Linden Lab’s Web-based Teaser Creates “overwhelming influx of day-old avatars” to the Chagrin of Some

Linden Lab launched a beta version of Second Life© in a browser. Naturally, curiosity got the best of me and I had to give it a try. The first question that came to mind was, “How did the sims in the destination selections get into the program?” I suspect they were thrilled to get the chance to showcase their builds, but apparently some look a gift-horse in the mouth.

After trying the viewer, and exploring some destinations I normally wouldn’t have taken the time to search for on my primary account, I decided to create an alt and try out a cool looking role-play sim focused on a more celtic-fantasy theme. After all, who doesn’t like pretty fairy costumes and wings? And who couldn’t use a little escape from reality?

I wasn’t quite ready to commit to what I knew would be a time drain, and quite honestly, some role-play is often like watching a really bad movie in slow motion as “players” seem to painstaking take way too much time crafting their next piece of dialog. But just the same, I joined the Group and thought I might give it a try.

This morning when I logged on to my email I got this message from that Group….

“Due to the overwhelming influx of day-old avatars, we’ve had to put a scripted age restriction in place at the entrance area in the sky. Avatars must now be OVER 30 days old to enter. If you are less than 30 days old but have been getting started here as a player in (name of sim deleted intentionally), please avoid the entrance area in the sky, and use the attached plaza landmark instead, it will bypass the age check. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience – but it will keep our areas more pleasant to roleplay in.”

I was quite shocked. Who participates in a beta test and then restricts the very users you were seeking to attract from entering your simulation? I’d say that’s a bad piece of marketing and a sign that you may be doomed right out of the gate.

Help Wikipedia Remain Ad Free – Donate Today

Wikipedia, recently launched an appeal asking users to donate money to keep the site free; Wikimedia is targeting $16 million of fund-raising over the next two months. A quick post, just to show my support for keeping Wikipedia an ad-free environment. If you’d like to show your support, click the image and donate to this wonder effort.

Cool Social Media Tools to Test Your Reach and Influence

Sometimes it pretty difficult to really get a feel for where you stand in the muck and mire of the social networking arena. It seems like I hear about a new tool every few weeks. This is not to say these tools are all new, just that they didn’t hit my radar when they were launched.

Here’s my short list.

This tool let me look at who I follow but they don’t follow me. I am not deeply offended if someone isn’t following me, I generally find it a challenge to see if I can add enough value to get them to start to follow me. But the cool thing I liked about this was that it also showed me which accounts have been inactive for an extended time, in some cases a year. So, with the click of a button – Unfollow.

This is a cool little tool, which is free but willing to accept donations for their development work. It will graph your tweets per hour, per month and give you a great timeline. You can dig a little deeper by clicking on a month, showing you who you RT, who you @ reply and which interface you use whether the Twitter web-version or some third-party tool.

Klout describes itself as “the standard for influence,” the startup focusing its measurements on assessing people’s Twitter and Facebook influence.

From their site: The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

NOTE: I was rated an Explorer -You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You’re exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you “get it”, we predict you’ll be moving up.

Perhaps one of my all-time favorites is Hubspot‘s Grader site. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop that helps you measure and analyze your marketing efforts. Not only can you measure Twitter and Facebook, but you can get a grade rating on your website, RSS feeds and even Press Releases you write.

If you have a favorite tool, please let me know and I’ll include it in future posts. In the meantime, have fun with it. The object for me is to test, test, test … how to the changes I make in the way I communicate change the influence I have.





Are you looking to build Twitter followers? Caution

Christopher Penn is once of my favorite people to follow in the blogsphere. I also follow him on Twitter. Tonight he posted a fabulous article about “How to build a Twitter audience in 8 steps” that I just had to share.

When you try out Step 4, to test your audience reach, you’ll be amazed. I have been tweeting for almost 3 years now, on 2 accounts, each of which have a relatively small number of followers, that is less than 1000. But my reach was 12,833 people via 30 tweets on one account and 18,081 people via 22 tweets on the other.

So, which is more important when talking to customers about a social media strategy… followers or reach? Both of course, but you just need to realize that while building your followers, you want quality over quantity. I’d rather have 1000 followers who will help me spread my message to 20,000 than 20,000 followers who aren’t paying attention.

Caution with following everyone who follows you

I’m not sure I agree with Step 6. Follow everyone who follows you. I suppose you could, but then you’ll eventually have a mess to clean up. Whenever I get a notification that someone is following me, I go take a look at their tweets and see if they provide value to me in return. I don’t want to clog up my stream and possibly miss something from one of my fav’s like Christopher.

Anyway, I’ll give you the highlights here, but PLEASE go read the original post and then proceed with some amount of caution.

Do you want to grow your audience on Twitter quickly and effectively? Do you want that audience to be people to whom you are perceived as influential? Here’s the recipe to find them.

1. Tweet stuff of value that’s worth sharing. All of this will be useless if you’re posting bullshit. Sorry, but true.

2. Build up your audience of people you know and who like you already. The easiest way to do this? Email your friends and colleagues letting them know about your Twitter account. Ask them to follow you. If you’re active on other networks like Facebook, let them know as well.

3. Keep proving value by doing step 1 over and over again. You cannot skip by these steps or the rest of this recipe will not work for you.

4. After about 30 days of seeding your audience and sharing good stuff, go to and type in your Twitter handle with the @ sign. Here’s an example. If you have access to other social CRM tools like Radian6, JitterJam, etc., feel free to use them for this step instead. Those paid tools will do this step much more effectively, but TweetReach will get you started for free.

5. Find the list of people who have retweeted you to their audiences. Remember, these are the people who think you are so much value that not only do they follow along, but they share with their audiences. There is some likelihood that the people who follow them will have some part of their worldview in common, which means they might have something in common with you as well.

6. Follow everyone who follows them. Ideally start with the people who retweet you the most, because their audiences will have heard about you the most. This is advertising 101: you’re directly contacting people who have been exposed to your brand. Instead of billboards advertising a soft drink, you’re reaching out with considerably greater accuracy to people who have heard about you from someone they follow.

7. Repeat step 1 daily.

8. After you get through the list from steps 5 and 6, wait a couple of weeks while repeating step 1. Once you’ve had a few weeks to get in front of the new friends you’ve probably picked up and proven your value to them, repeat this exercise to see who is new in your audience that’s retweeting you. Begin the exercise over again.