Follow Social Stoke on Twitter

Here is a little thing for anyone who wants to follow or share Social Stoke’s Twitter feed, plus anything that is posted about Stoke-on-Trent (hopefully I don’t need to add a warning to point out that anybody can post anything on Twitter and it will be picked up on this feed, but consider this as your disclaimer if you’re the nervous type – always proceed with caution).

If anyone knows how to embed it directly into a free WordPress site (ie this one) please let me know 🙂

If you want your own, it can be easily created with Sproutbuilder. This is a great service to create sharable widgets for different sites with useful tools to get you started and up to three projects available on its free accounts. No code or design knowledge is needed, though I’m sure what you can do with either would be very impressive. I first spotted it in use on the Utah government site via this useful blog post by Paul Canning.

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Twitter for the shy

The importance of Twitter isn’t really that it does anything new, but more that it facilitates a new type of behaviour. Imagine a world where you can know what your friends, colleagues and associates are doing, thinking and what they need, in real time or later on. That’s what Twitter does.

There are quite a lot of resisters now, which is fair given the hype and the fact that many mainstream journalists like to make themselves sound clever by making Twitter sound pointless (when will they realise that poking fun at an inanimate service displaying massive global growth  and queues of investors only makes them sound like there’s something they’ve missed?). It can also be a little disconcerting for newcomers when a lot of people you don’t know express an interest in what you’re posting by following you. Some people, though, might not have realised that they could have many of Twitter’s benefits by setting up a private account.

How: After creating an account, just go to ‘settings’ and tick the box that says ‘protect my updates’.

You can then share updates, news and requests for help without broadcasting them to everyone. Private messages can also be more easily sent – and answered – than the more cumbersome mode of email*. Don’t post anything up that’s completely confidential; tweets can be very easily shared.

For those who would simply like to dabble in Twitter, or improve communication with people they work with or are friends with, it’s perfectly acceptable to simply let them know your account name so you can follow each other. Some people get annoyed if a stranger with a protected account follows them – they don’t see why they should share with you if you’re not sharing with them – so if the point comes when you want to venture beyond your own community, you might want to throw off that padlock and go public. It’s totally up to you.

And if signing up is a step too far still, don’t forget you can still make use of Twitter’s really useful search facility any time. Here’s what Twitter-users are posting about Stoke-on-Trent right now as an example.

* Yes, I am writing this post in the hope I will be able to send fewer emails

Animoto.com

Animoto is a great simple service to create a powerful short video from photos and music. To see how easy it is, here’s something I threw together about Burslem from a few photos:

[clearspring_widget title=”Animoto.com” wid=”46928cc51133af17″ pid=”4a4fc6de57fa8597″ width=”432″ height=”240″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]