Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Social Media Feast for Thanksgiving

Today is a day to give thanks to all the people who every day make learning about and keeping up with Social Media informative and interesting.

Presenting a Thanksgiving Day feast made up of the dishes I enjoy on a regular basis:

Turkey (white meat): At the center of the meal is of course the protein and without a doubt
Mashable is the juicy white turkey. Every day the center of the plate has the meat to fill you up.

Turkey (dark meat): If you are a turkey connoisseur you know that white meat is great, but the dark meat can be a little more flavorful (let the debate begin). Social Media Today and its steady diet of thorough blogs on Social Media is sure to satisfy.

Mashed Potatoes The next most important part of the plate has to be the mashed potatoes and Alltop Social Media daily whips up a creamy and satisfying blend of bloggers on Social Media. Be careful here though, just as with the potatoes you can easily overindulge.

Stuffing: Still looking to load up on the carbs? Then the stuffing has to be the Social Media Insider from MediaPost. This key aggregator of blogs and news is filling and has just the right amount of seasoning to be interesting.

Gravy: What’s a Turkey Day feast without some juicy gravy to hold it all together? For my money Tech Crunch, although not just about Social Media, has enough great stuff that it is the perfect accompaniment on the dinner plate.

Sweet Potatoes: They’re not for everyone and they can be prepared in a host of different ways, but sweet potatoes do sweeten the meal. For a sweet touch turn to Wired News and its wildly eclectic content. Yes, Social Media is in there, but so is a whole lot more.

Cranberry Sauce: Not for everyone, cranberry sauce can be tart or sweet and compliments the meal. The Customer Collective serves up a tasty mix of content on sales and marketing, often with a Social Media twist.

Green Bean Casserole: Again, not for everyone, but a regular side dish for others The New York Times Technology section may be an acquired taste, but once you get it you’ll always want it. It has great content on all things tech including Social Media.

Rolls: Still don’t have a plateful? Then add some Online Media Daily for those extra carbs your body is craving. This site dishes up an eclectic mix of Internet developments.

So there you have it a Social Media Thanksgiving Feast. Before you dig in why not join me in offering thanks to all of these sites for the steady diet of great content? And if I missed a dish please add it here and help the feast grow.

Related posts:
Questions Are a Recipe for Social Media Success
5 Really Useful Sites for Social Media Newbies

Saturday, November 21, 2009

7 Tools to Find Who's ‘Big on Twitter’

Social Media can be an overwhelming place: so many people, so little time. So, on Twitter for example, how do you measure influence?

I was curious: Who are the BWOT (Big Women On Twitter) or BMOT (Big Men on Twitter)?

There are six influence graders I like (and yes, I know there are more – please share them) plus a bonus:

1. TweetLevel

This “nifty little service cooked up by Edelman” is still in Beta testing. But it is already my favorite. The composite Influence score is made up of Popularity (followers), Engagement (how much you talk to individuals) and Trust (how often you’re re-tweeted).

Under the About section Edelman’s formula is there for all to see (and isn’t transparency a wonderful thing?) Under Influence Tips there is some great advice on how to succeed on Twitter. And the “How you compare to a few of your friends” feature is a nice touch.

2. Twitalyzer

Probably the most comprehensive free Twitter influence analyzer – but be prepared to spend a lot of time if you want to go deep.

Here, a Tweep is measured in five areas: Influence (friends, followers, frequency of update and signal combined), Signal (the tendency for people to pass along information, as opposed to anecdote), Generosity (the propensity to retweet another), Velocity (your rate of tweeting) and Clout (the likelihood that other people will reference you).

The depth here is amazing: Want to see how you stack up over the past week, the past three months or “all time”? You can do that here. Want to calculate your Return on Influence, Conduct a Consolidated Account Analysis or Learn How to Increase Your Influence? It’s all here. Pack a lunch!

Recent updates (the new look-and-feel and analysis in real time – as opposed to 24-hour delay that had been the norm) make this one really useful tool.

3. Twitter Analyzer

This is a cool tool that slices and dices your time on Twitter for approximately the past 14 days. Here you can learn about your Popularity (total mentions and number of unique people mentioning you) and Reach (total number of people reached and percentage of messages retweeted). But that’s just the beginning. There’s also analysis of Friends, Mentions and Groups.

Want to know your most common hashtag or the person on Twitter who retweets you the most? It’s here. The Online Followers window is a cool minute-by-minute look at how many of your followers are currently online (helpful for timing tweets)

My favorite tool is the Followers Density Map. By mousing over the world map you can see where your followers are (big shout out to the six folks in Latvia who follow me at @mikefixs!) My quibble with this tool is that it seems to have a significant number of sub-tools “coming soon” (and has had them “coming soon” for some time).

4. TwitterGrader

This is, as the saying goes, “an oldy, but a goody.” This tool, from the fine folks at Hubspot is a solid standby. But, it doesn’t reveal how it measures people on Twitter and even changes the algorithm with barely an explanation. Transparency here would make for a much more useful tool.

And there are a couple of major annoyances keeping me from being a huge fan. First, being able to find the Twitter Elite by location is cool, but leave out a comma (in Rochester, N.Y., for example) and you will get a different set of results. Secondly, take any dive into the analytics and try to hit the “Back” button on your browser … you will get the “Webpage Expired” message and you have to start over. Yuck!

And here’s the thing: if a Twitter user has not submitted to being graded (or has not had someone else submit their Twitter name) they do not show up in TwitterGrader results. So it’s your influence among people who also use TwitterGrader – a subset of the Twittersphere.

5. Twitin

So this site does a whole lot of things, but for our purposes check out the Twitin Stats page. Here you’ll find rankings for Tweeter Efficiency (number of followers plus time between tweets), Influence Ratio (unexplained on the page), Retweet Count (how often you are retweeted) and Followers Rank (the number and influence of your followers).

An interesting feature is the “Profile Matches” that tells you who your profile most closely resembles. Will you be a Celebrity, a Web Developer or a Rocket Scientist?

6. Tweet Grade

Like you favorite teacher this grader is an easy grader – a lot of people get an A or an A+. Having said that it’s a good place to check up on people you might want to follow. And, yes, you can grade yourself and tweet the results to the world.

And the bonus:
7. Follower Wonk

And yes I know it’s not technically an influence grader … but it is addictive and will tell you how two or three Twitter accounts stack up. It is very useful when comparing accounts who are competitive or in the same geographic area and very quickly tells you who has the large (an d perhaps) more influential following.

I hope at least one or two of these Twitter influence tools proves useful to you.

In Social Media it’s not just about the numbers – it’s also about what you do with those numbers.

Related posts:

Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness
What Twitter isn’t