Are your tweets interesting and action-provoking?

The article I published on superperformance.com today is by Michele PW. It’s titled “Twitter – How to Write Tweets That Get Peeps to Take Action.” Michele advises you to write tweets that show your personality, demonstrate your habit of sharing and giving freely, and that entertain.

The way I interpret “entertain” in context in her article is “be interesting.” That got me to thinking: how interesting can you be in the space of 140 characters, including spaces?

The first thing that came to mind was that copywriters and other in marketing have to be interesting within the space of a few words. They generally focus on having interesting and intriguing headlines. Maybe, if you think about a tweet as being quite a bit like an ad headline you can do double duty for yourself: You can practice developing great headlines for your articles and use them as the basis of your tweets.

Since I was thinking about copywriting, I wandered over to the fabulous copyblogger.com to see what might be posted on headlines over there. Naturally, I came up with a fistful of diamonds. After you take a look at Michele’s article, here are some articles you might want to look at on copyblogger:

1. “10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work” — http://www.copyblogger.com/10-sure-fire-headline-formulas-that-work/

2. “The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines” — http://www.copyblogger.com/twitter-headlines/

3. “The Cheater’s Guide to Writing Great Headlines” — http://www.copyblogger.com/the-cheater%E2%80%99s-guide-to-writing-great-headlines/

And, as an added bonus, there’s a great post from copyblogger.com on being interesting: “How to Be Interesting” — http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-be-interesting/

Thoughtwrestling.com had a post that followed up on the copyblogger.com post: “23 More Excellent Ways To Be Interesting (And More Creative)” — http://thoughtwrestling.com/blog/23-ways-interesting-creative/

And InterestingConversationalist.com weighed in with: “How to be Interesting: 27 Tips to Becoming a Remarkable Person” — http://www.interestingconversationalist.com/blog/social-life/156-how-to-be-interesting-27-tips-to-becoming-a-remarkable-person-.html — which is about in-person conversations, but can be re-worked for being interesting in writing.

If all the above doesn’t keep you busy enough in becoming really interesting in print, I might have a few words to say on the subject at some later time. ;- )

Should you or shouldn’t you put your photo on your blog or website?

I have some comments to make on an article I published on superperformance.com a couple of days ago: Michele PW’s advice in “3 Crucial Elements Every Moneymaking Website Must Have.”

One of the elements she suggests — and which many well-known internet marketing advisers also suggest — is that you have a good photo of yourself at various places in your site or blog.

The reasons for using a photo in marketing materials of all kinds are excellent ones. The main reason is that it “humanizes” your business. People feel they get a better idea of what you are like if they can see you. Do you have a kind face? Do you seem friendly? Do you look professional and competent? Studies show that if someone has to select a vendor to call from a handful of business cards, he’ll pick one with a picture on it over others that are beautifully designed and informative. Ads with any kind of photos get more inquiries than text or even text and illustrations and ads with photos of the people involved in the business often outperform the others.

I know that, for example, one of my brothers puts his photo on his business cards as well as on his website and on magnetic advertising panels on the sides and back of his delivery car. It makes a great deal of difference. People even specifically comment to him that the reason they called him was because of the photo.

But there is a serious drawback to putting your photo on the internet. With the erosion of privacy that has occurred and continues to occur as a result of the vast amount of data online, almost anyone can be located fairly easily. Your business address is something you routinely publish, and your home address is something that your state or local government routinely publishes.

If you have a picture of yourself on your site or blog, — or especially if you have one on your business’ page on social networking sites — and someone takes issue with something you publish, he/she can probably track you down at home or work and confront you face to face. Your photo makes it easy to recognize you. You can’t deny your identity to someone who’s seen your pic. And if you are “geotagging” those pics, you are even easier to find. But it isn’t easy for you to recognize possible stalkers or others who might harm you or your family.

Internet safety and security advisers are constantly saying be careful about putting your kids’ photos online on social networking sites. But you also have to think about the security risks to yourself? Are you using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to promote your business and your blog? Do you have photos of yourself on those sites, too?

I’ve seen this debated off and on for many years. Just as an example, it’s been debated among psychologists about how much to publicize about themselves, including showing photos, in marketing materials online and off. (The debate started long before the internet was available.) We’re supposed to keep a professional distance, sure. But more than that, those of us who work as therapists can, say, become targets of irate mates of clients who are in the middle of divorces or parents of children we’ve interviewed in custody battles.

It’s sad that something that should be so easy is actually complicated. But whatever business you’re in online, you may be safer in not showing a photo of yourself. No matter how good it is for marketing.

Just something to think about.

Google+. Wow.

I finally got an invitation to Google+ about a week ago. Yesterday, the beta was opened to the public. So, at least I got a bit of a head start. I’m sorry that I didn’t get the chance to write a review earlier. I’d hoped to jump in with my two cents worth before it became generally available. I just wanted time to explore more of it. I haven’t had a chance to use all the features yet. However, I’m very glad that anyone can join now.

Let me give you the bottom line of my reaction up front: Oh yes. You are going to want this. Even if you don’t think you are interested in social or professional networking, from what you’ve seen elsewhere.

The first thing I noticed was the sheer elegance of the user interface. I haven’t heard the word “elegance” used for a while in relation to the computer matters, but it seemed particularly apt in this case. We used to talk about mathematical solutions and computer code as being “elegant.” By that we meant that it was simpler, more streamlined, and, often, more intuitive, more sensible.

And that is what this service is. Simple. Intuitive. Easy to understand. It just makes sense. Little help or explanation necessary. Although, plenty of help is available. This is what social and professional networking is supposed to be like. And it’s going to work very well for small and large businesses too, as it develops.

Now don’t let what I say give you the wrong impression. It may be simple, easy and intuitive, but this is a very sophisticated piece of work. It offers a number of services in one cloud application and is being integrated very well with other Google apps.

Not only does it offer the usual profile, posts, photo sharing, chat, etc. sections that you would expect, it has some very useful extras that are going to be quite helpful to teachers, students and entrepreneurs.

For example, if you want your socks knocked off, you need to explore the section called “Hangouts.” Not only does Google+ have a video chat feature that allows up to nine users at once, but also is rolling out a form of video conferencing or broadcasting that will allow an unlimited number of participants. Yes, that means you will be able to hold classes and seminars online using this Google+ function. Furthermore, you’ll be able to use screen sharing. And you’ll be able to use a function called sketchpad rather like a chalkboard to draw or doodle for others to see or participate in. If that weren’t enough, you can also collaborate within the video chat on Google docs to write, plan, or present.

Again, despite all the features and sophistication, every part of Google+ is user-friendly and easy to understand.

Remember also that Google+ is still in beta. With current features and the new features being added, not only does this look as if it’s going to be a feature-rich service from the beginning, but also that it is going to be an amazing game-changer in the overall arena of cloud-based services.

I won’t be surprised if this replaces other social and professional networking, blogging and micro-blogging, and various forms of video conferencing, streaming, and presentation. Because it’s an all-in-one-place solution. And did I say easy? (Oh, and it’s going mobile, too.)

If you’ve been turned off by Facebook and others, try this instead. If you’ve been using Facebook and Twitter and others, go here anyway. You’ll find that you can use this easily in addition to the others, and eventually, you’ll probably find yourself moving, along with all your contacts to this platform.

I could be wrong. Google has failed before. But this isn’t some new “bright, shiny object.” It’s not over-hyped. This works for the user. This works wonderfully well for the user. Try it. You’ll like it.

Go get it: https://plus.google.com/