Category Archives: Social Media & Networking

Future Midwest

In response to a horrible piece by Dateline last night regarding Detroit, I wanted to share a positive look into our city, via a very well-made video: http://vimeo.com/11021663 put together by FutureMidwest.

I attended FutureMidwest last week (a 2 day conference held in Royal Oak) which is helping to raise awareness, educate and push innovation in our area.

For those looking for new opportunities, another site you might want to check out is: http://detroit.startupweekend.org/

If you have an idea, or desire to contribute to your own “startup” I highly encourage you to check them out – it’s an [aggressive] process that has been growing nationally, and this is the Detroit flavor.

Naturally, there are more traditional ways to starting your own business, but this could be a fun way for you to get exposure, experiment and maybe even learn something??

Hope to see you there!?

Looking forward to TEDxDetroit!

The area’s leading creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, designers, scientists, thinkers and doers will gather on Wednesday, October 21st to share what they are most passionate about — positive ideas for the world from Detroit.  For more info, visit: http://www.tedxdetroit.com/

TED is an annual event where the top minds in the world share, connect and inspire. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three subjects that, collectively, shape our future. The event draws CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists and extraordinary speakers including Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.

You can view hundreds of other interesting an engaging TEDtalks from extraordinary speakers like Al Gore, Jill Bolte Taylor, Seth Godin, Elizabeth Gilbert and Tony Robbins at TED.com.

A Dozen Uses for Social Media

This article outlines a dozen ways that companies can use social media. For the full twelve, head over to this article. It’s little wonder so many companies are hiring full-time social media folks.

Here are some of the favorites:

1. Listen to your consumers.
2. Talk to your consumers face-to-face.
3. Respond to customer service issues.
4. Creative massive conversations about your brand.
5. Collect data with custom apps.

Facebook Fan Page Tips

Every Facebook Page is a unique experience where users can become more deeply connected with your business or brand as they would a friend or family member.

Facebook is a platform for communication. Although many users have joined brand pages advocating various messages, the average Facebook user doesn’t want content pushed to them, particularly contests or other promotional programs that don’t speak to their overall enthusiasm for a brand. These types of promotions can be supported on the Facebook Fan Page, but should not be the primary focus and should be housed in other digital arenas.

Successful communities on Facebook offer an attitude of openness, transparency and enthusiasm – not a technology platform for advertising.

The following outlines 3 fan types  who participate in Facebook’s “Fan Pages”.

#1 The Enthusiast: Representing the greatest number (85-90%) of participants, the Brand Enthusiast is simply a person who wants the Facebook equivalent of a “bumper sticker” on their profile. Since they make up the bulk of the community, attracting them to join is a very important objective. They are enthusiasts of a brand and they want the world to know it.  It’s wise to encourage this consumer to participate more in the group, but be careful not to over “spam” them because it’s just as easy to leave a page as it is to join. A bulky enthusiast population promotes community vitality.

#2 The Advocate: The next largest group (5-10%) of participants represents the people who will continually update content on the page by simple “acknowledgements”. These people consume the content and post messages on the wall, provide feedback on message boards and comment on content. It’s important that you give as many places for the Advocate to participate as possible. The reason this is so important is twofold:

  • The more participation you initiate from a Brand Advocate, the more vibrant the community becomes. They feed the “ego” of the person who provided the original content (Brand Influencer), and often encourages them to produce more content.
  • Every time a person participates in any way on the Page, their personal “news feed” broadcasts their action, thereby promoting the brand to their entire network.

#3 The Influencer: Representing the smallest group is the Brand Influencer at about 1%. This active community member provides all the advocacy and enthusiasm of the other group members, but is also active in original content creation. These “uploaders” are very important in the long-term health of the community.

Many companies make the mistake of assuming the primary role of Brand Influencer in their community over the long term. It’s important to assume this role to establish momentum, but over time, if no brand influencers self-identify and no user-generated content is contributed, the community will begin to suffer credibility issues and lose its vibrancy.

Four Stages of Twitter Adoption

Twitter can be an invaluable tool for business networking, but most new users don’t get it at first. Learn why in this look at the four stages that the average Twitter user traverses on the path from newbie to devotee. [Originally posted by Jason Hiner here.]


There’s a strange phenomenon that happens almost every time someone joins Twitter. They hate it. At least at first.But many of the people who once hated Twitter — or at least, didn’t quite get it in the beginning — are now many of its most active users and raving fans. So what’s going on here?

There seems to be four natural stages that the average Twitter user goes through from the point of first trying it until the point of fully embracing it and making it a part of daily life. Obviously, not everyone sticks with it and becomes a Twitter devotee, but there’s definitely a growing cadre of people who believe that there’s some magic happening in the Twittosphere

You can find me on Twitter at twitter.com/StevenRobert

Because Twitter can be used as a valuable business tool, it’s worth talking about the four Twitter stages in order to help recognize users in these stages when you’re choosing who to follow and to keep new Twitter users from getting discouraged and missing the opportunities available on Twitter. So here they are:

1. Confusion and indignation

When a person first signs up for Twitter, the first challenge is figuring out who to follow. Twitter now has its “Suggested Users” feature to help people get started. Jason put together a list of technology personalities worth following on Twitter to help new techies when they sign up for Twitter.

However, even when they find some people to follow, new Twitterers usually look at their Twitter stream and start wondering, “Why would I care what my colleagues are eating for lunch?” or “What’s interesting about a software engineer posting that she’s walking her dog?”

That experience usually leads people to shake their heads and not come back to Twitter for a few days, or even weeks or months.

2. The first “Aha!” moment

Eventually, the user comes back periodically to check Twitter out of pure curiosity. During those casual forays, the person often has a first “Aha!” moment, where they find something really interesting or timely on Twitter that wasn’t available from news, RSS feeds, or word of mouth from their friends.

This could be a piece of news that someone reported on Twitter before it actually hit the wires, it could be a rumor about something that a company like Apple is doing, or even something like NFL teams announcing their picks for the draft on Twitter before they even went up to the podium to make the official selection.

3. Remembering to tweet

After the first “Aha” moment, the user typically starts checking Twitter more often, but still tends to post very infrequently. The next stage of Twitter initiation comes when the user reads something useful online or makes a mental observation about something and then thinks, “I should post that Twitter!”

At this point, the user is still relying mostly on the twitter.com homepage to access Twitter but is starting to go there at least a couple times a day to check on the latest buzz, and has typically found a good mix of friends, news feeds, industry celebrities, and thought leaders to follow.

4. Thinking in 140 characters

Once the person becomes a daily Twitter user, it’s over. The person is almost always hooked, and is now on the path to becoming a power user. This is when most (though not all) users switch from using twitter.com to using a desktop Twitter client like Tweetdeck or Seesmic.

Meanwhile, the user also often has a mobile Twitter client like UberTwitter (for BlackBerry) or Tweetie (for iPhone) in order to stay connected to the Twitter stream on the go. Those that don’t have smartphone often use Twitter via SMS text messages. [Personally, I like 1.) Twitterrific or 2.) TwitterFon – both for the iPhone, of course.]

At this point, the person is a Twitter power user who regularly adds new people and brands to follow and also regularly unfollows people who post too many inane messages about their meals or just doesn’t post enough useful stuff.

The power user also tends to regularly think about and look for things to post on Twitter throughout the day, to the point of self-editing thoughts for brevity in order to fit into Twitter’s 140 character limit.

Final word

The beauty of Twitter is in its simplicity of use and the direct connection it provides to people whose activities and opinions you care about.

Apple recently wrote a case study about Twitter because Twitter uses a lot of Apple products. In the article, Apple wrote, “Twitter’s meteoric rise to ubiquity is proof positive that the world, in all its complexity, is eager to embrace simplicity.”

Twitter can be an very useful tool for business and technology professionals. For more articles by Jason, see:

And here are a couple external links worth looking at:

If you use Twitter, which of the four stages are you in?

Tatango TV – Live Casting

Startup finds interesting way to do self-promotion, broadcasts their office live via the web: http://tatango.tv/

Jury is still out on how effective this will be, initial interest has spiked, but criticism has begun to surface around value of experience, many have sited, there isn’t much “action” going on.. and the startup-story isn’t exactly jumping off the screen.

Either way, check it out – to me startups always provide something of value, even if only for a couple moments.. 🙂

TechNow 09 Recap

If you missed the TechNow 09 event last night at the Royal Oak Music Theatre you can recap most the action here:

Congrats to bablur, shopFiber, Leftos, Hab.la and uwemp. Nice job organizing the event and pulling together the MI tech community, a great panel and group of sponsors.  Let’s keep the innovation cycle going!!

http://www.technow09.com/index.php