Knowing Your Limits And Gaming Yourself

Since starting this blog several years ago, I’ve tried several techniques to keep up a regular blogging routine. From blogging daily for a week or two, to attempting to blog every day for an entire year, I’ve tried them all.

While this blog isn’t a business for me, it’s a great way to share knowledge, thoughts and interesting discoveries. At the same time, I simply cannot dedicate all day every day to blogging, researching and constructing articles. Ultimately, it’s also not how I most enjoy writing.

So here’s what I’ve done.

Twitter introduces new Lists feature

So, I just logged in to my Twitter account via the web interface and saw a notice mentioning a new “Lists” feature that Twitter have just launched. The notice read:

New! Lists. A great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts. (BETA)

Lists are timelines you build yourself, consisting of friends, family, co-workers, sports teams, you name it. You’re part of a small group receiving this feature, so don’t tweet about it yet!”

Gatorpeeps – An African micro-blogging platform

“Africa’s talking, are you?” – the Afrigator slogan, the company that has (a few minutes ago) released it’s new product, Gatorpeeps, an African micro-blogging platform similar to Twitter.

Gatorpeeps has some really nifty features, including hashtag (#) communities, allowing easy categorising of “peeps” (“tweets” on Gatorpeeps) as well as streamlined searching on various topics through these hashtags. The service is automatically available to existing Afrigator users (a convenient aspect to encourage existing users to adopt the service), and has a clean and clear interface for working your way around Gatorpeeps.

I’m excited to see the progression of this service. Many kudos to the Afrigator team on an awesome job of Gatorpeeps. One feature I would like to see on the service would be more Ajax-like functionality (for example, loading the @username into the “peep” box without reloading the page). This is not so much a feature as much as an enhancement. All in good time hey. 🙂

For more information on Gatorpeeps and what others have to say about the service, Bandwidth Blog and Mike Stopforth’s blog have posts discussing the service.

See you in Gatorville!

Do non-personal Twitter streams work?

Is it not going against the core purpose of Twitter to use the service as a group account (for example, an account for one’s company)? Does it really achieve the return that the company is looking for in terms of interacting with their market? Do Twitter users catch on to this and not interact with the account? How do you know who you’re talking with, if it’s a corporate account? With some celebrities who tweet, they’ve hired a “Twitter PA”, as it were, to tweet for them.

Using a Twitter account isn’t the same as having your biography written for you. Twitter users want to interact with other Twitter users, as is the core functionality of the service. I’d rather interact with a user who has a personal account, who I happen to know is the CEO of or is working at a certain company. That way, if you have a query for that company, you know who you’re talking with and are also aware that the person works for the company. Brands, bands, companies, etc sign up on Twitter looking for that “personal connection” to their market. For that “direct access”. How does signing up a Twitter account for your brand do this? Or, for that matter, does it do this at all?

South African musos on Twitter: The List

Since my previous post on South African bands on Twitter, I’ve been contemplating drafting a list of South African bands and musos that tweet. After reading Anna’s blog post on the topic, listing South African music industry Twitter users, I’ve decided to draft the list. Twitter is an amazing service that can assist bands in connecting with their fan base, finding out what their fans would like to know, and sharing information with their fans, potential fans, other bands, etc. If used correctly, the technology can assist bands greatly in growing their fanbase. So, without further ado, here’s the list:

Choosing your ideal Twitter client

Updating your Twitter stream should be the simplest task possible. It should be a constant flow from brain to finger tips. In addition, viewing other’s tweets, replying to and interacting with tweets should be just as easy. Many of us Twitter users choose to use the web interface when at our desktop or laptop. Others, however, choose to use a desktop client to update our Twitter stream. This is where the selection process begins.

South African bands arrive on Twitter

Recently, I’ve noticed an explosion of South African bands and artists signing up on Twitter to promote themselves. It’s taken a while for bands to cotton on, and they’re now chomping at the bit to get going.

The question here is, really, “will these bands use Twitter for it’s intended purpose, or purely as a follower-gaining tool?”

So often, I’ve heard bands showing off how many friends they have on Myspace or fans on Facebook. There seems to be a definite perception that the more friends/fans you have on your online profile, the more “popular” your band is. I believe this to be incorrect. So what if you have 30000 friends on Myspace? If you don’t interact with them, they mearly serve the purpose of making your band potentially look attractive to a record label, promoter or other music industry tycoon. This is that classic “one chance” that every band seeks out. That one chance to “break out” and “make it big”. What good will that do your band though?

Twestival in Cape Town… Tweeters tweet for charity

Last night saw Twitter users around the world band together to support a worthy cause (charity : water …providing clean drinking water to 1.8 billion people that don’t have access to it). Tweeters from over 100 countries around the world gathered in their various nations to share, learn and discuss with eachother. Capetonian Tweeters gathered at Doppio Zero in Cape Town city centre for an evening of wine, pizza slices and informative discussion.

The evening kicked off with several presentations including a talk by Eran of Springleap on social media marketing and several beautiful performances by Cape Town’s own social media-made performing artist, Verity (also the MC for the evening). Watching interesting videos, chatting with other Twitter users about their experiences, watching Marcel the incredible corporate magician perform incredible sleight of hand and generally having a lovely evening are just several of the experiences had at last night’s Twestival.

Thanks must go to the organisers of the Cape Town Twestival, as well as to the global Twestival co-ordinators, for doing such an awesome job of organising the evening, spreading the word and raising funds for charity : water. Here’s to the next global Twestival and to creating global awareness of global issues faced on a daily basis by billions.

Christel House SA – A Tweet-up for a Cause

This Saturday morning past saw a group of tweeters, press, teachers and school-kids arrive at Christel House SA in Ottery for what was truly an eye-opening experience. We planted trees on the school grounds, sharing in the construction and landscaping of what is truly an incredible institution. The Christel House school is an institution that provides education and nourishment to under-privelaged youths (grade RO to Matric) from the surrounding areas. The school bus fetches and returns the children daily, as well as the dining hall providing nutritionally balanced nourishment to the students. We had the opportunity to share in the construction of the brand new Christel House school premisis, as well as a walk-through tour of the grounds and the incredible fascilities the school is offering to it’s students.

Costing in the same bracket as an average public school in South Africa, it is a wonder why more schools have yet to adopt the Christel House SA model. With two sports fields (including a cricket pitch), lush fertile grounds, spacious classrooms, a vegetable garden for each classroom and a host of other fascilities, Christel House SA provides a place where students want to be, to learn and to develop.