AQA2U: UK-based mobile microblogging service could make publishers money, but it costs

Yesterday I received a press release about a new service available to UK-based mobile phone users called AQA2U.

Set up by the existing AQA text messaging service, it allows anyone to set up an account and then send SMS alerts to anyone who has decided to follow them.

Though it’s free for a publisher to register, it costs 98p for someone to subscribe (by texting the chosen topic name to 63336) and thereafter it costs 25p each time they receive a text, up to a maximum of £3.50 per month. The publisher can make around 7-9p per subscriber per message. [Read more…]

Free Dawit Isaak: Swedish Publishing Houses Collaborating


This story, while tragic in itself, also warms my heart. I’ve been watching it from the sideline, from the first tweet, and now this: Five editors from Sweden’s largest newspapers are taking a break from their usual roles of competition, in an effort to inform the world of the situation for Swedish journalist Dawit Isaak, who is imprisoned in Eritrea with no trial nor charge.

On September 23, 2001 he was arrested and imprisoned in connection with the Eritrean government shutting down the country’s independent newspapers.

The regime in Eritrea has never formulated any allegations against Isaak, let alone a prosecution, a trial or a sentence. In total silence, he has for nearly eight years been locked up in Eritrea’s capital Asmara.

The idea is to put more light on this topic with cross-media coverage, as well as get the readers to sign a nationwide petition. [Read more…]

Twitter gets you fired — the odds greater than blogs?

You may have seen an article on MSNBC recounting the snowball effect of a single “Tweet” by @theconnor.

So let’s review: The Internet is not your BFF. Everyone has a “My boss sucks” moment. But the prudent know to express this sentiment away from the keyboard because they also have the “My boss knows how to use the Internet” sense they were born with.

Before, it was the blogs that got you fired. I’m going all out by saying that microblogging brings out the real emotions. Writing to rant does take time. Maybe five minutes at least, but that’s still five precious minutes to help you cool down and re-evaluate your moral fiber. It’s different for Twitter and other microblog services, because more often than not, they capture the unfiltered and raw emotions that get translated into words that we will regret. Hey, it gets even the best of us.

So please, before you hit that “update” button, wait 5 minutes.

Twitter Is Empowering The Blogosphere

Twitter is certainly dominating the blogosphere right now. I’m reading about the business model (local is the new black, as you very well know), about why we should be happy that brands are there, about the new search functionality, and it just goes on from there.

Is it indeed killing blogging?

Of course not. Twitter is microblogging, which in itself is empowering blogging, and that is a truly good thing.

It’s pretty simple really. You can easily send a flimsy thought to your followers using Twitter. The ease is unrivaled, a text message and it’s there for the world to see, or a mere click in your favorite Twitter app. That, and the 140 character cap, is making us communicate things that otherwise might’ve been blog posts. One could argue that it would indeed be proof of that whole “killing blogging” reasoning, but it is in fact the opposite. [Read more…]

Twitpay comes out of beta: send money via Twitter


twitpay-logoTwitpay, the service which allows you to initiate payments to any user via Twitter, has just come out of beta and is now available for anyone to use.

The concept is as simple as posting a tweet that reads something like “@ev twitpay $1 because Twitter is awesome”. In partnership with Amazon Payments, you can send anything from $0.01 to $50.

Twitpay makes its money by charging a nickel for any transaction over one dollar. When someone chooses to make a payment, Twitpay makes a note on both the sender and recipient account. [Read more…]

Exploring Social Media: Future Tweets with TweetLater


tweetlaterOne of the most powerful and useful social media business tools I’ve found for using is TweetLater. With recent feature improvements, it is turning out to be a social media third-party application I return to more and more.

TweetLater was developed by Dewald Pretorius and served as one of the first Twitter applications to permit future scheduling of tweets to Twitter. Tweet now, publish later, thus TweetLater was named.

Called a “productivity tool for busy tweeple,” TweetLater manages all your Twitter accounts from a central console to publish tweets on a schedule or in a timely manner. I use it to publish my daily WordPress Tips and WordPress Plugins on my @lorelleonwp Twitter account, creating tweets months in advance at one time, saving time and energy while adding value for my Twitter followers. [Read more…]

Review 2.0 – This Is How You Do It

Review 2.0

Review 2.0 - This Is How You Do ItMy hat’s off to Gina Trapani (whom I interviewed recently) for an excellent reviewish post about netbooks. Or mini-PCs or whatever we’re allowed to call them these days (Psion has a patent, claims to be using it). You know the type, the small cheap computers made popular with the Asus Eee PC and now available in a plethora of models from a whole bunch of manufacturers. I myself have had an Eee PC 900, and a Kohjinsha SH6 before that (still around actually), and the current one is a Lenovo S10e, which I just won’t let go.

I could write a review on these machines, these products. It would start with my initial thoughts on the design, I’d go through the hardware aspects, and then I’d ramble on, do some benchmarks perhaps, get a photo gallery up there… You know the deal, it’s been done a thousand times.

Or I could do a review 2.0. [Read more…]

Google Threatened by Twitter?


TwitterThere’s some buzz on how Google might feel threatened by Twitter, because of the microblogging service’s search functionality. John Battelle makes the argument, putting Twitter in the same sentence as YouTube and points out that the latter has more search queries than Yahoo.

What’s the most important and quickly growing form of search on the web today? Real time, conversational search. And who’s the YouTube of real time search? Yep. Twitter. It’s an asset Google cannot afford to not own, and also, one they most likely do not have the ability (or brand permission) to build on their own. (Remember, Google tried to build its own YouTube – Google Video – and it failed to get traction. A service like Twitter is community driven, and Google has never been really great at that part of the media business).

True. However, I’m wondering how well the reasoning fares here. Google did buy Jaiku, just to let it go after doing more or less nothing to it, other than crippling the development and effectually destroying the, in some ways superior, service’s chances to compete with Twitter. So why didn’t they give Jaiku a serious shot then? [Read more…]

UK PR company launches Twitter business resources

It seems the mainstream rush to jump aboard Twitter is everywhere, and while seasoned bloggers and tech geeks have been using the service for years, it’s as well to remember that many individuals and businesses are only just getting their heads around blogging, let alone microblogging.

There’s no shortage of information online about using Twitter, with UK-based PR company Punch Communications one of the latest to set up online resources to help new users get the most out of their tweets. [Read more…]

Is Twitter considering charging business users?

Twitter’s ongoing search for ways to monetise the service and generate an income may include charging corporate users for the privilege of sending out their tweets.

That’s according to co-founder Biz Stone, speaking recently to Marketing magazine. “We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them. We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts,” he said.

A small sample of companies au fait with Twitter gave mixed feedback to the proposal. While LoveFilm said that it would depend on “price, demand and what else is around”, MD of We Are Social, Robin Grant, said that Twitter could charge for display ads or to access customer information for marketing purposes, while the VP of Dell, Bob Pearson, suggested that the company would look elsewhere if things became “complicated and costly”. [Read more…]