OH: Overheard – Toilet Art

On Twitter, the short code for a quote you overheard is OH. There are two quotes I recently heard I would like to give a longer lasting attention then just a Tweet:

Let the Dataset change your Mindset

And seen on some toilet art

Women like silent men. They believe they are listening.

5,000 Miles Journey of a Keyboard

A couple of weeks ago my buddy Joost de Valk tweeted the following message:

Ok who can tell me where I can get a DiNovo Edge Mac edition in Holland? It's frustrating to click Adwords ads and find just the pc edition.

I know how frustrating it can be, you want to have a new gadget but you are not able to get it in The Netherlands. So I tweeted:

@yoast you need me to buy it in the US, and deliver to the NL?

So started a short conversation how we would get the keyboard from A to B.

@TheNextCorner seems like that would be a good solution... Amazon doesn't ship it to Europe... When are you here next?

@yoast my wife is traveling next week on Monday. She would be able to mail it to you...

@TheNextCorner :D that'd make my day :) DM me your PayPal and tell me what it'll cost :)

And so started a 5,000 miles journey of a designer DiNovo Edge for Mac keyboard across the world.Keyboard-5000-mile-journey 001

Eventually, it was not my wife but one of my colleagues, Chae, who took the keyboard as hand luggage to The Netherlands.

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He gave it to Luke, another colleague at Marktplaats, who finally had a coffee with Joost to deliver the keyboard.

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The new set up of Joost looks really sweet. I’m looking forward to all the new plug ins for WordPress and the radio shows he will deliver through this new keyboard.

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The 5,000 miles journey of this keyboard would have never happened without Twitter. Maybe Joost and I would have talked over Skype or chatted through IM, or even over email and the subject would come up, but I highly doubt it.

Twitter Rolodex for Journalists

What a plane crashed in the Hudson river and the famous picture was published on Twitpic, the phone didn't stop ringing for the maker of that picture Janis Krums. All the news agencies were trying to get an interview, and their main source of contacting the maker was through Twitter.

Today another horrible plane crash happened. This time there were casualties in the plane crash of a Turkish Airlines airplane near Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Ansgar John, who I met through blogs and Twitter in The Netherlands, was driving his car and witnessed the plane crash. He jumped out and ran into the field to help people get out of the plane. In my eyes, he is a hero.

Later that day, he put some messages on Twitter, that described what he had experienced.

Saw the plane go down and entered plane to help until emergency services arrived Amsterdam Schiphol crash , lot of back injuries +/- 10 dead

going to take a shower to get rid of blood and mud #schiphol

Quite fast after these Tweets, the # of followers jumped:

Ansgarjohn Twitter follower jump

Ansgarjohn Twitter follower jump

He has been contacted through Twitter by all major news agencies around the world with requests for interviews.

@ansgarjohn Hi, twittering from abc news, london-- would love to hear more about your experience...can we give you a call?

@ansgarjohn CNN International are interesting in talking to you. Please can you contact me.

@ansgarjohn wondered if you might be free to talk to SkyNews about the crash?

"NOS TV live: @ansgarjohn explaining what he saw: 40 people already left the plane when I arrived." from http://schiphol.zcapes.com

@ansgarjohn: tonight I will be on Een Vandaag Dutch television #schiphol even got twitter from Al Jazeera

@ansgarjohn can't reach you on the number you gave - we'd be very keen to talk to you at Aljazeera in next 10 mins if you can get back to me

The fact that Ansgar did not stayed at a distance but went into the plane to rescue and help people is amazing. Who knows what you would have done at a situation like that. The plane could have blow up! But Ansgar went in without thinking about himself.

Twitter Becomes The Journalist Rolodex

What is interesting, is that the major news agencies are scanning Twitter to find eye witnesses of major news that just broke. Twitter is fast becoming the new rolodex for every journalist out there.

Twitter is a hard to miss tool for all media. If it comes to breaking news or getting in contact with eyewitnesses for an interview, Twitter is the tool that can help every journalist.

And off course Twitter is the subject in so many news stories right now, even in this one.

God, I’ve got something to tell you…

The ultimate experience has happened... I can now speak to God directly. Millions of people have the feeling they can do that for years, and they actually come together every Sunday morning to do so, but they hope God is listening. Those people we call Catholics.

I got a direct line since this morning. Since I got the following message in my inbox:

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So what do you have to say to God if you have a direct line to him...? What would you tell him? and are you really that confident God is a him? 

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Like I was excited when Hammer started following me, but now, I'm super excited. But that puts the bar even higher, right. What's next? Michael Jackson will start following me, that's not excited, but rather scary.

The Future of Monetization on Twitter is…

Featured Tweets...? When will Twitter start with this?

After seeing this Tweet from Boris, I knew he is up to something. Boris is one of the founders of Twittercounter (full disclosure, I know Boris!).

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Featured User spot on TwitterCounter is now sold out until April. Just increased the price, again, but requests keep coming. Amazing

Earlier this week, Boris Tweeted that the price of the featured spot on Twittercounter, currently $249 per week, would go up. From the site:

We receive a lot of requests from people who want to become a featured user so we decided to start charging to pay for our hosting costs. Being featured on all our pages gets you a lot of traffic and followers and can be an easy way to grow your online popularity.
We currently charge $249 a week to become a featured user and plan to increase that as we get more traffic and users. We currently track 1.1 million usernames and generate 11.000+ pageviews a day. The featured users is displayed on all pages at TwitterCounter.

The featured spot on Twitter counter is really simple, anybody who is featured can count on a huge increase of followers. After the week, you will be able to spam all these people with some affiliate crap or your sorry ass companies marketing message. Only to find out that the new followers have un-followed you after they get bored with all the crap that shows up in their feed.

Check out the growth in followers of the current featured Twitter profile, going from 248 to 547:

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As long as you are willing to spend money on getting followers on Twitter, featured profile on Twittercounter or your own Twitter Adsense campaign, Just make sure you keep your followers by adding value to the conversation. Don't be a dick!

And if you do add value on Twitter, you will see that you start to build connections and get value out of the conversations. When the conversations become more insightful, you will see that more people start to follow you. and the best thing is; you did not even have to pay for these friends! This way you get value for the money you spend on getting the first couple of hundred followers by spending money on them.

Like in real life, you can pay for your friends, but if you don't have anything interesting to say, or if you are just plain boring, the friends will leave when the money is gone. But if you spend some money to get a couple of friends, and throw parties, even after the money is gone, these friends will stick around because they really like you!

Now go buy some more friends...

PS> It would be interesting to see a list of all the past featured profiles. Then you can track how much value these people have brought to the conversation just by looking at their # of followers. Did they loose them, or were they able to grow their tribe even faster?

you can follow me @TheNextCorner

One Day of Coding

Martin Luther King day, wonderful weather outside in San Francisco. I can hear the coco bongo’s in Dolores park through my open window. Not for me today, I stay inside… Not that I’m afraid for the UV, it’s more that I finally found some time to work on a project I had in mind for a long time. ShopTwits!

Somewhere in November StockTwits was launched, and I instantly liked the service. It got me thinking right away, what can I do with product conversations on Twitter? Right, there is a lot of money to be made from affiliate programs, and so far I don’t get any of it! That can change with just a little bid of effort… Back then I registered the domain ShopTwits.com, next to shoppingtwits.com. Some other domains were already registered, so I knew that there were some other people who had the same idea!

But damn, I had not enough time! Like I already once burned my nose of inactivity on a good idea, I almost was the fool who was fooled twice; not executing on a good idea. A good idea is not a good idea without execution!With Twitter, you can not stall the development for another moment it is convenient to you. With Twitter you can be too late if you wait just 12 hours! And until today, I again waited almost 2 months!

So what is ShopTwits? On ShopTwits you can discuss, review and enjoy all kinds of products. For now, we only source the talks and discussions from Twitter, but there is more in the pipeline.

Stay tuned for ShopTwits… It might be the next revolution in shopping!

How I Found Amazing Interesting people on Twitter

As I've been blogging in Dutch for a number of years, I started in October 2006, I always wanted to launch an English blog to express my thoughts. Last year, which sounds strange to say on January 10th as it's sounds so far away, I launched my English version of The Next Corner over here.

More than two years of blogging experience, almost 7 years working in Internet Marketing, on two continents, and just learning my way around social media marketing for the last 1.5 years, I had a few ideas on how to launch this blog successfully.

Being in Search Engine Optimization, and always spending time on Twitter, Techmeme, Friendfeed and StumbleUpon, I wanted to see if my thoughts on how other people think about how I use these tools and what I think the future is holding for them. As Twitter is the biggest time waster for me if it comes to social media sites, I choose to write a post "Why Twitter Will Go Mainstream In 2009".

I worked quite some time on the post, and felt pretty good about the content. Off course it always could be better, but I thought I hit some valid points and provided a lot of links where readers could find additional resources. It started to daunt on me, that the post might even be better to post somewhere else, than on my own blog, as the number of readers would probably be a lot more.

One way to do this is guest posts. A guest post on a Twitter focused blog would be ideal! Guest posts can serve a number of purposes:

  • You can connect with other bloggers who you respect and provide a piece of content to their blog to show how much you appreciate them
  • A guest post can get you more readers, as your blog gets exposed to a new & broader audience
  • You can get new links to your blog, which help with SEO

One blogger I learned a lot of and always read his blog is Darren Rowse of Problogger. I have read his book, and I follow his tweets. As he got later in the game with Twitter, I had the opportunity to follow how his Tweets evolved. Darren got hooked on Twitter, and has seen the power of the micro blogging platform. So much, that he started a new blog: Twitip. For all tips on Twitter.

Guest post on Twitip

A guest post published by Darren would be great, as he has build a big number of readers already on Twitip. The post that I crafted would fit better on Twitip, as the focus was primarily on Twitter, which matches the focus of Twitip.

But would he take my post?  Usually I'm not the shy or unconfident person, but when it comes to writing, I'm not that sure about myself. I still make a number of grammatical errors in English, as this is not my native language, but even in Dutch! I bet the style of my writing would not score straight A's on any school for journalism, but I thought, what do you have to loose...

Darren swiftly answered my email on the proposal, and after a few bag and forth, I sent him the content of the post. As he must get a great number of requests for guest posts, I really was wondering if he would publish mine. And guess what, the email that made me pretty happy with myself:

Thanks Dennis - I plan to use this next week at some time (probably either 30th or 31st in the lead up to New Years Eve).

thanks!
Darren Rowse

The email came in December 23rd, which meant I had to wait another week for my post to be published. I couldn't wait, and felt excited about the possible outcome. Was I feeling nervous wether people wouldn't like my piece, somewhat yes. But I felt good that Darren thought it was worthy to post in the first place.

Published

So what happened after the post was published? The day of December 30th, I was checking my email and noticed an unusual big amount of people started to follow me on Twitter. I thought, Ah my guest post must have been published. Quickly I checked the Twitip site, and yes... there it was: Why Twitter Will Go Mainstream In 2009.

Check my inbox full with Twitter mails:

Twitter-followers

During the day, I received more followers on Twitter, and I was checking the comments on the blog post. Most of them were pretty positive, except... Yes off course, somebody pointed the poor grammar out.

Seriously - spell check!!

Loosing? Ugh!

Off course Angela is right, but as I already stated above here, I wished I knew better...

One of the best comments that stood out, only making the case that Twitter will go mainstream stronger was:

You know Twitter has made it when your 76 year old mother asks what it is, because she?s heard all about it recently. So you answer, and she ?gets it.?

That was a true occurence!

Krissy

The traffic to my blog spiked for that day. Not so many directly from the post on Twitip, but the majority came through the link in my profile on Twitter. It died quickly after that, but at least I got a number of people who found the blog, and started reading it more often. Welcome!

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Also, my Twitter followers went up significantly. I still need to check out a great number of my new followers and follow back where I think we have a connection. I don't follow back everybody who follows me, as I'm looking for conversations, value and connection. The ones that I did checked out already, are amazingly interesting. Great to learn what they are up to, what keeps them busy and what I can ad to the conversation.

Below you see the graph of my # of Twitter followers.

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What I've learned

I've learned a lot from my first guest post.

I had my first guest post on a high profile blog, of one of the most well known bloggers walking this planet. Some people would not have taken the chance of asking, but I'm glad I did. I like to work under pressure, and knowing your work might be read by a couple of hundred people, only made me focus more on quality.

I know that whenever I do another guest blog post, I want somebody to proof read the piece before it gets published. This will probably help me in filtering style or grammar mistakes out of the text. But I also hope these people will challenge me to write higher quality.

Guest posts are a great tool to connect with other bloggers and to provide their blogs with new content. Having a different blogger doing a guest post on your blog, will give you the opportunity to take a short break from writing, and expose your readers to another way of looking at things.

I don't think this will be my last guest post, as I'm already in contact with other blogs to do a guest post. One, actually, spun off from a direct message that I got on this guest post:

Love the Twitter/Mainstream post! Great job Dennis.

More to come...! follow me @TheNextCorner

PS> Off course, after the last two weeks, we all know that Twitter is mainstream now through two important incidents:

  1. Phishing on Twitter
  2. Hacking of high profile Twitter accounts

Launching a Twitter Tool, Be Fast, Be Very Fast…!

The number of applications build on the Twitter platform has exploded the last year. 2007 was a good year, 2008 brought even more developers with creative crazy ideas to develop their tool. If it's crazy, funny or helpful, it's amazing how fast these guys build the stuff. They all try to beat each other to the punch and show off their coding skills. Damn, I wished I had paid attention when God was handing out the brains! I'm full with ideas, but don't know how to code these...

Twitter Authority Search

After a debate that spun off from a blog post of Loic Le Meur, not one, but two applications were developed. Loic asked for a authority based search engine build into Twitter. A couple of big name bloggers are twitters jumped on it, and all hell broke loose, well sort of.

Just one day later (actually 12 hours later), Twitority was launched. The team who coded it must have been working all night long, as they had it launched with warp speed. Two days later Twithority launched, which has a little bid more functionality than Twitority, and is a little faster. Nevertheless, it clearly shows that speed is of essence here, as the first one is getting most of the attention.

Tweetbacks tracks Tweets of your blogpost

Just after two days in response to a Mashable post, Dan Zarella created Tweetbacks. In the Mashable post Rachel Cunliffe made some predictions on how Twitter will change blog design in 2009. The first one was Tweetbacks. "Brilliant idea", Zarella must have thought.  

Today I saw a Tweet flying by which announced the creation of Tweetback. Just two days after the original blog post, Zarrella must have been coding non-stop. Tweetback beta has been launched today, and already gets a lot of buzz.

I'm sure Joost de Valk can make a nice plug-in based on this code!

Conclusion

If you want to build something on Twitter, you better be fast! Or you just will have to keep your idea locked in the big bad ass dark basement and hope nobody is as smart as you to come up with the same idea.

Twitter URL’s being used in Adsense campaigns

Dolphini Networks is now using their Twitter account URL in their Adsense campaign as landing page.

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This is something new I have never seen before...

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I ask myself, what is the objective of the campaign? Is Dolphini after more followers on Twitter? Are they looking for direct click through's on the link in their Bio?

I have to say, it's a daring move. But then again, if Dolphini manages to connect with a great number of people, ad value to their connection by showing how they can be of big service, and through this new connection get loyal customers, it might be worth the investment.

A new trend maybe...?

Twitter down Fail

First time since ages I got a fail whale again. Do people have too much time on their hands now that they are off from work.

How long will Twitter be down today? Or over Xmas?

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