web culture: November 2008 Archives

With much of social media, there's the "getting started" problem. For example, suppose you've just activated an account at Twitter. What next? You're following no one, and no one is following you. Not much fun, is it?

If you've been contemplating joining the Twitter community, here's some excellent advice on getting started from David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR. This book, by the way, is an excellent introduction to using social media.

One way to get going is to generate a feed of Twitter users in your community. You can do this at twitterlocal, or by using the advanced search function at Twitter.

Another approach? Figure out who the power Twitter users are, and follow them. Or, you could follow the top Tweeters at TwitterGrader, which purports to analyze the influence of Twitter users.

But don't look for me on the list. I'm taking Twitter pass/fail.

Follow me @davidkamerer

Thanks to Clemson University Professor Mihaela Vorvoreanu for the post upon which this entry is based.

Nicholas D. Kristof enjoys a prominent perch in American life; he's a columnist for the New York Times, where he can reach millions of people every week. But he's also on Facebook, where he has almost 20,000 fans. Why Facebook? The principle is simple: for maximum influence, go where the eyeballs are. According to Alexa.com, Facebook is the #5 most visited website in the U.S.; NYTimes.com is #21.

That's the biggest limitation for a lot of bloggers. You can manage the technical hurdles and you can create the content. But in the end, there may not be a lot of eyeballs at David Kamerer's Spoonful. Or at my public relations blog, PRNeededHere.com. I'm building traffic, but it's not like perezhilton.com over here. Perez is on a superhighway; I'm a two-lane blacktop.

But I'm learning to go where the eyeballs are. In the past week I've cloned my blogs twice. LinkedIn's new applications create new opportunities to host content on your LinkedIn page. I installed Six Apart's Blog Link, and my blog instantly flowed on to my LinkedIn page. Blog Link also found my contacts' blogs, which are also viewable from my page. Simple and brilliant.

I also participate in a public relations social media site, PR Open Mic. I cross-posted some blog entries there, and instantly got a lot of comments. The process is pretty simple; from my blog dashboard, copy the blog entry HTML, and then paste it into a window. Preview it, touch up the code, and publish. 

Every time I clone my blogs, I reach a new audience. It's a few more breadcrumbs to make it easier for interested readers to find my work. I'm glad to have you as a reader, whether here or there.
netflixlogo.jpgRejoice! Macintosh users can finally instantly view Netflix movies on their computers. For the past year or so, this feature has only worked with Windows computers. The Mac viewer is in Beta, so there may be little hiccups here and there.

Here's how to get access to instant viewing with your Mac. First, you must be a Netflix customer. If you are on an "unlimited" plan, you can use this feature all you want. Other plans have monthly limits. 

You'll need to download Microsoft Silverlight 2 software and install it. Then, follow this link to opt in to the beta test. Restart your browser. Then you should be able to view available Netflix titles instantly.

For high quality viewing, you'll need a fast Internet connection. Here's how Netflix sees it:

  • High quality: 1.6 Mbps or faster
  • Medium quality: 1 - 1.5 Mbps
  • Low quality: less than 1 Mbps

Not sure if your Internet is fast enough? Test your connection speed here.

Netflix is also in the process of rolling this service out to selected devices that are more at home connected to your television set. These include the XBox 360, newer Tivo boxes, the Netflix Roku player and combo players (which include a Blu-Ray drive) from LG Electronics and Samsung. 

You don't have to be a futurist to know that the days of the shiny disk are numbered. This multi-platform approach, combined with Netflix's vast catalog (more than 100,000 titles and growing) and excellent customer service, position Netflix to be a leader in the post-disk era.

Crave more Netflix information? Visit Hacking Netflix, an unauthorized blog that covers the service in great detail.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the web culture category from November 2008.

web culture: October 2008 is the previous archive.

web culture: December 2008 is the next archive.

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