We’re going to learn some more tips, tricks and techniques from Ed to help us get even more out of Friendfeed. Let’s take a look at the video below:

In the last video, Ed had said – he sees Friendfeed becoming this huge database of people and their interactions on the web. They’ve given us many, many ways to interact with that database and alert us to things that are relevant to us. That will have an important impact on us when it comes to our rankings in the search engines and general SEO (search engine optimization).

If you’re not sure about what we’re talking about – not a big deal right now. Don’t panic. We can worry about rankings and SEO later. For today, we’re going to be learning how to filter, manage and use Friendfeed in an effective way…Let’s get started.

The first thing we’ll be looking at is the “Friends” Tab.

Friendfeed - Friends Tab

Friendfeed - Friends Tab

This is a feed showing the different activities of all of your “friends.”

Ed teases us for a second about “Market Samurai” – a state of the art keyword research tool that is in a limited beta release at the time of this writing. Members of the “Immediate Edge” have access – and yes, it rules!

Over in the upper right corner, notice there are several “filtering” options available to you. You can see the “Best of the day,” or “week” or “month.” These are items that have shown a lot of interest during the timeframe. Anytime you use one of these filters, you can go and grab that RSS feed and add it to your Google Reader. If you have questions about how to do that, take a look at the Google Reader post.

Friendfeed - Kern-Rolled

Friendfeed - "Kern-Rolled"

Then he gets “Kern-rolled” by Nez – that’s just classic guys…a nice little ukulele video featuring Frank Kern.

Back to business, Ed scrolls down through that list generated by that filter. He then filters by the week. One of the cool things is how this web-based interface keeps the flow of the conversation steady and smooth. Ed mentions that there are applications, like Twhirl (which we ARE using for Twitter) – that can be used for Friendfeed.

Ed doesn’t like using Twhirl for Friendfeed because of how disjointed the conversation can become. It bumps you up whenever you comment – and that’s not really beneficial to your work flow. Part of this preseason training is about learning how to use these tools to help you work smarter, not harder.

Friendfeed is really designed to be used either from within its web-based interface at a time that suits you. Alternatively, you can use its superb search functions to create feeds that you can add to your Google reader and interact with them at a time that works well for you.

Notice how Ed is able to watch a video right from the feed – he’s able to stay within the flow of the conversation and read, watch videos, make comments, etc.

Let’s think about you for a minute – think about how you can use this in your niche. Anytime we’re watching Ed do this stuff, try to keep in mind ways to apply the techniques that are working for him – so you can translate this information into action steps you can take within your niche.

No niche yet? – not a problem. We’ll be getting into that soon enough within the challenge. In the meantime, if you familiarize your self with using these tools, it will be easy to go back and apply them within any niche you choose.

One of the ways Ed slices and dices the Friendfeed conversation is to look at anything he’s put up that has been commented on. Of course, he can go and grab that RSS feed. He can also look at the things he’s liked – and grab that feed…

Taking a look at the search box – he can search for anything containing the “#30dc” tag.

Friendfeed - Search Box

Friendfeed - Search Box

Friendfeed will deliver results containing that term, whether or not Ed has been following them. And of course, he can grab that feed and stay on top of anything happening around the “#30dc” tag.

Can you see how Friendfeed becomes this vast storehouse of data that you can slice and dice and mix things up? Then you can interact with that data, jump into the conversation – which translates into more exposure in the search engines, and more traffic for your site.

Now Ed loves the Friendfeed rooms – let’s look again at the Thirty Day Challenge room. This is a place where thirty day challengers can comment and interact on anything shared into this room.

Notice the “Share Something” button.

Friendfeed - Share Something

Friendfeed - Share Something

You can click and drag that button up into your Flock toolbar. That’s actually not easy to show with screen captures – but you can see Ed do it in the video. Now wherever you are in your browser, you can share something back to that room.

Remember, you can create your own room – maybe for your team, maybe for your niche. You can grab the “share something” button for that room too. I would recommend re-naming it after you drop it into your toolbar.

Simply drag the button into your Flock toolbar – THEN right click it.

The drop down menu appears, click on “Properties” and change the name. (There are also other options, like delete, etc. – pretty self explanatory. If you have any questions – feel free to post a comment.)

I’ve gone ahead and placed that button up in MY toolbar – now every time I make a new post to this blog, I’ll share it to the Thirty Day Challenge room. You can bet I’ll do it as soon as I publish this post. 🙂 You’ll see…

If I’ve done a good job, there’s a good chance people will leave a comment, and maybe share the link with others. Can you feel the power yet? Are you beginning to think about how you could apply this knowledge into your niche?

Ed does a quick search and shows how it is limited to the room or tab he’s in. He then goes to the “Everyone” tab and does a search for “thirty day challenge”, which brings up pertinent results and some YouTube videos from all Friendfeed users. And yes, he can grab the RSS feed….

Living on the edge, he does a search for “Trout fishing” and there are pages and pages of results. Trout fishing on Del.icio.us – tweets from Twitter, blog posts, Digg mentions – and as more and more people use it – more and more data is available and more conversations are happening. If you’re doing research into a niche, or trying to expand your reach into a niche – this is a powerful way to gather information and jump into the conversation.

Another technique is to use the advanced search – which give you several search options to filter your results.

You may notice that “Advanced Search” doesn’t appear on your pages or tabs. Not to worry – If you run a basic search – the page changes and looks like this – giving you the advanced search option….

Friendfeed - Advanced Search

Friendfeed - Advanced Search

I know this is probably getting old – but you can grab that RSS feed too. These advanced searches are available at all the various tabs, once you do a basic search. So you could do an advanced search through your friends, or yourself, or everyone, etc.

Let’s look again at the “room” level. You can “like” things, make comments, link and reshare – and filter in several ways – depending on your control level within the room.

Friendfeed - Other Interactive Options

Friendfeed - Other Interactive Options

Each of these options/filters can produce a customized RSS feed for you to grab.

Come the Thirty Day Challenge in August, we’ll be learning even more about using Friendfeed in our niches and/or within our teams. The thing to do between now and then is to get used to using it. Also, it would be a really good idea to create a room for your team – or join the room your team has already created.

How cool would it be to find something interesting, click on your “share something” button – each room gets its own custom button – and alert everyone on your team through Friendfeed? It allows you to connect with everyone while minimizing your own work flow interruptions.

That’s it for today’s Friendfeed tips. Remember to hug your kids…

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In this lesson – we’re going to learn more about how to use Twitter.   We learned previously how to get a Twitter account and received a basic overview of how the Twitter website looks and works.  But there are better ways to make use of Twitter.

It’s about your work flow.  And this lesson introduces a service that allows you to use Twitter and minimize the interruptions to your work flow.  Here’s Ed Dale’s video:

The Best Twitter Client Is Twhirl

The Flock Browser already has a built-in Twitter client.  You can open your “people” sidebar and see the latest “tweets” from people you’re following. (Like Ed, Dan and Bob – you know – from that last post…you did follow them like you were supposed to, right?)

Aside from getting news quickly from the people you’re following, you can also send your own tweet and update your Twitter page right from Flock’s built-in Twitter client.   One other function built-in is the “post a link” option.  Ed doesn’t use it – it can be a pretty big workflow interruption, and he shows how in the video.

To post links, we’ll use one of the add-ons we loaded in this earlier post:

Preseason 03c – Extensions To Install In Flock

Let’s get going with TwitterBar – assuming you’ve already installed TwitterBar, you’ll need to do some set-up.  For whatever reason, Flock doesn’t seem to think TwitterBar is compatible with Flock.  But it does seem to work, at least for Ed (and me.)

In the video, Ed shows how to do this on a MAC.  I have a PC, so I’ll show you the steps to set up your TwitterBar.

On a PC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>.  From there, find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu.  Click on the <Options> button.

On a MAC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>.  From there find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu.  Click on the <Preferences> button.

Up pops a dialog box.

TwitterBar Dialog Box

1) Ed leaves his in “secure mode” – so did I…

2) Fill in your Twitter username and password.

3) You can type in your own message in the “Before URL” field – the default is “Currently Browsing:”

At this point, there’s no compelling reason to change this.

4) “Open Twitter in a new tab” – leaving this unchecked helps keep you IN your work flow, that is the point, right?

5) Last option – “Hide addressbar button” – but we want that displayed.  Having that button up in our address bar also helps us minimize work flow interruptions.

And that’s it – you should now be able to post to Twitter directly from your browser address bar.

In the video, Ed shows us how to post a link that points to the Twhirl website – it’s really a simple, quick and effective way to let your Twitter followers know about a page or URL that you’re looking at.

One additional item worth mentioning, Twitter posts (Tweets) are limited to 140 characters, like a text or SMS message.

To re-cap, you can view Twitter and post to Twitter from the “people” sidebar built-in to Flock and you can post interesting links to your Twitter account right from your browser address bar.  Two ways to use Twitter without going to the Twitter website.

If you’d like to practice, go up to your address bar and post the link for this page to Twitter – right from your address bar. 🙂

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Onward to Twhirl…

Twhirl - A Twitter Client

Twhirl is an exceptional Twitter client application.  It’s built on the Adobe Air platform, which means it is compatible with MAC, PC and Linux systems.

Adobe Air

So – let’s download and install Twhirl…

Download Twhirl

Once it finishes downloading, just follow the prompts to finish the Twhirl installation.

Twhirl - Installation Dialog

Once installed, your Twhirl application will open up.

In the video, Ed touches on another application called “FriendFeed” I’m sure he’ll be covering that in a later lesson.

Ed also mentions “The Trouble With Twitter” – yes, they’re experiencing some growing pains.  Over the last few months the Twitter user base has expanded on a pretty massive level. There’s been some questionable press about it – but Ed makes a valid point about other internet technologies like e-mail and early ICQ and instant messaging apps.

They went through growing pains too.  I suppose if there were a mass exodus, maybe the technology would fade out – but it’s very unlikely that will happen.  Micro-blogging and Twitter-type applications will just get more popular over time, just like e-mail and text messaging.

You will have to do some set-up to integrate Twhirl with your Twitter account.  Here’s how:

1) Go to the “Settings” menu – it’s the little button in the upper right that looks like a wrench.

2) Enter your Twitter username (and password when prompted)

That’s should do it – you’re set up with Twhirl.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to capture screen shots of the Twhirl application – it fades out when I try to do a screen capture – sorry.  Thankfully, there’s still the video for reference…

Ed mentions the possibility of multiple Twitter/Twhirl accounts for personal, private and/or “marketing persona” purposes.  But for now, unless you’re an experienced veteran – let’s keep it simple.

To re-cap on Twhirl:

1) Download and Install Twhirl

2) Enter your Twitter username and password into the Twhirl settings menu.

3) Make sure you’re following Ed, Dan and Bob

4) Since you have Twirl open – type in a quick post, maybe something nice about the thirty day challenge – or this blog – or just answer the question; What are you doing?

Bonus points if you tweet about hugging your kids… 🙂

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