A State Dept. Diplomat Starts Using Twitter

This is SOOO cool. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Colleen Graffy has recently started using Twitter.  Right now she’s tweeting while on her trip through Iceland, Croatia and Armenia.

Despite what you see and hear on TV, there are actually good people doing good things in the government.   Something like what Colleen Graffy is doing on Twitter has the potential to bring so much interest and excitement to the State Department and public diplomacy that they would have NEVER seen otherwise.

People don’t want to be all up in the State Dept’s business.  We don’t have time for that or at least I know that I don’t.  Twitter allows for that comfortable level of ambient intimacy.

I challenge other government agencies to follow suit and start using Twitter as a tool for building community around their actions and ideas.

(Via Dipnote)

Dell, Twitter, and Some Sound Advice About Communications Strategy in a Web 2.0 Era

My friend Shel Israel is working on his book Twitterville and recently posted his notes about his conversations with the team at Dell that uses Twitter.

The last 3 paragraphs of his notes are just jam packed with some killer truth.  I wanted to especially share those with you.

It is our strategy not to speak with one voice. A blogger who influenced me once wrote that he just can’t have an intelligent conversation with a Coke Bottle. People do not wish to speak with brands. They wish to speak with people. And at any big company, different people have different passions and knowledge sets.

Twitterville is wonderful for getting the message in from these 100 people Tweeting than our getting messages out through the 21 Twitter accounts. Twitterville is great because people tell you when you screwed up as quickly and as often as they tell you when one of your representatives was wonderful.

During tough economic times, it is even more valuable. You don’t need expensive focus groups anymore.Twitter is part of a social media strategy that allows us to bring customers into our company and walk down the hallways with them talking about things we share in common and very often those are Dell things.”

Keep Your Eye Out for Shel Israel’s New Book Twitterville

My good friend, social media expert, and Naked Conversations co-author Shel Israel has recently announced that he’s going to be writing a new book called “Twitterville–How Business can Thrive in the new Global Neighborhoods.”

From a business perspective, it will cover and give examples of how social media, especially Twitter, us to come together, breaking down major geographical boundaries, to start conversations and form communities or as Shel like’s to put it global neighborhoods.

When it’s done, I’m confident that this book will be a must read.

What’s really fun is that he’s going to post a lot of his notes and text from the book on his blog and on Twitter as he writes it.  The world will be able to help give feedback and shape the book to make it even better.

Day 6 of the Barack Obama Twitter Watch

So, I just friended Barack Obama on Twitter.  I figured it’s about time, considering he’s now President-Elect.  Much to my surprise, he his staff hasn’t tweeted in 6 days.

Will he pick it back up again or will the weight of the mighty government bureaucracy put a muzzle on his grassroots Web 2.0-style efforts?

Twitter, Retweeting, and Sharing

The social Web has really redefined the Web in a way that we haven’t really seen since the onset of online search.  People are using their online friends to find information online and as a filter to what is and isn’t important.

Twitter has really established itself as a popular townsquare.  This is a venue where people come together to share their status, thoughts, and cool things they find.

It’s a platform for sharing.

My buddy Shel wrote a really cool post about a phenomenom that we’re seeing crop up… retweeting. It’s where one person shares a cool link or insight on Twitter and then someone sees that  and ones to share that tweet in it’s entirety with their friends.

Retweeting allows thoughts to be shared from one group of people to another and maybe to another.  This gives my thoughts and ideas or maybe the thoughts of others that I want to share a potentially endless reach and the ability to reach audiences that they would’ve never otherwise gotten to.

What’d be cool if they created an interface element within Twitter that’d make it be easier to retweet something, like they currently have for favoriting and replying.

Current TV to Mash Together Twitter with the Presidential Debates

Current TV and Twitter are doing something really cool for the Presidential debates. Current TV is going to overlay people’s Twitter comments on-top of the live feed.

Today Current TV announced their plan to Hack the Debate with an innovative new way to make television interactive. “As Twitter users tweet throughout the course of the live broadcasts, Current and Twitter will collect comments regarding the debate and layer the individual messages over the debate feed.” Why stop at the web and mobile when we can create a new features for democracy?

So… this year,  do something different. Don’t watch the presidential debates on the major networks.  Watch it on Current.

Shel Israel’s “7 Tips for new Twitter Users”

A lot of my friends and co-workers have been dipping their toe in the Twitter pool.  They hear me and others talk about it and want to give it a whirl.  Some stay and some don’t.

My friend Shel Israel provides some AWESOME advice for anyone who’s new to Twitter.  It’s a recommended read.  Check it out:

So, if you are new to Twitterville, it is a friendly place. But people need to know a bit about you in order to want to spend time in conversation with you. This will not happen if you simply start and account, reveal nothing about yourself and your interests and then go around collecting follows. Some people may follow you back automatically, but it seems to me that will matter very little if the two of yo have nothing to talk about, other than how many new follows you’ve added.

There are a few things yo might consider doing first.

Follow Clearspring’s CEO Hooman Radfar on Twitter

As you know, I’m a big fan of Twitter as a way to talk to and listen to your personal community.

Well I’ve been having this conversation with the CEO of Clearspring Hooman Radfar.  He’s incredibly active and has a MASSIVE personal community. He didn’t use Twitter.

I think it’d be a HUGE service for him.  Yet, he was skeptical.

Well, he’s still seems a little skeptical but now he’s experimenting with Twitter. So all I ask is, follow @hoomanradfar.

Twitter, Serendipity, and Seattle

So… I’m sitting here in a Starbucks in Seattle.  It’s been a great weekend!!!

Upon arriving here, I was just kind of tooling around and seeing the sights.  I was meeting up with some friends for dinner later.

Unbeknownst to me, my buddy Saul from FreshBooks just happened to be in Seattle as well.  We ended up meeting up and he joined my posse for dinner.

How did we end up finding each other?  We are Twitter friends.  I was twittering about being in Seattle and he saw it and sent me a message.

It was cool to see first hand how Twitter can help with starting serendipitous adventures in your life.  Saul metup with us and we all had a grand time.

Have you had any serendipitous adventures because of Twitter?

I’d pay for a Twitter Pro account. Would You?

Seems like the only thing the Web 2.0 blogosphere has been talking about as of late has been Twitter.  Whether it’s been problems they’ve had with scaling company to handle the community or scaling it’s infrastructure, everyone has something to say.

Seems like this is a first rate problem.  People whine and moan about things because it’s a service they’re so wrapped up in and feel personally invested with.  That rocks.

I’d be one of those folks who’s become very personally invested in the service.  It’s a primary way that I talk with a big chunk of my community.

Because it’s something I’ve come to depend on, when there is talk about Twitter business models, i’d be one to support paying $5-10/month for a Twitter Pro service.   I’m with Jason.

What do you think?  Do you depend on Twitter?  Would you be willing to pay for it?  If so how much?

BTW – Om Malik has a really interesting post about how Twitter should charge its super users.