Archive - March, 2008

links for 2008-03-12

Twitter + Yahoo Pipes = Signal

In my last post about Twitter, I shared my No. 1 reason for using Twitter is for the resources shared, including blog posts, news items and cool tools people find on the web.

The challenge for me is twofold:

  1. I don’t want to miss anything that’s shared
  2. I don’t have time to watch Twitter all day long (let alone some-of-the-day long)

A few days ago, Ryan Anderson (@ryananderson) posed a question about how to create a stream of only those items on Twitter with a URL. Within minutes — literally minutes (thanks to @kaziel) — Ryan got the answer and shared that too!  Yahoo Pipes.

Now, I can be away from the computer all day and not miss a URL shared by those I follow. Look see (click to enlarge):


That’s a snapshot of what appears in my feed aggregator (I use GreatNews). I subscribed to the RSS feed of the Pipe I created at Yahoo.

Nice, huh?  What’s that?  Oh yeah…how to do it.  First, you need to open a Yahoo Pipes account (it’s free — and if you use MyBlogLog, you already have a Yahoo account).

UPDATE: Via a comment on Will Richardson’s site (thanks to Sue Waters), there seems to be a quicker fix on Yahoo Pipes- just input your twitter name

Here are the steps once you create your Yahoo or Pipes account:

  1. Go to your Twitter home page and grab the RSS feed.  If you have trouble finding it, it’s at the bottom lower left of the page and looks something like this:
  2. Go to my Yahoo Pipes page and "clone" the pipe. You’ll find the "clone" button center-screen, just above RSS feed icon.
  3. Click on "edit source", which gives you a screen like this:
  4. Replace the Twitter feed in the clone with your own (see step 1). Save (upper right of the Pipes screen) and publish.
  5. Grab the RSS feed and subscribe in whatever aggregator you use.

That’s it. Tweet, right? Now you can be sure to catch a clear signal of resources you find on Twitter without having to read each and every item.

Why I Use Twitter – Increase Infosumption without a Headache

has quickly become on of my favorite tools. It allows me to do several things at once — and any tool that can synchronize my efforts is a winner.

I use Twitter for three reasons (listed n my order of importance):

  1. Keep my finger on the pulse. Lots of valuable information flies across Twitterati in the form of tinyurls as people share new blog posts, results from their own feed reading, and new stories.
  2. Brainstorming and white boarding. Questions asked on Twitter are often the genesis for richer blog posts,  solutions to problems and sometimes value-additives for current business plans. I call them "Twideas"
  3. Chit-chat, eatin’ pizza & gettin’ fat. Sometimes – it’s great just to vent, or listen to a vent, share funny goings on and such.

But who has time for it all?  I don’t. Not in the normal fashion — so with a few tools and tweaks, I’ve been able to synchronize things so I don’t miss too much (Twitter or work).

Incoming Twitter

I use Google Talk IMs to skim, scan, and save. As I’m working on other things, I’ll notice a pop-up (like an email notice). If the message has a URL or question mark (see the first two reasons above), I’ll pay close attention.

Outgoing Twitter
I have a Twitter button on my bookmark toolbar, but sometimes I keep an extra browser window open just for Twitter. When I run across a web page or blog post, or a problem needing some brain power — I go to my Twitter community with a quick 140 character message.

All those TinyURLs
I hate missing them. The web pages shared on Twitter are the number one reason I follow.  I found out how to subscribe to just Twitter entries that share an URL by using Yahoo Pipes, and this has been a real plus for me.

Twign-up. It’s Free!
In the next two or three posts, I’ll explain how to set up Twitter for your Google Talk, and also how to set-up Yahoo Pipes and a feed for your Twitters.

If you’re not on Twitter – you should be. It’s become a traffic-generating, reach-extending, knowledge-sharing bonanza. It’s free. And if you do it right, it will synchronize your communications. You can catch me on Twitter @mikesansone


For a video on how to use Twitter (more on the social side than business…but use your imagination), check out Common Craft’s Twitter in Plain English

Other Posts Here:
Twitter as a Business App?  Create a Plugin Panel
Twitter Search: Still Missing One Key Component

Glossary of Blogging and Social Media Terms – D

This is part of a series of posts (and a project-in-progress),
compiled as a glossary of terms and phrases used in blogging and social
media, that will continually be added to and modified.

: The administration area on your blog software that allows you to post, check traffic, upload files, manage comments, etc.

Date-Based Archives: The archives of a blog site, organized by time-stamp. Almost every blog will have some form of time-stamp and many archives are listed along the sidebar. Some list in weekly, but most on a month-by-month basis.

Delicious: A social bookmarking site and a property of Yahoo! Allows users to quickly store, organize (by tags) and share favorite web pages. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds of other users and share a page specifically with another user. (Mike’s Delicious page)

Digg: Digg is a place for people to discover, share and recommend  content  from anywhere on the web.

Digital Storytelling: A digital story is a nonfiction narrative, composed on a computer, often for publishing online or publishing to a
DVD.  This can be done with any combination of images, video, narrative, music and text. (h/t – Ourmedia’s Social media glossary)

Domain Name: The identifying name of an internet site. The domain name of my site is ""

Dooced: A term associated with someone getting fired for the content written in a blog post or web site (not for the act of writing, but for what was published). From the popular site, Dooced (by an author who once vented about her company — and got fired because of what was written).

If you’ve suggestions, additions or modifications, add ‘em in a comment. Together we’re smarter.

What Time Do You (RSS) Feed Your Audience?

Everyone I coach uses FeedBurner’s email option in addition to the RSS Button. Some folks (depending on their business), have a majority of readers subscribing via email.

Last week, I overheard two subscribers to one blog discussing the email subscription:

One subscriber said, "I never get the email updates. When does do they get sent?"

"Early in the morning, about the same time all that spam hits your box." said the other subscriber, "Maybe you’ve been deleting the emails."


Then this morning, another blogger asked how to switch the time on FeedBurner’s email delivery options. Hmm.  There’s probably more of you out there thinking similarly, so let’s answer the how…then the why.

If you’re using FeedBurner’s email option and have it active (and you should), here’s the path your mouse clicks should take:

  1. Login to Feedburner
  2. Top Navigation tabs, choose Publicize
  3. Side Navigation, choose Email Subscriptions (make this active if it isn’t already)
  4. Sub Nav, choose Delivery Options (the last of four options)

Here, you can select your time zone and a two-hour delivery window.  I would suggest late in the day, maybe the afternoon (giving your readers a break from their long day’s work — while it looks like they’re still working).

If you choose the 5 AM – 7AM slot, you may be caught in a traffic jam, trash bin slam when your readers arrive to their desktop.

Glossary of Blogging and Social Media Terms – S

This is part of a series of posts (and a project-in-progress),
compiled as a glossary of terms and phrases used in blogging and social
media, that will continually be added to and modified.

: Acronym for Search Engine Optimization A good beginner’s guide to SEO can be found at SEOmoz.

Sidebar:A column (or multiple columns) along either or both sides of a blog site’s main content area. The sidebar is often includes contact information of the author, the blog’s purpose and categories, links to archives, honors and other widgets the author includes on the site.

SMO: Acronym for Social Media Optimization, a term coined by Rohit Bhargava

Spambot - automatic software robots that post spam on a blog (h/t Barbara Ling)

SOB: A badge of honor in the spirit of community and knowledge sharing. Created by Liz Strauss at Successful (and Outstanding) Blog(gers). A complete directory of SOBs.

Social Bookmarks: A method for Internet users to store, search, organize, and most importantly – share web pages. Two favorites are Delicious and StumbleUpon. For a great video on how social bookmarking works, check out CommonCraft’s Social Bookmarking in Plain English.

Social Media: The tool set (including blogs) which everyone can use to publish content to the web. This can include audio, video, photos, text, files…just about anything. And these days, everyone is a content producer.

Splog: Nickname for Spam Blogs, or blogs not providing their own or real content. Sploggers use automated tools to create fake blogs full of links or scraped content from other sites in order to boost search engine results.

Style or Style sheet – CSS that determines the look/feel of a site. (h/t Barbara Ling)

Syndication – Allows your blog content to be distributed online. (h/t Barbara Ling)

If you’ve suggestions, additions or modifications, add ‘em in a comment. Together we’re smarter.

February Reflections and Gratitude

Reflections on February this and past:

Top Posts: February 2008
- Feed Reading Strategy: Skim, Scan & Save
- Typepad Blogs: Create a Table of Contents Page
- Don’t Blow Your Wad in One Post

Top Posts: February 2007
- Porch Your Elevator Pitch
- “But it’s Just a Blog”
- Surf Smarter With These Buttons
- A Blogger, a Baker, and a Relationship Maker

Top Posts: February 2006
- Purpose Driven Blogging
- I Hear a Train a Comin’
- Forget the Technology, Remember the People

And a big thanks for those linking here and commenting on posts this past month:

Linksters: CK’s Blog, Sticky Figure, Blogger Social, JournaMarketing, Media Bullseye, B2B Tomnorrow, Angela Maiers, Greg Verdino, Drew’s Marketing Minute, The Viral Garden, Servant of Chaos, Moda di Magno, LavaRow, Kara Soluri, BuzzTracker, Express Marketing Memo, Marketing Lens, BrainBasedBusiness, Snap Creative Works, Branding and Marketing, Ask Dr. Kirk, Le Journal du Blog, DSMBuzz, TzuVelli, Web Metrics Guru, Pro Bloggers Matrix, JoeTech, PR Meets Marketing, Mediator Tech, Diva Marketing Blog, Rita Perea, IowaBiz, BNG Iowa, Big Dream Gathering, Mighty Blogger, Music Matters,  
Commenters: Joanna Young (4), Dan Schawbel (4), C.B. Whittemore (2), Cam Beck (2),  Toby Bloomberg (2), Ginger Johnson (2), Laura Spencer (2), Webster Jorgensen (2), Blog Marketing Journal (2), Sueblimely, Drew McLellan, Jeremiah Owyang, David Armano, Scott Ginsberg, Geoff Livingston, David Zinger, Chris Brogan, Shama, Hyder, Andy Sernovitz, CK, Steve Roesler, Gavin Heaton, Thomas Clifford, Ann Handley, Bill Geist, Daniel Honigman, Ryan Healy, Robyn McMaster, Janet Green, Matthew Griffin, Valeria Maltoni,Becky Carroll, Shari Voight, Doug Mitchell, Delaney Kirk, Martin Welch, Terry Starbucker, Scott Phillips, Brick Marketing, Social Marketing Journal, Sampath, DaltonsBriefs, Troy Worman, Sherry Borzo, Mike Templeton, LinkerJPatrick, Margeurite Manteau-Rao, Land Projects UK, Jay, Julie, Jason, Jessica,

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