Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No9 – Amanda Hamilton

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Name: Amanda Hamilton               Twitter name: @ dreamingspain

What is your main Change challenge at present?

Shifting my focus between managing/marketing and PR-ing, running solo a lovely guest house, whilst being (and loving being) a single parent, realising that I also want to paint more.  So the challenge is in embracing honestly what I really want, & balancing it with not being a lazy git (which is so easy).  Plus accepting that everyone needs time out INCLUDING me – that’s a big one!

What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Taking time out.  Through quiet time, meditation, talking with real friends who know me well, I’m getting clearer about what the future needs to hold, and creating it.  Scary, but necessary

Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Not consciously … but then my SM friends would probably contradict and say that my SM profile is high enough now for there to be a level of curious interest in the latest developments.  I just enjoy talking to the people I enjoy online – and if that disperses out into the wider world, then I consider myself accidentally fortunate.  I can’t do real sales, it’s just not me,

What is your top Change tip?

Phew …. To know that, deep inside yourself, you ALWAYS have what it takes to move into the next phase of your life no matter how hard you find that to believe.  And if you don’t believe that, to get your best friends around you and ask for their help.  That’s what they’re there for.

What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

A huge role.  My emotions are my biggest clue.  They tell me how I feel about anything and everything.  By knowing that, I can follow the next right step before making a decision.  And my intuition is usually right.

Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Always – especially the scary changes – by digging deeper and deeper, the gifts I find within me are usually the most important.

What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

My paintings – when I feel wobbly, I paint – and that shows me how I’m feeling about any given situation.  By  taking time to be with myself, I learn more about what it is to be me – and right now, that’s really important.

Previous Interviews:

My Twitter lessons .. No 7 (My first Live Twit)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Today was a landmark day for me in my Twitter journey.  I met my first Twit (someone who I only met via Twitter).  I can’t tell you how I actually connected with this person, perhaps they follow someone who I follow.  I deliberately looked at people who were more established on Twitter who specialised in Change.  However, they responded to something I tweeted and it turned out they had spotted my blogs on Ecademy.  I then learnt that in this whole big global community, that they lived about 15 miles from me.

We have just met up for lunch and had all sorts of interesting things to discuss and share.  I think that this is a wonderful example of the possibilities that twitter can unleash.  It has the power to unleash random forces into your live if you allow it to.

You can follow me on @RichardDerwentC


Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No8 – Romany Thresher

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Name: Romany Thresher    Twitter name: @directassist 

What is your main Change challenge at present?

Realigning my business to a specific niche. At present, there is an abundance of virtual assistants popping up all over offering similar services. In order to differentiate my business from competitors, I now specialise in a particular area. For existing clients I have done an excellent job at handling all their social media and online presence. Increasing online visibility is something they know is important but something they do not have the time or inclination to do day-in-day out. It’s a little bit scary but first impressions are that I am getting much more enquiries than before. My existing clients have all received massive benefits and that has given me the confidence to take this big step

What is your strategy for dealing with it?

Continuous research plays a very important role for me when dealing with strategies, monitoring and keeping track of new ways and methods to do things. What has helped me a great deal in being efficient is my constant hunger for learning which has now made me a bit of a girly geek as some have suggested.

My strategy is one of changing systems, processes and marketing material to meet the new focus.

For example, revamping my site content, training existing staff, and looking at the packages that I offer clients.

Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Yes I am most definitely using social media as a part of my strategy. It’s what I do for clients so I have to be great at it!. .

We have developed a social community to interact more closely with community members so we can learn to understand their needs and provide resources and tools which can help them minimise their costs whilst increasing visibility.

Attend networking events, continue to blog, participate in targeted social networking communities and make use of Twitter to communicate, share tips and relevant information to help business owners establish themselves and increase their online visibility using social media, events and workshops.

I currently manage accounts for existing clients who supply me with their content and are struggling to maintain their online visibility on a regular basis so that they can focus on more face to face networking and other areas of their business which needs their attention.

What is your top Change tip?

Change is necessary for growth both personally and professionally.

Change is something we need to do constantly in order to grow. Life has a way of putting us in a situation where we are forced to change direction. I call these times growing pains as it often comes with some form of calamity. Focused change is when you know what your ultimate life goal is and you make a decision to change and focus on bringing about change, this often comes with very pleasant gifts.

What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

Emotion plays a very important part in change. I still have to work on my emotions and often fear mixed with excitement will be my emotion, this can sometimes stop me from moving with change. Thankfully I am strong willed and am not held back by my emotions

If you embrace the change things will happen. If you resist change, which I have done a few times in the past, the doors close, the opportunities cease to present themselves and it seems twice as hard to get to where you should’ve been in the first place.

Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Yes, often. The greatest gift change brings to me is the people who come into my life. They are often very precious and valuable.

What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

Not changing symbolises death for me. Change on the other hand, symbolises life, ever growing and experiencing new things which then gives you the ability and opportunity to help others and add value to the people around me.

Previous Interviews:

Social Media Entrepreneur’s Interviews No6 – Christine Miller

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Name: Christine Miller        Twitter name: @ChristineMiller

What is your main Change challenge at present? 

Our main challenge at present is transitioning – engaging a wider audience for our magazine ReSource by raising awareness of our profile and value proposition as an essential source of information and guidance for intelligent living. Variously described as ‘a masterpiece’ (Tony Buzan) ‘highly important work’ (Edward de Bono) and ‘envelope-pushing’ (Tom Evans), we’ve also been describes as a ‘well kept secret’, which is perhaps charming – but not conducive to fulfilling the huge potential of our offering.

What is your strategy for dealing with it?

We are doing this by changing the way we present our content from mainly offline to fully online. This transition meets the needs of the market better – by bringing our five year archive of rich information to new markets, it serves different types & generations of readers; it enables us to deliver relevant knowledge more quickly, and gives us the ability to provide the community input and interactivity our supporters, fans and readers want. We have researched reader wishes and requirements and so we have a revamped multi-media website in progress, offering online content with differing levels of access for members and readers.

Are you using social media as part of that strategy, if so, how?

Yes, social media is very important to our strategy; we use a number of social networking sites such as Ecademy, LinkedIn and Facebook, plus blogging, Twitter and Friendfeed to increase our presence, build relationships and showcase content. I am building targeted groups and providing relevant content for them to demonstrate value and contribution, and we will be using YouTube and our own TV channel to deliver video content.

What is your top Change tip?

Recognise that change is constant and inevitable. We change with every thought and every breath – it’s a paradox in that we appear to stay the same, but in fact we are in an ongoing state of change. There’s a difference between natural change, such as the seasons; planned change, such as the scenario described above; and unexpected change, such as a life-threatening illness or sudden loss. Whilst all change requires adjustment, it’s when change is unexpected and/or we feel we’re not in control of it that real discomfort arises, so it’s important to learn some tools for staying in control of our own responses. Remember to breathe – pause, reflect, listen, then act. Stay flexible and alert and recognise change as an opportunity to grow – often the change that appears most disconcerting and uncomfortable contains the greatest benefits. It’s a question of taking a perspective that allows you to look for that benefit, staying open to possibility and adjusting your actions to respond appropriately.

What role does emotion / intuition play when you dealing with Change?

In my experience, emotion and intuition are two different things. When I’m dealing with sudden, unexpected and apparently undesirable change, and if there is resistance, I tend to adopt a reflective approach and examine the emotions I’m experiencing around it, and ask myself if the feelings produced are based on reality and truth, or on fear of the unknown.

Intuition, or gut feelings, plays a large part for me in decisions around dealing with change. I trust my intuition, and have much experience of that first inner prompt being the right one; when I’ve ignored it, I’ve lived to regret it!

Do you ever find Change brings unexpected gifts?

Yes, absolutely. Blessings in disguise; I’ve even written a poem and blogged about that topic. In my experience, the gifts or blessings are sometimes hidden to begin with, and reveal themselves as events and time unfold. Once I’ve processed the immediate response around a change, I endeavour to operate from the present (recognise the ‘present’ of the present) and say to myself about the unexpected: ‘it is what it is, how can we make the best of it?’

What thing best symbolises Change for you and why?

This poem* (see extract below) was written at a time of great change both for me and some close friends, and it expresses how I respond to change. I also like the ‘change’ idea of metal being tempered in a forge – subjected to great heat, moulding and pressure in order to emerge as a purified, refined and much stronger element with greater longevity and higher purpose.

Previous Interviews:

* Blessings for Everyone

Whatever happens
In our lives
We can learn from it,
Accept and assimilate the experience
As a Blessing.
When I was a little girl
My mother would advise me
After some disappointment,
Some less than perfect event,
That it was
A blessing
In disguise.
It has taken me a long time
To fully appreciate
The wisdom inherent
In those words.
Now, I can see
How So many things
That have and
Have not
Are really, truly
What I have gained
From my less glorious times
Has been immeasurable
In Emotional
Mental and

© Christine Miller 2006

21st Century Philosophy – Tweet others as you would be tweeted

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

I was writing yesterday about what seemed to make a good ‘tweet’ and it occurred to me that one might sum it all up as Tweet others as you would be Tweeted – nice line I thought, then this morning, I thought it rather summed up up the whole approach to successful networking.  What do you think?

How do you wish to be tweeted?

My Twitter lessons .. No 6 (what are you Twittering on about?!)

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I seem to remember my mother saying “What are you twittering on about?” when I was young and she was harassed.  This usually happened when I was gabbling away nineteen to the dozen.  Too much noise and not enough information!  That kind of sums up my Twitter dilemma.  I’m finding it hard to contact / spot / engage the real person amidst the snow storm of noise that scrolls down my screen. 

Occasionally something real happens and and it is like a little ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds.  I’m sure many of the people I’m connected with are well intentioned, intelligent even interesting folks, but it isn’t that easy to find that much evidence of it in their outpourings. 

If you are wondering what to say in answer to the perennial question   “What are you doing?” here is what I’d be interested in seeing:-

  • Something that lets me see who you are
  • Something that shows me you know what you are talking about
  • Something that amuses me, engages me, entertains me
  • Something that helps me
  • Something that educates me

What I don’t want is:-

  • Any offers to get thousands of followers
  • You to sell to me
  • Free offers that are as useful as McDonalds happy meal toys

I’ll allow others to judge how well I’m managing to find this balance, but I got a lovely compliment yesterday from someone whose opinion I value that suggested I’m making progress.

I’d love to hear what you think makes a successful tweet.

You can follow me on @RichardDerwentC

My Twitter lessons .. No 5 (The Experiment)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Yesterday my daughter came back from university, having just completed her degree in Art History.  She wants to work in an art gallery but apparently, it is hard to get in without an entree.  I thought this might be a good case for trying the power of Twitter as a random engine generator.   So I sent out the following tweet:-

“My daughter needs experience working in art gallery/South of England(pref. Surrey/London)can anyone help? PLS RT!!!”

Now I have about 2,000 followers, and it was retweeted (passed on) to another 8,800 people.  I got back about 4-5 helpful ideas or maybes and eventually had an interesting conversation with a gallery owner in New York about a possible tie-up.  Now We still need to do better, but what an interesting start in 24 hours and for very little effort.

PS>>> if you can help please do get in touch!!

My Twitter Lessons .. No 4 (Content is King)

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Once you have your account, and have some folks who are ‘tuning in’ you then need to start the real business of actually saying something, because, of course, your followers are unlikely to stick around if you either say nothing or broadcast rubbish.  It seems to me that the favourite content areas are:-

  • Quotes:  This is a little thought for the day, usually from the great and the good, and related to your subject (e.g. CHANGE: When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. – Victor Frankl)
  • Links:  People forward links to relevant articles, blogs etc; these can things you have written, or ones you have found that are related to your area (e.g. Six Ways that #Google Wave is Going to Change Your Business, Career and Life
  • Pictures:  A picture is worth a thousand words and using something like Twitpic you can post a photo.  This should either be relevant to your area of expertise, but seems to me to offer a chance to show a little of the ‘real’ you (e.g. HERE, a relaxed moment in the garden)

There is a balance to be struck between the business & the personal messages you send out.  I know folks who take the view that they will only send out very focused business messages.  On the other hand, others say that you need people to know you before they like you, so you have to go in for a little disclosure.  Of course, you can have multiple accounts but for me this is just too much at this stage (although I have grabbed a couple of names related to my work).

Happy Twittering.  You can follow me on @RichardDerwentC

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My Twitter Lessons .. No 3 (Twitter Tools)

Monday, June 8th, 2009

There are all sorts of applications to help you with Twitter (Google gives you 46m hits for Twitter Top Tools!).  They can do all sorts of things and one big tip is to do this search and read through what people recommend.  One of my issues was I had no idea what to even look for!

So here is my list of useful apps:-

  • Twitterberry: this enables me to tweet from my blackberry and given that it is meant to be instant and local this is really useful.  Imagine you find yourself in town with 30 minutes to kill, you can tweet to see if anyone is free for a coffee.  There are other apps for the iphone and smart phones.  Here is a useful list 
  • Twitpic: this allows you to upload photos from your camera phone by emailing them to twitpic, so people can see what you are looking at
  • Tweetdeck: this gives you a desktop app to help you handle your tweets, store your searches and gives you minute-by-minute updates (but beware it can be a real time waster!)
  • Tweet Later:  this does a whole load of clever tricks, including auto-following people who follow you, and auto-unfollowing too!  It can send automated messages to folks who choose to follow you and a whole lot more
  • Twitter Search
  • Other Resources:  Someone else’s top 40 list

Armed with this list you can manage your activities on Twitter both on your PC and on your phone.

You can follow me on @RichardDerwentC

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My Twitter Lessons .. No2 (Next Steps)

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

So the next step in my journey having dipped a couple more toes in the water, was to realise that if I went to the profile of someone very active in the field I was interested (in my case Change) and looked at who they were following (on the basis that they might be of interest to me too) and took a punt on following a load of them.  Many people use automated tools to help them handle twitter (more of these in another lesson), so there is a reasonable chance a fair number will automatically follow you back.  This gives you a chance to see who they are and what they offer, to engage them and share your ideas.  If you don’t like their offerings, it is just as easy to unfollow them (effectively turning off their broadcast to you.)

The next really important thing I learnt was how to use the search function.  You can search for:-

  • Things going on in your area
  • Or places you are visiting
  • Subjects that interest you
  • Specific people

You can also use something called hash tags, which is a phrase prefixed by #, and this enables you to make your content easily found by others with similar interests.  Ecademy used this feature last week for its #twalk (search for it and see!)

These three things enable you to find other people who share your interests, and this gives you an opportunity to link across cyberspace with strangers who could become friends or partners.

Happy tweeting, and remember you’ll never learn to dance if you don’t go to the ball!

You can follow me on @RichardDerwentC

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