WTF is up with Twitter?

First, for all of those not in the know; What exactly is twitter !?

From wikipedia:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send “updates” via SMS, instant messaging, email, the Twitter website, or an application such as Twitterrific. Twitter was founded in March 2006 by San Francisco start-up company Obvious Corp.

Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and also instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them unless the sender has restricted delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone is the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, instant messaging, SMS, RSS, email or through various applications. For SMS, currently three gateway numbers are available: short codes for the USA, Canada and a UK number for international use. Several third parties offer posting and receiving updates via email.

Due to Twitter’s success, a large number of sites imitating its concept have sprung up around the world, offering country-specific services (e.g. frazr) or combining the micro-blogging facilities with other ideas, such as filesharing(e.g. Pownce). In May, 2007, one source counted as many as 111 such “Twitter-lookalikes” internationally.

Tweets (Oh yes, there is a whole vernacular shift that comes along with this site!) are restricted to 140 characters. You really can’t say much in 140 characters, but Twitter helps out by automatically changing any enter URL greater than 30 characters into a tinyURL, allowing you to tweet, just a little more at a time.

It’ s own Vernacular?

Yes. Would I lie to you?

What good is it for?

Twitter may be useful for groups, friends, work or families and there are even some fairly large mobs on Twitter. If you follow your friends, and they follow each other, you can quickly communicate group-related items.

Of course, there are no shortage of Twitter haters, and “…an RSS feed to every boring aspect of your friend’s lives,” according to Helen A.S. Popkin, MSNBC contributor… but really, what doesn’t have haters now-a-days.

Is Twitter useful for everyone? No, absolutely not. Is Twitter useful? Yes, absolutely, and in all sorts of ways.

Take this blog for instance… I launched less than three weeks ago. In those three weeks, I have had had about 50 visitors find me through the search engines :

Search Traffic

Not too bad right?

But, during that same time period, I’ve had more people visit me from Twitter!

Twitter traffic

There’s a handful more of individual entries of people who came from other twitter pages.

And I tell you, the Twitter traffic was a lot easier to get! And while 60 or so visitors may not sound like a whole lot, remember, this has all been only 3 weeks, and the traffic is increasing along with my Twitter followers, which I seem to be acquiring in the neighbourhood of 2 or 3 a day right now.

What else?

I started using Twitter over a year ago (I think) back when it was fresh and new, and there were relatively few people on it still. One of the coolest things for me at the time, was the personal access Twitter provided to many leaders in some of the industries I’m interested in (Tech, SEO, Marketing, etc).  At the time (and this is still happening, it was just a lot more intense in the beginning) it was quite easy to find a leader (a scoble, or laport for instance), follow them, and join in their conversations.

At what other time in history, in any other industry, through what other medium, have you ever had such incredible access to the movers and shakers ?

But perhaps the cooler still is the ability to be a fly on the wall and listen in to these people’s conversations, view their own surfing habits and basically learn what the gurus are learning.

Yeah, but what else?

If you happen to be famous, semi-famous, almost famous, or have your own podcast, radio cast, video cast, (or any other cast) then Twitter is just another great channel to announce, market to and tickle your followers.  An example of this would be Cali Lewis.

Also, from the Guru side of things, Twitter gives you a really unique position to talk to a crowd of people on extrodinarily familiar terms.  This is a huge benefit that you can’t really find anywhere else.  (it’s really a revolution in the history of marketing!)

Yeah, but what about the rest of us?

Still not enough eh?

Well how about this… if you follow the golden tenet of internet marketing (Quality Content is King) and use twitter for more than sharing your dinner plans (or worse) then you are going to acquire followers. And while it may not be a mail list, they are still followers. If you continue to share interesting and useful information (in 140 character snippets) then your list will continue to grow, and that will help you when (not if) you promote your own sites through your Twitters.

How do you get started?

Well, for the next little while, join the Thiry Day Challenge and go through the pre-season material… you will find everything you need there I believe. After aug/sept 2007, go to and signup, it’s easy!

I could go on, but I’m getting tired and still need to listen to today’s Thiry Day Challenge material :)

Oh, I should also say…

If you are using Twitter, or know how to use twitter in a unique way, I would love to hear about it.

Likewise, if you absolutely despise Twitter and the sheer idiocy of sharing the most boring aspects of your lives with friends, family and complete strangers, I’d also love to hear from you too!


30 Day Challenge Brings Social Media to a Grinding Halt?


I won’t go into it too much because I don’t want to jump ahead of anything that Ed may be going over this coming week.

But when you are using social sites, you have to be really mindful of the community you are entering, because they ARE social…

Each site has it’s own expected behaviour. What has happened with Tumblr may happen with people’s individual accounts on these sites too.

So be careful. It takes a little longer, but when you open a new account on these sites (Digg, newsvine, etc) spend enough time on the site to become familiar with what is happening ON that site.

Then spend some time to use your account like it was actually intended to be used.

Only THEN should you actually start posting your own sites to them. And even then, your own content should never consist of more than 25% of the content you are posting (and much less on sites like Digg)

And remember too, not all posts are appropriate for all sites. If your keyword doesn’t fit into one of their categories… move on to the next site!

There could be a whole 30 day training just on how to appropriately use sites like these… so just use your head and remember what Ed has been trying to stress:


Picture it like this… You are sitting in the food court at a local mall when some guy (or girl) comes rushing in like a bull, throwing their business card around at everyone they see then goes rushing back out the other side of the food court.

What are you going to do with the business card that landed on your table?

Probably leave it there when you leave.

The moral is, try to leave a soft footprint. Join the conversation. Leave behind GOOD content. And always try to leave more than you took.

The social world will be a better place for your efforts.


Carry on the good job Ed (et all)

101 Alternatives to Tumblr

So apparently a large number of 30DC’rs have run into their first true taste of Internet Marketing… The Inevitable Crash.

Unfortunately it happens occasionally, and I don’t know a single successful Internet Marketer who can’t share a few horror stories of large operations being crippled because of some minute change online.

They say that the online world is moving and evolving so fast that 1 year of Business Online is the equivalent of 5 years offline in a traditional Bricks-n-Morter. That means you’ll inevitably also have to deal with an accelerated stream of issues and problems that will always need to be solved…

So don’t panic already :)

Grab the next article, open the next account, and run with it!

And in order to help a little I’m going to share some potentially useful resources. For now, just save this list somewhere for reference and pick and choose one or two if you need them :)

Unfortuantely this list is a little older, maybe a year old or so. I installed Windows Vista last weekend and haven’t restored all my files quite yet and this was the only one I could find.

I was going to go through the list and remove the resources that didn’t exist anymore… but I thought this would be a good macrocosm view/lesson of what is happening to so many of you right now… Every single resource on this list, I have used at some point in the past. And at least 10% of them don’t exist anymore.

Lesson: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket… use as many of these as you can, create good & useful content and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

My title is 101 resources but that’s just an estimate… I didn’t count them :) There are probably closer to 150 here. But once you delete the ones that don’t exist anymore, you are probably going to be closer to 101.

ALSO!!! This list is hardly the End-All-Be-All!! This is a start, or an example even, to show you how many options are available. And I am not posting it to distract you either… I recommend NOT spending much time with it right now. Just save it, or bookmark this page, and grab a resource if and when needed!:

Free Blogs and Pages
Continue reading

30 Day Challenge Update & Musings


3 targetted keyphrases so far on:
1 Tumblr Blog (still active Yay!)
1 Squidoo Lens
1 Previously owned domain (not qualified as part of the challenge, but using for practice!)

I have Google Analytics installed on Tumblr and my own domain.

Social Media:

Using I have signed up for close to 40 bookmarking/social media sites. I say most since a few don’t seem to work, and a couple of others have restricted signups right now :) I had accounts at a number of these sites already, but wanted to start fresh for the purposes of this challenge.

I have to say, that it took A LONG @!!@#**@!# time to signup for all of these services. The process is mind-numbing. The results from the vast majority of them negligible. That being said, running through the whole list for the second site was gratifyingly easy.


Here I have been falling behind. I haven’t written many articles at all. For one keyword I am even a little confused on what to write about.

While the main reason I haven’t done many articles is lack of time (been playing catch up for a week) I am also confused about what we are supposed to be doing with those articles. If I am writing 3 per day on each topic… do they go in a blog or am I supposed to be submitting them all to an article directory?

Re-Watching one of the more recent videos last night, I noticed Ed mentioned something about NOT adding more and more content to the Tumblr blog, which I noticed from their examples (wedding planning etc). So shall I write 12 articles and Spam an article directory with them then?

Or is the article writing strictly a practice tool (which there was mention of) and they can just be filed locally to be used later possibly?

Ed has been very clear that this program is NOT about the affiliate sales but about starting an online business. That means, eventually I would expect them to talk about product creation (it is Step 4 of the Magnificent Symphony after all!) Perhaps there is an ebook on the way and all these articles (3 per day X 17ish days = 55+ articles per keyword) are merely prewritten fodder for the pdf!

Well, I put myself in hands of the instructors, but have to say, I’m not new to Internet Marketing and it’s been very difficult to not run ahead and assume I know what is coming next. But I promised myself I would try and FORGET (or at least ignore) what I already know and follow the 30DC outline.

So here I am, looking at a week of missed article writing and trying to decide whether to lock myself in a room and write for the next 4 days to catch up :)


My own domain is rocking the Serps. Easily on the first page in 24 hours and moving towards the top.

Squidoo and Tumblr pages have not shown up yet… but I just used SocialPoster on them both for the first time, so we’ll see.

First Sale:

How critical is an affiliate sale at this stage of the game? Is a sale going to be the determining factor on whether or not we move forward with that specific keyword? What if my Squidoo page just doesn’t convert? I woultn’t want to lose a potentially good keyword because I used the wrong platform!

Symphony of 3:

Finding a niche:

I’ve defined a large number of potentially great markets; including one with almost as much traffic as it has competition. For me, finding niche markets has always been easy. And while I don’t want to get distracted with too many sites, and therefore too much work, I think I will setup at least one more of my keywords on another, separate blog service.

Getting the traffic:

I’ve been playing around with social media sites for a couple of years and am familiar with the traffic they can bring.

That being said, I’ve been extremely suprised with Stumble during the past couple of weeks, and the large number of visits I am seeing from their service… Happy, but suprised.

So again, for me, getting traffic is not an issue.


Here’s where things are getting a little tricky. I have a really bad habit of Finding niches, Getting large amounts of traffic, and not doing anything with the results (I currently have a website that see’s 12k unique visitors per month… and I’m not monetizing the traffic in the slightest!)

So I have a clickbank affiliate link on my Tumblr Blog, I have amazon links on my own domain and on my Squidoo lens, and I have google ads on my squidoo lens too (as part of squidoo). But is it enough?

I haven’t made a sale… apparently I haven’t even had a click on my outgoing sales links. Bah. Maybe I’m telling the wrong story? But, as you can see, writing is not a sore point with me either (although perhaps sales writing is? :) don’t tell my day job or I’m in trouble!)

I’m getting fidgety right now.

Next Steps:

  • start one more site on a new platform
  • Find time to write articles
  • Spend some time in the 30DC forums trying to figure out what to do next

I’d love to hear where you are in your 30DC, please leave me a comment!

Cooking Scallops

Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class. But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our table should be treated with class.

— Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet)


Did you know the word Scallops is derived from the old french word for shell? Scallops, a close relative to mussels, oysters, and clams, have been a staple diet item in many cultures for thousands of years, and even appear in literature in the west as early as the 13th century!!!

Today, thanks to people’s love of Cooking Scallops, it’s developed into a huge industry worth millions of dollars every year divided by three main markets:

  1. Bay Scallops – The sweetest of the three!
  2. Calico Scallops – Generally tougher than the other two types
  3. Sea Scallops – The most commonly available (at least here in Canada)

My sister, a fitness coach and body builder introduced me to scallops a number of years ago. She included them in her diet because they are so high in protein (88 percent!) and low in both fat and carbs.

Checkout my famous Prosciutto-wrapped BBQ Cooked Scallops. I’ll be adding more recipies for cooking scallops over the coming weeks, so check back often!