My Response – #ThreadingBlogs and #TwitterStreams II @stoweboyd @euan #attention

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January 11, 2010

in Blogging, twitter

Stowe writes in /Message:

Stuart has jumped ahead to thinking of blogging as, more or less, the place we create long format writing (or other creative works, like video, audio, etc.) in order to drop it into the faster stream. The slower stream of blogs is just a tributary to the faster, more social stream in Twitter (and other highly social streaming applications like Twitter, too).

Yes! A tweet is just a microblog and when we don’t need anything more it’s an easy way to enter the conversation. I keep a daily copy of my Tweets in my blog archives however they are not posted into my RSS stream.  I agree we should think more carefully about how our content enters this conversation. Trial and error to come…

Looking over the content for this post I’m suggesting three key things.

  1. Stop the “I just posted” format and replace posted with a #hashtag eg. #unboundspiral: “tweet / blog title”.
  2. On tweets or posts just designed to link to someone else’s content begin with  or content you link to with #link. This relates to how I use Del.icio.us
  3. Let’s get some modifications to TwitterTools and think harder at Bit.ly about link relationships.

This post started when I left a comment on Stowe Boyd’s blog /message last night. “Threading Blog and Twitter Streams Together”. I was also intrigued by what Euan was writing on Blogging. I seldom leave comments anymore as I lose them (and control or tracking ability for the most part). In fact I almost blogged my thoughts as I started writing a comment. Alas I was too tired. So I left a short comment and lucky for me was recognized and in the end won’t be lost to my blog or a corner of my memory.

Stowe writes in his post:

I agree that I, too, have started to consider blog posts as a pair: the blog post and the Twitter post that I use to carry the link out into the stream. That tweet is like a needle and thread, sewing the two streams together — the shared and fast stream of Twitter, and the slower, publishing-style stream at my blog.

Stuart has gone a step farther than me, considering the blog post title as being the same as the accompanying tweet. I still contrive a different tweet, usually one with some come on: a peek into the subject of the post or my feelings about the topic.

Shall we forget the “I’ve just posted” crap – line?
I simply don’t have time to craft all these things differently. Perhaps I should make time and yet I know that all my post titles now head straight into Twitter. They are usually predicated by “I’ve just posted” although I’ve considered dropping this convention. For as my examples show…. my titles are using Twitter conventions. Here are a few examples.

So this is the change I have just made to my blog. I have replaced the “I’ve just posted” with #unboundspiral (which I’m bringing back as my blog name). This has specific benefits.

  1. It enables me to search Twitter for RT’s relating to my blog specifically and may improve the dialogue around it. I’ve also set up a notification for the #hashtag to get real-time Tweet updates using “notifications” on the iPhone.
  2. It provides me with a substitute for my “self promotion”. If you follow-me you will soon learn that URL’s attached to #unboundspiral relate to my blog post updates.
  3. It uses TwitterTools to automatically #hashtag my posts.

Some have expressed concern that putting your blogpost into your twitter stream is “pimping”  or a see my stuff. I’d say you don’t have to follow it. I’d prefer to signal that this is stuff that I’m passionate about and that I’d really like to talk about or engage in further. So this post and title should look like this in Twitter.

#unboundspiral: My Response – #ThreadingBlogs and #TwitterStreams II @stoweboyd @euan #attention http://bit.ly/xxxx

It’ was much messier although there may even be ways to strip out the # in blog titles via CSS or something. This title was also not my first attempt. What I learned was making Twitter Stream one word and adding the #hashtag got me more.  What I need is “TwitterTools” to make it easier. TwitterTools (and btw Alex King is brilliant and this is in no way a criticism of the current tool) will:

  • add the #unboundspiral to the title automatically for Twitter. This won’t show in my blog.(I’ve set this up).
  • Twittertools should auto add my blog tags as #hashtags if there is room in the title. All of these are potential tags… @stoweboyd @euan #twitterstream #threading. This keeps my blog title nice.
  • TwitterTools doesn’t insert into my edit window a way to optimize my Title with tags for 140 characters.
  • Want the best of both worlds. Short blog titles and 140 character micro summaries that aid the conversation and who it should be with. This is something I never had an opportunity to do with RSS.

Part Two:  Can Twitter and Blogs replace Delicious?
When I link to others (using Delicious or Twurl) I don’t use any #hashtag currently. However I now recognize that if I did, it would enable followers to create more sophisticated filters. Eg if I created a Delicious link to Stowe’s post… it would typically look something like this:

Threading Blog And Twitter Streams Together | @stoweboyd thanks! http://bit.ly

Yet only changing my approach slightly in  my post to del.icio.us would give this.

#link: Threading Blog And Twitter Streams Together | @stoweboyd thanks! http://bit.ly

The #link creates a filter potential for my followers. (so does bit.ly). This also repeats his title like a retweet might but I have no idea if he actually tweeted it as I am looking at blog and my attention is not on his stream. Although his stream may have brought me to his blog. (It didn’t in this case). However, I do want my bookmark in this example to get his attention. By saying “link” he may come to understand that I wrote more about it…. however it won’t show up until my link blog is posted here and so this fails as a real-time method for adding value to the conversation.

Also by way of contrast. In Stowe’s post this morning there was no link to my blog. He’s tagged it @stuarthenshall but that tag didn’t end up in Twitter in anyways. The only way I’d see this post if I’m watching his RSS is the Google News/Blog Search I will probably get latter… where my name is mentioned. If he had added @stuarthenshall into his title, or added other elements so that when it was tweeted… he may have accelerated the conversation.

Here’s an example with Stowe of where this whole posting / bookmarking thing doesn’t work so well. I used a del.icio.us link and bookmark. In this case Stowe is sent to his original post and as a result probably never saw my additional comment which is only available to those  that read my del.icio.us link posts. So he would have wondered why I’d send him back to his own post. links for 2009-08-05 | Stuart Henshall

@stoweboyd re: Delicious Does Twitter, Sort Of, But It’s Not The Appliance I Dream Of | stick with link blog and use Twitterfeed off RSS
It makes sense that Delicious should post to Twitter. However Stowe’s writeup shows why it is a mess. I’ve used a simpler process for months and months. I simply hooked Twitterfeed up to my Delicious RSS. I write the title for Twitter and the Link blog captures my notes. This means I get a trackback for every Delicious posting later when it appears in my blog. I’d note we don’t need extra lines or separate text. I want one action only for each lifestream snippet I share.

Stowe also makes a good point about which service one wants to use for the “shortened” URL. This has benefits too although my solution above means that I am already aggreating all links etc into my Blog search engine. However that fails to provide the same statistical analysis I think Stowe’s interested in.

The real problem is. I want tags and delicious helps me search and open tags to original content quickly. It’s also in my browser and available at at click. This helps me find original content that I’ve marked from others quickly whether I’ve saved it publicly or privately. The question is could I make my blog work like this. Effectively I do already. It’s in the search as I bring the content in.

Some modifications we need:

  • Rather than pushing to Delicious or Twitter (via Twurl or similar) I should use my blog. In creating this bookmarklet there are a few problems. First I get a default post opening. It looks a lot like my delicious bookmark. I can add my notes and post it. However, now it appears in my main page, is tweeted with a #unboundspiral (where it is really only a link to someone else’s content) and doesn’t point to the original content.
  • What I need is a WordPress bookmarket that puts a bit.ly link to the original content in the Title. The format that might make sense for this

#link http://bit.lySTOWE: #ThreadingBlog And #TwitterStreams Together | @stoweboyd thanks! #attention http://bit.ly/MINE

The MINE is only important if I have added some bodycopy to my Tweet post. As my Tweets are automated by TwitterTools this is another option that may be worth investigating. Similarly…I could make all those #link posts take one directly to the original content. While I have the records for these types of Tweets (see Tweets note #takes you to original tweet – confusing must fix) these are imported. I feel like I’d rather generate them from my blog. This makes me consider if….

  • Should TwittilatorPro to enable me to post all Tweets via my Blog. It already will send Pictures to my blog rather than Twitpic. (Although because of size I still keep sending pictures to Flickr). There is an opportunity to optimise this.

For me it is my content system first and then share. My blog is the way I prefer to push both short and long information out into the world. It doesn’t do it well right now. It also doesn’t enable me to effectivley bring my Twitter followers on board more effectively. Eg unlike TypePad I still don’t register @twittername effectively. (I tried before). With my BlogLog gone etc. Le’t just stop on this post. There are many more ways to improve how Blogs and Twitter work together. The methods should save you time, make the infor more valuable and shareable. Getting it right will add to the Conversation.

From Conversational Blogging to Jazz Communities (Unbound Spiral)

Blogs are just one part of an accelerative learning program that is primarily focused on people.

It’s interesting. I still often start a post and don’t end up where I expected. In closing there is perhaps also an opportunity for bit.ly to be the link enabler between Stowe and my content. That would keep the tweet simpler and concentrate the value added. Sort of  a super Tweet Trackback.

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