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Your Altitude is Relevant

by admin on January 23, 2008

Chris Brogan asked a two pronged question through his Twitter network late yesterday that got me thinking about the impact that perspective and relevance have on the context of a conversation, and how it’s important to understand and adjust your altitude before making a comment.

To be fair, the second part of Brogan’s query belied his open-minded humility when he asked. “Am I being too purist?”

Everyone can agree that the conversations revolving around Web 2.0 can be mighty heady stuff. Even downright evangelical at times as Big Picture concepts are floated in select company, where thinking even remotely old school can get you thrown out on your 1.0 ass.

This phenomenon of human nature is nothing new.

Every conversation, whether it’s about Web 2.0, high end audio or fashion design has its Thought Leaders operating in rarified air where they have no time for anything but the White Hot Now.

And that’s all good. I’m glad they’re there, figuring it all out for guys like me.

There was a time when these Thought Leaders had the conversation all to themselves. They met at exclusive conferences, in universities and within their industries where they collaborated inside invitation-only sandboxes. Eventually their big ideas trickled down to the masses and became consumerized, and the Though Leaders went on to think on some new stuff.

And there is still a fair amount of that going on.

But now, anybody with an Internet connection and an opinion can throw in their two cents, even if nobody asks.

As technologies and ideas trickle down from the Thought Leaders to the masses, the combination of the blogosphere and the explosion of online social networks have blurred the previously firm boundaries of Conversations which were previously the exclusive domain of the Thought Leaders.

It’s as if somebody left the door to The Club open and people are walking in off the street.

But there’s no closing this door, kids, so what to do about it?

How about you just listen, Empathize, Validate, and Learn.


Building Your Twitter Kingdom

by admin on January 22, 2008

Now that you’ve got your Twitter account up and Twittering it’s time to build your network.

Back when you were setting your strategy I suggested you answer two questions: What do I want to get out of my social network and why should others care about my involvement?

The answers to those questions are made up of the words and ideas you’ll need in order to build your Twitter network. Here’s an example.

Q. What do I want to get out of my social network?

A. I want to capitalize on my expertise in cross dressing so I become the preeminent authority on the subject.  I want to write informative articles to the cross dressing community, couples therapy community and plus size lingerie and women’s shoe industry. Eventually I’d like to sell a book to a major publisher and appear on Oprah in drag.

Then characterize your target connections.

•  Who is my audience?
•  What do they look like?
•  Where do they hang out?
•  What blogs do they read?
•  What websites do they frequent?

Look into your answers for key words to use as search terms.

In this example you could build a list of key terms along these lines:
transvestite               sexual reassignment       queen
drag queen                transsexual                      tranny
ladies underwear     crossdresser                     transgender
judy                            marilyn                             cher

With this list of key words, you can now go trolling the Twitter community. As you perform searches with each term, peruse the search results and click the Follow button when you find someone who fits the target connection.

Continue this until you’ve exhausted all your search terms on Twitter.

Now go do the same thing on Google and see what you find. What you’re likely going to see is a combination of merchant web sites and blogs. Take the time to dig into the blogs. You’ll uncover links to other pertinent blogs and names that you can then go back to Twitter and search.
Bookmark the blogs for future reference. We’ll come back to them at a later date.

Eventually you’ll exhaust all your searchable resources. There’s one more fertile area where you can find potential connections inside your network, but you’ve got some work to do first, which brings us to the second question.

Why should others care about my involvement?

This is where you roll out that expertise you’ve been talking smack about.

When you return to your Twitter home page, you’ll be able to see the people you’re following. You’ll also be able to see a list of their feeds, or Tweets, on your home page. Each comment will fall into one of five categories:

•   Informative – usually contains an interesting link or fact
•   @nswer – a comment intended to answer another poster directly
•   Random
•   Though provoking
•   Open question to the group

To get people in your network to follow what you have to say, you’ve gotta engage, providing interesting, informative or at very least, entertaining content, and this is where it happens.

Take the time to read the Tweets coming across your home page.

If you have something pertinent to add to a conversation, chime in. If you can provide an accurate answer to someone’s question, go ahead and answer it. If you found something useful in a link someone provided, let them know.

Maybe what you find will tip you off to information you can provide which may be of interest. At very least, thank the person.It’s necessary at this stage of your network building process to direct your answers toward a specific user by placing the @ symbol in front of their Twitter ID. This ensures that they’ll see your comment, which will likely get their attention enough for them to begin to follow you.

If you have a presence somewhere else on the web, this is when cross pollination begins. By including the URL of your blog, your Facebook or MySpace page in your user profile, you’re giving a curious user somewhere to go to get more information about you after you’ve directed a comment at them or they see your comment to someone else.

“Who is this mother f***er telling me I can’t wear flats with an evening gown? He doesn’t know I’m a statuesque 6’2” in stockings!”

And so it goes.

Be disciplined about your strategy and rethink your key words based on what you learn from your network. Set aside some time every day to nurture your Twitter network but be careful; it can be addictive.

Next time we’ll go a level deeper into how you can expand your network further into the places that will position you where you need to be to achieve your networking objectives.

Full disclosure ~ My brother Jimmy, pictured with me in the About section, is now my sister Jamie…kinda, so I mean no offense to the cross dressing community. More on this at another time.



Signing Up for Twitter

January 21, 2008

Signing up for a Twitter account is way easy. Here’s the short version: • Go to Twitter. • Click the green “Get Started – Join” button. • Choose your username. • Choose your password. • Enter the email address that will be associated with your Twitter account. • Click the “I Accept. Create my account.” button. That’s it. You’re ready to […]

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Twitter and the Two Questions

January 18, 2008

“First I hadda get a MySpace, then Facebook was the place to be. Now you’re telling me I need to do what? Twitter? What the hell is Twitter?” Exasperated and shaking his head, author and lecturer Jonathan Maberry clapped one of his massive paws to his forehead. “And why? Why should I be Twittering?” Here’s […]

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Twitter For My Parents

January 16, 2008

I’m sure you know people who refuse to accept text messaging as a viable method of communication.  For those of us who do use text messaging, it’s become a beneficial, appropriate method to communicate some stuff. Not everything, but some things. Twitter is what results when text messaging, chat rooms and social networks cross breed. […]

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