The Mark Ledden Blog

…audio, video, web and general tech ramblings.

Tag Archives: social media

Pre-Schedule Your #FF’s So You Don’t Forget Those Who Count

There’s been a lot of debate surrounding Twitter and automation. It is acceptable? Is is cheating? I think there’s a fine balance. You don’t want to be feeding people a constant stream of links from RSS feeds. On the other hand it’s impossible to tweet constantly round the clock, 24 hours a day. (Try it, I dares ya!)

Scheduling Tweets

There’s many a tool which aims to help you find this balance.¬†What I present here is what I believe to be a perfectly acceptable way to keep track of those who make your Twitter life a little brighter so you can reward them with the all important #FollowFriday at the end of the week.

Most weeks, when Friday does come around I’m either too busy or when I try and put my mind to it I can’t remember who has done what for me to piece together a decent follow Friday. Sorry people ūüė¶

With this method you can start your #FF from the beginning of the week and gradually build up a saved message which you can keep adding to that is setup to post on the Friday of that week.

How to do it

Personally, I’ll be using Hootsuite, as ever. You can use any tool that will let you schedule messages. I choose Hootsuite because it’s what I use everywhere. It also lets you edit pending messages, which is the most important thing here.

1. Schedule Your Message

All you need to do at the beginning of the week is schedule a message to post to your Twitter account on the following Friday (like the word play there?)

Scheduling in Hootsuite

Schedule your message using Hootsuite

You’ll then see your pending message in your pending message stream or the fancy, new publisher view.

Your pending #FF in Hootsuite

Your pending #FF in Hootsuite

2. Edit Your Message

If you don’t have anyone to add to it at first just leave it as “#FF” (Remember to delete it it you don’t get round to adding anyone by Friday or it’ll be one sorry looking Tweet!)

As the tweeting week goes on make note of those who you’ve conversed with, learnt from and who have helped you. It’s at that point you should be adding their names to your list. That list being your pending #FF.

Edit your tweet in Hootsuite

Edit your tweet in Hootsuite

3. Sit Back and Relax

Now you can just take it easy, or get back to work! As everything is taken care of. No need to franticly look back through @reply’s and DM’s to figure out who you want to honour with an #FF.

Further Ideas

You could also set up a few different messages. Especially if you have a lot of people to thank. You could have different #FF’s for people who RT you, those you talk to regularly or influencers on various topics.

Hope this is useful to you. Make sure you don’t forget those superstars of Twitter. Also, If anyone is using another way to schedule their messages, I’d like to know how you got on.


Revising My & Google Reader Combo

As you may know from this post I have automated the process of sharing items from my Google Reader account to my Twitter account. I made a point that I would closely monitor it to make sure it doesn’t seem too spammy or overwhelming for other users.

I had the feed set to check and post new items, one at a time every 15 minutes between the hours of 8am and 10pm. I also let it guess the appropriate hashtags and drop them in too. I’ve already reduced the number of hashtags from three to two.

Here’s an overview of the activity since the start of my little experiment.

You can see how the zero marks on the graph reflect the lack of activity on the weekends. Monday’s are the most active because any spare time I have over the weekend I may still read and share items but they wont reach Twitter until Monday. On a Monday I’m generally getting over 300 clicks from around 20 posts. As you can see below, the number of clicks over time closely matches with the number of posts over the same period of time.

For me, I think it’s been working quite well but there are ocassions when I look at my Twitter profile and see the ammount of hashtags and it just seems a bit gareish.

Will I be making any changes?

Yes, I’ll make a few¬†tweaks¬†and will continue to keep any eye on things. In the feed settings I’m going to increase the update from 15 to 30 minutes. And in the Twitter settings I’m going to remove the hastag placement completely.

Tweet Power, Grateful Mentions & Yet More Stats!

So last week I wrote yet another post about SoundCloud. This time though it was a nice and compact ‘quick tip’ on how to use it to incorporate a demo reel of your work into your portfolio. Something which I thought was a bit more original than the millions of SoundCloud reviews out there.¬†(Yes I know I wrote a SoundCloud review, but it’s time to think outside the box/cloud!)¬†Anyway, take a look here if you missed it.

The next day the lovely people of SoundCloud were good enough to thank me for the post. See, look.. ūüôā

It’s always amazing to hear back from things like this and it is a great way of demonstrating what social media is all about. What made this message all the more powerful though was the ‘Hey’ at the start of the mention. As you knowledgeable people will know, if the tweet had simply started with @MarkLedden (making it a reply), the reach of that tweet would’ve (generally) been restricted to those who follow both SoundCloud and myself. I say generally because it will still turn up in searches and would show up on their profile. But the fact that it was styled more like a mention then everyone who followed SoundCloud would’ve instantly seen it. Which is nearly 60,000 people! ..or robots ūüėČ

Now it would’ve been nice if all those followers had rushed over to read my post but let’s be realistic, the yield was a mere fraction of that. You can see how many people actually followed the link by clicking here. Yeah, not that impressive, right? But hey, I only get very modest traffic as it is. I’m no prolific writer and I don’t offer anything special so this was actually a massive boost for my blog stats. Cue the graph…

A big spike for little old me. But as you can see, after all the excitement, things have now returned to what they should be. *Sigh* Ah well, the next post will have to be even better!! And I’ll need more of them!!!

Anyone out there should keep writing as it’s these little victories which give you the motivation to crank out another blog post, just like I have done here ūüėČ

QuickTip: Share Items From Google Reader To Twitter (Or Virtually Anywhere) Automatically

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day, so anywhere we can make efficiencies in the time we spend on things (no matter how minimal) will always help. This is a quick tip I’m using to share all the great articles I come across with a little less effort.

I usually do most of my browsing on Google Reader on my phone. Sharing an item generally means opening a new window in the browser or switching to another app. This takes up valuable time!

Wouldn’t it be better if you could share it with a single click that didn’t interrupt your reading experience? Read more of this post

2011 – The Year of Social Audio?

Social Audio is tipped to be a massive trend this year. There’s even been some talk of 2011 being the year of Social Audio! Strange, I thought 2010 was pretty social in terms of audio. We shall see.

One indicator which stirs claims like these is the massive growth we’ve seen from SoundCloud recently. The site is now the place to be for music-makers and leaves MySpace (or My_?) cowering in the corner.

The other platform at the centre of this Social Audio uprising is Audioboo. Put simply, it’s twitter for audio. It’s mobile, it’s instant and it’s¬†universal. This has made it perfect for news gathering and reporting on events as they happen, all you need is the one thing most of us wouldn’t be without: Our phone. The platform is now being used by the likes of The BBC, The Guardian and Channel 4 News.

Getting Social

These two platforms are already both very healthy, with good numbers of users that are continuing to grow. Audioboo is launching great new features by reinventing the voicemail and allowing developers to add AudioBoo functionality to their iPhone apps through a plugin. Surely a good move which could see Audioboo integrate itself as a framework for sharing audio.

SoundCloud has had a¬†huge¬†amount of investment and seen signups to it’s service grow tremendously recently. It’s an essential place for music makers looking to spread the word, interact and collaborate. It’s an interactive hub and even if your not musical in any way it’s perfect for music discovery and getting free music.

SoundCloud vs Audioboo?

With these two being at the forefront of social audio naturally people want to compare and contrast the two. Something I’m not convinced with is the notion that the two are in direct competition.

They are aimed at different people with distinctly different uses. Audioboo don’t need to mess with high quality. Well, not uncompressed audio at least. And it’s understandable why SoundCloud are avoiding implementing RSS feeds. Musicians don’t need this feature. I think it would only open the gates to users who are outside of what the aim of SoundCloud is. Which is to share music.

The only instance where I can see these two stepping on each others feed in with the apps. Soundcloud has added recording functionality to it’s app. It’s an experimental feature and something im not convinced was needed but cool nonetheless.

What’s Ahead?

Surely there are more uses for social audio and I imagine we’ll be seeing alot more of them soon if 2011 really is the year of social audio. My tip is to keep an eye on Mixlr. It’s live audio broadcasting for all and something which I find very cool. The radio is dead, long live Social Audio!

For your reading pleasure:
SoundCloud hits 3 Million users, grows by 50% in 100 days
Audioboo gears up to take on SoundCloud in the year of Social Audio
Audioboo Launches Social Voicemail With Help From Stephen Fry
Soundcloud Threatens MySpace As Music Destination For Twitter Era
Audioboo iPhone Plugin

On Facebook, Everyone Knows You’re A Dog

Photo Credit: TheDarkThing

This is dedicated to a cartoon from 1993 where the caption read ‘On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog’. This summed up privacy with regards to that age of the Internet and helps demonstrate how times have changed when you compare it to today’s Internet.

Remember the days when you could browse the Internet in obscurity? It was a time when we all had cool aliases, we could be mysterious and we could all, in a way, be who we wanted to be. Ah, nostalgia!

We can still do all of those things but we’re also constantly being encouraged to share every last detail of who we are. The limits are constantly being pushed and at the center of this is Facebook. Every update they¬†roll out¬†brings outrage with regards to privacy. This doesn’t stop us using it though. Quit Facebook Day didn’t work and the network is still growing strong.

Facebook was different because it forced us to use our real names and be who we were. This trend has continued onto subsequent social sites. It’s good as this transparency and authenticity makes us feel more comfortable with those we are connecting with. Think about it, it’s harder to hide. You may as well be stood face-to-face with the person you’re poking/tagging.

This new social identity we have online, being our real one, means you can’t (easily) turn your back on it and create a new one like you used to be able to. You’re stuck with it. Common sense would make people think a little more before they share something, but this isn’t the case. ¬†I’ve witness more that the odd occasion of people sharing more than they probably should. Either they don’t care or they’re oblivious to the reach they have and the number of eyeballs that are on them. These are the people who don’t check their privacy settings.

I guess the point is everyone on Facebook already knows you’re a dog. This is because we’re sharing more than ever. Just be aware of what you are sharing. There’s a fine balance when it comes to Social Media and privacy.

What If Social Networks Had Dress Codes?

You’ll have to humour me a bit on this one. Obviously there are no actual dress-codes for social networking sites but each one has it’s own rules, code of conduct and etiquette, etcetera etcetera.¬†This leads to different¬†behavior¬†when interacting on each network, It’s only natural. Lets explore some of them.

Read more of this post

Twitter: A Visual Analogy

SoundCloud & AudioBoo, Part 2: SoundCloud

I know this has been a long time in the making but there’s been loads of news on SoundCloud recently. I even opened an issue of Sound on Sound magazine recently to discover a two page spread coinciding with their podcast moving over to SoundCloud! So I’ve had to re-write a few things. Anyway, here it goes!

The Cloud

In part one of this review I talked through the features of AudioBoo which can be summed up as any/all of the following: audio-for-twitter, automated micro-podcasting etc. Now we’re looking at another relatively new platform with very different features. Both platforms/services store your audio in¬†‘the cloud’ with AudioBoo focused on speech and SoundCloud focusing on music. Read more of this post

SoundCloud & AudioBoo, Part 1: AudioBoo

OK, originally this post was meant to be about SoundCloud, then it was going to be on AudioBoo. In the end I though why not talk about both and give a rundown of their individual features, a comparison of the two and what you might be able to achieve using the two together. This will be a two part post, bringing you AudioBoo in the first half and SoundCloud in the second.

What we have here are two audio-based social networking sites at quite different ends of the scale…

Read more of this post

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