Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mr. Tweet, the tall dark and handsome stranger

I signed up for Mr. Tweet by following @MrTweet on Wednesday night. By Sunday morning, I got my Mr. Tweet ejly report - kudos for the turnaround on a holiday weekend, Mr. Tweet!

Mr. Tweet accepts a request for a report simply by following them, and a short while later will follow you back and DM you with a detailed report suggesting people you should follow, and why. The report seems heavily tilted towards twitter celebrity on the first few pages. I skipped to the last page of the report and started working my way backwards. The report shows the profile information of various twitterers I don't currently follow, along with three additional data elements - reciprocity, updates, and followed-by. Reciprocity was a useful predictor of whether the twitterer would follow back if I followed them; I did follow 6 highly-reciprocal twitterers based on the report and will update soon as to followed back to see if Mr. Tweet's assessment of reciprocity is valid for me. Updates shows how many updates the twitterer posts per day. Followed-by shows how many people in your network follow that person already. The latter is the most interesting part of the service, in showing which friends-of-a-friend you should introduce yourself to with a follow.

One feature request I'd love to see in the future would be a way to tell Mr. Tweet which of the people you follow to use in developing their recommendations. My twittersphere includes, for example, people in Improv, people in Indiana, and marketing SMEs. If I'm trying to grow my base in one of those dimensions, it would be useful if I could have Mr. Tweet focus on that as well.

I have also sent in a request this morning to have Mr. Tweet work on a minor twitter account I set up. I'll be curious to see what that report looks like, since it is presently unassociated with any of the twitter elite. I suspect the recommendations may be more accurate. But patience is required; it will take 91 hours, Mr. Tweet just said via DM, for me to get my report on this account. That's ok; and kudos for DMing me to set my expectations.

For a more detailed review, see You Gotta Try Mr. Tweet by Mark Hopkins. And for more on twitter tools, see my post on Twitter Grader or my post on Twirvana.

Other twitter tools posts:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Twitter widget

    follow me on Twitter

    Other twitter tools posts:

    Friday, November 28, 2008

    Digg widget

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    Happy Thanksgiving

    If you are not meleagris, today is a day for celebration. We're having waldorf salad, mixed sweet-and-white mashed tubers, mushrooms, crustless pumpkin pie, cranberry salad, cashews, rye bread, brussells sprouts, meatless mince pie, and turkey - but we didn't win the turkey from a radio contest. This year, I'm particularly thankful for my friends and family. MWAH y'all.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008


    I started watching The Guild this summer after finding Felicia Day on twitter through the Dr. Horrible videos. The new series just came out and is off to a fun if slow start. If you're a gamer, I highly recommend checking it out. And to Billy, the punk who stole some of my AD&D books in high school including my personal favorite Ravenloft, I haven't forgotten about you. Perhaps someday Zabu may show up on your doorstep for retribution.

    Tuesday, November 25, 2008

    Why I'm not a stay at home mom, part VII

    We get home from the dentist, the boys get in a falling-down fist-fight over who is going to get the mail for me. B1's pants rip, B2 gets sent to a time out. I serve snacks, realize it hasn't been long enough since the fluoride treatment, and retract snacks to much kvetching. I step out to empty out the roomba dustbin, and get locked out of the house by B2 helpfully releasing the hounds. Tromp around in my dress shoes in the needs-to-be-raked yard until I can figure out which window has a kid behind it, and start banging. 

    B1 and I have a shouted conversation through the door about how yes, he isn't supposed to let  anyone in without me, but it *is* me, so he can let me in, even though I specifically told him not to let anyone in who claims to be his mother. I'm ready to compromise and walk back to the  doorwall so that he can get visual confirmation of my motherhood credentials when he caves and opens the door.  B2, in the meantime, has made a massive mess which requires major hazmat cleanup, so I handle that and get him in the shower where he is pruning up nicely now while I finish my lukewarm tea.  I've been away from the office for 3 hours and feel like I've scheduled a board meeting, adjudicated a war crime trial, negotiated my way across a picket line, and cleaned up a hazardous waste spill - when really all I did was set up a kid's birthday party, handle two rowdy boys, dealt with a lock-out, and sterilized a bathroom. It was definitely not on the agenda to clean a toilet today. Photo by Mecredis.

    Sunday, November 23, 2008


    I volunteer as a foster parent for HSI and today would have started week 8 of fostercare for Lunar, the bluetick coonhound. However, Lunar has found a home today I am happy and sad together. Lunar was very nearly a keeper for me. To try and get past missing him, I created a bluetick amoeba to evolve in Spore Origins.


    The Indyprov players were on stage today for family-friendly improv at the Second Story Playhouse. Next showing is Saturday 12/6, at 3 pm or 6 pm with a bonus workshop in between for folks who donate canned goods for Gleaner's - RSVP if you can make it, we'd love to see you there.

    Friday, November 21, 2008


    I attended an online social marketing webinar from Hubspot today regarding Facebook. They used Twitter to take questions. The experience was a tad bit omphaloskeptical, but I mean in a good way. I did learn about the Facebook Grader there, which seems like a nifty tool.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Telling Off

    There's a new article of mine today at Biznology: Are You Telling Your Customers Off? Do not reply emails make a bad impression. How do you feel when you receive a message from donotreply@....?

    image by libby.


    Chip asked today why Google didn't tell him he'd be getting the flu. Google can predict the flu. Unfortunately, they don't give personalized forecasts. Yet.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008


    Mobile Boarding passes are the first public application of the online-all-the-time smartphone feature to consumer convenience. It used to be that the price of using a coupon was the planning that went into making sure you had it with you beforehand. Now with that barrier evaporating, will coupons be making a comeback or will companies be reducing coupon values as redemption rates increase?

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    Cotton and Campaigns

    1860s Cotton production and Obama campaign successes coincide.

    Sunday, November 16, 2008

    Colts 33, Houston 27 in the Oil Dome

    Happy happy joy joy Colts win! I love that the play to seal the win was a defensive interception for the Colts. And I got to see it and photograph it from my seat behind the endzone.

    Saturday, November 15, 2008


    I'm happy that the Indy humane society's new policies are benefiting the animals.

    Friday, November 14, 2008


    We all know the BBC has a tendency to show reruns, even when we're begging for more Top Gear. But recycling 1,600 year old material about dead merchandise sets a new record.

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008


    I'm getting a lot of useful stuff for a work project from Open Source Six Sigma.


    What type of user are you?

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008


    If you value freedom, thank a veteran.

    Time in a bottle

    This Veteran's Day, thank a veteran for all that makes you proud to be an American. United States servicemen and servicewomen answer a calling to service of the American republic, so that we who do not serve can live in peace. Whether we as individuals support the government policies or oppose them, I believe our support for the soldiers should be unstinting, and that the commitment doesn't end when the soldier leaves the service.

    Thanks Dad.

    I have a lot to be proud of this year, as an American. This election year was extraordinary in so many ways, and for me as a mother I hit a milestone of having 2 children who are politically aware for the first time. 4 years ago for the last presidential election, neither understood what was happening very well. This year, both boys were full of questions about the process, they wanted to know about the issues, and they wanted to engage with it somehow. We wanted to do something important, something significant and immediate, that could commemorate the historic political event. I brainstormed with them for a bit while we were discussing how that might happen, and we then decided to make a time capsule and seal it - not to be opened until the next presidential election.

    To start with, each of us in the family drew a flag. I had expected a few variations on the stars and stripes but instead they drew family flags, complete with beagles and coffee and bionicles. I then collected up some of the campaign materials I had available for the envelope and tossed them in. My elder son started a tic tac toe game challenging his future self; he made a move and now is eager to see if he can set a record for the Guinness Book of World Records for longest lasting single player tic tac toe game.

    We'll see in 4 years what has happened to our time capsule, our economy, and the American status in the world community. I'm proud to be an American.

    Time capsule photo by MShades.

    Monday, November 10, 2008


    I am very proud of my 4.0 score in The Eyeballing game.

    Saturday, November 8, 2008


    Indyprov onstage at Second Story Playhouse today at 3 pm and 6 pm.

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008


    I'm launching today. Here 'tis. Consider it a beta.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    SETI@Home Classic Nostalgia

    Screen shot of SETI@Home (Enhanced 5.Image via Wikipedia
    How did a lot of people get their start in social networking back before facebook, twitter, friendfeed and blogs existed? They got their geek on and signed up for SETI@Home. The distributed search for extra-terrestrials was a watershed event in social marketing.

    In retrospect, the most interesting part of being involved in SETI@home was in being part of  a collective (and competitive) computing effort. I was a member of the "Friends of BALR" team which had a score that was impressive enough. Participating in this effort was a good preparation for engaging in other efforts, such as becoming a Wikipedia editor/contributor, or becoming part of a team of bloggers.

    SETI@home had interesting social networking aspects. You could track your friend's activity and ranking, à la Facebook News Feed. The competitive aspects caused participants to recruit others - so it had a viral, word-of-mouth marketing growth engine too.

    Consider also that SETI@Home had an estimated 4 million users 10 years ago who downloaded the requisite software; Twitter has an estimated 6 million users today by comparison. 

    What other lessons are there for social marketers to learn from former child-stars such as SETI@home?

    Postscript: I was #477 in the final tally of SETI@Home searchers in the Class of 5/18/1999 - I made the top 2% (for that day's class, which was day 2 of the public release, according to wikipedia's Seti@home article).
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    Monday, November 3, 2008


    See my blog for the latest post: Giveaway Carnival

    Sunday, November 2, 2008


    Why do you read? Twittermoms share some of their motives.


    DST still makes no sense.

    I still hate daylight savings time

    Again, I wake today afflicted by daylight saving time. The fall DST ending is at least a little less onerous than the spring DST beginning. But I'll still find myself wanting lunch at 10:30 am and having to leave for work in the dark.

    DST is basically a collective action motivated by a misplaced and unproven idea that we can save energy by making better use of daylight. In fact, DST is recognized as increasing energy use and costs. A new perspective on my aggravation at DST has emerged this election season as I see how very powerful collective action can be. A motivated group can have tremendous impact towards achieving a shared goal. What a shame that we waste that collective effort on something with so ambiguously beneficial as DST. What if instead we had a national event to "pick up one piece of litter" or "take a 10 minute walk"? We'd probably make a big change towards a cleaner environment or reducing American obesity with that effort - much more of an impact on those issues than we see on our energy use with daylight saving time.

    If someone could show me a well-vetted scientific study showing that DST actually did have significant quantifiable benefits, I'd line up and comply without complaint. But as with many lemming-like popular movements, DST has not demonstrated that it has a real, measurable benefit.

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Resources for Grantwriters on the Internet

    I was at an internet marketing conference recently, and during the trip back home I had the opportunity to mentally reminisce about my past online efforts and wonder how I got from there to here. One thing I recalled was the messy early days of internet article publishing; rather than using hyperlinks to send users to an interesting article, articles would be mirrored, or republished entire, at other sites. I was pleased at the time when a page I wrote for a class at the University of Michigan got picked up and mirrored at the University of Miami. It was pretty difficult then to even tell when this had happened. This was back in the days when Google was still in alpha, and the simple interface we love today wasn't available; if I recall correctly, my page was optimized for display in Lynx. There are still a few scattered links in dusty directories online: Indiana State, the University of South Carolina, and Valdosta State University still have the link. After a bit of digging around, I found some of my early html and thought perhaps, with the magic of google docs, I should repost it.

    So, from my own personal wayback machine, let's set the dial to February of 1995: Resources for Grantwriters on the Internet.