Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A book report on the topic of lensrank

Lensrank has long been a topic that has hit the Topicability Index. Much has been discussed on the SquidU Forum with regards to lensrank:
  • how to get a lens into the top tier
  • how to keep it there
  • squid angels' blessings and lensrank
  • purple stars effect on lensrank
  • falling lensrank
  • bottom-feeders of lensrank -- those lenses that seem to fall even out of the last tier which has a 85,000 lensrank cut-off currently
Well, today a lens came into the Topicability radar in that the lens is another lensmaster's take on an existing lens that I happened to author. They are both SquidLit book review lenses! How appropriate for us to discuss this book report on the topic of lensrank don't you think? It also compares something old vs. something new. And, might also show the impact of Squid Angel blessings too!

First of all, back in January 2009, I purchased Julie & Julia at our local Borders store. Hubby and I were in the store looking for some other books, but when I spotted the cover and title of Julie and Julia, I was hooked. You see I am Julie and my grandmother is Julia! Get it? I always wanted to cook just like my grandma Julia Nagy. So, it was my hook!

Lens #1 -- Julie and Julia -- The Book by lensmaster JaguarJulie.
Created: January 2, 2009
Ranked: #277 in Books
Lensrank: #27,800 overall
Lens Rating: by 26 people
Favorites: 9
Total Traffic: 15 visits this week
Angels Blessings:
Guestbook: 9 comments
Poll #1: 18 votes
Poll #2: 9 votes
Duel: 8
Plexo #1: 34 votes

Lens #2 -- A Julie And Julia Book Review by Treasures-By-Brenda.
Created: September 20, 2009
Ranked: #826 in Arts
Lensrank: #15,791 overall
Lens Rating: by 9 people
Favorites: 3
Total Traffic: 8 visits this week
Angels Blessings: 5 visits by Squid Angels
Guestbook: 8 comments
Poll #1: 7 votes
Poll #2: 0 votes
Duel: 0

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Twitter Etiquette Interview with GypsyOwl

A Twitter Etiquette Interview with Squidoo Lensmaster GypsyOwl. Topicability readers, today we continue on our discussions about Twitter and Twitter Etiquette with a very special interview with GypsyOwl aka Deborah Bryan. Topicability is providing this interview today to help those of us who might need a little help with our Twitter updates -- how to not flood Twitter; how to send meaningful Twitter updates; bottom line: what are some of the do's and don'ts of Twitter Etiquette?

GypsyOwl was selected after a rather extensive analysis of the Twitter Score for a number of Squidoo lensmasters using Twitter. According to the Twitter Score Report, GypsyOwl ranks at a 7.8 out of 10. Of all Squidoo lensmasters analyzed, GypsyOwl had the highest Twitter score! JaguarJulie ranked at a 7.3 out of 10. Quite a few though could be found with a Twitter score of under 3.0!

Deborah, thank you for taking time today to agree to this interview for Topicability. So, let's begin, shall we?

Q. How do you use Twitter in your daily life?
A. Twitter has several applications in my daily life.
  • It is a great way to stay connected with family, friends, and associates.
  • I use it to touch base with Team members during project development & deployment,
  • My clients use it to alert me to emails (since I use an email management strategy) so I will retrieve timely updates at un-scheduled times.
Q. How do you promote your Squidoo lenses through Twitter?
A. I have a variety of processes in place to promote my Squidoo lenses through Twitter. A couple of these include:
  • Posterous account - Auto Tweets to my SquidGypsyOwl Twitter profile. My Posterous account showcases many lensmaster's lenses. I submit a lens sighting (by email) to the account and have an auto post installed so it will post to my SquidGypsyOwl Twitter profile.
  • Direct Tweets - Through my GypsyOwl Twitter profile. Direct tweets are about 'sections' of a lens (the updated portion or the most popular section). For this I will create a tweet or click on the "twitter" icon near the section I want to promote on the lens and then revise the tweet.
Q. Do you promote your Squidoo referral link through Twitter?
A. Yes. When I have a promotion which requires registration on Squidoo to participate, I will incorporate the Squidoo Referral Link into the tweet. This is a convenience measure so people will not have to search around to find access to leave comments on the Squidoo site.
Q. Do you have some thoughts on best practices of Twitter?
A. Personally, I believe Twitter use can be best compared to a dinner party at a highly honored and respected friend’s house. You will want to engage, roam around the room, meet people, help people when you can, introduce people to each other, and build relationships. You will always be thinking about your friend and the general rules of conduct she embraces.
Q. What does Twitter Etiquette mean to you?
A. Twitter Etiquette is defined in many ways and interpreted in over 82 thousand different ways. Each user of the service has an opinion and realistically it would be impossible to align with all of these perspectives. Embracing the diversity is the most important aspect of the Twitterverse, which in essence is the reason Twitter, has become a central portal for International communications.
Q. Do you recommend using automated tweets?
A. Automated tweeting services can provide a variety of benefits and they can also be the failing force for users who do not moderate the usage. The following are my personal do’s and don’ts for automated tweets.

Do:
  • Set up an automated welcome message (DM). Ask your new follower to send you an @ message. Personally check each new follower (to limit spammers and “follow me - I’ll follow you” scams) and select to follow each one after you have reviewed their profile.
  • Send announcements (not about your blog, Squidoo, etc) that will be of interest to your followers. Use this to send 2-3 tweets during different times of a day (one day – two at the most) to ensure your announcement has been seen by a great deal of your followers.
  • Set up your #followfriday stream (if you participate) which will introduce your followers to a few people you recommend and include “why” you recommend them. Spread these out, hourly for example, over the day (Friday only).
  • Set up Tips about your niche and spread them out (once a day or twice a day).

Don’t
  • Self promote or include any links in the automated welcome message. Do not auto follow new followers (see “Do” section).
  • Automate self promotional messages, repetitive “read my stuff,” or what could be called “re-tweeting yourself.”
  • No need to include a links in your Tips, because if your followers want to find your website or blog they simply click on your Twitter name and find the link on your Twitter profile.
Q. What about what they say -- you are what you Tweet?
A. The most important thing to remember about Twitter is everyone is listening. It is easy to believe at times that there are only a handful of people seeing your tweets. But, the truth is they are being seen over and over again through various applications around the world. Each message finds its way into a time capsule which can be opened at any time by anyone anywhere in the world.
Q. Can you sum up how you think of Twitter?
A. Bottom line, it is really about building relationships. Are the majority of your followers developing respect for you and trust in your recommendations? Are you beginning to remember the names of the people behind the avatar? When you meet new people on Twitter and start to get to know them, do you think of someone else who would be a great recommendation for them?
Thank you GypsyOwl aka Deborah Bryan for your insight on Twitter Etiquette.
GypsyOwl on Twitter | SquidGypsyOwl on Twitter | GypsyOwl on Posterous | GypsyOwl is a Squidoo Lensmaster and Giant Squid 100 Club member. Deborah Bryan has been a member since February 19, 2007, has rated 767 lenses, favorited 792, and has created 163 lenses from scratch. Deborah Bryan donates their royalties to Covenant House.

More about the Author of Topicability, JaguarJulie:
JaguarJulie on Twitter | JaguarJulie Blog On and On | JaguarJulie on Posterous | JaguarJulie was a Squidoo Lensmaster and Giant Squid 100 Club member. JaguarJulie has been a member since March 21, 2006, has rated 5,305 lenses, favorited 510, and has created 489 lenses from scratch.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thou shalt not flame - Forum Etiquette

Thou shalt not flame, harass, denigrate, spam, or malign -- Forum Etiquette! Have you been following along with the latest Topicability blog posts -- and then being sure to read ALL the comments.

When I was tackling the broad and worthy subject of Twitter Etiquette, I eluded to the fact that I would soon be tackling Forum Etiquette. Well, here I am sitting here working on this blog post a bit early. Why? Well, it is thanks to a fellow lensmaster Deb aka flowergardener. We got to know each other quite a while ago, but as life is -- we each have been very busy with the daily stresses and many sequence of events which take us away from the daily civility of conversations. But, that is not meant to indicate that we do NOT care what the other individual might be up to -- or what challenges they face -- we know that we all have to come to grip with life!

So, what was I saying about etiquette? Oh, I wanted to next talk about the rules of forum etiquette. At the moment, I will contain this etiquette lesson strictly to the Squidoo, Squidu Forum, as I am not yet active, on a daily basis, in other forums like maybe that Zazzle Forum. But, I'm sure I will be making my way there soon. So, as etiquette goes, forum etiquette should be universal in concept.

Today's topic gets a kick-start from flowergardener Deb in that she took time away from her busy morning to post quite a meaningful post in the Squidu Forum.

"I just looked up the stuff that was in our TOS: flame, harass, denigrate, spam, and malign. Here they are, pulled from google definition searches."
flame:
An Internet user typically generates a flame response to other posts or users posting on a site, and such a response is usually not constructive, does not clarify a discussion, and does not persuade others. Sometimes, flamers attempt to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority over other users. Other times, a flamer is simply an individual who believes he or she carries the only valid opinion. This leads him or her to personally attack those who disagree. In some cases, flamers wish to upset and offend other members of the forum, in which case they can be called "trolls". Most often however, flamers are angry or insulting messages transmitted by people who have strong feelings about a subject.

harass:
To irritate or torment persistently. To wear out; exhaust. To impede and exhaust (an enemy) by repeated attacks or raids.

denigrate:
To speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame.
To denigrate someone's character.
To treat or represent as lacking in value or importance; belittle; disparage: to denigrate someone's contributions to a project.
To make black; blacken: rain clouds denigrating the sky.

spam:
we all should know what this is

malign:
To say unpleasant things about (someone or something), especially without reason.
To speak unfavorably about, traduce; drag through the mud.
Thank you flowergardener for taking time to look all these up. Yes, forum posters! Do you understand that thou shalt not flame, harass, denigrate, spam, or malign other forum posters? Heck, this is something that is a principle of social interactions. It applies elsewhere online AND in life.

So, let's think about this for a moment shall we? In our recent dealings online, can you say that you have observed these "not to do" principles? Can YOU?


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another Day of Business as Usual in the Twitter Flooding

Another Day of Business as Usual in the Twitter Flooding! Gosh, I would hate to go so far as to say clueless, but it surely seems some people are clueless with their incessant drowning of Twitter with the same tweets over and over and over again!

I am hoping to get past this topic and on to the positive examples of excellent Twitter users -- there are some fine examples amongst Squidoo lensmasters. Not to worry, we will be coming out of the darkness soon to showcase the shining examples.

But to return to that multiple twitter user/Squidoo lensmaster who also does multiple, duplicate posting on the forums. Do you know WHAT it 'sounds' like or 'looks' like with those machine guy, rapid fire tweets on the same links?

Here is session #1 converted into what they are saying:
Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Check out my store, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Check out my store, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens!
And, here is their second session, through their second Twitter ID, for the same links, converted into what they are saying:
Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Follow me on Squidoo, Follow me on Squidoo, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens, Read my Squidoo lens
Do you get that? Does converting the repetitive tweets not zero in on the craziness of all that promotion? I don't know about you, but I might need to schedule me a lobotomy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Case Study - The Flooding of Twitter

Today I am following up my previous Topicability blog post, A Lensmaster, Giant Squid and Twitter Etiquette, with a bit of a case study on using Twitter to make meaningful and engaging Twitter updates or tweets. For this case study, I have selected two Twitter users who will remain anonymous to protect their identities! It is an intentional coincidence that I have selected two Twitter IDs which happen to be multiple IDs for the same user.

The objective of any case study should be to show how to do something right; however, you sometimes have to point out the wrongs to make a point on how to do something right. Or, to show what not to do.

I've used an Excel spreadsheet to perform my Twitter tweet density analyses. I have used a "session" to analyze -- a session meaning a consecutive series of tweets at one sitting.

In the single session use of the one Twitter user, there were some 43 tweets. These tweets comprised 79.1% promoting Squidoo lenses, 16.3% with a Squidoo referral link, and the remainder for an online store. In the single session of the other Twitter user, there were some 35 tweets. These tweets comprised 82.9% promoting Squidoo lenses, 17.1% with a Squidoo referral link, and I don't believe any for an online store. The averages for these two users' sessions are 80.8% promoting Squidoo lenses, 16.7% with a Squidoo referral link, and 2.6% for an online store. The margin of error is probably less than 2%.

Do you remember what I blogged about yesterday; i.e. Chris Brogan's Twitter Etiquette? Let me repeat two of those points here:
  • Promoting others and talking with others is a great way to show your participation to the community.

  • Only blurting out your information and links doesn’t usually come off as friendly or community-minded.
Go ahead and revisit those numbers I've included: The averages for these two users' sessions are 80.8% promoting Squidoo lenses, 16.7% with a Squidoo referral link, and 2.6% for an online store. The margin of error is probably less than 2%. Ladies and gentlemen, neither Twitter user engaged any other member in these quick succession of tweets! Not only does this do a disservice to the Twitter followers following these two Twitter users, but it seriously floods Twitter with what is blatant self-promotion. And, it's virtually all Squidoo related! What in the world is this saying to other Twitter users when they see all this Squidoo Squidoo Squidoo stuff tweet after tweet after tweet.

Well, further analyses on the actual combination tweets showed some slight variation on some of the tweets -- nothing terribly major -- but some attempt was made to disquise the duplicate content. However, analyzing the tweets showed 16.7% for the same referral link. The density numbers for the other tweets were 3-4 minimum and higher. What that density number means is that the same lens is being promoted more than once in a single session -- and piggybacking off the second user for multiple tweets of a minimum 3-4 times. Some links exceeded the 3-4 times tweeted when combining the two sessions.

Has any of this analyses made sense? Do you get the point that I am making today? Twitter asks you "what are you doing" which is meant to encourage you to share and interact with your followers. I really don't think Twitter was intended to be a flooding marketing machine with machine gun, rapid fire tweets that clog people's in boxes. I seriously can't imagine any Twitter Power how-to book telling you to configure several dozen automatic tweets to promote the same content over and over again with multiple IDs. Do I dare say that this is not SPAM?

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Lensmaster, Giant Squid and Twitter Etiquette

This morning finds me reading a number of helpful blogs on proper Twitter Etiquette. It was a fellow, respected lensmaster and giant squid who suggested to me the other day that I write a lens:
... on how to spread out Tweets, use Tweeting services to spread them out, and write effective Tweets to get attention, rather than clog inboxes for only a few minutes once a day!
So, I happened upon A Brief and Informal Twitter Etiquette Guide by Chris Brogan. I have extracted a few of the tips that Chris offers us that I think are so worthy of pointing out today:
  • Promoting others and talking with others is a great way to show your participation to the community.
  • Only blurting out your information and links doesn’t usually come off as friendly or community-minded.
  • However, the more you can respond, the more people tend to stay with you and build relationships.
  • People might unfollow you if you tweet excessively.
  • It’s not polite to direct message people you don’t know well with your automated quiz results or similar.
Perhaps you have read my Squidoo lens, How Often Should You Send a Twitter Update? "Do you do one a day, one an hour, or one every few minutes? What is the acceptable number of updates -- is there such a thing?" What kind of twitter updates do you send? As a lensmaster, and more importantly, a Giant Squid, it is imperative that we observe a certain protocol with Twitter Etiquette.

Personally, I employ a balance to my Twitter updates. If I opt to update my 484 Squidoo lenses, it is in extreme moderation that I simply click the Twitter button that tells everyone that I updated my Squidoo lens. I've seen Twitter users who have sent only those tweets. Twitter isn't about Squidoo promotion you know -- moderation is key! Now that we have the special, interactive module pages for our reader content on lenses, it is a cool feature that you can send a Twitter update on that content. Again, in moderation!

If you are tweeting, "I just updated by Squidoo lens" over and over and over again, what is that going to say about Squidoo? If you noticed a Twitter "user" who doesn't engage their followers or friends through Twitter, but only opts to send Squidoo lenses over and over again, this blatant self-promotion will surely cast a unkind light on that lensmaster -- hopefully this lensmaster is not a Giant Squid!

Do you realize that there was a Google slap for spam a couple of years ago? Do you realize that Squidoo is filtering through lenses that are spammy to lock those? Do you realize that certain topics are now considered taboo on the Squidoo platform? For some lensmasters, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, what is junk to one lensmaster may be considered a beautiful thing to another lensmaster. We are dealing with cultures worldwide, with different perceptions on what is right and wrong. I don't know that there has been an ISO Standard written on spam and junk -- sometimes there appears to be gray areas of interpretation.

Are you tweeting Squidoo, Squidoo, Squidoo over and over and over again? Like perhaps you are all excited about the opportunity to write about your passions and interests and make some royalties for your work, so you are shouting about that on Twitter -- over and over and over again? I've noticed lately, some Twitter users who are Squidoo lensmasters tweeting their Squidoo referral link a number of times. Sending your Squidoo referral link over and over again is really not a good thing. All good things are done in moderation.

Giant Squids have higher standards than lensmasters who are striving to achieve that honor. Sure, you've heard that you can create 50 QUALITY lenses and then apply to become a Giant Squid. However, there are certain responsibilities that come with that title of Giant Squid. Giant Squids are respectful not only of their fellow lensmasters, Squid Angels, Giant Squids, and Squidoo HQ, but they conduct themselves in a manner that would make others proud to know them. Giant Squids are a beacon of light for what is good at Squidoo. A beacon of light for what is good at Squidoo.

You may want to follow @chrisbrogan on Twitter because he offers sage advice for proper Twitter Etiquette as well as other valuable social media tips.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Everything is coming up just Tickety Boo

Ah yes, to us Squidoo lensmasters we probably FIRST got to know the expression about the Squidoo servers running tickety boo. But, for the majority of us lensmasters, do you really KNOW about that expression? It has been quite a while ago that I researched tickety boo through a Google search and to my delight, discovered The Old Wizard Tickety Boo, a book by Scott Morton. I was so enthralled by this magical book, that I blogged about it in JaguarJulie Blog On in March 2009. Then, after my blog post, I 'met' the author online and was delighted to see that he joined me on Squidoo on March 22, 2009.

Old Wizard Tickety BooThe internet can be a magical place, bringing people together worldwide. Scott opted to join The Journal of the Traveling Squid, the goodwill project connecting lensmasters and giant squids worldwide. On August 26, 2009, Scott and the Wizard Tickety Boo made their appearance in the traveling squid. Have you seen the photo journey of the traveling squid? It is pretty amazing to see where the traveling squid has been; to see all the wonderful lensmasters who have participated; to read their awesome journal entries. You will find the Wizard Tickety Boo not only in the journal, but also on the Giant Squid t-shirt. Thanks Scott, for sharing the wizard with us!

You can find Wizard and Author Scott Morton on Facebook, Zazzle, and on Squidoo as a lensmaster with some very cool lenses! Want that book? Get The Old Wizard Tickety Boo from Scott!