My new blog layout

I’m so stoked!  A good friend from Nashville, Kevin Banks gave my blog a much needed ‘extreme makeover’.  I met Kevin when he moved from California to Nashville a few years back.  He and his twin brother, at 21, followed their entrepreneurial dreams and opened a smoothie shop in Franklin called 9fruits.  Great healthy, smoothies if you need a fruit fix rather then some unhealthy coffee or fatty donuts!

Just recently, Kevin followed his next childhood dream and relocated (temporarily…if he doesn’t find himself a kiwi shelia!) to New Zealand to cruise the country and  find part time work to support his travel bug.  So a little side business Kevin has started is “In Color Creative” where he specialises in wordpress web design.  Check out his site here if you need any work done!

I’d love to hear your thoughts my blogs look.  There’s a lot of work from my end that still needs to be done… but it’s happening!  My goal for 2011 is to blog more and to share more life stories… not just my own…   Everyone has a story… and I have the privilege to hear so many that are so encouraging, inspiring and sometimes even challenging.

Overcomers…

If you’re seeing this through my RSS feed or on Facebook please click here to visit my actual blog page!

10 reasons to use twitter app Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a great twitter application that I’ve been using for the past couple of months.  I thought I would share why I use it and why you might find it helpful if you are a twitter user.

1. You can add and manage multiple accounts, including facebook and tweet from them simultaneously.

2. You can shorten URL’s.   Tweeting blog links can often take up most of your 140 character allowance so by using this inbuilt URL shortener you can make the longest URL only 18 characters long and make a lot more sense of the information you’re trying to convey.

3. You can track URL statistics and find out if people are engaging with your twitters and where people are coming to you from.

4. You can schedule twitters to ‘tweet later’.  Very helpful for me when I want to tweet things in country appropriate time-zones!

5. You can tweet files.

6. You can create numerous columns to view direct messages, @responses, twitter lists and searches you might be performing to find people of similar interests…etc.

7. You can view everyone who is following you… see who’s not following you back.  This is great when you have maxed out the number of people you can follow and need to unfollow people who aren’t returning the love!

8. You can view people’s twitter klout and get tips on how you can improve your twittering.

9. You’ll never need to open your twitter account again!

10. One function I would love Hootsuite to add is Geocoding.  The ability to find people tweeting about certain things within a region.  Tweetgrid is the only place I have found so far that does this. (I’m sure there are others!)

Hope that helps your tweeting!  If you are new to twitter or are wondering what the heck it even is you might want to check out some of my previous posts.

Twursday Twitter Tips for a twitter beginner
Twursday Twitter Tips
Twursday Twitter Tips #3

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I got my MOO cards!

I just got my MOO MiniCards! I love them! They came in a recyclable little plastic box – which I love cause when you travel as much as I do cardboard boxed cards get destroyed! That’s so unpro to hand to someone! I also bought a little keyring holder that holds 20 or so cards.

Within the packaging they have cute little messages everywhere… (I’m totally a sucker for this kind of marketing!)

‘Hello, we’re MOO and we love to print…’

Little cards you can give to friends who ask where you got the sick cards from that say, ‘I’d like one of *your* MiniCards! (You haven’t got any? Oh… Umm take this, it should help.) On the back of the card is a 15% off voucher!’ So savvy!

Everything about ordering these cards was great. I had a concern with the way the fonts were going to print so I emailed them. They emailed back quickly and we corresponded a couple of times. Very pro.. very customer service focused… very user friendly… I just used uploaded and used photos I had taken! Just for fun and because I could! So next time you see me ask me for a card… I finally have one! And you can choose what design you want

Thanks Moo!!!

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A tenacious social media entrepreneur


Back in the day when you stumbled across a dream job on offer you would update and print off your resume and dust off your portfolio of accomplishments and submit an application. Hoping and praying you would somehow stand out from the crowd and get a shot at an interview.

Today job applications are looking a bit different for cutting edge social media junkies. Remember the ‘best job in the world’ campaign where 1000′s submitted video ‘resumes’ to try and get sellected for an amazing job on the Great Barrier Reef. What an amazing marketing ploy! Only one person got the job but thousands got educated about this amazing tourist destination amidst a dying tourist economy.

So this past week I’ve been inundated by tweets from a passionate entrepreneur who wants a dream job. This artist, wine and fine foods connoisseur… Avid blogger… Twitterer… Has submitted a video app for an amazing job working with Murphy-Goode Winery in Sonoma County Wine Country. They are looking for someone who really knows how to use Web 2.0 and Facebook and blogs and social media and YouTube and all sorts of good stuff like that — to tell the world about their wines and where they live: the Sonoma County Wine Country. Check it out here! Randy Elrod would nail this job and needs our help getting him there. He’s currently #4 out of like over 900 applications!

So all you need to do…
This is where you come in. Please take 70 seconds to complete these four simple steps:

1. Watch Randy’s very cool video on the Murphy-Goode web site.
2. Enter your email address to vote for Randy.
3. Wait for the verification email and click on the link inside the message body. Note: Your vote will not count until you do this!
4. Tweet or facebook this post (http://bit.ly/yN1X9).

Makes you wonder hey how we all could benefit from using today’s social media to our advantage to promote a new product or cause… anything you’re doing different this year?

Need some legit live counsel on twitter and blogging?

This Thursday I recommend checking out Life Works 2.0 – hosted by Spence Smith and Randy Elrod. I went to one they hosted last December and got a full on brain overload – my notes here. They realise they are teaching a mixed group of people all at different levels on this stuff so they allow alumni to return free! So I went again last Thursday! I would highly recommend sitting in on one of these days or organising for them to come your work place. Both Spence and Randy have a wealth of knowledge and blogging track record.

Below are just a few of the topics they cover…

Blogging
Blogging 101 Where do you start?
Why Blog?
Why Should CEO’s, companies, churches, and artists blog?
Maximizing your brand through blogging
Blogging Content Advanced Blogging The technical side and how to manage it.

Creating Traffic
Driving readers to your blog How to keep readers coming back to your blog Using You Tube and other video outlets
SEO – How to maximize Search Engine Optimization without paying monthly for it.
Why Search Engine Optimization is a must and how it drives traffic.
How To Utilize Google Not Just As A Search Engine-But As A Reputation Management System

Social Networking and Micro Blogging
Using Twitter and FaceBook to build an online community
Social Networking as a marketing tool
Customized social networks
Creating an easy path for your readers to keep up with your daily life.

Next seminar in Franklin, TN is May 15. They are also doing one somewhere in Florida and Seattle. (Maybe Randy and Spence could comment with the details!)

Find out more about Lifeworks 2.0!

Twursday Twitter Tips #3

There are two main pages I would love to bring your attention to this week.

The first is ‘The ultimate guide to everything twitter’ by Webdesigner Depot. I mean it has everything tweetish you can think of! Including definitions of some twitter related words such as:
Tweetard
Someone acting like an idiot on Twitter.

Tweetheart
Another way to refer to friends on Twitter.

They made me laugh

Highly recommend book marking this page its a ‘twitter bible’ pretty much!

Someone this week asked me how to send pics via your phone and twitter. I think the best option is by setting up an account with Twitpic. Sometimes a picture tells a story so much better then a 140 character text. Last weekend I shot out a pic out of my Pavlova and had over 100 hits on it in an hour or two. Everyone knows a good dessert when they see one! So set up the account – save the email to your contact list and send pic via MMS.

For previous twursday twitter posts –
Twursday Twitter Tips for beginners
Twursday Twitter Tips

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Twursday Twitter Tips

Tonight I’m meant to be packing for a tour I am heading out on with Alabaster Box but I thought I would first chip in my latest ‘Thursday Twitter Tips’. If you didn’t catch my first weeks blog post please check out ‘Twursdays Twitter Tips for Beginners’.

Wordle – The above jumble of words is a ‘word cloud’ of this blog. It’s basically a jumble of words that is a visual depiction of user-generated tags, word content in your blog, on your twitter or on a given website. Words vary in size according to their use and are often hyperlinked to words or tags of the same association.

How can this be helpful? For me, it is a visual way to see what I’m babbling on about and I can work out if I’m actually tackling issues that have relevance to ‘Keywords’ I have associated with my blog. I am amused that even though, I am regularly blogging about Alabaster Box… they didn’t even make it into the cloud! Newsboys won hands down… which has me wondering if in this particular cloud generating site if the words are actually associated with traffic generation those keywords regularly get else where. Someone feel free to enlighten me. I have definitely mentioned Alabaster Box more then I have Newsboys on this blog. Using a second word cloud site ‘To Cloud’, Alabaster Box made a much bigger impression…phew!

Twitter pointer – if you are a newby to twitter one thing to remember is when you are chatting about or to someone you know who is on twitter, be sure to refer to their twitter name i.e @aussiejoy. This is really like that persons ‘personal’ tag and allows others following your conversation to get out there and meet (if you call it that!) them by following the link to their twitter page…which can lead them to your blog. Another important reason to have your URL mentioned in your twitter BIO.

Think that’s it from me this week. Must scaddle and pack! Let me know of any awesome sites you are coming across or regularly use. This is all such fascinating stuff and so cool to utilise!

Twursday Twitter Tips for a twitter beginner

I thought I’d write a quick blog about using twitter and some of the sites I use to manage it. This one is a bit of an introduction because so many of my friends are still a bit unsure of what its all about. Check here for an initial blog I wrote about it last year.

1. Setting up twitter - So if you are absolutely new to twitter the first tip would be to sign yourself up for a twitter account. Choose a name that your friends will recognize. And if you want to keep business separate from work I would recommend starting up a second account for business.

Twitter is a mircroblogging platform. So think of it as writing 160 character blogs about life, tips you learn, things your interested in… interesting pages…etc. Remember if you’re not interested in knowing every little detail about someone else… they might not want the same from you. So keep it real and interesting. We don’t need to know EVERY time you go to the ‘loo’!

You also can link to your twitter to your facebook, blog, myspace so its updating your status or feed. You can set this up by going to the ‘settings’ page. I was going to go into great detail about how to set up twitter but Michael Hyatt from Thomas Nelson Publishing has already done it for us in his blog ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter’

You can get twitters to come to or from you phone. My recommendation… DON’T get everyone to your phone. The first night I set it up not really understanding it all… my phone vibrated all night because I had followed an Australian ABC News… who happened to be awake while I was trying to sleep!!! Not a good nights sleep that one! I’d also recommend if it’s possible, assign a ‘silent’ ring tone just to twitters so you read them when you want too rather then having it beeping at you all day demanding immediate attention.

2. Managing Twitter – So there are literally millions of people on twitter chatting about random things… some of interest others totally not. How do you even think of managing all this information… and is there really any point? There are are a number of different platforms you can use to manage your twitter account. One I use is Tweetdeck. It can take the twitter feed and break it down into nice bite sized chunks and arrange them into columns.

Below is a pic of my ‘tweetdeck’. My first column is people I like to watch closely, then I have all my @aussiejoy replies then direct messages. I also have set up columns to watch who’s mentioning the band I work with @alabasterbox in another or any other topic of interest in others. A great read on this on Chris Spagnuolo’s EdgeHopper’s blog

3.Shortening URL’s As you go through your day you might find you want to share great URL via your twitter account. A great way to shorten a URL is by signing up for and using http://bit.ly/. If you’re promoting your great smoothie shop add your URL so people following you actually know where to get it! I’ve used TinyURL before but I really like bit.ly because you can track who actually follows the link to the page you are recommending.

4. Searching Twitter – one of my most favourite twitter applications I am currently using is Tweetgrid. I recommend checking out tweetgrid’s blog page for lots of tips and all the how-to’s. The main thing I like though, is its ability to search a topic of interest within a city. Ie. I could search smoothie near:Franklin TN within:35mi and it will bring up every twitter that mentioned that word within the vicinity. Get your mind around that and the opportunities it brings! See the pic below.

These are just four tips I can get out tonight… before Twursday is over I’ll be back next week with some more. What sites do you find helpful to manage twitter or use it to its potential? Share some here and I may make mention of them next week!

Happy tweeting!

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Twestival: Twittering it up for clean water in Nashville


It’s a twitter thing… Twitter-er’s from over 175 different cities worldwide are hanging out this Thursday, Feb 12, for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water.

I feel like I’m always sharing about some charity or some organisation doing something… and I too agree it can get quite overwhelming how many non-for-profits are sprouting up and wanting support… during the most hard pressing economic season.

Add @twestival to keep posted.

I’ve done a little research on charity: water and they seem real legit guys. You can read about founder Scott Harrison’s story to make your own call.

Details and tickets available from here.
Twestival Nashville
February 12, 2009
5pm-8pm
Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar
411 Broadway

The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money raised from these events will go directly to support charity: water projects.

charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations by funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need.

I love what Scott Harrison’s says

CHARITY:

For me, charity is practical. Sometimes easy, sometimes inconvenient, always necessary. It is the ability to use one’s position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable.

There’s a biblical parable about a man beaten near death by robbers. Stripped naked, lying roadside – people pass him by, but one man stops. He picks him up and bandages his wounds. He puts him on his horse and walks alongside until they reach an inn. Checks him in and throws down his Amex. “Whatever he needs until he gets better.”

Because he could.

The dictionary defines charity as simply the act of voluntarily giving to those in need. The word comes from the latin “caritas,” or simply, love. In Colossians 3, the Bible instructs readers to “put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”

Read Luke 10:30-37

I have people talk to me who are semi wary of all this hype relating to charity and non-for-profits. The major concern I’m hearing about is whether or not once people have access to better qualities of life (stuff we take for granted like clean water and food) do these people have access to the message of Jesus? Maybe maybe not. I have noticed that many of the American charities are actually ‘affiliated’ with ‘Christian’ organisations in Africa like Living Wells International… so yes… often aid is given in conjunction with the gospel.

However… just a thought… was the ‘good Samaritan’ physically told the gospel in this chapter? Do you think that this selfless giving was indeed an act of Jesus’ love that may have saved his physical life and possibly later lead to him inquiring of the true Saviour? Reality is no food or water = death. What’s your thoughts on this… I know I’ve only dabbled lightly…

Also let me know if you’ll join me at Twestival… I need a friend

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