bricatsolutions

Social Media & IT Solutions


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Posterous is Shutting Down

Posterous, the micro blog and social network acquired by Twitter, will be shutting down on April 30.

The announcement was posted by CEO and Founder Sachin Agarwal on the official Posterous wall. He stated that since being acquired, they had continued to make it easier for people to share their thoughts and images, and that they will now do that 100% via Twitter.

Posterous started in 2008 and currently boasts about 4 million users. When the platform was acquired by Twitter last year, Agarwal stated that they would provide users with plenty of notice if there were going to be any major changes. Turns out those statements were rather prophetic.

Fortunately, long-time Posterous users aren’t completely without options. Posterous is providing a mechanism to backup and download all of your content at once, and you have a couple of months to go through old posts if you want to be more selective.

  1. Go to http://posterous.com/#backup.
  2. Click to request a backup of your Space by clicking “Request Backup” next to your Space name.
  3. When your backup is ready, you’ll receive an email.
  4. Return to http://posterous.com/#backup to download a .zip file.

Alternatively, WordPress and Squarespace have built in importers that users can utilize to grab all their old posts and migrate.

What have we learned?

Recently, an increasing number of content marketers have recommended using social networks as their website and blogging platform. I am talking about using a Facebook Page instead of a website, or using Google+ for all your blog posts.

Proponents have argued that these networks are cost-effective and provide so many more built-in features and easy access to readers. And all of those points are true.

However, the most critical point is that as social network users, we do not own our content.

If your account is deactivated or, as with Posterous, the entire network shuts down, you’ll lose everything. And it’s not as though Posterous is an exception. Maybe you’ve heard of Google Buzz? Or perhaps you’ve read about the MySpace rebirth, but indications are that the New MySpace won’t be bringing with it any of the posts or content from the Old MySpace.

Businesses should always invest in a comprehensive website, and then use whatever social networks and other services they can find that will help promote the business and engage other people. Do not depend on any single network, and definitely don’t leave your unique content on someone else’s platform. We’ve recommended using tools like SocialSafe to make sure all your posts and content are saved, just in case.

 


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5 Ways to Improve Your Time Management

There are few things more valuable to small business owners than time.

Research shows small business owners consider time to be a more valuable asset than computers, mobile phones and the company’s office or storefront. In addition, one-quarter of small business owners would pay $500 for one extra hour in their day.

Since adding a 25th hour to the day is an unlikely possibility, a few simple time-management strategies can help entrepreneurs gain that extra time they’re looking for, says Mike Pugh, vice president of marketing for j2 Global Communications.

However, Pugh advises that time management isn’t just about getting work done, the purpose is to help small business owners take a meaningful look at the tasks at hand so they can maintain a healthy work-life balance. His tips include:

1. Empower Your Employees

Business owners must learn to let go of the day-to-day tasks that are taking up their time to focus on the big picture. They should take a hard look at what they’re spending the most time doing everyday and then think about what they actually should be doing. Whatever doesn’t fall into the “should be doing” category needs to be reassigned to a staff member. Not only does this help them focus on larger business issues, but also empowers their employees by letting them take on tasks normally assigned for the boss. This challenges employees and allows them to gain more responsibility ultimately freeing up the owner’s time.

2. Learn to Pilot the Cloud

Taking the time to navigate through cloud solutions that help organize business communications and documents will be a big time-saver. Applications like Google Docs allow business owners to collaborate in real time with employees, while Evernote allows business owners to take notes on the go. There are thousands of simple, effective solutions available to the business community that can help save time.

3. Know When to Pick Up

A virtual phone number enables small business owners to work from anywhere without worrying about missing an important call or losing touch with the business. It also enables small business owners to screen their calls with caller ID and voicemail screening so they know when to pick up.

4. DIY … Sometimes

As a small business owner it’s tempting to do everything. However, since time is money, it is important they recognize when it’s better to hire someone for a specialized task than to spend hundreds of hours doing it themselves.

5. The Business of Your Well-Being

Research shows that business owners are the most productive when they are happy and healthy, so it is important that they give themselves a few hours each day to relax and turn their brain off of business.


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How to use Twitter

imagesTo tweet or not to tweet: there really is no question.

 

Sign Up. Go to www.twitter.com to sign up. Enter the appropriate information (full name, email and password) on the right-hand side before clicking “Sign up for Twitter.” The website will then ask you to verify the information, choose a username and agree to the Twitter Terms of Service before proceeding.
There will also be a checkbox to keep you signed in on whatever computer you’re using as well as a checkbox for tailoring your tweets based on the websites you visit. Check accordingly!
Build Your Timeline: The entire point of Twitter is to follow and be followed. So what’s the point if you’re not reading and retweeting the latest gossip from all your friends, colleagues and favorite celebs? Plus, Twitter gives you options of who to follow immediately after signing up so you need not go far.
  • Suggestions. Choose who to follow from the dropdown menu of notable celebs like Kanye West and Mitt Romney or news networks such as CNN and the New York Times. Twitter will also give you the option to browse a slew of categories from sports to technology.
  • Search. Use the search bar to find anyone the suggestions may have missed—whether they are celebrities, politicians or your just friends. You can even search for people to follow through your email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL and Hotmail).
Add Character. Once you’re an avid follow, Twitter will ask you to upload an image (maximum size of 700k) and provide a brief, 160-character bio about yourself. The placeholder bio will introduce you as a rocket ship building, pizza tossing, Giants fan with a couple of kids. However, a bio is only suggested, not required.
Tweet. You’re officially a full-fledge Twitter member with a list of friends and followers, but now it’s time to join the Tweeter ranks. Just click inside the “Compose new tweet….” box in the upper left-hand corner of the home tab or click the blue feather icon in the upper right-hand corner at any time to get started. Then punch in some text, upload an image or set your location. This is how you update your Twitter and let people know what you’re up to. Remember, text is strictly limited to 140 characters.
Twitter Pointers. You’ve signed up and tweeted your first thought into the beyond, but what do you do now? Well, it’s time to learn the finer points about how to connect with your audience and join the global conversation.
  • Hashtags. The hashtag symbol (#) is a great way to mark specific topics or keywords in a Tweet. It was created by Twitter users as a way to classify messages and has since become a cultural phenomenom. All you have to do is place a hashtag in front of a word or phrase in your tweet. Simple as that. Can you say #tigerblood?
  • Mentions & Replies. Two more ways you can connect with other Twitter users. Mentions and replies are updates that contain “@username” anywhere in the body of the tweet. Place a “@” in front of the person, business, organization or whatever you want to mention or reply to. There is also a “Reply” option under tweets to save you precious time.
  • Retweets. A retweet is a way to share another Twitter user’s tweet with all of your followers. It will essentially look the same as normal tweets with the author’s name and username next to it, but it will also contain the retweet icon and the name of the user who reposted it. Click the “Retweet” option under a tweet in order to share.
  • Favorites. Adding a tweet as a favorite is similar to liking something on Facebook. It’s a way to let the original poster know you liked their tweet for whatever reason. However, it also gives you a way to save a tweet so you can refer back to it later. Simply click the star icon with “Favorite” next to it in order to favorite a tweet.
  • Direct Messages. You can send a direct message to people who follow you by clicking the gear icon in the top right and selecting “Direct Messages.” Choose the “New message” icon, type the name or username of the follower you wish to send the message to, enter the message and hit “Send message.” Unlike tweets, direct messages are private and can only be seen by the recipient of the message.
  • Mobile Version: Now you can access Twitter right from your smart phone, tablet, or other mobile device. It works in the same vein as the website, but with some slight modifications and restrictions. Plus, the smartphone versions are even equipped to create Instragramesque photos on the go and are available for both Android and Apple devices.
Random Tidbits. There are a few other things worth mentioning.
  • Try using your real information (name, location, etc.) when customizing your Twitter homepage and profile. Doing so will help people find you more easily on Twitter.
  • Change your personal options by clicking the gear icon and choosing the “Settings” option. Here you can change around your personal options, picture, bio, password, or any other sort of customization you’ve done. You can also make all your tweets private by checking the “Protect my Tweets” option in the settings menu. If selected, only those you approve will receive your tweets.
  • You can change your Twitter username anytime without affecting your existing tweets, replies, direct messages or other data. But be sure to let your followers know so you’ll continue receiving all of your messages with your new username.
  • Learn to use shorthand — it’s tough to get a thought out in 140 characters or less — but remember you’re not texting. Don’t make yourself look completely illiterate.
  • Follow and tweet to amass your fanbase. Go the whole nine yards and use in hashtags, mentions, replies, and favorite tweets. If you follow someone, they will be more inclined to follow you back. Just don’t spam.
  • Integrate other social networks into the mix. Have a Facebook account? You can link it directly to Twitter so your tweets automatically post on your Facebook timeline. Just log in with your Facebook information from the profile tab in the Twitter settings menu.
Tweet Away. That’s basically all you need to know about Twitter in a nutshell. Go ahead and share your deepest secrets with your followers, rejoice when you’re favorite musician replies to you, or engage in an infamous tweet argument. The best way to really learn how to use Twitter is by using Twitter.