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Archives: November 2010

Promoted Tweets Appear in Google US; Soon to be in UK

Earlier this month, US citizens might’ve noticed Promoted Tweets appearing in their Google searches. Tweets themselves have been popping up for relevant searches for some time, but Promoted Tweets appear to have been made visible on Google search in the beginning of November. Now, word is circulating that these Promoted Tweets will also appear in UK Google search results when Twitter brings their advertising solution overseas early next year.
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Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up a Business Twitter Account

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks out there, and businesses have begun to embrace it in droves. In the last year alone, for instance, Fortune 500 companies have doubled their presence on Twitter.

It’s easy to set up a Twitter account for your business, and it could be one of the smartest moves you make this year. It only takes a few simple steps before you can start engaging customers, building a brand presence, and networking.
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Robert Gibbs Could Teach Politicians a Thing or Two About Using Twitter

Robert Gibbs is using Twitter to connect to regular Americans in a rather innovative way, soliciting short questions on the micro-blogging site and then answering them via video a few hours later. This type of engagement is exactly what politicians should be using Twitter for – a two-way exchange of ideas between the electorate and the individual.
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3 New Features We’d Love to see Added to Twitter

Twitter has been introducing new features at a brisk pace lately, including more robust Promoted Products, music sharing integration with Apple’s Ping, and push notifications for @mentions.

While they’re hard at work, here’s a look at three new features we’d love to see added to Twitter in the new year – some of which they’ve hinted at, and others that we hear users clamoring for.
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Republicans More Influential on Twitter than Democrats [Study]

Republicans swooped in for a victory in the House of Congress earlier this month in the US mid-term elections, but that’s not all they won: they also won the “election” on Twitter. A new study from Hewlett-Packard (HP) measures the influence of House Republicans and Democrats on Twitter, and finds that Republicans are far-and-above the winners.
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Guide to Twitter Advertising: Promoted Trends 101

Promoted Trends are part of Twitter’s Promoted Products suite, the first genuine attempt at incorporating advertising into its micro-blogging platform. Promoted Trends join Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts as the three ways that advertisers can engage with the 160 million Twitter users to monetize, increase brand awareness, and gain exposure.

This is our second report on the state of Promoted Products, which will examine Promoted Trends in detail. We also have a Promoted Tweets guide available, and will be preparing the Promoted Accounts guide in the coming weeks.
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Help Tim Burton Write a Short Story on Twitter

Tim Burton is taking to Twitter for his next creative endeavor, and he’s asking people to join in. He’s written a one-tweet-long opening sentence to a short story, and anyone can contribute the next sentence in 140-characters or less.

Each day, he’ll select the best tweet and add it to the official story, with Twitter users building on the new segments as they grow. If you’ve ever dreamed of being in on the creative processes of Hollywood, this might just be your chance.
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The Twitter Below

In 1996, the BBC aired a fantasy TV show called Neverwhere. Written and devised by Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself, and, of all people, Lenny Henry), the series focused on “London Below”, a magical place that existed as a parallel world beneath the real London (“London Above”), and the denizens therein.

In London Below, popular and familiar places in London Above took on different (albeit relative) meanings and significance; Knightsbridge became Night’s Bridge, Angel (in Islington) was an actual angel, and so on.

The show lasted for just one season of six episodes, but has since been adapted into a novel (also by Gaiman), a nine-issue comic book, several stage plays and a movie script is currently in development.

I only have a vague memory of the events that took place on the TV show, but the concept of a parallel, secret world existing at the same time beneath the very public one on the surface fascinated me.

This, of course, is also an excellent description of Twitter.

The ability to send private messages on public forums has been a feature on the internet for years – pretty much every bulletin board since day one has offered this feature. Few things are new on the web – people were sending flirty musings back and forth to each other privately on public platforms years before it seemed like a good idea to Jason Manford.

(Who, incidentally, I’m not judging per se – men have been men, and kiss and tells have been kiss and tells, long before the internet was even born. The only loser here is Manford’s wife.)

But where it’s very different with Twitter is none of these platforms broadcast the public side of these messages to 175 million users (and counting), nor did they offer the man and woman in the street first-hand access to many of the biggest celebrities, brands, venture capitalists, politicians and influencers on the planet.

There’s the Twitter we all kind of know and have come to accept – this is the one on the surface, the Twitter Above. Bad things happen from time to time, but for the most part it’s family-friendly, above-board, and nice.

But there’s another, very different Twitter, and this one takes place entirely in dark alleyways and shadowed corners, with denizens who have abandoned the openness of the medium in favour of a preferred, entirely secretive, one-to-one communication. Illicit relationships take place here, of course, but also plotting and scheming, backstabbing, stirring, deals, bullying, stalking and good, old-fashioned weirdness.

And yes, perhaps even revolution.

This is the Twitter Below.

Does it matter? Kinda. Consider for a moment, if you will, which gems might bob to the surface if Twitter has some kind of super-malfunction and all private messages are suddenly made public. The media would be eating off of that for years. Your dinner, meantime, might be a takeaway for one.

But what’s of more interest to me is just the idea of this other reality that is taking place concurrently with the one that sits contentedly, but otherwise unaware, above. Because while person A knows exactly what they’re saying privately to person B, persons C through Z haven’t got a clue. And person A has no idea what person B is really saying to person C, who maintains a public interest in person D, but the reality, hidden as it is, is quite different. And as for person E? The scandal.

Multiply that by tens of millions, and you have a super-complex London Underground style connectivity map of almost infinite possibility. Anything could be going on. Right under our very noses. And the whole thing just layers so magnificently. You flip the light switch, and Twitter keeps right on going.

And nobody in the audience has any idea.

"Dear Chinese Government…" (Twitter CEO Reacts After Chinese Activist Is Sent To Labour Camp For Tweet)

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo (@dickc) responds to the disturbing news that the Chinese government sentenced ‘activist’ Cheng Jianping to one year of ‘Re-education Through Labour’ on Monday for “disturbing social order”, after she retweeted a satirical suggestion (from her boyfriend) on October 17 that the Japanese Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo be attacked.

Will it do any good? Probably not. Twitter is banned in China, after all, and everybody knows that governments in communism countries with atrocious human rights records always follow the exact same rules they impose on the people – so they won’t even see it! – but it’s encouraging to witness somebody in Costolo’s position being proactive.

Although if he suddenly disappears, we’ll have a good idea of what might have happened.

Weekly Twitter Round Up: What You Might’ve Missed – November 19, 2010

Celebrities got more than their fair share of Twitter coverage this week, with royal weddings, baby bumps, and unlikely exchanges taking center stage. Here’s what you might’ve missed this week in Twitter news:
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