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Get a Facebook page and update it – number of fans will go up

I have had a Facebook page since launch basically, but I was not updating it much and the number of fans was obviously quite flat. 3 months ago I started heavily updating it, as often as I post to Twitter,

I hear a lot of people telling me “you should post different content to different networks” but what I decided to do is to setup my ping.fm account to update at the same time my Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Buzz, Ning and a few more sites being of course very careful not to put @replies in Facebook etc.

The result after a few months is visible, 1,500 fans added on my Facebook page (thanks for joining if you did) to approximately 7,000 and interactions in comments and likes going way up.   

We’re adding ping.fm to all our Seesmic Apps as soon as we can, it’s already available in Seesmic for Blackberry, but in the meantime, you can post to ping.fm using their website, any app supporting it or simply by sending an update to ping by email or text.

Facebook | Insights_ Loic Le Meur-1.jpg



Seesmic Web update: awesome feedback

Awesome feedback from our first users of our new Seesmic Web and from many tech bloggers from TechCrunch, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, WebWare, NewSome, HuffingtonPost and LeCarnetTechno (apologies if I missed some)

MG Siegler in TechCrunch Seesmic Web Perfects The Management Of Twitter Followers

“Do you follow more than 100 people on Twitter? If so, have you ever tried to manage them on Twitter.com? If you want to remove some people you followed years ago, it’s a huge pain. Seesmic has just made a much better way.

The new Seesmic Web app, launching today, brings with it a new main tab: Contacts. As you can guess, this is a contact manager for Twitter that makes pruning your Twitter contacts a breeze”

Barb Dybwad in Mashable Seesmic Web App Now Does Threaded Twitter Conversations

“We had a chance to check out the new features and are especially excited about the conversational threads feature. Pictured below, the new option aggregates Twitter conversations into a pop-up chronological view of @replies that transpired during the Twitter exchange between you and user user(s). It’s a great way to pull in a cohesive view of a Twitter conversation”

Frederic Lardinois in ReadWriteWeb With New Features, Seesmic Web Blurs the Line between Web & Desktop Twitter clients

“Overall, the experience of using Seesmic Web comes very close to using a desktop client. There are a few features that are still missing in the web version (resizable columns, for example), but otherwise, Seesmic Web is a very good replacement for a desktop Twitter client.

Using a web-based client brings a number of advantages with it, including the absence of any Twitter rate limits. If you like the Seesmic interface give it a try in a site-specific browser like Fluidon the Mac or Mozilla’s Prism.”

Rafe Needleman in CNET News Webware New Seesmic Web out-features Seesmic Desktop

“Seesmic Web is a very attractive, highly functional, and very fluid Twitter client, even stacked up against pure downloadable apps. It’s worth taking for a spin.”

Kent Newsome in Newsome.Org Seesmic Web Makes Good Twitter

“I was way late to the party, but have been using and enjoying Seesmic Web for the past few weeks.  It takes the chaos and user-unfriendliness that is the native Twitter web site, and makes it darn near usable.”

Bianca Bosker in Huffington Post Seesmic Web App Update Includes Threaded Conversations, Contact Manager

Bruno Guglielminetti LeCarnetTechno Seesmic facilite l’usage de Twitter sur le Web



Seesmic Android got 30,000 downloads and gets featured on Android Market

Seesmic Android got 30,000 downloads with a 58% install rate in just a few weeks and now we are thrilled our friends at Google decided to feature it just ahead of the holidays season. See for yourselves how it looks like

Android1 Android2 

Seesmic for Android's raccoon is proudly featured next to Facebook and Myspace on the general Android Market welcome screen and gets a dedicated slot on the social category! Thanks Google, we are glad that you like Seesmic Android.

This is just a beginning, we have a dedicated team on Android and coming very soon are multi-accounts and Twitter location support, as well as yes, surprises. Expect a year of very fast updates to our already popular Android app!

The first reviews Seesmic for Android got are amazing too, thank you everyone who posted about it, there are so many we can't link them all but here are a few:

Seesmic's new release: Android NEARLY has a perfect Twitter app

Mashable: Seesmic for Android Adds Twitter Search, Lists and Trending Topics

Appboy: Seesmic finally makes Twitter usable on Android

EuroDroid: The best Android Twitter apps #10: Seesmic

Mobile Content Today: Seesmic 1.1 for Android Twitter Client Looks like a keeper so far

Seesmic launches key upgrades to mobile Android version

Will Seesmic for Android be the Tweetie of the Android Market?

R3Troid: Seesmic: The best Twitter app for Android?

TechCrunch: Seesmic Ventures Into Mobile With Powerful New Apps For Android and Blackberry

thanks everyone for your reviews and tweets!



More On Seesmic’s Vision of Programmable Twitter clients

I announced during Ray Ozzie’s keynote at the Microsoft PDC that Seesmic is building a programmable Twitter client so I am glad that Dave Winer likes this idea too and might be interested in building the first features. In fact it is the main reason why we decided to entirely re-write Seesmic Desktop in native Windows code, building a plugin architecture in a Twitter client was just impossible, right now, with Adobe Air.

Seesmic for Windows is ready to become a programmable client and Windows allows us to do it in a secure way. We are hoping that it becomes a development platform such as Firefox and its very successful plugins.  

Dave gives an interesting example of a feature he would like that would probably not get built in a client like Seesmic otherwise:

“for example, it’s been about two years since I first asked for an “unfollow-with-timeout.”

Use-case: Someone is live-tweeting a conference I don’t care about and hogging up all my bandwidth. I want to unfollow them for just a day. Now I don’t think the client guys are going to implement this anytime soon, but it’s the kind of feature a few hundred people would kill for.”

We have received hundreds of mails from developers who would like to build features or their services integrated in Seesmic clients and we are building the platform to let them do that. In fact we have already started asking our users what services they would like to see integrated on Seesmic and vote for the most popular ones.

Integrating outside services should become the most popular way to program Seesmic clients and it is definitely the way the industry is going since we see new vertical applications such as stock twits (which even launched its own client) or very targeted directories such as vc maven for venture capitalists on Twitter, giantredcarpet for celebrities and many more. Stock Twits should not have to build its own client, our vision is to make Seesmic flexible enough that other services can just use it as a platform.

Another example are the social software themselves. From non US social software to corporate twitter solutions such as the new salesforce chatter or Yammer. In the last months, Yahoo, MySpace, LinkedIn and Six Apart with Typepad Micro have all launched their status update service, we believe all social software services in the world will have one and we simply cannot support them all ourselves, so the Seesmic Platform will also allow them to build their own service into Seesmic.

This is precisely what we are working on and many developers are already getting ready to write the first plugins.

We are aiming at making our clients a platform not only on Windows but also on the web and have already started experimenting with two partners deeply integrated already in Seesmic web, Tweetmeme and MrTweet. Tweetmeme will provide the number of retweets, page and picture previews in the next release of Seesmic Web while MrTweet already adds more info to Twitter profiles in Seesmic web, such as how frequently someone tweets for example.

We are experimenting with a few developers right now but are aiming at making Seesmic Web’s user base growth available to all developers very soon

We are not ready to announce the details on the language and how to build for Seesmic for Windows and Seesmic Web yet as we are actively working on it, but we will as soon as we are ready.

In the meantime, please let us know what services you would like to be integrated and if you are a developer what plugins you would be interested in building (use comments below and also make sure you join teamseesmic to get the latest news) so that we get our platform ready to support as many as possible. Thanks in advance for your feedback and your patience while we build seesmic platform, but we’re on the case.

update: please leave also your feedback for Seesmic for Windows and Seesmic web on the dedicated pages that could also give us and developers ideas. Thanks.



Best Sources to Follow the Mobile Apps iPhone/Android/Blackberry

I want to follow more closely what’s happening in the crazy mobile apps space so I asked my friends on Twitter and Facebook what I should read. Now my turn to share back with all of you the list I got with the RSS feeds in case you are interested.

What are the other best sources missing?

148Apps148Apps – iPhone App and Game Reviews and News

http://www.148apps.com/feed/

Android Central

http://www.androidcentral.com/feed

Android Community

http://feeds2.feedburner.com/AndroidCommunity

AppCraver

http://www.appcraver.com/feed/

Berry Reporter

http://www.berryreporter.com/feed/

blog maverick

http://blogmaverick.com/feed/

Boy Genius Report

http://www.boygeniusreport.com/feed/

CrackBerry.com blogs

http://crackberry.com/feedburnerfeed

Engadget Mobile

http://www.engadgetmobile.com/rss.xml

Games Alfresco

http://gamesalfresco.com/feed/

MobileCrunch

http://feedproxy.google.com/Mobilecrunch

Mobilewhack.com

http://www.mobilewhack.com/feed/

PDAfrance News

http://feeds.feedburner.com/PdafranceNews

TechNews AM

http://feeds.feedburner.com/technewsam

The iPhone Blog

http://feeds.feedburner.com/theiphoneblog

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

http://www.tuaw.com/rss.xml

update, I am told I should also add:
http://www.last100.com/
blog.appsfire.com



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PR, Marketing and Advertising suck, now what?

200908272239.jpgI have given a few times in the recent months a presentation,how to launch a product with a community that starts as a first slide with “PR, Marketing and Advertising suck”, and I gave it a few times in front of PR and marketing professionals who obviously enjoyed the slide so much that the most recent versions of my slide deck had “matter less than word of mouth” instead of “suck”. Anyway, having a panel dedicated to it in front of PR and Marketing professionals and I am staying here today with Guy Kawasaki, Louis Gray, Renee Blodgett and Steve Patrizi from LinkedIn trying to summarize my thoughts.

Of course I like to catch the attention of audiences I get to speak to at the beginning of my presentations and I am on purpose pushing the envelope a little, but not only.

Why Marketing, PR and Advertising suck for me

-I do not trust any advertising message or press release, they are generally fake.They are all designed to tell a story about a product or a company which is one sided, it only has the good aspects and they are not neutral. They can be interesting at times when there is news obviously, but even then, much less than what your friends think about it or what the sources you trust, which includes the press and blogs, say about it.

-many bad practice examples that I experienced myself made me not trust many people working as so called PR experts
Only in the recent weeks there were plenty of examples of PR firms cheating by writing fake iphone apps reviews paying interns to leave them, or sending stupid pitches. Most of them are basically standard messages and one time I even got one where they sent an email to me instead of a Wired reporter, with the Dear <insert the name of the wired reporter here> instead of mine. I have stopped working with a PR agency and manage the relationships with the bloggers and the press myself. The last PR agency that worked for me ended in a very bad situation where thanks to their advise and “carefully” distributed embargo we ended up being in the broken embargoes section of valleywag with all the serious press and bloggers laughing at us. I never want to see this happen again.

-online if the product is good you simply do not need them
Have you ever seen an ad for Twitter, Facebook or Google? Actually that is inaccurate I recently saw a few ads about Google adsense and sure, Google does now lots of marketing in different forms but you get the point, during years those companies spread and got millions of users only based on the word of mouth they got. If people like your product, it spreads on its own in many cases, at least for anything on the Internets.

What is the alternative?

Social software and the web have made word of mouth global and extremely fast and efficient, in a positive or a negative way. If your product is good or bad, people will talk about it if it matters to them. My presentation is all around why brands (which can be personal brands) need to create a community around themselves rather than focus on that NY Times article or that Techcrunch post that will get them millions of users. The best PR in the World gets you a little bump during a few days but it dies very fast and very few users remain and keep using your products. Of course it looks good to have half a page in a national newspaper or featured on TV, but it has nowhere the effect of a real community of fans.

Find an empty space.
If the product is good it will find its users or customersMy conference LeWeb in Paris gathers every year 2,000 people from 35 countries and never got any PR, advertising or marketing. There was a need for it, an empty space, and we executed as best as we could. It became a little brand in the world of internet events and did not need any pushing or faking. Our Seesmic Desktop Twitter and Facebook application got 2.5 million downloads without any PR or advertising.

Ship as soon as you can
Online users are used to unfinished beta products and actually enjoy playing with them even though they are still being created. If they understand that you are building them and iterating fast a little community will rapidly gather around your brand, it happened very quickly for Seesmic.

Listen to every single piece of feedback you get
Brands used to have to make focus groups and expensive testing or even test markets launches before they could know anything people would think about the products. Just search your brand on Twitter and follow what people are saying, if they say nothing it means they do not care or that your brand is not born yet, or worse, it is already dead. React quickly, make your product evolve or launch another one as soon as you can until you get attention. Note that I have not said press attention, I am talking about getting the first fans of your products here.

Answer especially if it’s negative
We get feedback about our products every minute or so and of course there is negative feedback. I enjoy it too and rush answering that feedback, it means people care, even if sometimes they are very brutal in public. At Seesmic we have a full time community evangelist, John Yamasaki, answering with me sometimes as many tweets as he can. An angry user who gets a problem solved often becomes your best friend after that and will start telling your friends how cool you behaved because you helped instead of hiding in an office.

Use all the tools available to filter the feedback
I am making one of those tools, but a Twitter client is not enough, feedback comes in multiple forms, I really like Uservoice and Getsatisfaction who let the users vote on the features they would like the most.

Most important, create a long term community
Seth Godin in tribes that I really advise you to read, quotes “1,000 true fans” explaining that having 1,000 real fans around your product helping you and telling their friends is more important than any PR you can get because they are here with you for the long term. They do not come for free and in a few weeks, it may take years and constant attention to create that community around you and your brand, it will come at a cost of lots of sharing and generosity. Share first, help them first, do not ask anything, long term you will get real fans if you are honest and prove you deserve trust. My friend Chris Brogan has just written a great book about how to get Trust Agents. Go and read it.

Why traditional PR and marketing does not work to build a community
Generally the effort is short term, often done with a supplier that can change, on a few months mission or goal, for a product launch, and that does not build trust. Everybody in the company and the PR firm focus on how to get attention for that product launch and press release and do not care a few weeks or even a few days after. There is nobody after the “marketing push” available and in constant touch with the first real fans that could gather around the product. They feel unheard, not taken care of sometimes betrayed when the ad was so over promising compared to the reality of the quality of that product that they are lost forever for that brand. You can hang that NY Times article on your office wall but it did not help much in the long term

Where do we go from there?
I am not trying to insult marketing professionals here far from it, and many get what I am describing here very well and some even use Seesmic. But I feel there is a very long way to go and a deep reboot must happen for brands and people helping them to become more trusted, transparent and in constant touch. A friend at a PR agency recently told me that most brands that get it now usually got a deep online PR issue first that forced them to react. Many remember the Dell hell blog controversy years ago, well Dell is now quoted everywhere as one of the brands that gets it the best, in constant online a click a away in touch with you thanks to Richard Binhammer @RichardatDell and his team who constantly monitor online sources and of course answer actively on Twitter. Many brands read what is being said about them, very few actually answer even negative requests the way Dell does.

There are amazing teams behind brands and amazing PR professionals such as Brian Solis (even if we fight sometimes, I respect him and would work with him anytime), who really get it, but I do not have a feeling that it is a majority yet and I am confident it will change. It will take time though, judging by the crap I am still getting daily in my email boxes.

Oh and of course, there are brands people just do not care much about, such as your toothpaste brand (nothing against toothpaste brands, we just do not talk about them that much) in which case there aren’t many solutions left outside of mass advertising which, yes, has still lots of future.



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Twitter Run and Office Tour

The SF Tech Runners group started with Doug and Jessica a few weeks ago, starting from the Twitter office, a nice run on the embarcadero and finishing with an unexpected Twitter Office Tour with co-founder and friend Evan Williams greeting us all stinky at the end. Was great to see you all!

Everybody can join, follow @sftechruns for more.

I tracked the run with the RunKeeper iPhone app you can see our progress here. Oh and yeah, this was recorded on my iPhone 3GS then quickly edited on imovie. I had to remove a few parts while running as the iPhone microphone does not like any wind going around especially coming from the sides.

the video

the group pic

SafariScreenSnapz012.jpg

the run

SafariScreenSnapz011.jpg



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Meet Nick Halstead the Founder of Tweetmeme

I was very impressed by Nick Halstead’s explosive growth with Tweetmeme, he explains how he does it in this video.



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Launch of Seesmic Desktop 0.4 and in-browser Seesmic Web

We are thrilled to announce two new products today, Seesmic Desktop 0.4 (small screen realestate mode, memory and CPU optimized, resize columns) and Seesmic web based in preview mode. I could explain you in details what it is all about but I would rather point you to a few posts we already saw about it and two videos: an HQ video we created showing both apps as well as my demo at the #crunchup. Full release notes coming soon I will update this post.

TechCrunch: Seesmic’s Browser Client is like Gmail for Twitter
Mashable: Twitter Everywhere: Seesmic Launches Web App, Plans Mobile Version
ReadWriteWeb: Seesmic launches web-based Twitter client & new version of Seesmic Desktop


and here is my demo at the #crunchup

Here are the full release notes for 0.4

Single Column and Multi-Column Mode

You now have two additional options to view Seesmic Desktop. Our previous version provided a combined fixed column with the ability to detach the columns as a way to manage your stream. In single column mode, you can keep your stream compact and use the sidebar to toggle between accounts, userlists and searches. With the all columns detached mode, you can freely view and control all of your columns in one window. With all three options, you can conveniently navigate your stream any way you want.

Enabling and Setting Fixed Width for Columns

With both the combined fixed/detached column mode and the all columns detached mode, you can now control the width of the detached columns. By setting and controlling a fixed width, you control over your own experience when managing your columns.

Collapsing and Expanding the Sidebar

We’ve also added a button to collapse and expand the sidebar to improve the user experience of being able to view and manage your stream. With the sidebar in collapsed mode, you can still view minimized buttons with tooltips to toggle between accounts, userlists and searches. This function is available in all three column modes.

Updated API usage controls, Added Options for Timeline Limits and Improved Optimizations for Performance

We understand the resource-intensive nature of client desktop applications. As such, we’ve made significant internal and external performance improvements, as well as give you more control in the resource management for your stream. Along with internal improvements, we’ve modified the Twitter API usage per account to accommodate the recent changes from Twitter, and updated the usage control to percentages (%) of allowed requests. You can also set timeline limits in Seesmic Desktop to help control performance. These limits define the maximum number of messages kept in each of your timelines from your friends; replies, private and sent; and searches.

Continued UI modifications, enhancements and fixes include:
* A new search to open when clicking on a hashtag (#) link.
* Mobypicture.com added as add-on authenticated service
* Ensuring links with # appear in seesmic desktop  
* Send messages to twitter will now be as “Seesmic”
* Various logic improvements for account and messaging actions * and many other additional fixes



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Meet MrTweet’s co-founder Ming Yeow

Ming Yeow founded an interesting service, MrTweet that lets you discover people you should follow pretty much the way the Amazon recommendations work. Ming also managed to create a growing community around it.



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