Feb 252014

Twitter is an extremely powerful social media tool used by 241 million people monthly. There's definitely an art to creating interesting and engaging "Tweets".  I'm going to share with you a quick Twitter Tip that quite surprisingly is known by so few people.

twitter tip reply or mention

Twitter tip: Should I use @mention or @reply?

The @Reply

Pop quiz - Who sees this Tweet?

@somecoolmonkey you're like the coolest monkey ever. I sure hope all of my followers follow you!

If you said, "Everyone", well sorry to say that you'd be incorrect. In fact, not even everyone who is following you will see it either.  Why is that? When you start a Tweet with @UserName, Twitter assumes this as being part of having a conversation. Twitter will only shows this tweet to yourself, the @reply name and those who follow you both; that's it. But what if I want everyone to see my tweet to @somecoolmonkey? Consider using an @mention instead.

The @Mention

By contrast the @Mention is not seen by Twitter as being a reply, which means that everyone who is following you plus the person being @mentioned will see your tweet. Simply put, placing the @twittername anywhere that isn't at the beginning changes who sees the Tweet.

How do you compose an @mention?

Literally, you place the @twittername anywhere other than at the beginning.  You can either rewrite your tweet, like this:

"I sure hope all my followers follow you, @somecoolmonkey, you're like the coolest monkey ever!

Or keep your original post in tact, and just precede the starting @ with something as simple as period or even a word(s).

.@somecoolmonkey you're like the coolest monkey ever. I sure hope all of my followers follow you!

Features of an @Mention - Provides direct attention to the @twittername - Not a private message - @mentions are used to start conversations So there you have it.  An @mention and @reply - Two completely different ways to Tweet, Two completely different audiences will see. I hope that you learned something about Twitter from this little Twitter Tip.  Let us know below in the comments, and by sharing it to your friends.

Jan 302014

Date: January 30, 2014

Twitter update for iOS devices

Twitter released a new version of their Twitter for iOS application - updating to version 6.1

twitter icon

This update includes enhancements to (as listed in update note):

  • Click on a Tweet and reply with a photo (Select Gallery icon)
  • Easily mention other users when you Tweet a photo
  • Improvements to the photo cropping and image rotation
  • Various improvements to the photo viewer
  • Users with login verification enabled no longer need temporary passwords to log in to their device
  • When you've read all the latest Tweets, pull to refresh and see recommendations for new content on Twitter.

Update can be downloaded from the iTunes Store.



Dec 192013


Gabitat is a Canadian Software startup that was developed from the growing need for teams to "Get Stuff Done". Teams like the competitive advantage they see with cloud applications for task management, document storage, social networking, and note taking. Sure you could use LinkedIn, or Twitter, even old fashioned email for that task. But what if you needed to share a file from your Google Drive, or Asana, Salesforce, Yammer or other social networks? Then, you still have this  lack of basic collaborative functionality, the ability to communicate with your team effectively.

How things are done today:

Project leader identifies the team of 5, consisting perhaps of some internal and even external people to the organization.

        • Ethan - Team Lead
        • Jane
        • Sally
        • Julie
        • Alain
  • Ethan emails the team.
  • The team all email back.
  • Ethan sends a message to Sally about creating some content.
  • Jane emails Julie about some marketing plan she's creating.
  • Alain emails Ethan to say he's created a brochure
  • Ethan replies to Alain, asking him to send it to the group
  • Alain emails the group with something he attached from his Google Drive
  • Jane emails Alain to offer some changes
  • Alain makes the changes
  • Julie emails Alain to offer some similar and some different changes, 2 are contrary to Jane's opinion.
  • Alain now needs to email the group for suggestions.
  • Emails now bounce around to discuss Alains brochure, and recommended changes.
  • Sally sends Julie a document from Salesforce.
  • Alain adds some changes into Jira - send links out.
  • Ethan sends....

Well, you get the point. Email is not an efficient way to collaborate. Too many opportunities for the communication to breakdown and information to be lost.

That's where Gabitat comes in.

In Gabitat you can connect to all of your social applications, document storage, note taking applications, which include

Task Management

  • Asana

File Storage

  • Box
  • DropBox
  • Google Drive

Social Networking

  • Yammer
  • Salesforce
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Note Taking

  • Evernote

Issue Management

  • Jira
  • Zendesk

And more!

Once connected, you move on to creating your Gabitat - A community where you can share your ideas, organize and share your thoughts, files, and do that thing that is sadly missing, collaborate effectively with your team(s).

Here, Gabitat's President, Dave Wormald, talks about "Grabbing and Gabbing"

As an avid collaboration software user, and a great believer in the power of great communication, Gabitat is going to be a star in the not too distant future. The power of collaboration is irresistible.



Gabitat's clean and easy to use interface is well thought out. With Sandy (Product) and Terry (Engineering) with more than 40 years combined in developing and designing Collaboration software and Michael the former R&D Director for one of the largest ECM companies in the world, it's not too surprising that this product stands out in the crowd.

To learn more and to sign up for your free account, please visit their website. www.gabitat.com

gabitat small




Sep 242013
twitter logo

"I don't get Twitter" is something that I often hear from people. Whether it's the culture, the way people communicate on Twitter, or perhaps other factors that lead to a severe case of the "I don't get it's". I am hoping that I can bestow some fairly common wisdom on you, and help you to feel more at ease with this powerful social resource.

What IS Twitter?

Twitter is a Social Media platform that allows users to post short 140 character posts known as "Tweets" that are posted publicly on the site for others to read and engage. Over the course of the last few years what people "tweet" about has changed, from "What I'm doing" to "what's happening", helping Twitter to evolve into a new real time platform for news and events around the world. The vast majority of people only check their "feeds" a couple of times a week, and that's just fine. Others live and die by it.

Who Uses Twitter?

In September 2013, it was claimed by many sites that Twitter has over 500 million users world wide. So it would be safe to say that theirs a lot of people currently engaged.

Celebs such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Ellen Degeneres.
Political Figures such as U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and many likely from your own home town.
Sports stars including soccer (football) star Kaka, Serena Williams, and Shaq.
News from around the world, BBC (they have many accounts), CNN, Wall Street Journal, and many many more.

Twitter is certainly more than just celebs You can use Twitter to help find more information about plants, or events in your area, find people who share a common interest with you. Want to know what all the racket is going on around the corner, chances are pretty good you can find out.  When something is happening, it's usually found on Twitter.

I'm in, Now What?

So, your task is pretty straight forward. Visit www.twitter.com and sign up. It's that simple.

What should I Tweet about?

Pretty much anything you want. I would suggest that you not tweet about going to the bathroom, or everything you do through the day. Why? 'Cause people likely won't care. Otherwise, you are pretty much free to engage how you see fit. I have put together a short list of 10 of my best types of tweets for you. Check it out and lets get started!

Top 10 Best Types of Tweets

1. Chit Chat - Yes, you can carry on conversations with people on Twitter.  It's quite simple.

  2. Sharing of links you've found.  There are always times when you find something of interest on the internet and want to share it with others. Perhaps it's a recipe or "How to cross-stitch", or some DIY project.  Example Found this great recipe for Tomato Soup http://hellohealthyme.com/2013/04/07/ians-homemade-creamy-tomato-soup/    

3. Promote yourself. Have you created a blog post? Taken a great photo of your dog? Got a promotion at work? Share it!! Example: My dog woofy is such a ham! Check out this picture of him licking the back of his head <insert link or attach image>.


4. Connect People: You have a passion and likely have made some connections. Share and Connect them.  A recent Tweet of mine:

5. Share Opinions: It's simple. Have an opinion on something, tweet it! Example. "I went to see <insert movie name> last night. I was so disappointed in the ending. What did you think?"


6. Share Knowledge: There are often going to be times when you know something about a topic you're reading about. You can jump right in and offer your knowledge. This also adds value to yourself as a "SME" or Subject Matter Expert.  Example: @someaddress I have found that if you add equal parts sugar and water to a pot and warm water, the sugar will dissolve more easily.

7. Share Posts of Others  - Known as a ReTweet or RT.  You may find something that someone else created and you believe others may benefit from. Share it.  All you need to do is to hit the Retweet button.  If you make any changes to the post, it now becomes a MT or Modified ReTweet.

1. Copy and paste the message and name of person sending it to you.

2. Precede it by "RT @" [type "RT", then a space, then a @. It's important that the @ and the name NOT have a space between them]. I.e. it should start out like this: "RT @Username "

8. Give Thanks - One type of post that is most gratifying are the ones where you're thanked, and there are many reasons to thank someone. Examples may be thanking someone for Retweeting (RT) a post of yours. For connecting with them. For providing information or answers you may have been looking for, and so on. Here's an example:


9. Asking for Help.  Maybe you're stuck and can't find a solution to a problem. Chances are pretty good there are SMEs out there who are checking right now to see what's happening. "Does anyone know a way to BBQ pancakes?"


10. Name Dropping.  This one should be fairly obvious. "I'm hanging with @<Name Here> at <place>. What an awesome night!"