Twitter Needs a Community Manager

After today’s and the last few days’ drama around Twitter, I think they need a Community Manager.

While there management has been kind of accessible, they really need someone who’s smack dab in the middle of the folks that use the product on a daily basis.

They need someone who’ll communicate constantly what’s going on and help even more so maintain this relationship.

Twitter is obviously a tool that folks depend on so it’s extra important to give special attention to the community and it’s feelings about it.

It’s all too easy for a community to turn on a product and move somewhere else.

PS – No, I’m not offering myself for the job.  I’m very happy at Clearspring.

I want to be able to read & write comments from Google Reader

I was with some friends about this the other day and then saw the notion mentioned on Jeremiah O’s blog.  People are reading blogs from a feed reader (ie Google Reader) and totally missing out on all the conversation that is happening in the comments.  That sucks.

There should be a way for people to easily read and write comments all from something like Google Reader.   How cool would it be if I could comment on a podcast from iTunes or from my iPhone.

We need to allow the conversation to take place even in these aggregated environments.

Maybe the lack of this type of capability is a downfall of feeds and a bonus for a widget.  It’d be completely possible to make a widget for a blog that allows you to read and write comments on a post.

What do you think?

Yesterday, I Spoke at Social Rockstar Workshop on Widgets 101

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Social Rockstar Workshop here in Washington, DC at Busboys & Poets.  The workshop was for people or organizations that wanted to utilize social media to become social rockstars.

I did “Widgets 101 (PPT Slides)“, which was a lot of fun.  I hadn’t given that talk in a while.

It was masterfully organized by the Paul Worsham and Kady Chiu.  They brought it in other great speakers and friends of mine like Nick O’Neill and Frank Gruber.  It was hillarious when Frank spoke.  He had had one too many cups of coffee and was CRAZY hyper. 🙂

I had a lot of fun at the event. Word on the street is that Paul and Kady will be doing more events soon so stay tuned.

On My Way to BarCampPortland

So… yeah! I forgot to tell you all.  This weekend I’m on my way to BarCampPortland in Portland, Oregon.  I’m currently sitting in airport in Philly.  I have a small lay over.

I’m excited.  For one, I heart BarCamps.  They’re always just a wild ride.  You never know completely who you’re going to meet and get to know but you know they’ll be crazy smart and crazy passionate about tech/web-related things, which is AWESOME!

Plus I’m really excited to make this initial foray into the Northwest.  It’s not a place i’ve been yet.  I hear there is a lot of really cool tech going on up there.

It will also be an opportunity to tell a new audience about all the awesome things that we’ve been doing at Clearspring Central Command.  Can’t wait for this!

So… Portland look out!  I’m coming your way.

Beauty and Simplicity that comes with Constraint

So yeah… Flickr has launched Flickr Video and the big surprise is that the videos can only be 90 seconds long. Before you start moaning and groaning about it, let’s sit back and think about this.

Didn’t we all moan and groan when we found out Twitter had a 140 character limit?  Now Twitter is a Web 2.0 darling.

Constraint brings simplicity.  90 seconds mean that most likely the video is raw and unedited.  It’s the video that comes from the digital photo camera or from your camera phone.

Constraint can also bring great beauty.  Think of haiku. Think of Twitter.  There is a certain level of clarity in what you say when you have a limit on how you can say it.

I’m confident that if people keep an open mind Flickr Video will be a medium for creativity and expression for many years to come.

It’s about trust…

Steve Rubel has a great blog post – “Startups That Fail to Invest in Trust Will All Die“…

Web startups need access to talent. Often they need capital too (and a smart strategy for managing it). But I am going to argue here that their most essential currency is trust. However, a lot of emerging companies in particular tend to ignore it.

Great post… I think he’s right on.

Community Manager – the relationship guy

When I’m out talking to people, they’ll ask “oh what do you do?” Most have never heard of a community manager at a company so I’ve had to figure out a way to explain it.

Sometimes it feels like my job is part sales/buiz dev/tech support/pr/marketing/dev/spokesman.  It’s kind of crazy.

I guess the best way to explain my job as community manager is that I’m the relationship guy.  I’m the one who gets out there in the community and gets out there with the people who use our product.  I form relationships.  Sometimes I talk.  More of the time I listen.

I truly think that if you want to be successful as a company it’s more about being real with people and believing in your product than selling.

If you have a good product that you believe in and you’re real, genuine, and form relationships with the people you interact with, you, your product, and your company can be successful.

Options – a book that made me laugh out loud

Because I’ve been traveling a lot lately and have had a longer commute to work, I’ve had much more time to read.  One of the books that I recently finished is “Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody” by Daniel Lyons.

Not too often is there a book that has actually made me laugh out loud. This book made me laugh out loud.

The book is kind of an out growth of Lyons’ blog –  The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, which is also a riot to read.

I’d recommend reading the book to anyone who is like me a member of the cult of mac.