Introducing Ello, the New Ad-Free Social Network

ello social network

Ello is a new social network that has literally exploded onto the social networking scene. It’s in private beta right now, so you’ll need in Invite from someone to get an account. Think Facebook and Twitter combined into one social media network–without all of the ads, retweets, and “likes”. And there’s no algorithm behind their newsfeed or timeline. If someone you’re following or “friends” with posts or says “ello”, then you’ll see it in your feed. [Read more…]

Facebook Shows Breaking News in Newsfeed 2 Days After Event Occurs

Thanks, Facebook. Thanks a lot. Thanks for showing breaking news (from a local news station near me) TWO DAYS after the event happened. No, not minutes or even a few hours after the breaking news event happened, but TWO DAYS after the news station posted it to Facebook.


Above, you’ll see the screen capture of what just appeared in my Facebook newsfeed, I use the term ‘newsfeed’ only because that’s what they call it–not that it’s an actual newsfeed in the actual sense of the word. This “breaking news” event, was posted by CBS DFW (a local tv news station that I’ve ‘liked’ on Facebook) on Friday, August 22nd. But Facebook chooses to actually show it to me, in my Facebook newsfeed, roughly 2 days after it occurred. [Read more…]

Twitter: No Employee Twitter Accounts are Verified Accounts

Last week, I was speaking at the ClickZ Live Toronto conference, and Kirstine Stewart, head of Twitter Canada, was one of the keynote speakers. According to Ms. Stewart, no Twitter accounts of employees are Verified accounts. Not even the CEO’s account.

twitter employees verified accounts

I actually find this kind of odd. It seems to me that if you were someone who is officially representing Twitter, your account should be a Verified Account. I would want to know that the person tweeting at that account is, in fact, acting in an official capacity and not actually some ‘imposter’ so to speak. Well, in fact, no employee Twitter Accounts are verified accounts. [Read more…]

Google Ripples Shows You How and When a Post Went Viral

I have written about this before, but I have to say, that I really like the Google Ripples feature of Google Plus. It shows you exactly how, when, and where a post on Google Plus went viral, and exactly who did the sharing to make it do so. Not only can you see when the post went viral, but you can actually see who shared the post and who did the resharing of the post. You can see exactly who the influencer is and, ideally get them to post. They’re exactly the ones who you want to connect with.

Let’s take, for example, the post I did today on Google+, the post that obviously hit many people’s hearts. It’s these types of posts that make people take notice. But let’s look first at the Google Ripples for the post.

Google_Ripples - 2013-11-14_16_57_40

If you see a post that you want to examine, for example, one that obviously has a lot of shares and +1s, you can click first on the date and time of the post. That will bring you directly to the post, on another web page by itself.


If you click on the time, in this case 2:37pm, you will be brought to the page.

If you mouseover the post itself you will see a dropdown menu on the top right of the post. That allows you to see the Ripples of the post, and you can then explore the Google Ripples from there. Take another look at the Ripples screen shot I posted at the top of this post. You’ll see that in the middle, I was the one who made the post. Then, from there, you will see all of the people who +1d and shared the post.

You can zoom into the Ripples to see who did the sharing. At this point, you may want to click on certain people who were able to get others to share the post. Those are the influencers here. So, in this case, you would want to add me because of my network of people on Google+. Turns out that you would also want to add other people here, such as those in the larger circles who had their posts then reshared again.

My tip? Browse the What’s Hot page on Google+ and look at the influencers. Those people who got people so share their posts. Add those influencers and follow them. Share their posts. Comment on their posts. Be the first to comment on their posts.

That, my friend, will eventually make you an influencer.

Google Plus Algorithm Still Needs Work

Google+ is a great social network–and integrating certain features such as Google Authorship with Google’s organic search results is a great move. But, from what I’m seeing today, the algorithm that Google+ uses for the feed/timeline could use some work. More specifically, how Google’s internal system determines “What’s Hot” needs a lot of work.

Let me show you what I mean. When you go to the “What’s Hot” drop-down menu, you’re supposed to see “what’s hot” and trending on Google+. You can get to it as shown below:

google plus whats hot

Hint: I usually frequent the “What’s Hot” on Google+ for several reasons:
– you learn what it takes to “go hot” on Google+
– you can comment on the hot items, which helps your personal branding and visibility
– you can share ‘what’s hot’ with others who may not have seen the item before, most likely resulting in you getting +1s and comments on that item.

But, today, when I went to the “What’s Hot” feature on Google+, scrolling down I see this:

google plus algorithm example

You may need to click on the screen shot above to see it in a larger format.

Really!?! Google? Can’t your Google+ algorithm at least figure out that two separate people are sharing the SAME EXACT ITEM, and can’t your internal algorithm figure out that it’s probably not a good idea to show the same exact item at the same time on your What’s Hot feed? Obviously someone posted this first–so it’s only logical for me to expect that you would pick the first one. And then just not show the same item again?

You would think that this is fairly simple to figure out. But apparently not.
But something as simple as not showing the same exact item in one feed should have been already taken care of by the algorithm.

Does this mean that if I have something that I want to share, and it’s actually possible for me to technically get that item to show as being “hot” on the Google+ social network not only once, but twice, or what about three times? If someone knew exactly what it takes to get something to “go hot”, then it appears that Google’s algorithm for determining this could be “gamed” so to speak.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Google+, I have been a fan since just about day one. In fact, I have written a lot about Google Plus. If you are not on Google+ yet, and not going there at least once a week (I recommend at least once a day), then you’re missing out.

But when items suddenly start to appear more than once in the “What’s Hot” feed, it appears that Google’s algorithm for determining “What’s Hot” is not what it’s supposed be doing: taking care of these types of issues.

Do you think the Google+ algorithm can be ‘gamed”?

When to Post on Social Media Networks

As you probably know, I am very active on just about all of the social media networks. I post often, share often, am very active. Probably more active than 90 percent of my social media and search engine optimization colleagues. I have been for years. In fact, it’s been at least 10 years that I’ve been sharing, commenting, and posting on social media and social bookmarking sites. What I have learned over the past 10 plus years doing this, is that there are optimal times to post on social media sites and there are times when you don’t want to post. If you post or share at certain times, your post won’t be seen, no matter how many followers or friends that you have. So, when is the best time to post on social media networks? There’s a great infographic out that details all of this for you.

best time to post on social media

So, basically, if you plan your day right, and you are doing any posting and promoting of items that you want to get seen, then this is how your day should look:

7:00am post to LinkedIn
9:00am post to Google +
1:00pm post to Facebook
2:00pm post to Twitter
3:00pm post to Pinterest

Kind of makes sense to me, as there are times when people go on LinkedIn, which is before and after work. Then, while they are at work using Google, people are looking at Google+. After lunch, people check their Facebook and Twitter. Then, after work they are unhappy with their job. So, they go back onto LinkedIn. Then, after 8:00pm people are hanging out on Pinterest.

If you were promoting a certain blog post, or article, for example, then you could set up “reminders” such as a Microsoft Outlook appointment to post at a certain time on a certain social network. Especially if there is a certain day that you’re launching a new product, posting a new blog post, or whatever.

This original graphic was originally posted on Google+ where I saw it first.

Rebekah Radice had this to say on her Google+ post:
“Use social media to ask questions, build buzz and get the conversation around your personal brand started!

Here’s how:

1. Pick your network – you don’t have to be everywhere and everything to everyone!
2. Choose the best times to post – This varies dependent on channel, so pay attention to your analytics and know when to share your very best content.
3. Know your “WHY” – Know why you are using social media to market your business and what your end goal is.
4. Know Your Audience – Understand the needs of your audience and what information they’re looking for. Social media is about meeting their needs in real time!”

Twitter Bans Automated Bulk Following

Twitter has banned the widespread practice of auto following other Twitter users, as well as bulk following Twitter users. If you’re following users in an automated fashion in any way, you had better stop it right now. Or risk losing your Twitter account. I have seen a lot of users who are following the exact number of people who are following them: and it’s obvious that those users are doing it in some sort of automated fashion, using a tool to do it. Again, stop using those apps to auto follow people back, or risk losing your Twitter account entirely.

Twitter Auto Follow Banned

Sylvain Carle, a Twitter developer, announced this important change on the Twitter developer blog on July 3rd. It was kind of ‘buried’ in his update, which also included another terms of service policy change, which is the fact that “hosting datasets of raw Tweets for download is prohibited”.

So, what does this mean? This means that you cannot auto follow people or use an app or website to follow people in bulk.

What should you go do right now to make sure that your Twitter account is compliant with the new Terms of Service (TOS)? Here is what I would do RIGHT NOW to make sure your Twitter account isn’t suspended:

1. Log into Twitter.
2. Go to your Twitter Settings:

twitter settings

3. Go to the Applications settings.

4. Review all of the Twitter apps that you have authorized. If you have ANY apps that you’ve authorized that does anything that’s automated and following people in any automated fashion, revoke access to that app.

While you’re at it, for security purposes, I would also consider revoking access to any app that you know you haven’t used in a few months. No need to keep it around and give it access to your Twitter account. I personally found a few that I just don’t need or use anymore.

Twitter updated the “rules of the road” so to speak, on July 2nd. You may want to read the Twitter Automation Rules and Best Practices.

Microsoft Launches So.Cl Social Media Network

If you are familiar with Pinterest, and Tumblr, then you know how much fun it can be to create a topical board filled with pictures, articles, and videos to share with family and friends. Each new picture that you find can be a source of amusement, and introspection. Plus, its a great way to discover other wonderful things on the internet. Combine the above with the ability to link those pictures to a website, and you have a marketers dream come true. Being able to easily create business related social media content that goes viral is a great way to put money in your pocket, and your brand on the lips of every consumer that you reach. What would be even better is to have a web 2.0 platform that brings together some of the best features of Pinterest and Tumblr together in one place which is what So.Cl does.

So.Cl (pronounced “social”) is a social sharing network currently in beta that was launched December 4, 2012 as an experiment by Microsoft FUSE Labs to provide a social media platform for students to share content with others. One of the key ingredients about this site that would be of great interest to internet marketers is that the pictures on each post can be linked directly to another website instead of another page on So.Cl. This helps to make it much easier to drive traffic to a website, and also helps to make it easier to track whether or not a website has attractive content or not. You can create several different posts with each post pulling content from the same place making it rather simple to check which pieces of content on your website are most popular.

Getting setup on So.Cl is pretty simple. You can either sign up with your Facebook ID, or a present Microsoft Windows ID. Once you click on the sign up link, you will be asked if you wish to give either app access to your information. After accepting the terms and conditions in the new pop up window, you are then taken to the main page that displays layouts for the other newly created accounts. From here you click on the box at the top of the page to type in a topic that you would like to create posts under. You are then transported to a page where you can formulate the collage that will be your post. At this point, you can choose to use the name of your topic as your post, or you can pick something else – it is entirely up to you. This is where you can let your creative side shine!

Once you have the title of the post set up, you can add in pictures to decorate the post. The pictures can be pulled from almost any source (except Facebook), and will be linked to the website that you pull the pictures from. The same holds true for websites, and videos. This is one of the most attractive features of this social network that makes it perfect for internet marketing. Here is an example of a post that you can create on this website: I Love My Little Baby –

So.Cl has great potential for being an incredible marketing tool for businesses both large and small. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

• The pictures that you use for your post will be linked to whatever source they are taken from. It is best to load up several pictures on your website before pulling pictures for a post – minimum of five. Catalog websites are perfect for this sort of thing since they tend to be overloaded with pictures of products.
• Be sure to choose pictures, and videos that represent your brand in a positive light. It would be wise to avoid media that could easily be deemed as controversial (unless generating controversy is your goal).
• This product is still being beta tested, so if there is a feature that you think the website should have, be sure to send a message to the webmaster of the site.
• Combining this site with Pinterest would make for a strong marketing combination.
• Making comments on other posts will help to drive traffic to your posts on So.Cl.

With some imagination, So.Cl can be a great way to drive traffic to your website, or videos. The key is combining social media platforms together with this website in order to get the most reach to your potential audience. Using this site for spam would be a waste of time since, like Pinterest and Tumblr, people are only going to look at your pictures, and videos if they find them interesting, or attractive. Choosing pictures, and videos that people would find appealing, and would be willing to share with family and friends is one of the easiest ways to get your posts to go viral. Long story short, even as a beta experiment So.Cl has great potential to help Microsoft become a major player in the game of social media.

Social Media App: Virtual Contact Twitter Application

I recently sat down with the folks at eMarketing group, the makers of the Virtual Contact Twitter app. The following are notes from our discussions.

Virtual Contact takes all the functionalities one would expect from the Twitter platform and takes them a step further.

With Virtual Contact, Twitter is literally pushed beyond its limits and turns into the tool of choice for those who are active on multiple networks.

Here are some of the perks it offers:

— Manage multiple Twitter accounts simultaneously
— Manage automatic tweets (automatic-messages)
— Shorten your URLs
— Publish images and videos
— Send direct messages through Twitter’s internal messenger service
— Available on 4 different platforms for your convenience:
– Blackberry PLAYBOOK
– Apple iPad

As Virtual Contact is new on the market, twitter is the first client we’ve decided to take above and beyond in this fashion but as the world of social media grows, other platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and others are in the works.

BlackBerry App World ™ gave Virtual Contact a top rating of 4.5/5 stars and thousands have since become satisfied users of our application.

Here are some reviews from satisfied customers:

— “I have tried a few of the others, but this one is powerful yet really easy to use.”
— “Very nice twitter client with good features and multi-account support.”
— “about time we got a decent twitter client.”
— “Can’t complain about a free twitter app that gives you all this functionality Twitter as well as managing multiple accounts at the same time. Also has auto messaging which is good for business! I’m happy with it so far. Thanks for making it free too…”

How did we come up with this idea? Our initial goal was to design tools to help make life easier for active Internet users such as the self-starting Web entrepreneurs, bloggers and journalists.

Through our research, the conclusion reached was a simple one: the users of our software are in the best position to convey us their needs and expectations as to what our software should be.

So, we’ve listened and we’re inviting you to take part in a very interesting experiment: we’re developing a Web 2.0-style program and we’re inviting you to give us your suggestions, comments and critics through Twitter and Facebook.

As we improve the software, your feedback will guide us and help us adjust and develop its functionalities for future updates. You’ll have front row seats to see our work taking place.

This is a golden opportunity for you to have your voice heard and get customized solutions to your problems…And it’s as easy as following us on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also find reviews of virtual contact in at:

You can also look us up at

twitter: virtual_contact

So if you need your twitter to work as fast and efficiently as you do, give us a try, you get all the advantages mentioned above, you’ll play a role in improving the overall program for all of us and best of all, it’s free !

Facebook Desktop Chat App Released For Blackberry Smartphone

By Chris McKillon

I have been using the Facebook Blackberry app ‘Chit Chat’ on my Blackberry Curve 8520 for a while now and thought it was about time to write a full review of it. I am quite a heavy Facebook user, and the main reason I decided to install the Chit Chat application on my Blackberry was because I wanted to be able to chat to all my Facebook contacts that are signed in to Facebook chat, but during times when I wasn’t using a computer – such as when I am out in the park walking my dog, on the bus into town, or if I am ever stuck in a boring waiting room and there are no interesting magazines to read.

Before I go on too much further, I should mention here that I am also a somewhat experienced user of the Windows Facebook desktop version of Chit Chat – I have had that version installed on my laptop now for a good few months before I using Chit Chat for Blackberry for the first time, so I was surprised at how different it looked from the Windows PC version. Unlike Chit Chat for Windows, which is a pale blue colour and looks very similar to MSN chat in its appearance, the Facebook Chat Blackberry version is a very nice bright green colour.

I am not saying this like it’s a bad thing, though. In fact, in some ways I would say that the Blackberry version of Chit Chat is even easier to use and better-looking than the PC version.

The first thing that will happen when you install and run Chit Chat on your Blackberry is that it will ask you for your Facebook username and password – this can be confusing, and if you haven’t already set up a Facebook username (not to be confused with your email address login!) then you will need to do so before you can use Chit Chat. It is not hard to do, and if you haven’t already done it there will be instructions provided to help you get set up. In fact the only thing that I found really hard at this point was reading the absolutely tiny text when you log in! From there on in though it’s all pretty straightforward.

Once logged in, Chit Chat will take you to a simple green screen which displays a list of all your signed in Facebook buddies. I am on Facebook quite a lot so my list is rather big (!) but it was easy to scroll up and down it using the trackball on my Blackberry to see who was online. I noticed that it added new contacts at the bottom of the list, not by alphabetised surname or anything, but I suppose this makes more sense because this way you can easily check if anyone new has signed in.

As I work irregular hours compared to a lot of my friends (who are in 9-5 office jobs) it was good to be able to chat to them from out and about on my blackberry (while they’re stuck indoors!). The chat window was very easy and straightforward to use, and if you want, a notification noise will play for each new message you receive. I prefer to have my phone silent but it is not difficult to set this up, you just go into the preferences.

I have tried Chit Chat both outdoors and at home and found that it is as quick to use as on a PC. There doesn’t seem to be any noticeable lag between messages and some of my friends were even surprised when I told them I was outdoors. I also found it was easy and straightforward to have more than one chat running at the same time.

When you are done using Chit Chat, it’s also very easy to close down (unlike some other Blackberry apps I could mention!). To log out, you simply press the button next to the central trackball and it will give you the option to log out, or to run Chit Chat quietly in the background, which I also like to do sometimes so I can be surprised by a chat message later on when I’m bored.

Chit Chat does run down your Blackberry life a little, however it’s got no more impact really than most games I’ve played on my Blackberry. In summary, if you would like to be able to chat to all your Facebook chat buddies, but are not always able to access a computer then I would totally recommend Chit Chat for Facebook Blackberry as a cheap and easy way of keeping in touch with them.