Is Talking About Blogging Taking Over My Life?

With The Slugger Awards 2008 happening in Belfast in a few hours, I’ve been wondering… Why this interest in Blogging? Why is it so popular just now?

I had a call last week from an NI Libraries Information Librarian asking whether I’d get involved in the SELB Library events. She’d seen the Welcome to the Blogosphere workshop I’m delivering for QUB’s Open Learning Programme and wondered if I could deliver a few demos on Social Networking and Blogging. I was up for the challenge. We’re starting with two demos and who knows where that might lead? It’s nice to get asked. 🙂

So, why are people, increasingly professional people, interested in blogging? Continue reading “Is Talking About Blogging Taking Over My Life?”

Pay Attention to the Elephant in the Room

I blogged a while ago about Twitter. Then I wasn’t so convinced about its potential as a business tool. However, I’ve seen the light and not only about Twitter.

I’ve been using Facebook for a while, as a way of connecting with friends now scattered to the four corners. Recently though, I discovered that you can use Facebook for creating a page for your business (for free). One of my customers is now a fan of Sensei on Facebook, no doubt others will follow. He will receive updates on all our events in a way that suits him. I’ve received (free) technical advice about how to fix computer problems from both former colleagues and tecchie friends via Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn has now become a useful tool for keeping up to date with former colleagues – even my mum Continue reading “Pay Attention to the Elephant in the Room”

Questions I Get Asked About Getting Business Through Twitter

People are asking me the following questions – an awful lot – so I thought I’d write a blog post to redirect everyone to, when these issues come up again. This blog post is directed at new Twitter users who are tweeting about their occupation or business.

How do I get more followers on Twitter?

  1. You must tweet. If you don’t tweet, people won’t know you exist nor what you do. Don’t expect people to approach you in Twitter. It won’t happen. And, when you click to follow people, some people will be put off if there are months between tweets.
  2. You must interact with others, as described below, under What should I tweet about? Continue reading “Questions I Get Asked About Getting Business Through Twitter”

Despite being fairly active on many social networking sites – for networking and research purposes – I’d never come across until it was recommended to me on Twitter by @mrcush. Thanks Mr Cush from Wolfmarks!

What does it do?

It saves you time posting status updates to various social networking, IM and bookmarking sites and profiles. You post to your central place, and it takes your update and replicates it around the web. There! You can be in eight places at once. And, update lots of profiles, without actually logging in there. The down side is that you have to hand over your username and password to those sites you wish to update. This is a fairly common phenomenon online, so if you’re happy doing that, then…

I’ll be testing it out for a while, to see how it helps. It’s certainly going to save me time, and add a nice little bit of activity to profiles I don’t use so often.

Image credit: Twitter.

How to Avoid a Dull Twitter Profile

A caveat before I begin. So the haters can go elsewhere. I’m addressing people who use Twitter to help raise their profile, and connect with professionals.

Never Have a Blank Avatar

The blank avatar space is filled with a Twitter bird or an egg shape. Neither adds anything to your profile.

  • Add the profile picture you use elsewhere online. This helps people recognise you at conferences, networks, and meetings. It helps break the ice at such gatherings. People can easily approach you with, “Dawn? I recognise you from Twitter.”
  • Alternatively, use a logo. However, people prefer to see a face, as it helps connect the words you tweet with the personality followers will eventually get to know.

Add a URL

If you do not enter a URL in the requested space, those you follow have no way of telling who or what you are.

  • Those who forget names easily may not follow back, or block you.
  • The URL is a clue to how you may have already met in person, or demonstrate a shared interest. This will encourage followers, and is more likely to result in replies to any messages you send.

Complete the Profile

Avoid crypric fragments, that are likely to make sense only to you and a few in the know. This, combined with a missing URL makes you look flaky, weird, or just plain frightening.

  • Instead add a brief list of your main professional roles.
  • Alternatively, add a brief list of interests, skills, or specialisms.

Either tactic will help potential followers determine if you will have anything of interest to say, and encourage the right people to your profile.


Recently, I’ve used JustUnfollow to pare back my Following list. I’m also pretty particular about who follows me. Once a week or fortnight, I peruse the list of recent Followers, and remove anyone who doesn’t abide by the advice I supply above. I’m not interested in engaging with those with no name or interests.

  • Surprisingly, I found that many Followers had a dull Twitter profile. They were mostly removed.
  • A sub-set had an interesting profile, but simply did not tweet. They’re taking up space on my list, so they were removed. First, those who’d not tweeted for 6 months, then those who’d not tweeted for 3.
  • A smaller subset again have a really interesting profile, tweet seldom, but when they do, it’s not about their craft. They’re slowly being removed too.

I like to know who I’m tweeting with. And what they do for a living. And where they’re from. I like to find out more about them, from an online profile, a blog, or a website.

If you don’t supply these basic details, you limiting the amount of people who will follow back, and you limiting the meaningful exchanges you can have online.

What are your thougths?

Social Media Business Breakfast


Twitter, Facebook, blogging, podcasts, social media, online marketing

Ever wanted to know just exactly what this is all about? And, how it could possibly increase the visibility of your business brand? Or, indeed, your sales?

On Wednesday 23rd September, 07:45-10.30, we are holding a Social Media Business Breakfast at Belfast Activity Centre, Malone Road, Belfast.

You’ve heard the hype. What is social media. Why should you bother?

This breakfast session is aimed at those in the beginner stages of adopting these online techniques.

Click here to learn more about this event and book your place. Continue reading “Social Media Business Breakfast”

17 Reasons to Use Facebook

facebookFacebook is a social networking tool. It helps you stay in touch with people you know (whereever they are), keep up to date with colleagues, reacquaint yourself with old friends (such as school friends) and even meet new friends with similar interests in your area or around the world.

If you are interested in finding out more, we are holding a workshop – Social Networking – at QUB, Belfast on Saturday 21 February. To book a place, phone the School of Education (Open Learning) on 028 9097 3539/3323 or email

I am also co-hosting Facebook Fridays (a one-off event) which will take place at Blick Shared Studios, 51 Malone Road on Friday 27 February. To book a place, phone Blick Shared Studios via email

Reasons Why People Might Use Facebook and Other Social Networking Sites Continue reading “17 Reasons to Use Facebook”

Smart + Marketing = Smarketing

OK, here’s the deal. I’ve talked to lots of you at business networking meetings about social media. I’ve mentioned it over coffee with new clients and co-collaborators (as recent as yesterday afternoon – you know who you are!). And, I get the following response. “What’s that?” Invariably. Mentioning words like ‘blog’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘podcast’ or ‘collaboration’ do not enlighten anyone either. Continue reading “Smart + Marketing = Smarketing”