Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Add a Tweetmeme retweet button to your WordPress post

May 29, 2010

[tweetmeme source=LANSystems only_single=false]imagebuttonAdding a Tweetmeme retweet button is a smart idea.  It allows readers to easily retweet your blog post to their Twitter followers.  It is easy to add the button to your WordPress blog using the Shortcode API functions.

The button with 22 tweets / retweet is a static graphic example that shows a button ready to retweet. The button with 2 tweets / tweeted is a static graphic example that has been retweeted from that page.

To use the Tweetmeme retweet button, add the following to your post:

tweetmeme source=Your_Twitter_Account only_single=false

Be sure the statement is between square brackets [ ] so it will be read as a Shortcode.  Also insert the Twitter name that you want the retweet to reference.  It will show as @Your_Twitter_Account after the RT. Some instructions show as “Your_Twitter_Account” or ‘Your_Twitter_Account’ but the single or double quotes are redundant because the function expects a string. If that is confusing, just ignore because it’s not really important to getting your button displayed.

The expression “only_single=false” will make the retweet button show on your main blog page and each individual post.  If you leave this out, the retweet will only show on the individual post page.

You can add this statement on the Visual or HTML page.  Since it is a Shortcode API not HTML code, it will be visible on the Visual page but will not show on your post if the syntex is correct. Correct syntax is always important so make sure to cradle in the square brackets.

If you want to know more about Shortcode API, start with:  If you want to know more about functions is a good start.

If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer just leave a comment or email me at

Promoted Tweets: lead or gold?

May 16, 2010

[tweetmeme source=”LANSystems” only_single=false]Promoted tweets have been with us for such a short time, but already declared a success by Twitter and doomed by the blogosphere.  Virgin America claims its fifth highest sales day for special to Toronto launched by promoted tweets.  But they did have a 50% offer so that could have helped.

In truth, promoted tweets will most likely be a successful venture for Twitter and its business model.  Twitter’s COO tells that the company is under no pressure to make a profit from its investors and that they are focusing on the user experience. So we should see only a modest amount of targeted ads that are high value to the user.  The type and frequency of ads will be a barometer of Twitter’s intent. 

Currently, promoted tweets are on a cost-per-impression pricing model, but that could change if they realize quick success and acceptance by the user community.  Of course the advertisers like it, they are getting great exposure and that means name recognition.  But today’s online user is turned off by ads and has adapted by ignoring them. Persuasion is a powerful tool, but once we realize we are being persuaded – resistance is easier.

Ads that we consider spam are easily blocked, but what about subtleties.  With so much obvious fodder in cyberland, our natural defenses tune them out. But what happens when the laws of persuasion and selective perception marketing are newly applied.  It takes a while for our skills improve so we can ignore the new ad stimulus.  It’s not easy to resist because people desire new possessions.  Our buying impulses are quite predictable because product marketing is successful and profitable especially online.

Twitter can’t make everyone happy with promoted tweets no matter what formula they use. Purists want no advertising on the Internet and advertisers want to be highly visible on successful sites. There is no middle ground.  But Twitter can learn from the mistakes of others and if users don’t like the ads, they’ll tweet about it.

If the number of retweets is any measure of success, the launch of promoted tweets was embraced by the Twitter community.  But changes come quickly in cyberspace, so we’ll observe, analyze and redefine our expectations as Twitter learns the advertising ropes.  It makes for good blogging!

OMG IONO Wa UR Saying!

April 9, 2010

[tweetmeme source=lansystems only_single=false]Every generation has its slang and every industry its acronyms.  Most of these abbreviations are just alphabet soup to outsiders.  But if you are going to join an industry or snoop on your teenagers, you have to learn the lingo. 

12 round blue icons in a communications theme. Each icon is grouped. 6 background colors includedThere are many abbreviations that have multiple meanings.  Take GIS – I learned it as Gas Insulated Substation.  The first time I heard GIS used as meaning Geographic Information System, it was in the context of “we need to update the GIS with the latest maps.”  It didn’t make any sense at all.  At the risk of embarrassing myself and sounding stupid, I asked what does GIS mean? You’d have thought I had two heads.  After that I made a policy that acronyms have to be defined before they are used. I compiled a list of acronyms for our industry and put them in a manual and later and eBook. Not many people want to know what SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) means, but there are some that live for this information! 

As you know, the military is great for acronyms and has some very flowery ones.  Parents have to know what  PAW, POS and P911 mean as well as a host of others that describe what your children are doing.  Scan through the list and I think you will be surprised at the number of text message abbreviations dedicated to specific actions and emotions. 

Will this generation destroy the world with text messaging?  I don’t think so.  Every generation was going to destroy the world because of their reckless abandon and callous disregard for the way society works.  Look rock-n-roll music, mini-shirts, MTV, the Internet and text messaging – each a danger in itself, but here we are.  The analog generation figured it out and I think this millennium generation will too. 

BTW, text abbreviations work for casual communications, but don’t use in business correspondence or resumes.   If you are not hip with the current lingo, look it up before retweeting or repeating.  There are several sites that have deciphered lists.  NetLingo has a good list with tips.

OMG IONO Wa UR Saying! means Oh my gosh, I don’t know what your are saying!

Wait! Before you send that email ….

April 7, 2010

[tweetmeme source=lansystems only_single=false]… go visit your customer or pick up the phone or look over the cubicle to see if anyone’s home.

In this fast-paced, digital, virtual world, we often opt for the electronic message and the virtual experience. There are many amusing stories like the students that text message as they walk past each other at school; parents that are amazed their offspring will answer a text message, but not a phone call; and musing over the abundance of tweets about the cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

At the risk of seeming to be “way back in the 90’s,” opt for the personal interaction and show someone that you really care.  There is nothing like a happy voice or a smiling face to make us feel human.

Time for full disclosure, I read and send many emails – too many emails. I text a little and tweet, but I do enjoy talking on the phone and face-to-face conversations.  Most people do. Being old fashioned, I still send handwritten thank you notes that are often hand addressed.  The other day someone told me how much they appreciated my thoughtfulness.  Wow! It made the writer’s cramp worth it.

Electronic messages are important for getting out information, quick updates and retaining a copy of correspondence. Unless you are sending to someone you know very well, don’t try to be funny through sarcasm.  Many an email war has erupted because humor or sarcasm came across as insulting.

So before you send that email, consider these –

  • Don’t copy the world on your emails.  You know what happens to emails when you are one of many in the distribution list.
  • Don’t forward chain emails or hoaxes.  They just clog up the internet and irritate the recipient.
  • If you want something done, don’t send to more than one person.  If you do, they will all ignore you.
  • Whenever you can, talk to your customer, coworker or employee.  You’ll be surprised how good it feels.
  • Use email, but use it wisely.

 Next time,  text abbreviation primer for the analog generation.

Mary Hester joins as contributor

April 4, 2010

[tweetmeme source=lansystems only_single=false]Mary Hester’s profile on

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