Tag Archives: Websites

Twitter for Beginners


When I started to use Twitter, I wanted to see how easy it was to use and why people would want to use it. Essentially it appears you can use Twitter for three reasons, firstly; for purely social objectives or secondly; and more commonly as a way of promoting your business your ideas and your brand or most likely a mixture of 1 and 2. The easiest way to describe Twitter is that it is text messaging on the Internet. You only have 140 characters to post a blog so there is an art in itself in getting your message over with this limitation. To quote Winston Churchill “I don’t have time to write you a short note so I will write to you a long one”. With such a limited number of characters you do have to think quite clearly about what you’re saying, which in itself is no bad thing.

So I’m assuming, as I do that you want to use Twitter to build up your network and promote your business is a few tips on how to get started. Firstly I would say that twitter is incredibly easy to use. But before you start you need to decide on your persona. That is to say do want your tweets to be of a personal nature or of a business nature. Perhaps we should look again at it in a slightly different way and ask yourself the question do you think that some of your personal messages would be inappropriate for your business contacts two receive, if you think the answer is yes then you should open two twitter accounts. If the answer is no, or probably no, then one will be sufficient.

Getting started is easy once you have signed up get your home page and it settings. Let’s not worry about pictures and suchlike at the moment, and concentrate on settings. The most important section is the one line bio. Give some thought about what you want to say, as potential followers will read this bio and use it to decide whether to follow you or not. A poorly written bio will not encourage followers.

Right we are now ready to go. So what do you say, at this point it’s a learning curve for you so I had just try a few different posts to see how comfortable you are with them. The most important thing is to be yourself, remember this is not a 5 minute wonder, potentially you’ll be using this medium for years to come. To build up your network you need to find some people to follow, and you need some followers. The best way to start, if you can, is use to connect with some of your friends who already use Twitter, that gives you a place to start.

Go to one of your friends pages, and on the right hand side you will see the word following and underneath that I will be a number of mini pictures, choose one at random and click on it. This will take you through to that person’s home page, read their Bio and if you like it, just below their picture you will see a radio button which says follow. Press it and you are now following that person and they are part of your network. Repeat this process as often as you like and you will quickly build up an understanding of those individuals who are of interest to you and those who are not. The current etiquette is that if you follow somebody, but they will for the most part follow you back.

For the first few days, don’t worry too much about growing your network, your best spending your time understanding how twitter works. You’ll get a sense from reading of the submissions and from that you should start to understand the best way for you to communicate via twitter. A couple of other ways to speed up the building your network is to use something called “twitter local”, download it and use it to identify people close to you who are on twitter. Follow them and as you are local they are very likely to follow you back.

So that’s a quick way of getting started. More on this when I have learned more myself.

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Laurence Ainsworth is using is founder of Exigent Consulting which provides advice and support for small to medium businesses. Exigent specialises in Business Turnaround, Sales and Marketing and Mentoring & Coaching. He can be found ontwitter.com/laurenceexigent and at www.exigent-uk.com He is a regular contributor of articles on marketing and sales and is a frequent Blogger and Twitter-er

The Best Sports Information Sites


It’s a fun time for sports fans. There’s the Super Bowl extravaganza on Sunday, and a few days after that, Major League Baseball’s spring training starts up. March Madness is right around the corner and in a couple of months, all our favorite sporting pastimes will be in full swing.

Because of that, I’ve found four relatively unknown sports statistics sites that will provide you with all the sports research you need to make more informed decisions in your fantasy baseball league or make you look smarter with your friends.

Sports Data Hub isn’t just a statistical hub for those who want information about a football player’s performance over the past year; it provides users with an incredibly useful stack of information that narrows basic statistics down to its most detailed level.

Do you want to know how Peyton Manning (quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts) has performed in outdoor stadiums on Sunday afternoons during the month of November for the past four years? Sports Data Hub will provide that information.

That said, the site isn’t just a directory of stats. Sports Data Hub also lets users share insight with others through the site’s blog and forums.

The only problem with Sports Data Hub is that it currently only offers statistics for the NFL, and it has not indicated whether or not stats for other sports organizations will be coming soon. But since it’s free with registration, it’s definitely worth using if you want to find out which players will give you the best shot of winning each week in your fantasy football league.

SportsGenie, much like Sports Data Hub, tries its best to provide users with the opportunity to make more informed decisions in their fantasy leagues. But unlike its competitors, SportsGenie employs calculations using formulas and algorithms to make predictions on a player’s future performance.

Once you sign up for SportsGenie, you’re allowed to run scenarios on player performance and team variables to determine if you should start a player or bench him for someone else.

SportsGenie is updated daily with player statistics to help you make the most informed decision. In fact, the company claims that it currently has a database of more than 750,000 games that it uses as a frame of reference.

Unfortunately, SportsGenie isn’t free. Upon registration, you only have access to one prediction. Subsequent to that, the company charges $20 per week for its service.

Sports Reference provides the most comprehensive statistical data I’ve ever seen. Ranging from baseball to football to hockey, the site caters to just about every sports fan and allows you to find information about any team, person, or coach for free.

To give you an idea of the scope of information Sports Reference currently provides, you need not look further than its Baseball page. The company’s baseball statistics date back to 1871 for major league players, teams, and leagues. Minor league stats are available for 1992 to the present and minor league box scores are available back to 1952.

But Sports Reference doesn’t just cater to baseball fans. The company’s football page features every statistic and game result ever recorded in the NFL, including Pro Bowl selections and draft picks. Its Olympics page contains data for “every year, every athlete, every sport, every country, and every event.” It’s filled with more than 150,000 pages of statistics.

Sports Reference is easily one of the best places to perform exhaustive research on sports figures. It’s huge, it’s useful, and it’s free. It’s a winner.

Although it originally started as a college basketball site where users could find any statistic they wanted on hoops players, StatSheet has quickly grown into a hub for those who are looking for statistics on the NBA, NFL, and even high school basketball.

But the main issue facing StatSheet is that much of its data is still incomplete. If you’re looking for college basketball statistics, StatSheet is an ideal destination. But so far, its NFL statistics leave much to be desired. In fact, its NFL page is populated mostly by 2008 data and little else.

Regardless, StatSheet provides exhaustive data on the world of basketball. Whether you’re looking for scores, player statistics, or coach information, the site has it all. It even boasts a chart builder so you can compare multiple data points, and gives users the option of embedding the site’s widget, which contains statistical information, into their own sites.

StatSheet still has some growing to do and right now, it’s not ideal for those who want information outside of basketball. But if you’re looking for basketball information, StatSheet is a great source. And it’s free, so that makes it worth trying.