January 5, 2010

6 simple stats you need to measure on Twitter

Birds on wires

This is day 4 of the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Yesterday we spoke about measuring stats on your blog. Today we’ll be gathering some stats on where you’re at on Twitter.

John HaydonIn two weeks we’ll discuss how to analyze your network more deeply to build specific strategies. For now, we want to set a baseline so you can measure growth over the next 2, 3 and 6 months.

The three basic measurements



This number indicates reach. Your followers number is the number of people that have shown on interest in your Twitter stream. Track how your follower numbers grow by jotting it down every month or so in an excel spreadsheet. You’ll notice the more followers you gain, the faster this number will grow (to a point). Keep in mind that some of these folks only followed you in hopes that you’d follow back and may not be part of your actual community.

2. Following

This number has meaning when put next to your followers number. Are you following more people than the number of people following you? If so, you might want to look at adding more value on Twitter. If you’re new on Twitter, keep in mind that this number might be higher than your follower number. That will change with time and effort. Continue reading

October 19, 2009

Louder: A collaborative campaigning platform

Amy Sample Ward“Together we are … LOUDER!” It’s true! And that’s the leading tag for a new campaigning platform called  Louder

The platform just hit open beta, so create an account and start playing. You can create your own campaigns with unique URLs, add all kinds of media, and then start campaigning for change!

Here are some initial impressions.

What’s Louder?

LOUDER will be the new online home for campaigners. The free and accessible site draws together a range of social media tools for people who want to change the world.

Through Louder you will be able to create a microsite for your campaign with the most used ‘change-tools’ the web has to offer. You will be able to connect to and manage profiles on other social media sites helping you coordinate supporter action.

To help make your campaign louder you will be able to connect up with other campaigns and those running them. Providing a much needed online space for campaigners, from international NGOs to grass roots activists, to link up collaborate and share experiences.

Why I like Louder

I’ve been playing around with the new platform a bit and am quite excited about it.  I think it has a lot of potential to join with campaigning tools like Fairsay’s tool for Plone and collaborative tools like Zanby.

I like that Louder …

  1. lets you create and distribute content all over the web
  2. brings in content you create elsewhere
  3. lets you work on a campaign without everything being “live”
  4. uses a straightforward process to set up modules and then drag/drop to design your page
  5. is being developed by folks IN the nonprofit and campaigning for change sector, so they “get it” already
  6. Continue reading

July 31, 2009

Best new Twitter tool: HootSuite 2.0

Guest post by Chris Abraham

Back in the earlier days of third-party Twitter apps (just a few months ago, actually), a few very effective web-based services got my attention: SocialToo, TweetLater, and HootSuite. Sad thing was, while they were all very powerful services, they were all poorly designed, very hacked together, and fugly. Enter the elegant, sexy, feature-rich HootSuite 2.0 (no matter what you think about all the controversy and extortion — see below).

Everyone’s talking about HootSuite 2.0

Today, while I was monitoring my stream-o-tweets, I noticed that every third person of the 2,587 I currently follow were tweeting that they “upgraded to #HootSuite 2.0 because it works http://hootsuite.com/upgrade.” HootSuite — pronounced like it sounds (HOOT-sweet) and a play on the French phrase tout de suite — was the first online player to offer multi-Twitter-account management and Twittering, an essential tool to any business application of Twitter that required the management of more than one Twitter account, such as @marcon, @abrahamharrison, @chrisabraham, etc.

Continue reading

July 30, 2009

California’s Secretary of State: Come and collaborate!

Debra Bowen

JD LasicaSpent Wednesday night at SocialVoter, a special event featuring California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and presented by CitizenSpace and the Social Media Club. You can follow the tweets on Twitter — for the next two weeks, anyway, when they disappear. So I thought a blog recap would be in order.

Here, too, is a Flickr photo set of the gathering.

For readers who don’t know Debra Bowen, she’s one of the most forward-looking public officials in the land, with a presence on Twitter (@DBowen) and Facebook and, more importantly, a commitment to bringing the public into public policy discussions.

The conversation between Bowen and the 35 participants in the room was free-flowing and wide-ranging, with suggestions about how to provide voters with critical information about candidates and ballot initiatives, how to crowdsource ballot explanations, how to increase transparency in the election process, et al.

Instant runoffs and crowdsourcing ballot arguments

Some highlights:

• Debra Bowen: “The most important resource we have in the Secretary of State’s Office is that I’m there and I want to make this happen. I want people to tell me about how they think this should work. … That’s your job, to figure out where this might go” and to help her and her staff work in a highly collaborative way. “What if people actually worked at the front of the policy chain instead of reacting to it?”

Echoes of President Obama’s call for bottom-up civic participation.

• One practical reason Bowen is looking to democratize some of the work that might traditionally fall to her office: The Secretary of State’s office has 470 employees. 80% of them are doing corporate and business filings and document processing. The elections staff has fewer than 30 employees. The voter education “staff” consists of one full-time and two part-time workers.

• I’ve long been among those who support a system of “instant runoff voting,” which San Francisco has done in the past and Alameda County and other districts are now seriously considering.

In an instant runoff, voters get to vote for not just their favorite candidate but their second and third choices, allowing citizens to vote for their preferred candidate rather than the lesser of two evils. If your candidate finishes out of the running, your vote goes to your second choice, allowing races with multiple candidates to be decided instantly without a runoff. Brilliant.

Said Bowen: “One of the conditions will be a voter education program so we don’t lose a big chunk of voters for an election or two while they figure out how it works.”

• For decades, California voters have been presented with two sides of every ballot proposition, pro and con. “East of the Mississippi, no one does this,” Bowen said. They’re either flummoxed or amazed. But some states are looking to California to emulate the practice.

Meantime, Bowen is taking the pro and con idea one step further. What if we crowdsourced the ballot arguments? she asked us. How would that look? Who polices it? How could people contribute, and should the arguments be limited to just two?

Continue reading

June 10, 2009

When help comes in a box

Tactical Tech

kiwanjaFor those of you who don’t know, Tactical Tech is an international NGO specialising in helping human rights advocates use information, communications and digital technologies to maximise the impact of their advocacy work. They empower by providing advocates with guides, tools, training and consultancy which help them develop the skills and tactics they need to increase the impact of their campaigning.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Tactical Tech over the past couple of years, and am a huge fan of their work. If you’re an NGO, or work with NGOs, then take a look at some of the tool kits they’ve put together. Just like any good sweet shop, there’s something in there for everyone.

Mobiles in a box

Designed to support campaigners looking to use mobile technology in their work
English: http://mobiles.tacticaltech.org
French: http://fr.mobiles.tacticaltech.org
Email: mobiles{at}tacticaltech.org

Message in-a-box

A set of strategic guides and tools to help non-profits create media and communicate for social change
English: http://www.messageinabox.tacticaltech.org
Email: miab{at}tacticaltech.org

Security in-a-box

Created to meet the digital security and privacy needs of advocates and human rights defenders
English: http://security.ngoinabox.org
Soon in Arabic, Russian, French, Spanish
Email: security{at}tacticaltech.org

Continue reading

June 5, 2009

How to use Seesmic Desktop

John HaydonYou’ve started using Twitter to find new supporters. But now you’re having a tough time managing the “stream.”

Fortunately, there are many applications (both desktop and web-based) to help you organize your followers and conversations on Twitter.

One such tool is Seesmic.

Below are three videos I created for folks who want to learn how to use Seesmic.

Video 1


Continue reading