James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘CoTweet’

Blog: Alternion. Social feed and email aggregation, search and engagement

In Facebook, LinkedIn, Recruitment, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Twitter on January 28, 2012 at 10:05 am

Been a fan of CoTweet as a Twitter client for some time, but with it’s recent demise, I’ve been looking around. If I’m going to change though, I want a significant step forward…. found it!  Alternion was in private beta for 6 months last year, launching into public beta in November 2011.

Initially, it’s a social feed aggregator.  There’s plenty enough of those around, but this one wins for me on two fronts. First the interface is clean, effective, easy to use and second, the sheer number of services you can integrate kills anything else I’ve seen. Sure, HootSuite or TweetDeck will take care of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter in one place – but this, if you so wish, will connect to over TWO HUNDRED different services. No-one I know uses that range, but most people I know have one or two niche sites they like which won’t connect and aggregate easily. This may well win them over where the mainstream tools fail.  There are too many for a decent screen grab – so this shot just shows you those for the blog sites it’ll connect with. You get the idea….

One thing I would like is the ability to push out to more than the big three social networks mentioned here – but this is currently in line with other standards being set and will no doubt develop further in time. I also note that despite the proliferation of photo sites, music sites, blogging, social networking… there’s no support for GooglePlus yet. I’d imagine that’ll be added pretty soon though. By the way, that photo aspect?

Moving on from Social, Alternion also allows you to integrate email accounts – support is right there for GMail and other internet account, plus full support for POP and IMAP accounts. You can view either combined or separate inboxs and undertake regular email tasks (though you lose some of the advanced functionality things like GMail offer).

There’s also a Contacts aggregator – so my LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook connections, all grouped and searchable. Handy, if your networks are different on each platform and you can’t remember where you connected with Mr X. There seems to be a limit on the number imported, but again, I think this is a beta issue and will be resolved in the longer term. The social address book could well be the gem in this product for many users.

The ability to customise what’s displayed on your own profile, and import from those various other sites will no doubt appeal to some. Likewise, the ability to search / explore others users will certainly have some sourcers showing interest. The privacy and notification options seem accessible and simple too.

How quickly Alternion progresses past these earlier limitations, I don’t know.  Certainly though, for a product just into public beta, it looks remarkably extensive in ambition and polished in presentation.  What else does it need? Well, for me they’ve done a great job of the connectivity and they’ve nailed multi-account connections for Facebook and Twitter. I’m not yet seeing scheduling options though, or the ability for company accounts – seems a single-user product is the current aim. I’d like to use my own bit.ly account for link shortening too – read why here.

Regardless, I’ll be keeping close to this one!

Blog: Top ten apps & sites of 2011

In Gadgets, Guest post, Mobile, Social Media, Social Recruiting, Start-ups on January 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

Originally written as a guest post for Ed Scrivener, now here for my archives.

I’ve followed Ed on Twitter for some time – and he recently responded to an invite for a guest post with a cracker on LinkedIn LIONS, which you’ll find here.  He’s kindly offered me the opportunity to reciprocate.

If we’ve not met before, I sit mostly on the intersection of recruitment and technology.  I’m a geek, I admit it.  I jump in on new apps and tools whenever I see them and I try to blog reviews of those I really like.  As we wind in to the year-end though, it seems appropriate to look back over the year and see what actually had staying power.  What delivered on-going value.  What’s still in use? So, in no particularly order, I offer you my geeklist for 2011.

  1. Ifttt – Sets up social rules. Too many different profiles to manage? Ifttt can help. Blogged a review of this one here.
  2. CoTweet – I use this as a desktop client for Twitter.  Most of the functions are not dissimilar to other players in the market, but there’s one differentiator I love – the conversations. I bring up Ed’s profile, I can see our Twitter history. That conversation we had about keyword spam back in May. What other app for Twitter gives you that?
  3. Xydo – news curation and delivery service. Part automated, but influenced by the networks you build as an individual. Best personalised news service I’ve found, blogged here!
  4. Evernote – The ultimate note taker.  I use it to hoard favourite tweets (delivered here automatically by Ifttt), to make meeting notes, to hold photos as part of a mobile project stream. Brilliant.
  5. Buffer – rather than flood your followers with all the articles you read on the train each morning, space them through the day. Combine with Xydo for excellent results! Review here.
  6. WordPress – my blog platform of choice. My needs are simple, so I stay with the hosted version – I’ve checked out others and not yet seen a reason to consider moving.
  7. DropBox – My files, anywhere. Backed up in the cloud, backed up to each machine I install it on, deletion controls (which I only found after this episode!!). Ace service.
  8. Zovo – bigger cloud backup. I use DropBox for working files, Zovo for long-term cloud synchronised automatic backups.
  9. Bit.ly – always was good, but the enhancements this year allow for custom short-links. Instructions here.
  10. Aerolatte – just because I’m working at home, doesn’t mean I put up with crap coffee. This helps. A lot.

I hope you see something new to enjoy. Likewise, if you want to offer up suggestions of your own, please do! Personal recommendation is my favourite form of discovery.  If you have questions for me, or just want to see what I find next, Twitter’s best. You’ll find me here.

Blog: Do you KNOW how you use Twitter? Or are you guessing?

In Social Media, Twitter, Twitter Tips on March 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

As regular readers will know, I’m a fan of poking at new Twitter apps to see what they can do – regular posts result from this! Today though, I want to revisit an old one which I think gets overlooked way too often. Then I want to combine it’s use with something bang up to date – time to challenge your Twitter habits!

TweetStats has been around some time – sure, it gets tweaks now and again, but the core functionality is tight and focussed.  There’s a mix of well-presented information about Twitter in general – coupled with more specific information on your own habits. It doesn’t get into the dangerous space of trying to calculate your (or anyone else’s) influence – but it does help you understand your own usage better – and that’s a great place to start if you want to improve your  understanding of almost anything!

Where do tweets come from?First up – general information available. Simple stuff, but often over-looked.  I’ve just produced a report on Twitter’s activity today. You can pull the trends for now, today, or even the top 50 of all time.  What catches my attention though, is the source of tweets.  I regularly hear people say that there are too many automated tweets, that Twitter is losing it’s edge. Well, as this one shows, the vast majority (61.3%) are coming from the web. Bearing in mind the API changes made with the introduction of OAuth last year, that’s not sneaky un-named apps, that’s the real thing.

But enough of the general, let’s get personal. What does TweetStats do for you? Well, it’ll help you understand when you tweet. Which Twitter clients you use. Who you reply to most, and who you retweet most.  Like anyone, you’ll have a gut feel for these things. I’m willing to bet that while your gut feel it right most of the time, TweetStats is able to throw in the odd curve ball.

You also get the fun of figuring out why certain things really stand out, especially if you combine some of the data.  For example, Monday-Friday, my tweets are fairly even in volume – except Thursday, which has a significant spike.  Not sure on that.  Subsequently looking at the Twitter client spread, I see CoTweet heading the list, then Seesmic (fair enough, that’s the desk-top and the phone covered). Not far behind though, is TwitterFall.  I only really use that when I’m tweeting from a conference and trying to keep up with the back-channel activity. Connection? For sure! I tweet heavily at conferences, using TwitterFall – and most conferences in the recruiting industry happen to fall on a Thursday.

When do I tweet?

So this shot here is Tweet Density – times of the day, across the week.  The working week pattern is pretty obvious. Likewise, I tend to be on-line at weekends before the kids are about in the morning, and maybe a little more work when they’re in bed. Here’s the thing though.  I can now take what TweetStats tells me is the real deal – and compare it against something from CrowdBooster, suggesting where I should be at my most active.

OK, so CrowdBooster’s telling me 10am – cool, looks like I’m mostly on time there! It’s also got some hot time for me mid-afternoon and again, I think I hit that. I’ll admit, I’ve been playing with CrowdBooster for a while and I do indeed try to keep timely tweets in mind because of it.  I’ve noticed and improvement in resonance with some of the stuff I do (more blog reads, more retweets) – so I believe there’s certainly a benefit towards understanding your own habits on Twitter.

Question is, what do you think? Am I getting a little too carried away by the data? Are these tools genuinely useful to you too?

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