Follow Friday Farce

If you are on Twitter then you cannot miss the endless streams of names that get tweeted and re-tweeted on a Friday with the #FF hashtag.  But how many of you ever click on the names and pay any attention to them?  I have to admit that I now skip over and totally ignore them, and I would guess many of you do too.

Follow Friday Helper

I think the problem is that, rather than being a true recommendation of great people worth following, follow friday has become a habit or a tit for tat thing, especially with people using the Follow Friday Helper app so they can send them out without even thinking.  You can use the app to send individual clarified follow friday recommendations too; but it seems that just too many people take the seemingly easy option.

Also, when you receive a follow friday recommendation, it is polite to thank the sender for mentioning you, but this is often done by a re-tweet where all those names in the list are again repeated.  You have to look really carefully at your stream to see if you are suddenly very popular getting recommended again, or you have just been caught up in the thank you messages as a passenger!

I am not being all bah humbug about follow friday, as Twitter is after all a social media tool and all about making connections with people and sharing those tweeters who you really connect with, but if you give a reason why I should follow someone,  I am far more likely to take a look at that Twitter account and perhaps add them to my own following list.

My ideal type of #FF

And when you say thank you to someone who has included you in a follow friday message – please just thank them personally and remove all the other Twitter names from the list so we don’t all get our feeds clogged with fake follow friday messages.

I would like to thank @PilgrimChris for being the inspiration to this post via his audio boo entitled No More #FF For Me! , and the follow up audio boo #FF – A Clarification.  If you have not come across Audio boo before, it is a mobile and web platform for recording and sharing audio – and can be used like an audio blog.

Guest Blog Posts

How time flies when you are having fun!

Alison at her desk.

The Silicon Bullet Blog is now one month old, and what a month it has been! I have found creating my new blog both interesting and quite addictive. I have to see how many people have looked at the posts every day, and the Google searches used to find it are absolutely fascinating (to me anyway – you are probably yawning already!).

I feel my biggest achievement to date has been being invited by Cath, who looks after the @sageuk twitter account, to do a guest post on the Sage Blog.  I was so pleased to be approached, having only written a handful of my own posts, as Sage has been a big part of my working life for 16 years now – it is good to get the recognition.

So, Cath gave me a subject to work with – “the added value that Business Partners bring to Sage customers; how close you are to your customers, what are the key challenges facing your customers, etc.” and my first guest post was born.

I was then given some hints and tips by Maxine, a moderator on the Uk business forums, for guest posting:

  • Be ready to answer comments and keep checking frequently throughout the day so that the blogger doesn’t have to keep asking you to answer.
  • Don’t leave the promotion of the article up to them alone – see what you can do with sharing in places such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and of course on the business forum.

So if you fancy reading my Sage Guest Blog Post, you can find it here. And please do leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Mobile Tweeting – don’t get caught out

Well, we had a nasty shock at Silicon Bullet yesterday. We moved phone contracts in August from O2 to Orange due to signal problems in our offices, and got lovely Samsung Galaxy S2 phones on contract.

We have a 800Mb monthly download limit, and over the first 3 months this has been more than adequate for our mobile download needs, as we use Wifi wherever available.

Then yesterday a bill for almost £400 plopped onto our mat. Normally the bill is around £70 per month and we are well within our limits.

So the first question is, if Orange monitor our usage (which they do in order to bill us) how can they not even have the courtesy to flag up a sudden jump in usage in a timely way so we don’t get hit with a huge bill? A simple text to flag there may be a problem is all it needs; it can’t be rocket science. Or is this how they make their money?

Secondly, how has our data usage changed in order to suddenly attract this huge bill? The first step was to look at the online data usage to see when the peak times were. They seem to be on occasions when I was driving and not actively using the phone – I can pick this up accurately as I know when the school run is. It must therefore be an app downloading data when the phone is not actively being used.

We have now installed a handy app on our phones which monitors downloads so we can pick out the culprits, and first indications are HootSuite (which I use to monitor my @SiliconBullet twitter account) and Tweetdeck (where I manage @weebly_one – my personal twitter account). These have downloaded huge amounts of data just in the 16 hours since we installed the new App. I fear I may have to give up mobile tweeting if this trend continues. surprisingly the Facebook and Foursquare apps I use have not got such heavy usage at all.

The fact remains though that I have been using Tweetdeck for ages, and it is only this month that we blew our limit out of the water – so we do need to investigate further – I will keep you updated.

The moral of this story is if you have a download limit, then monitor it – the apps for doing this are free, and you can record your monthly allowance in them so you can see what is going on and when you are nearing your limit. It is definitely worth the time and effort to prevent you being hit with a huge bill like we have. Also, encourage your mobile operator to take responsibility; they get enough of our money to be able to manage a system where sudden changes in usage should flag a warning to the end-user while they can still do something about it.