Today I’m cleaning out the refrigerator and creating a little social media stew. Here are three quick social media items to begin your week.
Just in case you need a reminder of how social media has changed our world, consider the story of Charles Pitts of San Francisco. Mr. Pitts has a vibrant online social life with an active presence on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The topspin to this story is that Mr. Pitts is homeless–he lives under a bridge. The story describes several people similar to Mr. Pitts. Check out the Wall Street Journal’s story here. Interestingly, last week I had a rescue mission client tell me that one of the new residents in their program had found them online. I think it isn’t as unusual a situation as you might think at first. I’ve seen men sleeping over in homeless shelters with laptops (I was also amazed at how many cell phones I saw, but that made sense the more I thought about it). My takeaway for this story is that no matter what your ministry or charity’s mission is, you need to consider that the people you are trying to reach or serve will be searching your site. That’s a good place to put some diagnostic tools or helpful tips for people who are struggling with the problem you solve. And you should read your site through the eyes of the people you serve; you may not be using appropriate language to describe them.
If you’re blogging, jump over to Copyblogger. Jonathan Morrow has a wonderful post on blogging using “cowboy wisdom.” As a blogger and a guy from Texas I have to say he’s dead-on. I don’t hand out “genius” labels very often so let me just say I really wished I’d written his post. I think if you’re blogging you’ll enjoy what he has to say (and if you’re thinking about blogging, you’ll read a nice insider’s perspective). And if you’re blogging, go through his list and answer the questions. You might be surprised by what you find out.
Friday night we were hanging out with some friends enjoying a long, long dinner at our favorite local restaurant having side orders of catching-up and deep-conversation. This place just so happens to have wifi (which is a criteria for selecting a place to eat and meet). And at about 8:55 p.m. out came the laptops. We all logged on to stake our claim for a vanity url on Facebook. The vanity url on Facebook would look like: www.facebook.com/yournamehere. Prior to this moment if you were on Facebook you really were just a number. At 9:01 p.m. PT, everything worked perfectly. We had speculated that Facebook might bog down or even go down, but it was seamless and responsive. Interestingly, I was the only one at the table who didn’t get the URL they were trying for–apparently all the Steve Thomases out there were faster on the trigger than I was. Mashable has some nice stats about what was going on:
-in the first 3 minutes 200,000 usernames were registered–1111+ registering a second!
-at the 15 minute mark 500,000 usernames had been registered
-at the 60 minute mark 1,000,000 usernames had been registered–only 278 names per second.
No wonder I didn’t get the URL I was hoping for. There was some serious bandwidth getting sucked up! I’m more impressed now with the fact that everyone else at the table got theirs and there were no reported outages.
Hoots’ mentor and Facebook expert Mari Smith says, “Having your own Facebook username for both your personal Profile and your Fan Page(s) will help streamline your brand and “findability factor” (and, dare I say, Google indexing!)” So what are you waiting for? If you use Facebook to connect others with your work, go out and get your URL!
Here’s the question of the day, did you get your URL? Care to share it?
Mine? I settled for “just.st” since I usually sign memos, emails and notes with just an “st” (I have “just_st” as my Twitter name but I’m not yet using that one.)
Also, it’s Good Job Monday. Tell someone they did a good job last week and make their day.
(photo credits: Andrew Feinberg)