Twitterfied n. Unfounded fear in all things Twitter.

Social Media is an umbrella term to cover any website where other users members users offer contributions in an attempt to communicate with many. I decided, eventually, on the word user because of the addictive qualities that many social networking sites create. I remember the early days of facebook, spending hours trawling through the networks looking at anybody and everybody who went to my university learning their favourite films and working out who they hanged out with… that wasn’t just me I hope. If I’m honest I’ve fallen slightly out of love with facebook, much like the child who has grown bored of a toy and moved on to a newer shinier one I myself have moved on to Twitter. Facebook has tremendous social networking capability especially for some one of my age and nationality as all of my peers are members making it very easy for me to connect with them.

Twitter offers a completely new proposition and is still very much in the bright and shiny phase. Here I get to connect not only with my peers (which is a good job as not very many of them have joined), but also with celebrities, industry leaders, comedians and live TV shows. Twitter isn’t always a two way communication like the classic interaction on facebook and MySpace is, it tends to operate more as a soap box where people say what they like and others choose whether or not they want to listen and occasionally some dialogue between two Twitterers. The dialogue tends to be more of a commentary about other peoples post as opposed to reacquainting yourself with long lost friends and having long private conversations. It is for this reason that Twitter is appealing to the 25-40 age group which is a much more mature age range than the other social sites are attracting as their core users, and contrastingly it is the same reason why it presents little interest to the younger internet user.

Social Networks are very much down to personal preferences and what you are looking to achieve. All are very good for raising awareness about businesses and products if done in a manner succinct with your business. As a business it is well worth creating a social network page on all formats just to increase your internet presence. It creates a dialogue with your customers to find out what they like/dislike about your product. As an individual, pick and choose your networks carefully as once your information is out there, you can’t take it back. And just because you don’t understand it completely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. You never know, maybe someday I’ll add you on Twitter!

MySpace was the original social network, well at least my first social network. Good For: Music lovers trying unearth the latest bands and as a launch pad for bands trying to get exposure. Bad For: The eyes, too much going on especially if you have the misfortune of stumbling on to a teenage girls space.

facebook the biggest social network receives over 2 billion hits a day! Good For: Getting in touch with your friends (old and new) as everyone is a member. Bad For: Everyone is a member which obviously has its down sides as you can’t escape from some without offence!

Twitter the newcomer on the scene, with year on year growth currently exceeding 800%! Good For: Letting the world know how you feel about anything. Bad  For: Those of us who struggle to be concise, succinct or even short and snappy, only have 140 characters to get whatever we have off our chest’s. i.e. The length of the last sentence!

Advertisements

I always thought of myself as a technologically “with it” guy but having researched the Internet over the past couple of months with the intent to start a web page myself I realise I’m already a lifetime behind. I hope this will also help other beginners as they try to learn the world of technology. At 23 I’m hardly the classic image of a bumbling middle aged man with inherent aversions to technology, my Dad being the archetypal example and is still unable to set the tape(!) recorder. I have read plenty of blogs where the expert is happy to give the advice to the beginner and I can recommend many

The first subject I shall be getting to grips in full view of my blog is the basic Search Engine and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There are 3 main search engines in the Western world, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Google in my humble opinion is the best search engine not only because it’s basic search provides the best results but also because of the advanced search options you are provided with. Maps, News and Educational articles can all be searched with ease. The simple layout, usability, relevant results also make it the market leader with an estimated 2 billion searches a day.

SEO is the catchy and less than subtle name given to the act of getting your website up the search result listings from the top search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. All the sites have their own intricate systems of searching the billions of websites out in the ether for you and coming up with what they believe are your optimal results based on the words you use to search. The order of these search results is critical to the individual websites as much of their Internet traffic comes from search engine searches. Previously the searches were based on Keywords. The Search Engines would match up for the search words you entered with the websites that best displayed those keywords.

Things have moved on now and the Internet search engines are much more advanced at matching our search requests and filtering out spam sites. They focus more on the content of the site, the relevancy, the feedback and the web coding that powers the site. The buzz word/phrase being thrown around at the moment is making sure your website has rich content. This basically means the content on your site has to be valuable information that the visitor wants to read. Just repeating a keyword like “hotels” in every sentence in an almost random fashion won’t help your site reach the top of the search results any more. Google is promoting the sites that have value to the searcher by providing reliable, regular, and relevant information.

The final major factor with regards to where a certain page ranks is its PageRank. Now you may be thinking that is quite an incredible insight that no one could possibly have figured out without you stating it. However PageRank actually refers to the web pages which link to a specific site. Search engines may rank a page higher if it has one link from a very very popular website over a website which has links from lots smaller websites. All three areas, Keywords, Content, and Page Rank need to be top notch to gain a top ranking on the main websites and there is a multimillion dollar industry of SEOs trying to help websites do just that.

The main focus of innovation in this area is to speed up the search process by improving the indexing of sites, as well as bringing in new media in to the search results such as a video and audio. Luckily Google, Bing and the other players aren’t the type of companies to rest on their laurels and will continue pushing the technological boundaries.

I will be mostly using this blog to write down my journey from internet enthusiast to internet whizz. I’ll shall be reading and reviewing internet literature as well as researching topics that other people may have already covered but trying to offer insight that is not always obvious to the layman my self. This blog will try and filter the information that I try and take in to the most useful bits when trying to take your internet knowledge from beginner to confident user.

Twitterings