Twitter as a marketing tool

Before you make a dash for the “back” button, bear with me. I promise this is not another attempt to jump on the “twitter as a marketing tool” bandwagon.

The Internet seems to be on fire with people either marketing themselves on twitter, trying to find out how to market themselves on twitter, or trying to find others to listen to their (usually expensive) method of marketing themselves on twitter.

Personally I am getting fed up of it. I see people day in day out trying to use twitter to get something for nothing. They rapidly get as many followers as possible and then start bleeting about their blog posts, their company, or their products. Enough already!

I liken it to some idiot standing in the town centre shouting at the top of his voice how fantastic his skills are in whatever field he works in. Do you think people would listen. Hell no, most people would cross the road to avoid such an imbecile.

So why do people keep doing it? Because the don’t understand. They see it as a captive audience who they can dish out their message to. The trouble with captive audiences is they put up defenses. When approached by someone in the street with a sign-up form, most people are armed with the “no” response even before they make contact. Sound familiar?

What most people miss is the opportunity to gain respect, take part, make friends and most importantly to help others. I say most importantly because firstly it gives you that warm feeling inside, knowing that you have helped another individual, and secondly because human nature dictates (for most of us) that if someone helps us, we want to help them in return. So, answer questions when you get chance (yes, even the daft ones!) and provide information when you have it. Before long your reputation will grow and then you will earn the right to be listened to.

This does not mean said person that you helped will be reaching for their wallet and looking for the “buy it now” button. What it does mean is that this person will listen to your message with an open mind, and have more propensity to see what you say in a positive light. From that basis you can open communication.

So, if you see emails/tweets/blog post offering “get rich quick” schemes, or “get 10k followers on 1 day” schemes, please do me a favour (and yourself) and block them/delete them/get as far away from them as possible. All they do is clutter up what is actually a very lively and friendly social network.

If you are looking for a moral to this blog post (should blog posts have morals… dunno?) then it would simply be “treat others as you would like them to treat you”. Twitter is great for that!

World Cup 2010 countdown

I have just made a little World Cup 2010 countdown widget for one of my sites, and though I would share it in case anyone would like to use it. The thermometer goals chart I made a while back gets lots of use, so hopefully this will be useful for someone.

World Cup 2010 countdown

If you want to use this image on your site, simply add it to your page as follows:

<img src=”http://www.thinksynergy.co.uk/scripts/worldcupcountdown.php” alt=”World Cup Countdown”/>

Note: If you cut/paste the above, please make sure the “” are pasted correctly, and dont end up curly quotes!

Teleport for Mac OSX

I recently discovered a brilliant application for my Mac. It has been around for a long time so I guess I must have been sleeping, but nevertheless I thought I should blog about it.

Teleport is a method of controlling multiple Macs by sharing their desktop out. It does not work in the traditional remote desktop sense, in that you do not get the image of the remote machine on your desktop, but rather your keyboard and mouse *jump* over to the remote machine and you can control it.

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This is obviously only useful if you can see the remote machine, if you can’t then there are other more suitable utilities to do the job. This is useful if you have another machine in the room, used for other tasks (video editing, mail, or even Twitter!).

The way it works is you run the utility on the target machine and share out the desktop. You then run it on the client machine and you will see the target machine in the menu. You can then drag it to the edge of your screen (any edge) and then when you move your mouse off the side of the screen it appears on the target machine. Cool!

There are a bunch of settings to prevent you accidentally moving from one machine to another, such as holding the command key while moving the mouse off the edge of the screen.

It really is a cool application and very useful for those of us with multiple macs. It does just what it intends to do and it does it well!

http://abyssoft.com/software/teleport/

Samsung NC10 netbook

I recently purchased a Samsung NC10 netbook. I chose the Samsung because my main computer is a Macbook Pro and of the handful of netbooks out there this seemed a good candidate for turning into a hackintosh (running OSX on it).samsungnc10

I decided that ideally I would keep the XP functionality just in case, so I am currently dual-booting it with XP/OSX. It took a little messing with to get OSX working fully, but it now works nicely. It is possible to get the in-built wireless card working, but it is a very messy process and the general consensus is just to swap it out with a cheap airport-compatible card, which I did.

The machine itself is really nice. It is a little heavier than some, but that is mainly due to the 6-cell battery it has, over the 3-cell batteries most of its competitors have. This gives the machine around 5-6 hours battery life in XP and 4-5 hours in OSX (the power management in XP is slightly better).

The keyboard is a major selling-point. It is very big in terms of netbook keyboards, over 90% of a full-size keyboard. This means that while it is not easy to touch-type, you can at least type reasonably fast and are less susceptible to mis-keying.

Speed-wise this little machine is pretty good. Boot times are very quick indeed and navigating either operating system seems pretty slick. Obviously this is no gaming platform, and you would not want to render a video on it (the Intel Atom processor is designed for battery life, not performance) but for what it is intended for it is a great little machine.

The OSX functionality is not perfect. I used the instructions from Mysticus C to get it working. It is fairly straight forward actually, once you understand how it works.

Aside from needing to swap out the wireless card the sound drivers are not perfect. There are some hacked ones out there that enable sound, but the in-built microphone is still not fully supported. Hopefully in coming weeks there will be a driver available to support this. The webcam is already supported, so once the mic is working this will be a great little video conf machine. Bluetooth works well, as does the trackpad (complete with multi-touch!).

I intend to end up with a triple-boot system by putting Windows 7 on there too, but the bootloader is slightly different so I need to work out if it will be straight forward or not. My main partition is FAT32, so all the operating systems can access it. I may at some point replace this with NTFS (there is an OSX driver to support it) but I am not sure that will be necessary.

I have only been using the NC10 for a short while, so I will post again once I have got used to it. For now I am very happy with it!