Promoting yourself and your twibe

I hope you are having success making new friends on Twibes. Another fun byproduct of participating in twibes conversations is the exposure it gives you to new followers. Here are some tips for promoting yourself and your twibe.

1. Get listed.

Being on twitter lists increases your credibility. You can get listed on Twibes by tagging yourself with up to 10 keywords that describe you. For example, if you tag yourself with “photography” you will be added to the Twibes photography twitter list. You or other people can then build a Twitter list from the tag which contains all of the people who tagged themselves photography. For more info on Twibes lists, see: http://blog.twibes.com/twitter-groups/introducing-twibes-twitter-lists

2. Get more followers by getting ranked.

Each Twibe has a two mini scoreboards. There is one for the most mentioned people in the twibe, and for the most followed. The followers score actually indicates the number of followers that have been received from the twibe page. By participating in conversations (replying to people) your rank on the most mentioned scoreboard will increase. This will lead to more people following you from the twibe page!

With regard to followers, the key is to “cash in on your passion.” If you are genuine in your interest in your twibe’s topic, and always there to discus it with others, you will get more followers naturally.

Announcing Re-released twibe names

I’m excited to announce a fresh start for Twibes with a newly re-designed home page and thousands of newly-available twibe names. Now is the time to check if a name you’ve been waiting for is available. Go to http://www.twibes.com/start to start your Twibe.

Why start a twibe?
  • · Participating in a twibe is a quick way to meet people.
  • · By founding a twibe twitter group, you establish influence and leadership in a topic. Imagine if you were the founder of the Photography twibe, with over 4,391 members!
  • · Your twibe will collect members (and followers) for you through viral propagation as people tweet to join the twibe.
  • · Also, more people will find you when they search for on Google for different types of Twitter groups.
  • · You can take your group’s tweets to your blog or web site using our RSS feeds and widgets.
  • · Of course, creating a twibe is FREE and just requires one tweet.
If you are considering creating a twitter group, now is the time to do it.
What makes a twibe successful?

There are two key factors to launching a thriving twibe. First, a great name that captures the member’s interests. The name should represent a broad or passionate member base, and the group’s agenda (not your own). For example “Runners” is a great name, but “MidtownRunningShoes” is not.

The second factor is a good leader (or twibe “founder”). If you choose the right group name, often the twibe will take off by itself as it spreads via Twitter. However, you may need to promote the group a little bit (via email and Twitter) to get a few key people to join. Also, a good leader will act like a party host, introducing members to one another, and making people feel welcome.

Twibes Relaunch

In the next couple weeks, we will release several thousand inactive and closed twibes. Groups with fewer than 10 members that have not had any posts on the page for 90 days will be deleted and become available to be reclaimed by new founders. This will allow new founders to claim and benefit from the unused names.

How do I claim a closed Twibe?

Sign up here to be the first notified when closed twibes become available.

Will my twibe be deleted?

If you are the founder of an inactive twibe, you should have received an email or Twitter direct message from @twibes. To see if your twibe is considered inactive, please visit your twibe page. If the page says “Twibe Closed due to Inactivity,” please email adam@twibes.com to have it re-opened. To keep your twibe active, please visit your twibe’s page and post something at least once every 90 days.

Why found a twibe?

If you are considering founding a twibe, now is the time to do it.

  • · Participating in a twibe is a great way to meet people.
  • · By founding a twibe, you establish leadership and influence in a particular topic. Imagine if you were the founder of the Photography twibe, with over 4,391 members!
  • · Your twibe will collect members (and followers for you) through viral propagation (as people tweet to join the twibe) and SEO (when people search for different types of Twitter groups on Google, they will find your twibe).
  • · You can take your group’s tweets to your blog or web site using our RSS feeds and widgets.

What makes a twibe successful?

There are two key ingredients to a great twibe. First, a great name that captures the member’s interests. The name should  represent a broad or passionate user group, and the group’s agenda (not your own). For example “Runners” is a great name, but “MidtownRunningShoes” is not.

“Runners” will become available in the next few weeks. Here are some other names that are currently closed: Ireland, Kauai, HomeDecor, Motown, animation, TravelWriting, Runners, Startups. To check and see if a name is available, simply go to http://www.twibes.com/the-name-you-want. For example, for “Runners” go to http://www.twibes.com/Runners.

The second ingredient is a good leader (or twibe “founder”). If you choose the right name, often the twibe will take off by itself as it spreads via Twitter. However, you may need to promote the group a little bit (via email and Twitter) to get a few key people to join. Also, a good leader will act like a “party host,” welcoming members, and introducing them to one another.

Sign up here to be the first notified closed twibes become available

Top Travel Tweeters head to Alaska

Recently it came to my attention that @CruiseBuzz (Carrie from www.cruisebuzz.net) – founder of the Travel Twitter Group -was going to be travelling on an all expenses paid trip to Alaska. This sounded like such a great opportunity, I just had to get the whole story. Here are her responses to my questions about the trip.

Adam: Can you tell us a little about the trip?

Carrie: Princess Cruises held its first-ever Twitter press trip last November and invited a group of travel Twitterers aboard to share their cruise experience with their followers in “real time.” Based on the enthusiastic response by all the participants (and their followers), Princess is hosting another Twitter-centric trip this summer to Alaska.

The trip begins with three days of excursions from Princess’ wilderness lodges in Fairbanks and Denali National Park. One of the highlights of the land tour will be traveling through the interior of Alaska on the Princess Rail.

The three days on land will be followed by seven days at sea exploring the glaciers and pioneer Alaska towns aboard Coral Princess. After departing from Anchorage, the ship will cruise by Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay National Park, before making stops in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and finally ending in Vancouver.

Adam: How did you get picked, what goes into their selection process?

Carrie: As someone who frequently tweets about travel, I was offered the opportunity to participate. I am not sure about the selection process because I don’t work for Princess Cruises, however I can say that I was probably a good candidate because I spend 100% of my time promoting and talking about cruise travel.

I have a travel agency and it is my job and passion to talk about travel and to share my enthusiasm about travel with clients and prospects. I have been building a social media network that makes it easy for me to interact with travel vendors like Princess Cruises, and to jump into conversations between vendors and customers. I got picked because I have a consistent social media presence.

Adam: What do you hope to offer your readers and followers through this trip, why is it worth doing?

Carrie: It is exciting to be able to use Twitter to share what’s happening now and layer that experience into my social network.

I am hoping to develop an authentic Alaska cruise experience to share with my social media circle. I will be reviewing a book, filming videos on my Flip camera for YouTube, posting updates on Facebook, writing blog posts, and using Twitter to let people know what’s happening.

The #FollowMeAtSea experience is cutting edge and in my opinion, an example of the potential for real-time marketing.

Adam: What has Princess Cruises asked of you for this trip?

Carrie: Princess Cruises mentioned that their guests on the #FollowMeAtSea Twitter trip tweet throughout each day about our experiences as well as blog during or after our trip to Alaska. They have also asked that we let our followers know that this is a hosted trip.

Adam: What are the challenges of a trip like this for a travel blogger?

Carrie: The challenge for me is to find the right balance between how much and what to tweet while on the trip. While I tweet constantly anyway it is a little different tweeting for multiple days and with a group of people. Some of the pros of this are that we can all share in the experience and speak about it.

Also, since Twitter is so open, anyone can “hijack” your hashtag. Often it is important to participate in the conversation, but some tweets you have to just let go by.

Lastly, I agree with the environmental green groups and their feelings about travel and its effects on the planet. So I am using this experience to feature CarbonFund to offset emissions. According to an executive at CarbonFund, the offset amount for a 7-night cruise is equivalent to 1.25 tons per passenger. To offset this amount, go to www.carbonfund.org/calculators

Why is Twitter worth your time?

I posed a question over on our Turbocharger pageHow would a flood of new Twitter connections help your website, cause, product, or service?” So far there have been about 20 fantastic responses. It was really difficult to pick the best one, here are three of my favorites.

“It would help me connect with the ideas of others in a way nothing else can. Every day I engage Twitter I learn something new about what makes people tick, what gets them excited, makes them laugh, irritated, grateful, etc. These insights into others life experiences are invaluable resources to me as a business owner and a consultant but most importantly as a human being.” – Kristin Smith Huntley (@kristin_huntley)

“I represent an author who has written a book about love after 50. Given the difficulty of establishing credibility and awareness in today’s very busy information-laden culture, new self-published books like hers are often overlooked. By utilizing the tips and knowledge in this course, I would be able to support my client by creating a huge awareness of her book and her expertise in the category.

Am I totally selfless? No, obviously, I would use the same information to augment my own Twitter following … This would definitely help streamline my marketing.” – Lisbeth Tanz (@lisbethtanz)

“A flood of new Twitter connections helps your website, cause, product, or service in a lot practical ways such as influence, exposure, web traffic, sales, etc; but these are not the most beneficial aspects. The most beneficial aspect of gaining new connections (notice I didn’t say followers; a lot of people have followers but are not following back) is receiving a window into peoples’ interests, passions, dislikes…basically their lives.

… It’s all about people! …

This is why I would love to go through this training course and learn as many ways possible to connect with the online community in a more personal and effective manner on Twitter.” – Mike Cecil (@CSTactical)

All three comments touch on what is unique about Twitter. Nowhere else can you strike up public conversation with your current and future customers. I’ve selected Mike Cecil as the winner of a free subscription to the Turbocharger training course for his articulate explanation!

Twitter Training (and 10 ways you can make money on Twitter)

Update: The Twitter Turbocharger Training course is now sold out. It may be available again in a few months.

At the end of last year, I sent out email to several thousand Twibes and Twitter tips newsletter subscribers. I wanted to strike up conversation about what I could add to Twibes that would keep people coming back. I also wanted to identify a paid feature that I could add to Twibes so that I could cover my costs and possibly make it a full time job.

The responses I got back took me by surprise. The vast majority of people just wanted my help with Twitter (not Twibes). So, I set out answering all their questions, creating free reports and videos that I’ve shared with the newsletter subscribers. Through a series of webinars with Twitter stars, experimentation, and research – I’ve managed to answer all of the top questions.

But I didn’t stop there. I took all of the “best practices” I collected, and organized them into a series of screen cast videos. In the videos, I apply the best practices to grow a brand new Twitter account in record time. That video series is what I’m calling Twitter Turbocharger.

This training is not for everybody (and I’m only selling it to a limited number of people). Celebrities with huge real-world followings, and people who can afford to spend all day on Twitter do not need this training! Also, people who are just looking to have fun chatting with friends on Twitter do not need this training.

Many people, however look at Twitter as a source of customers – traffic to their web site, or clients for their business. The one unique and hugely valuable thing about Twitter is that is not a social network, it is a social commons. Twitter is the one place online where you can identify people interested in your product and contact them directly. The Turbocharger training is for people who don’t have all day to spend on Twitter, but do want to get the most customers from twitter – while respecting Twitter etiquette with authentic (non spam) communication.

Maybe you fall in the middle somewhere, you appreciate the real time communication you can get from Twitter, and you have a blog or website – but you’re not really sure how you can make money. Here are 10 ways people are making money using Twitter:

1. Sell a product or service. Twitter is a great way to meet people interested in a particular topic.

2. Use the traffic to make money off advertising on your web sites. If you already have a blog (the more specific the better) – you can use Google Adwords to make money. Update Twitter every time you post to get traffic and meet new readers.

3. Get a new job. Twitter is a great tool for meeting new people. Seek out the leaders in your industry and strike up conversation with them. If you can, strike up conversation on a topic unrelated to your work first as an icebreaker.

4. Get a job doing customer support on Twitter. Big companies like Dell, BestBuy, Starbucks, and Whole Foods all pay people to tweet to customers all day long. People who know how to tweet are in demand.

5. Use affiliate links (Clickbank, Amazon) to sell someone else’s product. Do a twitter search to identify people shopping for products that you know and love. Then find an affiliate link, recommend it to them, and make a commission.

6. Sponsored Tweets. As you build up a following, you can charge for tweeting an advertisement. People often charge thousands of dollars for a single 140 character tweet!

7. Re-tweets and reviews. Sites like MyLikes.com will pay you based on clicks for re-tweeting and spreading other peoples tweets.

8. Sell a subscription to your Tweets. Using TwitPub, you can actually set up a private Twitter account where people pay to see your tweets. Great for stock tips and business ideas.

9. Speaking and consulting for your organization. Twitter has proven a powerful community organization and fundraising tool, use it to rally your supporters and enhance your existing fundraising efforts.

10. Get more foot traffic to your local business. If you own a coffee shop, restaurant, nursery, plumbing, or other local business – you can use Twitter to stay in conversation with your customers, strike up conversation with your neighborhood, and give out coupons.

Twibes will work hard to remain the best place to meet and communicate with people with similar interests. It is in our best interest to get help everyone maximize what they are getting out of Twitter.

Update: The Twitter Turbocharger Training course is now sold out. It may be available again in a few months.

Five Twibes Stars

An interview with Carrie Finley-Bajack (Travel Twitter Group), Lauren Gilbert (Librarians Twitter Group), Walid Romaya (Wine Twitter Group), Steve Katz (EdTech Twitter Group), and Tim Adam (EtsyTweets Twitter Group). By Adam Loving (interviewer).



Transcript
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 “what is the point of Twibes” 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. I’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.  I’ve also made good professional contacts – I’ve gotten book review jobs at Library Journal from an editor that I met on Twitter.  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 can’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.  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.  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 Twitter’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  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.
Tim: Right.
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 they’ll actually use the twibe to facilitate guest posting. They’ll use the twibe to say “everybody join the twibe” in order to become a member of the group. Then, “once you do that we’ll  pick one of your blog posts and post it on our central blog.” 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 “why would you want to…” 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.
Adam: Right
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. I’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 “oh I’m going to have thousands of sales today.” 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 “hey check out my new necklace,” just post a link say, “here’s my new necklace, what do you think about it?” 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 “oh you know, he’s not just promoting, he’s not just like posting links all over the place, you know.” 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  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,  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 “I am having trouble embedding my video in Prezi…” 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, “it’s Scratch, it’s Scratch.”
Adam: [laugh]
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 “Ed” 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 “oh education technology” – 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] I’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?  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, “do you know about Twitter?” I said “well I’ve heard about it right. I don’t know how to use it.” That’s when I joined Twitter.  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, “what’s this person is talking about wine today.” 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  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  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]  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  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, “I set up this very specific twibe, and why is no one joining it? What’s the point?” 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, “I created this because i thought it would be of interest for people – it’d be a great place where we can commonly meet,” but it’s not: “I’ve created this twibe for my book, or my show, or my blog.” 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  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.
I’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 “wine” or “winery”, or “cabernet” 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 founder’s tweets – that’s why Lauren’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. That’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  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  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.
this mechanism.
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  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 I’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 “how you promote your twibe?” 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 I’m really active on twitter, so I figured it was a good addition to my website. I don’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  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  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.  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  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 “I’m in charge of the travel twibe,” 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.
Adam: Right.
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 “okay I said what I am having for lunch and I made friends with three people now what’s the point of this?” 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.
I’m always paying attention to the drive by users and trying to understand how  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,  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 – I’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.  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  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 you’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 I’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  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  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  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, here’s one – “what is a TweetUp?”  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  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. “Oh we just got our five hundredth member who joined.” 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 “help” – I’ve got all the basics covered.
Thank you guys so much for taking an hour to talk with us, you don’t know how much this motivates me. have done great things, that really motivates me and I really appreciate
adam@twibes.com through old-fashioned email. Thank you very much, see you all on Twitter!

Webinar with Shauna Causey

If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced the Twitter roller coaster. Twitter seems so simple starting out, but then there’s a bunch of crazy lingo and applications to learn. The more you learn, the more questions come up.

shaunacausey

It helps to find great people to tweet with. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that Twitter pro Shauna Causey (@ShaunaCausey) is going to join us for a free webinar next week. In this live one hour call, we’re going to cover all the Twitter basics, and do our best to answer your questions about Twitter.

The webinar will be Tuesday, January 19th at 7PM PST (10PM EST, 0300 GMT)
Here’s the link to sign up: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/833220233

We’ll cover questions like:

* What is the point of Twitter?
* What should I tweet about?
* How do I get more followers?
* Should I use my own name, or my the name of my business?

So who is Shauna? Shauna Causey manages communications, community relations and social media for Comcast. She was recently voted one of the 100 Top Women in Tech by the Puget Sound Business Journal’s TechFlash. Shauna serves on the board of directors for Social Media Club Seattle as the Communications Director. In early 2009, she started Voluntweetup, an event series where local technology enthusiasts volunteer to train and educate non-profits how to effectively use social media. She is on the steering committee for Twestival Seattle (part of a global non-profit social media event) and Gnomedex (the premier Puget Sound tech conference). You can also find Shauna on Seattle 2.0 TV interviewing tech startup companies, co-hosting a weekly social media Google Wave chat, and volunteering to help local non-profits and elected officials with their social media efforts.

She has more than 15 years of experience in the communications industry and has worked for the Seattle Mariners, Fox Sports Net, FOX, and Comcast.

Here’s the link to register again:
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/833220233

Please sign up soon to save your place in line. I’ll follow up next week via email with instructions on how to attend. Lastly, if you can’t make it due to timing, please sign up with your email anyway. I’ll record the call and send you the audio file.

Jay Frost: Philanthropy Twitter Group

GordonJayFrostJay Frost (@GordonJayFrost) is a speaker, consultant and author on wealth, philanthropy and fundraising. He is founder of the Philanthropy Twitter group, and you can read his insights on his blog: Frost on Fundraising. Listen in to our conversation on the role of Twibes in social media for social change.



Jay Frost:

Hello, this is Jay.

Adam Loving:

Hi Jay, this is Adam from Twibes. How are you today?

Jay:

I’m fine, how are you?

Adam:

Besides pulling your hair out and ready to slam your computer to the ground.

Jay:

Yeah, and I’m at the age where pulling your hair out is not a good thing.

Adam:

[laughs] Oh. I feel your pain. I switched to Mac about two years ago and I’ve not looked back since. It has been highly rewarding. Whoops.
[pause]

Jay:

[laughs] Wow, we’re really being kicked by technology.
[laughter]

Adam:

It’s great when it works but yeah, when it doesn’t, boy.

Jay:

Well, if we were pushing a wheelbarrow, the wheel could fall off so I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Adam:

Yeah, so I was just looking down the list of popular Twibes. One question I get a lot is what can I do to promote my Twibe? And certainly there are some people like yourself who are really making it work, really killing it, so to speak.
I just wanted to meet you and see how you’re using Twibes and how you’re using Twitter. First off, it would be great to know a little bit about yourself and about your organizations.

Jay:

Oh, sure. I’m wearing multiple hats like a lot of people out there are, I think. I’ve always been involved in world fundraising and philanthropy. We’ve had a succession of tiny companies, almost micro-enterprises, the most recent of which was a screening company.
This is where people help non-profits to identify their donors at the greatest capacity, so you can get to know them better and treat them more intelligently and sensitively.

I sold that company in 2005 to a competitor and then over the last year and a half, two years, I’ve been working with some partners in developing a new application which is for fundraising or for sales, which is a technology tool.

But I do a lot of speaking as well. One of the things I wanted to do was spend more in time in the social media world and more particularly how it relates to, again, fundraising and philanthropy.

I think, again, that non-profits have been both way ahead of the curve in some respects and way behind the curve in others, with respect to social media. So I didn’t get involved in Twitter until very late in the game, just a few months ago, and found it really fascinating. It really appeals to my ADHD mentality, as opposed to Facebook, which I see as ADD. I mean those are very distinct.

People are all over Facebook for fundraising and philanthropy and I think that’s fine, but I think Twitter is far better in so many ways. And so when you launched Twibes – and I haven’t really figured out how you use it… So I’m delighted I’m doing something right. I don’t know what it is.

But I think it’s a great idea to try to develop watering holes for people who have common interests. Because one thing I think that’s keeping people away, at least in the non-profit world, from Twitter, is they cannot see the value.

It’s too hard for them to see the picture at 30, 000 feet. And you’re allowing them to see it by essentially showing them a map by interest and by the people within that interest area.

And it’s very, very hard – it’s a mirage – to people in fundraising, absent what you’re developing here.

Adam:

Right, especially with the short messages like you mentioned. It seems almost senseless when you glance at it and was certainly what motivated me to form something like Twibes. I sensed that there’s value there if you can filter it down to the topics that I’m interested in.
And from the people I’m talking to, Twibes has been a networking tool as much as anything else.

Jay:

Oh, yeah. I mean I haven’t used it that way yet but that’s – yes, absolutely.

Adam:

It’s almost as though that collection of photos at the top is the main point of being there. The Tweets don’t even factor in for some groups, just to find these people that can carry on their conversations in a million other mediums, but just to identify who they are has been valuable.
So, yeah, before we get too far into the Twibes stuff, Frost On Fundraising is your blog.

Jay:

Yes, but I haven’t been very active there, because it’s long form and frankly, I think there’s too much blogging going on. I may be alone in that but a lot of people are talking and not many people are listening.
Maybe that’s happening on Twitter too, but the concentration of information on Twitter when you look in the right places is terrific. And in the blogosphere, there is a lot of verbal diarrhea out there with no editing.

I always thought that was the case and I continue to feel that way, where there are some people who are brilliant and the fact that they’re brilliant without an editor is a testimony to how brilliant they are.

But there are a lot of other people writing and probably nobody should be reading it because it’s just awful and they’re not contributing anything. And that’s OK; that’s free expression and I love it. That’s why I love this country, but it’s not particularly useful if you want to read something of value.

And so I’ve done some blogging there and I’m going to do more, but I view that as so different in character from what is going on in Twitter, which is far more dynamic, where people can learn on the fly from one another, not just from the information that they’re relating but from the way they’re communicating with one another.

There are so many examples of this, especially with really young people on Twitter and Twitter isn’t the demographic for really young people. But there are people like Zach, he’d be one. Do you know about his walk?

Adam:

No, I don’t.

Jay:

Oh, this is an 11-year-old kid who walked from Florida to Washington DC to raise attention to childhood homelessness. He’s an 11-year-old kid. And then there’s some other guy, I don’t know what he is, he’s around 17, I think, who was pushing stoves through Rwanda. Did you hear about this?

Adam:

No, no.

Jay:

Well this is somebody – I don’t even know what their connection is to this organization that is providing sun stoves to people in Rwanda. Rwanda has been through everything Rwanda has been through, but there are also issues with poverty alleviation and basic cooking supplies so that people can eat.
And so he decided to put the force of Twitter behind getting votes for Stove for Rwanda to get $25, 000 from Disney. Now, most of the people in the United States don’t know where Rwanda is or what it is or how to pronounce.

And so there’s a 17-year-old who finds a way through Twitter – I don’t know if he would have done this through Facebook – to get people to focus on this and see, “You know what? All I have to do is click here and it can turn into $25, 000. It’s real.”

And so there’s a lot of that happening and again, not to go right back to Twibes, but I think Twibes fits right into that neatly once people figure out how to make that work. I haven’t seen them doing that yet, certainly not in the little sphere I’m in, but I can see it.

Twitter doesn’t really allow you to really see who your friends are without going through these massive lists. You’re visualizing it and that’s one step in that direction and it’s very different.

I can easily imagine that you can take a group of people who understand that they can take one step together as a group and carry the weight of an elephant, even though you are a bunch of ants. And that will make it instantly powerful.

Right now people are talking all about crowd sourcing. It’s fine; it’s a very fun term. But it really has very little meaning. I mean crowds are great and fun and they’re also terrifying.

But what you’re doing with Twibes is you’re bringing organization to the crowd, and the organizing principle is what brings real value to the individuals there.

If it’s the other way around, nobody really has any power. If something happens, it’s accidental. But you’re creating a venue through which people can actually combine their power. That is power.

Jay:

Wow. Well, thank you. That’s a great way of expressing it. I hadn’t quite put my finger on it, but, yes, you’re right.
Let’s see. Was there anything in particular that you did with the Philanthropy Twibe that made people latch on to it? I noticed you actually had started a couple others as well that hadn’t taken off nearly as much as this one had.

Do you attribute that to anything, or is that the luck of picking a great name and going with it?

Jay:

It’s hard to know without knowing more about the demographics of the people who are on that group. But I suspect it’s because it’s simply broad.
If it were fund-raising, a lot of the fund-raisers are still not there yet. They’re uncertain about social media in general and Twitter specifically. They’re nervous about it. They’re nervous about being there, and they’re nervous about being seen there. The scholars, who are one part of the philanthropic world, I don’t think they’re on Twitter to all.

But philanthropy is enough of a generic term – it sounds good – that I think it’s acceptable, so it’s easy for people to run into it and know what it means. It’s also somewhat of an exclusive term, unlike saying sales. If I said it’s the Sales Twibe, then everybody selling everything could be there. Then it has no value, and so there’s no real reason to join.

You might get a lot of people initially and the next day, but with philanthropy, it’s self-defining. I think that the term is useful, but that was the next step.

I would have that that something that’s more along the lines of fund-raising would have been better, but I don’t think I could get that. It wouldn’t have gone anywhere. I think that’s helpful.

What’s interesting to me though is who’s joining and why. There are a lot of organizations on Twitter, and there are a number of them that are joining something like this, but not in the numbers I would have thought.

Jay:

Yes, you still seem to be mostly individuals.

Jay:

Right. So who are they? This is what I’d really like to know. This guy, Pud, whatever his real name is. Do you know who I’m talking about?

Jay:

No.

Jay:

There’s a guy who has developed an application. I hope it’s not for doing something bad, but anyway, he developed an application…

Jay:

You never quite know until… Right.

Jay:

… to get people to list where they went to school.
Twitter is great, except it has no really good demographic data on individual users. That’s one of the things that makes it comfortable for people to post because it’s somewhat anonymous.

But if you had a sense, for example, that a lot of your people were coming to a particular twibe from either a certain part of the country, or a certain age demographic, or a certain profession, or a certain college, university, that would begin to tell you something really important.

I don’t know a way of doing that with the exception of starting to run – and I’ve done a bit of this on Twitter, and I’m going to start doing more of this on the twibe – things like the Twit Polls, and also cross-pollinating.

I use HootSuite a lot, just by way of an example. What I’ll do is I’ll – and then I’m also on LISTSERVs. I’ll see how many people are hitting different things I post. Some of those I’m hash-tagging as “philanthropy” so they’ll go on the Philanthropy Twibe.

Some of them I won’t, and some of them I will, and I’ll see what goes back and forth. Sometimes I’ll go and I’ll fake one of those little Owly – the shortened URLs. I’ll push something to LISTSERV.

I did that yesterday, and I had something amazing happen. It was just a Forbes article anybody could read about billionaires and billionaire giving. Not particularly amazing information, but the title was catchy, and I put it there with this little link.

I had 1, 200 people click on that link from the LISTSERV. Those people are not on Twitter. So what I did was I used this as an opportunity to do two things, to talk about how this kind of content’s on Twitter and that’s where I’m finding it. In other words, I’m getting it three days in advance of most of you guys. That would be implicit.

Then what I did was I put this thing about the Philanthropy Twibe. I said that this is where everybody who’s finding this kind of information is going. So if you’re really looking for this kind of information, this is where you need to be.

So I’m using the last generation of social media to try and drag some of these people into the newest generation of social media. What they’re doing there in the LISTSERV is they’re writing like blog entries, these long-form questions, which get very little response instead of Twitter-type of questions and responses, which are very easy for people to do.

Here’s a point of information; what do you think about it? Yes, no, that was just a poll response, or PM me. It’s relatively easy. It gets over the ejection phase of dealing with data.

Again, by forming the twibe, I think you’ve really empowered people to have conversations in a way that before they had to do in mash form and couldn’t do very effectively. It’ll be very interesting to see if the 3, 500 people on that one LISTSERV are in fact going to start moving over and joining the twibes.

Are you seeing that with the other twibes?

Jay:

Well, I’m definitely seeing people using a mish-mash of technologies. Twitter and Twibes are just pieces in people’s arsenals of their greater blogs, and Facebook pages, and email LISTSERVs like you’ve mentioned.
The savvy founders are those who recognized early on that this is one more channel to start connecting to people. For better or worse, I’ve tried to keep Twibes fairly small and focused so that it plays its role in an ecosystem.

When you start mentioning demographics and things that gives me some ideas of some features I can add. An area where I haven’t done very much is to let each individual build their Twibes profile as apart from their Twitter profile.

There’s no reason why I couldn’t prompt people for that – they don’t have to enter it in – for their age, or city, or whatever, and then begin to build a better picture of who’s in the twibe.

But, yes, I think that’s a common theme is using all these tools together, and being savvy enough to recognize the value, and then go to the efforts of creating these tiny URLs. That’s a whole other level of sophistication that’s required.

One of the women was saying you’ve got to know your tools in order to build your twibe. That’s exactly it.

Jay:

You know what’s funny? I didn’t know how to, or what I should put in that description. You have, I’m sure, an automated feature encouraging people like me who are slow to do that to go and do that. I wasn’t doing it. I was putting it off for the longest time.
In fact, I had this fear that if I didn’t do it, you’d take the twibe away. [inaudible 16:47] fear.

I finally put a description up there, but I don’t even know is that description like other people’s? Is it not? Having something that was not a template but an example could have been useful for me.

In fact, maybe that could be done on an individual basis where when people set up their – I know they just go from Twitter into the twibe, but if they could have a thing that was specific to Twibes – maybe that’s too much engineering – where they could say here’s my…

Adam:

My role in relation to Twibe has been one thing.

Jay:

Or in this field. Why am I in this Twibe? And they might end up saying, or you might be able to tuck in optional things, like where, the state, city or country, favorite color, super hero. Whatever, it is can be serious or silly, but that might enable people to start answering questions because the survey seems relevant.
If twitter were to do that, I could see that people would say en masse, “I’m not going to reveal that information to you.” But if it’s specific to a group, then they might well become like colleagues.

In effect, to go back to your point about networking, they’d see it immediately. Because they do it already on the Ning, for example, and stuff like that where they are listing lots of details.

In fact, it takes so long to manage all that, it would be much easier in this context. Could you imagine now seeing over the picture, you see the little thing pop up and say, ”is a graduate of, is a fund raiser at…”

Adam:

Attorney from Philadelphia or who yeah… that’s great. Cool. Has there been anything else about Twibe that to you were waiting for?
Back to back up, one more point about the description actually. There are two reasons why we’ve got that motivation on my part; one is so people can find it and understand what it’s about and why they should join.

The second is, that is there for Google. It’s in both of our interest that when people search on Twitter Philanthropy, or Twitter Philanthropy Group, that we would have enough description on this page to give hints to Google that this is the place, page that it should recommend.

Jay:

OK.

Adam:

So any little extra description, and in fact the category plays a small part in that as well. That’s my motivation for prompting or nagging Twibe founders to enter a description.

Jay:

I think it’s a good idea. I really didn’t know what to do, so that’s why I was not doing it.

Adam:

Right. A sample would be a good thing for me to do, very easy for me to do as well. Anything else that sticks out, that you’ve been waiting for or wanting?

Jay:

I know that this sounds like more marketing but, in fact, as soon as you told me that I was in one of the top 150 twibes, I made a point of listing our LinkedIn. And putting the church tweets group. And then putting it on my facebook page, putting it out in this little note, these 3, 500 people on this list serve.
So, I think if you had something that essentially said, some kind of ranking for these groups that would be very useful. Not only behind them but to promote the groups. It’s going to be hard for me to get researches to come, fundraising researchers, to come into this till they see somebody’s seal of approval.

Adam:

You mean Twibe seal of approval for you or an external approval for your Twibe?

Jay:

Twibe seal of approval for the Twibe on the basis of rank or number of something. I mean whatever it is. Of course as Twibe itself gains more notoriety, that’s going to be useful. But it might be nice to see some kind of ranking.
You know all those rankings for Twitter are interesting and they get people’s attention, even when they’re silly. I would think that they could be more meaningful here. It won’t be Ashton kutcher, whatever his name is, or one of those people. It would be really about what are the types of ideas which are capturing people, what kind of professions are moving things.

Let me ask you, what is the top Twibe? I mean are there thousands of people on one of these things?

Adam:

Yeah, the photography Twibe, I believe is the top. Let me go look here-with about 4, 000 members. That was a very interesting one. Obviously I didn’t predict any of this. I think that was largely people moving over from Fllickr, where they want to share their photos, they’re photographers. And there’s no good way to do that and find each other on Twitter.
And I think Edsee is another hand craft website, which is a similar type of thing where these other websites exist without community, everyone is on Twitter anyway, so Twibe is the intersection where they can find each other.

Jay:

Interesting.

Adam:

Yeah it is. It’s a special interest that the group identifies with, they have a desire to find each other and, the founder doesn’t have too much control, or too much of their own agenda.
The ones that work they form very organically. The founders are often working furiously behind the scenes, but they’re not pushing their own agenda. They’re just facilitating, communicating and networking, which is pretty interesting.

Jay:

Have the political circles found Twibes yet? Do you have a big Republican or a big Democratic thing, or big health care discussion going on?

Adam:

Yeah, amazingly we’ve got two Sarah Palin Twibes, which are warring in a friendly way. [laughs] The liberals have been slower on the uptake. But there’s a few of those. They’re slightly more niche. I think those are in the two to 500 member range. They’re not the giant ones but they’re definitely a vocal group.
I rely on the founders to keep me in check when I’ve got bugs. It’s whatever you guys ask for that I prioritize at the top of the list. Because, obviously if I make you successful then I’m the more successful I am.

Jay:

Oh right. That brings up another thing; are you thinking about or have you already made movements toward being able to deploy the content of a Twibe? So, for example, on a person’s blog, in the same way they can have twitter posts, they can have the whole twibe, start appearing on a blog, on a website, or within a group on LinkedIn?

Adam:

Yeah, not LinkedIn yet. I’m going to look at that after some of the conversations I’ve had in the last couple of hours. But I’m working on script you can include in a blog or website. Then I’ve already done a custom implementation for a Twitter conference that’s coming up in L.A. next month.

Jay:

Oh no kidding. I wrote to them. I wrote a little note to them saying, “Hey do you have anybody talking about the nonprofit world”. They said, “Well no we don’t, so we’ll put you on our list of maybes.” And then I haven’t heard anything again so.

Adam:

Alright. I’ll ask them about that. For them, a company called Parnassus Group, a group of guys. So I set up 140 Twibe.Parnassusgroup.com. Which is completely on their domain. The main benefits of doing it that way is that all the Tweets to join the Twibe, actually point to their domain. So you get all this sort of link love as you promote the Twibe.
So that’s something I’d be interested in setting up for other people, but it does take a bit of work on my part at this point still. But yeah I’m actively working on all that. Hopefully there will be an easy version, where you can just cut and paste a few lines of code. And then the more complex version like running on its own domain.

Jay:

Hopefully somebody pays you for that.

Adam:

Yeah. At some point yeah.

Jay:

Oh that’s great. Sounds like you got some fun things going on. I figure you’re talking to 100 people, so I don’t want to eat up too much of your time. I like to keep in contact and find out what you do with this, what your next project is. It’s good stuff.

Adam:

This has been fantastic. I really appreciate your time and shoot me an email at adam@twibes if anything crosses your mind. I’ve got some good notes here from our conversations. Thank you very much.

Jay:

Great, OK. Are you on LinkedIn? You are aren’t you?

Adam:

Yes.

Jay:

OK, Monday I’ll send you something there too. That’s where I keep most of my contacts.

Adam:

Great.

Jay:

Thanks so much.

Adam:

Thanks a lot Jay.

Jay:

OK, take care.

Adam:

Talk to you soon, bye.

Jay:

Bye.

Sarah Palin Web Brigade

sarahpalinlinksFay, better known as @SarahPalinLinks, uses the Sarah Palin Twitter group as part of a network of Web sites supporting Alaska’s former governor. In this interview she describes what she likes about twibes and how it fits in to her broader Twitter campaign.



Adam Loving:

You’re the founder of the “Sarah Palin Web Brigade Twibe,” right?

Fay:

That’s correct.

Adam:

Can you just tell me a little bit about how you got involved with Sarah Palin, and how you found Twibes, and what you use it for?

Fay:

Well I got involved in supporting Sarah Palin back in the 2008 Election. I was very disappointed that she is not now our Vice-President and hoping sincerely that she will be our next President, because I feel that she is the right person to lead us forward in a direction that will take us back to the conservative values that our founding fathers espoused. The Twibe is an outgrowth from our Twitter efforts.

The “Sarah Palin Web Brigade” is a network of 12 websites, and among those websites, we have a Twitter website @SarahPalinLinks. All of our Tweets go to the Twibe, as well as members who have joined the Twibe. Let’s say all of Tweets that have the SPWBT tag applied to them.

Sarah Palin supporters can join the Twibe and add the SPWBT tag to their Tweets, and pool their Sarah Palin Tweets so that we can all see what news is available about Sarah’s activities. And this week it’s very abundant–these last two weeks.

Adam:

Right.

Fay:

It’s just a place to support Sarah Palin, and to compare our notes on our activities, and her activities, and just generally a Sarah Palin support site.

Adam:

That’s great. How have you found generally–how does Twitter work with in conjunction with that network of websites? Do you find it’s the same people but it’s easier to communicate? Or is it a different audience of people on Twitter?

Fay:

Well, I think that we have–it’s–generally, there are a lot of people that are interested in Sarah Palin. We have about, on the Twitter site, we have about–over 3,000 followers now. Some of them–there are other Twitter sites that have a lot of followers also, so there’s a lot of interest in Sarah Palin. Now I’d say that the ones that join the Twibe are the group that’s probably the most active in supporting her–through their Twitter efforts, and blogging, and other efforts on the Internet.

Adam:

So is this like a part-time job for you, a hobby on the side or? How much time do you spend on the Twitter site and your own sites?

Fay:

Well, all together, between all the websites, I don’t keep track of my time. Let’s say all of my spare time and then some.
[laughter]

Adam:

I hear you. I hear you.

Fay:

There is so much to do. There’s always something that you have to put on the backburner until you can get to it, so I just think that Twitter and the Twibe and all the other groups out there just a way to pool your efforts, so everybody knows what everybody else is doing–and everybody wants to know what Sarah’s doing.

We all call her “Sarah,” but we should probably call her “Governor Palin.” But that’s part of her–of the attractiveness of her persona–is her “down to earth”-ness and just her availability.

Adam:

And so you mentioned you had some questions for me? What have you got?

Fay:

Yes I had several. Are we still being recorded?

Adam:

Yeah, yeah.

Fay:

There are some features that I really like about the Twibes–three in particular. I like the ability to use more than 140 characters. Whenever I have a long message, I can go to the Twibe and type it in and it’s still accessible through Twitter so it shows up on Twitter. You can click on it and it gives you the whole message–so you’re not limited to 140 characters.
And I like the re-Tweet feature better on Twitter’s, because when you hit on re-Tweet, it pops up in your message box, and you can alter it–if you want to. You can add something to it. Or if you just want it to go to certain tags you can just put on the ones that you want it go to.

And you can also post to the Twibe page, so it has a certain amount of privacy to it. It just doesn’t go out all over Twitter. If you want to say something to the group, to Twibe, you can do so.

Adam:

Cool. Some of those things are fairly subtle, so I’m glad you noticed it. The long Tweets, for example, it’s not obvious that you can do that necessarily. So great.

Fay:

Yes, I had to do that one just in the last few days because there was something that I needed to say, and I couldn’t say it on Twitter so.

Adam:

Cool. Anything that’s not working…

Fay:

Another thing, too, is a lot of times you have problems with the Twitter feeds and you can’t post on Twitter. No, no, let me back up. Your Twitter Tweets won’t post on any of the Twitter groups, unless your feed is working. Sometimes they get dropped for various reasons but if your Twitter feed is not working you can still post on the Twibe by going into the box there, and it still shows up on the Twibe.
I also noticed that during that period of time when Twitter went down–when it was hacked, that the Twibe still functioned. You could still use the message function on Twibe for sometime after that happened. So they lasted longer than Twitter. So that’s good. You’ve got some advantages.

Adam:

Well, that’s good, considering I’m’ just one guy and they’re a whole company, that’s good.

Fay:

Sorry?

Adam:

Considering that I’m just one guy, and they’re a whole company, I’m very proud of that.

Fay:

Yeah. You’ve got some definitely unique features. Those are just some of the ones that I found that are an advantage but there are a lot of unique features with the Twibe, that you keep adding.

Adam:

I keep trying. What have you found to be difficult or hard to explain to people when they land on Twibes?

Fay:

What have I found to be difficult?

Adam:

Yes.

Fay:

The one thing that I have noticed, is the display of the tweets. Obviously, you can click on anybody’s Twibe Tweets and find them, but sometimes all the Tweets don’t show up. One time–this morning, I noticed there was one that was done two hours, fourteen hours, one day and two days. There were some in between, farther down the page–when you get to the bottom of the page. Some of them don’t continue to show up. So that is a little bit of a–you know, you’d like to be able to get all of them and see them and even having some pages you could click at the bottom, if you go back to the ‘Previous Tweets’ would be really nice.
Adam. I see. There should be a button there, and I see it’s missing.

Fay:

Oh and the robots. It’s funny how the robots sometimes picks up some of your main Tweets. But I was wondering was there was any way to set the robot to update more often? Or the particular time, say once an hour, or once every 30 minutes?
Adam. Yeah. Sure, I can do that. I think it’s once an hour now–if a Tweet has occurred. I believe it Tweets at most, once an hour now, so if a Tweet has occurred in the last hour, it will tweet it. I can turn that down to a half an hour and we’ll see if that gets too noisy.

Fay:

I wanted to mention the hoodie that you sent. It’s my son’s favorite hoodie now.
Adam. Great. It was fun making those. I actually ordered a couple for myself, and I was glad at how good they came out. So good–I’m glad he likes it.

Fay:

They turned out very nice.

Adam:

I just wanted to give you some explanation on the reason why not all the Tweets show up. It’s actually a limitation in how I’m able to get those from Twitter. Since your Twibe has so many members since there’s 200 members, I can only search for five or six of them at a time. So you see that little counter that says “Next Search in 10 seconds” or “Next Search in 20 seconds” at the top?
It’s actually working its way through and searching everybody’s Tweets for ones that match the keywords. We do that both as you’re the viewing the page, but also the server on the backend does it. It’s working hard to try and collect all the Tweets for all the people in all the Twibes, but there are enough people that it has to work through at a certain pace. That’s why it doesn’t always catch them. I do from time to time try and tweak it so it does find more, but that’s kind of a limitation that I’m working with.

Fay:

What you’re really looking for is the latest ones anyway. Sometimes you’d like to look backwards and just see if there were any you missed, in between times.

Adam:

Right. You mentioned that your Twitter page has like 3000 followers. I see 3200, in fact. Do you actively try and promote the Twibe? Or are you just happy to have followers? Or do you have any other techniques? With 200 members, the Twibe is more successful than most. Some people do start a Twibe, and they have five or ten members and they’re trying to learn how they can recruit more. Do you have any special tips? You probably just linked to it from your Twitter accounts and also from your multiple sites. Any other tricks you can recommend?

Fay:

I periodically send out a Tweet to people that joined Twibes. We also have a little icon set up on the MySpace and on WordPress sites where you can click to join. On our Blogger, and our Ning site, we have a feed. I was able to put a feed there. The WordPress and MySpace formats wouldn’t accommodate the feed, but there’s a very nice feed on the Ning site, and the Blogger site, which has the latest Tweets and has a link where you can join the Twibe.

Adam:

Yes I spotted that down on the right hand side. Yes.

Fay:

Sorry?

Adam:

I spotted the link to Twibes on the right-hand side of the WordPress site. Cool.

Fay:

If you get HTML code that will work on WordPress or MySpace let me know. Then I can get the feed there also.

Adam:

Anything else I can help you with while I’ve got you on the phone? I know we were talking about spammers yesterday. There is in fact, a menu, I have it on my screen up here. If you’re signed-in as the founder, it should show a red X in that pop up menu and that will give you the option…

Fay:

Yes, I used that this morning.

Adam:

You found that? Great.

Fay:

I appreciate that.

Adam:

It’s annoying, but at least it gives us a way to quickly shut people down.

Fay:

Yes, everybody is welcome that is as least “friendly” to Sarah Palin. On our sites, we are not going to give a platform for anybody to bash Sarah Palin. Our sites are “Palin-friendly” sites. We support Sarah Palin 100% and maybe better. We’re just not going to tolerate some of the vitriol that we see out on the Internet. It’s a safe haven for Sarah Palin supporters. That’s what it’s intended to be.

Adam:

Any other things you’ve had troubles with lately?

Fay:

Sorry?

Adam:

Any other things that you have had trouble with lately?

Fay:

No. These are mostly minor things that I have mentioned. It’s a pretty stable site and very attractive. There are a lot of things you can do with the graphics, and so forth, if you have the skills. I think we have been able to use my limited graphics skills to make an attractive site. With what you provide there.

Adam:

Great. Okey-doke. Unless you have any other questions for me, I will get out of your way and let you have a great weekend.

Fay:

You too. I appreciate being able to talk with you.

Adam:

It’s been a pleasure.

Fay:

You have done a great job.

Adam:

Thanks very much. You certainly know where to find me. Let me know if anything comes up.

Fay:

OK.

Adam:

Take care.