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How do you Twitter: Brian Chappell?

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.

Brian Chappell, organic SEO expert is today’s interviewee.  The Link Specialist talks about brands on Twitter and how we’re not really losing our ‘real life’ social skills because of social media.

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?

I think so. Twitter is here to stay. I felt the same ‘wow’ factor the day I saw it as when I first started using AIM back in the mid 90’s. Microblogging has changed the face of the web and will only be more widely adopted as time goes on.

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

I try to follow individuals who share lots of great information as well as who don’t tweet too often. I don’t follow folks just because they follow me. I have my twitter stream open all day so noisy twitterers don’t fit well.

Also, just because I know you in real life, and we are friends doesn’t mean I follow you either. There are several very prolific twitter users who tweet too much, and they know I don’t follow them. That’s ok.  I try to follow only industry buddies as I am focused on connecting with like-minded folks.

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

I don’t think so, there is a balance that one must take. In fact, I have become much more open and have met so many people because of the social sites I hang out at. Now this is not exactly applicable to all folks who use social networks, but for me it has worked great.

I have forced myself to be more social because I have taken online contacts and turned them into real life contacts through conference endeavours and local meetups.

Would you suggest that every company now uses Twitter in some way?

I would at least squat on your name even if you are not going to use it. Most companies can find a way to use twitter in some form or fashion.

How can you trust a big name brand on Twitter?  You don’t always know who is tweeting.  It could be anyone from the CEO to an intern.

That is the real problem with the social web today – you don’t know who is behind that avatar. In most cases you are exactly right, you very well could be interacting with an ‘intern’.

I argue though, that in most cases that is ok. Twitter is a great outlet for brands to assist in customer service. If I tweet that “jet blue sucks – they lost my bags” and a JetBlue twitter account contacts me. Thus creating a email dialogue after that, that allows me to get 300$ off a flight of my choice, I don’t really care who that person is.

What bugs you about Twitter?

Well the Retweet option. It is great, don’t get me wrong – but I have a feeling it will be abused more and more down the road.

Here is an example: Kmart ran a campaign with these A list bloggers – in order to enter in these contests held on each bloggers blog, you needed to retweet, or blog about it. To me this is crossing the line somewhat. There was a flurry of retweets that clogged up peoples twitter streams.

What was your first Tweet?


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

Not exactly, however, Twitter certainly made things very interesting this election year. I thought a lot of the twitter chatter was a bit overwhelming.

Do you think Twitter is going to go mainstream and everybody, absolutely everybody will have a Twitter account?

It depends on your definition of mainstream. I am not sure everyone will feel the need to be on twitter. It has a place for many business professionals. It won’t ever have the same sort of reach as Facebook and Myspace in my opinion but could possibly be as prolific as Linkedin one day.


Great stuff Brian!  Thanks a lot.  Make sure and check out Brian’s Twitter account and his website for a peek into his SEO brain.

Tomorrow – Eoghan McCabe

Eoghan McCabe, web designer and ‘head dude’ over at (the guys behind Qwitter) will be giving us his thoughts on using Twitter to create apps tomorrow.  Keep updated on all my blog posts with the RSS Feed!

Comments (4)

  1. Thanks for asking me to participate Paddy. Has been very interesting to see folks responses to these questions.

  2. Justin

    30 May

    Whoa… this site is pretty awesome :) your layout is really well designed, and your blogs are (judging from what i’ve read) very interesting. heehee… consider yourself favorited. :-P


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