Browsing Darren Rowse's posts

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of a variety of blogs including TwiTip, ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School.

Twitter Rejects Verification Request with Cryptic Message

In June 2009 Twitter launched ‘verified Twitter accounts’. As someone who had had numerous instances of people impersonating my brands (and myself personally) I was really pleased with the new feature and immediately applied to become verified.

Since that time there’s been no word from Twitter. I’ve seen a few accounts ‘verified’ since that time but they are largely fairly sizeable businesses or celebrities. Fair enough I guess – the amount of people applying to be verified must have been pretty large and to verify someone must be a pretty manual process – I put it down to Twitter biting off a bit more than they could chew….

Today I got an email from Twitter with a subject line of – ‘Account verification status update‘. Yay – an update!

I opened the email to see this:

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OK – so I’m not verified and there are problems with my request. But what I find odd is that there is no way for me to address the issues. The email says that if I’m a business I can go to a ‘Business Center Page’ for more information – but I have no idea what such a page is or where to find it. I do run a business and my Twitter account is used in conjunction with that business – but I’ve never registered as a business and have never been told about any such ‘Business Center’.

Of course I Googled for more information – only to find others have had the same message in the last few hours.

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Not sure what is going on but it leaves me feeling a little confused and disillusioned. In the scheme of things it doesn’t matter too much whether I’m verified or not – however to refer people to some mystical business center when no-one seems to be aware of what it is doesn’t really help anyone.

My Opinion on Ads on Twitter [or Sponsored Tweets]

A number of people have asked me recently what I think about running advertising in Twitter streams.

Should it be done or avoided? What impact might it have on you as a Twitter user if you do run them? Are there times you should and shouldn’t use ads to monetize your Twitter account?

My opinion is pretty simple. I know no everyone will agree but it’s probably somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of opinions on the topic. Some argue that Ads should never be used on Twitter – others argue that you should monetize your account in any way you can. (more…)

Social Media Summit – Early Bird Discount Ends This Thursday

This is just a short note to highlight the Social Media Success Summit 2009 that I’ll be speaking at (disclaimer: they are also sponsoring TwiTip this month). It starts on May 26th (and happens over the weeks that follows) and features sessions from a variety of successful social media (and Twitter) users including:

  • Gary Vaynerchuck (Wine Library TV)
  • Mari Smith (Facebook Expert)
  • Jason Alba (Linked In Expert)
  • Ann Handley (chief content officer from MarketingProfs)
  • Brian Clark (CopyBlogger)
  • Chris Garrett (Co Author of ProBlogger the Book)
  • Denise Wakeman (BlogSquad)
  • Michael A. Stelzner (White Paper Guru)
  • And me – Darren Rowse

I’m doing a panel discussion on 3rd June with Brian Clark on ‘The Future of Social Media: What’s Going to be Hot and What’s Not). Other content covered includes:

  • How to Create a Mega-Following and Mega-Sales With Social Media Marketing
  • Building a Loyal Facebook Following for Increased Profits
  • How to Grow and Engage an Audience on Twitter
  • Using the Power and Reach of LinkedIn to Grow Your Business
  • How to Productively Engage in Social Media Marketing
  • Five Reasons You Need to Be on Twitter (and Tools to Help You Manage)
  • Social Media Start Up: 3 Key Tools to Build Your Social Media Marketing Plan
  • How to Attract Tens of Thousands of People in Mere Days
  • Using Social Bookmarking for Improved Traffic, Links and Visibility

The Early Bird special ($200/40% off) for this event ends this Thursday. If this is an event that interests you check it out at Social Media Success Summit 2009.

Social-Media-Summit

What is Twitter (to You)?

What is Twitter?

I know Twitter has had a lot of press lately and has taken significant steps forward in terms of getting public attention – but I’m still asked the question all the time – ‘What is Twitter?’

The official answer to the ‘What is Twitter‘ question is on their homepage:

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But what is Twitter to you?

How do you answer the question when asked? What does Twitter mean to you? How do you define Twitter?

Looking forward to reading your definitions, ideas, experiences and more in comments below.

What is Twitter? Over to you…..

Review of Laura Roeder’s Backstage Pass To Twitter Webinar

There have been a number of teaching resources to help people learn about Twitter lately – one of which is The Backstage Pass to Twitter Success by Laura Roeder. I’ve heard a few people say that they found Laura’s training helpful so I asked one of them – Dave Navarro from The Launch Coach – if he’d be willing to write a review of it. Here’s what he came back with.

logo-trans.pngI’ll be honest – I’ve been on Twitter longer than Laura Roeder has (well, only three weeks longer, but still, I have to claim what I can). But there’s one big difference between how the last 12 months have played out for the both of us. While I have a healthy enough Twitter following – almost 1.5 followers per person I follow – Laura has a staggering 8 followers per person she follows.

Clearly, Laura knows something I don’t. Maybe a whole lot of somethings. So when she launched her “Backstage Pass to Twitter” webinar a few weeks ago, I had to take a look … and here’s my review.
(more…)

13 Twitter Tips and Tutorials for Beginners

Just starting out on Twitter? Looking for some Twitter Tips to get you started?

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Twitter is bound to have a load of new users today as it is being featured on Oprah – so I thought it might be a good day to share some tips for the beginner Twitter user who is just getting going with the medium.

  1. What’s in it for Your Followers? – How to be Useful on Twitter

  2. 10 Easy Steps for Twitter Beginners – good sound advice and tips on getting going on Twitter
  3. 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Tick off the Twitterverse – a few things to avoid on Twitter
  4. 5 Ways I Benefit from Twitter – this outlines why I love Twitter in my business of building blogs
  5. Defining Your Twitter Goals – this one is more for those who want to use Twitter for other purposes than just letting their family know when they’ll be home.
  6. How to Set up a Twitter Account – most of your are probably past this one but it could be useful if you’re a ‘Pre-Twitter’ user.
  7. 5 Steps to Model Successful Twitter Users – an exploration of a few ways that Twitter is being used
  8. Think Like a Toddler and Find Your Voice on Twitter – using the analogy of growing up as a kid to growing as a Twitter User
  9. Twitter in Plain English – cool video on the basics of Twitter
  10. What Twitter Application is Right for You? – looking at some of the tools people use on Twitter
  11. 10 Traits of Highly Effective Twitter Users – some good advice for growing your profile on Twitter

  12. How to Get More Followers on Twitter – a question many ask. If you’re not a celebrity to start with – you might want to read this.
  13. 6 Ways to Maximize the Use of Your 140 Characters – basic ‘Tweet Writing Tips.

To keep up to date with more Twitter Tips and Tutorials for both individuals and businesses wanting to get on Twitter – follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our news feed.

Has Twitter SEO Tweak Paid Off Already?

A few days back we wrote about how Twitter had changed title tags of their site to better optimize their pages in the search engines (Google particularly).

Today I was looking at Alexa (which tracks how different websites are going in terms of traffic) and saw this with regards to Twitter Traffic:

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It’s a big spike in traffic that saw Twitter rise in Alexa’s rankings from in the 200’s to somewhere around #30 virtually over night.

Things have settled down again in the day or two since but traffic does still seem to be higher.

I’m sure there are a variety of possible explanations for this rise in traffic – but it does seem to coincide with the week that Twitter changed its title tags. Are there any SEO types out there with any insight?

What is Your Advice to Businesses Exploring Twitter?

What advice would you give a business wanting to explore the world of Twitter?

I’m speaking later in the week on the topic (I’ll post a summary of my presentation next week) and would like to feature the tweeted advice of a few readers of this blog.

Here’s how it’ll work.

Login to Twitter or your favorite Twitter Client reply to @twitip with your advice. I’ll take a screenshot of as many people’s advice as I can to include their responses in my presentation.

Please keep your advice to a single tweet. Thanks for your help.

Please note: I won’t be able to use comments in this post, just tweets as I want to show the tweets as screen shots.

Twitter Tweeks Title Tags and Ranks Higher For Your Name – What do you Think?

Techcrunch today are reporting that Twitter has just tweaked the title pages on Twitter users pages to now include users names at the start of the tags instead of the end.

So my tags now read – ‘Darren Rowse (problogger) on Twitter’ instead of ‘Twitter / ProBlogger’.

This might not sound like much but it’s actually a fairly significant tweak when it comes to search engine optimization and has already increased the search engine rankings for Twitter for the names of those using it.

For example – on a search for my name in Google (not that I’d ever search for it…..) my Twitter page now ranks #3 whereas it previously ranked less than 10th (on the second page). Many twitter users that I’ve just done searches for now have their twitter pages rank at #1 for their names.

There are a number of implications for this:

1. It could be useful (or not) for reputation management – online reputation managers often teach about how it is important to ‘control’ the top listings. The more results that you control in the top 10 search results for your name/brand the less likely people are to find negative things about you. Of course this could also be used for ‘evil’ by people wanting to hurt your reputation :-(

2. Twitter is outranking many users homepages/blogs – I’m lucky to have a blog that ranks higher for my name than my Twitter page but as mentioned above there are quite a few Twitter users whose Twitter pages outrank their own home pages. This won’t phase some – but I know a few people who will be a bit ‘miffed’ by this.

In fact I just chatted to one blogger who is now outranked for his own name by Wikipedia (he didn’t even start that page (and doesn’t really ‘control’ what appears on it), LinkedIn, Technorati and now Twitter. His own blog (with his name in the URL even) ranks 5th for his name!

update: there’s a poll at Tweet Social asking people where their Twitter page ranks in Google – it is early days but most seem to be reporting rankings between #1-#3.

3. Good for Twitter’s Growth – as the Techcrunch article explains, this will certainly increase the number of people hitting Twitter as a result of search results. I guess this is potentially good for Twitter users as it means more and more people will be on the network.

Interested to hear your thoughts on this SEO tweak by Twitter?

Get a ReTweet Button for Your Blog

This is just a short post to answer one of the most commonly asked questions here at TwiTip:

Where did you get the ‘ReTweet’ button for your blog?’

The answer is that it is from the team at Tweetmeme (a service that tracks hot stories on Twitter). You can get the code for this button here.

It is currently available in the full sized version that I’m displaying:

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As well as a compact version:

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It can be installed simply using javascript code in your blogs template or as a WordPress plugin.