the sally sisson blog

May 8, 2010

Social Media 102: Tweets: Free and Spontaneous (or not so much)

twitter sunSay you’re a business owner or marketing manager. You’ve got a lot on your plate. Email, voicemail, snail mail. Now add Facebook and blog posts to the mix. Now squeeze in a few tweets throughout the day. Be sure to make them clever and compelling.

Some people have their social media channels perfectly integrated and running like a well-oiled marketing machine. (We’ll explore that later.) But if Twitter is just one more thing to send you over the edge, consider this:

Twitter Redux: Stockpiling tweets

During ebbs between deadlines, why not type up a batch of tweets. Make them relevant to your marketing campaign, company mission, whatever you’re trying to convey. Use the “word count” tool in your document to make sure each is 140 characters max.

Or, why not pay someone else to write them for you? (Like me.)

twitter whalePreconcieved tweets? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Doesn’t it completely miss the point? Well, yes. For personal purposes, it seems a bit contrived. But for business it can make a lot of sense.

Case in point

After writing the copy for a website last fall, I was asked to write a series of tweets to accompany it. The client wanted a stockpile of tweets, divided into categories, ready to spit out on Twitter at a moment’s notice. Some were general tips, others tied in more closely with the partner client, Clorox.

After tweeting the entire inventory, they ran them ticker-tape style on the home page of the website. Breathing yet more life into the copy. Repurposing content. Getting more bang for their buck. Brilliant!

Check it out:

New Teacher Survival Guide | Discovery Education

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October 30, 2009

Rub-a-dub-TUB (part one): Pot bellies, bathtubs and the birth of “information architecture”

TUB sign

Last month I flew out to San Francisco to attend the TUB 20-year reunion. What is TUB, you ask? I spent a lot of time answering this question before and after the event.

TUB stands for The Understanding Business. A clever name coined for a design firm/guidebook publisher in the business of “making information understandable.”

Understand? No, you’re not alone. Ironically, those of us who worked there spent years trying to explain the name.

Our boss, Richard Saul Wurman, architect, designer and co-founder of the TED Conference, came up with it. He waxed lyrical when asked to describe the name in an interview with Information Design:

“It is a peculiar word because it has the word ‘under’ and ‘standing’ in it: what does that mean? How did that happen? ‘Under’ is a negative term, and ‘standing’, which is a different thing, those two words together create a word of such warmth. I named a company ‘The Understanding Business’; the initials are TUB. This has two meanings: the fact that I have a big pot belly and because Archimedes was in a bathtub when he said, ‘Eureka, I understand!’ For me, it is all about understanding.”

Try explaining that at a cocktail party.

Wurman coined the term “information architecture” more than 30 years ago. Now “information design” is a more accurate description of the work we did at TUB.

All kidding aside, TUB helped shape me as a writer and editor and content developer in important ways. Plus I made some amazing friends. Why else would I fly 3,000 miles for an office reunion?

Read Wurman’s full interview here:

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