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How To: Use The New Tweet Button

<–See that little button right there? Click it. Go ahead…give it a try.

What should have happened is that a new window popped open prompting you to tweet out this article to your followers, which you of course did, right? You didn’t? Okay, one more try. Push the button, then click the “tweet” button in the new window.

Good job.

The new Tweet Button from Twitter is designed to replace the very popular TweetMeme button.

What you just experienced was the new Twitter button that is designed to take the place of the TweetMeme button that everybody has been using up to this point.  As you can see, I’m now using both…I’ll probably phase out TweetMeme when this takes over and people know what they are looking for.

Using this new Twitter button on your blog or site is actually pretty easy.  Go to the official Tweet Button page and go through three very easy steps

  1. Select your style of button and then customize it if you want. The button selection is very basic, it’s a matter of picking which style visually flows with your site the best. I really like the customization features, you can let it pull text from the title of the page, or enter your own text.  Get creative with this.  Nice options for different languages as well, although I’m not sure that allowing URLs that are different from the page being tweeted is a good idea…too much bait and switch to be had here
  2. Recommend people to follow. I like this! It goes beyond just mentioning the person that wrote the article and lets you put in another name and description of how they are related.  Pretty cool, great for encouraging follows.
  3. Grab the code! This show you what your tweet button will look like, and provides the code for an easy copy/paste.  Here’s what I like about this: it’s kind of a stab at the premise of Facebook’s Open Graph in that you can put this code on any website.  Seriously, it’s not just blogs…try it out! This code is super portable and can potentially drive a lot of tweet awareness about your site.

I really like what I’m seeing from Twitter on this…I expect to see a lot of creative implementations on different sites.  Much like being able to “like” individuals products and services via Facebook, I imagine this will be used to no just promote a site, but individual pages and products within the site. So far there isn’t a plugin for WordPress, but I have no doubt that it isn’t too far behind as there is a Dev Page that explains the attributes.

So what do you think…will this new Tweet Button catch on? The masses will determine its fate soon enough.

Why and How to Unfollow People On Twitter

Twitter Karma: Track Your Followers and Unfollowers  Twitter Karma: Track Your Followers and Unfollowers  

In my last post I discussed 5 ways to follow people on Twitter, with the general idea being that it’s really easy to find tutorials about how to get more followers, but you rarely hear about a good strategy for following. Now that I have told you how to find people and follow them, I want to tell you how (and why) to unfollow them.

First, let’s address the why about unfollowing somebody.  Everyone has their own rules about following (some follow everyone back, some only follow those they know personally), so likewise everybody will have a reason that they unfollow somebody, so these are some of my reasons and certainly they won’t all apply to you.

  • They pull a “pump and dump”.  I will detail this practice is greater detail in a future post, but it basically works like this: you are followed by somebody that follows (and is followed by) several thousand people. As soon as you follow them back, they unfollow you. They do this to artificially inflate their own followers number while not appearing to be out of whack with their number of following. Tricky…basically spammers that are a bit smarter.  Some call them “networkers”, I call them pump and dumpers and I’m not interested.
  • They really do answer the question “what are you doing” in every tweet.  I know this was the original question of Twitter, but I think it has grown far beyond this.  The only people that I can put up with telling me about every detail of every meal that they eat are my very close, personal friends…and at least with them I can tell them to knock it off in person.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the personal stuff, but I also want a conversation, so I’m looking for some value.  Either good links, humor or insight need to be peppered in among the tweets about taking your dog for a walk.
  • They swear excessively without being hysterically funny.  Unless you are @hotdogsladies you are probably just being crude.  I assure you that I am far from perfect in this realm, however I just don’t like swearing online, especially in Twitter.  It’s usually a substitute for something intelligent to say.
  • They direct message me an offer to get in on their MLM deal.  Do I even need to explain this?  Just don’t do it.
  • They don’t tweet for a month or longer.  I’ve unfollowed some of my close friends for this reason…if you just aren’t into it, I’m not going to lok forward to your “sorry I haven’t tweeted for so long” post that goes up every 45 days.

If somebody has upset you for some reason, it’s easy enough to unfollow them.  Just click the “remove this person” in the web interface, or “unfollow” in Tweetdeck.  But sometimes it’s a little trickier, so here are some tools to help you make unfollowing simple.

  • Twitter Karma. Dossy.org brings us this fabulous tool, I use it about once a month.  Twitter Karma asks you for your username and password (it’s been safe so far) and then spends a minute or two calculating info about your account. You can sort by all friends and see the relationship (you follow them/they follow you) or sort by people you follow but that don’t follow you and vice versa.  If you haven’t caught up with everyone that you want to follow, you can go to the “only followers” page, select all and then bulk follow.  You can also bulk unfollow people.  Results are sorted by last update, so if you scroll to the bottom of the screen you can easily delete people with dead or stagnant accounts.
  • Social Too. This is one of my favorite new tools.
    SocialToo.com

    SocialToo.com

    I previously used Qwitter to alert me of unfollows, but that service has been quite unreliable as of late.  SocialToo not only gives me a daily email about who unfollowed me, but also lists who followed me!  There are a lot of extra features available like the ability to autofollow those that follow you (I don’t use this) and the ability to block auto DMs from other SocialToo users (I DO use this!).  Their best set of features comes under its own tab however, your unfollow preferences. You can choose from “Unfollow everyone who unfollows me” or “Don’t unfollow anyone for me” or (the one I use) “Unfollow if users unfollow you within ___ day(s) after you follow them”.  I’ll talk more about this last feature in my future post about the pump and dump strategy of others.

I would love to hear your ideas about when to unfollow somebody, and if you know of some web services that help, please share in the comments!

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Analyze Your Twitter Habits With TwitterFriend

Do you want to know every little detail about your tweeting habits? There are a lot of services that show you a lot of information, but TwitterFriends really brings some useful data into the picture.  Not only can you see hard numbers about your frequency, replies, and how you compare to Scoble, you can actually look at your network of friends as it relates to others that you follow.  I think it’s fascinating.  My favorite part? The tab that shows me accounts that I follow that haven’t updated in a long time. I removed about 20 people that haven’t updated in months!

Instead of a full write up I made a quick video.  Check it out, it’s under three minutes.  Let me know if you find TwitterFriends useful!

Reprint: Twitter Primer

I wrote a down-and-dirty article last last April about Twitter. Over the last couple of weeks I have received several emails and DMs asking me how to use Twitter. Instead of reprinting it all, just go here and check it out. It’s Twitter for n00bs, so if you have been using it for a while it probably won’t be of interest to you. Click here to go check it out, and then follow me !