Adam: I have the great pleasure of having five superstar Twibe founders with me. Superstars in my world at least. And probably in yours too. Today we’ve got joining us Carrie Findley-Bajack, founder of the Travel twibe. Lauren Gilbert, founder of the librarians twibe. Steve Katz, from the EdTech twibe. Tim Adam from the Etsy tweets twibe. And, Walid Romaya (@PrinceOfWine) – founder of the Wine twibe.
I have been doing a series of Webinars over the last few weeks helping people out with their basic twitter questions and finally decided I was going to take the chance to do a Twibes one – which love because, obviously, Twibes is my website and I can talk about it all day long. I know people have a lot of questions about â€œwhat is the point of Twibesâ€ and how can they get the most out of it. So rather than me just spouting off, I wanted to interview some of these guys who have been getting something out of it – either out of luck or hard work. So we can hear in their words what they are getting out of it in their words, and more generally how they are using Twitter.
Before we get started if you have questions I am going to have their individual Twitter pages up, so you can see their names. Iâ€™ll try to do that as they’re talking and switch between that and their Twibe page. If you want to send a tweet, just go ahead and at-reply any of the 6 of us on the call, or use the hashtag #twibes. I’ve got a search up here on my desktop so I can watch the tweets coming through with the #twibes, hash tag. Lastly, there’s also the questions on the webinar, through the webinar interface, you can ask questions there too. We’ll try to answer questions at the end of it. After we get through kind of handling the questions that you’ve already submitted.
Thank you guys for joining me. I want to just give everybody a chance to introduce themselves. Carrie, can you tell us a little bit, I know your Twitter handle is @CruiseBuzz, can you a little bit of how you use Twitter generally, and about what exactly you do?
Carrie: Sure. I actually am the president of Cruise Holidays of Mission Vallejo. We are an cruise specialist travel agency. I do all of the marketing and part of the marketing is really focused on direct mail but moreover all the social media components. Twitter is kind of like the quarterback of all my different content channels. I use Twitter to keep in contact with my vendors, other travel bloggers, other colleagues. Ultimately trying to hook up with and talk with people about travel, specifically luxury cruising. So, I use Twitter a lot. Everyday. And I’ve been really going strong on it, for over a year and I originally started using it about three years ago. I started to travel twibe about a year ago and thats where I am today.
Adam Loving: Great. Its interesting that you mentioned using it to communicate with other people in your field. More than just customers, you’re collaborating with other people in the travel industry. Is that right?
Carrie: Definitely yeah, we have – there’s a core group of us – I call them the cruise crew – and we are pretty faithful to re-tweet and reply to each other and just kind of try and talk about news of the day and I post a lot on other people’s blogs. And people come and see my stuff. It’s been a really useful tool to keep in contact with people that are within the cruise industry. It sort of branched out because, what happens with me on Twitter is that the people that are using Twitter a lot, you see them coming up a lot. I follow a lot of people and I see a lot of active people and I just jump into the stream of conversation. So, that’s how I do it.
Adam: Right, and what percentage would you say, of the people that you communicate with, are people that you know in real life versus that you’ve met on Twitter? Just curious.
Carrie: The percentage of people that I actually know is maybe 1%.
Adam: [Laughter]. Right. Cool. Okay. So next on my list here I have Lauren. Lauren, can you tell us how you use Twitter and what you do generally.
Lauren: Sure, Twitter has made a huge positive impact on my life. I joined in I think October 2008 at a library conference where there were a lot of really tech savvy forward thinking librarians who were tweeting the conference, which sounded kinda silly to me but I really got interested, and joined. Since then I’ve made a lot of professional contacts, with individual librarians all over the country. I’ve learned a lot of great new tech tips, because people share freely. If you have a question, it will be answered, really quickly. Â I’ve also made good professional contacts – I’ve gotten book review jobs at Library Journal from an editor that I met on Twitter. Â I’m using it very much in my other role as the programs coordinator for the New York State Book Festival. I’ve gotten in personal contact with so many authors. You don’t have to do an end-run with the publicists and the publishers. You get really great easy access to the people you’re trying to reach, which has been wonderful.
Also, personally having contact with so many authors, I’ve also made real life friends through my Twitter contacts. I’ve had several tweet ups with other librarians, with writers and publishers. I feel like I’ve really been exposed to a larger world than I knew before.
Also at subsequent library conferences it’s a great way to meet in person people that you’ve only tweeted with. When you go to a conference by yourself to find someone to hang out with and have dinner with. More importantly, through the use of conference hash tags it’s a way to follow what is going on even at the sessions that you canâ€™t attend. I was quoted by a local journalist who found me through twitter on some privacy issues and Google. So it’s really just a way for me to get my face out, there my name out there professionally and to make personal and professional contacts. It’s really been a great thing for me.
Adam Loving: Yeah, that’s interesting.
Speaker: In terms of Twibes, are we going on to that?
Speaker: Sure go ahead. If you want, yeah.
Lauren: I created the librarians twibe pretty early in the process. My Twitter feed is up right now you can see it’s really a lot of personal kind of goofy stuff as well as the professional. If you scroll through, it’s really a big mix between library stuff and non-library stuff, and social media stuff. As well as some just New York general stuff. Â I don’t remember how I found out about twibes, it came up on my screen that somebody had possibly joined the Etsy twibe because there seems to be a lot of overlap between crafty people and librarians unfortunately not me.
The same way I learned about twitter I saw it I looked into it. And because I got there early there was was no librarians group. If I didn’t do it, somebody else would have for sure. Â It definitely fills a niche, there are a lot of librarians on Twitter. Of course, when I first started it, I tweeted about it a lot. After everyone joins it shows up in their Twitter stream, and alerts all their followers. So it grew really organically.
Adam Loving: Great.
Lauren: I remember for the first several hundred I was really watching the numbers creep up and it was fun. And congratulating the 500th member, but after that, I kind of lost track and it, and it took on a life of its own. I’m really not in a business where I’m trying to sell anything. We’re just sharing ideas. It’s a non-profit field. It’s a professional community. It’s a way to find other librarians on Twitter. A way, I think a lot of others have found me and it’s nice for me personally to have my face up there. I think it gets me out there – just another type of professional recognition. If you go to the pages of what I do once and awhile it is a snap shot of what librarians are doing. In this case it looks like I am up there a lot, but there is a lot of people talking about libraries and librarians.
Adam Loving: Right. I like what you said early on there about it being a way to sort of cut out the middle man and, and introduce yourself directly to people.
I found Twitter to be really good in that way, as well, in order to check out somebody that I want to meet or meet somebody and then be able to communicate directly with them. Or, reply to a few things that they have said without having to figure out what their email address is and send some kind of awkward introduction. I think that is one of Twitterâ€™s real strengths. Great. Well, since you mentioned Etsy – let’s go onto Tim,
Tim, let me switch over to your page here. Tim is the founder of Etsy Tweets, and I see from your Twitter page you’re a metal artist. Is that it, Tim?
Tim: Yes. My story begins about 2004, 2005. I started designing metal art metal furniture just by accident. I started selling on Etsy because someone told me I should.
It was kind of up and coming. It was 2007, and a year and a half later I quit my job because of the income from Etsy. But, I didn’t find Twitter and, and blogging and just all that kind of stuff until I think I started my Twitter page 2008. Basically it has revamped my business. I teach a lot of people how to use Twitter as far as in their business in selling online. Selling their handmade goods on Etsy. It’s a huge way to get your stuff out there. Etsy is in itself, a community of handmade artists. It’s huge. It’s amazing just the amount that people are wanting to get their things out there. You need to learn how to use some of these social media marketing and Twitter has popped up and it’s big. Some of the things that I use twitter for is to share Tweet tips and blog tips. I like to re-tweet things that I find helpful that I know can help other people too, and you know, also I talk about things that I do on my blog and all of the sites that I use. But also one of the things that I run from my personal blogs is a top 10 every week and. It’s basically featuring Etsy artists on my blog giving them a platform to get promoted themselves. I actually have around 9 twitter channels that have pretty substantial followers.
I retweet back and forth that is pretty powerful. With the top 10 I run on etsy Â I have been doing it for, which is pretty crazy, this week will be the 70th week in a row that I have been running this top 10 but it’s all done through Twitter and it’s all done through Facebook. If you go to my blog real quick you will see the top 10 right there. If you scroll down.
Adam: I see so you’ve got 10 other sellers that their stuff you’re featuring. How do you choose? Who gets into the top 10?
Tim: Well they have to leave a comment on my blog. And they have to leave a comment in the Etsy forums. It’s all done by my eye. I’ll go through the 100 or so submissions each week and then I’ll just pick what I think is cool. It is fun for me because every week it turns into something different. Right now I’m picking some things – as you see there -for Valentines day coming up.
So you know it kind of fits with what is going on, and like holidays and things like that. But mostly it’s just whatever catches my eye. Sometimes if it’s somebody’s birthday I’ll I’ll give them a feature or something but [laugh] you can’t do that every time. That has really gained me a lot of followers.
But as far as the Etsy tweets twibe goes I am always looking for something else to help supplement Twitter. I’m constantly looking for new technologies and Twibes came up. I just joined it, and figured Etsy tweets would be something that a lot of people would be interested in. It really is a great way to find people who actually are tweeting about Etsy. Actually, it’s a great way to find quality hand made items that are for sale. A lot of Etsy people are talking about their Etsy business and their hand made business. Jewelry or whatever they’re hand making, so you can find that and there’s a lot of. Like you can see Steam Punk rings. They do a lot of giveaways. And it’s a great way to actually connect and find those kind of sellers.
Adam: I really like what you’re doing. It’s so smart to make your own blog sort of the center of the community by… you know it takes time for you to to pick those items and post every week but at, and it seems counterintuitive that by highlighting other peoples stuff you, you become the center of what’s going on. With Etsy on Twitter and on your blog and.
Adam: I think that’s a great example of something that people can do, to spur their twibes, I’ve heard from some of the political groups, or blogger groups where theyâ€™ll actually use the twibe to facilitate guest posting. They’ll use the twibe to say â€œeverybody join the twibeâ€ in order to become a member of the group. Then, â€œonce you do that we’ll Â pick one of your blog posts and post it on our central blog.â€ In some sense it is more work, but in a lot of ways it saves work too because they can then share content and share exposure. Obviously in your case it’s worked cause you’ve got 32,000 followers [laugh].
Tim: Yeah that’s crazy to me.
Adam: How, does that map between people that you think would actually be your customer and be buying your art, and how much of that is just other sellers. What is your feeling on that?
Tim: There is a cross between Etsy sellers and Etsy buyers. A lot of times people say â€œwhy would you want to…â€ I actively seek out people who are in the Etsy community,
and handmade community. I obviously follow them, and hopefully in turn they will follow me back. Etsy sellers are actually etsy buyers too. Not all, but I sell on Etsy but I also buy on Etsy. There’s cool stuff, and it’s not like I’m not going to buy just because I sell on there.
Tim: A lot of people are following to find out tips that I give, and find out the top tens. I’ve had direct sales straight from tweeting something out. Iâ€™ll get a message saying hey I saw your message on Twitter and I bought this. Or even just connecting with other bloggers and other websites. But, I would say it’s a low amount. I couldn’t just right now go tweet something and I would have an automatic sale.
I mean that’s just not the way it works. With anybody really. With 32,000 followers you can’t just tweet something, and say â€œoh I’m going to have thousands of sales today.â€ It’s not the way it works. Especially in metal art. I sell metal art – furniture and jewelry. So that’s just one of the things that I do.
I teach some of these people in the Etsy community – if you’re actually tweeting about something instead of saying â€œhey check out my new necklace,â€ just post a link say, â€œhere’s my new necklace, what do you think about it?â€ Is it too this or is it too that – create a conversation. That’s what I like to do – start a conversation instead of just promoting and promoting.That’s when it really starts to help your business and to help you out. If I ask people if this necklace looks too modern and a lot say that it is then maybe I might want to re-think my design. It also creates a conversation and people come to your Twitter channel and say â€œoh you know, he’s not just promoting, he’s not just like posting links all over the place, you know.â€ He’s actually engaging in conversation. And it’s hard with 32,000 followers it’s not like I can keep up with what everyone is saying. It just doesn’t happen. That’s why Twibes helps me keep tabs on what a smaller amount of (I know they are targeted Etsy people) are actually up to.
Adam: Right. OK, great. Steve is the founder of the EdTech Twibe… Thanks, Tim by the way. I didn’t mean to cut away so quick, come back to you in a minute.
Steve can you tell us Â following on like these other founders are telling us? What’s your business and how did you come to be the founder of the EdTech Twibe?
Steve: Sure, I am a teacher. My profession, right now, I am the director of educational technology at an American school in Costa Rica. I actually started getting involved with Twitter because I had written a book and I was trying to promote it.
Of course, I have the link there on my Twitter page. But really, here in Costa Rica there’s not a whole lot of opportunities for professional development. Twitter really became my device for my own personal professional development, because there’s not a whole lot of access to conferences and things like that here. Really, I use Twitter professionally and one of the other people were saying they, they’ve only actually met 1% of their followers. I think I’m right in about the same range and the only reason it’s up to 1% was a couple of conference that I presented at. I was able to a meet up with people who I follow and who follow me. Twitter was the vehicle for that. We ended up having some interesting conversations about EdTech because of that. Otherwise, we probably would never would have met.
I really don’t, promote my my book on Twitter anymore, Â even though it’s there on my page. Really If you look at my tweets, mostly it’s about EdTech stuff. I try to toss out some good links that will be useful for people and answer back if other people are needing some help. Really, the nice thing about the people who are involved in EdTech is we’re all really there helping each other. If I have a problem or a question with something technical, I can get it resolved pretty quickly almost all the time just through Twitter.
Adam: Right, so would you do that by sending out a tweet and then your followers will see it. Is that it?
Steve: Exactly, so for example I might say something like â€œI am having trouble embedding my video in Prezi…â€ and I’ll usually get back a few answers or more. There was a piece I was writing a while ago. I couldn’t think of a name of some software by MIT. The EdTech community pretty much all knows it, its just one of those things it just slipped my mind and I and I was trying to recommend it to somebody and I couldn’t remember the name and I Tweeted it out there and had like 15 responses everybody saying, â€œit’s Scratch, it’s Scratch.â€
Steve: It’s one of those things where you don’t have to bank a lot of information because it’s always right there for you. At least in the EdTech community.
Adam: Right, right.
Speaker: Actually I started the twibe, I don’t know Adam if you can confirm this. I was in there probably in the first week or so. Somebody else had tweeted something about joining a twibe and I was like what is that and they were maybe only a dozen or so in there. And I thought wow what a great way to meet up with other people who are interested in education technology. I thought I am going to start an EdTech twibe not really knowing if it was going to be website that is here today gone tomorrow or if it was going to something big. Actually it has been really useful for finding followers and for people finding me. It’s been a real help, I don’t do anything to promote the EdTech twibe. I did a little bit at the beginning where I’d retweet people who had joined the EdTech twibe, but at this point, it’s pretty big and it’s there for you people who want to find other people who are involved in education technology. I think that about covers it.
Adam: Yeah, I have to admit, when it, I remember that cropping up in one of the first couple of weeks of Twibes. I kept seeing your avatar next to EdTech, and I just assumed that your name was Ed, and that you were a famous blogger. That’s how naive I was.
Who is this â€œEdâ€ guy and how does he have so many followers that are all joining his twibe?! Finally in a couple of weeks I clicked through and read the descriptions and realized â€œoh education technologyâ€ – its an interest. It took me a little bit to figure it out but it definitely was a big hit in the beginning.
Steve: It’s definitely one of those areas that we need each other. When you’re at a school in my, in my situation, I have no peers at my school. There’s, the technicians but they don’t deal with the educational aspect of things. So, I really need to look outside of my school for peers and for people who I can collaborate with and share things with. Without Twitter I’d really be on an island.
Adam: Great, cool, alright thanks. So Walid is next, or last but not least. [laugh] Iâ€™m bring ing up your page here. So Walid, we actually got to talk last summer about the wine twibe. Can you give the people listening today a quick introduction to who you are and how you use Twitter.
Walid: Yes, Walid Romaya – @princeofwine. Self annointed Prince of Wine. It’s just a name I came up with. I thought, well, why not, why the heck not? Â I’ve been loving wine for, since I was thirteen years old. I’ve always wanted to tell people about wine. I find, the biggest problem is people are intimidated by wine.
Most people when you mention wine, they think of it as really high-falutin and snobby. A couple of years ago (7), I came up with the prince of wine idea – which is to do some blogging as well as a television show talking about wine and documentaries and so on. I created a video called prince of wine and so I interview, wine makers. I do stuff on the road. I do what’s called iPOW reports. I name and I rate the wines on the 100 point scale using the P.O.W. scale which is the prince of wine scale.
That’s what I’m doing. Now, Twitter – I found out about Twitter, I went and attended the Wine Bloggers Conference in, in Santa Rosa – the inaugural Wine Bloggers Conference in July of 08.
Someone there said to me, â€œdo you know about Twitter?â€ I said â€œwell I’ve heard about it right. I don’t know how to use it.â€ That’s when I joined Twitter. Â I’ve grown it quite frankly in spurts. I’m a lot on the road and I don’t put a lot of effort into it. But when I do, I get a lot of results quickly. So, I think it’s like anything else. You have to be, diligent and you have to be disciplined about, how you use it.
Sometimes you get aimless. In the world of Twitter you can go on a wild goose chase, looking at a lot of different stuff. And that’s, really quite frankly, one of the attractive things about Twibes. When I found out about Twibes, it was early on, and I jumped on and started the wine twibe. I found that it would… You’re really focusing on a much more narrow group that are more in tune with what you like. And and I use Twibes so I can scroll on the various avatars. Almost like a newsstand. It’s like okay, â€œwhat’s this person is talking about wine today.â€ You know, what is the latest post, what are they talking about, it’s like me standing in a big busy news stand in the busy city just looking at different posts. Sometimes you interact, sometimes you don’t, and that’s what I like about Twibes. And one of things we have been doing lately is something called taste live. That’s an organization on the East Coast. We do live wine tastings, virtual wine tastings. Last night for example, I had Â a winery send me a couple of bottles. The same two bottles are being opened at the same time maybe by half a dozen other people around the country. And, we all communicate through Twitter about what we think of the taste of the wine. We also interact with the winemaker live. So that’s been a good thing to do.
Adam: Right. So, you mentioned sometimes with Twitter you feel like the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. What do you mean by the more you put into it. If you had an hour to spend on Twitter a day. What would you do?
Walid: Well I think the one of the misconceptions for me. I thought you just tweet yourself and that’s enough. And that’s really not enough. You have to be interactive. You have to re-tweet other people’s things and tweets. You have to comment. You really need to comment on some other people.
That way you show you are paying attention, and you’re not just a unilateral voice you know box just spitting out material without really interacting. So I think interaction is a key thing, and I notice as soon as I do that it, I get a lot more mentions and actions and so on. And I, I’m the first to admit I haven’t done enough of that, and I need to do more of that. That’s really, I think, a key thing to grow your followers and to make you stand out in the Twitter world.
Adam: Yes, it’s seems like the combination of being really active and doing all of these other real word activities that you have all mentioned. A sort of combination of those two is the ideal. It is difficult to really invest the time in twitter because you have to kind of know people before you reply to them. Not know them, but understand some history of what they’ve tweeted and all that. So. It can be challenging to just dip in and and reply. But on the other hand, all the messages are so short that a lot of times you can just reply to something Â even if you don’t know the person, tweeting it.
Walid: That’s correct.
Adam: Okay. Great. When people signed up for the webinar ah, I asked them what were the biggest questions they wanted to know about Twibes. I guess this would have surprised me a few months ago, but since I’ve been doing this, the webinars and things for a few months, I’m not as surprised anymore. Obviously, the biggest question is, what is the point? [laugh] Â Why would I, why would I bother with Twibes, how does it augment what I’m already doing. You guys have given some really good hints and clues. One common thread is that all of your groups seem to be generally quite broad and they don’t have too much on an agenda. People naturally want to join them because they’re interested in the topic Â that the Twibe is about.
Does anybody else have any other ways that, that we haven’t talked about yet in terms of how Twibes augments what your doing on twitter. Walid made a great comment that it – and Tim as well that this is kind of a place where you can check in and it kind of takes on a life of its own without you having to do too much to keep it going in that, it’s a natural place for people to talk amongst themselves. Anybody have any other comments on that?
Lauren: I may have mentioned it, but just a way to find new people that you wouldn’t necessarily have found because they’re not you know their not following you. They just sort of came into the Twibe through some of their followers. I found some interesting people that way. They just show up in the followers lists and I’ve engaged them in conversations.
Adam: Right, right. Yeah. I mean, once you set up a twibe people find the twibe and then you can find them. I’ve tried to make it so that it’s a little bit richer than just searching someone’s tweets because each twibe can have a specific meaning. More specific than even wine or librarians.
Anybody else have any other thoughts there? I will hit on that point one more time. I get a lot of questions, â€œI set up this very specific twibe, and why is no one joining it? What’s the point?â€ I do want to hit on that point one more time. It’s important to choose a topic for a Twibe that’s general and that people relate to and that doesn’t have too much of your own agenda.
Pretty much everybody today has said, â€œI created this because i thought it would be of interest for people – it’d be a great place where we can commonly meet,â€ but it’s not: â€œI’ve created this twibe for my book, or my show, or my blog.â€ I think that’s important and I think, some people who may have already founded a Twibe with a very specific topic like their business, might Â benefit from taking a step back and trying to either join an existing one. Participate in an existing one that is has a broader scope. Or, just see if there’s a name available for a broader interest. And, and as I mentioned, as we were starting the call. I am working on ways to free up some of the good twibe names that have gone inactive or that were never used. We had this rush last summer where a lot of twibe names were claimed and I am starting to notify people that they need to use their twibe or else I am going to turn it over and let other people claim it so.
Iâ€™ll have more coming on that in the next few months.
The other thing that people ask a lot about is just basic questions about how Twibes works. We kind of brushed over that, as well, so far. The main mechanism is basically: Twibes monitors Twitter for your tweets. And so if you show up on Twibes and you wanna start a twibe, you just send a tweet to start the group. So there’s actually a page called http://twibes.com/start – where you can pick out the name for your twibe and we’ll test to see if that name has already been used. And then you send one tweet to kick off the twibe. And then as people click that link, and come into your twibe, they click this big green button and send another tweet to join it. The reason why you are required to tweet to start or join a twibe is that is (obviously) we want it built into the mechanism of participating in the twibe the tweeting. That’s how the whole thing grows. That’s how it can take on a life of its own after you set it up. So that’s the basic mechanism.
The next thing you have to do, or actually don’t have to, but you probably should do as a Twibe founder is choose the keywords that are gonna be used to find the tweets for the twibe. So in the example of the wine twibe here, Walid has chosen â€œwineâ€ or â€œwineryâ€, or â€œcabernetâ€ as the key words that twibes will search on. As people join the twibe, from that point on, if they ever tweet using one of these keywords twibes will find that (to the best of it’s ability). We were mentioning with librarians it was so large that sometimes it doesn’t find all of them. It does preference the founderâ€™s tweets – that’s why Laurenâ€™s tweets show up slightly more frequently.
In general, it is going to make it’s best effort to find all the Tweets from all the members of the Twibe that use these keywords. In other words, you don’t have to post directly to Twibes, you can post from TweetDeck or the Twitter website, or even on your phone. As long as you use these keywords it should show up here within a day or so. It’s my job to make that as fast as possible.
The thing about keywords is whether you choose keywords or hash tags. I wanted to make it so it works with either one. Hash tags can be a little bit confusing and to be honest it’s, it’s hard to remember to use them sometimes. In the case of both the wine twibe and the librarian twibe I can see that they are both using straight keywords. You can also set the this up if your group has particular hash tags. Is anybody using hash tags?
Tim: I am adding some right now.
Adam: Cool. Which ones are you adding, Tim?
Tim: I just added a Hash Tag #EtsyTop10. That is what I use every time I tweet the top 10. I didn’t even think about that so thank you.
Adam: Yeah, I mean hash tags are slightly different – if you are new to them – in that you can choose a special keyword – it doesn’t have to be an English word a lot of the time a conference will have them, or in Tim’s case an event/project that he’s working on, he’ll have a special key word.
You know, #twibes is what we’re using, or #FollowFriday is used a lot. Put those at the end of your tweet so you don’t have to use them in a sentence. Both have their benefits, you just want to choose whatever people are using naturally. Thatâ€™s really the basics of how a twibe works.
You can also post here from the twibe page if you want to be ultimately sure that your Tweet is going Â through. This account can either go to both this page and Twitter or if you check the box it will only appear on this page. So, sometimes I’ll do this if I have a Twibe I wanna post to but I don’t want to bother my Twitter followers with a very specific topic. So you can just post to the page if you want to.
Lauren: And that does not require the keywords, correct?
Adam: Right. You don’t need any of the keywords if you do that.
The other advantage of that is if you, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this box – I’ll just put a bunch of junk in here – it actually will grow. So you can put in more than 140 characters. It’ll get appended with a link back to your tweet on twibes, if it goes over 140 characters. This was another small thing that people asked for. Once you start participating in twibes, it is convenient.
There’s millions of other little aspect to twibes, which are slightly more advanced than that. To be honest, 80% of people probably don’t even use them, so I am not going to recover them right off, unless anyone has a particular other angle to Twibes that I haven’t mentioned that they are using. Anyone else have anything they want to mention?
Walid: Adam I have a question. Can you do a sticky post, sticky twibe post lets say I want to send a message to the twibe members and have it be there safe for the next 24 hours as a sticky post.
Adam: I don’t have the capability to do that. That is a great idea.The best we can offer currently is to let you edit the description. I don’t know maybe you put some asterisks in there. I think you can have quite a fair amount of space up here in the description. So there’s no sticky post capability currently. But you could feasibly go in and edit the description. That’s a great idea. I’ll add that to my list.
The other thing I wanted to point out because they have been popular lately is the Â Twibes lists. These are slightly different than the Twibes, but I wanted to provide an even easier way for people to find other people. Also, I just wanted to create Twitter lists that anyone could join because no one else was doing that. I thought twibe would be the perfect place for that. Let me find a good example … travel here.
So in addition to Twibes, where each of the people that are on the call today, have founded the twibe these are Twitter lists were anyone can just join. There is no owner to these, it is just basically a list. Currently they are ranked by followers. I am also working on a rank by influence which I don’t quite have done yet.
Basically it will sort of rank them – if these are people who have logged in and Carrie is number 4 by influence travel twibes but the point of these is just so people can automatically categorize themselves and then you can actually make a Twitter list out of this Twibes list. That will create a list within your Twitter account and that list has all of these people on it so you can see all the Tweets from all these people. This is slightly less meaningful than a twibe, there is not really any group identity here. This is just a group of people that are interested in a particular topic. I think long term, six months, a year from now, I will probably find some way to combine this in with the Twibes. I’m not sure quite how that would work to be honest. But I did want to create this.
A lot of people in the last few weeks have been discovering Twibes through these lists. My hope right now is that they would discover it through the list, but then click over and join a Twibe from that.
On the topic of hash tags and lists and then this question comes often: Specifically how do you use, or why would you use a twibe in addition to list and hash tags? All of these techniques… twibes, Twibes Twitter lists and the lists on Twitter are for grouping people with a similar interest. Each has their, you know, minor pros and cons. The downside of a Twitter list, those are primarily for filtering your stream. And Â there’s one owner of a Twitter list that has to add and remove everybody, whereas with a Twibes list, anybody can join, and with a twibe itself you kind of have the best of both where you’ve got one person who’s kind of in control. Who can launch the thing but then they can add and remove people. But also anybody can join it, and also you have this page where people can meet and find each other and and jump off to other sites. For example with a native Twitter list there is no twibe space, no place to go to actually join or interact with the other people. But you know, it’s a fine line and to be honest, I am not going to sit here and say a Twibe is the best way to do it as obviously that’s not the case. As everybody has said today, it’s a combination of however you use Twitter best and just making sure you converse with everybody.
It seems like Iâ€™m talking way too much much here. What I want to hear about from you guys, since so great to have everyone. Another question is â€œhow you promote your twibe?â€ I really liked Steve’s idea. I liked Lauren’s mentioning of Twitter conferences. And Steve mentioned that to, about how twibes sort of persists or you can use Twitter on an ongoing basis to keep track of people you have met in the real word. Are there any other ways that any other creative ways that people are tying this into their blogs or um there website or whatever else they are doing on Twitter regardless of Twibes, to get more followers and meet more people?
Steve: Well, I don’t know if it’s getting me any more followers. I just re-did my web site, stevenkatz.com. More than anything I it is just for my students is what it’s been used for more than anything. You’ll notice there on the bottom right, that I have my Twitter feed in there, and it was just a cool little ad on, this is a WordPress blog that I decided to use, and it was a cool little add-on and Iâ€™m really active on twitter, so I figured it was a good addition to my website. I donâ€™t know if that’s helping me get a lot of followers.
Adam: Well, I think that is a really great thing about Twitter – how portable it is. You can take these widgets, you can take your feed from your stream, and you can post it all over the place. And then, I’ve noticed on Twibes, so as people tweet to the twibes, those tweets go out on their blogs and everywhere else. So, people end up coming to Twibes itself from all kinds of crazy sites all over the internet. It’s really hard to track any one source because the tweets themselves – lots of people are doing what you’re doing and I think that’s one of the great things about Twitter. Go ahead Lauren you had an idea there?
Lauren: Oh, it seems very similar to what Steve said. I also tweet not personally but for my library. We have, you know, few hundred followers, but they’re not necessarily our library patrons, so the way to get to the library patrons to see the tweets, which are mostly about things going on in the library, and news of interest to our library patrons is we have the feed on our library catalog page. It’s our most popular page on our website so even people who are not using Twitter are going to see you a reminder that an upcoming program or a recommendation for a book. So there’s ways to bring it to people even who are not necessarily up.
Carrie: Adam, what, what, Adam, where do you see the Twibes concept in the next 6 months or the next year?
Adam: I think in the short term what I am doing is a lot of just helping people figure out how to use Twitter generally not even twibes and then figuring out with how they can use twibes in conjunction with Twitter to get what I call leverage. Like what we’re talking about how you can set up a Twibe and it just sort of take on a life of it’s own – yet you are in some way the center of it. I’m very fascinated by that, and also Â how you can post something one place and have it go to Twitter and Facebook and, and sort of get efficiency in that regard. So that’s kind of where I’m going with helping people get more out of Twitter and Twibes.
With Twibes itself, the big eye opener for me has been that it’s predominately about the faces much more than the tweets. There are plenty of really hard core users who do check the Twibe page everyday and who tweet and welcome everybody and invite people to the Twibe page. But they’re kind of in the minority. The vast number of people that just click over, join the Twibe, check out the other people and then move on. And so Â future things that I add to Twibes will likely be helping you meet people. One area that I want to improve is the, the search function. Currently it searches the groups but it doesn’t really search people. Sure you can search on travel and you can get the list and all the travel twibes. I would like to make that let you search people individually for example. Then you could just either follow them or click over and see what twibes they have belong to or just get a list of faces here rather then list of lists.
Carrie: You see where it says where I have my keywords set up. Is that redundant then? Cause I added both hashtags in there. Do you think that I have redundancy then in my keywords with travel and then the hash tag travel?
Adam: That is an excellent question. I think those we’ll do slightly separate searches on Twitter. I have to test it out. I’ve done this about 10 times and I can never remember. I think there’s a subtle difference in terms of what Twitter will give you back when you search on either of those.
Carrie: Yeah, there like travel, just the organic word will show up if somebody had that word in a tweet. The travel community at large out there on twitter we usually post stuff #travel or #cruise. If it’s specific within the cruise industry so they do get different results.
Speaker: Yeah so in other words they are not redundant. Â Good point.
Adam Loving: My goal is really, I have sort this open door policy with regards to the Twibe. A lot of people have commented, they haven’t really necessarily done anything. We just happen to be the first people to claim the name. And so with travel, it’s such a broad spectrum and there are so many really great individuals who are really active on Twitter and I have not really tried to turn this in to my agenda, but the next phase sort of the twibe. I say you are in the twibe 2.0 zone right now and I think as Twitter evolves and people get more and more savvy using it we are really going to start to rely upon using our twibe to really stream line and get a condensed version of really robust tweets and Â comments. That’s kind of how I see using it. I don’t know. I was interested in finding out how and what you foresaw for the twibe and I can see how it is boing to evolve, and I, I’ve seen it evolve so.
The travel twibe, it’s so broad that it’s, it’s hard to say â€œI’m in charge of the travel twibe,â€ because once I take ownership like that I’m gonna start to turn people away because they all have their own agendas as well.
Adam Loving: Right. So are, are you saying that you don’t think Twibes needs to change that much? That it’ll begin to get more useful as Twitter becomes more popular?
Carrie: Well, I kinda like what Biz Stone has to say about Twitter and Twitter being fueled by creativity. And creativity is a sustainable resource. I think that all of us especially myself involved in using Twitter in an area that has totally evolved and morphed the travel industry. I see it being something of great value. I’m participating in doing it with the the thought of it’s going to the stream is going to go where the water takes it.
Carrie: So hearing from you what you see for twibe it helps me to figure out how I want to layer into that.
Adam: Yeah I absolutely agree with you. I think it’s really powerful to have a website full of people organized by interests. Specifically a website full of Twitter people because of this benefit you can meet anyone so easily by striking up a conversation especially if you have an interest in common.
I really, obviously, why I stay up so late at night working on it is I think Twibes is a huge, powerful resource and I want to make it the best place for people to find other people on Twitter because I think long term that’s… what really motivates me a lot of us has said that twibe gives twitter a purpose. They sign up for twitter and say â€œokay I said what I am having for lunch and I made friends with three people now what’s the point of this?â€ It seems pointless. Then they discover twibe and these are other people in the travel industry.
Or these are other librarians I can talk to about my stuff. That’s really cool for me to hear that. So yeah anything that helps people find each other around a common interest area I am interested in implementing.
Iâ€™m always paying attention to the drive by users and trying to understand how Â people who just click over and, or maybe they don’t get it. Or they just use it really quickly and then never come back. I’m trying to figure out how I can better serve them. To sort of get them more deeply involved and understand the value as you guys have.
Tim: Real quick Adam as you were talking, I just went through, I followed one person and that goes out option to tweet that on your page and I got 6 new followers. Or, 6 new members of our Etsy tweets twibe. That right there is, is a way for yourself to kind of promote, your own twibe is just to go and follow some people and tweet about it. And they, you know, put that tweet out there. I mean, someone is gonna be interested in, you know in Etsy and hand made community. They’ll see that exact tweet where it says, Â you know. I was wondering what would happen and sure enough I got 6 new members.
Adam: Yeah double value everyone loves to be followed. And you just told all your followers that Etsy tweets is the place to meet them or to meet other people.
Tim: Exactly. Yeah. Absolutely.
Adam: Other things that people have done well, like I was saying is there is a blogger group where they have everybody join the blog, the twibe so that everybody can meet each other. after they join the twibe they connect their blog to their blog network.
There is the weight loss surgery twibe. Which is probably the most intimate [laugh] twibe that I’ve seen. [laugh] I mean there’s, there’s some pretty edgy twibes that you may not want to click on if you’re at work. Those are pretty intimate too, but in a different way.
The weight loss surgery one is a really intimate support group. It’s people who have, are having surgery soon or they’ve had the surgery. After you had weight loss surgery, you have to have very careful diet to you keep your health straight. I know Michelle the founder pretty much welcomes every person as they join. I see her tweets go out every morning.
If you’re having weight-loss surgery there is obviously certain key words around that whether she would monitor and say please come join our twibe and they people who have similar kinds of surgery will compare tips and recipes. That is sort of the extreme in terms of the most work from the founder in promoting it.
Other efficiencies I have seen like each twibe has an RSS feed so these are the – there is one for the members and one for the tweets. The RSS feed of just the tweets is going to give you this wonderful filtered tweet stream which is just the tweets from the members which match the keywords and you can – Iâ€™ve seen people plug that into a LinedIn group or a Facebook page. Just other ways – so that people who primarily might be using linked in or Facebook instead of Twitter would then have some exposure to the tweets. Whether they become a big Twitter user isn’t necessarily the issue but they will have the links that are shared and have some introduction to the person tweeting.
That is another thing that I have seen work well. We’ve also got these widgets that you can use. Â Any other comments on that before we move onto the last couple questions?
Steve: My suggestion, Adam, was, it would be nice if we could geo tag some of these things. One of the things that I think Twibes really helped me with was connecting with people Â in Asia for example. There is a lot going on with educational technology in Asia but I really had no access to these people, and I started getting a lot of follows from the Ed-Tech Twibe. It would be nice if I could kinda do the reverse and find some people close to me here because I can search for Costa Rica or Central America, but the chances are I’m not going to get educators in that search.
Adam: Right, right. Yeah that would be great. You could even have a dynamic list at that point or, all kinds of cool stuff you could do with that. Great idea, I’ll add that to the list.
Let me just get you guys to run down real quick what clients you use to post to twitter Since youâ€™re obviously experienced users relative to the people just getting started. What’s, what’s your favorite twi, twitter client Tim?
Tim: I love HootSuite.
Carrie: I use HootSuite, and I use good old Twitter. On my Blackberry, I have, is it Twitterberry?
Adam: Right, okay. How about you Lauren?
Lauren: On my Android, I use Twitdroid, but I’m mostly Iâ€™m tweeting from my computer, generally from my iGoogle page. So I use the twitter gadget for iGoogle.
Speaker: Great. And Steve?
Steve: Almost exclusively TweetDeck. I find it really easy to manage my tweets with that. Once in a while I use CoTweet. If I feel like I have way too many links, I’ll spread em out a little bit.
Adam: Excellent. Yeah, yeah, I like that feature of CoTweet, specifically. I’ll take an hour on Sunday and take some of the links that I want to send out over the week and then spread em out from my personal account or from Twibes. Actually, I do this a lot too with Â the time zones because we have equally as many users over seas as we do in the US. If there is something I need to send out from @twibes, I will schedule it with CoTweet to go once during the day and once in the middle of the night. Um Walid you still there.
Walid: Yes, I just use old fashioned Twitter. Although, on my iPhone, I got excited like a lot of people and downloaded apps for Tweetie, Tweetmic, Tweet My Face, echofon, twitterific, and I quite frankly didn’t use any of them maybe with the exception of Tweetie now and then. Especially when I’m Â taking photos of wine labels or a lot of times I’m having wine, and there’s a great meal, and I take a photo of the meal and upload it to Â you know the photo sharing sites through Tweetie. But primarily Twitter just a web on my laptop or my desktop (a mac).
Adam: Great. I use the Twitter website, and CoTweet a lot and also Tweetie on the iPhone which is pretty good. I have a few keywords that I monitor related to Twibes and of course, I’m trying to manage both my personal account and the Twibes account, so I think CoTweet and Tweetie do that pretty well.
I’m just trying to scan the list of questions here. Ah, hereâ€™s one – â€œwhat is a TweetUp?â€ Â Lauren since you mentioned Tweet-ups do you want to answer that one?
Lauren: It’s a real life gathering of people that you’ve met on Twitter. Basically, something just usually coordinated through Twitter. Assuming you’re close enough to actually meet in person. It’s just a get together.
Steve: Like a meet-up.
Adam: I remember the first time I heard of a tweet up and I thought. You know I understand the point of that. But I have to point out how ridiculous it is because were there telegraph-ups or fax-ups some people because twitter, I get it and to be honest, personally it’s been – with all work I do on twibes I get about equal benefit in terms of followers and meeting people from the real world events and the conferences that I go to. I was asking the question… what percentage of the people that you tweet do you actually know in real life? With me it’s probably more like 50%-50%, so tweet-ups are a necessary evil [laugh]. They’re a really good way to meet people and start Â giving a meaning to Twitter.
Lets see what other questions… Lauren someone asking, was asking for.
Adam Loving: In a conference maybe or?
Speaker: No, I just, we tweeted it a few times in my stream to my followers and then of course, when they joined it was Tweeted to their followers. So it really took off on it’s own. And every once in a while when we reached a milestone number I would tweet again. â€œOh we just got our five hundredth member who joined.â€ So you know I didn’t go out of my way.
Adam: More generally, there is a link to help on the top of Twibes which will actually take you over to http://blog.twibes.com/faq . If you just go to twibes.com and click â€œhelpâ€ – I’ve got all the basics covered.
Thank you guys so much for taking an hour to talk with us, you donâ€™t know how much this motivates me. have done great things, that really motivates me and I really appreciate
firstname.lastname@example.org through old-fashioned email. Thank you very much, see you all on Twitter!