Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Twitter plea that kills me

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

Twitter is a great communications tool. I manage several different accounts, but focus most of my attention on @evo_terra and The first is me, in all my glory. Those that follow there know that it's often times not safe for work. But that's the real me, and I'm not at work all the time.

The second is also me, but me as the guy running the day-to-day operations of, a site that gives away free audiobooks in serialized form. It's all about the site, new books, existing books, authors, etc....

And as much as it kills me to say this, I need your help.

You see, I've noticed that people like to talk -- a lot -- about audiobooks on Twitter. Especially, they like to talk to others about what they are listening to, what they like and what they don't like. I've been using my twitter account to do two things:
  1. Follow the real people who follow No, I don't auto-follow. I look at each and every new follower notice and add based on what I see. I don't add those who've only added for the express purpose of inflating their follower count. That's a very douche-y action. Which is part of why this plea kills me.
  2. Those who talk about or free audiobooks. I facilitate this by monitoring the Twitter stream and picking up on conversations here and there. I figure that an innocuous follow notice is much better than me saying "Check us out for free audiobooks" every time someone asks where they can be found. Think of it as my commitment to de-cluttering the Twittersphere.

And that brings me to my problem. Twitter limits your ability follow more than 2,000 people. That limit is removed when your followers also pass 2,000. In principal, I agree with why they've done this. But in practice, it's causing me pain. As of this posting, the account only has 1,625 followers. And I have dozens of new follower requests every day by real people I'd like to follow back. But I can't. Not until I break 2,000.

So here's the plea: Follow on Twitter? You have no idea how it pains me to ask that.

So why don't I just unfollow those not following me? Well... I don't think reciprocal follows are all that important. I follow people -- on both accounts -- for a primary reason: it allows them to DM me should they wish to. On, I get DM requests pretty often. Listeners with praise or issues, new authors looking for more info, and publishers wanting to know what it's all about. And since Twitter -- rightly so -- only allows people to DM you who you are following, that communication point is cut-off.

Well, until get ~375 more followers to that account.

Take a look at how often I tweet over there. It's rarely more than 2 - 3 tweets per day. Very low volume. So it shouldn't impact your existing stream all that much.

I need to go shower now. I feel dirty after this. :(

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Re-emerging at RE BarCamp Phoenix 2009

Hi. Did you miss me? Sorry for the hiatus. No major changes. No shifts in priorities. I'm still here.

This coming Thursday, I'm going to spend the day with a pile of Real Estate agents. No, I'm not in real estate. Quite the opposite, as I've been tweeting about recently. But I have found that the Phoenix RE community is hugely ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting digital, social and new media. And since I'm again going to be speaking at the NAR National Conference, I need to keep up with these people.

Thursday is RE BarCamp Phoenix 2009. It's an unconference in that the sessions and topics are generated the day-of by the people attending the free event. Oh goody, you're saying. A chance for real estate agents to get up and try and sell you on why they should sell -- or sell you -- your next house. No, not really. Here's a preview of the planned topics:

  • Twitter
  • Drowning in Useless Metrics
  • Screw SEO, it’s all about YEO (You Engaging Others)
  • Blogging 101
  • Online Niche Marketing
  • Web 2.0 Doesn’t Count Unless You Follow-Up

And you know who's leading this discussions? Real estate agents. Not a bunch of techno-savvy web-workers who have nothing better to do with their time on Thursday. These are working real estate agents who've grabbed the idea of digital media by the throat and made it work for them.

I love it. I plan on learning a lot that day. Want to join me? RE BarCamp Phoenix 2009 happens this Thursday, April 23, 2009 at Scottsdale Stadium from 8:30 - 4:30. And it's free. You should come. If for no other reason that to see how one industry -- real estate -- is utilizing social media: the right way.