Posted on | July 11, 2011
After my one month twiends.com experiment period I suffice to say that this service does not qualify for maintaining a target audience on Twitter. This is the single biggest problem I found while using this service: you can not precisely enough target your audience.
In my experience, If I would need to describe the target audience that can be found on this platform, I’d describe it as “thinking that social proof equals the number of followers on twitter or likes on Facebook.” They don’t care about the follower or the fan in any aspect. (How so? Twiends does not reflect the quality of people going to follow you, only the quality of people you might wanna follow.)
I spent about $40 for the smallest subscription package for seeds until I canceled the service few days ago. It is definitely possible to trick the service and harvest large amounts of seeds with code snippets found here and there but I didn’t wanted to opt for that. I received a wide spread field of new followers varying from almost al aspects the Twitter-sphere has to offer. Most of them seemed to me as accounts that sole purpose was to spread automated “spam” without real value.
If you want to get your Twitter account started you could use twiends to boost your number of followers in the beginning. The more sophisticated your become about your account and the community of friends and followers around it, the less useful the service is.
Back in the days when I started using twiends I had less that 150 Followers on Twitter. I think that one part of them followed me because I followed them first and they followed me back. Another part followed me because the knew that I would follow them back, as soon as I did, they dropped. The second I registered at twiends.com my follower count spiked. I think that initial mass of followers came due to the very liberal/progressive default settings. I tried to control follower-flow throughout the past weeks by continuously adjusting the little options I had. The first thing was to limit my exposure only to tweeps residing in the U.S. as well. This was the closest match I could make in terms of “target audience”.
I played around the “drop rate” option but it was very in-transparent how the drop rate actually is defined or calculated. The most “useful” option was the one to expose my twiends account to other members using the community for at least 48 hours. So the definitely would be returning twiends users.
I received emails several times that said that I got “seeds back” as a VIP member because a growing number of people abuse the system.
To sum it up and to answer the question from the headline: No, Twiends.com does not qualify for a social media optimization tool. Same is probably true for competitors including the service clone Twimates.com which advertises exactly the same functionality as twiends but has a really ugly front page. They call their virtual currency grains instead of seeds but the concept sounds all to familiar.
Posted on | June 27, 2011
Paper.li is a Twitter aggregation service where everybody can sign up for free via a Twitter account and become a publisher of their own Twitter newspaper publication.
Every day paper.li will publish a tweet on the Twitter account that signed up for the service. This is also my biggest point of concern. If you start a new twitter account this can be considered as spam among you early followers.
Apart from this annoyance, I’d like to ask what the use of such a tweet would be anyway. It contains a link to your paper.li page which is non of your websites that contains an almost random set of content determined by the accounts followers. It is highly likely that none of the content points back at your own sites. The same way the page content is build a set of followers is selected for the tweet. Their is now way of determining who that would be.
In my opinion these are plenty factors that you can not directly influence. This way they do not qualify as direct metric for any targeted social media campaign. Their is now way to optimize the results and thus optimize any SMO campaign with the help of this service.
I had contact with tweeps that got confused by being randomly mentioned on my Twitter timeline contributing to something that they are completely unfamiliar with. In none of my social media optimization campaigns I would like to confuse my targeted audience. The same day I signed up for paper.li I canceled the service again on all Twitter accounts I set them up with. I also revoked access to my Twitter accounts for the service.
Almost like twiends I conclude that paper.li does not qualify for any social media campaign!
Posted on | June 24, 2011
A word of advice to begin with: You need to be able to change your nameserver settings to use ClooudFlare. Find out how this works for you provider. I’m using hover.com and hover users need to “unlock” their domain for CloudFlare to work properly.
The basic CloudFlare service can be used for free without any change of code in your site. Instead of your regular DNS servers, you use a CloudFlare DNS. The server will route the website visitor to the one proxy that is geolocated closest to the origin request. The CloudFlare proxy servers will cache your pages content. This lowers load on your actual webserver running your site.
The CloudFlare dashboard offers detailed metrics e.g. about page views or security issues. I’m not using the service long enough to tell if they are of any use but at first glance they don’t replace a service like Google Analytics or similar.
CloudFlare offers many additional services but I didn’t try them as I want to keep full control of what content is cached and delivered. If you setup is not as sophisticated you might consider the minification for example.
I’ll keep you updated on how CloudFlare works out for me.
You don’t pay money to use the free CloudFlare service but you provide a whole lot of information about web-site traffic information and visitors to your site. Please take this into consideration before opting for CloudFlare Service. It is possible to insert code into your website at proxy level. Their are a whole lot more security implications. To completely turn off the service you need to update your DNS servers nameserver settings and wait for other caching DNS systems to adjust.
Posted on | June 21, 2011
Yesterday I tried to update the “w3 total cache WordPress plugin” to version 0.9.2.2 but it is still broken. The problems are not all the same but they are close to the ones from version 0.9.2.1. Page Cache seems to work with the update. Minification only works if you do not upload the minified files [...] Continue reading »
Posted on | June 20, 2011
On my quest for search engine optimization I created the next little tool called SEO Helper, that I proudly present to you now. It is available from today on for free for you to use. I told you before that I’m working on something to help your SEO while writing Posts. » SEO Helper on WordPress.org [...] Continue reading »
Posted on | June 16, 2011
Think about your target audience. Think about the times your targeted group of people would read their twitter timeline. For social media optimization sake you want to make at least a close assumption whether it is weekend or “9-5″. Is it the first half of a day or the second half of a day? A [...] Continue reading »