What we’re talking about on Twitter 2010-06-08

  • @TheMontereyCo Thx for the listing! Helping #smallbiz design their social media campaigns is our specialty! #
  • Network While You Sleep! LinkedIn great 24/7 sales tool http://bit.ly/bYgKOf #
  • @KSTP Local angle/connection about DC's Vietman Memorial Wall Father's Day rose tradition. DM for details #
  • @johncroman Local angle/connection about DC's Vietman Memorial Wall Father's Day rose tradition. DM for details #
  • @coconnell Local angle/connection about DC's Vietman Memorial Wall Father's Day rose tradition. DM for details #
  • @mikepomeranz Local angle/connection about DC's Vietman Memorial Wall Father's Day rose tradition. DM for details #
  • @kare11 Local angle/connection about DC's Vietman Memorial Wall Father's Day rose tradition. DM for details #
  • @ShoreviewPress Local angle/connection about DC's Vietman Memorial Wall Father's Day rose tradition. DM for details #
  • @WhiteBearPress Local angle/connection about DC's Vietman Memorial Wall Father's Day rose tradition. DM for details #
  • 4 steps to creating easy-to-remember passwords – http://bit.ly/c57GXj #

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Twitter: Tweeting isn't just for the birds

Twitter: Tweeting isn’t just for the Birds

You, no doubt, have heard a lot of buzz about Twitter — especially from TV broadcasters and famous personalities, who seem enamoured with Twitter and it’s power for instant communication.  Twitter claims more than 150 million registered users with 300,000 new users every day!  According to The Huffington Report , an April 2010 study suggests that while most Americans are aware of Twitter, few are using it.  So, what’s in it for you?

Twitter Basics

Twitter is based on 140-character snippets of information called “tweets.”  Think of a tweet as a broadcast message. You need a Twitter account to send and receive tweets. The benefit of Twitter is its immediacy. The disadvantage of Twitter is the volume of tweets sent — averaging 55 million tweets a day. It’s not easy breaking through all that noise.

There is no subscription fee to join and you can set up a profile in a matter of minutes. Twitter is one of the more casual social networking sites — more like Facebook than LinkedIn.  It is used for both business and personal communications.

Setting up your account

  • Decide on the image you want to portray on Twitter.  Let your intended use be your guide.  Even though Twitter is less formal, if your intent is to use this account to promote your business, keep your Twitter image more professional.
  • Create a unique Twitter name or “handle.”
    While you could certainly use your real name, most Twitter users choose a name more representative of their personality or business. MNFamilyMatters is the Twitter handle for a Twin Cities based family law practice; ESQCoach is the handle for a web-based attorney marketing site; KarenEman is my Twitter handle.
  • Add a photo or graphic. Since I primarily use my Twitter account for business, I use my Gravatar – the photo I use on all my online profiles including Twitter and LinkedIn. You can use a company logo or even a graphic.
  • That’s all it takes to set up the very basics.   You can use the “Settings” tab to add details to your profile, including a web address, as well as design the look of your Twitter background.

Now what?

Now the fun begins.  You need to find people to “follow.” The social media networks are making it much easier to cross-connect. The easiest way to get started is to find connections from other social media networking sites and/or your email address contacts lists to see who you know that is using Twitter.  If you are on LinkedIn, add your new Twitter account to your LinkedIn profile.  When asked, “allow” Twitter to connect to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn just added a “Tweets” section to their site that shows which of your LinkedIn connections are on Twitter and those that you are following.

Another easy way to find people to follow is to check out “lists.”  On my Twitter profile page, I have created multiple lists of Twitter users as a way to categorize them.  One list is made up of Tweeters who live in Minnesota; another includes those who tweet about Las Vegas deals (great if you are planning a trip); and another lists people who tweet about topics of interest to small businesses,

One caveat:  Don’t think of Twitter as too personal.  Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, it really doesn’t matter if you know the people that you are following or that are following you. You can follow politicians, CEOs, friends, family members, industry leaders, and individuals from across the globe — and they, in turn, can follow you.  That’s part of the fun!

Twitter: Tweeting isn't just for the birds

More info

If you are hesitant to set up a Twitter account, you can check it out first. Click on the image on the left to go directly to Twitter. Without signing up, you’ll be able to see, in real time, some of the people using Twitter as well as a collection of ” Top Tweets.” I look forward to having you follow Reciprocate LLC on Twitter.   RCE7FBKYKTWZ

Facebook: The Games People Play

Send a cow to help this guest blogger

“Help me build my farm,” that’s the plea from guest blogger Sydney Anne, an MNSU college student who agreed to write this post in exchange for cows, brown geese, apple trees, or any other gifts readers will send her on FarmVille, the Facebook game with more than 11 million daily players.

By Sydney Anne
Guest Blogger and FarmVille Farmer
As you join the Facebook community, you may find yourself bored of the same routine. Update your status, “like” someone’s status, comment on someone’s wall, and then update your status again. Facebook has more to offer than a simple paper and mailbox replacement. Facebook allows you to join groups, become a fan of something, track events, and add boxes filled with ways to entertain yourself.   

Social Gaming

What one might say is the most entertaining aspect of Facebook is the ability to get involved in social gaming. Social gaming, different then video games, allows you to connect and compete with your friends on Facebook, or other social networking sites. What better way to spend all that free time you have then to start playing a game that requires daily attention? While Facebook games can be addicting, some of them actually get you thinking…or farming.

According to insidesocialgames.com, Farmville is the most popular game on Facebook. Created by Zynga, Farmville averages 75 million active users monthly. While Farmville isn’t the only addicting game on Facebook, it certainly beats out the rest, allowing you to plow, plant seeds, and harvest crops in your best attempts to have a bigger and better farm than your friends.


You must first decide which route you want to go, or if you’re interested in both the daily attention needy games and the games that make you think, but don’t make you log on daily.

After logging in, the left hand column contains a link for games. Clicking this link will show you your games, games your friends are playing if you want to compete with them, and on the bottom it will list several games in several categories of play. Some daily attention needy games include games under the role playing, other games, and the virtual world games categories. Some games that do not require daily attention include games under the board games, card games, and the action/arcade games. Feel free to explore and try anything that looks interesting.

If you choose for a daily attention needy game, don’t worry, many of them have tutorials. After that you’re on your own, there are forums out there for any question! Log on daily, if not every few hours, to care for your crops, restaurant, fish, pet, mafia, amusement park, zoo, or anything else you could possibly think of. Taking care of crops requires hourly attention so they don’t spoil. Taking care of a restaurant requires keeping your staff happy by feeding them every few hours and/or serving the food so it doesn’t go bad. Taking care of fish and pets require daily feeding, brushing, cleaning, and whatever other adventures you find you and your pet on. While time consuming, and addicting, it can be fun. Just be careful that your virtual business or pet doesn’t take priority over the rest of your life!

If you choose to go the other route and play social games that don’t require daily attention, such as word or puzzle games, don’t worry, there is still competition involved. You still compete against your friends for the highest score. These games may also be viewed as more educational. There are brain games to test your “brain power”, geographical games, and word games. This isn’t to say that the daily attention requiring games aren’t education, because while they are addicting, they teach you the responsibility needed to maintain a farm or restaurant. However, addicting games are given a bad light because they are, well, addicting. But don’t let that scare you.

If you’re looking for something fun to do in your spare time give it a chance, just remember that there is life outside of your restaurant or farm. While Facebook games can be addicting, that doesn’t seem to stop the millions of users that play them, and it shouldn’t stop you either. Have fun!

Here’s some links to check out for more information:
Top 25 Facebook Games
CNN’s List of Top Facebook Games
Facebook Game — Addicts   

Special thanks to my guest blogger Sydney Anne, a sophomore at Minnesota State University – Mankato. Please send her a FarmVille cow of thanks. Then forward this blog posting to your friends so they, too, can send Sydney Anne a cow. Let’s see how big we can grow Sydney Anne’s farm! Once you’re on Facebook, search for Sydney Anne by email address, reciprocate_fan@hotmail.com, then add her as a friend. Cows are free. Attending college isn’t. Encouraging my readers to send Sydney Anne a cow seems like a small price to pay for this guest blog post.  Thanks!

Share what you know. Feel free to comment. Send questions, and I’ll address them in future blogs.  Next blog topic:  YouTube: What’s all the fuss about?


Who do you want to be online?

 When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened. — John M. Richardson, Jr.


Why does your online image matter? Today, you may not think it does – but, since we can’t predict the exact usages of the Internet in the future, the subject is worth a few minutes of your time. Because social media is an industry still in its infancy and ever-changing, now is the best time for you to take charge of your online identity.    

What does your email address say about you?

Whether you realize it or not, you have an online identity – and an online reputation. Even if you have not registered on many of the social media sites, the email address you use already says a lot about you. Does your email address reflect who you are? Is your name part of your email address? Should it be? It depends on you and the image you want to portray.

If you plan to use email and social media for personal reasons, it’s okay to use your pet’s name or hobby as part of your online identity. The more professional the reasons for your foray into social media, the more professional your email address and online identity should be.

If you are trying to find a job or using social media for business purposes, an email address that includes your name like MarySmith@yahoo.com congers up a much more professional image than ScootersMom@yahoo.com. If you have a work email address, you’ll need to decide if you want to use it for your social media endeavors. A word of caution: since you will not be employed at your current job forever, before you leave the company, you will need to change your email address on sites you want to access afterward. This could be a hassle.

Who do you want to be online?

Now you need to decide your online name. Sometimes it’s as simple as using your name or a deviation. Choose a name that will allow others to easily find you. On LinkedIn, a professional site, I’m Karen Emanuelson. On Facebook, a personal site where I connect to childhood friends, I’ve included my maiden name, so I’m Karen Chromen Emanuelson. On Twitter, this blog, and other sites, I use my “trade name” KarenEman. There should be a consistency to your online identity throughout all sites. I use the same photo on all sites for just that reason.

The situation becomes even complicated when you have a common name. You’ll need to come up with a creative way to distinguish yourself from the others who have your same name. There are 4,489 Mary Smiths on LinkedIn! If that is the case with your name, you will want to complete your online profiles with your differentiating information. This could include hometown, companies worked for, hobbies and organizations.

As we explore the social media sites individually in coming blogs, I’ll discuss the type of image you’ll want to portray on each site. In the meantime, if you want to check out some of the hundreds of social media sites, start here: KnowEm. KnowEm provides an easy way to see what user names are still available on more than 350 social media sites. Once there, you can also click on the social media site names and find the website link for further exploration. You can register with KnowEm and even pay them to create your online profiles for you, but it’s not necessary. Feel free to explore the site and have fun! 

As you explore, keep in mind the need to manage your online identity. If you run across a social media site that interests you, go ahead and register if you want to “reserve” your user name. Most sites only allow one person to claim each user ID so if you think you’ll ever (here’s where we can’t predict the future) use the site and there is no cost to register, go ahead. I encourage my clients, regardless of their age, to claim any user names they think they might use in the future. You can always cancel your account if you don’t use it, but once another “MarySmith” or “ScootersMom” registers on a site and claims that user name, you will not be able to claim that same user name.

The future is unpredictable – and that’s what makes social media so much fun! If you haven’t already, I encourage you to click on the “Sign up!” button on the right to receive an email every time I write a new blog. If you are reading this via email, thanks for subscribing! Email subscribers who want to participate in my polls or comment on the blog, just need to click on the main title above and it will take you directly to my wordpress.com blog page.

Share what you know. Feel free to comment. Send questions, and I’ll try to address them in future blog updates. 


Next blog topic:  Creating and tracking passwords

Technotari Claim:  A6WTCPAR5C5W

What the Heck is Social Media?

For those old enough to remember telephone party lines, social media is similar. According to Wikipedia, the Internet’s version of an encyclopedia, “The completely non-private party lines were a cultural fixture of rural areas for many decades, and were frequently used as a source of entertainment and gossip, as well as a means of quickly alerting entire neighborhoods in case of emergencies such as fires.”

Social media is today’s party line. It is a 24/7 connection that allows communication with family, friends, and others in the worldwide Internet community. You can use it for personal or business — or both.

What can you do with social media?

  • Chat with family and friends
  • Learn what’s going on in your neighborhood
  • Share recipes
  • Find sales, coupons, specials, and deals
  • Discuss your hobby
  • Promote your company
  • Find a new job
  • Brag about yourself or your family
  • Share photos
  • Sell a product
  • Tell others about a great book
  • Get a recommendation for a service provider
  • Read what others are saying about a restaurant
  • Discover something new

The list is virtually endless.

One of the best ways I describe social media is with 4 Cs – Connections, Conversations, Communities, and Chameleon.


Just like in the “real” world, social media is about making connections and finding others who have similar likes, hobbies, histories, and goals. Through social media I caught up with a junior high friend, chatted with my daughter who is away at college, got a free taco from Taco Bell, received advice on how to make a Yule cake, became a “fan” of AARP, and made a connection with a guy who makes wire names at events for a living – all in one afternoon.


Social media and Web 2.0 are based on two-way conversations – sharing what we know with others. Social media etiquette focuses on “giving” rather than “receiving” – on providing information rather than selling. You can direct your conversations to just one person, a few people, or anyone who may be on the Internet. You can even choose to just “listen in” on conversations.


Social media and parties have a lot in common. You can be a wallflower, but you’ll have more fun if you engage others. Ask how someone is doing or comment on their “status,” then share your thoughts and accomplishments. Just as in the real world, online communities are built with those who share common interests and conversational exchanges.  Give compliments freely.


Social media is constantly changing. Just when you get comfortable with an application or program, a new, improved version comes out. Like a chameleon, you learn to adapt. That’s part of the fun – there’s always something new to learn or to explore – and since you’ve read this far, you’re obviously ready to begin the adventure.

Why Should You Care about Social Media?

Frankly, you don’t need to. You could spend the rest of your life without being involved in social media, and you’d be just fine. But just like the cell phone and email have become part of your daily life, social media is also a great way to connect. You can keep up to date with family, friends, co-workers, companies, and customers as well as potential employers, employees, clients, and even new friends.

Ready to “hit the road” of social media? All you need to get started is your computer, an email address, a photo (a headshot works best) and your enthusiasm. Before we begin our journey in the next blog, answer the short poll on the right side of this page so we can see where we are starting.  In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, click the “Sign up!” button on the right to receive an email every time I write a new blog.

I’m not selling anything. No strings attached. Just “reciprocating.” Welcome to the world of social media. Share what you know. Feel free to comment below. Send questions, and I’ll try to address them in future blog updates. 

Next blog topic:  Who do you want to be online?

Technotari Claim:  A6WTCPAR5C5W

A New Decade: A New Blog

What better time to launch a new blog than the beginning of a new decade?The idea behind Reciprocate has been brewing since mid-2009. Several months ago, discouraged during the process of trying to find a fulfilling job, I decided to re-invent myself. Today, I am still a 50-year-old wife, mother, and former housewife who graduated from college before the Internet and PCs were invented(!). I am now also a Social Media Communicator who helps others share what they know using social media and the Internet.

 Reciprocate will be a way for me to compile, categorize, and share all my newly found knowledge. It will also serve as a primer on social media, with easy-to-understand explanations and definitions.

I’ll discuss blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and how to use SocialOomph and AddThis (yes, those are real websites) along with other fun new online tools and applications I discover. I’ll even throw in some of the tips and tricks that I share with my clients as well.


“Blog” – similar to a written journal or diary, only it’s on the Internet

“Social Media” – websites and online applications that people use to share what they know. So, by definition, a blog is a type of social media.

Social media is based on sharing knowledge. When I think back to all that I’ve learned about social media in the past year, I’m amazed. Social media is an industry in its infancy; there are no experts or gurus yet. We are all learning from each other and, like chameleons, adapting as we go.

So, follow along on this road of learning with me. Click on the “Sign up!” button on the right to receive an email every time I write a new blog. (Don’t worry, you won’t be inundated with emails.) My plan is to update this Reciprocate blog at least weekly through 2010 (now I’m committed . . . and since you read it on the Internet, it must be true…) 

I’m not selling anything. No strings attached. Just “reciprocating.” Welcome to the world of social media. Share what you know. Feel free to comment below. Send questions, and I’ll try to address them in future blog updates. 

 Next blog topic:  What the Heck is Social Media and Why Should I Care?

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