But 100 of you are following the IIA. While you might think this can cause problems in cars, lifts, and in other enclosed spaces there is no real need to worry. I am referring to those 100 people who chose to follow the IIA tweets which I hope have been proving useful. I have decided to celebrate this and although it doesn’t compare to Krishna De’s pending 1000 followers I think it’s pretty good going because of my non-intrusive follow policy whereby I will never set the IIA channel to follow a Twitter user unless they choose to follow the IIA on Twitter first. I decided to do this because unlike my personal Twitter channel the IIA channel will be used to offer services and to encourage people to attend events and to get involved: essentially I am using it to market the IIA. It also ensures that anyone who is following the IIA channel has done so without any active prompting from us. I also think that because of the corporate nature of the IIA channel, it is possible that I, Roseanne, might not always be the voice behind the channel and so I didn’t automatically approach all my followers on my personal Twitter.
But back to the celebrations! In order to celebrate this momentous event and also the success of yesterday’s Blogging, Microblogging and Podcasting IIA event in Dublin which I have no doubt had something to do with the final push to 100 I am offering a 50% discount on IIA membership for one week only. To avail of this discount just use the code “twit100” when applying here. Looking forward to welcoming you to the association!
*Having 100 followers makes scenes from the Monty Python file “Life of Brian” flash through my head!
I have my bed bagsed in my brother’s place in Kilkenny. I look forward to seeing you at PodCamp Ireland if you are going. The excitement is mounting, not least because of the organisers’ use of social media to attract attention. I’ve been listening to their podcasts, for example, and I think that Krishna De’s interview from last week’s podcast with Michele Neylon of Blacknight Solutions has some great pointers for those planning their domain name purchases, especially if you are considering buying a second-hand domain. Also on the show, winner of Best Personal Blogger in last year’s Irish Blog Awards, Grannymar, talks about her experience of starting a blog, giving some very good pointers on the essence of blogs, saying that some days she might only write two lines or post a photo and other days she might do more. As Krishna herself says Grannymar is an inspiration not least because she tells listeners to just go for it and commenters to get involved, “they are the lifeblood of any blog”. Even though hers is a personl blog, much that she has to say holds true for anyone considering starting a business blog. You can listen here at BlogTalkRadio (no fancy players required!). PodCampIreland are making use of all types of new and social media like RSS and blogs and microblogs and of course podcasts to facilitate the varied audience they have. Most of their content is published once but received by many in “the flavour” they like and much of it is done using free or cost-effective online applications.
Speaking of considering starting a business blog, one of our members has recently taken the plunge and considering the summer we have had here in Ireland I am amazed they had the time. Aedan and Suzanne Ryan are the people behind PuddleDucks, a company who sell waterproof clothing for adults and children. Aedan commented that he was much inspired by what he heard at the IIA Congress back in May about how organisations big and small were using Social Media to engage with their customers. I particularly liked their timely post a couple of weeks ago about getting kitted out for Electric Picnic.
Another company who are getting really into social media recently are IIA members, FBD.ie. You may have read on the IIA.ie website that they have just launched their new site. Part of their marketing campaign involved Twitter, including an advance launch of their site to Twitterers. They are also actively seeking comments from bloggers and twitterers and are engaging with them. Other IIA members using Twitter are the aforemnetioned Blacknight Solutions for whom it is, as they, a no-brainer with the profile of their clients. Two other IIA members, The Irish Times and RTÉ are also on Twitter but rather than using Twitter to start a conversation, they are using it to facilitate Twitterers who want regular news updates. RTÉ are feeding each of their news types through different twitter channels using the RSS feeds from their site.
The great thing about Twitter for a company like FBD, for example, is that they can approach those who twitter and if the Twitterer wants to, they can choose to allow FBD to follow them or not and conversely they can choose to follow FBD or not. It’s all about permission so it suits both parties very well. I have to admit that when setting my own ground rules for the IIA Twitter I decided that I would not follow anyone unless they followed IIA becuase I did not wish to be intrusive. I had, as I have mentioned before, been twittering in a personal capacity for some time and many of those following me were happy to follow the IIA tweets as well. I suppose the single greatest thing about Twitter and other microblogging platforms is that they allow users who aren’t constantly in front of a computer remain connected through their mobile phone by either updating via text, receiving updates by text or if the user has mobile internet capability on their phone a third party application can often be installed to microblog from your phone. I use Twibble on my Nokia E51 and I also have a Twitterfone account (Twitterfone was developed by Irish company Maxroam) which allows me to leave voice messages that are converted into text, ready for Twitter. I also use TwitPic which allows me to send photos from my phone by SMS. So for example I was able to twitter the Liffey Swim last Saturday. Great fun no doubt but imagine you were able to show the world your latest product the minute it arrived? Or twitter pictures of new staff so people would know them? Or a picture of your exhibition stand at a conference so people would know exactly what to look for? (Let’s hear how you are using these applications in your business: leave a comment below.) The name of the game is facilitation and developers are creating all sorts of web and mobile applications for all sorts of platforms to facilitate users and business users can mix and match their social media to create a mix to suit their customer base. While I wonder about the longevity of Twitter’s tenure as a killer app, I find Twitter can be a good source of information, feedback and every now and then, great entertainment and I just hope others feel the same way about our Tweets!
It got your attention anyway didn’t it? I read it in this month’s edition of Marketing Age the Marketing Institute of Ireland’s bi-monthly publication. It’s from their adaptation of Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons Punk Marketing Manifesto and it is point number one of 14. My main reason for mentioning it is by way of introducing the IIA’s twitter channel. “Ah now hold on”, I hear you say, “I’m only just getting the hang of this blogging business and you introduce microblogging!!” I’ve been microblogging myself since earlier this year and it felt like a good channel to connect with people who might be interested in the IIA, it’s events, members and opportunities so I took the risk and so far, so good. Try it out yourself. You can follow me, I’ll follow you. I know some of our members use it to great effect and hopefully they will add their comments below about their experiences. You can zone in on the Irish Twitterati at www.twit.ie – you’ll probably see some familiar names and faces.
Let me know if you are using other microblogging platforms and if you would like the IIA to contribute there as well and I will look into it.
I’ve been with the IIA two months now (so I should really stop saying I’ve been working here six weeks) and what do I have to show for myself? Well there’s a rake of new members and anyone who had a gander at the original Membership, Marketing and Communications Manager job spec will know that I will be buying each and everyone of those a drink when I DO meet them. Please form an orderly queue. If you would also like to get a free drink from me join the IIA, you can apply online in four easy steps.
One of my other priorities has been some improvements to our site and while I know what I would like changed or added, it might not be the very thing that you would like changed or added. I have been getting some helpful comments from some of my twittering friends (Hello what? Twitter???) and as you can see they are no holds barred and I’m still standing. So c’mon IIA members – bring it on! You have probably been using the site longer than I so please tell me what you want to change, what you love, what you hate. Get it off your chest. Better out than in and all that.
The cartoon above is purely for comical affect: I will accept all comments and suggestions graciously. Please add them via comments below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve also been inviting myself to the odd do here and there. I am looking forward to the Firefox 3 Launch party. Firefox are hoping to get into the Guinness Book of Records by having the most people downloading a piece of software at the same time. Now what would Roy make of that?