Archive for December, 2008

How do you Twitter: ProBlogger?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

This is the latest in a series of interviews with a variety of marketers, advertisers, bloggers, SEO consultants, businesses, artists and Internet gurus on the latest micro blogging sensation to hit the interwebs, Twitter.

It’s not often that you get someone of Darren Rowse’s status on your blog and so today I will be celebrating with some fine belgian beers.  It just so happens I’m in Belgium today :) Darren’s alias is ProBlogger, quite fitting as he is one of the most highly regarded professional bloggers in the blogosphere!  Even though he is extremely busy and has enough on his plate with various sites including TwitTip, he spared me some time to talk about Twitter.  Thanks Darren!

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?

I doubt we’ll be doing it in the same form that we do today. As we’ve seen blogging evolve from the early days we’ll probably see social messaging evolve too. Where it ends up I’m not sure anyone really knows!

How can you trust a big name brand on Twitter? You never know who is tweeting, it could be anyone from the CEO to an intern.

I’ve found that trust only really comes with time online – whether it be on a blog or a social networking site. If a Twitter account provides value and proves to be useful to people consistently over time I think it’ll gain trust and profile – no matter who is behind it. I think the key is consistency, transparency (ie don’t say it is the CEO if it is not) and usefulness.

Are we losing our ‘real life’ social skills because of the increase in social media tools?

I’m not so sure, in fact Twitter has opened up social opportunities for me and given me plenty of chances to have face to face and engaging interactions. I guess some people’s personalities might be the type that would use Twitter to hide away from real life social interaction but if it wasn’t Twitter they’d probably do it with something else. The majority of us are having our eyes opened up to all kinds of new and interesting social interactions as a result of the tool.

You run (which I love by the way), what would your number one tip be for people wanting to get the most out of Twitter?

I think the key thing is to be useful, add value and to ‘give’ to your network. The more I put into Twitter the more that comes back to me. Those that I see consistently ‘taking’ from or ‘using’ Twitter tend to become ostracized by the wider Twitter community.

What are your thoughts on the power of the ‘Retweet’?

I didn’t realize the power of the ReTweet until I started using TweetDeck. Previously I was using to monitor replies but this meant I was only seeing replies that started with @problogger (and not messages that started with any other word). When I started using TweetDeck I began to see all tweets that others did with a mention of @problogger. This included many many ‘retweets’ – hundreds of them every week.

When I saw this I began to see their power and ability to spread a link virally among the community. It is no wonder that Twitter is one of the larger referrers of traffic to my blogs now – retweets can be very powerful.

Has the arrival of Twitter allowed you to interact with a new audience or do you feel most of your 24,000 followers were aware of your work before?

Twitter has both opened up a new audience and deepened my brand and engagement with my existing audience. There’s no doubt that people have discovered my blogs for the first time through Twitter – however what I think is more powerful is the way that Twitter has allowed me to ‘rub shoulders’ with those that had at least some awareness of me previously. There’s something quite powerful about someone seeing what you’re up to, working on and thinking every day over an extended period of time.

How do you feel our interactions will change if Twitter goes completely mainstream like Facebook or Myspace?

I think 2009 is going to be an interesting year for Twitter – particularly as it explores its business model. I hope that it won’t change the nature of how people use it but do worry a little that it’ll become more and more overtly commercial and in doing so become more noisy, more spammy and less personal.

Having said that – I guess Twitter is only ever as good as the people who use it and so we as the Twitter community have the ability to really control much of how it is used.

If you could only follow one person on Twitter, who would it be?

My wife. Now I just need to convince her to sign up.


I can’t thank you enough for this advice Darren and for taking the time to help me out with this blog post.  I really appreciate it!

Almost 25,000 people currently follow ProBlogger on Twitter, I’m one of them and I would suggest you guys should be checking out and Darren’s tweets for some high quality info on social media, blogging and a peek behind the scenes of a highly successful blogger. :)

Tomorrow – Brian Chappell

Organic SEO expert, Brian Chappell, will be joining us tomorrow for some more Twitter chat.  Looking forward to it!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS Feed to be kept updated on all the exciting goings on at I Am Paddy.

Designer vs Developer: Priorities

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

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How do you Twitter: John Haydon?

Monday, December 29th, 2008

This is the latest in a series of interviews with a variety of marketers, advertisers, bloggers, SEO consultants, businesses, artists and Internet gurus on the latest micro blogging sensation to hit the interwebs, Twitter.

John Haydon, social media marketing consultant for small businesses and non-profits, will be sharing some thoughts about Twitter today.  Like many of my interviewees I’ve only got to know John [a social media genius] through Twitter.  Without this great tool I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with these experts and get their advice.  Thanks Twitter!

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?

The desire for people to connect and be heard has been in existence since the day we walked up out of the ocean. As microblogging technology develops, it will naturally lower the barriers that currently prevent people from connecting. In 5 years you’ll be able to connect with people who share hundreds of “tagged” attributes way beyond location, likes, dislikes and personality. Imagine being able to instantly assess microblog users based on hundreds of online and offline (web 3.0?) activities – how often they eat vegan foods, their car’s economic footprint, political involvement, personality strengths and flaws. It would be like having a huge “post rank” attached to you as a person. The potential for this technology to connect people would impact every area of our lives.

How should a brand use Twitter effectively?

By realizing that the individuals who represent their company are the brand. The brand is the disenchanted customer service rep, the insincere marketing VP, the newly hired programmer. Extending this further, anyone affected by the company – happy customers, angry customers, potential customers – also acts as the company’s brand. Social media has put “branding” in the job descriptions of every executive, not just the VP of Marketing.

Should you follow everyone that follows you?  Does that not make it impossible to get relevant content?

Don’t follow everyone that follows you.

When people ask you ‘Where were you when Obama was elected?’, will your answer be ‘On Twitter’?


What are your thoughts on people who protect their updates?

I’d have more to think about if they didn’t protect their updates…

Are we losing our ‘real life’ social skills because of the increase in social media tools?

No – gaining. I’ve become a much more compassionate person offline because of social media’s influence. Look at Post Secret, Kiva and – haven’t these sites brought out more humanity in you?

Who would recommend following?

Follow sincere, helpful people that you share something in common with. Don’t follow someone who promises you 1,000 new followers in a month. I believe that sincerity will beat celebrity in the long run.

Anything else to say about Twitter?

Just be yourself – no matter how screwed up you think you are.


Thanks John!  Some great points there.  I do think it’s going to be scary how Twitter evolves in the next 5 years.  Check out John’s site Corporate Dollar if you are at all interested in social media and how it can help your small business or non-profit.

Tomorrow – ProBlogger

I’m really excited to announce that tomorrow’s interview will be with Darren Rowse, aka ProBlogger!  Darren was really kind to dedicate some time out of his schedule to answer a few questions for me.  So check back tomorrow everyone!

How do you Twitter: Damien Mulley?

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

This is the latest in a series of interviews with a variety of marketers, advertisers, bloggers, SEO consultants, businesses, artists and Internet gurus on the latest micro blogging sensation to hit the interwebs, Twitter.

Award winning blogger Damien Mulley is the latest person to shed some light on using Twitter and social media.  Great to have your thoughts Damien!

What is your opinion on big name brands on Twitter?  Do you trust them?

Twitter is personal, it’s people to people comms. Brands are impersonal but representatives of those brands can be quite informal and friendly, that can be the value for brands on Twitter. I don’t want to talk to Vodafone Ireland or O2 Ireland on Twitter, that’s just horseshit. (I am subbed though to see how they do) I don’t go to their stores and talk into a box on the wall outside the store that relays messages to a faceless entity hidden behind the front door, I talk to people in there and maybe over time I get to know Dave from the Patrick’s Street Vodafone store and recommend him to others. I think a lot of large companies are seeing Twitter as some magazine they can advertise on instead of realising it’s a place where people exchange information.

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?

There’ll be instant communications that probably will be location aware. Not sure will it be Twitter or Tweeting.

Do you prefer the speed and instant feedback aspect of Twitter over blogging?

I think Twittering and blogging are entirely different. They’re both personal and transparent communicating but then they’re much different on how that’s done. Twitter is that whole Blink thing Malcolm Gladwell
talked about. Quick, almost subconscious reactions to things whereas blogging generally means there’s more work and consideration going into your writing. It’s probably a but more reflective. I do like Twitter for the way news and thoughts are spread at the speed of light.

What’s your thoughts on people who protect their updates?

It’s understandable and unfortunate. Some people have to protect their updates because when they are open and transparent it can be used against them. That pretty much sucks. Course some just want a private comms channel with friends who are chatting in public. Funnily enough you can.

You obviously don’t follow just anyone.  How do you decide who makes the cut?

I follow too many. I remember the days when I only followed 70. There are no hard and fast rules. If I met them in person I’d add them or if I see my network talking to someone else a lot then they must have some value so I’ll add them and see. I cull every now and then based on if I think someone is too noisy or just not adding value to my personal stream. When people add me now and almost every day I get a few Irish people, I won’t add them back unless I know them well enough. If they start interacting with me and @ing me though, then I’ll probably add them after that.

When people ask you ‘Where were you when Obama was elected?’, will your answer be ‘On Twitter’?

I was with my friends but only one of them was in the room. That’s my answer and I think most of our generation won’t even blink at such an answer.

Are we losing our social skills because of the increase in social media tools?

Maybe the opposite. It’s the slow intro to a group. A foot in the door. People can get to know each other before they meet now so for the shy it means the first physical meetup is much much easier. Sharing information be it photos of your kids or business interests always breaks down the trust barrier in life. When you get to know someone more and share with them you can work better with them as you begin to understand the unique subtleties each person has. The ease at which data is exchanged with social media tools means that it speeds up relationship building.

If you could only follow one person, who would it be and why?

Hunter S. Thompson when he was still about or Michael O’Leary. Two people that do what they want to do and the world can come along if it wants to but it isn’t necessary.

Anything else to say about Twitter?

I’ve said too much!


Cheers Damien! Great to get your views. :)  Check out Damien’s blog if you want an interesting view on the Internet.  Damien organises a whole range of awards, gives training and does a fair old bit of writing.  Definitely a guy worth following everyone!

Tomorrow’s interview will be with social media marketing consultant John Haydon.

How do you Twitter: Tim O’Reilly?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Every day for the next week or so I will be interviewing a variety of marketers, advertisers, bloggers, SEO consultants, businesses, artists and Internet gurus on the latest micro blogging sensation to hit the interwebs, Twitter.

Today I’m really excited to have the thoughts of Tim O’Reilly on my blog!  The emerging technologies legend is extremely busy but took the time to share a few thoughts with me about Twitter.

How do you think Twitter has changed the way people interact online?

It has vastly increased the amount of serendipity.  Case in point: I noticed that Scoble was in Barcelona via twitter; connected him with Terry Jones of FluidInfo, who lives there.  Terry is a fascinating technologist looking for venture funding.  Robert did some video interviews, thought it was really cool; Terry got a term sheet the next week.

On a more personal level, I have a kind of “ambient intimacy” (@leisa is responsible for that term) with my family.  I learn small details about the day my wife and kids are having, and am closer than I have been in years (on a day to day basis) with my one brother who tweets regularly.  I learn small details that I’d never think to ask about.

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?

No.  There will be better tools.

What can a big name brand do to be trusted on Twitter?

Have a person behind it.  ScottMonty of Ford is a good example.  He’s shilling for Ford, but it’s clear that he’s doing it.


Thanks Tim!  I really appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions.  Some fantastic advice there.

Check out some of the other interviews with a variety of Internet gurus below.  I’ll be uploading some more soon after Christmas.  Thanks to everyone who spared some wisdom for us.  We all appreciate it :)