Small changes are taking place at Ventrino. Our website, which was once built using an HTML editor, now uses Joomla. Yesterday I updated the Wordpress blog to use the same template as the main Joomla website thus providing some consistency in the look and feel of the website.
I also added the Community link which allows the Ventrino community to share information, photos, videos, create groups and friend one another in a similar fashion to Facebook. Twitter can be integrated and in time Google Plus too.
The website is built with open source and free to use code as well as commercial Joomla components. These include:
Today a forum member posted comments from twitter support after they refused his API application:
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we do not allow personal branding of Applications with Traffic Exchange URLs. I should also inform you that all of our external links from tweets are tagged “nofollow,” as such, tweeting from that source will not improve your search index ranking. If you are using that webpage as a landing page while you build a separate application, I recommend changing your APP URL to one that describes your application or organization appropriately, if your application is legitimate we will reconsider your suspension.
I find these comments somewhat curious, although I do not know what question was asked by the traffic exchange owner their reply is reminiscent of the Stormpay “autosurf” fiasco a few years ago where all traffic exchanges were demonised by association.
An esoteric group of authorities have now tainted an entire industry, a popular one that has existed for a long time, because they don’t like it or perhaps see it as a threat. Google, Twitter, Blogger and sadly even the SEC to name a few.
What is so different between twitter and traffic exchanges? They both encourage people to share ideas and websites, albeit in different ways. Traffic exchanges have not sprung up overnight to make twitters life difficult (not that they could) and have been serving a growing number of customers since the early 90′s. It begs the question why twitter believe they are a legitimate application and a traffic exchange is not?
What does “legitimate” mean, does this mean a traffic exchange is illegal or are they referring to what a traffic exchange maybe used for?
A user can add a link to illegal content in a traffic exchange, but they can do the same on twitter so what’s the difference?
There is one obvious difference, for every succesful traffic exchange their is a proud owner making a profit, something the two owners of twitter have yet to achieve. Each traffic exchange owner has an emotional connetion to their business and consequently does everything in their power to keep it legal. I bet the ratio of passionate owners to users is a lot healthier than twitters!
Back in May I made a decision to investigate Twitter for internet marketing as my preferred social media promotion resource. I did not intent to exclude any of the others but when there are so many to choose from it makes sense to pick one and focus on it. Twitter had obvious advantages for a software development company. An easy and transparent API with a fun bunch of people behind it demonstrating an interest in developing a service rather than screwing as much cash from it’s membership as possible. No banner ads, no fancy flash ads, heck not even a cookie is required to operate Twitter.
The first book I read dealt with the API which was great if you like that kind of thing. What I needed was something that dealt with the use of Twitter from an end user perspective. I needed to know what twitter was like from a business user point of view. What was twitter’s attraction? How can it be used by business? What advantages does it offer over other social media resources? How could it be used to leverage sales? Could it be used for customer support? A list of pros and cons for business use.
Amazon offered two books that cover the subject I was looking for. Amazon reviews offer a balanced view and are useful but with the two books I shortlised it looked like the authors had employed cheerleaders for their books, and nay-sayers for their competitors (I’m sure that’s not what happened but check them out for yourself and you will see what I mean).
As I had heard of Joel Comm I took a closer look and with an endorsement from Anthony Robbins felt compelled to give it a try. I must add had I known Mark Joyner had given an endorsement I would not have given the book a second look.
Some critics of Joels book say he treats the subject too elementary. He assumes nothing and if you are new to the Internet you will find this useful. It’s not correct to say that this is a waste of time for long term Internet users. Amid the explanations you will find Joels take on how something should be done and why. This is invaluable for any Internet user, especially the experienced as it is so easy to forget the most fundemental tasks sometimes. For example one reviewer criticised Joel for explaining how to upload your background image to twitter. This is perhaps elementary stuff that 99% of twitter users could do without being told, but the reviewer omitted to mention Joel explains the value of that image and how to best make it work for you. The real message was lost to some reviewers and it will be reflected in their timelines.
Not everything in Twitter Power will be a revelation to you, many of the tasks you are familiar with will be enhanced by Joels thinking. Think of Twitter Power as a game plan to the knowledge you need to build your business. You will find out how to avoid disaster and how to maximise opportunity and that makes the book a useful tool for any online business.
Joels book is about understanding Twitter and making the most of it. He writes (or is it Ken Burge) in a casual style that is focused on the task. He wastes no time trying to be clever or complex. His formula for success is straight forward and can be read by anyone without needing a PHD. My rating therefore is five stars. He delivers his message in a quiet and uncomplicated way, if you believe twitter can help you in business and your social life then this book is for you.
So if Twitter has people thinking it can change a nations attitude towards its own government, and it appears that it is, it’s not illogical that it might be. Some would say “My dog has four legs and so has my cat, visa-vie my cat is a dog” is nonsense, but I had a cat that once thought it was a dog, well it would attack any dog no matter its size and never lost (probably because he overcame dogs brain dead cat-n-run instincts with confidence and a vicious set of eye-scratching claws). Watching Bull Mastifs run in fear of their lives being chased by a small white cat had anyone who saw it in fits. Could facebook be a Bull Mastif?
Here’s a link for CNN to help them with breaking news: http://cli.gs/uMABLD
http://twitter.com/towerbridge is a good example. An engineer has programmed the bridge to tweet it’s opening 5 minutes before and again once it has been closed again.
This information may not seem that useful. Perhaps if you use the bridge regularly it might be handy to receive a text with a 5 minute warning.
But wouldn’t it be great if TomTom linked IQ Routes to this kind of information? Without the need to think your GPS can change your route if it discovers the bridge is closed to traffic. A godsend for ambulances and emergency services for sure, and convenience for everyone else.
What about aircraft? If each one had a twitter address we could monitor landing times and diversions.
How about an RFID sown into under 10′s clothing reporting their position to a protected twitter account?
How about your fridge listing items you need?
Companies maintaining equipment could visit your PC/Server/Freezer/Oil Well/Car etc. and make maintenance decisions without charging you for on site visits.
The list is endless.
Recent dissapointment over changes to the facebook API meant that a long term development for traffic exchange scripts had to be altered. To compensate Ventrino is going to release a number of twitter applications. If you haven’t tried already their is a fun application at www.buytweeters.com
Ventrino owners are now beta testing a method for their members to improve their exposure and promotion efforts with a few clicks from within their tools page. Following is a short video demonstration:
I found myself discussing twitter again, does this mean I’m addicted? It was pointed out you “tweet” and not “twit”. So why is it not called tweeter then?
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…
The question is can twitter help your business? I’m not sure but willing to give it a try. As mentioned in a previous post the similarities with facebook are astonishing, except it cuts out the clutter, and that is attractive.
A while ago I did have a play with their API and had planned to release something that would enable exchange owners to post interesting stats on a regular basis, such as each time their membership went up by 100 or other chosen break-point.
Traffic Bunnies then released their own communication tool and proved to be very popular at the time and I think planned a few twitter like changes (Perhaps Cindy can update us).