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QR Codes are back?

2017-01-04 14.06.47

Their inclusion is on the rise. Why?

Since discovering a QRcode reader on my Nokia N95 in 2007 and Googling QRcode reader, followed by the fact I could create them myself with ease to pursue the paperless dream as an event organiser I've been a QRcode advocate.

The humble QR code has had a bit of a rough ride over the last 10 years through misplaced inception and shirt tails gimmickry without audience consciousness, rather than the QR code being a mechanism devoid of use. Its inherent usefulness has kept its obsolescence at bay.

The success of the QRcode is in the hands of users. Is what is contained beneath it worth scanning? A few disappointing "I could have just typed that in" remarks and the fate of the QRcode was momentarily sealed.

The QRcode came back to my attention with my interest in the rise of Snapchat. The emergence to the mainstream of augmented reality (AR) after PokemonGO took the world by storm for a brief and bright time in 2016 started the trend along with the

The emergence to the mainstream of augmented reality (AR) after PokemonGO took the world by storm for a brief and bright time in 2016 started an acceptance of AR along with the adventures into AR from agencies using it to bring packaging and adverts to life to crayon makers Crayola adding animation to children's colouring books, I feel a comeback might be on the 2017 cards.

This proximity connection and entry to engagement demanded from Spapchat intrigued me. Snapchat not being immediately intuitive seemed to be a feature, users liked. Being in a club with a secret knock is a desirable hurdle, the learning curve to successfully engage seems accepted too. It's those on the outside who complain. A fascinating psychology in the age of usability.  I recently stumbled upon Twitter's QR code and scanner tucked away in the profile settings and in Facebook's Messenger.

 

A video posted by Caron Lyon (@pcmcreative) on

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Hootsuite and Tweetdeck just don't cut it.

This is massively overdue post but with the assistance of screen clipping tool Skitch I think I'm ready.

Ok, context first

I have been live tweeting at events since 2008 and its always been a conversation and connecting tool. Who is in the room and who is not, is important. If you are not its quite nice to see photos of the speakers but all the 'hey look at me, don't you wish you were here too' photos and who's up next tweets... STOP! 

Thats a bit hash...  what I mean is they are great for 'your' networked audience but the audience following the hashtag IMHO want what all the 'on the ground' audience want, to learn from the wisdom of the programmed speakers, draw insights from discussions and panel plenaries. Oh and network.

OK So photos are welcomed to put the 'in the cloud' audience in the picture. For us in the digital audience its a common frame of reference to be able to empathise with the activities you are participating in at a distance online. If I'm commissioned to tweet my objective is to visualise the audience as a whole within the twittersphere and communicate with them. Present or remote isn't important. My challenge is always to generate a coherent stream of activity, a stand alone stream containing all reverent content, chatter, user generated media and the official event voice. I am not necessarily the 'official voice' but the conversation laser's focus operator!

Now... I'm getting to the point I promise! Networking conversations 1-2-1 are part of the experience at any conference but most of the time it's dialogue between groups or one person introducing two people to one another and is rarely binary back and forth ie @name to @name. 

There is a dialoging feature which was present in the pre twitter ownership days of Tweetdeck that made my role as connector and stream curator easier. It disappeared and never came back. 

Here's how it works - I have found a little known Tweetdeck alternative, Janetter that has the feature.

Its about responding to multiple people in one tweet in the click of a mouse, logically compiled as I, the curator reads the activity in real-time. I hope these screen shots illustrate my point.

First the tweets and colleagues I wanted to engage.

Mozilla Twitter Column
Tweets from my Firefox side panel column displaying Twitter

 

It was responding to them that helped me break down the long felt frustration of the missing feature in to a blog. So thanks Kate and Jen if you read this. Do let me know how your trips to Edinburgh turned out.

Anyway...

Kate @BustingFree and Jen @jennifermjones are not in the same networks as far as I know. I met Jen several times after she attended MediaCampNottingham and, forgive me if I'm wrong Jen also as part of the Amb:IT:ion program roadshows. Kate on the other hand sat on Equity's Independent Theatre Arts Committee with me for several years and I follow because she had the awesome idea of building a theatre in a bus. Both are always interesting reads and following their activities on twitter over the years gives me a sense of where they are at professionally always wanting to find time in my calendar to coincide locations to meet up. I remember a time when everyone I knew were numbers in my mobile phone now in the social media age they are status updates in a constantly moving stream of activity, my home twitter feed. Better but thats another post. I digress! This is about illustrating this lost feature.

Bare with me! It is a long lost feature and you are probably nonplussed by my indignation. I want to communicate when d0ing this dynamic dialoging at events and not have to faff with the interface.

Best way I could think to illustrate my point was with screenshots.

Original Tweets in Tweetdeck

TweetDeck
Tweetdeck
TweetDeck Reply
Hitting Reply to Kate

 

Clicking the Reply icon creates a message to either Kate (above)

 

TweetDeck relying to Jen
Hitting Reply to Jen

OR Clicking the Reply icon on Jen's tweet
I can send send a reply to Jen (above)

It never used to be this way you could build replies.

Yes I can Reply by typing/pasting both @names into a new tweet or hope the autocorrect offers them up to me. But on the fly, in an event thats not really an option. I did explore Hootsuite for this 'reply building' feature and I had resigned myself to its absence. It changed the way I tweet. So what happens in Hootsuite? (it was this reply building feature that led me to favour Tweetdeck over Hootsuite back then)

Original Tweets in Hootsuite

Hootsuite
Tweets displayed in Hootsuite
 
Hootsuite
Hitting Reply to Kate on Hootsuite

 

Hootsuite screen shot
Hitting Reply to Jen on Hootsuite


Just as before with Tweetdeck I'm forced to reply to one person at a time. As I'm writing this it seems so minor but it fundamentally changed the way I interact with Twitter. I like Twitter less since the change happened and I have bemoaned its loss ever since. I kept an old install of Tweekdeck to keep this feature but finally it was closed down and the browser based version we have today superseded it. 

OK... THE FEATURE

I discovered a little know, or so it seems twitter client called Janetter.

Original Tweets in Janetter

Janetter screenshot
Tweets displayed in Janetter 
 
Janetter reply building screenshot
Hitting Reply on Kate and Jen's tweets


With Janetter clicking a reply icon builds on the tweet being composed, it included all the other @names in the tweets and the hashtags. These replies can be from different columns or accessed by scrolling further down the stream. Once all the @named people are included you can tidy up the hashtags, remove any @names you don't need in this tweet and write the tweet... of course then SEND.

And thats it the missing feature.

Another unique (a word to use with caution but I haven't seen else where) is the ability to change the font used in the app. This means the OpenDyslexia font can be used making it super stable visually for me to read.

So... What do you think?

Do you use Janetter too? 

Have I missed another platform, tool or service you think I should look at?

 Apps

image from cdn.appstorm.net
Janetter
image from screenshots.en.sftcdn.net
Tweetdeck
image from hootsuite.com
Hootsuite





.Lazy Tweeting - that preceding fullstop. #StopIt

image from www.gigashots.com
Once upon a time Twitter was a stream trickling through the cracks of cyberspace. Its now a tidal river opening out into a vast ocean of commonly refered to as The Twittersphere.

Time was, when who ever you followed on Twitter pulled in all the activity of that tweeter this included all @ messages from those they followed. This full circle conversation visibility make joining conversations very easy with context of who was talking to who. It also helped building your follow list. Which in turn would broaden and enrich your twitter stream. That early day's dialogue has long since gone. It feels much more window-like than door-like these days. But that's the  pitfall of successful growth it seems.

So this fullstop adoption/affectation

Then a day came when the buzz was too much and tweets with an @ name became only visible to the person the message was intended for. To continue public dialogue the full stop was inserted as a fudge to prevent the exchange being exchanged only between the intended recipient and other @ names in the tweet.

So it has a purpose but why am I wanting it to stop?

Used as it was intended it announces to the twittersphere a comment you want everyone to see but it is a mechanism for the lazy construction of a well crafted intentional tweet.

Before I continue... adding the full stop prior to an @ name other than at the very start of your tweet shows your misunderstanding of the twitter vernacular and convention, do it and claim to be a 'pro' 'expert' or 'guru' and you will show your true shade of b*ll*cks

So full stop, How to combat it prevalence and pointlessness.

Stephanie Drakes of DotSocial explains it fully in her January 2015 post - Twitter Tips: Why add a full stop before an @mention on Twitter 

I'm using her examples to illustrate the alternative ethos (ie, using the dot) for audience dialogue and adding it for your message recipients... but is it necessary?

@dotsocialise thanks for the great #socialmedia tip

This message is thanking Stephanie for her great tips.

.@DotSocialise post great #SocialMedia tips

This message is about Stephanie but not really intended for her, the rhetoric dot! Seen by all but doesn't look good good on the eye! Better would be...

Great #SocialMedia tips from @DotSocialise.

This message is being addressed directly to your followers, your audiences yet still credits the source of the 'greatness'.

So when could you use the dot?

A superb example of the rhetoric dot - this is most certainly an about someone, not to them tweet!

I saw this tweet from Owen Jones as I was writing this post and it's only quoting for context, a tweet from Owen that I would EVER configure letters to convey 'that man' in any writing I do. Why does Owen get this license? Check out his Politics of Hope talk (audio) from this years FutureFest.

 image source: Gigashots


6 Things you might not know about in Twitter

This where you will be going...
 
Twitter___Settings
  
 
1. Settings - 7th item down - Show Tweet Translations 
 
Twitter___Settings
 
This setting is ticked by default, at least I have never knowingly activated it. Very useful for my Audience Europe Network account as the EU partners often tweet in their native languages day to day.
 
 
2. Settings > Mobile - 3rd item under My Phone - Sleep Settings
 
Twitter___Settings
 
This setting I recall turning on long ago. Its one of the early settings I remember thinking was very useful. I don’t get updates to my mobile devise between 2am and 8am. I'm a great advocate of being able to turn stuff off. (see also item 4!)
 
3. Settings > Find Friends - see screenshot
 
Twitter___Find_Friends
 
When new to twitter or any social networking platform it’s useful to start your audience with people you already know, especially if they are already established in your new network. Twitter enables you to search your email contacts for email addresses that match ones submitted by existing Twitter users.
 
REMEMBER: Not ever one uses the same email in social media networks. 
 
Twitter provides a management tool for you to manage who you chose to follow showing you who in your address book is Tweeting. And most importantly remove them if you wish from the twitter server. (follow link "manage the contact" at the bottom of the dialogue page, see screenshot)
 
4. Settings > Muted accounts > see screenshot
 
Twitter___Settings
 
Some people are prolific tweeters and you might find they drown out your new infant twitter stream.
 
Or you might be an established tweeter who sees one account dominate your stream on occasions.
 
Well you can turn them off if you don’t want to unfollow them. But if you want to hear from them again don’t forget to turn them back on! #WeAllKnowOne!
 
5. Settings > Applications
 
The screenshot below shows the application I has granted access to elements of my twitter account, yours will display the applications you have authorised over the lifetime of your twitter account. 
 
Twitter___Settings
 
 
It is also a good way to reflect on the platforms, tools and services you have signed in with Twitter that you have forgotten about. It’s probably advisable to revoke access to long since used platforms as you can’t know if the access is still possible. Thats just my thoughts. If you revoke access to a platform you use you will simply be asked to log in next time you visit the site.
 
 
6. Analytics (see top screenshot)
 
Twitter_Analytics_account_overview_for_pcmcreative
 
For a long time Twitter had no internal analytics so twitter stat sites were very popular and still are today providing a bewildering breakdown on your twitter and other social media platform audiences, personal usage and reach.
 
Twitter now has stats now too. Once you find it have a browse around its quite an extensive area. You’ll have a whole new top navigation bar to explore.
 
 
I hope there’s something new there for you.
 
 
 

Clean up the Twitter Fake Bots

New attention has be drawn to the numerous fake or spam twitter accounts that follow us. Yes they boost numbers but but they provide no value. Isn't it better to know everyone is listening or potentially listening? It was back in June 2011 that I wrote "Twitter Fly Swatter - TwitBlock" after I was looking in to ridding my followers of spam bots. It was TwitBlock by @TimWhitlock that identified and enabled me to block the culprits. This week Status people came on the scene, a tool to identify fakers with the headlines Quite some press coverage but lets get a little perspective. Bots boost your follow count, this is true. The relationships on Twitter of most importance are those with 'friends'. The ones you follow back. They read your Tweets and you read thier's. We don't control who follows us the only option if you want these bots to disappear is to block them. A twitter count inflated by fake, purchased followers and bots kids no one but your self. Running @pcmcreative through StatusPeople reveals I have 90% Good, 9% Inactive, 1% Fake. StatusPeople only analyses 1000 accounts, just a sample of your total following. Information is all well and good but what about the clean up. This is why I write this post. Social Media evolves all the time with new platforms, tools and services emerging suite of complimentary apps come together. Three apps I now have to verify the effectiveness of the Twitter accounts I own, run and maintain.
  • TwitBlock - Finds Bots in fiends and followers - @pcmcreative 14 of 2543
  • SocialBro - Excellent Twitter management tool including providing statistics about inactive followers - @pcmcreative has 112 inactive friends and 526 inactive followers.
  • StatusPeople - New analytic tool to identify fake or bot accounts in your followers
The greater issue for me is my inactive friends. Many of them are Tweeters with the greatest of intentions but with no twitter passion. Some do ignite some just wait and watch. But I do know who many of them are. The other peeve is accounts with no custom avatar. What about your account? For more Twitter thoughts take a look at Twitterati, FibreCamp.tv's new twitter show with me and Phil Campbell.

Who am I? - Let's get Following with Audiences Europe

STENCILLOGO1 200px Audiences Europe have recently taken me on team to provide social media and associated technologies support and advise. I always like to start by helping network members connect up existing tools and services with Twitter being one of the most accessible in terms of kicking of conversation and 'making new friends in the playground'. Audiences Europe have a Ning network where I have focused much of my time to date helping tweak and shape it in to platform project administrator Rich Hadley can be proud of, and in turn create content for. It's hugely important to feel proud of the network environment, blog look or website layout. Its a great motivator for creating content.

In the AEN discussion forum we exclaimed...Let's Get Following, inviting exisiting network members to post a little intro or just their Twitter name so others could follow them. This was my offering and a bit about my Twitter journey. As folk often ask me what I do this is alittle about who I am, which I think is what matters.

Hello, I'm @pcmcreative on Twitter

I have been a tweeter since late 2007 when I discovered I could maintain and develop connections beyond an event and project. The notion of a continued conversation day to day with like-minded people appealed to me. As a source of information it took a further 18 months before I thought to ask my Twitter network to answer a question I would normaly have 'googled' "What is the traditional gift for a 10th aniversary?" ie Cotton, Lace, Ruby etc. I got several responses infoming me it was aluminium. one suggesting a macbook coz its shell is milled aluminium and one declaring with a emoticon wink "Decree Nisi ;)" From here I knew Twitter was only going to get better.

I have been referred for work thought this 140 character mass messaging platform. Built audiences for online live theatre streams then spent the evening chatting though massaging to complete strangers who then become digital friends as they follow me on Twitter and begin to read my blog. I love it when months and in some cases now, years later I bump in to folk like seeing old friends yet quickly realising we have never met in the flesh before today.

Twitter is special.

This is my Twitter biog.

Social Media starlet, practitioner & consultant. @EquityUK campaigner for independent theatre artists. Slight nut. I love a good cuppa. @PCMprojects coordinator.

Sums me up professionally I guess as much as you can in 160 characters! As I recently discovered writing the Twitter biog for @audienceseurope it is quite an art, one I quite enjoy. Distilling the essence of an identity to create an impression in a single phrase. It's a great exercise.

What are your 160 characters?

What's your story?


Eye's on the prize? Notttuesday, Sept 2011

The presenatation from Oliver Emberton was live streamed to bambuser. Thank you to those who watched live, there were 25 of you and engaged in chat room banter. Thanks also to @PhilCampbell for curating and responding to chatter. Not bad for an iPhone4 with no external mic.

Posted pre-event...

I've initiated numerous hashtags in Twitter for events. They work very well for streamlining conversation and filtering participating twitter peeps. It is possible to track the reach of a hashtag using services like TweetReach but it is near impossible to determine how the twitter stream from an event is being engaged with by the active participants.

Are they picking up tweets as they whizz by in thier 'All friends" stream

There are so many application to access twitter with a mind bending array of different features how can I possible know if a stream is being watch in the way I am in good faith curating it?

I am heading off to a networking/meet up event tonight called NottTuesday and it has a tag which I check in to as the event approaches to get a feel for who is going to be attending. Are they also watching the tag or are they simply using it.

I created this poll to try and find out.

Posted this on Twitter and with the PollDaddy app on the ipad I'll poll the peeps tonight at the event. I'm leaving the poll open. As of the 15 Septmber only 4 had voted; a No, 2 Yes other and 1 Yes Tweetdeck collumn. I also created a saved search on Twitter for Notttuesday.

 


Twitter Fly Swatter - TwitBlock

TwitBlock is a junk filter and bulk blocking tool for Twitter. It scans your followers for nuisance accounts and makes it easy to block them all in one place. You can also see who you're already blocking; something you can't do on twitter.com.

via twitblock.org

How many people follow you on Twitter? How many do you listen to? Friends and Followers, mutual friends, for so many it seems to be a numbers game. I have far more Twitter accounts than is healthy! Admittedly these are for business, clients or pet projects but yesterday I received a lot of what looked to be spam followers. Now my thinking in the past has been, well they won't be listening to anything I say but it's a follower. I had no intention of following these back but then I realised it dilutes the quality of my following. I have always been very proud that I can flick through my followers with a pretty good idea why I picked most of them up. Some I know, some I admire, some I want to meet, some I want to work with, many have attended events I have twitter curated and followed me from there and there are many good friends who I don't see half as much as I would like.

So... after manually reporting spammers last night I asked Google "who is a bot in my followers" and @timwhitlock's TwitBlock came top. 

It found 35 bots in 850+ followers and to my delight only 1 in my friends and that was one of my own pet project which was dormant! So... How about you?


The Twitter Paradox - The Twitter Ecosphere

There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Twitter is a paradox that redefines that old saying to, “If it’s broke, don’t fix it, because it works.”

via www.briansolis.com

Twitterverse-poster-lg

The Twitter Ecosphere

Where do you start? This sums it up. We all need a little assistance when it comes to making sense of the social media landscape. This (see above with awe!) is just tools, services and platforms for Twitter! I have a set of twitter tools I use all the time. I'm constantly exploring new ones. Only a few make it in to my day to day working practice. This week will put them to the test as I monitor and engage with the imwithphil media stream across social networks. 

The www.imwithphil.com project bringing Phil and Phylis Campbells from across the world for a party was going to be a media making opportunity but since it has become a relief effort it's going to push social media and it's capability to reach the masses with out a traditional intermediary which is IMHO our generations legacy. Reinforcement from traditional sources is vital but anyone can have a voice.

I'm looking forward to all the Phil Campbell action who every the Phil Campbell, who ever the story teller, what ever the media might be.

Share with me if you are following.