all the time. My greatest fear is being broke and homeless. The best place to vacation is Cuba. If I could do anything I’d go to my cave in the mountains or a deserted island away from all the negative crap that is in this world. Pets: Layla my Pitbull, Smudge and Pebbles my cats.
I wish I was ambidextrous. My greatest achievement is winning 1st place overall @ 619Inkfest. If I could switch places with one person for a day, it’d be my dog. Such an easy life. I get inspired by Life! My favorite spot in the world is in San Diego, this cliff on the base i used to work at was the most secluded peaceful place, I used to sketch and relax there all the time. My daughter is the love of my life. My favorite podcast Marijuana Radio. My parents are awesome.
As artists it is our duty to make works around current social and political events. If you are unaware, there is a breed ban on the infamous Pitbull. It is based around fear and ignorance. As a dog owner of this controversial breed, we made it our duty to speak for our dogs. To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. So we educate and advocate for the breed without getting into your face. We want to get into your heart and minds through our pretty pictures.
The artists, entrepreneurs and digital gunslingers of our creative culture.
Neil McKenzie by Jennifer Levine: I met Neil as a student in the class he conceived for the Center for Innovation department of Metropolitan State College. I had been back in my glassblowing field for 6 months and was looking for a class or two to develop my business acumen. I had a pretty good grasp of the basics just by virtue of having started a business ten years before, but I needed to learn better organizational and networking tools for my original product lines. One of the advisers suggested Neil’s Artrepreneurship class as a good place to start. From the first class, I knew I had found the right environment to “get the juices flowing.” Neil’s classroom structure is less a college course and more think-tank, a place for people to exchange ideas. Topics varied from online marketing, inventory maintenance, packaging concepts and general real-time concerns of the small business owner in the “creatives” market… the end goal being that each individual would have a business plan by the end of the semester. With Neil’s 30+ years advertising and marketing experience, his successful transition from the corporate world to commercial photography and his numerous articles in the Colorado Biz Magazine, he is the perfect mentor for artists having been in the marketplace for years or just getting started. The discussions were so dynamic that they often spilled out of the classroom, with members of class either pairing off to talk as they left or joining him outside to smoke cigarettes and confer about strategies. Neil is a man of magnetism and engagement. His curiosity is contagious. As he questions you to further expound on an idea, you begin questioning yourself in ways that demand foresight and manifestation. He is concept-driven, focus oriented and just a plain good guy to have on your team. To get an inkling of the man, you can sneak a peak of his photography skills on his website or read an excerpt of his forthcoming book off his blog. But, you can just look here to glimpse the character of which I’ve been delighted to call a friend and a living embodiment of what this series is designed to underscore. Without further ado…
I am Neil McKenzie. I am a photographer, visiting professor, writer and advocate for the arts. I was born in a foreign country. My greatest achievement is yet to be accomplished.
My career is teaching people in the arts business and taking great photographs of people. I grew up in Denver and Boulder. The question I get asked the most is, do you photograph weddings?No!
Greatest extravagance: Banana cream pie. Diet: Healthy items with an occasional Chicago Dog for good measure. Dream job: The one I currently have. Favorite vacation spot: Colorado.
Work is fun if you are passionate about it. The best book I ever read is Don Quixote. I wish I could draw and paint. I’m just so sick of worthless politicians. I’m most excited about finishing my new book. I found the love of my life in high school
The best way to relax is watching a good movie. My favorite spot in the world is at my farm in Boulder
A pretty-faced boy, all shook up alone in the heartbreak hotel. That’s who. Who is Frank Sinatra without the mob? Who is Nike without Michael Jordan? Who is New York without the Statue of Liberty? You get the idea: Behind every extraordinary talent is a big mouth shouting at the world to take notice. The Internet my friend, is a really big mouth.
The Internet provides every business the opportunity to broadcast their service to millions. But the playing field isn’t level. Those who contribute, are rewarded. Those who are passive, are passed by. Your social media network is your lifeline to new customers.
Scenario: A prospective customer was referred to you by a trusted friend. They will head straight to google. If your social media is hitting on all cylinders, they will see a stream of relevant content piping through your blog, through your twitter, through your facebook, and on your website. The prospect will then assume the following:
You are serious about your business.
You have an open line of communication, where your prospect is most comfortable.
You are the authority in your field.
You build customer confidence with participation. It shows you care. Urgency authenticates your position. If this prospect is savvy, they are likely to check-out your competition. They click through google and you know what they find? Your competitor’s old, dusty-ass, long ignored website. Your competition’s weak web-presence strengthens your credibility. The prospect contacts you - you close the deal. That’s what you do. Feeding you new prospects; that’s what we do. Talklaunch manages your social media. We make connections. We create your content. We get you in the game and look to dominate. Today, talklaunch is a small firm. We have big ambitions. We want to do business with you. This is your opportunity to lead. This is your opportunity to get a leg-up on your competition. Contact me right now. I am happy to talk.
We all enjoy various forms of media such as music, movies, television shows, books, movie stars, and video games. One night while reading my Twitter timeline I ran across a tweet that included a link to a site that I’d never seen before, of course the site I’m speaking of is GetGlue . GetGlue is bascially a mash-up of Twitter and Foursquare because the user can follow or allow other users to follow them. GetGlue partners with various studios and production companies so they’re able to offer the user a “Stickers” when they check-in to the music, movie, television show, book, movie star, or video game they’re currently checking out. The Stickers are broken down into tabs that consists of Limited Time Stickers, Featured Stickers, All Stickers and there’s even a Search for stickers too.
In a short amount of time I’ve watched as GetGlue rocketed past it’s competitors such as miso for example. Actually there are quite a few other sites that offer a similar service to what GetGlue offers but it seems to be the site of choice for majority of Twitter feeds I follow. GetGlue makes checking in easy due to the range of applications available for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, other types of phones. So far I’ve used the iPhone app on my iPod touch, the iPad app, and I was a beta tester for the BlackBerry app on my 9650.
On the Suggestions section of GetGlue you will encounter an tabbed page that offers the following: New Releases, Recommended, Trending, and Lists. Items shown in the New Releases tab is a list generated from recently media items coming to market. I enjoy this tab because I’ll see something advertised and like everyone else get busy and forget all about it and then I’ll come across it in the New Releases tab. The Recommended tab consists mainly of media picked that are very similar to the media items that you’ve selected to mark as a “Like” or “Favorite” which kind of annoys me a little because I never like any of it. The Trending tab displays results of hot items on GetGlue that are getting a lot of hits at the current time from each type of media. The Lists tab on GetGlue provides the user the opportunity to sort through various lists using Quick Rate which contains all media selections and mark the particular media as something they “Like” or “Favorite”.
Like many others I enjoy surfing the web while I enjoy a tv show. A favorite show of mine, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations on the Travel Channel, has incorporated GetGlue into it’s ad spots. The show utilizes the Twitter conversation hashtag #NoReservations and Anthony Bourdain will frequently live tweet during the show. Currently the Travel Channel is promoting GetGlue check-ins to the show where if you check-in to the show each Monday night and you earn all the Stickers for No Reservations you will be entered in an drawing for swag from the Travel Channel gives away some sweet swag.
I’m interested in seeing how GetGlue will manage to maintain their place in the media check-in arena. I hope the rise of sites like GetGlue will encourage tv writers, music producers etc to recognize the trends on GetGlue in an effort to give us a variety of media offerings. While it’s fun and sometimes cool to check-into a trending media event I like to stray off the beaten path and discover a tv show, movie, or album that is equally deserving of the trending status.
I honestly believe that “kinga” is the polish word for “superwoman.” I first met this lovely lady at an event I was putting together for Cinco de Mayo, “Liberate Your Mind, Liberate Your Soul.” I posted a call for artists on a face and body painting Facebook group and within minutes I received an email from Kinga. She was energy, excitement and enthusiasm. After emailing her a few details, I called. To my amazement, she had already found her model, an assistant and a concept. Classically trained in aesthetics and a professional make up artist, it was only natural that this Polish beauty evolved to be one of the most talented body painters I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Original, inventive and color- driven, her work is reflective of her personality. Since meeting her, I have watch Kinga’s portfolio explode! There isn’t a week where she’s not coordinating a slew of events, from face painting children at family festivals to massive body painting expos downtown. For good reason, she is a woman in demand and the only one I know who can pull it off with such effortless grace. I cannot underscore my delight in this gal or her warm spirit enough! Without further ado:
I am Kinga Reilly-Moore. I was born Warsaw, Poland. Role: Devoted Wife, Mother, Skin Therapist, Make-Up Artist, Body Painter, as my husband calls me, the “Director of Creative Energy”. I would change my inability to make decisions at the dumbest moments. For example: Buying paint brushes. I literally spent an hour in the paintbrush section at Hobby Lobby staring at two packages and I could not decided. My husband just stared at me in disbelief.
Why grow up?
Nickname: Princess. Preferred vice: Facebook. Diet: salmon, chicken, fruits, veggies, popsicles. My greatest extravagance is make-up, skin care products, and beauty products. I’d like to live in Europe somewhere. My husband is my hero. The most valuable thing I own is my laptop.
I don’t twitter.
My greatest anxiety is the fear of me. If I could do anything I’d go back in time and spend more time with my grandma. I have no secrets. I loved Conversations With God, changed a lot of things for me. Best thing on TV: The Cosby Show.
I think people are too self absorbed.
I get inspired by other artists work.
I envy a person without fear, or at least not afraid to face their fears. I spend most of my time with my family.
I most wish I had grace.
My favorite spot in the world is my grandparents kitchen table. I found the love of my life at work in 1999. The best way to relax is at the beach. My parents are complicated.
The internet is self aware, it’s just toying with us.
Headline from our full page feature in the Denver Post business section yesterday:
We have answered a flurry of emails and questions in the past 24 hours as a result of the above article. The response has been fantastic. Several long standing business who have weathered the economic turn, contacted us to lift their sales. They want growth: we can help.
Matt Vagts is a third generation flooring and remodel specialist. We maximize his experience and expertise by promoting his services online. We are driving him business. We will do this for you too.
I am inspired by the work ethic that built this country. By the people who made it great. I see that spirit in the people we choose to do business with. Call me today. Let’s get after it. Ryan
Twitter has revolutionized the way and speed in which we obtain news and information about people we know as well as notable figures in different fields such as sports, movies, television, technology, and world government just to name a few. It’s totally changed the method in which breaking news is announced worldwide. I had no idea when I first signed up how hooked I would become on the site and how much I would depend on it to view majority of my web content daily.
One night in March of 2008 while watching Attack of the Show on G4, Kevin Pereira mentioned a unique site that he was using and wanted to share it with the viewers. That night Kevin introduced viewing audience to Twitter. I had previously signed up for Plurk and was unimpressed so I abandoned my account. I was curious about Twitter because Kevin spoke so highly of the site that night so I headed over there and signed up under the name @microblogger (which I no longer use). Under my original account I managed to accumulate around 9,900 tweets under that account before I deleted it and switched over to my current handle. Originally when I signed up for my second account my Twitter handle was @jasoncroberts but sometime later I was able to snag @jason_ because it was a dormant account because @jason already belonged to Jason Calacanis. I simply asked @Support if I could switch my account over and they approved and ported all my tweets over too. I definitely grabbed a great piece of digital real estate and I’ve enjoyed my experience on Twitter a lot more since the switch.
In the short time of three years and four months I’ve witnessed the exponential growth of Twitter and it’s been an amazing ride so far. At first I was a tad bit skeptical at first when I signed up because it just wasn’t that busy of a site like it is today. Now I laugh to myself when I hear people that are Twitter newbies say that it’s a waste of time and I’ll never use my account then a month later they’re completely addicted to the site. To a novice internet user I can see how Twitter could be overwhelming and quite confusing with retweets, url shorteners, etc. I’ve always enjoyed the simplicity of the Twitter and that I don’t have to write a long involved statement, I can just tweet out 140 characters of goodness at a time.
The day I felt that Twitter had arrived as a commercially accepted tool for communication and for media usage was on January 15, 2009 when Janis Krums aka @jkrums tweeted this Twitpic with the quote:
"There’s a plane in the Hudson. I’m on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy."
Janis Krums was of course talking about the now famous picture he snapped that shows US Airways Flight 1549 sitting in the Hudson River which went viral and spread like wildfire across the web in no time. The fact that Krums beat every national news outlet to the punch with his picture proved how valuable Twitter can be. Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and crew were hailed as heroes and the story was a sensation for months to come. I was in amazement how fast Twitter allowed information to be shared and how far behind the news networks were.
#Hashtags are an integral part to the success of Twitter. #Hashtags when used properly allow you to track a conversation on Twitter and it makes it easily searchable. A perfect example of this is when in mid 2009 when the #iranelection story broke on Twitter the world watched their monitors closely as each bit of information trickled in from the few on the ground in Iran that were still able to transmit their tweets and pictures. Late 2010 early 2011 Twitter was a driving force of communication that helped to spark the revolution in #Egypt when the people demanding that former Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak step down after being in power since October 1981. I learn a tremendous amount from the various sources of articles and snippets of information that are available. Twitter keeps me alerted to various happenings around the country and around the globe.
Twitter quickly replaced my RSS feeds because I’m able to follow everyone or every source of what interests me on the internet and in real life. I’m a firm believer of cycling through my list of people that I follow to give my timeline a fresh perspective. I tend to mainly unfollow accounts that have become inactive since I started following them or others ones with poor content. Your timeline can quickly become flooded with too much information if you follow too many users so being selective about who you follow is very important.
Spammers were far a few between in 2009 when I first signed up but as Twitter’s popularity grew it seemed that spammers took to the site like crazy. I love the Block and Report … for spam options that Twitter provides the user and I use them both frequently. I’m always extremely cautious when clicking on a shortened url unless it’s from a trusted, verified, official Twitter account. You can easily be redirected into a scam site that can hijack your Twitter log in so I suggest you think before you click on what you think is the hot trending topic url.
Without a doubt Twitter has quickly become one important piece to the modern method in which we communicate. Twitter makes brands who provide online customer service like @ComcastCares easily accessible. The account is now managed by Bill Gerth but it was originally established by Frank Eliason. When my Comcast internet had issues this past May I actually contacted the Comcast Cares account and Bill helped to expedite the process and made my ticket a corporate escalation which was eventually resolved. Other companies have taken notice of Comcast’s success and now provide excellent customer service on Twitter. Twitter also allows the average person to interact and contact celebrities, professional athletes an news media personalities and many other interesting people.
The dreaded Fail Whale
In the early days of Twitter the Fail Whale (as seen above) was a common site due to strain on the servers from the mass of traffic spikes. The afternoon that Michael Jackson passed was something to see internet wide. I recall reading my Twitter feed at work and I was totally shocked to see the headline about Michael. Twitter users are infamous for killing famous people off early even when they’re perfectly alive and breathing. The most recentvictim is Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner.
In the coming years it will be interesting to see what direction @jack guides Twitter into. I’ve seen reports of advertisements coming soon to user time lines very soon. I wonder how the user base will respond to them once they start showing up? The current promoted trending topics are off to the side and are easy to be ignored. With the mass of tech related companies in line to go public I wonder how long down the road it will be before Twitter decides to file for their initial public offering (IPO). Linked In had a successful IPO and Facebook looks to have a huge IPO in 2012 so I personally feel that it will be just a matter of time before Twitter follows suite. The future appears very bright for Twitter as long as they continue to stay true to their original mission and don’t let advertisers ruin the site.