Last Friday, I flew from San Francisco to Seattle to celebrate my mom’s 85th birthday with her. She’s got quite a sweet tooth and a distinct fondness for chocolate cake, but packing a cake into your carry-on isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do so I decided instead to rely on her favorite restaurant to insert a candle in her dessert.
I had not heard of Celebrity Cake Studio before and wasn’t planning on buying a birthday cake in Tacoma, but Odette’s Tweet made me realize that Twitter can serendipitously answer your requests – even when you weren’t really expecting an answer.
I ended up tweeting with her and arrived at her studio the next day to purchase my mom’s cake. My mom was chuffed at the delicious three-layer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and I was thrilled to support a local Tacoma business. With a simple Tweet, Odette alerted me to her business, lured me in with her concise and enthusiastic messages, and got a new customer for life. New business was as easy as writing about a piece of cake!
I use TweetDeck to monitor various key phrases and our client names so I always know when they are subjects of discussion. It keeps me posted on sentiments, news and rumors in real-time. For anyone conducting business on Twitter, I recommend you search for key phrases relevant to your business and monitor these search queries for messages of praise, concern and/or need. It provides a direct line to current and future customers and provides a wonderful channel of dialogue.
And if you’re in Tacoma and need a great cake, please do visit Odette and say hi.
Perhaps it’s too easy and too much fun to break out the crystal ball and play prognosticator. I can’t even count the number of times an overzealous music writer has anointed yet another dime-store troubadour as the next Bob Dylan.
But we’re convinced that Paul Taylor of the Financial Times was onto something when he got his Nostradamus on and described the open-source Web conferencing tool Dimdim as “the shape of online conferencing to come.”
In his Personal Technology column in today’s FT, Taylor addressed how the recession has changed the way we conduct meetings, and how face-to-face encounters are being replaced by virtual ones. All of which bodes well for Dimdim, which he pegged as “the most interesting new Web-based conferencing package” and a tool that’s “ready to go head-to-head with the sector’s big boys.” He also predicted that free services, such as Dimdim, “will shift the balance.”
Now, if we can just get Mr. Taylor to give us his pick for the most capable candidate to cover “All Along the Watchtower.”
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
Peter Bratt tackles some of life’s heaviest issues in his film, La Mission, that headlined the opening of the San Francisco Film Festival. Starring his brother, Benjamin Bratt, Peter’s film was made on the streets of San Francisco, where he grew up. It’s a film that will stir your emotions. Respect and applause for Peter.
I was just reading this blog post which showed the profile of the person who was Ashton Kutcher’s one millionth follower. Interesting that this person has never Tweeted yet has several followers and is only following two. This isn’t exactly indicative of what Twitter is – or should I say, has been. I’ve enjoyed it for the two- or multi-way communications. But I’ve noticed that more and more people are coming on to Twitter that don’t participate – or they overly “participate” by constantly sending salesy Tweets. I’ve noticed a big change in the patterns of people who follow/unfollow me and how I do the same. A shift is occurring and it’s changing the landscape. Will it remain a conversant community or will it become a platform of eaos and sales pitches?
I’m not sure what to think of this new race to see who gets a million followers first. On the one hand, it seems like some strange popularity contest, where we’re all supposed to run like lemmings and “follow” after a celeb to give him/her more validation and status in the eyes of their peers. Or maybe it’s simply to stroke their ego? I don’t know, but it feels a bit awkward for me.
On the other hand, I’ve read that Ashton Kutcher is going to buy 10,000 mosquito bed nets if he beats CNN to a million followers and CNN said they’d match that if they reach a million followers before him. I applaud them for their charitable actions, but just wish they would have stated that *before* they went on this race to collect followers, rather than afterwards. But hey, I shouldn’t criticize – at least they’re doing something good.
Given this race to collect mega-followers just for the sake of the numbers, I’m re-examining if I understand what Twitter is all about.
I thought Twitter was about the ability to talk to others in a two- or multi-way conversation, without the barriers of status, physicality, situation or velvet ropes. Twitter leveled the playing field so any one of us could “@ reply” somebody else – whether they were Ashton Kutcher, Neil Diamond, or the latest person coming on supposedly tomorrow, Oprah Winfrey. This notion of collecting “followers” as a status symbol doesn’t feel right. I like Robert Scoble‘s approach – he follows almost everyone that follows him and actively responds to everyone – not just celebs, but even those with a single follower. It probably takes a lot of time for him, but it seems quite genuine and warm.
Connecting with people on the internet, even if only for 140 characters at time, can feed into us in many positive ways. I’ve met many interesting people through Twitter and enjoy these new relationships; plus I now even rely on Twitter for my daily news. I hope Twitter remains the place where serendipitous conversations can happen – and not the place where we can collect people like we can collect stamps.
Have a few gadgets at home? Maybe a BlackBerry, an iPod, Nintendo DS, Flip video recorder, etc.? You know how you have to set up the software for all these bleeping gadgets because there isn’t a universal tool that connects them all? Well, your frustration at sharing media between various devices has come to an end. Today, doubleTwist launched the PC version of their software which lets dogs and cats live together in harmony (the Mac version has been available since February 2009).
It’s quite simple: doubleTwist is a unifying media platform that connects consumers with all their media and all their devices, regardless of whether they are online or offline. So you can stop worrying about formats and silly file names like DSC50491.jpg and just let doubleTwist do the work.
They’ve also raised another round of funding from heavy hitters like former Disney honcho Michael Ovitz, former Head of Digital Strategy at Warner Music Alex Zubillaga, Index Ventures, China’s richest man Li Ka-Shing, and Northzone Ventures. Their Series B was $5 million, bringing the total to $7.3 million.
Been thinking about getting your hands on that brand-spanking new Nintendo DSi that’s shipping this weekend ? Or how about replacing that fridge that keeps fritzing? Is it time to get a new bling watch? If you’ve got the patience and smarts to do a bit of homework and build your strategy, you could well land an incredible deal on brand-name, brand-new consumer goods at an average of 65% off MSRP at Swoopo. And while you score on Swoopo, Swoopo has scored funding with venerable August Capital, the venture capital firm behind such behemoths as Microsoft, Intuit, Seagate, Sun and Symantec.
Travel expenses getting you and your company down? Do you need to hold a seminar, meeting or class — or just meet up with the far-flung members of a book club or church group?
Dimdim answers all these needs through its FREE, easy, open-source web conferencing mastery. The company today unveils Dimdim 5, an even faster and more secure version of what remains the most effortless, affordable and open web-conferencing solution to date. Check out the new version, which introduces improved screencasting, webinar widgets, registration reports. And did we mention it requires no downloads? Dimdim is also introducing a new pricing plan for its Pro version that’s saves customers money over competitors.
Go ahead and live your dream of diagramming basketball plays online — just in time for this weekend’s Final Four.
Check out this video demo to see Dimdim 5 in all its web conferencing glory:
Ever go to the store with your list of things to buy, then realize you left it on the counter when you get there? ReQall to the rescue. But what’s even cooler for me, is that I can be driving by the pet store and will receive an IM that I need to pick up another 25 lb of bird seed (we’ve got a bunch of hungry twitterers, and I don’t mean the digital kind)!
Check out David Pogue’s “State of the Art” column for his full review.