I’m a Twexpert Giving Twitter Twips: Using the @ Reply Function on Twitter


This is a tweet that I wish you’d seen but probably didn’t. There are a lot of tweets like this one and if you haven’t been on twitter for 928 years (or four) you might not know that your updates aren’t being seen.

In the earliest days of twitter you’d see a stream starting with @whomever and there was no natural filtering of that. As Twitter became more popular it was impossible to understand who was speaking to whom as random strangers were popping in and out of timelines. Things changed and now if a tweet begins with @ then the only people who will see it are those who follow both the originator and the intended recipient of said tweet.

This is actually a great example. Franki used the “quote tweet” function on her mobile device and it added a ” before @JessicaGottlieb.

Because Franki’s tweet didn’t begin with @ everyone in her timeline was able to see it. Because my tweet that replied began with @franki_ the only folks who saw it were probably Franki and whomever else follows both of us (a small number of people to be sure).

When you want to have a sort of “inside conversation” on twitter use the @ reply, that’s what it’s for. Your followers will thank you. When you want to alert everyone you know of something wonderful that someone else has done try a tweet that looks like this.


You can use a . an ! or even just a word. You can add Look at @___ or check out what @___ wrote/did/painted/sang.

Just remember that if you start with @ your audience is much smaller.

Why Aren’t You Using G+?


I love G+ because I can select who is in my circles. I’ve got a couple thousand people who pepper my timeline with electic yet interesting news items and I work hard to share the best of the web as I see it. 

Periodically I share a bit of my own work there, but like every social media effort I try to stick with a 7:1 rule. I try to share seven things that I have zero personal involvement in before I share one of my own. It’s like a dinner party, ask more questions than you answer.

Yesterday I shared a video that I enjoyed very much. Apparently the folks who have circled me on G+ enjoyed it too. Less than 24 hours later and 1,100 people who saw it in my stream have given it a +1 and 836 of them have re-shared it.

My experience is that video does very well on G+. My experience is also showing me that most of my peers are not on G+ and the ones who are use it only to promote their own feed which will likely lead to frustration and the declaration that Google+ “doesn’t work”.

I’d love to have a circle of readers so please leave your Google Plus URL in the comments below. To get your URL sign in to Google+, click on the left sidebar where it says “profile” and then copy and paste your URL in the comments below and don’t forget to circle me.

After I Friend My Daughter on Facebook I’m Going to be My Son’s Prom Date


Jane’s big Hanukkah gift this year was Facebook. She’s allowed to be on the social network so long as she uses it appropriately. There are two big rules on Facebook:

  1. Everything you write is always public (even if it’s a private message, even if you’ve blocked someone, even if, even if….)
  2. You cannot be friends with any adults. (not even Mom and Dad)

There was a great article today at Mamapedia about a mom unfriending a nine year old child. The article showed great wisdom in hindsight. A little foresight might have made things smoother in the neighborhood.

Before you friend a child, any child but particularly your own, ask yourself what it might achieve. If your child is under 13 they aren’t supposed to be on Facebook but that’s not because of maturity or Facebook caring about childhood. It’s because Facebook buys and sells your data and it’s illegal to buy and sell data from children under 13. If you don’t want your data bought and sold stay tuned, I’ll provide you with a solution for that little problem tomorrow.

If your child is thirteen and on Facebook I’d like you to answer the following questions with a simple yes or no:

  • When I bring my child to school I hang out with him/her on the schoolyard and chat with the kids.
  • When I bring my child to a school dance I stay for the first song or two, just to see how cute everyone looks all dressed up.
  • I make playdates for my 14 year old because they are not capable of making plans yet.
  • My child is super excited to see me in the afternoon and often asks me to join in games with all the other kids.
  • Sometimes when I’m chatting with a half dozen of my mommy friends I miss my kids and wish they could be there with us.
  • When I go to a luncheon with my girlfriends I pull out my phone and give them a slideshow of my kid’s pictures and they always love it and want more.
  • I need more teenage friends.

If you’ve answered Yes wholeheartedly to any of these questions then we diverge on our parenting. If the answers are no, as I suspect they are for most of us, then I’m confused about why you would want to cripple your child with your presence in their social network.

If you’re worried about stranger danger (not my concern but I totally get it if it’s yours), then why would you introduce everyone you’ve ever met at a conference and all of their friends to your child?

I’m not planning on being at my son’s prom any more than I’d planning on being part of my daughter’s Facebook timeline.

You absolutely may have different ideas about how a parent and child should connect in social media, but I can tell you this one incredibly important thing right now. The authors at Mamapedia talk about kids being teased about their pictures on Facebook. If you have pictures of your kids on your Facebook timeline make sure that they are pictures your children want shared with their classmates.

Women love to connect. We love to share in each other’s joys and uplift one another in times of need. The unanticipated consequence of Mommy Blogging and social networking is that we’re infringing on our children’s spaces and robbing them of the opportunity to make their own first impression. Let’s all step back a moment and think about a few ways we can connect with adults without totally humiliating our children.

And as always if you want privacy keep a journal, nothing here is private. Even if…

Recently I wrote about why I would never fan my child’s school on Facebook.

Best Practices: .org and why Your For-Profit Organization Shouldn’t Use It


This morning I spent four hours on the telephone trying to find services for someone I love. Since we are in the preliminary stages of finding these services I emailed some friends, took their recommendations and then looked up the websites of the facilities and starting calling.

You can tell a lot from a phone call. When you’re a patient, a child, an advocate or a friend needing service the receptionist at the agency you are calling is your first introduction to a facility. Granted, first impressions can be wrong, but when I’m looking to begin a long term relationship with a business I’m going to be calling them with some regularity. Phone calls should be pleasant.

Websites can be an equally important as a first impression. Every part of your site matters. Take, for instance, the domain name. When I see a .com or a .net domain I assume that I’m on a business’ web page. When I see a .gov I know it’s a government page, and when I see .edu I know it’s a school. When we see .org we used to know that we were looking at a non profit organization.

Gone are the days when domainers had to write essays to explain why they needed to own a .org. A few short years ago in order to own a .org website the potential owner would have provided proof of non-profit status. A few years before that an essay was required to own any site.

Clearly essay writing and domain ownership are no longer a duo, but best practices dictate that only not for profit would host their site at a .org address. In order to protect a brand I can imagine a company owning a .org domain and then redirecting the traffic to their .com or .net, but hosting their for profit business on a .org platform would only confuse potential clients and alienate them once they figured out that they’d been snookered.


A web based economy uses trust as it’s currency. Once you’ve been deemed untrustworthy it’s nearly impossible to regain that trust. If your URL is dishonest, or just less than forthright there’s no reason for anyone to trust your content.

Although it’s possible for your business to buy and maintain any URL you can get your hands on, fight the urge to be anything less than transparent, because the web based consumer is a bright consumer and they have a lot of choices.