Have you heard about the Twitter full stop or period (dependent on where you live) that can alter who sees your reply tweets? Well if you haven’t, you’re not alone. I claim to have an interest in Social Media and I only found out about it last week. What am I on about? There appear to be a piece of functionality in Twitter that is triggered by a simple ‘.’ before the @ at the start of a message.
How the Twitter Full Stop Works
Say I wanted to send a message to my mum (@MissDigwell) from my Twitter account (@Pose83):
@MissDigwell Can you make stirfry for dinner again? But get chicken and not prawns.
Well, you would only see this message in your feed if you follow both me and my mum, not just me (and this applies to Hootsuite too). You could go on my Twitter page and see it, but otherwise it wouldn’t show up.
However, if I put a little ‘.’ in front of it, it will show up for the whole world to see (well, all my followers) e.g.
.@MissDigwell Can you make stirfry for dinner again? But get chicken and not prawns.
You can just about make out InStyle using the full stop on Twitter in this tweet below.
Apparently this has been around for about a year now. Who knew? I can see how this functionality would be useful, especially when you want your conversations to be broadcast as well as being, well, conversations.
Replies or No Replies? You Decide
Another little feature I’ve noticed, though I did pick this up a while, is that on the Twitter pages that tend to do a lot of @ replying, probably for Customer Service purposes, you can choose whether or not to see their replies on their Twitter page. It’s turned off by default. I like this function. I makes sense to me. Check out O2′s below (they are dynamite with the good Social Media examples, btw).
Any other Twitter functionality you think I might have missed? Let me know if the comments below.
Well, I’m not going to get many SEO points for that title but let’s get going.
Recently (November) I visited Salem, MA (Massachusetts) as part of my epic American tour for my 30th birthday (Note to self, I really need to change the photo on this site as that is definitely not 30 year old me on the right there). We probably all know that in the 17th century Salem was hardly a safe haven for the broomstick toting, cauldron cooking sorcerers and their familiars. Why am I banging on about Salem? Well, the trials of 1692-3 actually struck me as having some similarities to modern day Social Media, especially for celebrities and companies/brands, though individuals get caught in the cross fire too.
If you don’t know much about the Salem Witch trials, I’ll give you a brief synopsis:
In 1692, Reverend Parris came to work in Salem Village as it sought to distance it’s self from Salem Town, which is now just Salem, bringing with him his family and slaves, one of which being Tituba from the Caribbean.
Tituba would tell Parris’ daughter, niece and local girls in the village stories of witch-craft, sorcery and the afflictions that could affect such people.
The girls began to start suffering with these afflictions, fainting, convulsing, talking in tongues, etc.
The doctor was called, but no physiological complaint could be found in any of the girls, so the natural conclusion was that they were under the spell of witchcraft.
This bizarre conclusion provided the girls with much attention, which they played up to, even re-enacting their convulsions in the local tavern for patrons’ entertainment, which gives us our first Social Media similarity.
1) Ordinary Social Media users get the most attention when they are doing something extraordinary. This varies from being something emotive, hilarious or useful to something extremely offensive or extremely defamatory to another party, whether warranted or not. – Act up in Social Media and you may get the kind of attention you’ve never received before, so continue with the bad behaviour to continue receiving the attention.
Questions began to be asked about who had cast spells on the girls. They began to accuse townsfolk, who were then arrested and put in prison, deemed to be witches, even though no other evidence supported these claims.
2) You don’t have to be guilty of anything for people to make an accusation against you in Social Media and for that to have a negative impact on your personal, brand or company reputation.
I actually have a few examples of this. Someone I know, who will remain nameless, has been making complaints about companies on Twitter to try and free stuff from them and it’s working.
I also know of similar accusations where people have lied about their position in a company in order to appear like they have more authority or influence than they actually do. In this case they were offered a gift voucher by customer services, but it transpires that their complaint was completely unjustified.
My advice? Make sure that whoever you have responding in Social Media is connected enough to investigate complaints to understand whether or not they should actually be upheld. There are several ‘holding’ responses you can use while investigating an issue and before admitting liability.
Anyway, Salem is now super pro-witch, possibly because of the tourism opportunities if I’m being cynical, however this goes to show that…
So, I have given her a few tips to prepare for today and I thought you might find them useful if you too are having laser eye surgery.
Firstly there are several products that you will want to buy.
As you can’t wash your face properly for a few days I have advised her to purchase some face wipes. Along with not being able to wash your face you also can’t wash your hair. I would have recommended dry shampoo, but this has been vetoed due to the fine dust it is made of and the risk of this getting in to your eye. Instead I would recommend a variety of hair accessories. Your beautiful hair is perfect for trapping all kinds of bacteria, so it needs to be out of the way. Furthermore, you can’t wear make up for a while (2 weeks) after the surgery, so accessorising is your friend!
You might also like to buy some of your favourite painkillers, though I would advise that you stay away from ibuprofen as I believe that this can hinder the recovery process. My friend has bought paracetamol and codeine.
On the day of your laser eye surgery decide where you will be most comfortable when you return home. Ensure the route to that place is clear of obstructions and easy for you to get to with limited vision and try to light it as dimly as possible. Tune your radio to your favourite station, make a play list of your favourite songs or download several podcasts to listen to in the first few hours after your surgery. I found that the first 2 hours after my surgery was the period in which I was most in pain, uncomfortable and restless. I also found it difficult to sleep. The only thing that seems to relax me was marketing podcasts.
You’ll be given all the information about your eye drops and when to put them in, but I would also advice anti-bacterial hand wash at the ready and a clean towel.
Other than that, you’ll want to listen to what your body and eyes want, rest and recuperate.
Good luck and let me know how it goes in the comments below.
I do not now and never have worked for a Digital Agency, yet I’ve amassed a few reasons why some aren’t getting as much work as they probably should be, especially as some are actually working on some pretty nifty projects.
So, here are the reasons I think some agencies might not get hired from the clients point of view:
1. Poor SEO
You say you can help with our SEO (search engine optimisation) and I can’t find your website through obvious search terms unless I include your agency name, and even then it’s ambiguous
This is true. I went to an agency recently and even after searching their name and location, I still had two different web addresses to choose from.
Listing the locations you operate in and writing more about your work will help this. I’m not SEO expert, but if you’re claiming to be, you might like to look in to this.
2. Poor Social Media Presence or Recommendations
You want to help me define my Social Media strategy but you’re not demonstrating yours very well.
I’ve seen all these issues from Digital agencies offering Social Media management as part of their offering:
You don’t tweet
You don’t have a Facebook company page
You’re suggesting non-compliant Facebook cover art
You want to measure everything in terms of followers/likes
You’ve got non-compliant Social Media icons on your website
Come on guys, get the basics right.
I also believe that most agencies will try and help you run a Social Media campaign, which is the fun bit of Social Media, but they won’t actually help you to set up and robust and sustainable Social Media infrastructure because that stuff is hard work.
3. Over-familiar biographies
The biogs on your employees aren’t relevant to the job I want them to carry out.
I get it, you want us to get to know your employees; show how fun and wacky they can be. Guess what? I just want them to do a job. I certainly don’t want to hear that their childhood idol was Rolf Harris as I read on one agency’s website.
As a Digital agency, you really shouldn’t be short of content for your site, so you shouldn’t need this stuff.
Delete off old employees too. The Rolf Harris agency (would you really want that as your moniker?) had a news item from 2 months previous welcoming their new Social Media Manager, which was the job I was interviewing for at the time. Asking if that was someone I’d be working with my interviewer responded with ‘no, she was a bit of a dragon, so we fired her.’ Ouch! She managed to find herself a new role and actually I almost interviewed at her new agency. Anyway, leaving up now irrelevant news items that could invite questions that you might not want to answer isn’t recommended.
I love celebrity gossip. I don’t know why. I especially like the photos of people in fancy dresses, of the skinny girls looking a bit plain and the curvier girls looking sexy and awesome, cue Rebel Wilson at the Correspondents’ Dinner or whatever that shindig at the White House is called (David Cameron needs to work on something like that).
This has been my staple celebrity gossip website for years now. It covers most of the American stories, with an increasing inclusion of British celebrities, especially now that the new generation of British Royals are providing such excellent media fodder (naked Prince Harry anyone). Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston are also particular favourites of this site. It takes a while to get to grips with some of their ‘in’ terminology, for example ‘biscuits’ refer to a woman’s lady parts. I’m still not 100% sure what ‘mini-coopering’ relates to, but I think it has something to do with cheating and Anderson Cooper. Mini-coopering is definitely something Kristen Stewart did with Rupert Saunders to Robert Pattinson.
Not strictly just a gossip website, but more useful that using it as a news website (there are far more reliable sources out there. Try BBC). This website seems to be really popular with the people I work with, both in my last job and my new one. It has a nice spread of US and UK gossip – juicy! Oh and unlike some other newspaper websites, they’re no payment wall. Hurray!
Jezebel is owned by Gawker (the same folks that own Lifehacker – check that out, I think you’ll like it!) This website is so easy to consume and happily renders perfecting in my Feedly RSS reader. It pulls bit of content from across the internet and adds just about the right amount of jovial and/or sarcastic commentary to boot!
You know who I’m not that fussed on? Perez Hilton. He drawers all over his pictures. Impressed that he’s now super buff, just not fussed on his celeblog (is this a word I’ve just made up?).
I don’t really ever go on the OK! website, but I do follow them on Facebook. I genuinely started because I thought something they were doing was relevant to my job, now the gossip just helps to break up my newsfeed when my friends are being a bit boring a posting about exercise and babies.
Today’s featured image: A lobster from Mardi Gras world in New Orleans.
Hello there. How have you been? I’m sorry I haven’t in so long. I’ve really wanted to and I’ve missed you.
But I’m back now and I have a long list of topics on my iPhone that I’m going to write about, so hopefully I can operate with a little more frequency.
So, where have I been? When I left you I had just sold a house, was actively seeking work and was also actively dating.
Well, I guess a few things have changed since then. I have a job at least and I have been there for nearly 6 months. It’s not without it’s challenges, but I’m enjoying it and hope to be in this role longer than the last.
What’s coming up?
More Social Media posts, some posts on house-buying, some on Affiliate Marketing and I’m sure a few odd little bits thrown in too, such as posts on my new hobby.
I’m hoping that you’ll enjoy my upcoming posts. Maybe you’ll learn something, maybe they’ll pique your interest in a new topic and maybe, just maybe you’ll leave a comment.
Anyway, it’s good to be back. Oh, and as for the featured image, a lot of the things I write about are difficult to illustrate in a picture, so I’ll just be putting up pictures of random things, like my recent trip to America.
Today’s picture was taken in Austin of a painting in the guest house we were staying in – enjoy!
This week, I’ve had an ear infection. I’m still having it, but I am learning to live with it. I hope that some day soon it will just go away, but until that point I still need to be able to eat, rest and do some work, so here’s how I’m coping. Here is how to ease an ear infection.
Drugs: Cure with Amoxicillin
Up to 60% of ear infections don’t actually need antibiotics in order to be cured. Antibiotics will only cure bacterial infections and not viral, but I’ve had ear infections before and I haven’t just had a cold recently, therefore I know it wasn’t caused by that, so as soon as I thought I had an ear infection coming on, I headed down to the GP and was prescribed amoxicillin, which I’ve had every time I’ve had an ear infection. It takes 48-72 hours to start to take effect though, so I knew I was going to get worst before I got better. I needed a plan for easing the pain…
You’re going to want some pain relief. The GP recommended co-codamol, luckily I had some of that lying around, but not everyone gets on with that, so I would advise paracetamol and/or ibuprofen. Paracetamol will reduce your temperature as well as relieving pain and ibuprofen with reduce swelling, which may help your ear to drain. I took 2x200g of ibuprofen with 2x500g of paracetamol together. I have no idea if this is OK, I’m not a doctor, but it was within the guidelines on each box, it helped ease the pain and I’m not dead.
As the infection became worse, I noticed that the pain killers would wear off quicker. At this point I disregarded the frequency of the dosing (up to 8 of each tablet in 24 hours) and was probably hitting up nearer 10-12 of each. However, I am a relatively healthy 29 year old so I think I’m OK to play with the dosing a little. Plus, I’m an adult, so I made this decision myself. Please be responsible with your drug ingestion. Again, I am not a doctor, I can’t guarantee the effect any medication will have on your body, nor can I be held responsible for it.
Get yourself a hot water. This hot water bottle is your friend. You’re going to be getting very close to this hot water bottle for the duration of your illness. Just put it on or around your ear, lie on it, lie it on you, whatever, it will help with the pain. Apparently heat also increases blood flow which can clear the infection quicker. I just applied heat because it felt so damn good. Don’t remove the cover though, you will burn your ear and maybe face and this is not attractive.
You might not really feel like eating much right now, but you need to keep your energy up to help fight off the infection, plus chewing can help loosen the liquid in your ear.
I ate hot foods like soup and stewed apple, but also sucked sweets to try and loosen the ear liquid and chewed gum to also dislodge the liquid.
I wouldn’t advise putting food stuff in your ear
I’ve read a lot of articles about putting oil, cinnamon, garlic, onions and other ingredients in your ear to soothe the pain of an ear infection. I wasn’t keen on this kind if activity. It sounded more like some kind of YouTube challenge than a cure for my affliction. However, I did put some TCP on a cotton pad and rest it over the top of the infected ear. This did seem to help, though it was a little cold, which did not help.
Lymph Node Milking
People tell me all the time that they don’t get Twitter. Well, I do, so I fired up my Hootsuite and searched for ‘ear infection.’ I’m sure this seems odd to most, but I had no issue with tweeting the other people that were also proactively (i.e. tweeting about) suffering from an ear infection. Some people ignored the camaraderie and empathy I was offering, but some returned it and some gave me useful, useable, valuable tips. Enter @BenAllenKOSU of Stillwater, Oklahoma! He recommended lymph node milking thanks to @KateSpencer1. Didn’t sound to pleasant to me, but I was getting desperate. Turns out that it’s the gentle massaging of the neck, ears and head area to coax the ear liquid away from the ear and to the lymph nodes where it is then drained away by the body. I found this video on it on YouTube and Heather (lady in the video), explains it all much better than I could.
Here’s where it all gets a bit weird, if you weren’t already turned off by the milking. Moaning about my ear infection on Twitter, I was contacted by a company called Ear Doctor. Basically, this is just a wand that you stick behind you ear and it vibrates away the liquid, which is causing pressure. It’s available on Amazon and eBay apparently, but I didn’t look and I couldn’t really wait 5-7 days for delivery. So I got creative. You could use the back of an electric tooth brush or anything else which vibrates, as long as it’s clean. This will ease pressure temporarily and it feels pretty nice too, just don’t get carried away, as I’m not sure how healthy it is.
Seek Medical Attention
If your symptoms aren’t clearing, go back to your GP. I did and discovered I was only given half the recommended dose. I was then given drops and stronger drugs. In the UK we pay for health care through the NHS and in America it’s through insurance, so you do have the right to demand you’re treated properly.
Here is a list of things I think you should try and avoid whilst infirm:
Caffeine – you’re going to find it hard enough to sleep without this stimulant in your body.
Smoking – never, ever good when ill and it will not aid blood circulation and therefore will inhibit recovery.
Earphones – these will hurt and keep your ear warm and moist, which bacteria loves. You need to let your ear breathe. You might want to disinfect all ear buds post infection too, to stop re-occurrence.
Alcohol – it doesn’t seem to advise against this in the antibiotics leaflet, but give yourself a break. Say off the liquor for a few days and your body should recover quicker.
Getting water in your ear – it’s tough when showering, but water in your ear provides more a of medium for bacteria to grow.
I’m not going to lie to you. Even with everything above, you’re going to find it hard to sleep. It’s been Comedy Week on YouTube this week, which has really kept me going. I’d recommend the following channels. But it’s YouTube, there’ll be something on there that’ll take you mind off the throbbing pain in your ear:
Epic Meal Time
Food – Sorted
Trash mags, books for your Kindle and on Demand TV will all get you through and if you’re anything like me, avoid talking to people as you’ll only moan to them about your ear infection or be generally grumpy.
So, there you have it. That is how to soothe an ear infection to make it a little more bearable. Below I have written a list of items you might want to pick up to get you through the duration of your suffering. Good luck and get well soon.
List of things
Squash (you need a lot of liquid, add some flavour to make it more exciting. This will seem exciting after 3 days of being bed ridden)
Old towel for seeping ear
Apples for stewing
Potatoes for mashing
Sweets for sucking
Something that vibrates
Orange juice (vitamin C to fight off that scurvy)
Decaf tea / fruit tea / hot chocolate (maybe some marshmallows too)
If you’re in to Social Media, you’ll have struggled to avoid discovering the Social Media meltdown that was Amy’s Baking Company a few weeks ago, but if you’re not busying yourself with Social Media, as often as I do, then here’s roughly what happened.
The online crisis seemed to build after Amy’s Baking Company appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmare’s in America and was further compounded by a particularly bad online response they provided across their Social Media channels. Though, from what I can gather, this wasn’t the start of poor online replies, it was just popularised by their appearance.
Apparently Amy and Samy, owners of Amy’s Baking Company, have been responding adversely defensively on Yelp for some time now criticising customers who criticise them. Oh dear.
After Kitchen Nightmares was broadcast, people took to their Facebook page with their negative comments and Amy and Samy didn’t respond well. They have since claimed that their Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Reddit were hacked, but this feels somewhat unlikely to me.
They’ve since deleted the highly reactionary, inflammatory comments now, because, you know, they were written by a hacker, but by the power of the internet, I can show you some of the comments that were shown on the page in the gallery below.
So, what can we learn from this incident? Here we go…
1. Have a crisis plan
If you appear on TV, you can’t always be sure of how you’re going to be edited and therefore how you come across (though it sounds like this couple should have had a fair idea), but you can be sure that someone in Social Media somewhere is going to have something to say about it.
Therefore, you should prepare for various different scenarios; overwhelming praise, overwhelming criticism or overwhelmingly under-whelming.
Don’t pretend people aren’t talking about you. Whatever people are saying about you, this is an opportunity to show that you’re listening and open to engaging with your audience. Try and get back to relevant comments within 30mins – 1 hour, which means you’re probably going to want to make sure you’ve got Social Media cover whenever your show airs.
3. You don’t have to respond to every comment
I know I’ve just told you to respond, but if you find yourself in a situation such as Amy and Samy, some of the comments you receive won’t be from genuine customers and the volume may just be too high to respond to everyone. You might not be able to respond fast enough and therefore will get no traction. A broadcast message to everyone might be more appropriate. You can then ask people to email you if they have a particular issue that requires resolving. You won’t get as many emails as comments.
Furthermore, some people will continue to complain and campaign even. Some people just won’t be happy even if you offer them the moon on a stick, so decide when you feel you have done enough to appease them and then just let it go. If you’re a good company with good customer service, you might even find that people step in to defend you.
4. Don’t feed the trolls
Leading on the previous point, some people just like to cause disruption and jump on a bandwagon. I suspect a lot of people that were complaining about Amy’s Baking Company had never even been customers. Don’t pay any attention to the people that are blatantly solely commenting to cause trouble and gain a response. You will never beat these people, they have more time than sense and will use this time unproductively whenever possible.
5. Don’t set up fake accounts
I’ve seen this done a couple of times too; companies set up Social Media accounts trying to be independent customers to defend the company. Some companies have even used stock photos as the profile image, which is how they have ultimately been found out and there lies the problem. You can try this, but as soon as you’re found out you do look incredibly pathetic and have another crisis on your hands.
6. Learn from criticism
Social Media isn’t just about broadcast and responding, before that comes monitoring and listening. Even before Amy and Samy were on TV, they were experiencing negativity surrounding their business. I completely understand how criticism about your company can be hard to hear or read, but sometimes people have a point and if customers have gone out of their way to complain, then maybe you could take on their comments, learn a thing or two and improve your business.
So, there you go. Just a few things you can learn from someone else’s monumental error. Oh, and maybe don’t go on this type of TV programme if you get incredibly defensive to criticism.
Yes, I just logged in to my POF.com account today and realised that I can now leave feedback on people that I have been on a date with (as well as people that I can just pretend to have been on a date with).
Within your messages on the right-hand side (as shown below), you have the option to give feedback.
Clicking on that gives you this…
Now, I didn’t want to rate the last person I went on a date with and I couldn’t find the profile of the other, so I rated a guy that had been bothering me and had a fish as his profile picture, thinking that I probably wasn’t going to damage his chances and wanting to see what would happen.
The only thing that did happen was I was thanked for leaving feedback. I’m not sure how this information is going to be used. I sincerely hope it isn’t public and is just used as a way of letting someone down gentle of generally giving them feedback.
Also, it might be worth noting that I am currently working on a site specifically for online dating content as I’ve decided that I’d rather have it elsewhere. So, keep your eyes peeled for that site coming soon…
Well, you need to be getting as much information as possible during the house selling process in order to make decisions on price and negotiations.
I’m always hungry for stats. I’m a stat girl. Get stats! I asked for web statistics on my property compared to other similar properties. I didn’t get them, but I wanted them on a weekly basis. It’s quick, easy and definitely possible for your estate agent to get hold of these. You want to know:
How many people are looking at your listing both on aggregator sites (Zoopla, Rightmove – this information is available to your agent). Low views indicate either your listing isn’t showing in the right results or the lead paragraph/photos aren’t enticing people to click for more info.
How many people are requesting information about your property from these sites. A low ratio of views to requests suggests there is something wrong with your listing. Either it’s turning people off or the wrong people are finding it.
How many people are viewing your property on their site and how do these figures compare to those of other similar properties on the market. You need this to ascertain how your listing is performing comparably.
Your estate agent should be able to give you information about the market in general, whether this be in terms of current peaks and troughs, how national trends have affected the area you’re selling in and how seasonality can affect your type of property. This is useful to know as it may help determine when to drop your house price and whether to put your house on the marketing at all at the moment.
For example, our house was in Cardiff, which has been less impacted by the economy and property has better held it’s price, however, our house was prime real estate for the student rental market, which does affect when people would be most interested in it.
You’re estate agent should also be able to keep you abreast of recent house sales in the area.
Having as much information as possible on the viewers allows you to understand the market you’re appealing to.
Families? Then you need to make your house look like a home.
Rental market? Then you need to demonstrate how the house could achieve maximum income, for example, we used a couple of the reception rooms as bedrooms and rented them out and this set up remained during the sales process.
If you can find out their financial situation e.g. cash buyer, have a property to sell, etc. this can also help you with negotiations. We sold our house at a slightly lower price than we would have wanted to a cash buyer with no chain, because there was less risk of it falling through and went through quicker than someone with a chain.
Feedback on Viewings
For me, this was the most important piece of information but it’s what our estate agent struggled with most. After every single viewing I wanted feedback from the estate agent regarding how the viewing had gone, what the viewers had thought and why they didn’t want it. I also wanted to know if it was their first, second, third viewing, etc.
Now, I was selling my house, which was owned between myself and a friend. The estate agency was run by a father and son. We found that between the two of us we were receiving conflicting information from the this father and son duo, which was frustrating, to say the least.
Anyway, by obtaining this feedback you can again understand whether or not you should drop your price and whether or not the current advertising is appealing to the right people.
So, there you go. If you have any tips on how to get the best out of your estate agent, I would love to hear them. Just leave a comment below.
Notes: The author sold a house in February 2013 and is writing from personal experience.
Hi, I'm Jo. I'm now 30, live in the UK (for now) and this is my blog. I love autumn, cocktails, snow sports and improvised comedy, but hate people that blow their noses in public and drive with their fog lights on when it's not foggy. Thanks for coming. Open 24/7. Stop by any time.