Introducing Twibes Twitter Lists

What are Twibes lists?

A Twibes list is a list of people that have tagged themselves with a keyword (or have been added to the list by a friend). You can copy the list to your Twitter account as if you made it. From there, other people can follow the list. To join a particular list, click “Add Yourself” on the list page. You will be prompted to select up to 10 lists by tagging yourself with the name of a list.

Join-Twitter-List

Examples: Seattle Twitter List, Celebrity Twitter List, Social Media Twitter List

What happens when I “Make a Twitter List” from a Twibes List?

Twibes will copy the list to your Twitter account and keep it synchronized. Any one who joins the Twibes list will be added to your Twitter list automatically.

Sample-Twitter-List

How many people can be on a list?

Twitter lists have a limit of 500 members. We are working on influence rankings to make sure the 500 people on the Twibes list are relevant, high-quality tweeters.

What about my Twibe?

Twibes groups and Twibes lists are separate, but Twibes can turn your group into a Twitter list too. There is now a link on each Twibe to “Make List on Twitter”. Twibes will create a list for you and add the top 500 Twibe members to it.

make-twitter-list

Badges

Once you get ranked on a list, there will be a link from the list page or your profile to “GET BADGE”. This page will give you a snippet of javascript that you can add to your blog or Web site to show off your rank. If you earn a badge and put it on your site, let @twibes no so we can

twitter-list-badge


Twibes Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are brand new and you might not have access yet. If you haven’t read Twitter’s announcement about lists, we recommend you do that first. Twibes twitter lists are currently only available to Twibes insiders.

What are Twibes lists?

A Twibes Twitter List is simply a list of Twitter users. You can follow the list just like any other Twitter list. The cool thing about Twibes lists is that anyone can join. To join a list, click “Add Yourself” on the list page. You will be prompted to select up to 10 lists by tagging yourself with the name of a list.

Examples: Seattle Twitter List, Celebrity Twitter List, Social Media Twitter List

How many people can be on a list?

Twitter lists have a limit of 500 members. We are working on influence rankings to make sure the 500 people on the Twibes list are relevant, high-quality tweeters.

What about my Twibe?

Twibes groups and Twibes lists are separate, but Twibes can turn your group into a Twitter list too. There is now a link on each Twibe to “Follow List on Twitter”. Twibes will create a list for you and add the top 500 Twibe members to it.

Badges

Once you get ranked on a list, there will be a link from the list page or your profile to “GET BADGE”. This page will give you a snippet of javascript that you can add to your blog or Web site to show off your rank. If you earn a badge and put it on your site, let @twibes no so we can tweet about you!

Under Construction

Because the Twitter List API is so new, our “Follow List” functionality isn’t quite ready. So, today you can follow a list and it will be put in a queue. When the Twitter List API rolls out to everyone, Twibes will add your Twibes Lists to Twitter automatically for you.

We are also still working on our influence calculation. Most lists currently have an incomplete ranking and will default to ranking lists members by number of followers.

We will be rolling out access to lists over the next week or so, be sure to get on the insiders mailing list to be the first to try new Twibes features.

Top Twitter Lists

On September 30th, Twitter announced that they are working on a new “lists” feature and are in the process of rolling it out. We are frantically working to make Twibes the best place to find and join Twitter lists.

Twitter lists will enable you to create a list of Twitter users and filter your tweet stream to their tweets. Lists will be available on the Twitter web site, and eventually in twitter clients via the API. Some clients (like TweetDeck) already provide similar features today, but the Twitter implementation will add the ability to take lists wherever you go and copy lists from people you follow.

We think lists sound very cool, and can’t wait to get access. However, we see a big difference between a Twitter list and a Twibes group. Multiple people have described Twibes as ”giving twitter a purpose”. This is because Twibes groups enable them to both find people with similar interests, and communicate with them. Additionally, twibes message threading and embedding features allow groups to become micro-communities, or a good way to simply find people from an existing Web community on Twitter.

While lists may not be as deep as groups – we acknowledge that being able to find Twitter users, friends, and followers by location or interest is an important problem to solve. So, Twibes will be adding support our own version of top Twitter lists.

To be the first to get access to Twibes Twitter Lists, sign up to be notified via our old fashioned insiders email list.

Wendy Edwards: Voiceover Leader

wendytime Wendy Edwards (@wendytime ) is the “ultimate communicator”. In this interview she talks about how she has used Twibes as a networking tool to find other voiceover professionals on Twitter. Wendy is founder of the Voiceover Twitter Group, you can find out more about her at WendyEdwards.com.



Adam Loving:

Good morning, how are you?

Wendy Edwards:

Doing good. How are you?

Adam:

Pretty good; up early over here in Seattle. My dog is looking at me funny, she’s wondering why I’m not taking her for a walk, but it’s a pretty rainy day actually so she’ll survive.

Wendy:

What kind of dog is it?

Adam:

Great Dane.

Wendy:

Oh, my favorite. I don’t have one, I have… I mean I love all kinds of dogs, but Great Danes and Beagles are my favorite dogs. I’ve got a Beagle, but I don’t have a Great Dane.

Adam:

All right, cool.

Wendy:

Yeah.

Adam:

Well, thanks for being available to talk to me this morning. You know what I’m doing is just talking to the founders of some of the most popular Twibes and figuring out what they’re doing well and also just asking them what I could be doing better. So yeah, you’re the founder of the Voiceover Twibe is that it?

Wendy:

Right.

Adam:

And so I’ve got it up on my screen; I can see you’ve got 197 members. Can you tell me a little bit about what you do in voiceover; what motivated you to start a Twibe?

Wendy:

I started a Twibe because I wanted to get networking with other people in the voiceover industry because I work in radio and I also do independent voiceover work for television. And so I was hoping basically just to get together with other people that are already working that are professionals so that I could trade ideas and learn different functions, learn about new technology, things like that.

Adam:

Cool. So, do you have your own website or anything that you maintain on the side? Or is it just the Twibe?

Wendy:

I don’t have a voiceover website, I have my regular website from my web page wendyedwards.com, but I don’t have something specifically for voiceover. But, thankfully, there is a member on the Twibe that has a voiceover website and he’s done such a good job with it and I think that it’s good if everybody just goes over there – because he’s got a good networking community over there that everybody… I mean, I wouldn’t have found him without the Twibe so I’m glad that it’s there.

Adam:

Do you remember who that is? What’s their Twitter name?

Wendy:

Yeah, Mamoodtagee.

Adam:

Mamoodtagee.

Wendy:

Or Mamoodtagee.

Adam:

Ah, OK. Cool. Yeah, one of the things I’ve been thinking about doing is making it so you can take a little bit of job descript code and actually put the Twibe inside another web page. So, I might get in touch with him and see if he’d want to do that so that he could actually have a duplicate of the Twibe over on his site, or something like that.

Wendy:

Yeah, he’s been great about pulling us all together. And then he offers his opinion inside of his life, but he also just shares industry things going on with him. And he’s over an agent so he’s got a totally different outlook on life. It’s just interesting and it’s fun to be able to network with people that are on the other side of the world.

Adam:

Right, right. Yeah, so let’s see. How do you think most people find the Twibe, do you think they’re just seeing the tweets go by and clicking over? Or are they coming from his website? Or is it people that you meet?

Wendy:

I would say that they are seeing the tweets and clicking more than anything. I don’t know if your data supports that, if you keep track of things like that.

Adam:

It does.

Wendy:

But, I would say that that would be the best advertising.

Adam:

Right. Yeah, so the problem that I face is that a lot of people see the joining tweets and of course everybody wants to join, but then only a very small fraction of people remember to come back on an ongoing basis. So, that’s why there’s a lot of Twibes that have just a few members or they are kind of really active for a week or so and then kind of go quiet.
So, I’m just figuring out what I can do better for that. And it would probably mean just doing some more smarter notification emails and things like that and letting people embed the Twibes on their websites so that it’s more of where they’re already going; they don’t have to come to Twibes.com necessarily to participate and things like that.

Wendy:

Well, I think for me when I first started – I don’t remember when I started on Twibes, you might have that – when I first started, it took a while for the updates to show up on the Twibes site so I stopped getting in the habit of looking over there. But, it didn’t stop me from going over to see who joined and then adding them as somebody on Twitter to follow and then communicating with them over Twitter. So, it’s really helped for that function, but as far as the updates on the Twibe itself, sometimes it takes a while before tweets will show up in there and then… so that’s really what caused me to not watch it so much.

Adam:

Got it; yep makes sense.

Wendy:

But, I still go look there and see who’s there and then I do scan down to see who’s mentioning voiceover, but a lot of times I’m following the people that are there so I already know they’re talking about it.

Adam:

Right, right. OK.

Wendy:

I hope that’s helpful.

Adam:

Yeah, that’s very helpful. The other thing I was going to ask is what other Twitter tools you use, if any. Do you use TweetTag or…

Wendy:

I don’t yet. I mean I update sometimes from my mobile phone, but that’s it. I’m not that savvy on Twitter yet. And I don’t often have a lot of time in my day so I tweet and then kind of move on. I check the Twibe now and then just see who’s on there and if there’s somebody new then I need to welcome because I try to do that. If somebody’s joined, I’ll make sure to take a group of people that just joined the Twibe and I’ll say thanks for joining and stuff like that over Twitter.

Adam:

Right, awesome, cool. OK.

Wendy:

But then, that keeps promoting that there is one and let’s them know that people are there and it’s been really good; I’m happy I joined it.

Adam:

Cool. Yeah, I know it’s been really fun, it’s been way more successful than I initially thought it would be. And now it’s just a question of getting it to be more a central focus of the community, not just a list of faces.

Wendy:

Well, help me understand what you want it to do because I don’t really know. I mean, all I thought of was is a collective people with like interests. What do you want it to do?

Adam:

Well, that’s it, but for it to become more of a sustainable business there’s got to be more visitors on an ongoing basis. So, it’s really good for people quickly joining and seeing the list of people, but ideally just if there was more participation, more posts on the Twibe page.

Wendy:

So, do you want people to post directly while they’re in the Twibe, post right there where you can?

Adam:

-huh, -huh.

Wendy:

Instead of going back to Twitter and write?

Adam:

Right. Well, either is good and it should be a mix of both, but I’m just… And this is good for me because maybe that’s not useful. Maybe a list of people is all it really needs to be. But, yeah, sort of on an ongoing basis, the more active the Twibe page itself is, the better for me in terms of turning this into a viable business.

Wendy:

Yeah, that makes sense. Well, I’m willing to help; I’m just trying to figure out ways, because I think it’s important to know how people use it and you’re doing a great job of asking.

Adam:

Right.

Wendy:

Yeah, I mean, it’s important. But, if you want people to use the Twibe as more like a bulletin board maybe, is that what you mean?

Adam:

Right, yes.

Wendy:

Then, maybe there could be incentives for that, either through the founder or… well I guess through the founders because they’re the ones that are going to be driving it, hopefully driving it. But, maybe if there were incentives to do that like, I don’t know, contests or something you know? Something for the person basically feeding the Twibe to be rewarded for doing X amount of work, because nobody likes to work for free, really. Nobody. I mean, I do it sometimes. I’m sure you do too, but…

Adam:

I’ve been experimenting with these little scoreboards on the sides. I’ve got the most mentioned and the most followed people in the Twibe. It’s kind of the beginning of that. I didn’t want to make it the more you tweet, because then that would encourage spammers. But, the people that participate the most will naturally be mentioned the most. Then they also…

Wendy:

Would you say the most active Twibes would get whatever, billing. I don’t know how you want to work it out.

Adam:

Sure, sure.

Wendy:

But active Twibes, I think it would be really helpful if they got some recognition or something. I don’t know how you could do that.
OK, so I’m the founder of a Twibe, and my Twibe is active to the point where you would say, "Wow, this Twibe is really active. People are really using it. Wendy, you’re doing a great job."

Even if you made a little graphic, I could put on my website, do you know what I mean?

Adam:

Right, a badge.

Wendy:

It would say "Founder of the Most Active Twibe" or "Founder of Blah Blah Blah." Whatever, it doesn’t matter. It’s still something for me to promote what I’m doing, saying I’m a good worker, and for you to say, you’ve got the Twibe’s name on it. So, it’s just scratch each-other’s-back kind of stuff.

Adam:

Yes, that sounds great.

Wendy:

Any of that works. Any way that we can cross-promote is going to help, because that’s what Twitter really is about.

Adam:

Yes, for sure. OK.

Wendy:

That’s something I’ve loved about Twibes too, I need to tell you, is the cross-promotion, because in voiceover, a lot of people tend to think that this industry is very competitive. It can be if you’re auditioning for the same thing, but in the grand scheme and on a wider scale, everybody works together.
If there’s a job that I know I can’t do, but I know for a fact somebody in the Twibe can do it, say she has a better accent, or she’s got the sound they’re looking for, or whatever, I can say "Hey, there’s this job coming up, and it sounds like something you could do." Or they could do the same for me. That’s something that Twibes has really just blown the door open for.

Adam:

Right, right.

Wendy:

That’s been very helpful for us.

Adam:

Fantastic.

Wendy:

We’re able to share what we’re doing, what projects we’re on. Once we do a project and it’s been published by somebody, we can put the results on our websites and say, "Hey guys! Go check this out. I just did this 30-second voiceover. I did this minute spot over here," or, "Hey, I’m working on a documentary," or whatever.
But, we get to tell each other what’s happening and encourage each other too, because a lot of times we’re all working independently from our houses, and you don’t get a lot of that support when you’re working inside your house.

Adam:

Right, right.

Wendy:

So, to have a bunch of people who understand, number one, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, but number two, also respect your place in the industry, is phenomenal.

Adam:

Right.

Wendy:

These are not people that are just going to pat you on the back, or suck up, or anything like that. These are people that are working right beside you.

Adam:

Right.

Wendy:

So, it’s totally different.

Adam:

What’s amazing to me is you’re talking about building relationships and building your career in a much broader space by sharing opportunities.
What’s amazing to me is that in Twitter, the format of the messages is so short, and it seems like the people are so fleeting, it’s amazing that in such a short format, you can actually accomplish something like sharing jobs or passing on opportunities and things like that.

Wendy:

Well, we do, but I honestly think it’s because of the Twibe. That’s what I’m trying to say. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t know these people were there.

Adam:

Right, it offers continuity. It filters down to just the tweets that matter to your particular topic.

Wendy:

Not only that, but now we direct message each other, or like I said, I’m on Taji’s networking – not really networking, but I go to his blog, and I’m part of his community. Through LinkedIn, we all connect that way too, now.
It’s just like Twibes was the start of that, and I really think that you’ve got something in just getting people connected, whether it’s most used for a bulletin board or not, it doesn’t really matter because just that initial connection is something you can’t get just walking around outside.

I can join AFTRA, or I can join SAG or something, and meet people through going to events. But, do you know how much that would cost me?

Adam:

Right, right.

Wendy:

Do you know what I mean?

Adam:

Yes, I do.

Wendy:

We’re talking about thousands of dollars just to join an association – not that I won’t, but I’m just saying – then you have to make it to their events, and meet all these people and mingle.
This way, I am the same as I am every other day, in my studio, doing my work, and if I want to talk to somebody and network with a bunch of people doing the same thing, I can. They’re right here, virtually.

Adam:

Cool.

Wendy:

So, I’m really happy with it.

Adam:

Excellent. Well, thank you very much for taking some time out to speak to me this morning. If you don’t mind, I’ll post this to the blog and tell people a little bit about what you’re doing.

Wendy:

Please do.

Adam:

Shoot me an email at adam@Twibes.com if you’ve got anything that you would like me to add or any problems that come up.

Wendy:

Sure. Well, if you wouldn’t mind, I’ve got two websites if you wouldn’t mind adding those. I’ve got my WendyEdwards.com, and then I’ve got WTFSheWants.com because I’m a writer as well as a voiceover artist. I don’t do just one thing.
WTFSheWants.com, I don’t have a Twibe for that, but I’m using Twitter just to keep things updated and let people know what’s on the website now.

Adam:

Excellent.

Wendy:

That’s a brand-new magazine I’ve embarked on.

Adam:

What is it about?

Wendy:

It’s for men over 25 who want to know what the hell women want. [laughs] It is, literally.

Adam:

That’s going to be very popular, I think. [laughs]

Wendy:

I’m hoping so. Right now, it’s new. It’s only two weeks old, but it’s been in my head for about two years. I just started it. It’s going to have articles. Right now, it’s got a couple of shallow articles. They’re not really deep, but it’s a start.
I’ve got some professionals putting their time in and giving me opinions so I can add that to the articles. Then I’ve got… I don’t know if you know who Chris Pirillo is?

Adam:

Oh, yes. I know Chris. I’ve met him several times.

Wendy:

OK. Well, Chris and I just did an interview, I’m going to post that, about dating. He’s post-divorce, his second divorce, and he’s getting back on the market so he’s talking about that. I’m going to touch on different subjects.
I don’t know if you know who Alan Abel is.

Adam:

No.

Wendy:

All right. He’s funny. If you ever get a chance, he’s got a documentary that his daughter made of him called "Abel Raises Cain." It’s on Hulu. You can watch it for free.
But he’s just a prankster. He’s a hoaxster, and he’s done a lot to make the media spastic. I think it was at the Republican National Convention in 2000 – I’m not positive, so don’t quote me on that – but he was out in front of that yelling through this megaphone about how breast feeding must be stopped, how women shouldn’t feed their babies like they’re cows, and all this other stuff. It’s funny.

But, he does it for publicity stunts. He doesn’t do it for… But, he’s been doing this for I don’t even know, 50 years or so. So, the documentary’s really interesting.

Anyway, he and his wife have a great relationship. She’s been part of his pranks and stuff like that. I interviewed them just the other day, too, to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

So, little things. I’m trying to get people that are semi-celebrity or at least well known to help bolster the magazine, but also because they’re interesting. It’ll be fun.

Adam:

OK, cool. Well, thanks again. I will see you online.

Wendy:

All right. Thanks for meeting with me so early.

Adam:

No problem. Have a good morning. Bye.

Wendy:

You too. Bye.



Steve Olker’s Phish Twitter Group

unolker Steve Olker’s (@UNOlker) Phish Twibe has been one of the most vibrant twibes since the early days of Twibes.com. In this interview you’ll find out how he got his Twitter name, and how the Phish fans used the Twibe to meet up in person. You won’t find out why we were cracking up at the beginning of the interview. You’ll just have to ask @Unolker or @adamloving if you want to find out about that. Also, if you like Phish, please support the Phish Twibe Store.



Steve Olker:

What’s going on?

Adam Loving:

Not much. So, I’m Mr. Twibes, and a lot of people are asking me, when they start new Twibes, how can they have as much success as these other Twibes? I found you because you’re the founder of the Phish Twibe, which I’ve seen over the last several months has been a good one in terms of lots of people communicating – or at least they appear to be. I don’t know how much that’s to do with your hard work, or just luck, or what. How did this thing come about?

Steve:

It’s probably a combination of two things. Phish, in general, has a dedicated fanbase, so that helps the cause. I’ve done a lot of promoting for it since the beginning. I’ve only got about 370 followers on Twitter. Each of my followers might have anywhere between 50 and 1000, and there’s a core group of us that retweet and promote the Twibe. We actually have a CafePress store going that has Twibe merchandise. We have our own logo for the Phish Twibe, and we’ve all met up in person at Phish shows. I’ve been recognized just walking through a Phish show of like 20000 people. "Hey, that’s the guy that runs the Twibe!"

Adam:

Well, there you have it. I think you’re the only Twibe I’ve heard of that’s actually met up, and certainly the only Twibe that has a T-shirt shop. That’s awesome.

Steve:

Yeah, I’ve sold a decent amount of stuff to people. We have pics of the one show we met up in – we’ve got 10 of us in our T-shirts we bought off the Twibe store. There we go.

Adam:

Cool. I’m going to have to get some advice on how to make some normal Twibe shirts for everyone else, but anyway, that’s great.
So, are you just Phish’s number-one fan, or…?

Steve:

I don’t know if I’m Phish’s number-one fan. I just…

Adam:

You’re just hip enough to the Twitter thing to know, when you saw Twibes, that it would be a natural fit?

Steve:

Yeah. There were other people that were promoting other Twibes. There’s a NEPA Twibe. I live in Northeast Pennsylvania, and someone started a NEPA Twibe a couple of days before I did. I said, "Hey, that’s a good idea." I searched Phish, no one had it, and I said, "Oh, let me get on it. It might be fun for us to have something linking us together."
I don’t know how much everyone goes for that. I mean, I only check it once a week, every now and then, to see what the running conversation is, especially during times of looking for tickets. We all post what tickets we might have for other people, or things like that.

Adam:

Yeah, as I scan down the page here, it looks like a lot of people are posting from Tweety, TwitterFox, TweetDeck – it doesn’t look like a lot of people actually visit the page, which is totally fine as long as the list is there and it helps them meet each other. It seems like a relatively savvy group of users, right? They’re all using Twitter from wherever. They just all happen to like Phish, and, therefore, congregate here and meet up, which is awesome.

Steve:

Yeah, I bet at least half of us have iPhones, or something along that line. A lot of tech-savvy people in my group. I’ve probably met at least 20 to 30 of them personally, so that’s a pretty significant sample out of the 215 that I’ve got in the Twibe.

Adam:

Yeah, absolutely. So, does social media stuff overlap with your day job at all, or is this purely for fun?

Steve:

No, totally separate thing. I’m a therapist during the day. The tech stuff is on the side. I’ve just always been into computers and things like that, and to be honest, I don’t really do much other social media. No Facebook, no MySpace, none of that. Strictly Twitter. It just fits the way I work – on the go, I want to bust out something short. I want to find out the news in real time. It just clicks with me personally.

Adam:

Great. Well, I’ve got your Twitter profile up here as well, and I have to ask you the story behind why you’re called "Unolker" and why there’s Chewbacca on your profile.

Steve:

Despite my Twitter Phish group, pre-Twitter – I’ve been seeing Phish since ’97 – there’s a group of us that follow Phish around, and we all identify each other by Uno cards. That’s been going on for 12 years. Since I’m part of the Uno group, if you take Uno, and then my last name is Olker, and you sandwich it together, you get Unolker. And the Chewbacca thing was just that someone took a picture of Chewbacca and put a Uno card on it, so that’s my background page.

Adam:

Fantastic. Cool. Awesome. And then I’ve got your blog, too, here. I’m just taking a peek through.
That’s great. Is there anything about Twibes in general that I can do better to help you guys? Is there anything that it’s missing? Some people have been asking for better keywords for the searches, or letting them put in more keywords. I’m working on improving the realtimeness of the tweets on this page.

Steve:

Yeah, the realtimeness is definitely a thing. I almost wish there were some way… I’m pretty tech-savvy, but I don’t know how the EPI works. I use TweetDeck on the Mac, and I know a lot of people do. I guess some people use Tweety for Mac. If I could have a column in that of the Twibe, that would be the creme de la creme right there – to keep track of all the people in my Twibe and what they’re tweeting without having to go to the page. The RSS feeder, I tried that. It didn’t really cut it. It would be better to see a streaming thing in an app, if you will. I don’t know how that would work. And then the realtimeness of it being posted quicker, what’s going on.

Adam:

Right. We actually had something like 400-some-odd votes on the TweetDeck feature request list to get Twibes added, and then I did a little video last weekend about how to simulate Twibes within TweetDeck, but it’s kind of a hack. If you follow everybody and then you put in a search filter, you can approximate it. Hopefully, they’ll listen to us and try to get some friends – I’m in Seattle – who are actually down in San Francisco to introduce me to them and stuff like that, so hopefully we’ll get in there.

Steve:

Yeah, that would be a hassle. I’m not trying to follow everyone in my Twibe. I’d like it if they would all follow me, but… I am the leader!

Adam:

[laughing] Cool. Here’s the link to CafePress. I’m going to open that up. Twitter shirt, motto shirt… I can’t quite read it. Let me see.

Steve:

You have to click on it to make it a little bigger.

Adam:

I’m recording the whole screen here, so hopefully anybody watching will get the… aw, come on, that’s not loading. Oh, "view larger." How about that? There we go. Coming down. "Twibes.com/Phish." I still can’t read… "We’ve got it simple because we’ve got hashed eggs." Excellent. I’m going to buy one.

Steve:

Awesome. Yeah, I’ve got the SIGG bottle and a T-shirt myself.

Adam:

"Phish fail well."

Steve:

That one’s pretty popular, let me tell you.

Adam:

Twibes is a side project. One of my guys in the day job, we also do work with Twitter, and he’s a huge Phish fan, so I’m totally going to buy him the "Phish fail well." That’s perfect.
Excellent. Well, thank you very much. I hope I didn’t wake you up or take you away from whatever you were doing.

Steve:

No, I just totally spaced on the time. You know, relaxing after work.

Adam:

No worries. All right. Thanks a lot, and let me know if there’s anything more I can do for you guys. Adam@twibes is my email. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Steve:

You got it. Thanks.

Adam:

Take it easy.

Steve:

Take care.

Adam:

Bye.

Steve:

All right, bye-bye.

Lisa Graas: Palin Twibe

LisaGraas Lisa Graas’s (aka @LisaGraas or @PalinTwibe) passion for
political blogging led her to create the super-successful Palin Twibe. She deftly moves from one technology to another in support of her cause. In our interview she covers the technologies she has used to grow the Palin Twitter group.



Adam Loving:

It’s nice to finally meet you. We’ve corresponded a lot via email and never spoken, so it’s good to hear your voice.

Lisa Graas:

You’re an important person in my life, Adam.
[laughter]

Lisa:

You’ve revolutionized things for me, so thank you for that.

Adam:

Kind of strange how that came to be, but yeah. First of all, how did you get so involved in the Sarah Palin movement? [laughs]

Lisa:

In my topic? [laughs] I’ve been blogging politically for a while. I actually got started during the election campaign. And, as you know, she still has a big following, and I’m just one of those people. I was using Twitter through my blog.
I already had a lot of followers that way, and a lot of people reading my blog, and like-minded interest with me, already, through that.

Adam:

Right.

Lisa:

And so, since I already had all of these followers, and Sarah Palin was our subject, I wanted more interaction with people. And at the time, everybody was following Sarah Palin on Twitter, but it was all government business. It was all Alaska state business. She wasn’t really talking about anything unless it had something to do with Alaska…

Adam:

I see. I see.

Lisa:

… At that time. Because she was still governor. And they were wanting more from her.

Adam:

Right.

Lisa:

So I thought, "We need to all get together and talk about the things that are important to all of us, as supporters of Sarah Palin." Because everybody wants a voice.

Adam:

Right.

Lisa:

You can see, with the tea parties going on right now, people are just really using their speech.
[laughter]

Lisa:

So, Twitter is a way to do that. It’s a way for people to have their town hall online. So, I decided to kind of organize everybody. I don’t know how I stumbled on Twibes, I really don’t. I can’t tell you that.

Adam:

Yeah. It hasn’t been around that long, so it’s just been by virtue of all the retweeting on Twitter that people discover it, I think, for the most part.

Lisa:

Yeah. Well, it was like the greatest thing. Once I started – I already had quite a few followers. I told them about it. And of course, Sarah Palin has a big draw, and they’re just naturally drawn to the Twibe because of the Sarah Palin name. And we all pretty much agree on political issues. And politics is hot now.

Adam:

Yeah.

Lisa:

So, it’s just kind of taken off itself. All you’ve got to do is put "Palin" on there, and you get all kinds of people.

Adam:

[laughs] Gets you 80 percent of the way, right? Yeah.

Lisa:

Yeah.

Adam:

So, the Palin Twibe Blogspot blog that you just sent through the other day. So this is a new blog? Or is this..?

Lisa:

This was a new idea. The thing with the town halls really got to me, because people want to be heard. And I know that there are a lot of people out there who… I just feel like I wanted to give people a voice.

Adam:

Right.

Lisa:

And I know how easy blogging is. It’s simple. If you can send an email, you can blog. So I thought, "Well, maybe one of these people would like to start their own blogs and they don’t know how." I have already been blogging for a long time, so I decided to start this Twibe blog. If you’re in the Twibe, you can post on the blog and I will help you get started. So it’s going to be open to anybody who is in the Twibe. And it’s through Blogger, Google Blogspot. So, it’s a really simple platform.

Adam:

I see. So, people who are in the Twibe Tweeting, this is their way to join the blog, and also blog in a very easy, safe-to-get-started kind of way. [laughs]

Lisa:

Right.

Adam:

Right. That’s great.

Lisa:

Yeah. I call it training wheels.
[laughter]

Lisa:

Because there are a lot of people out there who haven’t been involved in politics. And the Internet is still kind of a new thing for some people.

Adam:

Right. Well, just the very nature of how public Twitter is, I imagine, puts some people off.

Lisa:

Right.

Adam:

So, it’s good to kind of know that you’re doing this with a group of people and not just standing on your own, so to speak.

Lisa:

Well, Twitter itself, just by itself with nothing else, is no fun. If you’ve only got just the Twitter page and not all of these apps to use with it, it’s really not a good tool. You have to know your tools. Like the TweetDeck. Oh, wow.

Adam:

Right.

Lisa:

I was telling somebody the other day, "TweetDeck is like having a bridge to drive over the river [laughing] instead of going over it with a canoe."
[laughter]

Lisa:

I mean, it just really makes everything so much better. And Twibes does that, because we’re all just out there in the universe floating around without the Twibe.

Adam:

Right, right.

Lisa:

It’s just like a point where you can go and say, "OK, these people are interested in what I’m interested in." And you don’t have to search through those hash tags. It just keeps everybody together. It’s like the skeleton. The Twibe is like the skeleton. And then their blog is like the muscle, because that gets us active, doing something together.

Adam:

Right.

Lisa:

The skeleton keeps us together, and the open blog for everybody is like the muscle that moves us forward.

Adam:

That’s a great way to describe it.

Lisa:

I love it.

Adam:

[laughs]

Lisa:

People out there love it. But they have to know. It’s hard for them to figure out, "OK, what is this for? What does this Twibe thing do? How’s this work?" You have to know your tools, and you have to know how to use them. Like with me. And I showed you about the TweetDeck group.

Adam:

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, yeah, no I appreciated that too.

Lisa:

That’s really my thing, that’s really when things just fly for me. And so what I do is as the Twibe leader, as soon as someone joins the Twibe, I put them in that group. It’s easy for me because I can add them in one by one as they join instead of having to add an entire list. So, as soon as one joins, I put them in TweetDeck group. Then their tweets start coming in and I just basically just retweet most of it. Because that way, anybody who’s in the Twibe can follow me and they can watch my tweets and they’ll know what everybody in the Twibe is doing because sometimes the search… the Twibes page doesn’t pick up as many people as TweetDeck does for some reason.

Adam:

It’s missing tweets, right.

Lisa:

I can get more tweets from TweetDeck than I can on the Twibes page. Also, the Twibes page works by keyword.

Adam:

Right, so it’s a little bit more limited.

Lisa:

Whereas on the TweetDeck, I get everything. But then, sometimes I can go… a lot of times, I go back and forth between the TweetDeck and the Twibe page because there are tweets on the Twibe page that somehow I didn’t see in my TweetDeck so I have to use both. You got to know your tools. You got to know what your tools are; you got to know how to use them. But anyway, since we started making it integrated with other things, like the blog, knowing how to use TweetDeck, really staying focused and knowing our tools, it’s just really grown.

Adam:

Fantastic. Would you say… so you mentioned maybe some of the tweets are not showing up as fast, are there any other pain points that… what’s top of your list for what you want to do next. One of the things I’ve considered, I’ve been working on, is a little JavaScript widget so you could actually take the Twibe and their tweets and embed that in the blog so you get it all on one page, potentially.

Lisa:

Well, I actually use Widgetbox.

Adam:

Oh yeah, yeah I saw that you set that up. That’s pretty cool.

Lisa:

But it’s kind of… it’s not customizable enough for me.

Adam:

So maybe I can make an improvement on that.

Lisa:

I’d like something that is less… it’s got this big red box on it and I don’t like that. And I’ve used other… I forget what is the name of it. You can grab codes, stick it on your page and you’ve got your tweets there. But, I just haven’t been happy with the ones I’ve been using. So, if you could have something from Twibes to put on there.

Adam:

Yeah, we’ll make something that’s more customizable than that, for sure.

Lisa:

Yeah, just something really simple. I like something that doesn’t have a lot of graphics; it’s just a tool there, a basic tool there. Also, there is an error that I’m having trouble with. I think I told you about it before. If I go to the Twibes page and I click on someone’s avatar and it takes me to their individual user Twibe page, I’ll see their tweets. And I click reply… if I click reply or retweet, I get nothing.
If I click ‘view tweet,’ it will open up their tweets so that I can that I can see it, but I can’t use the reply or retweet; I use both browsers Explorer and Firefox and neither of them work. So, I’ve tried deleting my cache and my cookies and everything. I’ve tried everything to get…

Adam:

No, I’m just doing it here and I’m seeing the same thing.

Lisa:

I’m thinking maybe there’s something wrong on my end but I think it’s on your end.

Adam:

Yeah, no it looks like my problem for sure. Cool, I hadn’t seen that so I will get that fixed ASAP.

Lisa:

That would be a big help for me and especially… on the TweetDeck thing – like I said it’s revolutionized things for me – but getting people to use it is a big deal, they don’t want to use this new technology. They don’t want to download TweetDeck and learn how to use it. But, if you can get that fixed, where you can go to an individual user’s page and see all their tweets and then they can reply and retweet there easily with no error messages then they won’t even need TweetDeck, I don’t think.

Adam:

Great, I will get that fixed. Excellent! Well, I won’t keep you too long. I hope you’re feeling better. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk this morning. And if you don’t mind, I’ll post this on the blog for other’s to listen to.

Lisa:

I’m sorry?

Adam:

If you don’t mind I’ll post this phone call.

Lisa:

Oh yeah, sure, that’d be great, that’d be great. But I want to say one thing though.

Adam:

Mm-hmm.

Lisa:

To be successful, whether it’s with Twibe or with Twitter, there’s just one thing that I’ve learned. You have to be kind. You have to be… In other words, don’t spam people. You asked on that sample question that you gave me, you said something about recruiting? I don’t really do that, I don’t go out. Sometimes if I know someone is really interested in my topic, I’ll ask them and I’ll invite them.
But, I’ve learned that if you’re the kind of person when you’re driving down the street and you see someone on the sidewalk, they make eye contact and you smile at them, you’ll do OK on Twitter. But, if you’re the kind of person who frowns at them back, you will not do well on Twitter. You have to be kind and it’s not just "if you build it, they will come." You have to use Twitter love, because that’s just the way you do it.

Adam:

Right, well even in 140 characters, people can tell if you’re genuine or not or it you’re, you know…

Lisa:

Right, right.

Adam:

Interesting.

Lisa:

Well, thank you Adam.

Adam:

Thank you.

Lisa:

It’s the best thing ever. It’s the best thing ever and don’t ever stop.

Adam:

I won’t.

Lisa:

Don’t ever stop. OK.

Adam:

All right, I’ll talk to you online.

Lisa:

Thanks Adam.

Adam:

Thanks a lot, bye.

Lisa:

Bye.



Brian Moore: New Zealand Twitter King

KiwiartistBrian Moore (@Kiwiartist) is an oil painting and bronze sculpture artist from New Zealand. His work embodies his belief that New Zealand is the most beautiful country on the planet. His passion has spilled over on to Twibes and Twitter where he has become world ambassador as founder of the New Zealand Twitter group. You can enjoy and purchase his work at Brian Moore Fine Art.



Adam Loving:

So, can you please tell me a little bit about what you do? I’ve got your website up here, Brian Moore Fine Art. Are you a photographer, painter?

Brian Moore:

No, I’m a painter and a sculptor, Adam. I work in oils, watercolors, bronze. And I mostly do studies of things that are pertaining to New Zealand. There’s a lot of stuff that is iconically New Zealand.

Adam:

Right.

Brian:

Like our wildlife, birds. There’s one creature that’s found nowhere else on the planet that’s called a tuatara, and he’s a little reptile that actually pre-dates the dinosaur, and yet he’s still alive and well in New Zealand. That’s quite a fabulous little phenomenon.

Adam:

Right. I see your bronze here. Yeah, fantastic.

Brian:

Yeah. Do you see the tuatara there?

Adam:

-huh, -huh.

Brian:

Yeah. That’s a little creature that’s only found in New Zealand.

Adam:

Wow. So, do you find you get many customers or fans on your website? Is that a big leader for you? Or is it more your shop in town or what have you?

Brian:

Well, we just took an order for one of the tuataras from Scotland, recently, off the website. So, the Internet marketing is working, but it’s not up to speed yet with what we can do locally with personal contact.

Adam:

Right.

Brian:

It’s slowly getting there.

Adam:

Well, that’s just a segue to my next point. So, somehow, you managed to be king of the New Zealand Twibe here. This is the only founder of a national Twibe that I’ve spoken to so far. [laughs] I’m very impressed.

Brian:

[laughs] Oh, thank you. [laughs]

Adam:

Your Twibe page has 483 members. Which, I realize New Zealand is far larger than that, but still, it’s quite impressive. Has there been any method to your madness here? Have you been actively promoting the Twibe, or do people just stumble along and find you, or what’s going on here?

Brian:

Well, what happened was, it wasn’t long after I first joined up with Twitter that I noticed that somebody had joined something called Twibes. So I thought, "Gee, I wonder what that is." So, I went and had a look at it. And I saw there was a category for geographic regions.
And I’m a very proud Kiwi. I love my country. I love doing whatever I can to promote the country. One of our largest industries is the tourist industry. If you have a look at my bio, I say something along the lines of, "I think that New Zealand is the most beautiful country on the planet." And I genuinely believe that. I haven’t done a lot of travel, but from what I’ve seen, there’s nothing tops New Zealand for its beauty.

Adam:

Yeah. Yeah.

Brian:

So, as an artist, I kind of dovetail with that as a purpose. I just love to do something to put New Zealand out there. So I thought, "Gee." New Zealanders, Kiwis, they’ve got a lot of nationalistic pride. They love to be able to announce themselves on a world-stage presence and be proud to be Kiwis. Like our All Black rugby team. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them.

Adam:

-huh, yeah.

Brian:

Yeah. Well, they’re considered the best rugby team in the world, and there’s a terrific amount of pride around that.
Do you remember the America’s Cup campaign?

Adam:

The sailing races?

Brian:

Yeah. Yeah.

Adam:

Yeah, yeah. In fact, I have a friend who actually sailed in one, a guy that I work with.

Brian:

Oh, really?

Adam:

Yeah.

Brian:

Well, I did what was considered locally as the official portrait of our boat, Black Magic, that won the campaign in San Diego in ’95.

Adam:

Fantastic.

Brian:

So that’s the kind of thing that I love doing as an artist – anything that works as a parallel with what I’m doing as an artist and what forwards New Zealand to the rest of the world. And that’s why I decided to start up the thing called Twibes, the New Zealand Twibe.
And an amazing thing happened. I think there was only about 15 members or something. And then somebody from one of the top social media type guys who are working in the national media as well. I think it was called New Zealand Live. I think they’re in radio and that sort of stuff, or modern music. They joined, and that created a massive flood. It went from like about 15 to 140 over night, virtually.

Adam:

I see.

Brian:

So, it created its own self-multiplying.

Adam:

[laughs] Right.

Brian:

Do you see what I mean?

Adam:

Right. [laughs] A viral effect, yeah.

Brian:

Exactly. Exactly.

Adam:

Is Twitter very well-known in New Zealand? Are there many people using it, in general, do you think?

Brian:

At the moment, it seems to be mostly a kind of a clique. The people who are most keenly interested in social media seem to be the greatest users of it. After that would be individual causes. And then after that would be general populace, just for social reasons.

Adam:

Right. OK. Well, sort of my hidden agenda here is to discover anything new I can do for Twibes, either any features for the website you’ve been wanting or any way I can support you and your website and help make the interaction with Twitter better. I just wanted to know if there’s anything I could do to help you out.

Brian:

Well, there is an idea that I have, Adam, but I’m not quite sure how you would engineer it. If there was some way of making the site of New Zealand Twibe, for example, like its own…

Adam:

Its own domain name?

Brian:

Its own village, where you could actually have a chatter with other members of the Twibe, without necessarily having a mutual follow on the bigger picture of Twitter itself.

Adam:

Yeah. Well, the Twibes page facilitates that, but it’s within Twibes itself. So, in Twibes.com group New Zealand, this will show Tweets that match searches, but also, if you check the box when you Tweet, the Tweet will show only on this page and won’t go through Twitter. So, it does do that to a certain extent.

Brian:

Yeah. I see that. But I don’t know if it’s because I’m still just on dial-up or what, but it seems that it takes…

Adam:

Ah. Takes too long, or it’s not loading?

Brian:

Yeah. It’s like Facebook. You’ve got no idea who’s online. If you want to post something…

Adam:

Oh, I see. I see. Yeah. There’s no indicator of the real-time nature of it, right.

Brian:

Yeah.

Adam:

Yeah, no. That’s something that feasible and I will investigate. Yeah. For example, if you and I are both on the same page at the exact same moment, then you should have a little green light next to my photo or something so that you know if you put something in the box that I’ll be able to see it. Yeah, that’s a very good idea.

Brian:

So that if you went to your Twibe, you could say, "Oh, there’s such-and-such, just across the other side of the square. I’ll trot over and have a chat to him." [laughs]

Adam:

[laughs] Right. Yeah, that sounds great. OK.

Brian:

Yeah. You could do all sorts of things, like put a picture of the planet and put little lights as to who’s up when or something. [laughs]

Adam:

[laughs] Need a world clock.

Brian:

[laughs]

Adam:

Great.

Brian:

How is Twibes going? Have you got other ideas to boost it up?

Adam:

Yeah, it’s going really well, overall. I just keep getting the question… So there’s maybe 20,000 Twibes, and a lot of the good names have been taken, right? You’ve scored the New Zealand Twibe. There’ll never be another. [laughs]

Brian:

That’s right. [laughs]

Adam:

[laughs] So, the people who are discovering it now are asking me, "How do I build up a Twibe like these others?" And so that’s why I wanted to give you a call and see what you’re doing, if anything.
And the other challenge is getting people to remember to come back. So, everybody seems very happy to join the group. It’s instinctual to click the join button and make my photo show up in the list. But, to keep the conversation going, I need to figure out what specific little tweaks I can make. They don’t need to be big changes. But, like you said, the real-time indicator would be great to inspire you to leave a message if you know someone else is looking at the page.

I’ve thought of it in terms of making the email alerts go out, make them a little bit more sophisticated so that they’ll send you the best Tweets from the day or what have you and make those more useful. Yeah. And I’m just looking for more ideas like that.

Brian:

Yeah. I think it would be super if it could be said, "Here is your meeting place," for everybody who’s interested in communicating through this media. The more that that can be strengthened, the more value it has. See, the one thing that the Internet hasn’t got is geographic location. [laughs]

Adam:

[laughs] Very important in this particular scenario. [laughs]

Brian:

[laughs] There are other social media things for New Zealand, like, Made From New Zealand. Now, they’ve done an awful lot, to the extent that they did a large sculpture of a fern leaf on California Beach. Because the fern is New Zealand’s symbol, you see. And that got some good PR going. But, there seems to be almost as many efforts to create social media groups as there are…

Adam:

[laughs] Groups to be had? Right.
[laughter]

Adam:

Yeah, that’s why I’m very pragmatic and realistic about what I add. I don’t want to get carried away before I understand what people are trying to do.

Brian:

Exactly. So, anything that forwards what people are saying are actually needed and wanted, that you can provide, within workable parameters, is what will make it more of an alive, happening phenomenon.

Adam:

Right.

Brian:

Yeah. I mean, I’ve got a dual purpose – to promote myself as an artist as well as promote New Zealand, and as well as promote quality communication amongst New Zealanders and from them to the rest of the planet. The whole thing is, people talk about, "Oh, he’s just in it to make money." I think they get a short look at what a lot of people are actually trying to do. They’re trying to actually, genuinely provide a worthwhile service.

Adam:

Sure. Yeah. Anyone who is outwardly just trying to get money, obviously you can spot that a mile away, and they just don’t fit in. [laughs]

Brian:

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. You’ve got to get much more upscale in your attitude to what you’re trying to accomplish.

Adam:

Right. Well, fantastic. This has been very useful. Do you have any other comments that you want to make?

Brian:

I just think it’s brilliant that I can chat to somebody like yourself on the other side of the planet.

Adam:

[laughs] It’s a miracle. When it works, it’s a miracle. [laughs]

Brian:

[laughs]

Adam:

Well, great. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk with me this morning, this afternoon. And just shoot me an email, adam@twibes, if there’s anything that crosses your mind, and I will try to respond. This has been great.

Brian:

Thank you.

Adam:

Have a good one.

Brian:

See you later, man.

Adam:

OK. Bye.

Brian:

Bye.