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Learning Marketing Nudge Blog Technology Tools

Chirp, Chirp, Tweet, Tweet – why YOU must start using tools like Twitter

woman searching the Internet on a laptop computer
Anytime, anywhere, anyway – most of us can’t get enough of the web

In 2012 the web headlines self-proclaimed that “the web is dead.” (Yes, even the web couldn’t help but share this with itself) It isn’t that the web is really dead, it’s just that we are using it in different ways. Mobile has played a big part in changing this dynamic as we demand just the right information and support without extraneous “stuff.”

How are you searching the web?

In 2000 I was a recruiter at XO Communications. One day another recruiter saw me conducting a web search and informed me that I was using the wrong search engine. She told me to type in http://www.google.com and in an instant my virtual life changed forever. The simplistic design of the page was a relief to my ADD mind and it seemed to bring up pretty good results.

However, in the past few years that has started to change…if only in subtle ways. Often we don’t trust the first page Google results anymore. After all, most have used some kind of SEO method vs. gaining front page based upon real value as determined by users.

So, what do we trust?

More often than not we trust people, groups and organizations that we know or that we have identified as sharing common interests.

It is time to recognize the importance of tools like Twitter.

I’m an avid Twitter user. I will admit to having 4-5 accounts. My accounts differ depending upon my purpose – one for my work persona, one for my entrepreneurial endeavors, one for just me being me and another for a hopefully hobby someday soon.

Twitter for Searching, Learning and Connecting

Twitter isn’t just for telling us what you like to eat, what you are doing right now or for promoting your product. It is a searching, learning and connecting tool!

I see a lot of friends and entrepreneurs using it just to push information out. They are missing out on easy, quick, and valuable ways to connect to more people, keep up with the pulse of the market and finding out the best way to meet their needs as well as their friends, customers, families, etc.

Communication, after all, occurs when there is an exchange .

Benefits

Friends sharing info with each other
You share and learn with people on and offline. Take the same techniques to Twitter and other social tools!

So, here are some of the benefits I’ve gained from making Twitter a part of my personal learning strategy:

  • News – you can search by any topic and find out the latest and greatest from any possible perspective you can hope for …and more.
  • Emerging Trends  – connect to thought leaders, magazines, colleges, think tanks, etc. You’ll be the first to know about what the new trends are and bring that knowledge and insight to your job, your entrepreneurial pursuits, your circles of influence and even parenting! I’ve saved money at work just by knowing a few facts that I found on Twitter. In other words, Twitter can help you know WHAT you should be learning in your field.
  • Inspiration – yes, a lot of people share daily quotes from every possible past president, prophet, author, etc. But, like Pinterest, you can get ideas and inspiration from what others are creating and designing as well.
  • Thought Leaders – yearning to learn from great thought leaders? They are all on Twitter. Ok, they are at least paying someone to tweet their stuff. It’s a great way to keep up with what they are saying and get connected to products and resources they think are important. Just this week I bought a book from Daniel Pink (author of A Whole New Mind and Drive – books I love and highly recommend) that I hadn’t known he was writing. I found out this information on Twitter.  Note – the book  just arrived at my door tonight and so I’m rushing to finish up this post!
  • Crowdsourcing – lately we’ve heard some great examples of how products, companies, and individuals have come together with other like-minded people to accomplish awesome things and help each other achieve their goals. Don’t think that Kickstarter.com benefits from Twitter? Crowdsourcing tools rely on tools like Twitter to spread their ideas and gain contributors for projects.
  • Like-Minded – are you into obscure sci-fi classics out of print? What about rare stamps? Perhaps even a nitch of a nitch? You can find them on Twitter. You can connect, share and grow with others that are interested in the same nitch!
  • Community Building – want to get more out of it than just searching and following? Start joining in conversations, make lists of different sub-group areas you’d like to hone in on, and be there to congratulate others are their accomplishments, successful product launches or their great tweets!

    Don’t be fake. Seriously, create conversations!

I’m not oblivious to the fact that Twitter is just one tool. Facebook, Pinterest, Squidoo, LinkedIn, Scoop.it, Paperli …the list goes on.

They aren’t technology tools. They are communication tools that happen to leverage technology. They are only as useful as the person operating the computer keys.  (-:

Tweet with us at @nudgevillage !

Categories
Innovation Technology

Innovation and Market Shifts – at warp speed

Recently, Adobe announced that it would no longer work to support Flash on mobile devices. On October 3, 2011, it announced it was also going to acquire PhoneGap – a tool that is used to take one piece of content and output it to all the major mobile device platforms.

 

Let’s not assume that Adobe is going to take over the world, but they’ve done a great job keeping up with the needs of the market. (Remember, Adobe acquired the Macromedia Suite – Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash – which has been the primary suite used by web developers around the world over the last 10-15 years).

Adobe isn’t the only company fighting to stay on top of the market. WordPress (blog, website and content management technology) has continually added templates (including purchaseable templates created by power users) and newer blog technologies like Tumblr and Posterous are even more forward building in widgets/gadgets that make their sites perfectly situated for leveraging social networks and information sharing with like minded individuals. Think Twitter with larger text limits. Drupal and Joomla are now the primary sites for serious web developers and constantly innovate with their templates.

Blogger, not to be outdone, has just added a powerful dynamic template. The new twist allows any user of the page the ability to display the page in a way that meets their personal viewing needs.

Pinterest has taken the world by storm as a kind of Delicious (popular bookmarking site) on steriods – you save what you like and others can view what you like and “re-pin” items they like. Driven by pictures vs. text links. Great way to share ideas, get more exposure to your product and ultimately find more business contacts.

LinkedIn, the online networking site, has made great strides with the groups and sharing features. I posted a job posting to a group of designers and was able to provide a friend 30 applicable resumes within 48 hours of the posting.

So, what of all this innovation and keeping up with the market?

No one can keep up with it all. What is popular today may be outdone tomorrow.

Keep a few points in mind while navigating this landscape:

  • K.I.S.S.– Keep it Simple Stupid. It’s time to go back to basics. Take out extraneous eye candy, complex designs, and convoluted implementation. The design needs to be simple for customers and for you…especially since you could be switching to different tools each year (or sooner).
  • Don’t jump too fast! – See a flashy new tool? Want to jump in and use it for your website? Not so fast. Create a test site/account and fill it with fake content. Test it with other gadgets, find out how it looks on your mobile device, see how it works with your day-to-day use. Make a list of all the functionality that is there AND that seems to be missing. Compare it to your other site or product. Is it really better? Is it better in some ways and not in others? What are you willing to give up to have it? We all have our own list of technical requirements and sometimes something new won’t help you.
  • Tools aren’t necessarily the answer– we’ve got hundreds of technology tools to choose from for websites, project management, photo management, social networking, online communities, photo editing, and more… I used to work for a boss that had me try out new tools every day of the week. It started to detract from my day job. I started to realize that tools are there to assist us, but they aren’t the point. They should support your business. Not the other way around – unless you are selling tools.

The market will keep shifting thanks to continued innovation. That will bring great possibilities for us all. Something that will best meet your needs may not have been invented yet, but is soon forthcoming.

The key is to stay true to your roots while being willing to test new ideas and technologies, but remember that you don’t have to use them.

Good luck!