Sam Harrelson

FriendFeed Catchup in GMail

I absolutely love FriendFeed's GMail IM integration. It's how I consume most of my FriendFeed content as well as lots from my favorite folks on Twitter that I have piped into FF via the Imaginary Friends (now Rooms) feature.

So, if I miss a few hours and want to catch up on what is going on in the Valley or from the folks I follow (and left GMail open on my Macbook), I can just open up the "Chat with FF" message waiting on me in my GMail FriendFeed label and scan. Plus, I can go back and search topics or people I'm interested in after a few days.

Not completely practical for everyone, but I love the feature (and greatly miss the good old days when Twitter had the same IM integration with Track).




Attractive Microblogging for Marketers 301

During my presentation called “Leveraging Social Media” at Affiliate Summit East, I took up most of the allotted hour to discuss tools and strategies that affiliate marketers could use to help them both better monitor and better participate in the increasingly important social networks out there in the wild.

This is an important issue because not only are these networks (in my presentation we touched on Twitter, Friendfeed, Seesmic and Facebook, but there are dozens of others) important for “traffic” but these hubs of communities have become an invaluable source for marketers to find conversions, early adopters and brand evangelists.

The main questions that most people had during, after and in the week since about the presentation pertained to the “how” aspect of using these networks in a responsible manner.

It’s not an easy question to answer since a great deal of operating in the social web is subjective and full of variables associated with individual programs, personalities and the social networks themselves.

At the end of the day, my constant recommendations all went along the lines of “do your homework, know the community and don’t feel obliged to use services such as ping.fm to cover everything.” In fact, I advise marketers to generally stay away from services like ping.fm because the fine line between “participant” and “spammer” is so easy to cross (and so easy to seemed to have crossed).

In other words, be interesting and provide a service (such as pointing to relevant info, even if its yours) in a responsible (whatever that means to you) manner.

DeWitt Clinton gets very geeky and brings in another aspect that you might want to consider if you’re a marketer with a little bit of know-how… attractiveness.

Head over to his blog and read the rest of the entry with the examples he gives. It’s a powerful read that points to the need for both functionality and appeal as you get your messages out there (and aren’t all messages marketing messages?):

Microblogging syndication formats » DeWitt Clinton: “This is just the beginning — I feel I’m only scratching the surface of what can be extracted from existing syndication formats. For example, comment stream aggregation (via the comments element or RFC 4685 autodiscovery) is a great next step after this. And I only call out FriendFeed because they’re the best at aggregating multiple content sources, but these concepts apply to any content aggregator, and finding a way to reuse existing formats like RSS and Atom to create rich presentations automatically will enable us to do more with less manual work between aggregators and publishers.”

While practicality is important to reach, don’t discount the need to reach people through visual appeal!




FriendFeed Profiles

Sam Harrelson - FriendFeed.jpg

Want to use your Twitter profile on your FriendFeed page (here’s mine above)?

Here’s how…

FriendFeed Profile – Userscripts.org: “Adds a user profile section on FF user pages. Version 0.1 retrieves Twitter bio if available.”

Pretty nifty.




FriendFeed + GTalk = Twitter Alternative?

So, I’m goofing around with possible Twitter clones and decided to leverage FriendFeed‘s aggregation of GTalk’s status update messages and see if that would work.

Here’s what it looks like:

friendfeedtwitterage.jpg

Pretty nifty if you are using FriendFeed’s web service or using Twhirl to watch FriendFeed.

Plus, there are comments and groupings ftw.




10 Steps to Tracking Your Social Reputation

After my whuffie post last week, I had a number of people ask me how to keep track of their social reputation beyond just doing Google searches on yourself or your company’s name.

First of all (and perhaps most importantly), you have to get an RSS reader (aka feed reader). You don’t have the time yada yada yada, but if you care about your online reputation or who is mentioning you or your company, then you certainly have the time. If you’re on Windows, grab FeedDemon (free). If you’re on a Mac, use NetNewsWire (free). If you’re on Linux, grab Liferea from the depositories. If you want to live “in the cloud” and use a web app, you can’t go wrong with Google Reader.

Got one? OK, next step… actually find places that have the data your’e looking for. Here’s how I do it for myself, CostPerNews, my podcast and Motive Interactive:

1. In your feed reader of choice, create a folder called “Vanity Searches” or “Social Graph.”

2. Grab the “Google Alerts” for all of the terms you need to watch. This is social reputation 101 and chances are you have heard of Google Alerts. However, it’s amazing to me how many online marketers don’t use the service. You can get email. This is delivered by email instead of RSS as well.

3. Google Blog Alerts works similarly to Google Alerts but is a little more comprehensive. There’s some redundancy with Alerts, but it’s still worth watching.

4. Another oldie but goodie is Technorati. While not always up to date or accurate, there’s still some value in watching your brand there. Just put in whatever term or name your watching in the search bar on the upper right and grab the feed on the results page by clicking the RSS button.

— Now that we’ve gotten the foundation out the way, let’s go to the good stuff —

5. Here’s an excellent “Yahoo Pipe” for keywords that monitors news sources from multiple sites such as Digg, Technorati, Yahoo News, PRWeb, and Google News. Just put in whatever term you’re looking to watch, hit “Run Pipe” and then click the RSS button beside “More Options” on the right. This is probably my favorite way to track things on the web.

6. The grandaddy of all Yahoo Pipes for vanity searching is the Social Media Firehose. Works the same way as the keyword pipe above but gives a wide blast of data. It’s valuable, but you have to weed through a lot of duplications. Still recommend.

7. While you’re at Yahoo Pipes, grab the “Twitter Reply Sniffer.” Basically, this is a way for you to stay aware of anyone that @’s you in Twitter (you’re not on Twitter? Geez). Put in the terms or names you’d like to keep track of and you’ll get a custom URL. You then have the option to receive new alerts via Google, email, phone or RSS. Click on that orange RSS button called “more options” over on the right and add it to your “Social Graph” folder in your feed reader when the prompt comes up. Presto.

8. If your company might have some mentions on YouTube, you can track user tags and mentions using this YouTube tag Pipe. Not useful for everyone, but still good to have in the old feed reader.

9. Along those same lines, you can’t go wrong with Summize. Instead of just monitoring @’s on Twitter, Summize notifies you anytime a term you specify is mentioned. Grab the RSS feed on the right and add it into your feed reader. Highly valuable.

10. FriendFeed is becoming a great way to keep track of how others perceive you in the social media space because it is one big aggregation ball of goo. However, you can make some sense of out that with FriendFeed’s nifty search feature. Just put in whatever you’re keeping track of and grab the RSS from the page (should be in the URL address bar). Add that to your feed reader for sure.

If you follow those 10 steps, you should have a pretty good grip on what people are saying about you on the social web from Twitter to FriendFeed to blogs to Digg to YouTube. My “social graph” folder in my feed reader is increasingly becoming the first place I go in the mornings for news just to see if there’s anything going on that I’ve missed or to see if there are any conversations I can have with fans, friends, foes or potential evangelists.

Hope this helps!




Twhirl and FriendFeed Room Sharing Coming Soon?

Twhirl (recently acquired by Seesmic) is the most interesting of the Twitter desktop apps. I’ve never been a big fan as I relied heavily on Twitter’s GTalk integration to get real time updates and use Track via XMPP.

However, for FriendFeed, Twhirl rocks.

So, I found this note from Seesmic’s Loic Le Meur interesting…


twhirl rooms.jpg

I’ve been playing with FriendFeed’s Room feature in the Affiliate Marketing Room. It’s fairly nifty and should only get better.

Loic mentioned on a Gillmor Gang podcast a few weeks ago that Twhirl is working on a feature to allow for XMPP to flow through its service in Twitter as well. If that happens, I might be using Twhirl a great deal more.




Affiliate Marketing on FriendFeed

For any affiliate marketers who are also FriendFeed users or fans, I created a public room called “Affiliate Marketing”:

FriendFeed: “Affiliate Marketing” Room

Why would this be useful? Well, you get the best of FriendFeed (comments, sharing of interesting or relevant stuff from around the web, some aggregation, RSS etc).

No high expectations for this, just thought I’d put it out there for any aff marketers already on FriendFeed (and if you are, make sure to friend me at samharrelson).