Follow to be followed on Twitter

A Hotspot report “State of the Twittersphere” (pdf) has revealed some interesting insight into the popular micro blogging site.

With massive growth in the last year (600% according to compete.com) 70% of users joined in the last year.

With 35% of Twitter users having 10 or fewer followers and 9% of Twitter users not following anyone at all, many of the new followers may not understand how social networking works.

Many attempting to access this rapidly growing network often seem to expect the masses come rushing to hear their messages, however this environment is not for one way discussion – to be successful you’ve got to either have some real hot property that twitter users are going to be eager to follow or actively engage with the community.

Some simple rules for starting with Twitter:

  • Post at least a message a day to show people who visit your page you’re twitter account is active
  • Find others who have similar interests and follow them (don’t follow just anyone)
  • Only follow those who are active users – active users are more likely to follow you
  • Follow others in small chunks, keeping the gap between followers and followed no more than 200
  • Use friendorfollow to discover who you follow who does not follow you back
  • Re-post messages of interest, giving credit to the originator
    • to do this precede message with RT or Retweet ‘@theirtwittername’
  • Reply to messages of interest
    • to do this precede message with ‘@theirtwittername’
  • Send messages to those who follow you thanking them for their follow*
  • Follow those who follow you*

* Auto follow and auto notes to new followers can be done via SocialToo.

And of course follow my twitter (I promise to follow you)

Keeping it private on Facebook

Facebook has improved the level of control you can put on which friends can see what content on your Facebook profile. Previously you had the choice of someone either seeing everything or setting up a limited profile where you could control what aspects of your profile that this second group of people can see. With just two choices the level of control was limited.

Why is this additional control so welcome? Why should you set up privacy on your Facebook profile?

After initially resisting it’s lure, and after endless ‘Facebook bullying’ by friends singing it’s praises and promising me that life would never be the same after joining – I signed up to Facebook and was immediately hooked, and life – or at least my time on line – has not been the same.

As my number of friends increased it was not long before ‘strangers’ were asking to become my friend – I remember the first time I tentatively asked ‘Sorry do I know you?’ to be told that they were a resident in my area who was pleased to have found one of their local representatives. Even some of those who asked to become a friend who I knew, I didn’t really want them to see my whole profile- give them access to every part of my life.

Up until that point I had enjoyed sharing my social life with friends on Facebook, with over 131 photo albums uploaded. I had worked out how to stop ‘the world’ being able to access all my details – restricting access to a majority of my profile to just my friends, but saying no to one of my constituents could give the wrong impression….

With the limited profile you could restrict access to just about every aspect of your Facebook profile, but with just one limited profile to choose from – what if you have a relative you want to share wedding pictures with but not the last works Christmas party or the fact you’ve added a ‘Are you interested’ or some other dating add on?

Controlling your privacy sessions on Facebook is like managing an invite list to a party. You may only invite those special friends that you trust whilst you are letting your hair down – but if you do do something that you may not want everyone to know about you have to trust that the friends you invite don’t whip out a camera to capture the moment for prosperity – though if they do – that they control the privacy on their Facebook profile. Whatever you add to your profile, someone who has access could do a screen capture and there is nothing you will ever be able to do about that. This is not about hiding information but with an increasing number of employers ‘Googling’ employees prior to interviewing them you really have to control your personal on-line profile from your professional life.

Enhance privacy on Facebook
With enhanced privacy on Facebook you can control access to key areas of your profile both by the general ‘limited profile’ or restrict access on an individual basis. Areas that you can control access to on an individual basis

Profile
Basic Info
Personal Info
Status Updates
Subscription
Photos Tagged of You
Videos Tagged of You
Online Status
Friends
Wall
Education Info
Work Info

Should I control my privacy on Facebook

Everyone should set up privacy on Facebook, especially for details such as your home phone number and address – do you really want this in the public domain along with a Facebook status that says you are on holiday for a week? Limit photographs just to your friends – would you want your current or future employer to see what you got up to last weekend?

For busy politicians Facebook is a brilliant way of keeping in touch with friends, sharing pictures and generally maintaining contact with people who otherwise you could lose touch with due to a packed schedule. It can also be an opportunity for politicians to connect with their constituence – with improved privacy from Facebook you can now use your Facebook profile to do both.

Entering the blogosphere

With over 120,000 new blogs created worldwide everyday why on earth would Wellbelove want to enter the blogosphere?

Partially, given that I am increasingly working within the Web 2.0 environment I could hardly continue to advise others on the pros and cons of blogging without experiencing the creation of a blog first hand.

Additionally, I hope to be able to share some useful insights into how businesses and politicians  can make the most of the opportunities the the new age of the internet offers whilst hopefully avoiding some of the pitfulls.

One of the most common pitfall’s that new bloggers fall into is starting enthusiastically, blogging almost everyday, then slowly but surely their blog grinds to a halt despite proud promises of regular updates (even daily) when they first begin. To avoid this pitfall I make no such promises, only that as I come across new and useful information this will be the place that I will share this with you.