Just changed my Twitter handle from @addisports to @zuriberry.
It’s the end of the Addi-Sports era. Some of you may recall I used to have a website by the same name. And for some of my long-time friends, you’d know that I had a column by the same name as far back as 2003.
What is, or was, Addi-Sports and addisports? Addicted to sports. It was the name of the column I started when I first began writing for my college newspaper almost 8 years ago. As time progressed, it became the name of my blog on this very website. And when I got ambitious, it became its own website and semi-business venture. And then I killed it.
I’d been thinking about changing the name for some time. There was no longer a brand to associate with the name. No more column. No more website. No reason to keep a name while masking my own.
I’m considering breaking the emergency glass right now.
It was a calculated move to make sure I could use either, if I chose to do so any day. That day is coming closer because there is a weird inner sense that I’m not doing my personal branding justice by splitting my name recognition between Addisports and this beautiful Swahili thing I got going on.
It really wasn’t well thought out (or overly thought, depending on the time of day) when I started tweeting. I just kind of rolled with what started a long time ago.
The next Nevada County Tweetup is happening this Thursday at Mateo’s Public in Nevada City. This will be the third tweetup in the area.
Here’s the invite I received from Paul and Vanessa Smith:
In this third installment of NC Tweetups, we’re putting the emphasis on the social rather then the media.
Come join us at the new Matteo’s Public, a friendly, sustainability minded brewpub to meet with friends new and old, and enjoy wine & beer tasting at w/Matt, the owner, plus live music from Kelly Flemming.
Please tweet about this to friends!
Come by to Mateo’s Public, 300 Commercial St. in Nevada City, from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday (8/27/09).
Let me first state that this is a post bred from my personal experiences as a Twitter user in which I have been a spammer (overly posted) and I have been spammed.
As you can see, I am already redefining the word “spammer.”
After going through the phases of an average Twitter user, meaning to say a level of over excitement followed by varying levels of interest and disinterest, I can speak to how much I love and hate Twitter. It really is a love / hate relationship.
In fact, it’s gotten to a point where I no longer allow Tweets to get to my phone unless they are direct messages. There’s just too much crap coming in — even from friends.
Uselessness has, and always will be, the biggest worry about Twitter. The amount of unusable content, in my mind, should not outweigh the amount of “cool” information. It’s why I can’t allow some friends to come through directly to my phone anymore. They are, what would be traditionally called, power users. But 90 percent of what they have to say is in all considerations personal conversations made public.
It’s like hanging around on Texts from Last Night, but everyone in the world gets to see it as it happens. It’s not fun. It’s just annoying after awhile.
In an effort to build up my own Twitter stature, I followed tons of people. A lot I do not know, but many of which are celebrities, journalists, news organizations and folks in the community I thought would be interested in my messages: Slice of life stuff, behind the scenes with public figures and sports content. Sports is still No. 1.
Of those people, it’s becoming harder and harder to boil it down to what’s actually worth paying attention to. An organization like, for example, the Sacramento Bee, makes it difficult for me to want to allow them to text message me in the case of an emergency when they pump out 60 tweets on a big news day. (The Bee shot out 31 in the last 24 hours.) Yes, while I find all of their content valuable, their overuse of Twitter devalues my desire for it.
In contrast, for example, the San Francisco Chronicle has multiple Twitter feeds (like the Bee), but I follow just one in particular, @SFChron_alert. To date, it has published 89 tweets in all. This Twitter feed functions as the breaking news alerts for the Chronicle and does not carry the load that @SFGate carries or any of its other feeds.
What is a power user?
This should be the new definition of a power user: Relevant (subjective to you and I), significant and timely tweets. This kind of information is the bread and butter of the clutter. It’s why I don’t tweet so much. It’s why I think twice about everything I will say, not for fear of saying something stupid — that’s inevitable — but because what I say has to have some value to somebody, somewhere. Sometimes the value is in the conjectured laugh, or it’s key information on what I do. Other times, it’s a look into my personal life, so that I am more personable to those who don’t know me. Whatever it is, I hope, it’s worth reading. I’m still working on being timely, so I don’t even think I’m a power user.
What isn’t a power user?
A power user is not posting more than 20 times a day. I’m not reading all of that, and therefore, I don’t care for all what that person has to say. I’m pretty sure, most people feel the same way about these type of users. And if anything, the average user is constantly trying to figure out how to wade his or her way through the cacophony of crap. It can be deafening and it requires tons of organization (thanks be to Seesmic Desktop for alleviating some of these burdens). But I suspect the patience of the average user is somewhat like mine: After awhile, you just don’t care for any of it and you need to either hack down your followers or limit the ways in which you use Twitter in itself; i.e. no more text messages.
I can’t find a reason to drop Seesmic Desktop. I don’t want to either.
If you are unaware of what Seesmic Desktop is, it is a third-party application to utilize your Twitter and Facebook account. (It’s also one-stop management for multiple twitter feeds.) And in my honest opinion, it’s freakin’ awesome.
The features are pretty simple: The ability to post to your Twitter account (s) / Facebook account, check up on your followers in real time, notifications for replies and direct messages, group follows, shorten URLs (particularly with your bit.ly account for link statistics), and saved searches.
The nuances of the desktop client, which is what I use on both my PC and Mac, is pretty similar to TweetDeck, which is extraordinarily popular. (TweetDeck also has an iPhone application now available.) At one point, I had both on my Mac, trying to determine which I would stick with. I went with Seesmic because it provided an easy way to group the people I’m following.
Here’s the thing: There’s little incentive to give up a program like Seesmic, or Tweetdeck if you’re into it, when the programs perform all the functions you want. Although, there are some good reviews out there that try just to do that. One that I really like is this Mashable review, Tweetdeck vs. Seesmic.
There are other big-time applications out there to utilize Twitter, like Twhirl which are competing to corner the Twitter “power-user” market. How any of this will be monetized is beyond me. Continue reading →
I attended the Nevada County Tweetup (#nctweetup) on Thursday to show my support for Brenda Horton (@brendahorton) and Vanessa Smith’s organizational efforts to get the second Tweetup in Nevada County going.
They pulled a nice crowd of about 25-30 people at BriarPatch Co-op’s community room. I did a lame attempt to live stream some of the speaking, and then ducked out after Vanessa, aka Coach Vanessa, started to take Q&A. I had to get working on a story for the paper.
Machen MacDonald, Smith and her husband Paul Smith (@greensmith) all spoke at the event. The dialogue was very promising all the way up until the point I had to leave.
It’s surprising to see how many people who are interested in just getting to learn how to use the tool. There were many folks in the building who weren’t even signed up for the service. But, obviously, that didn’t deter their interest. Check out the video below I took (using the live stream service Qik.com) from my phone of the crowd:
Before I could call it a night after schmoozing with the Nevada County Twitterati, I had to write a few words on the event for the newspaper.
Broad Street Bistro’s wireless waves surged Wednesday evening as the restaurant hosted Nevada County’s first-ever “tweetup.”
The tweetup, a gathering for social networking enthusiasts, was hosted by KVMR’s See Jane Do radio show crew and The Union. Media consultant and local blogger Marsha Lanier gave participants a 101 course on Twitter and Facebook.
Giovanni Paredes, who runs the weather Web site www.nevadacountyweather.com, said he enjoyed networking with fellow Twitter fans.
“I think it’s important for the community to get together and figure out what we’re doing with social media and how it can help us,” said Paredes, a Nevada City resident. “I think the growth potential is there for businesses and bloggers alike.”
Samantha Steele, who has a startup called Secret Shout based in Nevada City, took the opportunity to learn more about Twitter.
“I came because of curiosity,” Steele said. “I’ve never been to a tweetup and I just started twittering and I love it.”
It appeared, from my estimates, that there were between 50-60 people at one point packing into Broad Street Bistro. (A big thank you to Theresa for keeping the shop open for us.)
I’ve been going through all the photos I’ve seen online from the Tweetup and the various blog posts. I’ll update here with my compilation of thoughts on the event. But if you’re interested, you can search the hash tag #nctweetup for a lot of comments that have already been made.
Related in the Twittersphere
Speaker Marsha Lanier (@marsha_lanier) provides some great photos of the Tweetup on Yfrog. She also did a nifty slideshow which is above.
Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner of the Astana Cycling Team will bring their star power to Nevada City, taking part in the 49th annual Nevada City Classic this Sunday, Armstrong confirmed Tuesday.
Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner and noted cancer survivor, made the announcement on the popular social networking site Twitter, writing: “(Leipheimer), (Horner), and myself are racing the Nevada City Classic next Sunday. A great American race!!!”
News of Armstrong and Leipheimer’s possible participation first surfaced Monday, as race director and Tour of Nevada City Bicycle shop owner Duane Strawser fielded telephone calls and exchanged e-mails with the Astana team manager to work out logistics.
Strawser had been helping the team decide at which airport to land for its chartered flight; the airport remains undetermined.
Since then, questions have streamed into Strawser from regional and national media outlets, wondering whether famous riders will show up.
Leipheimer, who won the Nevada City Classic in 1998 and is the three-time reigning Tour of California champion, helped quell the unrest on Twitter.
“Yes, we, (Armstrong), (Horner) and myself will be racing the American classic Nevada City on Sunday,” Leipheimer wrote. “This is one to come watch, party.
“I’m excited to see Nevada City again, it’s been 11 years since I’ve done it, in the beautiful Sierra Mountains of (Northern California).”
Armstrong’s manager called Strawser early Monday to set up a charter flight into the Nevada County Airport, just east of Grass Valley on Loma Rica Road. The famous cyclist has previously raced in the Nevada City Classic on a number of occasions, finishing second in 1991 to Chris Huber.
“We are excited,” said Cathy Whittlesey, executive manager of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.
She, too, has been fielding endless phone calls about Armstrong and Leipheimer from media and interested residents.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Whittlesey said. “We expect it will draw a lot more people than what we were expecting before. I’ve had people tell us that they weren’t going to come to the race before and are now coming.
“We need this here,” she said. “It’ll bring some life to Nevada City.”
The news brought a smile to local business people.
“It’s good and it creates more of a draw,” Friar Tuck’s bar manager Ernie Hosopple said, reminiscing about Armstrong’s last visit. “And I think it helps with the Tour of California.”
Strawser noted the impact of the stars’ presence will more than likely boost businesses outside the community.
“The problem is, our hotels are already sold out, so outside businesses will benefit,” Strawser said.
“But this is going to be a great test for the Amgen Tour of California. If we can handle this, we can handle a stage for Amgen.”
Nevada City residents who are not accustomed to observing the second-oldest bicycle race on the West Coast are finding themselves drawn in by the star power as well.
“I haven’t really picked up on it before,” said Nevada City resident Douglas Depew. “I guess I’ve been busy or something.”
Thinking about catching Armstrong in live action, Depew said, “You can’t beat that.”
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in The Union.
The best part about being a reporter is getting the scoop on a story.
The worst part about being a reporter is seeing your hot scoop go cold because some other news organization reports the story better and basically takes over your initial hard (or lucky) work.
It’s the life in the news business. You win some, and you lose some.
I think I got lucky yesterday when I received a phone call close to 10 p.m. from Tour of Nevada City owner race director of the Nevada City Classic Duane Strawser. He was just calling me back after I had made some inquires to him about some chamber of commerce issue (which he sits on as the president).
By this time, I had heard a rumor from pretty good source that Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer were possibly racing in the Nevada City Classic, bringing some super star power to the event. I scrapped whatever thought I had about the chamber and asked Strawser what was going on. He provided the confirmation I needed to sound the alert in the newsroom, but that wasn’t satisfying enough. So I took a shot in the dark by sending him at tweet. OK, two tweets. One before I talked to Strawser and one afterward.
Rumor has it that @lancearmstrong is coming to the Tour of Nevada City and the Reno race … can I get a confirmation please?
Rumor somewhat confirmed … @lancearmstrong coming to Nevada City for Tour of Nevada City Classic… apparently, it’s down to logistics
I’m sure this was pretty good theater for whoever was paying attention to me at 10 p.m. on a Monday (1 a.m. for you east coasters), but it was definitely a calculated move to see if Armstrong would actually respond and confirm. I mean, why not try? It’s like I can text him myself and he can choose to respond like some girl I’m trying to date. There’s no sense of failure.
That’s it. One word. That’s all it took to set in motion a hurricane of folks hounding Strawser for interviews, the million or so followers of Armstrong to repeat the rumors and all the while me calling every airport within the vicinity to see where he’s gonna land. Two tweets later from Armstrong and almost 17 hours, he delivers this gem:
What this really shows me is the power of this tool. Just like with the invention of caller ID, Armstrong can pick and choose when to respond to the communication, but you know what, it’s still a direct form of communication. Because of that, I was able to build a whole story about his tweets to race in the classic, as well as Levi’s, for my newspaper. If that’s not Web 2.0 reporting, I don’t know what is.