Setting-up Twitter

Morning folks,

So i’m on this journey setting-up an organisations digital infrastructure, and it’s time to make a few posts about Social Media use.


The senario is an organisation, with a website and a bunch of media utilities which may or may not have been translated to digital.  Common social-media networks include facebook, google+, youtube, p-interest, linkedin and vimeo but there are many others.  These services fit into a description geeks call “web-services”, where the system not only has an application for users, but also an application for other applications – that allow these services to feed knowledge between each-other.

The question comes around how twitter fits into this social-media landscape and lifecycle.

I think the simple way of looking at it, is that twitter is kinda like an internet based SMS Service – people can subscribe to.  The system, being internet based – provides a means for “twittering” links, quick messages – overall, calls to action.

Twitter can link into facebook.  There is a facebook blog note about how to do it here  but there are also videos on youtube

The benefit of linking twitter into facebook, is that rather than posting to twitter as well as facebook – posts into your facebook page, will automatically be posted on twitter too…

So, this is an easy way to get content streams happening on your twitter account.  The next step, is figuring out about the “following” aspects.

Twitter creates internal social networks.  these networks are not linked to friendships in other programs, such as facebook or google+.  their different, use different rules and are managed in a different way.

Accounts you are following (which may represent either people, or organisations) can be grouped using lists.  You might create a list, called “media” or one called “politics”, “environment”, etc.

whether you create lists or otherwise (lists are suggested) all you need to do is search for people, or things – and press the “follow” button.  if you find an account you think might be following others you’d be interested in following too; then you can click, within their profiles; on their “following” link – and browse who that user is following; putting them into your own lists, if you like.

Lists can also be followed; so if you follow a particular party; you might find they’ve got a list of people they follow, like senators – or parliamentarians.  rather than selecting each of those users, you can just select the list and follow that.

this is a simple method to set-up twitter.  Have Fun!!

Advanced Functions – Facebook Pages


I’ve made a post already about setting up a facebook page.  If you’ve done that, and am interested in customising the page a little – then here you are.

Like most web publishing nowadays, its more about content than technology.  (somewhat) gone are the days when it takes tens of thousands to build a customised Content Management System – or perhaps more readily – have someone sell you one they’ve already made for lots of bucks…

Nowadays, the problem is almost more sophisticated – it’s about the more traditional skills – telling stories, taking pictures, putting together videos, creating identity – formatting content, in a uniquely compelling way to engage your communities.


When thinking about page-tabs – how can this web-environment be developed to better assist your business, brand or cause?

We’ll i’ve been searching for solutions.  The main topic here, will be about page tabs.  In a page, there are a few boxes – where new content can be added to your page. The Page-Tab function, brings more than simply a new page – it is a place for applications, that can interact with the community using your page.

Facebook has a function where people can search for applications.  In that area, there are a bunch of applications already; but that’s not all,

A Search on Google will find a bunch more. Some interesting sites i found, were TabSite and TabFusion  Mind, i also found this site which provided a bunch of links.

Interestingly; Oracle has a site with some great apps…

Pam’s site gives some more info about pages for business.  It’s good information, but there is heaps out there about it.  I suggest you have a good look.  Depending on the size of your existing audience, i’d suggest you go out there and experiment a bit before spending too much (if any) money.

Hope that’s helpful.



Facebook Pages

Ok.  First-up, what is a facebook page, one might ask….  Perhaps even so, tell me about facebook?

Facebook, and others like it – are massive data-aggregators.  Their business models relay on people using the site frequently, whilst making connections to other sites and online services.  This in-turn, offers facebook an unthinkable archive of data about people, and everything connected to them.  From personal notes, through to friendships, through to locations, interests, etc.

This in-turn is theoretical “gold” to advertisers (and intelligence agencies) which helps them make enough money to pay for the service and make a profit.

on the up-side – there’s a lot of stuff they give away freely, on the basis that with a few dollars – someone may pay for advertising.  regardless of money, there are literally billions of people on the network.  It is a “walled garden” of users, with very different rules to the broader internet – such as high-degrees of authentication and identity assessment, and as such, is a critical environment for marketing to users.

The Page set-up process is relatively simple.  To begin with, you’ll need to be a user – and ideally, link (incite) all your friends to create accounts, and become “friends”; as this provides your page the ability to gain an initial network of “friends” or “likes” (the start of a digital community).  Once you’ve got yourself your own personal account on facebook, it’s simply a matter of going to the pages link – or “LINK” to start creating your page.

Now, before you start – you’ll need two images – one which is a square image, at low-resolution – to use as a logo.  It’s important this image isn’t too detailed, it really must be a logo-orientated graphic, else it’ll look “crap”.  The other image you’ll need, is a 16:9 ish image, which is used as a header or banner for your site.  This can be more detailed, and overall – its very much a branding graphic.

Once you’ve gone through these basic links – you’ve got your facebook page up.  A bunch of buttons will appear, asking you to invite your friends, etc.

You’ll be able to goto settings, and change different aspects of your site, including who can manage it.

There’s a bunch of youtube links about, Try searching google for videos about facebook pages



Well,  You might think – what does events have to do with anything – but have a good think about it…

When you get your first customer group all put together, wouldn’t it be nice to put on a nice event for them.  If you can’t produce one – perhaps send them to one, or participate in an existing one – like a tradeshow or something…

Events is part of professional representation – of the business.  Have you had a think about how you could do this?

An event done well, can be the best form of advertising for your business.  An event done poorly, can be worse than receiving nails for your businesses coffin, voluntarily provided from your patrons.

The “secret” to events; is about good preparation, pre-production and management.  I was recently challenged to consider how many events i had done.

As i never considered myself an “event manager”, i never really thought about before.  It almost seemed like a distractions.  Yet, in the face of volunteering to a community event – with so many contributors – but some massive problems due to the leadership of the event (an inexperience) i had to think about it.  Perhaps a hundred, perhaps many more.  It’s not really what i think about overall….

Organising an event, is kinda like setting-up a dinner party or a teenagers house party; or even, a company meeting…  Within each of these events, people take different roles.  It’s important to identify what you do have experience in doing, and what you do not.  People, with events, are generally rather helpful.  If their not helpful, don’t bother (well, in my experience anyhow).

People who know events, know both that events hardly ever run without a problem of somekind.  this is not to suggest they are all at risk of falling over, but rather – even events professionally planned – will have some sort of “hiccup” once it’s started.  The difference really is; what doesn’t go wrong, because it was planned properly.

As always, templates is always a good-place to start when your thinking about how to set-up an event.  It could be a digital event, it could be a wedding, it could be just about anything – if it’s too complicated to remember in your head, and have it sorted – a list, a template, can help.

Beyond the bigger problem of attempting to manage the delivery of the event – the next part, which is somewhat more professional in nature – is return on investment.

This is where the art of being an event manager comes into play.

Stock Content

What a day it was, when i found out about stock content…

Stock Content doesn’t appear to be on wikipedia…  In simple-terms, it is the name given to pre-produced content (image, motion image, sound, etc.) and owned by production library and licensed to customers for use in their own productions, on a range of licensing terms; rather than, the production of content for exclusive use within a specifically produced product, services or greater work.

The purpose of Stock Content – is to acquire content, more cheaply than producing it yourself.

Wikipedia has a few entries on the subject, providing listings of providers of stock content – such as “Stock Footage“, “production music” and “stock photography“.

In some instances; a user can download the images with existing watermarks, and use them to figure out what their going to do with the item their trying to produce – prior to making purchases.

There is a world of content out there.  Sometimes, it’s just wiser to acknowledge someone else’s good-work, rather than trying to do too much yourself.

That said – i think we’ve all seen some of those images that are completely over-used.  I guess, try to find something a little unique and contextual…  just a suggestion…

MindMapping – Setting-up a business – Identity

When starting a new business, the need to figure out identity is an important factor.

All businesses end-up with their own identity.  The Australian Corporations Act, states that a company – is it’s own legal entity in the eyes of the law.  In most cases, an ABN is sufficient to start a business – stepping up the process to a business name, which later down the track – if the business is successful – turns into a company.

Considering the businesses objectives is always a good starting point when considering how to provide a new business or company, identity.

– What is it that the business seeks to achieve?

– What does it provide that is valued to current and potential customers?

– How will the business scale?

– How does the business – make money…

I often mindmap out the solutions i’m developing, and trying to structure my thought around it.  There are often a multitude of reasons why someone decides to go start a business.  These underlying reasons change the nature of the start-up, the purpose of the business and the aspects in which the founder of the business, focuses upon developing the business.

In many cases; it’s simply an idea of generating revenue.  People decide it’s a “good idea” to start a business, so they decide they’ll have a “crack” at it.  In These cases, i often find it almost more important to explore the underlying personal reasons for setting-up the business – what is the purpose of doing this action – why a business?

What are the critical things the business is expected to provide its founders – and what is the business designed to provide an audience – of customers.  There is obviously a difference between the needs of a business operator, and a business.  By exploring these needs, both personal and professional alike – a business model is more easily established around the skills and needs of its proprietors.

In other cases; a group, or individual has identified a “business opportunity”.  This business opportunity is often a far more calculated start-up process, where the businesses establishment has less to do with the personal identities of the founders  – and more to do with establishing a path for successful commercialisation of a product or services, for which the founders of the business have some sort of unique relationship to; as required, to facilitate the undertaking of setting-up a business.

In both cases, mindmapping is a powerful tool to explore and visualise the very different, alternate and interwoven aspects to a business.  To get a 15,000 foot view on the needs of setting up a business, providing it identity – and ensuring your work with it, encourages the growth – to fullest potential – of both the new business, and the participants involved in establishing it.

If your looking for some other perspectives on mindmapping – check-out the youtube search.


Web-Services – Marketing Tools

In one of my other posts – i’ve describe a bunch of web-services, used more for internal and/or project management – but how about marketing?

Marketing a business, a group, an offering – is where it all starts.  So, how can web-services help?

I’ve already discussed CapsuleCRM – a basic CRM Platform.   However, this is only one-part of the broader opportunities.  It’s difficult to identify which solutions   suite a customers requirements – without having a good-look at the business, the business owner – and their needs.

Wherever you see an business orientated webservice – you’ll see a link to Mail Chimp.  Mailchimp – helps with sending email marketing messages to users.

Another really important thing – is figuring out how to leverage forms.

A Form is part of a webpage, where users fill-out details to make an enquiry, pay for something – all that kinda thing.  One good option is JotForm It’s free to test-out, and integrates with FreshBooks, FaceBook, MailChimp and a bunch of other Web Services.

Perhaps more essentially; Businesses can really benefit from setting-up links, pages and exposure for your business across the social network sites and other related places on the net – as appropriate to your website.

Some of the basic sites to consider include; Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, YouTube and other similar sites.

Each industry has specific types of sites that support specific industries.  These sites can include Ebay and other sites that help business owners sell products; other industries, such as travel, accommodation and professional services have specific solutions that help to resource customers and make sales.

Most of these services need Professional Media Services to be facilitated by appropriate professionals – for your business. Whether you need strategy, photography, video production, graphic design, copyrighting or some-other form of professional services – to get your content in-order – it’s a worthwhile consideration, prior to setting-up these marketing-tools for your business.



Projects, Customers and Invoicing – Web-Services for Startups


There’s this whole ecosystem developing around how to interact with projects, customers whilst figuring out how to track payments / costs, etc.

Battling away with getting rid of the shoebox method for managing reciepts; whilst considering how to improve the methods in managing customers, projects and invoicing.

I’m in Apple Land – with a Mac, and IPAD.  Still setting-up the Communications platform – to it’s optimal configuration – i’ve been setting-up methods to enhance the way i engage customers – and manage projects.

I started out by setting-up Freshbooks.  Freshbooks is an online invoicing system.  It’s rather cheap (cost me less than most accounting packages would otherwise), and connects to my iPAD – with a few nifty functions such as being able to attach or take a photo of a receipt  and assign it to a customer – as well as a “stopwatch” (which is more designed for iphones) that means i can sit-down, start the stop-watch, do something on a project – then stop the stopwatch, and track my hours.

I can also put in expenses, manage project costs, add customers and a host of other invoice related functions – accessible both via an easy to use online interface – as well as on my iPad (or iphone).

Perhaps one of the best bits – which i’m just starting to explore – is the ability to send an invoice; and, the ability for a customer to pay that invoice online (when appropriate banking details have been set-up).

Freshbooks made it much easier – saved me heaps of time in admin – sorting out project costs, quotes, estimates, etc.

There are a few different types of systems, and solutions – but i really did like freshbooks – and have settled on it – mostly, due to the cost and application design.

But – i didn’t stop there.

after becoming a little frustrated by more complex project management processes i’m trying to streamline (for a growing business) – i then found CapsuleCRM.

CapsuleCRM integrates with Freshbooks.  Making it much easier to figure stuff administrative out…

As well as integrating with the Invoicing systems – it also connects to Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.  I’m not a twitter user – i feel as though i’ve got enough going on already – But depending on what type of business you’ve got – i can see how these functions can and are really useful.

 CapsuleCRM for a relatively low-cost – enables the management of teams, multitude of projects, sales pipelines, and all that “crm” type stuff which is generally difficult to set-up, let alone manage overall.

Again – Much like the options available when considering an invoicing system – there are a multitude of options out there for CRM too…

The other interesting platform is Teambox.  TeamBox is a relatively new start-up business.  I got in-contact with them, as i set-up an account soon-after they were established.  I was really impressed by the team – giving me useful support, and advise – in a really time-effective manner.

Their platform has developed quite a lot since they first started. I haven’t used it for a while, mostly because i haven’t needed to…  I’ve logged into my account again, as i write this blog-entry…  The interface has developed substancially, since their early days.  I can link the account to my dropbox account – for sharing files.  It’s also got a helpdesk, and a few other functions. I can link it to facebook and a bunch of other apps.  I’m thinking i’ll ask them about linking their platform into CapsuleCRM and/or Freshbooks – as that would provide a complete project lifecycle management platform – we’ll see how it goes i guess…

Oh – now Dropbox – I think i’ll cover that in a different section, more focused on communications generally; but the simple bit is as follows,

Dropbox is an online storage provider  – it links to your devices, stores files, and makes it easy to share files on a permission based processes controlled by the account holder.

One of the most important things to look-at, when considering any of these “web-services” is an exit strategy – what happens if you want to use something else – how do you get your information out of these systems, and into something else that is useful.

These types of problems can be figured out through a growth-planning process, where your software choices are put into a lifecycle management process.

Beyond simple lifecycle management – scaling cost is also an important thing to consider.  If your thinking about hiring staff or collaborating with others – how can that be done?  what’s needed – how is your “knowledge capital” effectively managed, throughout your businesses sales cycle.

Another good-thing about these “web-services” is that a great-deal of the more complex problems – have been thought out for you, and a well-designed site – will ask simple questions, for functional outcomes.

It’s worthwhile having a look-around at your options – seeing what can be done, and thinking about the cost/benefit to the available options, most appropriate for you and your business.

Tools of Trade

When starting a new “digital business” – It’s important to get the right “tools of trade”, ensuring you understand the technology from a user-case perspective – and become proficient in undertaking the tasks your expecting your customers to undertake as part of finding you, with the digital resources your developing.

If it’s too difficult for you, that’s a good indicator it’s going to be difficult for customers – which at a minimum, is going to reduce your “traffic”, and therefore also – your sales potential.

Tools of Trade in any digital business, should include devices that provide you access to the resources you’re planning to provide your customers, in the method your expecting your customers to access your offerings.

Other tools of trade include Accounting, Customer Relationship Management and other internal resources – to help your business or project, best manage timelines and expectations both internally, as well as externally.

Tim, of MediaProphet, formerly used Windows PC equipment for almost two decades.  Over this time, computers were built – set-up, and used for a host of different activities.  In more recent time, a transition has been made to Apple Equipment.  Although more expensive in terms of hardware cost – i’m continually amazed by the lowered cost of operation, both in terms of the cost of software – as well as the usability of the system and it’s immunity to the vast majority of viruses and other nasties out there on the net.

On Workstations (and laptops) the Operating System – Called “OSX” is based on Unix or Linux – a different type of programming to windows, that means viruses and such written for windows – just don’t work on the operating system…

Perhaps more importantly – The “brave new world” is now very much into “internet connected” devices.  Internet Devices are envisaged to take-over the way most people do most things – computer based – when not typing a letter, writing or designing a proposal – or those other more “power-user” type applications.

Therein; The Apple Environment, has a complete eco-system – connecting TV’s, with iPAD’s and iPhones – with Computers, Back-up storage devices, etc.

Although these types of things can be done much “better” (or rather, with more flexibility) using alternatives – apple just makes it work for the layman.

On the flip-side – PC’s, Windows and increasingly – Google – do offer a range of very good solutions – which do, make-up most of the total user-base out there in the market.

Considering the solutions is an important step to setting-up a digital presence.

We can help you figure out something that might work for your organisation, and we’ve developed a few other outlines to think about – how to get yourself off the ground and into sales.

Website Templates

A common misunderstanding is that a website developer builds websites, cheaply from scratch.  What clients often do not understand, is that these website solutions are based upon easily accessible parts – which have taken hundreds or thousands of hours to code from scratch – most-often by highly skilled individuals.

In my page about websites i’ve shown a number of “opensource” alternatives, allowing customers to easily create a basic content management system – based web-solution.

Once  a solution has been identified to build the basic platform – the next problem becomes the “look and feel” of the website – the template.

Although it is possible to generate a new-template from scratch – it’s often not what small businesses need to start-off.  A website, is much like a shop – in that once you’ve got something that works, people – the business owners – generally think about how they’d like things to work over a period of time.  This form of “organic growth”, is a natural learning curve that is part of the evolving identity any new business, or new venture undertakes.

To help with this; website templates are invaluable resources.

Most Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal, etc.) all have a range of freely available templates – available for download either in the system, or alternatively – from the site where the CMS is developed and managed.

Beyond these freely available templates; people around the world, develop “premium templates” which are generally cost effective – and relatively easy to set-up – with relatively advanced functionality.

Themeforest and Elegant Themes are great sites if your looking for wordpress templates.  This is one of many for wordpress templates, and a personal favourite.  A Quick Google Search for wordpress templates or Drupal Templates will resource a host of different websites offering premium themes for a range of website solutions.

Although i haven’t gone into it too much – other systems, such as joomla as well as e-commerce systems, such as magento and and Open Cart also offer themes or template solutions.

However: When setting-up a website, it’s important to think about all the different aspects involved in running a business, most of which apply both to “Bricks and Morter” businesses, in addition to “digital” or virtual shop-front businesses.

It’s an important part of any business to consider the Total Cost of Ownership – which should take into account business risks, such as Fraud, Chargebacks, SPAM and other unwanted digital experiences – which can really take-up alot of time, money and energy sorting out problems which are best avoided.

Our recommendation is – unless a business is big enough to justify hiring someone good – to look after the technology full-time – try to make these sorts of potential issues, someone else’s problem.  Nonetheless, this is just another element of the overall strategy process involved in setting-up a business.