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by Diane

Twitter Art or the Art of Re-Tweeting

January 24, 2011 in Blog Thoughts, Blog tips by Diane

Twitter Art, what an amazing concept and yet it is being done by quite a few people.  My personal favorites are from @tw1tt3rart/ Mr. Mathew Haggart and here are just a few examples:

they are so cool and yet what do they have to do with retweeting or as I would say The Art of Retweeting?
To be honest very little and yet when retweeting, maybe we all should be looking at this from the point of view of an artist.
I noticed it today while watching the twitter stream, so many people ( and yes that included me) RT’ing everything that they thought interesting. On many communities, there is a handy “Tweet” button and you click on it a box opens and there it is a Retweet all ready for you.  You click on it and like magic it appears in your twitter stream. You give a sigh of relief that it worked then go on to the next thing you are reading.  This action is repeated by thousands of people every single day.
So…what is wrong with that?
Lets face it there are so many benefits to Re-Tweeting or RT’s:
  • -You can slowly build contacts, especially those who are interested in what you like
  • Its a great way to do passive marketing of YOU by helping others and increase visibility
So what is the problem?
To me it is simple. If you think of Twitter as a microblog then you need to think in terms of originality. Copying of a tweet and retweeting is not very original!
Add to that,While the idea of the RT is simple, there is a huge issue to my way of thinking and that is too many Rt’s are messy, they are confusing and after a while they grow so long that what ever it was you were wanting to pass on gets lost in the Rt’s.
There is one last but very important point and that is… can you guess? right = the limitation of the 140 characters which can up to I believe 12 characters or more when you retweet.   Does this make sense?
O.K. I believe I have made my point ( I hope), so what can a person do?
Here are are some ideas for you to think about when you want to retweet:
  • Remove the extra or duplicate words and hashtags from your post
  • Move the RT @ Username to the END of the post
  • Never ever modify the short link by the original user and check the link before you do any post.
  • Think in terms of others wanting to retweet you post, therefore set you post limit to 120 Characters.  Smart thinking if you want people to retweet you.
  • This may sound a bit silly, but take the time to look at your post before you actually retweet it.  It takes just a few seconds and will save you from embarrassement.
  • I know everyone wants to use hashtags (#), but don’t over do it. Use hashtags to really point out the important keywords
  • It does not matter what you are retweeting, add value to the tweet by adding your take, your thoughts, your opinion on the tweet in question.
  • Always say thank you to the person who has taken the time to retweet you.
Is there anything else?
there is one last point to make…Use the RT to identify the original poster.  Use “via” when you want to let others know that you found a post from someone else.
Considering the amount of blog tools that can help you with your tweeting or re-tweeting, it is a little hard to say..pick this one or pick that one.
I will say that HootSuite and TweetDeck are very very good applications and ones that may be of interest to you.
Like any software though, you should be aware ( at least to myknowledge) that any of the Desktop software add the “RT@username” at the beginning of a post, but that is easy to change.
I think that is it for the day….oh, there is a fellow Khaled over at KHALED’S BLOG who has gathered quite a collection of twitter applications that you might be interested in…it really is quite an incredible list and you may find twitter tools there that you never thought of using before.

by Diane

You Need a Game Plan ( Part Two)

January 20, 2011 in Blog Thoughts, Blog Tools by Diane

Sometimes I think having a game plan is pretty much like being a teenager asking “what do I want to do with my life” with so many choices and directions it can make a persons head swim!
It is the same for blogging
For those of you who have a blog and are focused on your niche or topic, congratulations and I encourage you to keep reading to get further ideas to help you with your game plan.
For those of you who  are still saying… “I want to be a blogger” or”I kind of know what I want to write about” or “I have a blog but I dont’ know where to go with it” then read on
Being a blogger with a game plan means having the end result at the very beginning.
With that being said here are a few questions to ask yourself
1. Do you enjoy writing? Its not such a silly question as you might think.  Not everyone is a writer, in fact some people hate writing with a passion and yet are very successful bloggers.  For myself, I tend to write in two ways…one as a researcher/lecturer( writing facts and giving information) or I “visualise” in my mind that I am talking to somebody (you)just having a conversation about something.  For others blogging means using images to convey their topic and then there are the people who vlog( creating video blogs) or audio blogs.  there are many choices and you need to find out which would work for you.
2.I know you have heard this so many times..but – Do you have something that you are passionate about? Keeping the game plan in mind means knowing that you will be able to write about something for a long time – that it will hold YOUR interest, never mind your readers ( did I just say that? well it is true!)
3. Are you blogging to make money? Well… it was nice talking to you!  Seriously here is a reality check for everyone..If you are starting a blog to make money, you are going to fail and worse your game plan will be in ruins before you even start! I am not saying that you cant create an income with a blog, but it takes a lot of time and the competition is going to be fierce!  Get your priorities straight at the very beginning and that is content, consistent content and even more content with a lot of connecting to others via social networks, learning new skills and other methods to get yourself noticed.
ok  enough of the lecture..onword with a good game plan
You have answered the question of why you are blogging and you have an idea of what you want to blog about, but you really cant see the forest for the trees in terms of  where you want to go with your blog niche.  What has helped me is brainstorming , either with others or writing things down, but there is another way that might be of use to you. create a Mind Map!
A great definition to explain a mind map can be found at Wikipedia
Basically “a mind map is a  is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.”
I have to say that brainstorming using mind mapping tools are just very satisfying and visual.  They can be used for so many ideas or projects.  When you type in a search “mind mapping tools”  You will get oodles of places to look at, but to give you a starting point I have picked three (3) services to get you started:
Mindmeister mind mapping tool
Quickly build your own mind maps using our intuitive, award-winning interface – absolutely no learning required! Access them online whenever you like, export them to other formats, or import your own existing maps. All you need is a standard web browser, no plugins or additional software required.” ( Free and paid services)

“Mind42 is a free online mindmap collaboration tool.  Keep track of all your ideas,whether alone, with colleagues and friends or working together with the whole world. browser based online mind is aing application”

“Wise Mapping is the web mind mapping tool that leverages the power of Mind Maps mixing new technologies like vectorial languages (SVG and VML) and the power of the whole Web 2.0 concept. No pluggin required.”
Well thats it for today.  Come back tomorrow and I will share with you how to keep your game plan going with blog set up, categories and other such methods.  As always your thoughts and your view point is needed to help me with my game plan ;-)

by Diane

You need a game plan!

January 19, 2011 in Blog Thoughts, Blog Tools by Diane

Part One
Do you have a plan?
Another day has come and you are rearing to go! You know you have to write a blog post today and in the back of your mind you might have an idea, but first you need to check your email, then there are all the social communities that you need to check on, comments to make or questions to answer and …oh ya…you have to get the blog post done.   Does it stop there?  Nope!  Now you have 30 tabs open on one browser, maybe another 10 on another one, all with your research, communities, of course your email and …. now people want to talk to you on Skype or gtalk and guess what? A whole day has gone by and still no blog post…oh well there is another day and besides you have all these things to read and real life events to take care of.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Guess what?  You need a game plan!
The key to owning your own blog, owning your own business starts with the mindset – you are your own employee and you are on the clock.
The starting of your game plan is by getting yourself organized, creating a plan, finding and then actually using the tools that will help you function better and then get off the clock and get physically active to stretch those muscles that have been tightened from sitting at a computer of so many hours.
When you start thinking like your own employee will find that your focus will be much different!
oh and for those people who just cant help themselves and need to have 20, 30 or more tabs opened and lose themselves to all the information, the games  on the net here is a tool that might be of real time use for you_
( don’t you love that word?)
Here is part of the description from the Chrome Web Store
“[As seen on LifeHacker, ReadWriteWeb, MakeUseOf, and more!]
You sit down at the computer, and you swear you’ll be productive. Next thing you know, it’s twelve hours later. You’ve checked your email, updated your Facebook status, browsed the trending topics on Twitter, read your RSS feeds, looked up your favorite band on Wikipedia, vanity googled yourself, cyber-stalked your ex, looked at all your high-school crushes’ Facebook photos, watered your plants on Farmville, and lost a week’s pay playing online poker.
What you haven’t done is WORK.
StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend browsing time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time for the day has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.”
From all the comments that I read…this is a tool that you will love to hate!   It really does work, but a word of warning, because there is no warning message when the time is about to expire, make sure you bookmark or save your work or you may find you have lost everything.

Let me know your thoughts about this chrome extension or anything else for that matter.
Back to work for me!

(Tomorrow I will share  some resources you can use to help you with your game plan.)

by Diane

A BlogNet Tribute to Remembrance Day – Lest We forget

November 11, 2010 in Blog Thoughts by Diane

At 11 am… the commonwealth countries took a minute to remember all the men and women who gave the highest gift they could give..their lives in the name of peace and for freedom.

November 11th has a meaning to us…Lest We Forget

At this time we look to the poppy to help us remember….Lest We Forget

Read the rest of this entry →

by Diane

Professionalism Quotes

January 13, 2009 in Blog Thoughts by Diane

Gracious Professionalism by Dr. Woods Flowers

Whether we blog professionally, as a hobby or  for our personal thoughts, we should always keep in mind the word PROFESSIONALISM

Professionalism is something that each and every one of us claim to have.  It is something that we all like to see and would like to see a lot more of it as we go about our day to day businesses.

But what is it? Read the rest of this entry →