Tag Archives: smbplans.com

7 Reasons I’m Loving Rebelmouse

I’m loving Rebelmouse* and if you’re running a business, and acknowledging the importance of social media, you will too. Its main benefit is pulling all of your favorite content into one simple and automatically updated, always, page. Your favorite content might be your favorite  or most relevant business content, for example, or simply your own.

But the best way to explain is with examples, so here are some real examples. These are not necessarily the best examples. They are just the ones I’ve done myself, for me or companies I work with, and integrated into my own online presence or those of these other companies.

  1. Sharing collected and curated content . Take a look at www.rebelmouse.com/tim/. That’s me there. It’s what I like, what I highlight, an automatic collection that updates every time I tweet, post to Facebook, or LinkedIn10 reasons you need Rebelmouse, or Google+, or post on one of the blogs I write for (including this one).Let me emphasize: it’s automatic. It’s collecting what I collect. For some more examples of the same thing, I collect the online presence of Eugene Social at www.rebelmouse.com/eugenesocial/; and for social media business plans at www.rebelmouse.com/smbplans/. For all of these various business pages, the content comes automatically. I set them up once, set them to record streams from the various social media platforms, and they are always up to date. So the ease of use is sensational.
  2. Rebelmouse embedded in WordPress siteCurated and collected items for the home page of a business site. It’s an automatic, always-updated home page. Using one of my businesses as an example again, take a look at the front page of my social media business plan site at smbplans.com. It looks almost like the pure rebelmouse version above, but with an important difference: it’s the front page of a complete website, with a main menu navigation to my pages on speaking, consulting, and so on.What this means in simple business terms is: easy, automatic, and always updating. When we tweet, our page updates. When we post, our page updates. I’m also doing this on my main personal site at TimBerry.com.

    I’m using a Rebelmouse WordPress plugin to do my sites. There are other options available, including embed code.

  3. Rebelmouse setting RSS feedsCollecting all my blog posts on multiple blogs. I blog in about half a dozen places, usually 5-10 posts per week, more than 3,000 since I started in 2007. You can see where on the sidebar on this blog. But more to the point, I have an automatic collection of all my blog posts, from eight different me-specific RSS feeds, at www.rebelmouse.com/timsblogging/. To put this in perspective, from 2008 to 2010 we had somebody at Palo Alto Software doing data entry into a database to keep track of my posts, for business reasons. Now we’ve got the RSS feeds set into the Rebelmouse page … the illustration here shows you a condensed (which explains tear marks) view of my settings for that page, which include RSS feeds to catch just my posts on the various major blogs. (And yes, you can’t read the details there, but I hope you get the idea).
  4. A customized front page for a blog. For our social media business plans site, smbplans.com, the front page of out blog is a Rebelmouse page, embedded in WordPress, set to display all of our recent blog posts at once, each as a tile … a lot like the illustration for point 2 above, except in that case, our user clicked the “blog” link and the tiles showing are exclusively our blog posts.
  5. A collected group affinity social media site. I have a Rebelmouse page set to collect my personal social media along with the streams of each of our five grown-up children. For those of you who follow those things, we have a Klout score or 306 between six people. Our family site is mostly Twitter now. We might add Facebook later. It’s much more for us than for public consumption, but in case you’re curious, that is at www.rebelmouse.com/berrys/
  6. Collecting related items for business planning. I’m working with friends on several new business plans. We set up a Rebelmouse page, shared it between ourselves, and from then on as we browse the web we have an easy instant click to put a new web page into our collection. We use it for background, competition, ideas, etc. I won’t she examples because these are for business plans: not strictly confidential, but hidden like needles in haystacks. And I want to leave them that way.
  7. Collecting ideas for future blog posts. If you’re curious, you could go to www.rebelmouse.com/timberry/ to see what I’m thinking of writing about in the near future. It’s not too different from my main public page, and it is public, but it’s focused on what I want to write.

And this was before an interesting new Rebelmouse navigation, announced today, to incorporate a new navigation menu into a Rebelmouse page. I posted about that on my smbplans.com blog.

*Disclosure: Bias. I’m involved with Rebelmouse. Google either Paul Berry or Megan Berry and you’ll see why. 

The Difference Between a Journalist and a Blogger

What’s the difference between a journalist and a blogger? I see this from both sides because I was mainstream journalist for 10 years in the 1970s, then entrepreneur and consultant, software guy, and lately I blog a lot. 

A real journalist tries to tell the objective truth, reports facts fairly, strives for balance, and discloses bias. Technology hasn’t changed the fundamentals. 

Real journalists have opinions. Editorial writers and columnists are also journalists, not just reporters. But if it’s real journalism, opinions are framed as opinions, declared openly, and not masked as facts. 

So I say lots of bloggers are journalists. And a lot of people writing for or appearing on mainstream news media are not. 

Earlier today I posted Are Tech Conferences Distorting the Business News? over on smbplans.com. I linked there to a trio of posts debating the ethics of the New York Times Dealbook conference, which brought tech company leaders together with opinion leaders and journalists. 

Dave calls this “access journalism.” He makes it seem sinister. He quotes the New York Times’  own columnist Margaret Sullivan writing, in her column, that the event made her “a little queasy. It didn’t include …

…A great deal of distance between sources and those who cover them — something traditionally thought to be a bedrock journalistic idea.

Dave links back to the early days of Silicon Valley in the 1980s and some run-ins he had with journalists and the dark side of popularity, plugs, and mixing business relationships with news reporting. 

And I say that’s been going on forever.  There are some very practical natural phenomena related to what Dave Winer is calling “access journalism:” 1.) Good journalism wants to quote legitimate sources to turn opinions into reporting. 2.) You can’t quote people you can’t reach. 3.) Good quotable experts and well-positioned people are good to know; access to those people is good to have.

In fact, tech conferences notwithstanding, What I love about these days in reporting and journalism is that access is orders of magnitude easier today than it was when I was doing it in the 1970s. We depended on phone calls to gatekeepers (assistants, receptionists, etc.) and treasured relationships that have us a direct telephone number, which was as good as it got. Journalists these days, who can easily use email and Twitter, have no idea how good they have it (in comparison to then). 

The ethics haven’t changed. Accessibility has.

Q&A: Who Do I Follow For Business Twitter

(Note: This is my post from smbplans.com, where I posted it yesterday. I was asked to repost it here.) 

Here’s another good question I received from my Ask-me form on my Timberry.com website: 

If I’m trying to build my Twitter presence to support my [omitted] business, who should I follow? How do I find them? How to decide? 

I’m happy to answer that one because I think it could be useful to a lot of people starting to look at real-world business use of Twitter. Following in Twitter is important for several reasons:

  1. Who you follow determines what you see. Your Twitter stream is the collection of tweets from the accounts you follow. 
  2. Who you follow is who you are. Other people can see how you follow. That means they see what you like, believe in, care about, listen to, and so forth. c
  3. Who you follow is who’s likely to follow you back. For most businesses, following is the best way to be followed. About a third of your follows will follow you back — more if your tweets are interesting, less if they aren’t.   

So, with that as background, here’s who I think you should follow for your business twitter account, in order of strategy value:

  1. Leaders. The influencers you respect, want, and need. The people, businesses, and organizations you’d like to have knowing and liking and trusting you. It’s hard to generalize so think strategically for your specific business. For example, a restaurant would want local media, local organizations, hotels, food blogs, night out blogs, restaurant guides, travel guides, reviewers, and local people who comment on restaurants and have followings. The chamber of commerce, restaurant association, chefs’ schools, local university groups might be good targets too.
  2. Media, writers, bloggers, and experts in your field. Authors whose work you like and respect. People who you’d like to see writing about you. Our sample restaurant would look for food, dining, restaurant, travel media. 
  3. Social media stars who turn up in keyword searches. Search the web, search Twitter, using important keywords. The restaurant example might search for #dining, #gourmet, #organic, #vegetarian, #chefs, #fastfood, #slowfood, #meals, for example. And if it is located in Eugene, OR then it would search for #eugene and #oregon too. See who tweets with those hashtags. See what content they tweet. Decide whether you are compatible with them. 
  4. Local organizations, groups, and institutions. The schools, universities, community colleges, public theater, development groups. 
  5. Some general news and bloggers and information sources on idea, places, topics, and people that interest you. This is just because you want to see what they’re offering. They’re not strategic. 
  6. Friends, family, and compatible business associates.