Building blocks for Twitter success (that may get you or @britneyspears a Shorty Award)


Some thoughts about building 7 blocks or “pillars”. A new way of looking at your Twitter presence.

But first why the pic of Britney?

Now into their 5th year the Shorty Awards are becoming increasingly relevant and even Britney is chasing one this year. Luckily she is not campaigning in #green but I am up against other celebrities! You should try it out in your favorite category and see how you go. Its a fun thing and I also hope to use it to make a difference for the planet.

I know some of you struggle to keep your twitter accounts growing and want to do better so I’m giving out 7 clear tips here by the way of building blocks or pillars that will make it a more meaningful experience for you. Twitter is fantastic fun so please stick with it!

My reason for using twitter is not to make money but 3 major things. To connect people in the environmental space so that they co-ordinate their projects, to help them get their wonderful messages out in a more effective manner and to inspire the use Twitter and Social Media in general by environmentalists. You see nearly all of them remain unfortunately sceptical of the return on time and energy spent online.

I believe that together we can alter that mindset by inspiration and I discuss this lower down. In particular I like dolphins and am highly active in groups concerned with their well being.

So before we even get started I would like you to stop and consider the reason YOU log into Twitter. What is your why? The bigger this is and the more it resonates with you the more effective you will become.

All these pillars are essential building blocks and should be consistently refined. For example I spent 2 hours yesterday rebuilding my list @mqtodd/retweeters-communicative to include my recently most supportive and engaging people. Not only on just Twitter but on Facebook and Empire Avenue too. I see the social web as one big open space you see. Twitter is simply a network or a tool.

The Pillars work on the premise that you must be firstly known, then liked, followed and promoted before you are bought from. Know me (niche, location), Like me (content), Follow Me (social networking), Promote Me (Be shareable) and Buy from me (Have a product or a reason).

1st Pillar. Niche? What is your account about?

How do people see it? I suggest this be 2 or 3 things and be kept relatively narrow. If for example you want to connect with bloggers then tweet about blogging and social media. With maybe a local twist so that people can distinguish you. 10% or so of your tweets about London for example will mean that your followers remember that you are Steven the blogging coach from London and set you apart from other bloggers. Resist the temptation to tweet about health or say motor racing even if you are passionate about these things. Maybe make another account to tweet about them from.

It is increasingly important to be added to lists by the top people in your niche you see. Then they will become your advocates. Be a specialist.I for example watch and share primarily from 3 lists and I presume that others do the same. Mine are @mqtodd/mediatechnology (best news and views), @mqtodd/green (eco news), @mqtodd/retweeters-communicative )people who share my content), and @mqtodd/people-i-look-for (the people doing twitter the best who I either have a relationship with or want to).

2nd Pillar. Get the best tools working for you.

Master the use of certain tools. Then you will have a base of skill and technological support which will propel

Buffer App, Twitter lists inside (at least 4 really good ones as I explain just above), Twylah, Hootsuite,  Manage Flitter and Tweetadder (see the link to get a seven day free trial just to your right and down a bit). These are just a few I am using every day.



3rd Pillar. Content.

Your tweets have to be highly readable and it will help immeasurably if you also blog in your niche regularly and well. Be an authority and give massive value for free. Enough said! This the age of content marketing. Insanely great content in your niche will drive everything for you. Give out everything for free like I am doing here.

4th Pillar. Be social.
My Twitter experience exploded after I joined Empire Avenue in April 2011. Before that I was literally unknown and I was struggling to form relationships with the top tweeters. I was not being social enough on social media! There is absolutely zero way I would have been able to do this without Empire Avenue.

Now I am hanging out socially with key Twitter collaborators in Empire Avenue-related Facebook groups and this has spun off into involvement in Facebook groups of other communities such as 12 Most, Triberr, and more.

Constantly invite your followers to connect with you on different platforms so as to deepen relationships. 140 characters is not always enough and conversation not always easy in Twitter. For example use a Xeeme profile which has links to all your main places ( to which my twitter account has sent over 40,000 vists). Regularly promote that profile.

Join Twitter parties called Tweetchats. Search the hashtags #pinchat (if you like Pinterest) #toolschat #getrealchat #mediachat #linkedinchat #smmanners and #eavchat for example. If you are really daring join #slumberparty. Come have fun.

5th Pillar. Be shared.
Making your content readily shareable is key. Have your blog or website set up for sharing (like I have the sliding share buttons out to the right and the bar below). This will lead to you getting followers.

On Twitter itself keep tweets short and sharp and informative to get retweeted.

However you have to do more. Be active and visible for example in communities like Triberr, Empire Avenue, Scoopit, Klout and Stumble Upon. These places alone “drive” around 200 tweets a day as @ mentions into @mqtodd. From there I can see who is sharing for me and I can thank and reciprocate.

6th Pillar. Be real

People like people. People especially like people like themselves.
Share photos with twitpic, foursquare checkins (with a photo as well), quirky real life experiences. Not all the time but regularly. Have a photo not a logo, even if you are a cause or a company. People like communicating with people. Be fun and engaging. Twitter is an open, random and supportive place. Be open, random and supportive.

7th Pillar. Playing small serves no-one. Least of all yourself.

Twitter is a very public space. In fact it is the only truly public social network. At some time you have to step up and become a leader. Begin communities, be the best in your niche and do not be scared to say so.Write a book, promote your achievements and successes from time to time. If the lower 7 pillars are all in order this should presumably happen naturally. Once you allow it. You have no right to play small.

If you have had any value from this or any of my other posts or tweets I would like a small favour please. I am at present involved in competition called the Shorty Awards. These are by far the most established and important social media awards. There are several categories and mine is #green.

I would like to get your vote in the #green category please. You can either do that by going to the awards website here and vote from there or you can vote with a tweet you make up. The tweet must be original, must contain the words @mqtodd #green and shorty awards and give a short reason. Use only the hashtag green or you will confuse their search robot!

Some examples of tweets I have had in the awards so far are…

From @DatingDiva
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because because his heart and action are as Green as his Hair!

From @CyndeeHaydon
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because of work with water, dolphins and sustainability

From @KathleenDeCosmo
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because he connects people in the green space.

From @HOmerAktas
I nominate @mqtodd for a Shorty Award in #green because he is a real supporter of the issue.

So anything like this will do.

This means a lot to me. I desperately want to use Twitter to make a difference for the environment and especially inspire others to do the same. Winning or even just becoming a finalist in these awards will help me take a massive step towards achieving this. I will need around 1000 votes I imagine. I am excited about the chance I have to inspire people. Vote for Britney as well if she rocks your boat. You can vote for as many people in as many categories as you like.

So please vote. It will take you 30 seconds or so and I will be massively grateful. Please also share this post with your friends on Twitter in the hope that they will learn from it. The better they get the better they will be at sharing and promoting you!

Thank you so much








What does “Being social online” really mean? What do you need to do?

Being “social” in online terms does not necessarily equate to “socialising” only. This is social “media” so a certain amount of content and content marketing strategy is also required. So is a choice of where you are going to spend your precious time.

You can have an effective social media presence in say 9 hours a week and I do hope that you will be daily. So around 75 mins a day with an extra hour for writing say 2 blog posts and making a video or 2 sometime during the week.

The crucial factor is deciding where your main place is going to be and you should give one place say half your time and energy. Like writing? Maybe build a community around your blog. Photography then maybe Instagram is the place for you. It has to be fun for you!

Why follow back? On some networks this will not be possible. For example on Google Plus you can circle only 5,000 but an unlimited number can circle you. When possible though people love being connected to you on an equal basis and there are sufficient tools and strategies to control the “noise” of messages if you are prepared to learn them.

In some places particularly Twitter following back is necessary.
In the next half an hour you should focus on your main place. Where you love and people love you. Where your hardcore community of fans is gradually growing. Where more and more people are becoming your vocal advocates. Post great content here and be fun and friendly with the key influencers in that network. Thank and praise and question liberally and share as well. Maybe have a “circle” of say 20 people whose content you like the best and share one piece a week. You will quickly become a star in this place. Maybe initially just a local star but persistence and passion will pay off. Keep your social media conversations positive, polite and public.

Spend a little time learning new tools. This may be a curating site like Scoopit. A scheduling tool like Buffer. Try to have at least two new weapons in your social media arsenal each week. Pick a recommended tool and watch a video about it. Try it out briefly. Keep up.

When people see you being at least slightly social in their favorite place (usually Facebook) then they will take the chance of initiating connection and will become engagers on and sharers of your content if they like it and you.

You need to be talking to people a bit everywhere. I explain a little bit more here…Hope you like my Japanese bath ….




Thank you so much for reading all this. Let`s get social!



3 #EmpireAvenue Instagram photos of 2012 by @artofimagery @snowinri & @davidsanger

At the end of 2012 I ran a contest on Instagram and got Empire Avenue members to nominate their best 3 photographs of 2012.

It was not easy as the standard was high. I have chosen 10 images to delight you with and will give some background information about each of the photographers.

I will feature 3 in this post and another 3 tomorrow. In no particular order. Thank you to everyone who took part.

These photographers are a little special because they all communicate daily on various social media places and are very generous with their time and knowledge. I hope that you will follow them at the places of your choice.

ben heys bigger profile pic Ben Heys
Professional photographer specialising in artistic model & travel photography from Ipswich, Australia.

Ben`s tip is
“Be in control of your camera. Learn how shutter speed and aperture effect a picture, it’ll take all of 20mins goggling a tutorial and then use aperture priorty (av) shooting mode almost exclusively. That will make by far the single biggest difference to the quality of your photographs and how you go about thinking about what is important in an image than any other for the time invested”.

You can see more from Ben here

benheys photo #eavig2012

timsnow bigger pic Timothy Snow is a multi talented guy in many media related fields from Providence, Rhode Island

Timothy gives us these tips (1) know your local spots (2) be there at the right time of day (3) tinker around manipulating the image on SmugMug

tim snow #eavig2012

Find all Timothy`s social places at his Xeeme profile

david sanger profile pic David Sanger

A travel photographer based in San Francisco, David has travelled to 100 countries around the world, but chose this image from his own ‘backyard’ as one of his favorites.

David`s tip for us…”Try to capture your subject in the special light during the magic hour, the hour after sunset or before sunrise. This shot from across the Bay with a telephoto lens, was a long exposure on a tripod, framed symmetrically with the bridge low and lots of sky to emphasize the color and geometry of this wonderful iconic bridge.”

david sanger #eavig2012

Connect to David on Instagram and on his website

I hope that these wonderful images inspire you to get out and capture the beauty and life around you.


Some thoughts and tips about Empire Avenue and G+ after reaching 600 eaves

I have been part of the Empire Avenue collaborative community for 20 months now around 600 days in fact. My price just reached 600 eaves. An eave a day.

Slow but steady gradual momentum which is facilitating connection, brand awareness and support and promotion of my business.

It has got me thinking about the flow on or “ripple” effect of having another say 500 active members in our community and the mutual benefits of that. So from now I will be reaching out to 2 or 3 people a day to encourage them to get involved. If only say 10 of you do the same imagine the amazing possibilities for everyone.

Around 3 or 4 of the 20 you engage with each week may participate. That excites me a great deal. So many of us think that social media is a one person “battle”. How do I compete with the big money companies with their promoted tweets and promoted Facebook posts and ads.

On Empire Avenue you will find several thousand people ready and willing to team up with you to help get your messages spread and this will give you a massive headstart. From there the quality of your content will be key in deciding whether or not it continues to be shared.

Google+ has had incredible momentum in the past 2 or 3 weeks and in recognition of this we have started a community especially for answering questions about Empire Avenue and about Google+ itself. Your necessary strategies in both places are different from what you are used to on Facebook so I hope that we can help you out. I have put the link to our community in this short video.

My Google+ tip is to comment on the posts of 20-30 key people twice or so a week. Their regular commenters will see you and begin interacting with you and promoting you as well.

I hope that your new year is going well and that you are ready to become a collaborator and an early adoptor of google+ and Empire Avenue. Both communities are still very fresh and new and there are great opportunities there for you.


Is it time to add Blogger to your blogging presence?

You may already have a Blogger account. For me it was an interesting trip down memory lane reopening my posts from about 4 years ago.

How idealistic I used to be.

Seriously though Google is really stepping things up in the past few weeks and Blogger is now a vital tool.

There are many exciting things but I will quickly give you 5 that immediately apealed to me.

1. We can tag people in our posts and the ensuing interaction is tied in to Google Plus.
2. Popular Blogger posts will be given a lot of weight on Google Search pages.
3. Blogger has a lot of new features making it far more easy and more interesting and effective to use than before
4. You can post on the go with the Android and iPhone Blogger applications.
5. Being Google you know it is always going to be there and is going to get better.

In 2013 it is likely that Google Plus will become a much bigger part of the internet. Google Plus and the power of the +1 will become an unstoppable force. It would seem essential to have a major part of your content being spread via Blogger.

And do not forget to connect your Blogger account to your Google Plus profile and even now your page (which as of yesterday can now +1 and comment anywhere and everywhere as well).

Google Plus is starting to rock and the closer we are involved with it the more people will see our content. Simple as that


Is it time for a look, or another look, at Empire Avenue?

I have been on Empire Avenue very nearly 20 months and I love it.

If you have an account maybe it is time to go back and play around. You will have accumulated lots of eaves (virtual currency) which you can use to connect and reconnect with people and to run missions to promote yourself, your friends or your causes.

If you have never tried it you really should.

Empire Avenue is doing amazing things for my Social Media “ability” and “presence” and most importantly I am making friends with some extremely cool people.

I nominate 4 words to sum up the reason for that love for Empire Avenue. Direction, Collaboration, Inventiveness and Growth.

Before Empire Avenue I was “active” online. I was doing some Facebook and Twitter but really I was merely dabbling in a disorganised, indisciplined and ultimately directionless way.  

I had no pattern of regularly producing nor curating content.

In Empire Avenue you get a score (expressed in the form of a share price) and at first I thought that this was a competition with others.

Now I realise that the only competition is with myself. In this way your Empire Avenue share price is very like a golf handicap. In basic terms it lets you keep track of where you are. I strongly recommend spending the same amount of time on social media and Empire Avenue each week and increase your share price by doing things better rather than doing more.

Each to their own of course.

As your share price keeps going up you have 2 choices. Do things better (get more DIRECTION) or do more. This increase in direction flows into a much better appreciation of how all your social networks come together.

I will give you the example of You Tube. In any week there may exist the time and energy to say upload say 3 pieces of content to your You Tube account. To get more and more Empire Avenue “points” for this content though it needs to get commented on and needs to get “liked”. To get these reactions it is often necessary to start doing a fair bit of this yourself but of course in your niche as those are the people that will be interested in your stuff. To keep your engaged subscribers coming back your content has to keep getting better and better. So does your SEO skills and also the way you organise your You Tube network. You Tube now has a fresh design and format and has become even more of a social network than it was before. It deserves much more of our attention now.

My friend Cyndee Haydon has been particularly inspirational in this respect. Cyndee has gained huge traction on You Tube by being an “engager”, using clever SEO technique and sticking very much to her niche. Which is Florida Real Estate and Social Media.

This brings me conveniently to my second point which is the amazing COLLABORATION I am enjoying with other Empire Avenue participants. This is happening in all sorts of ways in all sorts of places and it is in essence a random thing which it is hard to describe. What I can say is this. If you wish to get supported in the way of likes,comments, retweets, reblogs,shares and more get useful advice and encouragement and more importantly than anything get kept up to date with absolutely every new development online every day then this a fantastic community to be part of. It is highly unlikely that anything similar exists. All you need to do is participate. As with many things the more you put in the more will come back.

In order to keep getting better and to really maximise your increasing direction, discipline, organisation, knowledge and the ongoing collaboration you cannot be too INVENTIVE. The share price factor and also the fact that you also get an ever changing score for each of about 10 social networks means that you quickly find out what works and what doesn’t. You can try a new strategy or some new tools and find out reasonably quickly how effective it is being.

In terms of GROWTH a good deal of leadership is required to be “successful” in Empire Avenue. I think that we all are learning that to be successful in the fast moving and very public domain that is Social Media leadership skills are essential. After 20 months I have around 5,700 shareholders. It is necessary to maintain a relationship of sorts with many of these people.

There is the opportunity to place advertisements about yourself and/ or your business in fact about anything you like in the site and to send shareholder mails which send your shareholders on missions, start and manage communities and more. You have to decide how quickly you want your network to grow and how much interaction you will have with them. It has all been an amazingly beneficial experience for me as it has all grown.

Goal setting is important and it was very satisfying to me that both my goals which I set after a month came to fruition. I aimed at a share price of 225 by the end of 2012 (7 months)  and was at 325 on April 24 (after a year) of this year. I also aimed at having a net wealth of 50 million eaves by the end of 2011 and achieved that. It tripled to 150 million in just 3 months and tripled again in the next 2 months.

I am now at nearly 750 million eaves even after giving away a huge amount almost every day to run missions. Or maybe I have so many eaves because of doing so many missions. What goes around maybe really does come around. It is a sharing community you see. The opportunities for highly meaningful random acts of kindness are enormous. I accumulate around 4 million eaves a day. My price is nearly at 600 and is increasing at around 1.5 to 2 eaves a day.

Thank you so much to everyone on and involved with Empire Avenue for an amazing time so far and I just know that 2013 is going to be a wild ride for all of us who participate. We are all getting to know each other better and our skills, our networks and our sense of purpose are all growing exponentially.


You can join Empire Avenue for free here or if already have an account and have some spare eaves please consider an investment in me.

If you want to know more about using Empire Avenue or want to connect more deeply with other users try our Empire Avenue and Social Media Tips group on Facebook

Thank you


Am loving the exciting tools and energy on Flickr. What`s new?

Last week Flickr updated their mobile app and now has great filters for photos some say even better than the filters on Instagram. It is full of new features and CEO Marissa Mayer is promising more in the future as she reinvigorates all Yahoo products.

Who owns the content is king and Flickr has a lot and I mean a lot of our photos.

Now they just joined 2012/ 2013 with their timely updates.

Photo organisation and profile pages are especially advanced with the new Flickr iPhone app and you will also love the options available when you take photographs.

You can crop photos, straighten photos, increase contrast. Exciting for someone like me who takes all their photos on the phone where I never had this kind of stuff before. You can select different points for focus and exposure when you snap your photo. You can then use 15 different  filters.

Browsing has got much easier. The best basic view is of your contacts’ most recent photos. As you vertical scroll down the screen it shows the last photos uploaded by all the people that you follow. Keep scrolling down the page to see new photos by all your contacts or at any individual contact you can stop and start scrolling horizontally  to go through their entire photostream.

Flickr was never set up before to be as “social” as some other sites are. This has got better. You can now “like” photos by all your favorite photographers simply by tapping them just like Instagram.

Flickr is also now going to begin counting mobile views of your photos as views for your photo stats (previously mobile views were not counted) so expect both the views and faves on your photos to rise.

In addition to viewing your contacts’ most recent photos  you’re also now able to view all kinds of other areas of Flickr in a beautiful mosaic photo layout — your own photostream and sets, group photo pools, other people’s sets, Explore, all have a separate photo layout.

If you want to see any photo you are looking at full screen size you just tilt your iphone sideways and the photo immediately fills up the entire screen. You can then swipe from photo to photo as you scroll your way through whatever stream, set, group, etc. you are in.

Flickr also includes lots of other detail on a photo page that you can access if you want to see it — EXIF data, location data, people tags, etc. Flickr also gives you a list of venues to easily geotag your own photos as you upload them.

Photos shared from Flickr to Facebook will now be shared full sized. In the past Flickr photos were given the downsized thumbnail treatment. Now your Flickr photos will look as large as your photos shared directly on Facebook.

Your Flickr photos posted to Twitter from your phone will be seen full sized as well.

No doubt there are many more things that you can do that I am not aware of either.

The “old” Flickr already had many special features that you may not be aware of .

1. It’s real

Real photos by real people.On so many social networks you do not know if you are dealing with real people. There is much more chance that you can tell on Flickr. You can decide which of 3 levels of access you will give to each of your contacts.

2. Networking
You won’t find a larger photographic community. New photographers can chat with professionals who have been shooting for decades while veterans can swap stories and see what the latest technology can do. The power of all those photographic minds together can do wonders for your skills. Flickr is a social network.

3. Feedback
One of the benefits of a big network is that everyone will have something to say about your photos — or at least, everyone you ask. Many of those will be helpful, letting your skills grow with some well-aimed advice.

4. It’s Easy to Get Compliments!
In practice though, invite people to comment on one of your images and most of the responses will be flattering. That’s especially true if you’ve been nice about their photos. If you’re the sort of photographer who needs the odd slap on the back to keep pushing forward, you’ll find plenty on Flickr.

5. Get your Own URL
Okay, you can get a URL to promote your photos without going to Flickr, but it’s still more than you’ll get from a free stock site or even many microstock sites.

6. Stand out from the Crowd
With so many people on Flickr it doesn’t take much to stand out and appear as an exceptional photographer — even when you’re just starting.

7. Sell Stuff
Plenty of people are managing to use it to promote goods. And why not? If you’ve got the photographic talent, you can turn your Flickr page into an eye-catching storefront.

8. Get New Ideas
Look beyond the puppies and parties, and you can find all sorts of inspiring images on Flickr. You can also get all sorts of ideas from people who comment on your photos. As with all things the more you give out the more you will get back.

9. Can be free if you want
Okay, Flickr doesn’t have to be free. You can choose to pay for pro membership if you want. But if you’re happy to do without collections and to limit your uploads, Flickr is free marketing for cash-strapped photographers.

10. It’s Easy
Another reason that some people don’t like Flickr is that they say it’s badly organized and offers few features such as portfolio templates or print sales. The flipside of that criticism is that Flickr is very easy to use. You can’t do much with your Flickr page but you can show photos on it, and that can be effective enough. Flickr is regularly adding new editing features too.

11. Sharing
Sharing is growing more and more popular and Flickr allows you to share with just a click to Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

12. You Don’t Have to Show your Privates
Flickr’s filtering system lets you restrict public access to images. While that’s really meant to keep family shots within the family, it can also be a useful way to restrict access to invited customers or clients

13. Groups
Groups are the core of Flickr networking. Pick your niche and brand yourself as an expert.Make a club group or a family group. The possibilities are endless.

14. Geotag your Images
Flickr makes geotagging easy, letting you pitch your photos to buyers looking for shots of specific locations… or photographers who can reach them.

15. If your Pictures are Stolen, Someone Will Know
Become really big on Flickr and your images will become well-known. That might mean they’re also more likely to be stolen but it also means that they’ll be spotted if they are. When your images are seen on Flickr, you’ve got thousands of eyes looking out for your shots.

So combined with an already great sytem and the benefit of alreading having masses of our content Flick could just now be the place to go.

I look forward to seeing your photos.

I am michaelqtodd on Flickr


Are you using curation to market? @kilby76 & @atomic_reach discuss on #MediaChat

This was a great twitter chat on curation. Many of us say “we have no time to make content”. Curation to the rescue. Here are some excellent thoughts and tips on why it is so important and how to get it right.

It even inspired me to curate the chat on my Storify account.

Hope there will be some good learning for you here and DO connect on Twitter with all the people mentioned here. Twitter chatters are the best!

  1. HireInfluence
    Join #mediachat at Talking about leveraging content curation to achieve your marketing goals #mediachat

  2. kilby76
    Also, you may know @Atomic_Reach as the host of their weekly chat #AtomicChat 9pm EST/6pm PST every Monday. #mediachat
  3. Atomic_Reach
    A2) By consistently providing quality content, curators can become thought leaders in their space as well as go-to resource #mediachat
  4. CBarrows
    The combination of knowing your audience and properly curating content equals success #mediachat
  5. TheJune
    A3: Content curation will never replace content creation. An ecosystem of nothing but consumers and no producers will soon die. #MediaChat
  6. SteveCassady
    Bingo! MT @williampearl@wordwhacker It is what we do w/ material eg editorial review that transforms it 2 curated content #mediachat
  7. Remi_Vladuceanu
    @williampearl Totally agree. Curation needs human beings who can make decisions and pick and choose. … #mediachat
  8. alinalara
    You wouldn’t forward an email w/o reading it 1st. So don’t repost w/o out reading 1st! #mediachat
  9. GlenGilmore
    “Content aggregation is not the same as content curation. Wish more people knew that.” @martinjonesaz #mediachat
  10. SJAbbott
    Well said. MT @mqtodd: Once orgs begin curating & crediting the good content of others in their niche THEN they “get” social #mediachat
  11. CBarrows
    Is it not also about posting the right content in the RIGHT location. Different users – different networks sometimes. #mediachat
  12. kilby76
    Q5) @Atomic_Reach How can I use curation internally, at my workplace? #mediachat
  13. williampearl
    @JGoodTO aggregation = collection of posts without human intervention. curation= added editorial review or additional context #mediachat
  14. billallemon
    Interesting. “@Atomic_Reach: Many brands like Adobe, Intel, GE have own microsite, curating other ppl’s content in their hub. #mediachat
  15. TheJune
    A5: Good cureators become thought leaders / provokers because they are quite careful in what they cureate .#MediaChat
  16. WarJessEagle
    Internal curation is using expertise of people around you. Educate on what you’re looking for. They can be your eyes & ears too. #mediachat
  17. kristoforlawson
    Some of the most trafficked websites are full of links that have been curated for a specific audience.#mediachat
  18. JimZboran
    MT @ttwelsh: Good advice @PamMktgNut A good criteria for curation is “would I post this on my blog?” If not,I usually don’t share #mediachat
  19. wordwhacker
    @hbrofman yeah, that’s true. We should always be clear about our message, whether curating or creating#mediachat
  20. Atomic_Reach
    A6) Sign up here and we can give you first access to our new tool: #MediaChat
  21. martinjonesaz
    Wonder what affect AuthorRank may have on curated content. If it’s attributed to source – could be a good thing. #mediachat
  22. Media_Chat
    Do you luv Social Media? Well join some of the top SoMe leaders here in the #MediaChat Facebook…
  23. Atomic_Reach
    Bookmark our resource centre, educational info in content marketing + curation here:
  24. kilby76
    Join our NEW #mediachat Google+ Community as well here…
  25. PamMktgNut
    @wordwhacker @SJAbbott useless content (text or images) is what makes so much noise. Focus on value. Is it worth the click? #mediachat

Big take outs for me were…

Curation is more than just merely gathering and sharing. Put your own twist on it.

Curation by staff can be a great internal practice for businesses.

Curation is developing quickly as new and better tools come online and are upgraded.

Go out and do it!


Thank you Aaron and the good folk at Atomic Reach and of course all the participants in #MediaChat. See you every Friday 10 pm Eastern.



Edgerank is interesting. How FB decides what we see in our news feed

I am often asked about “Facebook Edgerank” and it is something that we should all be aware of.

I also recently finished a book called “The Filter Bubble” which examines how what we see online is being increasingly filtered to suit various interests (unless we take control of it).

There is a danger that if we only “hang out” with friends of a certain political persuasion for example we will only ever be exposed to views of that nature. In Twitter and Facebook and G+ we can create lists and circles of a wide range of people  that will combat this filtering and give us a variety of news and opinions. I recommend this.

To motivate you to make lists you first need to learn how Edgerank works.


I posed the question as a status update yesterday and automatically got an amazing response.

Here is a summary of what I learned. I think you will agree I have some pretty awesome Facebook friends and subscribers.

Not surprisingly the first response (within 2 minutes) was from Kimberley aka @AskKim on Twitter and Also on Facebook

  • recency, affinity and activity = edge rank
  •   An item is more likely to show in the news feed if it is new rather than old. (recency)

    An item is more likely to show in the news feed if it has lots of comments/shares/likes (activity)

    An item is more likely to show in the newsfeed if the receiver regularly engages with that page or profile (affinity to profile/page) and if the receiver regularly engages with that type of content for example a video (affinity to content type)

    supplemental: an item from a profile is more likely to show in the newsfeed than an item from a page.

    supplemental: an item is more likely to be shown if it is an image … followed by a plain status. Items with video and with links are not as favored by the current version of the algorithm. (which is why your news feed is picture-rich
  • Kirsten Massebeau How often you share or comment feed from the people and pages you subscribe to is key.
  • Khaled Elahmad

    Organic reach has been suppressed by Facebook and now a max of 16% of Page fans see your post.
  • Blake Jamieson

    I just spoke at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference about this exact topic. Edge is an composed of Weight x Affinity x Time Decay. Weight is the TYPE of post. It used to be that Images had highest weight, but recently text only posts have been getting the most organic reach. The affinity score is dynamic for each relationship within Facebook. If I am a fan of a page, and engage with the content regularly, the score is higher, and the page is more likely to show in my news feed. Time decay is the age of the post. So to maximize your edgerank, you want to text different types of post and see what has highest organic reach with your audience (in post-level insights). Then you want to see what kinds of content and calls-to-action have the most engagement (to raise affinity). Then test different times of day for your audience. There is not cookie-cutter right answer, but you can see whats best for your page by testing!
  • Also, a great EdgeRank resource can be found here: (this is not my blog, but one I find very useful)

    Chances are you are here because you have been hearing about this thing called “…See more
  • Brian D. Hawkins We did a short hangout on EdgeRank. I wasn’t exactly on top of my game that day though. lol

  • Genevieve Lachance The edgerank formula changes constantly. It is true that it was around 16% of your audience that could see your posts but this is no longer the case. It has decreased since they came out with promoted posts. Also, images no longer get the most reach as status updates seems to get the most now followed by links. This is a post I had written when those numbers were still around 16% reach but it also explains edgerank

  • Nick Bentley It would seem to be true about pictures. The viral uplift from a poll was 10 times that of photos used in a recent competition
  • Amanda Hill Regular pictures and questions work best… many people don’t ask their audience to do anything so how can they expect something to happen? Also by interacting as a real person on the page (which many people shy away from) the page posts can be shared within your own personal network attracting friend of friend traffic without having to pay for it…Asking your fans to subscribe to the page as well as like it will help them see your content… but of course the biggest issue is the c word… content should be aimed at the demographics of the audience you have attracted… without a plan that can be hard ie without knowing who your target market are and as much about them as you can…
  • Wow lots of good stuff!
    Want your friends back?
    You have to make a list and use that.
    As for what is popular it does indeed seem that a simple written update is much more popular than before and that business page posts are appearing less and less so that to get your news and views “out there” you need to interact more or pay Facebook to promote them.
    Edgerank is without doubt vital sauce and constantly evolving.
    Massive thanks to these supportive and knowledgeable contributors

What we learned about Instagram on #ToolsChat last week

  1. We had a great #toolschat last week about Instagram tools and strategies.
    Here are a few of the tweets from the chat. Instagram is a fun and increasingly powerful social media place and
    I know that will learn a lot from this.
    You will also get some idea of how a tweetchat flows as well. We do #toolschat every Wednesday at 7pm Pacific time
    1. zoe201015
      Like #Instagram? Join @twylah @mqtodd and many others on #Toolschat at 7pm Pacific to share knowledge
    2. mqtodd
      Q1 What is special about Instagram for you? Why did FB pay $1 billion for it? #toolschat
    3. MalharBarai
      A1 Instagram can make any dull photo interesting!#toolschat
    4. Using @tagsforlikes, and a decent pic, you can get some visibility quick. Note the times. #toolschat
    5. susanborst
      If Facebook was a chocolate chip cookie, Instagram would be the chocolate chips – via@pcmag #toolschat
    6. AidaofNubia
      @mqtodd A2: Photo Grid Pro. Fascinated by InstaTrack & InstaFollow. I’ll have to look up their twitter handles. #instagram #toolschat
    7. mqtodd
      A3 This IG photo of a climbing structure in downtown Tokyo has been popular for me >>
    8. wordwhacker
      A 3 Here’s one of my favs that I #toolschat
    9. ChristineLBowen
      RT @mqtodd: Q4 What are your favorite 5 #tags on#Instagram#toolschat
    10. WarJessEagle
      A4: Tags on Instagram, just like Twitter, should depend on the photo, subject, etc. Tailor the tags to the content.#toolschat
    11. wordwhacker
      I forgot. This was the first pic where Instagram and I clicked: #toolschat
    12. mqtodd
      Q5 Any secret sauce? Please give us a tip or two for using #Instagram #toolschat
    13. mqtodd
      Q5 #Tip Seems Instagram is a bit like blogging. You build a community by quality posts and commenting/ answering #toolschat
    14. WarJessEagle
      Secret sauce for brands? Using Instagram as a way to curate content via specific hashtag. Love that trend right now. #toolschat
    15. esills
      @ToolsChat A4 I like to use geographical tags, e.g.,#NYC #HudsonValley, etc. and make nice connections this way. #toolschat
    16. Yogizilla
      I enjoy highlighting unique products and prizes on Instagram. Very natural tool for us over at @socialprize#promotions#ToolsChat
    17. kmullett
      A5: Any tags with clouds or sunsets are money in morning or eve. I use @tagsforlikes, they know the best ones. #toolschat
    18. BLOGBloke
      My favourite Instagram feature: Turn location… #toolschat
    19. MalharBarai
      RT @mqtodd: A6 Some recommended IG apps for editing >>> Ps, Express, iCameraHdr, snapseed, Photo Fx, spacepaint, Filterstorm #toolschat
    20. Twylah kellylordkim RT @wordwhacker:@Twylah What is your instagram? I missed it.#toolschat
    21. WarJessEagle
      @mqtodd Love, love, love Snapseed! Would also recommend PhotoToaster & PicFrame. #toolschat
    22. MalharBarai
      I did a review of Instagram based curation only recently, but only few Indian cities supported yet #toolschat
    23. NickKellet
      Shame Instagram won’t let you tag your content as Creative Commons. People sell printing of images, so perhaps it’s open #toolschat
    24. kmullett
      @yogizilla @WarJessEagle @RobCairns I’ve done testing with tags. 30 is limit. I generally do 0-2 in 1st, then…. #toolschat
    25. mqtodd
      Q8 Please share your favorite blog posts about#Instagram (will create a good one from this #toolschattomorrow) #tools #ig
    26. esills
      @mqtodd A8 Great read >> No Filter: How Instagram Caused Hipstamatic To Lose Focus and Gamble On Social #toolschat
    27. jewelfry
      Thanks! RT @wordwhacker: Oh, check out Ben Best photographer on Instagram. #toolschat
    28. WarJessEagle
      While we’re on Instagram, I have to share my fav campaign by Aldo Israel. Love seeing brands get creative: #toolschat
    29. RT @DTNEtiquette: How clever of you! RT @bennettdoneit: #Bacon #love and #hearts this morning! #toolschat
    30. Yogizilla
      New to Instagram? Me too! RT @Tribe2point0: A8 How to Choose the Best Instagram Filter for Your… #toolschat
    31. susanborst
      @ladyxtel @kmullett Frst music video ever filmed using only Instagram photos?. via @cultofmac#toolschat <thoughts?
    32. mqtodd
      Q9 What is in the future for Instagram as a social and marketing tool? #toolschat
    33. One of my favorite #Instagram pics I’ve taken from the farm #Toolschat
    34. mqtodd
      [email protected] Maybe feature these next on #toolschat next week? Nominations for the 6th #Crunchies Awards close December 6th
    35. BenRisinger
      “@kmullett: A5: Don’t just wait for people to come from tags, go hang out in tags and like peoples pictures and comment. #toolschat
    36. elizonthego
      So little and cute RT @kilby76: Awesome! RT@christybis: And so the Instagram cookie was born 😀 #toolschat
    37. simpsontd
      RT @Tribe2point0: A8 How to Choose the Best Instagram Filter for Your… #toolschat
    38. mqtodd
      How to Master #Instagram #toolschat
    39. mqtodd
      RT @einstagram @ToolsChat @AidaofNubia A8: Love all the #instagram blog posts under this #toolschat
    40. hashtracking
      RT @mqtodd: Thanks guys RT @kilby76#Toolschaton #Instagram transcripts via@hashtracking cc @twylah @pammktgnut @kmullett
      So there you go. Looking forward to hooking up on Instagram at
      Michael is relaunching – get access to the beta launch and learn the latest


Regular or even sporadic readers of this blog will know that my passion is the increasing of connection via the latest technology.


So I was really excited when launched a year or so ago.


Now after a great deal of remodelling and reflection it is back. As a founding member I can give you access to the beta launch through my link here.  It is free and I believe it is worth your while making a profile and seeing where it goes to.



This is the press release from explaining where things are now.

Connect.Me enables people consolidate their identity, social presence, and peer reputation into a social business card. Your social business card shows who you know and what you are trusted for. It makes you discoverable for your interests and expertise and is the first step in building the largest directory of respected people on the social web.

Connect.Me is the world’s first P2P reputation and discovery network that works across Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.  As people build their reputation, they can use it to curate the social web by vouching for the people, content and businesses they trust.

Until the public beta is launched, you can only create an account by going through a special invitation link, such as the public card of any Connect.Me Trust Anchor.  Trust Anchors will be sharing their social business cards within their networks this week.

Connect.Me is not just a new app, it’s the beginning of a larger movement to put people back in control of the web.

The team behind Connect.Me, along with a coalition of partners, are pioneering a new business model where people connect directly to businesses on their terms. While this concept seems simple, it is a radical shift away from the current business models where users’ data is collected and sold without their direct participation. This new model, in development since 2005, was created by a group of 11 well-known architects in Internet identity, privacy, trust, and relationship management. It will provide people a way to get the full value of their reputation and intention by allowing them to directly share it with businesses in a new trusted  way.

It has taken more than two years to develop the legal and technical infrastructure to make the Respect Network, the network behind Connect.Me, possible. When users join Connect.Me, they are conceptually joining the larger Respect Network. Any data entered into Connect.Me is under the full control of the users and will soon be portable within the network.”


So there you go. 2012 has always been designated by futurists as the culmination of the “Age of Connection”. What is happening here is no surpise.

It is simply up to you as to whether you participate or not. I hope that you will at least check it out. Reserve your username and see what it has to offer. The next Linked In? Who knows? It is different as there is vouching and various ways for the cream in various industries to rise to the top.

Have a look here

Thank you



Some thoughts on where social media is taking us

So now we are well into 2012 what does it all mean for you?

I invite you to look really closely at what social media is. How over 1 billion people have all gathered together to join an interconnected network called Facebook in little over 5 years.

How the tools of Facebook and other places allow us to easily find and talk to anyone anywhere and enable connectors to connect us at an ever increasing pace. Why is this happening and what does it mean? How quickly are things about to accelerate?

Can you see and feel the big companies and and banks and countries scrambling to regroup and assert their authority and power? When actually they are simply illusionary entities which will all be swiftly cast aside when a sufficient number of us embrace true unconditional love and purpose. The rush towardes this tipping point where everything is flipped upside down may be happening much faster than you think.

This is because what is happening is increasingly exponential and we have never experienced anything like this before. The open graph which is developing every day will play a huge part of this. The acceptance of niching rather than being everything to everyone by the technology leaders will also accelerate this. You see better and more powerful connecting technology will result. This exponential factor fascinates me and I see it every day in the quickly increasing number of mutual friends or connections we have when people send me requests on Facebook and Linked In. And the variety of cultures they come from. Do you really believe there will be any need for say India to suspect and police say Pakistan when a sufficient number of young people in both those countries connect for relationships, both romantic and plutonic, do more and more business with each other, learn more and more about each other. Realise that actually they have so much in common and that all that is really real is love.

When we have more mutual connections our own connection becomes exponentially deeper and stronger if we allow it to be.

I watched Gandhi twice last week. We all have the power now to gather communities around us and to inspire people to do better things in their lives.

The elections happening in the United States are fascinating. The speeches coming from the Republican Congress and the Democrats could barely have been more different.

These will be desperately scary times for those who love to impose “authority” and to supress others. For those with “established supply chains” and monopolies. For those who profit from suspicion and fear between the dozens of groups of people that were at one time classified as “nations”. This is all being broken down of course and I suggest that it is about to explode.

Tablets, smart phones and other ever powerful mobile devices are about to become super super accessible to literally hundreds of millions of people in China and other parts of Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe everywhere. How long before those billion people on Facebook becomes 2 billion? Or the 500 million on Twitter becomes a billion? Sure not all those people are regular users yet but what about when they are? Is it so impossible that this might not happen in the next year?

In August 2008 I suggested very strongly and repeatedly to a group of people who removed their community activity from Facebook to a secret Ning site that this would kill their community. I predicted that by Christmas of that year there would be at least 15 million people on Facebook (at that time I think there was about 8 million).In fact I grossly underestimated the potential growth and I think that by Christmas 2008 there were 50 million.

Hence my reluctance to underestimated again as I look at what is something of a second wave. In this second wave all the “holding on to things” is going to fall away. All the “this is my photo you have to pay to use it”, “these are my connections you cannot see them” and “that is my quote you should have credited me” . All the “my product or service is better than yours” marketing. All these kind of emotions and feelings will be being laughed at in a year or so’s time. There is only love so by default there is only abundance you see.

I was loudly and roundly ridiculed by all apart from one person. I am a believer that it is possible for us all to connect and live peacefully. That there is enough for everyone. I am no longer surpised by the growth of sites like Instagram, Tumbler, Reddit and Pinterest. I predict that there will be much more of that in the next few months. The barriers are falling away because of increasing powerful algorithms and bandwidth and the open graph.

How can you prepare for this rush of connection and consciousness? This new paradigm?

Some random thoughts….

Be open. Embrace connection.

Learn new tools and strategies every day. Rapidly changing times require rapid re-education. Thomas Friedman taught us this in “The World is Flat” in 2004. He had even been writing in his columns in a similar vein much earlier even over 10 years ago. In the past ten years those who have embraced re-education have prospered. This will become increasingly important. Writers like Alvin Toffler, Malcom Gladwell and Eckhart Tolle have also forseen what is happening right now.

Find what you love to do and get really good at it. Seek the mentoring and inspiration of those that are the best at that thing. You may be shocked at what you will find when you do this.The blockages and stress in your health and your relationships will quickly fall away. Unlimitless possibilities will unfold before you. My own story is testament to this and there are many like me.

Feel rather than analyse. Allow rather than want. Be. Relish and make the most of every moment. Look nether back nor forward just be.

Give and give and give. The universe rewards givers. This is an irrefutable law. Things may not happen for you immediately but keep believing.

Embrace your own uniqueness and the uniqueness of the cuture your were brought up in. These will identify and strengthen you once we all connect over the next few months.

Be random rather than selective or controlling. More and more information and messages, opportunities and possibilities are about to be shared with you. You will not have a hope of seeing all of it so give up on trying. If you are meant to see something or answer someone you will or if you are meant to be somewhere you will be. Trust your intuition and instincts relentlessly. Let go of control.

Social media is a part of a massive massive wave that is about to sweep away much of what we know and how we market and are marketed to. How our societies operate and how we interact with each other. This is going to happen whether you embrace it or not. The human will to connect, to share and to love is simply too powerful and there are several vehicles empowering that right now.

You may have read this and may think I am a dreamer. I would not have written it if I believed that I was the only one.

I am sure John Lennon is smiling.



Tips on building a FB page for a cause as @jackiesbuzz and I are with @DolphinsLoveUs

About 15 months ago my friend Jackie and I decided to collaborate on a “message” cause about dolphins. We had long been passionate about protecting these amazing creatures and wanted to bring awareness in a unique and positive way. Many people were protesting strongly about what is happening to dolphins in Japan but we did not just want to “protest” to bring awareness.

I live in Japan and Jackie in Canada and we have only ever spoken 2 or 3 times. We have very rarely even chatted to each other. This has all happened quite intuitively with no pressure or expectation. It has been a great experience and I know I could not have got close to getting where we have just by myself.

For over a year we were inconsistent with our posting and our follow through but recently we have been active on a daily basis and are getting great results.

I am a huge believer in the power of Facebook pages and firmly believe that they are where you should be directing the biggest part of your time and energy. We are at or around the seemingly magic number of  “1000 people talking” which seems to bring regular exposure to news feeds of likers and their friends. Our immediate goal is to bring this up this month.

I have identified a few points of learning that will benefit you too.

  • Be daily. 4-6 posts a day spread throughout the day seems to be a good amount
  • Publish a mix of posts. Some photos, some updates, some links.
  • Interact on the page of others in your niche as your page. B2B and B2C marketing really. Their people will see you and take an interest.
  • Follow through with thanks when people share or comment on your content
  • Grow an effective Twitter account and regularly tweet links to your FB posts. We have gained 2,500 or so followers organically and get regularly retweeted
  • Be fun, friendly and entertaining
  • Have a key message that people will remember you for
  • Post regularly in Facebook groups related to your niche
  • Ask great questions in your posts to get discussion going
  • Build a community on your page with polls and competitions
  • Identify your key supporters and become personal Facebook friends with them
  • Promote your page on your personal spaces
  • Analyse. Recently I have found Recommendly useful. Here is a recent report for our page


I learn from this we need to participate in far more of our posts. 21% is way too low.

  • Do not give up! There are a lot of people on Facebook and if you are consistent you will attract the ones who are meant to find you

Working as a team is a great bonus as there will be days when you cannot attend to tasks and your partner will pick up the slack. The exponential factor of being supported by at least 2 personal FB profiles on a regular basis is also key.


So find your passion and get your message out. Jackie and I are blessed to have the support of some wonderful friends in our Empire Avenue community. You will have communities too so ask for their help occassionally. They will be pleased to do so.

Above all aim to get better at what you are doing every day and you will soon see exponential growth. It will excite you.

You can find us at Dolphins Love Us on Facebook 




Some snippets from my Wolfram Alpha FB report. Have you done one yet?

This is rather interesting and I hope you will try it out.

It is absolutely amazing how much data this Wolfram Alpha can assemble about your Facebook profile.

I have given some snippets and “teasers” as to what you can expect!

Learn the religious and political preferences of your friends. When you post and how many are photos, links and updates. Everything!


The new report,says Wolfram CEO Stephen Wolfram, expands Wolfram Alpha’s “powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics.” The company plans to expand these reports with new features over time, but they already give you a pretty deep look at your Facebook habits.

Basic personal information



Photo posting information

Most liked photo

Most commented on photo

 Want to know which friends comment most on your posts and who shares your posts most often? Wolfram Alpha’s Facebook app will tell you, along with interesting stats on which Facebook apps you use on various days and times each week as well as what times of day during the week you’re most active on the site. It also gives you pie charts that indicate the percentage of male versus female friends, how many are married, single, in a relationship or engaged, not to mention the ages of your oldest and youngest friends.


Photo posting information

Most liked photo

So just a little taster of what you can expect!!
It was really interesting that I never used to post photos and now they are around half of my postings. The influence of Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest!
You can get a report by logging in to Wolfram and typing “Facebook report” in the search area.
What do you think of them knowing so much about you? Personally I think it is fine!
They seemed to have missed a lot of my most popular posts etc but overall I found it well worth the few minutes it took.