The best Twitter application guide

The ultimate guide to Twitter applications has been an idea many people have had. In fact, I even blogged about trying to start one with other Twitter bloggers back in January. But now Laura Fitton (@pistachio) and an engineering team have unveiled oneforty (no relation!) which is effectively the Twitter version of the iPhone app store.

Sign in with OAuth, and you can fill out your profile, including listing your favourite Tweeters etc. The site will automatically list any applications it picks up from your account – and then you can start finding and adding any others that it might have missed.

badgergravling on oneforty

badgergravling on oneforty

There’s a curated list of Essential Applications, Most Popular, and the ability to suggest apps that may have been missed. Developers can list and claim their applications, add screenshots and reviews etc, and members of oneforty can then rate and review any application they wish.

Laura is also the Principal of Pistachio Consulting, which concentrates on microblogging, and the author of Twitter for Dummies. So she knows her stuff.

Jumping back into the Twitter Stream with Twitter for Dummies

Much like the constant updates of Twitter itself, picking what to write about after a break enforced by work/family is tricky as a huge amount of microblogging and Twitter coverage flows through my RSS feeds on a daily basis – so expect plenty of catching up shortly.

The admirable Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) reminded me this morning that there’s only a week left for open contributions to Twitter for Dummies.

The good thing is that you don’t need to write everything up:

Want to see your tip, idea or case study in Twitter for Dummies? Submit it today and get your friends to vote it up. We can’t include everything, but we’ll mention as many of the best ones as we can.

A line or two is enough, or a link to the full story. You don’t need to write it up completely here.

Vote on ideas by category and add your stuff too. Click the categories in the sidebar to go through them one at a time. Thanks!

–Advanced tips and techniques
–Business and Twitter
–Case Studies – Business
–Case Studies – Personal
–Etiquette
–Facts and Factoids
–Favorite Twitter Tools
–Government/Politics and Twitter
–How to Grow Your Network
–NOMINATE THE CHARITY
–Nonprofits and Twitter
–Personal use of Twitter
–Security
–Sharing multimedia
–SUGGEST A NEW CATEGORY
–Tips for New Users
–URL Shorteners
–Uses of Twitter
–What NOT to Do

We’ll keep taking ideas for one more week — until Wednesday, April 8, 2009. We can’t guarantee your story will make it into the final edition. We CAN guarantee that the most popular charity submitted and voted up will get 10% of the royalties from book sales.’

So as long as you interact by Wednesday, you’ll get to share some knowledge, possibly be listed in a Dummies guide, and raise some money for charity.

Making charity happen via Twitter

Twitter marketer and celebrity Laura Fitton (@Pistachio) has come up with a great charity campaign over Christmas, having realised that just $2 from each of her followers would mean $25,000 – enough for a water project for a school or hospital by Charity Water.

The impetus for this is the fact that 5,000 children die every day from the lack of clean drinking water.

And as a bonus, if $10,000 plus gets raised, it’ll be matched by Tipjoy and Betaworks. Plus all fees are being waived for micropayments via Twitter for this case by Tipjoy.

But Laura puts it far more passionately and eloquently than I can (plus there are more details on the charity, payments, and even an easy form to use), so

If that isn’t enough, Squidoo is also giving money to charity – Every time you tweet a message from the list of 21 charities, it’s a vote which means $1 is donated to that charity (one per person, per day), up to a maximum of $30,000.

Both might be slightly overshadowing my own Twitter charity pledge – @digitalmaverick and myself are racing to 2000 followers, with the loser doing a charity forfeit. Plus I’m giving £20 to a charity chosen by my 2000th follower!

Corporate twitter acounts spawn ‘Twitteriocy’

Picked up via Pistachio Consulting, is Jeremy Pepper’s post on ‘Twitteriocy’, or some simple rules on how to use a corporate Twitter account, and basic etiquette – inspired by a personal encounter with someone following him.

While I don’t think microblogging benefits from too strict a set of rules, the guidelines he lays out are simple and provide a pretty good grounding.

Be yourself, don’t follow everyone back, use a decent client like Tweetdeck, be engaged, be personable, be responsive, be a person, and remember that social media, including microblogging, doesn’t work for every company or individual.

So something very similar to the best practice for all social media!

I’d add:

  • Be realistic, and don’t expect 1000 followers overnight, or 1000 referrals from every link you post.
  • Stick with it – if you’re going to use these tools, be prepared for the mid-to-long term commitment needed. It took me two attempts at using Twitter to understand why it was so invaluable and addictive. And far longer to try and find the right level between addiction and a reasonable amount of time investment.
  • It might still be worth registering your brand name to stop ‘brandjacking‘, but use it to lead people to your real representatives.

Any more?

Twitter to provide for internal company use….

A really useful article by Laura Fitton (@pistachio) on Mashable comparing 15 microblogging tools for enterprises also reveals an important and interesting quote on Twitter from Ev Williams. ( Laura has kindly clarified in the comments that she referenced the list of tools maintained by Jeremiah Owyang)

‘Private networks that do private or company-internal sharing via Twitter are on the horizon,’

This is big news considering the size of Twitter relative to all other microblogging platforms. I’d suggest their advantage is to create the private areas within the larger Twittersphere, as one of the problems of tools such as Yammer is that for normal businesses (i.e. non early-adopter tech firms), there simply isn’t critical mass.

Allow early adopters to connect within a company, and frame that within the larger Twittersphere, and it keeps the interest up while allowing the company users to grow.

(Then again, if it’s coming at the same speed as restoring IM functionality etc, it may be some way off!)