Saturday, June 27, 2009

twitter: @TferThomas' rules ... Setting up your account



One of the main things that keeps me constantly drawn to twitter, over most other social / business online sites, is the wide diversity of my friends on twitter, and the different approaches these people implement, to run their twitter lives.




That said, the following is an overview of my initial twitter rules of engagement... how I believe a twitter account should be set up.



SETTING UP YOUR ACCOUNT:




  1. HAVING A SIMPLE USERNAME: I have used TferThomas for a number of reasons; it includes my first name, I believe it is a little catchy, it is not embarrassing, it doesn't make you believe I am something I am not, and I believe it is relatively easy to remember... all good networking positives.


  2. HAVE A GOOD PROFILE PHOTO: I use the photo above for basically everything I do online, for the following reasons; it is a happy photo, it display all of my face relatively close up, it represents a professional side of me (yet not coldly), it is a friendly photo... all good networking positives. The photo remains a constant for me, which makes it easy for my friends to find me in their twitter stream, especially my BlackBerry friends who are using one of the many BlackBerry twitter applications (SocialScope, yatca, Ubertwitter, twitterberry, etc) and as such the avatars are smaller.

  3. HAVE A BIO: A small summary of what you are about as your bio is probably one of the easiest, yet most effective way of convincing others to follow you. and it needs to be stated here, that your bio needs to actually reflect you... be yourself. If you are here to market, then say so. 140 characters per tweet does not leave any room for deceptive marketing. If you don't have a bio, what are you actually hiding?
  4. INCLUDE A FULL LENGTH URL IN YOU BIO: nothing flags more as potential spam as a tinyurl or bit.ly URL in your bio. Including a full length URL will help encourage others to actually click on it, and get to know you that much more intimately.
  5. LOCATION: I believe it is more effective to have your actual location listed, and I am not talking micro-details. I show Brisbane, Australia as my location enabling my followers to know exactly where I am geographically, allowing them another choice.
  6. BACKGROUND: I use @twitbacks as the source of my backgrounds and happy to promote their services here. I believe having a non standard background is important from an attention grabbing perspective... ie. making your account stand out from the crowd. Remember twitter is all about rapid fire 140 character tweets, and the twitterverse moves quickly.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on setting up a twitter account. Later, I shall pass on my thoughts about how to tweet, how to interact, and maintain your little part of the greater twitterverse.

Until then, be safe,

TferThomas

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Working Sm@rt with BlackBerry... overcoming the digital deluge

One of the biggest concerns which is raised with me when someone is considering using a BlackBerry, is will the BlackBerry take over my life? And without the proper groundwork, training and implementation of that training, any device accessing email, internet and the like, can try to take your life over.



Priority Management (whom I work for in their Brisbane & Melbourne offices in Australia) have a very effective half day training program for BlackBerry devices, & it's called Working Sm@rt with BlackBerry.



In their words...



"If you have a BlackBerry, and have learnt the basics, we have the process for increasing your productivity.



We created this workshop in conjunction with Research In Motion when the world's largest distributor of BlackBerry devices wanted to train their employees to use this tool more effectively.



Graduates of this class maintain increased productivity and enhanced on the job performance by knowing how to match the right process and skill set when using their BlackBerry."



This half day training program is delivered either in a training room environment (for a group of individuals or a group from a specific company), or across the internet wherever in the world you are, via WebEx (as long as you have a computer accessing the internet and you have a landline.... you need to "play" with BlackBerry during the training).



For more information, check out Working Sm@rt with BlackBerry at Priority Management http://prioritymanagment.com.au/ or email me thomas.s@prioritybrisbane.com



Get your life back! Use the BlackBerry for what it is intended for.... a tool to assist your productivity.



Thomas

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Learn to like yourself first....

Many of you would have heard of the term "people pleaser" I am sure, but if you haven't, allow me to explain. In my words, a "people pleaser" is a person whose main aim is to please others, and quite often, that is to the detriment of themselves (in other words, putting others' needs and wants before their very own).

Now, I am no psychologist, but this is not good for your self esteem, your positiveness, your motivation to develop as an individual, or more importantly, to like yourself as a person. By concentrating on others, you are not focusing on yourself (and I don't mean in a conceited way).


How can others like you, if you don't like yourself?

You really need to understand who you actually are, accept who you are, and be the best person you can be, while all the time remembering who you are.

If you can't be yourself, how can you strive to be a better person, or grow as the person you are? If you try to be someone you are not, you are not being true to yourself, and you simply cannot grow as the person you are.

But wait, what about striving to be a better person and so become a different person as a result? Sure this is fine, but in the end, you really don't know how you will develop.... all the fun of developing yourself and going on life's journey.... your journey. Note this clearly however, you do not know the end, or where you will end up.... if you think you do, then you are not being true to yourself.

Importantly, accept who you are and what your limitations are.... for me, I acknowledge the fact I am hopeless at most sports, not comfortable in fixing problems with Windows on my PC, but I know I am a hopeless romantic, I am a good listener, a reasonable networker, and a whiz on my BlackBerry. I have only listed a few things here, but you get the idea....

So one thing which helps me is to write down a list:
  • Things I am good at
  • Things I am not good at and will never be good at (normally, these are not important to me)
  • Things I am not good at but could become good at (my goals for improving myself)

Every month, review the list and map your development, watching how the first list (good at) increases while the last list (improving) reduces.... I am on my way to accepting myself as for who I am, which in turn, opens the door for other people to see me as "me". Friendship may, or may not develop, but if it develops, it is real.

Hope this helps. My thoughts for now,

Thomas

Saturday, June 6, 2009

SnapMyLife

Picked this application up the other day (it is free download from BlackBerry Application World) and it is quite an interesting application that relies on the BlackBerry (or any camera phone) and its user's mobility.

SnapMyLife in their words:
"Instantly share and view photos on your mobile phone.
SNAP a picture with your camera phone.
SEND to friends, family or the world.
VIEW everyone's photos from your phone."

It's free to join and I as I said before, the application for BlackBerry is also free. In fact, as the screen shot shows, there are two applications for twitter, and three ways to upload photos:
1. SnapMyLife application for BlackBerry: upload your photo as soon as you take directly to your SnapMyLife account. The SnapMyLife application runs in the background & pops up as soon as you have taken a photo.
2. Email the photo to your SnapMyLife account directly with the use of an email address specific to your account (attach the photo as a file, and type the comments for the photo in the subject field of the email)
3. Snap2twitter application for BlackBerry: take a photo and the Snap2twitter application for BlackBerry pops up (runs in the background), refer second screen shot) and prompts you with either save or save and send to twitter & allows you to add some commentary. It also then sends the photo and comments to your SnapMyLife account.

SnapMyLife suggest you may have to disable one of the SnapMyLife applications for BlackBerry to avoid potential conflict, so I guess there may be some developmental work underway here.

Two main disadvantages to these useful & extremely easy to use BlackBerry applications:
1. Applications are only available to be downloaded from the BlackBerry Application World (although to their credit, the developer emailed me the applications (here in Australia, RIM have not provided us with access to the BlackBerry Application World) with great descriptive instructions on how to load)
2. At this stage, the applications only run via your phone carrier's data plan, and don't have BIS support (at the time of writing, I am still awaiting the developer's thoughts of when BIS support will become available), so ensure you have a good data plan.

My SnapMyLife account can be found http://snapmylife.com/users/tferthomas

For more info contact Mobicious Inc's site http://snapmylife.com/

Enjoy,

TferThomas

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

twittering from the BlackBerry Bold

Most of my tweets come via my BlackBerry Bold, and as of today I have most of the popular BlackBerry twitter clients installed and in use. So starting from left to right:

Socialscope (@SocialScope):
• This is still my favourite twitter application
• Really effective twitter and facebook integration
• Good search and follow functionality
• Easily move from Replies, Direct Messages, Timeline, and Facebook via top menu tabs
• Quite quick with updates & low battery life usage
• Post photos into your twitter timeline
• The rarest of all twitter applications (alpha testing)

Ubertwitter (@Ubertwiter):
• The newcomer for me, given they both have BIS support
• Location notification
• A little slower in responsiveness compared to Socialscope
• Includes separate timeline of your own tweets
• Locational search function

Viigo (@Viigo http://getviigo.com/alpha):
• Basically one of the most useful applications available for a BlackBerry
• Tweet interesting stuff directly from your RSS feeds (afterall Viigo is first and foremost a RSS reader)
• It is also a twitter client as well, though more responsive than twitterberry, but less than SocialScope and Ubertwitter

Pinwall (we shall leave this one for another time)

twitterberry (http://www.orangatame.com/twitterberry/):
• I guess from my perspective, the original twitter client for my BlackBerry devices, and ever dependable
• Slow compared to SocialScope and Ubertwitter
• Has a separate screen for your own timeline

yatca (yet another twitter client application: yatca.wordpress.com/):
• I cannot get this one to work well for me due to the integration of it into the native BlackBerry Messages folder (when you have 4,000 + followers tweeting, your Messages folder gets a little out of control). So for me, updates have been switched off
• Good simple application for posting a photo (whether taking a photo and posting at the same time, or extracting a saved photo) into your twitter timeline, and can be done from the menu function of any application you are working in at the time
• The above also applies to tweeting.

So overall, SocialScope remains my favourite, with Ubertwitter keeping it honest. Note, I have not tried tweetgenius yet, as at the time of writing, it does not have BIS support (update... now it does, but it is a pay for application).

Hope this helps someone out there.

Enjoy,
TferThomas