10,000 Character Tweets?

That’s the rumor, as reported on Re/code and other sites. And it’s a desperate attempt to reinvent the social media site and cement its relevance. I also don’t think it will work.

UnknownI think this because most of the other tweaks to the site have not yielded positive results: bigger characters, gee-whiz graphics, photos, that annoying “Moments” section and the even more annoying “While you were away” tweets.

The real problem, it seems to me, is that Jack Dorsey and the “thought leaders” at Twitter seem to be more worried about how competitive Twitter is with Facebook and less worried about what their users want or expect from the microblogging platform.

The user experience — or user expectation — is the real key here. People are leaving Twitter not because there are not enough features but perhaps because there are just too many. When you are using Twitter on your phone, which most people do, the last thing you want are six million options. Trying to remember and figure out what you want to do decreases the value of the service to the user, thereby decreasing the likelihood that the user will continue using.

I’ve been completely frustrated by the 140-character limit at times, but that’s the essential element. Think about it. If I wanted to read a 10,000 character dissertation, why would I want to read it on Twitter?

The beauty of Twitter is its simplicity. Don’t keep mucking about and trying to make it into something it’s not. If you’re not careful, brand extension can kill you. Just be who you are, Twitter, not what you think someone else wants you to be.

Follow me before it all goes away!

Twitter’s Losing Sight of What Makes It So Great

Twitter’s Losing Sight of What Makes It So Great.

UnknownA good piece on Mashable today. I agree. Twitter was very off-putting to me at the outset. I just couldn’t grasp WHY one would elect to constrain themselves so tightly.

Now, I’m a Twitter fan. I love the quick interaction and quirky way it works. It is sui generis in the world of social media, and that’s exactly what it set out to be.

BUT…. all of these new changes? It wants to be more and more like Facebook. And that’s a HUGE mistake. Instead of seeing a leveling off of user exodus or even an increase in users, I think this may force Twitter users to abandon it like lemmings over a cliff.

I mean, really: you want ANOTHER Facebook?

Not me.

Twitter is a wonderful marketing tool if used correctly. Let’s hope they right this ship before it’s too late.

Big Gay Social — Media, That Is

This Scoop Shop’s Secret Sauce? Social Marketing.


Founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff outside of one of the locations of Big Gay Ice Cream, the quirky East Village ice cream shop. |Image: biggayicecream.com.

Great story on Mashable – with video – about Big Gay Ice Cream, the Manhattan-based ice cream truck and bricks and mortar stores of the same name and how they’ve used social media to fuel their brand.

They have found that their quirky take on tweets and Facebook posts have won over fans.

Social media is a tool. Just one arrow in your marketing quiver. I can only say this a million times before someone is bound to key into it. These guys understand it’s about raising your profile, not necessarily equating numbers of tweets with numbers of widgets sold.

Next time you happen by, try a Salty Pimp. Or a Bea Arthur. You’ll be glad you did.


20% of Americans Can’t Access Facebook at Work

American employers who block websites in an attempt to boost productivity at work are most likely to start with Facebook. One in five Americans can’t access the social media site while at work.

Twitter is a close second, with 15.1% reportedly blocking the site.

via 20% of Americans Can’t Access Facebook at Work.|Mashable

I guess I should be shocked by this. I certainly see how management (other unenlightened managers, thus excluding myself!) could see all social media as a giant time suck, but, for me, and for others that must react to news and perceptions during the day, it’s simply essential that we’re plugged in all the time. #getwiththeprogram

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Pitching Journalists on Social Media

The Do’s and Don’t’s of Pitching Journalists on Social Media.


Oh. My. God. Seriously? We needed this article? Are there that many clueless people in our industry? Well, this is the shit that keeps me in business.

If you read this and there is ONE IOTA OF INFORMATION that you didn’t already know, please get a lot better at your job.

H/T Bill Tyson, guru

Mark This – Episode 1A – Search and E-mail Trump Social Media for Sales

I scrapped the first several episodes in this new series when this info came over the transom. It’s so important that I left the first episode alone but went in a different direction than I planned for the rest — hence the weird naming convention!

We look at some data today that shows search and e-mail marketing come in far our in front of social network marketing when it comes to sales. This should surprise no one, but it will probably surprise quite a few who have invested lots of money and resources into social media.

In the next few episodes, we’re going to look at the evolution of search, how paid search ads may not be of any value at all and we’ll get to the nitty gritty of why and how people look for information on your website. Enjoy!

P.S. — I’m out of town for the next week, but I’ve got the next installment ready to tape upon my return. Make sure to comment or send us any questions you may have from the Contact page.

Here’s the link to the Wired article.

Who’s Using Social Media?


Image: AllTwitter/MediaBistro

Image: AllTwitter/MediaBistro

Some interesting stats from Pew, via Mashable. Make sure to read the article in the link above, but also study this chart from Docstoc. I’m intrigued by the “some college” education level as the heaviest users. And about the level of use of LinkedIn. I believe there is more to be mined here than what you see below in the aggregate.


Twit Much?

UnknownIn case you didn’t know it because you’re spending all of your time on Google+, Twitter is the fastest growing social network in the world at the moment. One of the most curious things about Twitter is outlined in this article from MediaBistro’s AllTwitter blog:

Of greatest interest is the growth of the “passive” Twitter user. All social media platforms define an active user as somebody who engages with the platform in some way over the past month, but on Twitter, only 51 percent of all active users claim to have posted a tweet over that period. Which means that almost half of all Twitter folk – 100+ million people – are simply reading them. Planning Events, Watching TV And Chatting About Products – How Do We Use Twitter? [STUDY] – AllTwitter.

This is interesting to me. So many of us are looking at how people interact on social media, but we’re not accustomed to thinking about passive users. Those who, on Twitter, follow but do not interact.

My curiosity is peaked even further when I think about my own Twitter use. Mostly, I do follow. I tweet occasionally. I tweet much more when I’m on vacation because I don’t have to carry my computer, I can snap a photo on my phone and tweet it out effortlessly. Plus, on holiday I link my Twitter to my Facebook page so that community of friends can interact with it.

At work, I use Twitter primarily to engage our community during bad weather or emergencies. It’s BRILLIANT for emergency communications.

And, as evidenced by my earlier post today, I’m trying to figure out Vine, so I’ll be tweeting more. Follow me @markrblackmon and let me know when I’ve gotten Vine right!