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What is Twitter, What Can I Do With Twitter?

The world is saturated with twits, tweets, and tweeps. Everyone, from Oprah to NPR has decided that this is the most brilliant application ever devised by man. They constantly cite it, talk about it, and overhype it to the Nth degree.

The one thing they never explain about twitter is how it is intended to be used. They don't explain the reTweet, or spambot followers. They just tell random people to get online, and drop their thoughts, in 140 characters or less, of course.

It's not their fault, really, as twitter doesn't really have a defined purpose. The idea is that it is supposed to enable real-time communication, sort of a text message broadcast to the entire world. The actual purpose of tweets are left up to the users' imaginations.

It was too much for me to get my mind wrapped around when I started, that is for sure. With this in mind, I'd like to tell you a couple uses that will make twitter a valuable investment of your time.

This article will serve a very practical purpose, both for the novice user of twitter, and for those who have lost interest: It'll tell you how, what, and why to follow certain users, along with giving you the ability to find and organize that data in a meaningful manner.

With that in mind, let's begin. There are around 7 major types of twitter users. Your interests will determine which of these folks it would be in your best interest to follow:

1. Newsies: The New York Times, Tribune Media, Huffington Post, Drudge Report, and various other news agencies use twitter as a point of distribution for their articles. Updates commonly carry newly published content, or respond to readers of their content, which will naturally drive new readers to their site.

2. Gurus: These people, like Tony Robbin or Robert Kiyosaki(of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame) use their accounts to push out mini-seminars. Their updates range from the inspirational to motivational, deliver news updates, and of course, push product in-between.

3. Gossip Gals: They don't miss a single controversy. It doesn't matter how small, these girls(and guys---think Perez Hilton) won't let it rest. While TMZ and the Smoking Gun throw out some really interesting stuff, I wouldn't put it in the category of "news".

4. Info-Marketers: Pushing everything from get-rich-schemes, to plugging their latest eBook, these folks peddle all things downloadable. They are always mentioning some resource that seems designed to help you make money, but will make them money instead.

5. Regular Marketers: Generally, tweeps of this ilk are pushing a physical product, or building up that brand. You'll see everyone from tire companies to toilet paper purveyors interacting with their customers and fans. To spice things up, fun facts and interesting news are served with soft-sell promotional tactics.

6. Power Tweeters: This is an odd group. They generally tweet about anything and everything. Most of the time, they are female in gender, and are a mixture of Gossip Gals and Newsie fare, with a spatter of hometown chatter. They never sell anything. Many times, they will live-tweet their thoughts on concerts, television shows, and fashion.

7. Everyone Else: This encompasses roughly 97% of the twitterverse. They followed a few people, didn't learn how to link, reTweet, or even reply inside of twitter. Eventually, they get tired of the whole thing, and move back to playing "Mafia Wars" on facebook.

While there are sub-groups within every group, these are where the lines are generally drawn. The most important takeaway from this breakdown is the following: Most people on twitter are trying to sell you something. Now that you know who's online, how can you get the most out of twitter?

Glad you asked. The first thing to get is a twitter client. For the purpose of this article, we're going with TweetDeck, a leader in the twitter client arena. It's easy to use. Download it, open it up, enter your username and password...and magically, you have a bird's eye view of everything happening in twitter(or at least who you are following, and their activity).

You'll see your live twitter feed on the far left, in-between you'll find any replies that have been made to your messages(if you've just opened an account, there won't be any messages here), and on the far right, your direct messages(private messages between you and another user that are not broadcast to other users).

The first thing you should do is find twitterers who meet your basic informational needs. For that, I actually prefer to use google, as it generally does a better job of finding who, or what you are looking for than twitter's native search service. Google your local station's call sign and add twitter to the end.(e.g. WKPY twitter). Let's say we were searching for a our local station in New Mexico. We'd follow @KOBTV. That will be useful for weather alerts, local news, and community events.

Next, get a national news feed you trust. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox all have twitter feeds kicking out news at the speed of type. You can now see what is making waves at the national level, along with any upcoming special reports.

Now comes the fun part...your interests. Love tech...grab @TechCrunch. Need your daily fix of stats and scores: Follow @ESPN. Pick 2-3 twittering entities that don't overlap. For instance, unless you just love too much information, don't follow ABC, NBC, and CBS news.

From there, it's time to find interesting people to follow. See if your favorite celebrities, nobel laureates, or trashmen are online. Check out their profile online, either by searching google with their name, followed by twitter, or by going to their website, and finding out what it is. This is probably the greatest chance at interaction with the rich and infamous that you will get. Rainn Wilson(Dwight Schrute of "The Office") is one celebrity with particularly interest thoughts, links, and conversation.

You have a base of good, solid tweets that you are now following. Here comes the fun part. There are people around the world having conversations about the latest news, movies, restaurants, whatever. Now, you just have to find them. Pull up the search feature in TweetDeck. There are two ways to search: hashtag, or plain text. Hashtags denote a post in a certain category. For instance, if you were looking for all the updates that include the President, but don't actually mention him in the body, this is the easiest way to search. If you are just looking for all mentions of Barack Obama, you would enter his name in plain text.

Searching in TweetDeck will open a column that automatically updates each time the search term is mentioned. For instance, you could keep a column opened for any topics you are interested in, and monitor them in real-time. I like to keep an eye on precious metals, mining, and tire news(boring, I know). When I am monitoring twitter, I keep a #gold, #silver, #mining, and #tires tab open, so that I can keep abreast of what is happening. It's like a stock ticker. Glance, see something you like, and read any article links that come through. If I see someone who is tweeting regularly about a topic I am interested in, I follow them, so I can see any of their general tweets as well. Rinse and repeat for each topic you have an interest in, and the list of people you follow will be over 100 in no time.

Now, for the bad part: Taking out the trash. Twitter is full of people who will spam you, by doing the most flattering thing of all: following your account. Since twitter sends you an email notification that someone is a follower, your curiosity makes you want to check them out. Many times, they will masquerade as a female in a bathing suit(or less). Their names will often be followed by a dash with a 4-digit number. You should immediately go to your follower page, and hit "report as spam". This helps twitter eliminate them from the roster, and keeps any of your followers from checking their garbage out.

On a lesser note, I try to clean out people I follow from time-to-time. Some of them have reverted to inane chatter, instead of providing important news. Even worse, they are tweeting more often, and saying even less. If you are spending time in twitter, make sure that dump a few people to keep things uncluttered.

Some of you might be wondering how to get legitimate followers. It's simple advice: Be you. If you are chatty, be chatty. Talk about your interests. ReTweet things from others that you find interesting. Be consistent. Spend time on twitter. The more you are engaged with others, the more likely it is that people will like, and follow what you have to say.

Now, let's recap how to get the most out of twitter:

1. Know the major categories of Twitterers. Filter them out based upon your interests.

2. Get a twitter client, like TweetDeck, to help you manage the vast streams of information coming through.

3. Make sure you are following a local news station, national news station, and sources that cover any informational gaps that you might have.

4. Follow celebrities that are active and intelligent.

5. Use search and hashtags to sort out topics and people to follow that are of interest to you.

6. Take out the trash regularly to make sure your feed isn't overloaded with garbage. Block or report bots as spam.

7. Gain more followers by contributing to the conversation, and being yourself.

That's all for now. There are far more advanced methods of tweeting, following, and being heard. Most of those methods are custom rules, developed by each user. You wouldn't think publishing a message would need rules. After all, how complex should sending out 140 characters be?

Evidently, as complex as we can possibly make something that has no definable purpose.

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What is PR, Pagerank Introduction

Pagerank can be described as an exclusive technology, which has been developed by Google and can affect the success of your website to a great extent. In simple words, it is a numeric value used for describing the importance of your page on the web. Google refers to this technology as a method of evaluating the quality, importance and usefulness of any website. The PR or a pagerank of a webpage would hold a different meaning for different individuals. It is a major sign of accomplishment especially for the webmaster.

How to determine the pagerank?

The high pagerank would simply indicate that your website is moving just in the right direction and has all the potential of becoming successful.pagerank also affects the listing of your Google search engine directly. If you are able to increase pagerank faster than your competitors, this would simply mean that there is more traffic for your website and less for your competitor. Definitely, visitors for your website would not be bothered about the increased pagerank. However, your content will be considered to be credible especially by those visitors who understand the true meaning of increased pagerank.

The best way to determine the pagerank would only be through back links. A back link is a term which is used for indicating a situation when some other page gets linked to your page. You get voted for each page that gets linked to your website. This clearly reflects that it is always better to have a couple of links from the increased pagerank websites as compared to having links to hundreds of the websites with low pagerank.

Google makes use of quite a few of the irrelevant factors which are used for determining the pagerank. It would be quite beneficial to consider all of these factors as they would help to increase pagerank, but surely quality back links are considered to a more effective option.

How to Improve pagerank?

You can improve pagerank for your website by using different methods of obtaining quality back links. The performance of certain methods depends on the popularity and subject of your website, therefore some of these methods may not apply to you, look for what best suits your style.

Submit to the Web Directories: The best method of increasing your pagerank and getting better traffic for your website is by submitting your website to different directories. For this to be affective all your efforts need to be to submitting to a large number of directories instead of to just one.

Link Exchanges: Link exchange is the most common method that is used to increase pagerank. It simply includes linking of one website to the other. It is always better to link your website to the increased pagerank website. It is also important to make sure these websites are relevant to the subject of your own website.

Forum Signatures: It is always beneficial to include a link of your website if you are an active member of any message board or forum. If this forum has high PR, it would help in increasing your pagerank.

Buy Advertising: It is one of the most expensive methods that is being used by quite a few of the webmasters, which involves buying of the text link ads on websites with especially high PR. There are also sites that offer free advertising, if you have a limited budget this would be a good idea for you.

Publish web articles: This is one of the most known methods to increase pagerank. Following this process, you write the articles of your subject or choice and allow the people to use these articles as long as they allow links back to your website.

Stay on Google’s good side: Always remember to follow all the rules judiciously and not to cheat. As this will enable you to be in Google’s good books and as a result increase pagerank.

Make a quality website: If you have made a quality website, the visitors will surely enjoy visiting it and as a result, you will receive many back links without putting in any efforts.

Hence, all of the above methods if implemented sincerely and judiciously can really contribute in increasing the pagerank of your website to a great extent.

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10 Video SEO Tips

Within one year of its launch, YouTube became the fourth most popular website in the world, and is currently a multi-million dollar enterprise. This fact alone should explain the utter relevance and power of video content to the modern Web. Widespread broadband internet access, increasingly capable video recording hardware and editing software, and high-capacity data storage have conspired to convert the web from predominantly text-based to an increasingly audio-visual phenomenon.

Since people seem to want video content, the big search engines are incorporating video links into their organic results – and as with any content, there are ways to optimize your search engine performance.

Ten Tips for Quality Video SEO Results

1 – Make sure the video is worth the effort to find it.

Content must be relevant, and it must have an acceptable standard of quality. Potential visitors to any site probably have a great many alternatives they can turn to for any particular interest. Before worrying about other optimization factors, make sure the videos you’re promoting are the very best quality you can produce.

2 – Integrate the video.

In strong SEO practices, all content is tied to other content on the site, and nothing stands alone. Make sure the videos include links back to other portions of the site to increase traffic and sympathetic search results. For example, link back product demonstrations to the products’ description page.

3 – Optimize keywords.

Nearly all good SEO practice comes back to keyword optimization. Search the statistics, find out what keywords are most relevant to the videos you’re producing, and use them. Build catchy titles around them, and incorporate them into the video descriptions and associated text. As in tip 2, make sure they integrate with other keywords important to your site as a whole.

4 – Seek wide coverage.

The end goal of SEO techniques is the generation of web traffic. The chances of a user going to any particular website are fairly slim, so get your content out there. Post to YouTube, Vimeo, and Google Video, but also look into the specialty markets that offer specific types of video. Be creative, and get your content in front of as many people as possible.

5 – Omit needless words.

A trick right out of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, this advice is as true for video content as it is for text. Keep the video brief and punchy, down to exactly what you need to convey your message. People prefer videos of about five minutes’ length, as a rule of thumb.

6 – Brand yourself.

Video content is an excellent chance to associate your content with your site’s brand. Incorporate your organization’s logo into the video (generally in the introduction and/or conclusion), and be sure to link back to your site. However, keep these mentions discrete and logical. Over-stressing the name often leads to eye rolling and clicking to another site. Let the video’s strengths carry the product name, instead of simply repeating it.

7 – Think of the user.

People are not robots, who will automatically respond positively just because they saw a video. Respect their intelligence and the time they’re taking to view the content you’ve provided. Allow them to comment on or at least rate the video, so they feel a sense of contribution to the brand. Consider the option of providing embedding code so they can post the video to their own sites, and provide a contact point so they can leave commentary (moderated for politeness, of course).

8 – Use RSS.

RSS is a standardized syndication format that allows easy publication for frequently updated materials. People set up RSS feeds to their preferred content sources, be they comics, blogs, or video feeds. If you submit your content to RSS and users see it, they’re more likely to add you to their feed and therefore return to your videos in the future.

9 – Remember the Code.

Search engines still operate largely on indexes of hard copy material. Video hasn’t replaced text content so much as grown into a role alongside it. Descriptions and transcripts of your video content add another point of interest for search engines along with meta tags and titles, so don’t neglect good HTML-sensitive writing.

10 – Choose an appropriate format.

If your content is generated toward a predominantly Mac-friendly audience, you will win more viewers by settling on Apple’s .mov format rather than Windows’ .avi. Do some research into your target audience and see what formats are most preferred, and stick to that format. In the past there may have been some merit to offering alternative formats, but with widely available broadband access, people can acquire multiple players with relative ease.

As with text SEO practices, video SEO is not about magic bullets or painting by the numbers. It must be an organic, considered practice that takes many factors into account. All content must be tied intrinsically to the entire business, with video and text content supporting each other in an integrated effort to promote the whole. Adding Video will not save a site from shoddy products, but as part of a comprehensive plan of good practices, it is one more tool in the successful business’ toolbox.

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