How To Request a Username on Twitter

Does someone already have the Twitter name you would like to use? If you see that their profile has been inactive for more than 9 months, Twitter may release the username if you request it. Note that results may vary but here’s how you contact Twitter to make the request.

Email username@twitter.com with the following information:

• The username you want
• Your existing username, if you have one
• Whether you want to change your username, or start a new account with the username you’re requesting

Good luck!

Sarah Wallace is a research analyst, blogger and podcaster. To learn more about her, click on the tabs above.

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What is this New Twitter?

What is this New Twitter? Watch the video from Twitter below. They started rolling it out last night, who will be next!

Sarah Wallace is a research analyst, blogger and podcaster. To learn more about her, click on the tabs above.

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Some new Twitter features I can get on board with!

This weekend I discovered some new Twitter features that I can get on board with! I realized @NerdBoyTV was following me and when I went to read his bio, I saw under his Twitter handle “Also followed by…” indicating people who follow him who I’m also following. And, in the right hand menu I noticed “You both follow” which opened up to a “view all” list of people we both follow. I like these two new features because they give me some clue as to the connections we have in common. Very Facebook-like but hey, Twitter users have been asking to find some type of common thread for quite some time. Perhaps this means that @Ev, @Jack and @Stone are listening…

Sarah Wallace is a research analyst, blogger and podcaster. To learn more about her, click on the tabs above.

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Follow Twitter’s @earlybird for special discounts

Twitter's @earlybird logo

According to the Fast Company article “Twitter Offers First @earlybird Exclusive Deal”, Twitter launched its @earlybird account in which advertisers can offer exclusive deals on Twitter.

The first @earlybird special is a buy-one-get-one deal for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. In a blog post, Twitter said it will introduce a new @earlybird deal several times a week.

Twitter reports it has lined up tens of advertisers and hopes for hundreds by year’s end. Advertisers already on board include Groupon and Gilt Groupe.

The @earlybird Twitter account currently has around 54,000 followers. As word spreads I believe it will grow tremendously. People spend a lot of time on Twitter to network and learn. This is a way for users to get a little something back.

Sarah Wallace is a freelance writer helping clients with blogging, Twitter, Facebook, web copy, SEO, e-newsletters and press releases. In addition to performing these writing services, she also provides editing and consulting. To learn more about her work experience and services, click on the tabs above or contact Sarah at sarah@sarahwallace.com

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Blippy: Are you ready to broadcast your credit card transactions?

Are you ready to broadcast your credit card transactions? Well, Blippy is the platform that will allow you to do so. Privacy watchdogs are up in arms but advocates say it is a great way to learn about new products and good deals.

Released publicly in January by entrepreneur Philip Kaplan and the backings of the likes of Twitter’s Evan Williams, Blippy takes the ‘sharing era’ to another level by broadcasting your credit card transactions. So, a friend can see that you have purchased a new DVD on Amazon for $14.99 or a new iPhone app on iTunes for $2.99. The purpose is to create conversations around these purchases.

Users can manually review each item before it is published or set up certain substreams. For the time being, Blippy founders say they are not interested in aggregating data or geolocation.

What I find interesting is the set of Rules that Blippy has listed on its web site. Perhaps from lessons learned, this platform immediately states no Serial Accounts, Name Squatting, Malware/Phishing, Social Network Spam or Deceptive Links. Whether or not Blippy catches on, time will only tell. And, if it grows in popularity, it will be interesting to see if it can enforce its rules.

Sarah Wallace is a research analyst, blogger and podcaster. To learn more about her, click on the tabs above.

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SXSW: Was it Worth it? And, My Tips for First Timers

Upon returning from the SXSW festival, the question everyone is asking me is, “Was it worth it?” My initial response is “Yes”  and I will explain why, but keep in mind that my answer is skewed by the fact that my badge and accommodations were free.

So, I attended the SXSW Interactive portion of the SXSW festival. Otherwise known as ‘Nerdapalooza,’ the term is fitting in terms of its attendees and sessions. Though, many complain that the sessions are not as technical as they used to be, I enjoyed seeing some of the rockstars of the internet and marketing world such as Gary Vayernchuk, Peter Shankman and Twitter’s co-founder Evan Williams. I also had a chance to meet Mashable founder Pete Chashmore, a very quiet, soft spoken guy who (apparently by the picture above) is very tall.

So, I experienced these rockstars at least once and watched them tell us that we need to get off of our asses, work our ‘”faces off,” be genuine, helpful, transparent, etc. In all honesty though, the two sessions I enjoyed most were with author Dan Roam,  (Back of the Napkin) and CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Roam spoke on the importance of using images to tell a story and Gupta spoke with his brother Suneel about their Kahani Movement in which they are documenting the stories of Indian immigrants to the U.S. in the 60s and 70s. I found both these sessions to be thought provoking and moving and well worth my time.

Along with these two particular sessions, I enjoyed all the conversations I had with fellow attendees. Whether it was on the plane, having a snack or waiting for a panel to start, all the attendees I met were friendly, interesting and good contacts to have.

My SXSW Tips

Okay, so I enjoyed my first trip to SXSW and based on my positive experiences above I think it was worth it. I will go again but I will keep the following in mind for next time:

Everything really IS within walking distance

Everyone tells you this and you take it with a grain of salt and book the closest hotel. But, the truth is, everything is very close to the conference.  If you can save $100 by staying a few blocks away then by all means…

Bring summer clothes

I was traveling from New England so I went from chilly to mid 80s. It’s hot so bring your sandals, short sleeve shirts and enjoy the sun!

Get to popular sessions early

I say this because the first two sessions I tried to go to, the doors were shut in my face. That’s right, beyond capacity and I was denied.

You can party hardy but be prepared to wait in line

There are many big parties in town hosted by big name sponsors but, in some cases you may have to wait in line to get in. VIP passes are an option but getting them may involve having the right connections.

Checkout some of the film happenings

My friend and I went up to the Paramount theater during some of the film premieres and had the chance to see actors like Ed Norton, John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Patrick Wilson in person. All good fun!

How did I get a free badge and accommodations?

Ah yes, well my badge was free but it did cost my time. I was a SXSW liaison meaning that I was a correspondent between panelists and SXSW organizers. I did this from January till the conference and it was all via email.
My accommodations were free because my good friend Amy lives 10 minutes outside of Austin. I did stay at the Hilton Austin Saturday night since there was a lot going on and my friend Amy and I wanted to be able to just crash. The cost was $285 for the night which we split.

Upate

Also, while at SXSW I attended a session with author Tim Sanders, who wrote Love Is the Killer App. After his session I went up and introduced myself. Since then, he and I have connected and we’ve been working on a national campaign together. A lot of people complain about SXSW having too many attendees, but hey, it’s what you make of it.

Sarah Wallace is a research analyst, blogger and podcaster. To learn more about her, click on the tabs above.

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Reflection: A Writer’s Work and Tools Through the Decades

Today is my birthday and I usually don’t like acknowledging the fact that I’m getting older but this particular birthday takes place at the start of a new decade and makes me reflect on my writing through the years and the tools I’ve used.

2010

Working as a freelance writer specializing in social media. Using Content Management Systems such as WordPress and portals such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Also using monitoring tools such as Radian6 and keeping up with new trends such as Google Buzz.

2000

Working as an analyst in the telecom industry concentrating on Operational Support Systems for companies such as Verizon and AT&T. Using the internet to market forecasts that project billions of dollars of spending. Totally unaware that 17 months later, the largest terror attack in our nation’s history would occur and send the industry I was analyzing into a downward spiral.

1990

A junior in high school, taking my SAT’s, narrowing down my college choices. I had the honor of having my first published work in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as I had won an area-wide writing contest for high school students. I was so excited to see my writing in big city newspaper print. My guidance counselor told me, “By the time you graduate college, you will be applying for jobs that haven’t even been defined yet.”

1980

I was seven years old. I would interview my family members and then use my mom’s manual typewriter to type my very basic newspaper I called “The Family Yeller.” I told everyone I met that “I want to be a writer when I grow up” not knowing that three decades later, I would be telling my story through a WordPress blog and posting it for all the world to see on the internet.

2020?

It will be interesting to see what I write in 2020 and what tools I will be using. Sure it would be cool to see into the future, but for now I’ll keep enjoying the journey and changes that come with time. [Insert Steve Miller Band’s lyrics “Time keeps on slipping into the future” here]. Peace everyone. Fly like an eagle.

Sarah Wallace is a research analyst, blogger and podcaster. To learn more about her, click on the tabs above.

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