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GE’s PowerOn systems helping utilities to work smarter

GE's ADMS screen

We here at GreenMonk have been researching and writing about the smart grid space for over six years now. It has long been a sector which resisted significant change, but no more.

Several factors have come into play which has ensured that the smart grid we envisioned all those years ago, is now starting to come into being. Some of those factors involve necessary practical first steps such as the rollout of smart meters to homes, other factors would include the huge advances in mobile, big data and analytics technologies which have taken place in the last couple of years.

Then there’s the issue of budgets. More money is definitely starting to be freed up for smart grid investments with revenue from asset management and condition monitoring systems for the power grid projected to grow from $2.1 billion annually in 2014 to $6.9 billion by 2023.

I attended GE’s recent Digital Energy conference in Rotterdam as a speaker, and at this event GE showcased their new PowerOn product set. This is a combined outage, and distribution management system in a singular modular platform. Combining OMS and DMS systems seems to be a new direction for the industry. It remains to be seen if it will become the norm, but it should bring advantages in process efficiency and consequently in productivity.

The application uses newer modern screens (see screens above), with a more intuitive user interface, and a single system database. This combining of systems into a single platform should simplify operations for the system operators, leading to reduced outage times, and a more reliable grid for customers. Repair crews out in the field have access to the system as well, and can update the status of any repairs ongoing. This data can be fed directly into the IVR so customers who are still using telephones can get the latest updates.

In time, as utilities embrace next generation customer service, this information will be fed into customers social channels of choice as well. Then we’ll really start to see the grid get smarter.

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People as Sensors – mining social media for meaningful information

I gave a talk at our recent ThingMonk, Internet of Things conference in London which I titled People as Sensors – mining Social Media for Good. The talk was principally about the many use cases where the firehose that is social media can now be analysed in realtime, and real, meaningful information can be extracted from it.

Feedback on the talk was extremely positive, so I said I’d post the video here.

Here’s the transcript of my talk:

Thanks very much! People As Sensors, it’s the idea of mining social media for useful information.

Obviously we have heard about the difference between data and information this morning, so we are just going to power through a little bit about that.

This slide deck is already up on SlideShare, so anyone wants to have a look at it, it’s there. I have my notes published, my notes for the slides published with the slides on SlideShare, so if you want to download it, you will get the notes there as well.

So mobile data; every one of us has got one of these little devices, and it’s publishing, not just the information that we publish ourselves, but also a lot of other information as well.

And this was brought home to us in 2009 very clearly when a german politician called Malte Spitz sued Deutsche Telecom because of the data retention laws in Germany that had just been legislated and he asked them for his data, he wanted the six months of data that they had on retention for him.

Can I get a show of hands here for anyone who has not heard the story already? Okay, a good few people haven’t.

So I will just break out of the presentation for a second, because — if I can; apparently it doesn’t want to. Okay, I will just — no, it doesn’t want to. What he did was he published the information in ZEIT ONLINE, and the link is at the bottom there, and all these screens that I have, all these slides that I have, they have a link at the bottom, it’s a clickable link; it’s a clickable link in the PDF on the SlideShare as well, so you can go and you can view this data.

There is a Play bottom in the bottom left there. You can hit Play on that button on the site and you can go through the six months of his life and it plays where he goes.

So when he gets on the train, the little dot there moves along the map, so you can see where he was for almost all the time of that six months. It lights up a little mobile phone icon when he is on the phone, when he is making a phone call or sending texts.

You can see where he sleeps, you can see when he sleeps, you can see when he gets up, it’s all there, and it’s all beautifully visualized. And when you see something as stark as that you suddenly realize, Jesus, we are really publishing a lot of information, aren’t we?

And it’s not just that kind of information; we are publishing a load of stuff in social medial as well. So you just take a quick look at some of the numbers in social media and you realize how big it is. Facebook have announced now that they have got 1.2 billion users and the latest numbers that they published in August, they talk about 4.5 billion likes per month, 4.75 billion items published — oh no, that’s per day. 4.5 billion likes per day, 4.75 billion items published per day, and I have forgotten how many billion photographs. It’s just insane.

Twitter, this is a typical diurnal graph of Twitter tweets per second. So you are starting at kind of midnight on the left, you are going across through the morning. It peaks at around — okay, over there it peaks at around 8,000, a little over 8,000, dips again mid-afternoon, picks up, and then drops off at nighttime. That’s daily.

The average number of tweets they say it’s around 6,000 tweets per second, and this is tweets per day over a 365 day period. You can see 400,000 going up to around 600,000 tweets per day now.

And Twitter are actually selling this data. They announced in their filing for the IPO that they have made about 47.5 million, which is quite modest I would have thought, selling direct access to their data. So people who buy their data from them house their servers in the same complex as the Twitter servers and get direct access to all the tweets that have been published instantaneously so they can mine it there and then.

So it’s not just Twitter, it’s not just Facebook, you have got Google+ talking about 500 million users, 300 million in the stream.

Sina Weibo; we are talking about 500 million users and growing. And you have got other networks as well; Waze, which was recently bought by Google, is a GPS application, which is great, but it’s a community one as well. So you go in and you join it and you publish where you are, you plot routes.

If there are accidents on route, or if there is police checkpoints on route, or speed cameras, or hazards, you can click to publish those as well. It’s a very simple interface, so that it doesn’t interfere with your driving, or it’s minimal interference with your driving. And I will come back to why that’s interesting in a few minutes.

And I am rushing through this because I have got 50 something slides and James wants me to do it in 15 minutes. So here are some of the use cases from all that data, and there are some nice ones out there. A lot of you are probably familiar with this one; it’s the UK snow meteorology example. It was one that was put up a couple of years back and it has been used every year every time there is snow in the UK.

There is a little dash of snow over London there in this screenshot, because there wasn’t one when I went to the site, so I tweeted about it, and got a bit of snow to fall on EC 2 there.

Utility companies are starting to use social media increasingly for outage management. So GE have got this Grid Insight Application, and what they do is if a utility company has an outage in their area, they can look for mentions of the outage on social media channels. And in this picture here you see someone has tweeted a photograph of a tree, which is after taking down an electricity line, so not they have a good idea of what the issue is.

This is in real time. So instead of having to send out an investigatory truck roll, they just send out the vegetation truck roll, and that cuts down massively on the time to get the outage fixed and get people back live again.

And this is another one, you can see here there is a fire in the substation, and it’s right beside a road, and you can see a cluster of Twitter — maybe not, you would have to look closely, but those are the blue dots there, those are little clusters of tweets and Facebook posts, and you have got a Facebook video posted of the fire in the substation.

Other things; the United Nations Development Project are analyzing in real time social media. This is the project they ran to analyze social media, because they want to know when there are likely risks to their people on the ground.

This is one they did in Georgia around the time of the upset between Georgia and South Ossetia in 2008-2009. So they looked at the mentions there and they graphed it versus when the trouble actually happened. So now they are building a model so they can call their people and say, okay, look, it has gotten to the point where it’s getting risky for you guys to be in there, we need to get you out now.

Automotive; the automotive industry are starting to use this. There was an application developed by the Pamplin College in University of Virginia Tech where they started mining social media for mentions of particular, what they call, smoke terms. These were terms which are important for the automobile industry and so they can identify quickly when faults come in cars.

This is a much faster way of reporting faults back to the manufacturer rather than going back up to the dealer network, which can take weeks and months. If they are getting it directly from the consumers, they get it faster, they do the recall faster, and you have got safety issues there, you are saving people’s lives. Plus, you are also having to recall fewer cars because few of them have been sold by the time the issue comes to life.

In the finance industry; this is a paper that was published. It was published in, I think it was 2009, and it said that Twitter can predict the stock market with 87% accuracy, and again, the link is at the bottom, you can click through and read the paper.

So on the back of that this UK crowd called Derwent Capital Management licensed the technology and set up a fund, and it has now become Cayman Atlantic, and they are doing quite well apparently. And there are several other companies who are doing similar now as well, using Twitter to predict the stock market.

In law enforcement social media is huge, it’s absolutely huge. A lot of the police forces now are actively mining Facebook and Twitter for different things. Like some of them are doing it for gang structures, using people’s social graph to determine gang structures. They also do it for alibis. All my tweets are geo-stamped, or almost all, I turned it off this morning because I was running out of battery, but almost all my tweets are geo-stamped. So that’s a nice alibi for me if I am not doing anything wrong.

But similarly, it’s a way for authorities to know where you were if there is an issue that you might be involved in, or not. So that’s one.

They also use it for interacting with people. They set up fake profiles and interact with suspects as well and try and get them to admit and all that kind of stuff.

I have a few extra slides hidden here, because James asked me to crunch this down. If you do download it, you will get all the sides there, and they are some very interesting ones. If you have an interest in the law enforcement angle, there are some great case studies that you can look into there.

Obviously the law enforcement one is one you have got to be very careful of, because you have issues there around the whole Minority Report and Precrime, and it’s more of a dodgy one than many of the other ones I have been talking about.

Smart cities; we heard people talking about smart cities this morning. This is the City of Boston and they have got their citizens connect to application, and that allows people with a smartphone, and it’s agnostic; it can be Android, iOS, I am not sure if they do BlackBerry, but Android and iOS are covered anyway. You can report potholes, street lights, graffiti, sidewalk patches, whatever those are, and damage signs and others.

You get reports back when you report something to the City of Boston, and a couple of other cities are rolling these out as well, but in this particular one, when you report an issue to the City of Boston, you get a communication back from the city telling you who is assigned to fix that particular item you have reported. And then that person contacts you to say when they have done it, and often they will photograph it and you get a photograph of the item you have reported having been fixed by the named person who has done it. So very smart.

Healthcare; healthcare is a big one as well. You are probably familiar with Google Trends and Google Flu Trends, so Google Flu Trends, they take the search data to predict when there are likely flu outbreaks.

Well, they went a step further and they funded this paper, which was published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and what they did was they looked at the data, the social media data for mentions of cholera and cholera symptoms in Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake there. And they found that the mentions of cholera and cholera symptoms on social media tracked exactly with the governmental data, so it was an exact match. The only difference being it was two weeks ahead of the government data.

So you can imagine two weeks on a cholera outbreak, the number of lives you could save, so really important stuff.

There is also this fantastic application which was called Asthmapolis and is now called Propeller Health. And what that is, it’s a little device that sits on top of an inhaler, so when you give a puff on your inhaler, it reports it with GPS and timestamp.

So when you go to your doctor, your doctor then can see a map of where and when you puffed on your inhaler, and you get to see it as well. So you start to see patterns in when you used your inhaler.

So you might say every time I visit my friend’s house, I use the inhaler more. They are a smoker. Okay, so now I need to be aware.

Or every time I am on my way to work, when I pass this particular place I use the inhaler, maybe I should take a different route.

But it goes a step beyond that as well. They have gotten the City of Louisville, in Kentucky to roll this out to all their asthma people. And they have a particular issue with pollution in Louisville, because there is a 13 year lifespan difference in people’s expected lifespan depending on where they live in Louisville.

So you live in one place, you live 13 years less than your neighbors. So they are using this application to try and help them identify and to try and help them clean up the City of Louisville, so a really interesting application there.

In CRM, Customer Relationship Management, it was T-Mobile in the U.S. who went through the millions of customer records they had, they went through their billing records, they went through mentions in social media. They had, I think it was 33 million customers, and they were losing customers all over the place.

When they started analyzing the social media mentions, matched it up with the billing records, etcetera, and they started taking preventative action for people they identified as likely to defect, they halved their defections in three months.

So they cut down on their customer defections, in three months they cut them down by 50%. Amazing!

Brand management; a couple of years ago Nestlé got Greenpeace. They were sourcing palm oil for making their confectionary from unsustainable sources, from — Sinar Mas was the name of the company and they were deforesting Indonesia to make the palm oil.

So Greenpeace put up a very effective viral video campaign to highlight this, and this actually had an impact on Nestlé’s stock price, short-term, small impact, but it had an impact on their stock price, as well as the reputational issues.

Nestlé put in place a Digital Acceleration Team who monitor very closely now mentions of Nestlé online and as a result of that this year, for the first time ever, Nestlé are in the top ten companies in the world in the Reputation Institute’s Repute Track Metric. So they are now considered globally as one of the more reputable industries, at least partly as a result of this.

In transportation; I mentioned Waze earlier. So Google Maps have now started to incorporate data from Waze. So right here you can see a screenshot of someone’s Google Maps and it’s highlighting that there was an accident reported on this particular road via Waze, via the Waze App. So that’s really impressive, you are on your Google Maps and now you are notified ahead of time that there has been an accident up the road, you have a chance to reroute.

Also in transportation, this is a lovely little example; Orange in the Ivory Coast, they took, I think it was — I have it noted here somewhere, 5 million Orange users, 2.5 billion anonymized records from their data.

Anonymized released it and said, okay, let’s see what you can do with this anonymized data from our customers. There is a competition. The best use was where they remapped the country’s public transport because they could see looking at people’s mobile phone records where people were going during the day.

So they said, okay, people are going from here to here, but our bus route goes from here to here, to here, to here, let’s redraw the bus route this way where people actually want to go. Simple! Beautiful application of data, the data that we all published all the time, to make people’s lives easier. They reckon they saved the first 10% of people’s commute times.

Looking ahead, and I am wrapping up here James, wherever he is, you have got things like Google Glass, which will now be publishing people’s data as well.

You have got this thing called Instabeat, and what it is, it’s like Google Glass for swimmers. So it has got a little display inside people’s goggles as they are swimming, so they can see how fast their heart rate is; they can see several of the kind of things that you want when you are a competitive swimmer and you are trying to up your game.

And you have got all the usual stuff that we are all aware of, the Jawbones and all these other things that people are using to track their fitness.

More and more we are being quantified, we are generating more and more data, and it’s going to be really interesting to see the applications that come from this data.

So the conclusion from all of this very quickly, data and the data sources are increasing exponentially, let’s go hack that data for good.

Thank you!

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SAP for Utilities event 2013 was all about utility customer communications

Huntington Beach

GreenMonk attended the North American SAP for Utilities event in Huntington Beach California last week. The theme of this year’s event was Designing the Modern Utility. This was our fifth time attending the event, and for the first time we saw a significant focus on the voice/opinion of the customer (although in fairness, we didn’t attend the event in 2012).

Utility companies, as we have said many times in the past, have a very poor record with customer communications. Typically, the only times you hear from a utility company is when they are sending a bill, a disconnection warning, or notice of a rate increase. None of these are very positive interactions. It is no surprise then that in an age of increasing customer importance, trust in utility companies is the lowest level it has been in years.

It is hardly surprising though. Many utilities are coming from a situation where they are, or until recently have been, regional monopolies. Their customers had no choice of supplier, and so the utilities didn’t feel a need to listen to their customers views. Furthermore, utilities are, by their nature, extremely conservative organisations. They need to be, given they are handling such necessities as water, gas and electricity. So any change in their attitude to customer communications will happen slowly.

Change, it would appear, is very much underway now in the utilities industry. Jane Arnold from City of San Diego Public Utilities, San Diego’s water utility, gave a talk entitled Putting the “E” in Customer Engagement. Kevin Jackson from Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OGE) discussed in his talk how OGE have rolled out 800,000 smart meters and are using these to provide their customers with access to realtime energy consumption information. They hope that by providing customers with this information, and by rolling out time of use billing to defer the need to build a new power plant in 2020.

And Tracy Kirk from New Jersey’s Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSEG) talked about how PSEG started to use Twitter to begin a two way conversation with its customers. Then it was hit with Hurricane Sandy, and Tracy outlined how Twitter helped PSEG to manage its customers expectations and reduce frustrations associated with the hurricane’s damage to its infrastructure.

There was even a keynote from Julie Albright, a research scientist at the University of Southern California, on the topic of the Social Utility, strongly echoing the closing keynote GreenMonk gave at the same event in San Antonio in 2011 on the topic of Potent Social Media strategies for Utilities.

Even the conversations in the corridors referred to the need for increased customer communications, far more than at any previous SAP for Utilities event.

Utilities are starting to realise the necessity of improved customer communications, and this can only be a good thing.

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Sustainability, social media and big data

The term Big Data is becoming the buzz word du jour in IT these days popping up everywhere, but with good reason – more and more data is being collected, curated and analysed today, than ever before.

Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter announced last week that Twitter is now publishing 500 million tweets per day. Not alone is Twitter publishing them though, it is organising them and storing them in perpetuity. That’s a lot of storage, and 500 million tweets per day (and rising) is big data, no doubt.

And Facebook similarly announced that 2.5 billion content items are shared per day on its platform, and it records 2.7 billion Likes per day. Now that’s big data.

But for really big data, it is hard to beat the fact that CERN’s Large Hadron Collider creates 1 petabyte of information every second!

And this has what to do with Sustainability, I hear you ask.

Well, it is all about the information you can extract from that data – and there are some fascinating use cases starting to emerge.

A study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene found that Twitter was as accurate as official sources in tracking the cholera epidemic in Haiti in the wake of the deadly earthquake there. The big difference between Twitter as a predictor of this epidemic and the official sources is that Twitter was 2 weeks faster at predicting it. There’s a lot of good that can be done in crisis situations with a two week head start.

Another fascinating use case I came across is using social media as an early predictor of faults in automobiles. A social media monitoring tool developed by Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business can provide car makers with an efficient way to discover and classify vehicle defects. Again, although at early stages of development yet, it shows promising results, and anything which can improve the safety of automobiles can have a very large impact (no pun!).

GE's Grid IQ Insight social media monitoring tool

GE have come up with another fascinating way to mine big data for good. Their Grid IQ Insight tool, slated for release next year, can mine social media for mentions of electrical outages. When those posts are geotagged (as many social media posts now are), utilities using Grid IQ Insight can get an early notification of an outage in its area. Clusters of mentions can help with confirmation and localisation. Photos or videos added of trees down, or (as in this photo) of a fire in a substation can help the utility decide which personnel and equipment to add to the truckroll to repair the fault. Speeding up the repair process and getting customers back on a working electricity grid once again can be critical in an age where so many of our devices rely on electricity to operate.

Finally, many companies are now using products like Radian6 (now re-branded as Salesforce Marketing Cloud) to actively monitor social media for mentions of their brand, so they can respond in a timely manner. Gatorade in the video above is one good example. So too are Dell. Dell have a Social Media Listening Command Centre which is staffed by 70 employees who listen for and respond to mentions of Dell products 24 hours a day in 11 languages (English, plus Japanese, Chinese, Portugese, Spanish, French, German, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Korean). The sustainability angle of this story is that Dell took their learnings from setting up this command centre and used them to help the American Red Cross set up a similar command centre. Dell also contributed funding and equipment to help get his off the ground.

No doubt the Command Centre is proving itself invaluable to the American Red Cross this week mining big data to help people in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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Potent Social Media Strategies for Utilities

I gave the closing keynote at the SAP for Utilities conference in San Antonio recently. I requested a video of my presentation, and I had it transcribed so I could post it here.

Good afternoon everyone. I?m painfully aware that I am the last thing standing between you and wine tasting, so I?ll try and keep this brief. I have 66 slides to get through in my presentation, so I?ll rip through them reasonably quickly and I don?t think there will be time for Q&A at the end but I?ll be at the wine tasting, so do please feel free to come up and ask me any questions.

Also my details are here. This is my best Steve Jobs? impression. You can see there my job title, my email address, my blog, my twitter accounts, my mobile phone although it?s over there at the movement, so no point in calling it right now and my SlideShare. SlideShare, if you are not familiar with it, is a site into which you can upload presentations and people can see them online at that site. I have uploaded this presentation to that site an hour ago and it?s already been seen over 200 times. So, you are the last guys to see it, sorry about that.

So, that?s me. Quick show of hands here, to see who you guys are. How many people in the room here work for utility company, okay. Good number of people. How many people here work for an organization that has an active social media account, be it a Twitter, Facebook? Reasonable number again, okay. How many people here work for an organization that actively blocks some of their employees from seeing social media? Quite a number as well, okay, interesting. Good that gives me a good idea of where to pitch the conversation.

So, I am going to run a video for you after this right, power of social media, if anyone doubts the power of social media, you might want to have a conversation with this chap, this is Hosni Mubarak former President of Egypt for 30 years, now behind bars, largely overthrown with a lot of organization done online using Facebook and Twitter. He is now being charged with corruption and murder, so, an interesting case study in the power social media.

So, I am going to run this video and it?s a video which gives you an idea of some of the things that are happening in social media at the moment. Some of the data points in it, and there are a lot of data points in it, so don?t try and take them all and just try and let it flow over you. Some of the data points in it are little dated to this point, the video was made about six months ago and so keep that in mind, things keep moving on at an incredible pace in this industry. So, here we go, I said here we go.

[Video Presentation - 00:02:45 - 00:07:02]

Okay, that?s my presentation thanks very much, kidding. So one thing I should about this slide, because I said it?s available on SlideShare, underneath each of the images, you?ll see a little bit of text there, it?s hard to read from here, it?s not meant to be read from here, it?s actually a clickable link, so if you do download the slide and I think Stephen maybe making it available as well through The Eventful Group site. Those links are clickable, so you?ll be able to go and find those videos and photographs and anything else that?s on the presentation.

So, that?s? all very good social media cures cancer all that good stuff, what does that mean for utility companies? Well, utility companies have a number of challenges facing them at the moment, they have a lot of challenges facing them at the moment, but there is a number of them in particular that I have identified that I think social media will be able to help with.

One of the things utility companies have is an aging workforce. The US department — the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has said that in the next 30 to, sorry in the next ten years, 30 to 40% of the utility workers are going to retire.

Now I was talking to Dave Fortis sorry Dave Legge sorry I am getting confused here, Dave Legge of FortisBC the other night and he told me that in his organization, that?s 50% in the next five years. So somewhere between 30 to 50% of employees are going to retire in the next five to 10 years from utility companies, that?s a massive loss of knowledge right there. It?s also a huge — it?s a huge challenge in the recruitment and retention area. Some of these things social media will be able to help with.

Utility companies have an image issue. They are thought of as at best boring by their customers and in some cases they have a bit of a credibility deficit. Consumers often are a bit wary of trusting utility companies when they say, we?d like you to use less power. They are facing, utility companies are facing increasing demands for energy at a time of dwindling supply and they are also facing increasing demands for things like customer service, for environmental footprint reduction and other things like that.

So, how can social media help? Well in the recruitment sphere, a very obvious one is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a phenomenal channel for recruitment and one of the key aspects of LinkedIn that a lot of people may overlook is the groups? functionality in LinkedIn. This is the energy and utilities network, it?s a very, it?s a thriving community in there and for utility companies it?s a good place to go to kind of push out your brand, be knowledgeable, exchange information, get people on board and be seen as a company that?s plugged into social media and is willing to give away information that way your company?s brand is out there and it seem to be more social media savvy.

In terms of Retention, we saw a number of people in the room put their hands up and asked how many companies block social media, it?s a big mistake. Again, in a conversation with Dave from Fortis, he gave me a story of an interview situation where a young graduate was in an interview and there came time for the graduate to ask questions to the Interview Board, and he said, ?What?s your company?s policy on social media?? And the company said, ?Well, we block it. We don?t allow employees access to social media,? and his response was, ?Alright, thanks very much for your time,? and he walked out.

Now, that may well be an apocryphal story, but its indicative of a mentality in graduates who are now in university or who have recently left university they?re used to these tools, they use this tools all the time for information dissemination and for information collection. You bring them into your organization and you?ll need to, because you are losing a lot of people at the other end, you bring them into your organization and you have social media sites blocked, it?s like putting a rotary dial phone on their desk with a padlock on the dial.

So, another challenge social media can help with as I said is around image and the fact that utility companies were often perceived as boring. Another company that had this kind of stay and tired image was a company called Old Spice that makes men?s cologne and bath products and things like that. And they decided last year that they were to go on a bit of social media spree and rebrand themselves, will not rebrand but spruce up their image a bit. So they ran a serious of ads on YouTube and this one of them I?ll just run it for you.

[Video Presentation - 00:12:09 - 00:12:40]

This campaign went completely viral because that?s such a good add and then a ran a serious of follow up adds in fact they ran a 24 hour series of adds where people could submit questions on Twitter, and that actor would reply to the questions in a similar format. It went wild, it went ballistic, the ad itself has currently had about 36 million views on Twitter just that one ad, not all the other ads just that one ad, the other ads have lots of views as well. That?s cool, that?s great, but even more importantly Old Spice sale is increased 100% in the month following that campaign, and a year later they?re still up 50%.

The brand, the Old Spice brand has become sexy and cool and with a guy like that it?s obviously it?s going to be sexy, but it has become cool and hip and trendy.

I mentioned knowledge management and lot of knowledge walking out the door with the elder generation as they start to retire. Well, your not going to be able to suck the information out of their heads, not with an a device like this anyway, but what you can do, is you can start rolling out some social media platforms because the old knowledge management techniques never really ran so well, but when you make more interesting for people for people they start becoming more willing to share the information.

Now you don?t really want to be having the pointy haired bus type blogger on board, that one never goes down that well, but what you want to do is you want as you want to role as for example an internal blogging scheme, don?t bother trying to read that, it?s just an example, a screen shot of an internal blog at IBM. The blogger there is guy called Luis Benitez. One of the things to notice is, you see the little red circle up there, I?ve got that circling a way of recommending the blog post, if you are on the internal IBM blog and you read that blog and you go, ?that?s a good blog post, I got a lot out of that?. You can click on that little green button and it gets an extra star.

So it?s a rating mechanism for a blog posts on that internal platform, the IBM internal blog platform. IBM has got 18,000 blogs on their internal blog platform, 18,000 individual blogs and that?s a huge sea of information. And as people blog and I say put up posts they?re either recommended if they?re good or they?re not and they get lost if not good. You can see as well they?re on this platform on the right hand side, you?ve got similar blogs listed, so this is the one you find particularly, interesting you see similar bloggers there and that?s automatically generated based from the content.

On the left hand side you got a what?s called tag cloud, clicking an any of those words from the tag cloud get?s you related content. So, it?s an incredible way of getting information spread out through the organization and collate it back in again. And as I say there is 18,000 of them there, this other blog, it?s a friend of mine, a guy called Andy Piper. Andy Piper celebrating in this blog post his sixth anniversary as an internal blogger on the IBM blogging platform, so he he?s been out there six years, in fact the blogging platform, the internal blogging platform IBM has, has been going strong for eight years now.

So IBM have this stuff mastered and they?re not the only ones there is lots of other companies doing, but it?s a great way of capturing information and sharing it throughout the organization. You don?t have to just stick with blogs, you want to be taking a broad approach to this.

This is a screen shot of Wikipedia and just happens to be the SAP Wikipedia page, but the circle up there is circle you don?t bother trying to read it as far way I know and small but the circle there is circling the edit button, you might not have noticed it, but on every single Wikipedia page there is an edit button and this means you can click on the edit button and change the content of the page and that?s what makes Wikipedia so powerful, anyone can change the content of any page and the size.

So if you know something is wrong on the page you can go and correct it. And, an example of this for me that was really interesting was a few years ago when I was living in Ireland, I was working in the kitchen at home on my laptop and I had the radio on in the background. And it was around the time of the Papal enclave; they were electing a new Pope. And the radio was on I was listening to music and the next minute the news broke into the programming and said the Cardinals are out on the balcony in Saint Peter?s Square, we think they?re going to make an announcement.

And the next minute the voices start coming over speaking Latin, no idea what they were saying, but I heard the word Ratzinger, and I recognized he had been mentioned in a couple of previous news broadcasts as Cardinal Ratzinger, a German Cardinal who was up for the papacy. So I immediately pulled up Wikipedia, type in Ratzinger and I?m redirected straightway in real time before the Latin has finished to the webpage on Wikipedia of a Pope Benedict, whatever number he is. I started reading down through it and I see a section in it about alleged Nazi links in his youth and I call my wife over to look at and said, look at this and I refreshed the page and it?s gone. It?s been edited out, it turns out it wasn?t true what have been said there.

So it happens in real time, stuff is corrected. If you go in and you make a change on that SAP page or any page in there and it?s factually incorrect, the chances are within minutes it will be edited back out.

PBworks is a company that provides a hosted wiki for you, so I was using that when I based in an organization called it@Cork really good, there is a number of other ones I will show up in a second, I just happen to use this one, its hosted Wiki. What we use to do with that one in the organization was used to have weekly board meetings and whoever was taking the minutes would plug in their laptop to the data projector and they take the minutes and will be displayed upon screen for everyone who is in the meeting to see.

So everyone was watching the minutes as they were being taken and if people were given an assignment or signed up to do something, that was noted in minutes and their initials put beside it. And during the following week, they would go in themselves and update the wiki page on how they were getting on with their assignment. So that the following week, when everyone came to the meeting, everyone had already read the minutes of the previous one and the updates to it and then the next meeting happened everyone was on the same page, everyone saw that minutes for that meeting, so everyone saw and everyone signed off on the task that have been assigned and everyone saw in real time how they?re being updated, that?s just one used case for a Wiki, but is a really good one, it saves a lot of e-mails for example.

PBworks are one company that provide them, another one is Socialtext, another one is MindTouch they?re all good, I?m not going to recommend anyone above the other, they all provide the same kind of functionality.

If people are not into writing, maybe some people are better at speaking than writing, put up a video blogging platform for them or go around with the camera and just start interviewing people, asking them what they are doing and put up on a central site, or put up an YouTube and have it for internal viewing only if that?s what you want or let everyone see it, why not?

Well, they?re kind of communications platforms, and sharing and collaboration platforms are available, are ones like Salesforce?s chatter.com which allows you internally to have a kind of a Facebook and a collaborative Facebooking application internally. You can invite customers in as well if you want or not, but it can be internal or internal and external. You get similar functionality from things like Huddle and this is SAP?s StreamWork application, which is reasonably similar as well, and this is Rypple. Rypple is a performance management application, which is collaborative and sharing and it?s open and transparent and everyone sees. So it?s another one of these applications.

The point about these applications is these are the kinds of applications that people are using in college at the moment, and these are the kinds of application and the kinds of functionality they expect when they go into their new employer and they will feel extremely restricted if they don?t have access to these kinds of tools which they?re already well familiar with and they?ll get frustrated if you don?t ? if you are hobbling their functionality, they?ll get frustrated and then move on and that?s not what you want.

This for example is a Google spreadsheet. Google provide spreadsheet functionality. In this particular screenshot it?s two people working on the spreadsheet at the same time. This spreadsheet is delivered via browser. There is two people working on it, the blue one and the red one. And over the right hand side, you can see a chat screen that is going on as they are talking to each other about the edits they are making to the spreadsheet and they can be anywhere in the world.

So those are some scenarios. They are customer service scenarios which are phenomenal that can be addressed using a social media as well. A great case study here is KLM. Last year when we had the volcano and the ash cloud over Europe, KLM hired a 120 people and put them full time in shifts, full time monitoring specifically Facebook and Twitter, the two key ones. And they had, they were monitoring them, they were looking for mentions of KLM and they were looking for KLM customers where stranded somewhere and they did their best and they went to all out until the ash cloud cleared up, they kept the volume of calls done at the call centre to a minimum.

It was so successful for KLM that they continued the program; they scaled it down because they didn?t need 120 anymore but they now have 23 people full time on social media, in their social media department, constantly monitoring mentions of KLM, reaching out to people, helping anyone who is in trouble.

There was a hurricane here, couple of weeks back up the East coast and a great example of response to a hurricane using social media was Baltimore Gas & Electric, it was one of the ones I found, there was a number of them, Baltimore Gas & Electric really went to town. You can see this is their homepage. And the yellow bit at the top is informational and you can click on links there and go in and get more information about Irene. But down on the bottom right there you see their links to their different social media channels and their Twitter one is highlighted and these are all links.

So on their YouTube page, they had 25 videos about Irene. The first nine videos, they put up about Irene where about preparation, getting ready for Irene is coming, this is what you need to do. The next 16 videos that they put up about Irene were about the restoration works that were going on the different parts of their constituency. So people who are frustrated because they are out of power, they — at least they knew that BGE which is going all out and they had people in different areas and they could actually watch them working and see interviews with the guys who were doing the work.

Not alone that, but they had a — they were monitoring Twitter as well. There were 4000 Twitter followers in their Twitter account. They were doing things like they were saying to people you can see the bottom on one there, they are saying to people, DM me your address and I?ll send you an ETR. DM is Twitter speak for send it to me privately so that no one else sees your address, send it to me privately, I?ll take a look and I?ll send you back an ETR, an Estimated Time of Restoration. They?re answering people?s questions and they are also telling people in the top one what percentage of restoration they?re out at this point.

On their Facebook page, they have something like what is it 5800 followers and again they are doing the same thing. They are looking at people going to their Facebook page, people were asking questions about the restoration and they are answering them in real time. They had a Flickr stream. Flickr is a photographic site, photo sharing site. They had a 158 photos related to Irene. So again people could go in there and they could see what was going on. And it?s not just Irene related stuff.

This is the playlists page on their YouTube?s channel. They have videos there related to community programs they are involved with, related to safety with electricity, related to news coverage they received, Related to smart energy and these are all groups of videos put together, you can go to any of those and check out any of the videos they have on them.

Dominion was another one that did real well. Dominion have — you can see the videos they have put up there, some of those videos have had 6000 views. People are really interested in finding out what was going on obviously under Irene. And Dominion?s Twitter account, they have over 7000 followers or 3000 tweets and again they were doing stellar job about keeping people informed.

This is PSNH?s video page. They weren?t as — PSNH doesn?t seem to be as out there on the social media front but the little circle I have there shows that this particular video that they put out there was picked up by a local news organization. And that?s interesting because if you are putting this content out there, the news organizations are hungry for content around this stuff because it?s a big story. And if you are controlling the content, if you are putting the content out there, then it?s your content that gets shown in the news. You are helping to write the story and it?s your story that?s been told in your voice with your people.

Now here is a thought for you. What if every truckload for an outage has a smartphone as a matter of course so that when they get to site there is an outage maybe a truck hit a pole or tree came down, the first thing one of the guys in the truck does is get there with the smartphone, take a quick video of what?s after happening, does a bit of a voice over it says we arrived here at this time on this date, this is what?s after happening, we reckon it will take us about an hour to fix, we should be back about this time and then he clicks a button to post it to YouTube. Entirely possible today. All it does, all it takes is process change.

And what happens? Your people on Twitter, your people on Facebook are monitoring the YouTube channel as soon as any queries come in, they direct all queries to the YouTube page. See this video on a YouTube page, this is what?s after happening, this is when you?ll be back up, we have people on the ground, this is them working on it. So now people know what?s after happening, know when the power will be back on and they are far less frustrated with the lack of power.

You can also do things like crowd source ideas from your customers. Dell had this IdeaStorm page, fantastic page they?ve had something like 16000 suggestions coming to them on this page. And the suggestions, I mean anyone can put in a ridiculous suggestion there, but what they do is they get everyone who visits the page, they give them the ability to vote up or vote down ideas and to comment on ideas. So far they have implemented nearly 500 of the ideas. So these are ideas that people are coming in and giving up Dell, please, please do this with the next laptop, whatever it is, add this functionality to it, and you know if people have come in and recommended this and commented on us and it?s an active idea. You have got an audience that is dying for this laptop or desktop or monitor or whatever it is. So, as soon as you bring that to market and tell people, we took your idea on board and here is the product. You?ve got a ready audience of people that just flock into it to buy it.

Starbucks did the same thing actually, and there are number of organizations doing that they are not alone. The platform that allows people to do that is one called Get Satisfaction, they?re a start-up out of California. There are platforms for companies to do this kind of thing, to crowd source ideas, to talk of brand evangelists. No SAP would be or no SAP talk would be complete without some reference analytics. So social media is an area that?s ripe for analytics and there is a lot going on that space as well and another video for you this time it?s from a source you wouldn?t expect it?s from Gatorade, the drinks people. And Gatorade have built a social media analytics application for themselves, but it gives you an idea of the kinds of things you can do with social media and analytics.

[Video Presentation - 00:30:26 - 00:31:41]

Powerful stuff. They say they?re tracking their own brand and I?m sure they are, but you know as well that they?re, they are tracking all their competitors as well. The application Mission Control that they are using there was built with the aid of a company called Radian6. Radian6 were bought by SalesForce a couple of weeks for a $340 million. Radian6 aren?t the only player in the game, IBM have a social media analytics application that they released earlier this year. Adobe have one, which they got by their purchase of Omniture, last year, for $1.8 billion, and SAS has one as well and there are a number of other players out there, there is a Advantech or something and there are few others and start up in various stages. So it?s a hot happening area.

So I mentioned energy management and the increasing demands that utilities are facing around energy and, you know, how can we affect that with social media. Well, firstly you got to be aware that according to this article study released not so long ago at least 95% of your customers are interested in energy management information or energy consumption information. And then you get these kinds of applications being released, this is one out of SAP research and it?s a kind of a prototype energy management application, it?s not that interesting really.

There is a metric called the mean time to kitchen drawer. It?s also known as the mean time to junk drawer. I think you know what it is, it?s, you get something, this energy management application and it?s all shiny and you flip on the light switch and the graph goes up and you flip off the light switch and the graph goes down and oh, that?s cool? for about ten minutes. And then a week or two later you might look at it again and a month or two later and eventually it?s consigned to proverbial kitchen drawer and you never see it again. So how do you fix that? Well this is the new smart meter analytics application that SAP are releasing. And they have gone some way towards fixing it.

They have got a little buttons there for sharing that information with your social graph, you can push it out to your Twitter account or your Facebook account and you know just push a button and you get this thing up and you click submit and it?s sent out to your site and that?s cool.

Digressing for a second, this is a site called Foursquare, nothing to do with energy. Foursquare is a location application, when you go somewhere you can check into that location on Foursquare which tells people where you are at this point in time. So I go to this hotel, I can check into this hotel on Foursquare and say I am here. And if anyone in my network is around I get notified that people I know are in the area and if I didn?t know that?s cool, it?s great I get to meet them, excellent I didn?t know they are in the area fantastic, so that?s nice, but as well as that it gives you tips and tricks on the things in the area.

So oh, there is a nice restaurant a couple of miles down the road, you might want to try out, it has all this kind of stuff as well, it?s a phenomenal resource. That?s nice again nothing to do with energy so far. What it also has though because you usually check in on a phone, right because it?s got your GPS and it?s something that?s always with you.

So when you check in on the phone and say where you are, if you?ve checked in there a few times there a possibility that you?ll be the person who?s checked in there most in the last X number of days and then you become the mayor of that location. So, on this one I became the mayor of this hotel in Milan. And you get points, so I got an extra five points for that check in, because I got, I stole the mayor ship from some Japanese guy and there is a leader board there.

So I went up the leader board, by those extra points and I am suddenly tied with John, John Peavoy, it tells me there, nice you caught up with John. So suddenly you are starting to get a bit of competition in there and that gets interesting. And then you start to get merit badges and achievement badges and all kinds of cooler things like that.

Now what if we take this energy management application and on top of that we layer in not just the ability to share it to Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and whatever social network is floats your boat, what if you have leader boards in these energy management applications.

What if you have achievement badges, what if you start adding in targets and scores, then it becomes fun, then you build engagement and you are empowering people and people are telling each other, see how we did last week on this energy management application, I pulled ahead an extra five points, awesome. And what if you start feeding that into schools programs so you get kids involved and you get the old pester power on the parents to turn off the lights and stuff like that. Then it becomes really cool and then it gets spread out there, then people start to become really involved. So, back to the challenges I mentioned at the start. Some of the things social media can help with making utility companies a little less boring, help with customer service and the better the customer service the more trusted the organization becomes. You start making the utility company become more sexy.

How many kids do you hear in school who say, oh I?d love to work for that utility company they?re so cool. I haven?t heard any but if you start making them more social media savvy and that company puts out ads like that after, Old Spice guy thank you, mind freeze, Old Spice guy, so start getting some handsome actors out there with, I don?t know, crimping tools, you know, what I mean, start making utilities sexy, start getting them social media savvy, start communicating with your customers in ways they want to hear about and then you start to resolve a lot of the kind of problems that are and the challenges that they?re facing at the moment.

Thanks very much.

By the way, I have a mind map of this talk at the end there. So, if you want to see the, kind of, wild things that went through my head as I was trying to build this talk, it?s there too.

Okay.

Thanks.

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Deeply embedding social media and gamification into utility companies

I was asked by the MediaLab Prado to give an updated version of my Energy 2.0 talk at their Visualizar11 – Understanding Infrastructures event in Madrid during the week.

I took the opportunity to update the deck with some of the thoughts I presented at the International SAP for Utilities event around deeply embedding social media into utility companies.

At the Visualizar11 event I talked about how utility companies will need to use gamification and competitions to pique customers’ interest in energy savings and to keep their engagement levels high. Even more importantly, done well, this will greatly extend the Mean Time to Kitchen Drawer (MTKD – the time it takes for people to get bored with an app and metaphorically stuff it in the kitchen drawer).

I was delighted then yesterday when IBM tipped me off that they are collaborating with three US utilities (CenterPoint, Oncor and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)) to launch the Biggest Energy Saver contest to help people better understand smart meter data.

In fact, there are two Biggest Energy Saver contests – one for customers to encourage them to reduce their energy consumption with a grand prize of an electric vehicle or a first-prize of a suite of GE smart home appliances in the Oncor and CenterPoint Energy service territories.

The second competition is for software developers to develop apps to help customers understand and use the information from their smart meters – this competition has potential prizes totalling up to $150,000. Serious money!

All of the details of the competitions have yet to be announced – but to really knock it out of the park, the customer competition should have social media and gamification throughout – using FourSquare-like principles of awarding badges for people who attain certain target reductions, having leaderboards, the ability to share your exploits on your social network(s) of choice, etc.

I’m giving the closing plenary keynote at the SAP for Utilities event in San Antonio this coming September where I’ll be going into these topics in a lot more detail so expect more on this here in the coming months.

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If Utilities don’t step up their customer communications, they risk their considerable smart grid investments

Smart meter

Smart grids don’t come cheap.

They are typically projects costing in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars (or Euro’s, or pounds or whatever your currency of choice). Just think, the most fundamental piece of the smart grid, the smart meter, alone costs in the order of $100. When you factor in the costs of installation, etc., you are looking at over $200 per smart meter. Therefore if you have in the order of one million customers it’s going to cost you around $200m just for the smart meter rollout.

Given that they are so costly to implement, you’d think utility companies would do everything possible to protect these projects from failure – not so, according to the latest smart grid research from Oracle.

The report from Oracle surveyed 150 North American C-level utility executives about their vision and priorities for smart grids over the next ten years. The findings are both interesting and disturbing.

It is interesting but not too surprising for example, that when asked to select their top two smart grid priorities over the next 10 years, they chose improving service reliability (45%) and implementing smart metering (41%) at the top of the list.

What is worrying though is that while 71% of utilities say securing customer buy-in is key to successful smart grid roll-outs, only 43% say they are educating their customers on the value proposition of smart grids. This is hugely problematic because, as I have written about previously, customer push-back can go a long way to de-railing smart grid projects.

And those who are educating their customers, how are they doing it?

Well, from the report, to communicate with their customers 76% of utilities use postal communications, and 72% use their own website. Only 20% use social media (and who knows how well those 20% are using their social media channels).

Tellingly, the report also mentions that only 38% of utility customers take advantage of energy conservation programs when they are made available. There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. the savings from these programs often require work on the part of the customer for no immediately visible benefit
  2. the savings are typically small (or put another way, energy is still too cheap) and
  3. Because of the extremely poor job utility companies have done on communications to-date, their customers don’t trust them, or their motivations. There is no quick fix for this. It will take time and a significant improvement in how utility companies converse with their customers before they start to be trusted

I have written lots of times over the years about the need for utilities to improve their communications.

Utilities have a lot of work to do rolling out their smart grids – but if they don’t step up their customer communications, they risk their considerable smart grid investments.

Photo credit Tom Raftery

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The secret to following lots of people on Twitter

Tom Raftery Twitter profile Feb 14 2011

Continuing my series social media savvy for sustainability, I wrote a post on how to follow large numbers of people on Twitter – this is important to ensure you you get the most up-to-date information on your areas of interest, as quickly as possible:

Twitter is a fantastic tool for disseminating information, and the obvious corollary of that is that Twitter is a superb app for consuming information as well – depending on how you use it.

What is the best way to make sure you get the most information out of Twitter? Follow lots of relevant, interesting people!

It sounds obvious (if you aren’t following people, you won’t see their posts) but I see lots of people on Twitter who are following 100 people or less. Many of those 100 will be friends and family, others will be infrequent posters so out of 100 accounts, you are lucky if 20 are regular sources of good information.

Now, what if you increase the number of people you follow to 200? Or 2,000 (I’m currently following 2778)? Well then, the number of friends/family type accounts you’re following is unlikely to increase proportionally, so as long as you chose the people to follow wisely, you will vastly increase the amount of interesting news you will be receiving from Twitter.

Now, I often hear people say they have difficulty keeping up with the number of people they are following and asking me how I follow over 2,000. The simple answer is I don’t try to keep up with all the people I follow! I dip in and out of Twitter and if the people I follow happen to post, I will likely see the post. If they post when I am not looking at Twitter, I probably won’t see their post.

And that’s fine.

The major limiting factor in trying to follow more people on Twitter is obsessively attempting to catch every tweet. Let go. Learn to live in the now and more than likely if you do miss an important tweet, it will be re-tweeted anyway.

Of course, a flipside to this is that you shouldn’t follow people simply to increase the number of people you are following. Only follow people who will bring you useful/interesting information – otherwise you are reducing the signal-to-noise ratio and similarly if you realise that someone you followed is not bringing you any value, don’t hesitate to unfollow them.

So, how do you find interesting people to follow on Twitter? That’s a topic for another blog post – stay tuned!

You should follow me on Twitter here

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15 Twitter tips for beginners – updated

Twitter home page

I wrote a post a couple of years back called 15 Twitter tips for beginners which, though two years old, still has useful information for Twitter users – especially if you make sure to read all the comments as well.

Needless to say, things have moved on considerably in the intervening period – bear in mind that post was written over a year before the launch of the iPad and seven months before version 1.0 of Android was released!

So here’s a quick updated version of the tips:

  1. Start off easy by posting a few innocuous posts introducing yourself and your interests, “I’m Tom, a Social Media and Sustainability expert”, “I recently moved to Seville, anyone on here from Seville?”, – that kind of thing. Then be sure to mention why you’re using Twitter, e.g. “I hope to learn more about cleantech”, or whatever it is you are hoping to get from it.
  2. Then build up your network. Start with friends who you know to be on Twitter. Start following them. But also look at the list of people they are following. You may know some of them too, if so, follow them as well.
  3. If you precede someone’s username with the @ symbol in a post on Twitter (i.e. “@tomraftery how is it going?”) then your post appears in the @Mentions tab on their Twitter page. This works whether they are following you or not. When you @reply to someone, and they see you appear in their @Mentions tab, they are likely to check out your profile and posts and may decide to follow you. This is a very powerful way to build up your network with people who don’t necessarily know you but with whom you want to connect.
  4. Check out the TwitterGrader page for your area, for instance, if you are based in Andalucia, in the south of Spain, like me, check the TwitterGrader page for Andalucia and you’ll find some interesting people you may want to connect to, to get into the local scene.
  5. Follow some of the people there, check who they are following and talking to (@ replying to) and consider following them too.
  6. Sidenote: if you precede someone’s username with “d ” (i.e. “d tomraftery how is it going?”) this sends a private message only to them – called a direct message or DM. You can only send DMs to people who have chosen to follow you.
  7. Also, don’t be shy about asking your friends to pimp you to their followers!

  8. Then, using Twitter:

  9. On the computer use either Seesmic Desktop or TweetDeck for posting/reading posts. I prefer TweetDeck. Having said that, the Twitter web interface is still prob the best for checking people’s profiles and seeing who they follow.
  10. On the iPad /iPhone I use the Twitter iPhone client; On Android, I’m told Tweetdeck is best; and on Blackberry I hear Seesmic, Tweetcaster and Socialscope are good (though Socialscope is still in private beta) and
  11. On any phone the Twitter mobile interface and dabr – are great web-based mobile Twitter clients
  12. Always remember, if you @reply someone looking to get their attention or hoping they will follow you, they will likely click through to check out your Twitter page. There are many bots on Twitter so to weed out real/interesting users from bots I always look at a persons most recent posts to see what they are talking about (if their posts are all links to one site, forget it!), I look at the number of people they follow vs the number of people following them. If they are following 1,000 say and have very few followers, it is a sure sign that they are a bot who just auto-followed lots of people.
  13. I also check out what the person says about themselves in the bio (so, if you want people to follow you, be sure to fill in your own bio!) and click to view their website site, if they have one .
  14. If you want people to follow you, then ensure your updates are not protected. Someone coming to your Twitter page and seeing Protected Updates is very unlikely to see any reason to follow you.
  15. Purely a personal preference, but I think it is far better to use your own name on your Twitter account than a handle. It is a matter of personal branding but to my mind, a Twitter account called @JohnDoe tells me more about the user than @stargazr49!
  16. Finally, a photo is also very important on your account, be sure to add one to your profile
  17. BONUS EXTRA TIP!!! – Use your Twitter username everywhere – add it to your email sig, put it on your business cards, leave it in blog comments – don’t spam, just do it where appropriate.

FWIW I’ll be writing many more posts about Twitter best practices, with a special emphasis on Twitter for Sustainability obviously, in the coming weeks and months – stay tuned!

Cross posted from my TomRaftery.com blog

You should follow me on Twitter here