Newfoundland & Labrador MHAs on Twitter

Photo credit: Mark PlummerLooking for your Member of the House of Assembly (MHA) on Twitter? No matter where you live in Newfoundland and Labrador, if your MHA has a Twitter profile, you’ll find a link to it right here.

Just click on a Twitter name below to go directly to that Member’s page on Twitter.

See an error or omission? Please let me know! Twitter accounts may be added or changed by their owners at any time; I appreciate your help in keeping this directory current. [Continue reading…]

Twitter auto DMs: You’re doing it wrong. No seriously, you are.

'CO 1069-293-139' photo (c) 2012, The National Archives UK - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/Some things are toast. The Titanic. It sank. It’s not coming back. The traditional newspaper industry. The 70s. Your first kiss. They may be memories you cherish and even want to restore, but you can’t. You just can’t. And into that list you can add the Atlantic cod, and Direct Messages (DMs) on Twitter.

Once, times were good for both of those. The Atlantic cod were so plentiful off the coast of Newfoundland that the early explorers scooped them up in buckets rather than nets. Meanwhile, over on Twitter, the pioneers there could send direct messages to each other and know they’d be seen. Good times all around.

But now those times are gone.

The Atlantic cod were wiped out by centuries of overfishing, ultimately decimated by huge factory ships that could park year round on Newfoundland’s Grand Banks, constantly sucking fish in by the millions and packaging them day and night without ever needing to leave. Having emptied the North Atlantic, the factory ships then sailed into the teeming waters of Twitter where, instead of pulling cod in, they started pumping spam out, constantly filling DM inboxes with self-promotional drivel under the thin guise of auto-generated “thank you” links.

If you follow 50 or 100 people on Twitter, these auto messages may not be a major annoyance for you. However, if you’ve climbed into following thousands or even tens of thousands on Twitter, you almost certainly know all too well the bother of getting a steady stream of thank-you DMs:

  • Thank you for following. Here’s how I make $500 a day with zero investment!
  • Thank you for following. Here’s a gift to show my appreciation!
  • Thank you for following. Check the link to see how you can get 3,000 followers a day!

By the way, it’s fascinating how many times that last DM will come from someone who has about 150 followers. But sadly, some people actually do click on those links, and so the factory ships keep on sucking in and spewing out more and more and more.

It’s time to stop sucking.

Do you want to know me or spam me?

You may think, if you follow relatively few people and so the number of messages you see are small, that automating your DMs is just a way to be efficient with your social media activity. Some consultant or blog post may even have recommended you do so, and given you a link to some software to make it all easy.

However, if you are trying to establish true relationships with the influentials who have lots of followers, it’s time to rise above the clamor. If you auto DM, your attempt to say hi is now lost in that steady stream of messages flooding your target’s inbox. You have made yourself appear to be clutter and even spam. Not an effective strategy.

Move beyond the auto message, and send some actual tweets: real words from the real you. Personalize them and focus primarily on the recipient’s interests rather than yours. Care. Be genuine. Engage rather than broadcast. Spend time to be sincere and relevant. That’s how you build relationships in the real world.

And that’s how you do it in social media.

Would you hire a Website designer in St. John’s?

'Signal Hill, St. John's NL' photo (c) 2012, US Mission Canada - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Depending upon where you are as you read that question — and of course whether or not you even want a Website designer — your first response could be pretty much anything…

“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m looking for; someone right here!”

“No, I want a Website designer in PEI.” (or wherever you happen to be)

“I’d consider it if I had to, but I’d rather have someone closer to home.”

All legitimate answers. The reality though is that advances like SEO, social media, eCommerce, Skype, and overnight couriers have obliterated borders. Whereas all but the most ambitious small businesses were once confined to their local markets, now even a one-person home business has the ability to establish itself internationally. No matter what products or services you sell, there is a world of opportunities waiting to be explored. [Continue reading…]

First steps to your SEO strategy.

'Chess' photo (c) 2010, Brandon Giesbrecht - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Hate strategies?

Many businesspeople do, and with good reason. Money and time are always tight, so no one is ever eager to see days or weeks and a few thousand dollars being invested in the research and writing of a strategy that will, many times, just sit on a shelf.

However, far from being a waste of money, an SEO strategy can be an excellent investment when properly researched, and written in a way that makes it easy to implement.

Who are you?

  • Maybe you’re a retailer in St. John’s NL, hoping SEO will help you get found by people who don’t even know you exist yet.
  • Maybe you’re a small IT team in Halifax NS, wanting to grab the attention of potential partner firms in the United States. Or…
  • Maybe you’re a not-for-profit in Atlanta GA, hoping kindhearted people will find you as they look for worthwhile causes to support.

As different as each of these situations may be, the initial steps in planning an SEO strategy will actually be pretty similar… [Continue reading…]

7 Of the Best SEO Tools [Guest post]

'Tools Check' photo (c) 2011, Ktow - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Author Bio: Stuart McHenry is the President of McKremie an Internet Marketing Company that focuses on attorney marketing.

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Search Engine Optimization is basically how you’re going to get most of your traffic. Without any efficient or proper search engine optimization, then your website will just collect virtual dust and no one will ever see your company or services. While the dream of just making a website and the money flowing in is fun to think about, this isn’t anywhere close to reality. The reality is if you want your website to make it on the web and you want your website to get a ton of visitors without spending a ton of money, you’re going to have to apply proper search engine optimization techniques.

Tools are the best way to do this. Why work hard when you can work smart and achieve the same results? There are tools out there to help automate keyword research, link building and site improvements overall. [Continue reading…]

Twitter account hacked? Get it back in 3.5 clicks!

How to fix a hacked Twitter accountMake money from the internet!

Earn fast dollars at home!

Grab money by selling your neighbor’s pets!

Yeah, Twitter can be a really uplifting place some days. But it gets even worse when you realize those spammy tweets are coming from you.

That really sucks.

Sadly, changing your password will almost never fix the problem. That’s where spam gets completely frustrating for a lot of people; they keep changing their passwords, but somehow the spam keeps on happening. What they don’t realize is that the culprits are already inside the gate.

Don’t give up on Twitter though, or even on your account. You can get things safely back under your own control in just three and a half clicks. Those unwanted tweets are almost always caused by a rogue app that you actually allowed in by clicking okay on something that looked a whole lot safer than it actually was. So all you need to do is just revoke that permission, and you’ll have your Twitter account back under your own control again.

Here’s how…

[Continue reading…]

TEDx St. John’s: Pitch by Lorne Pike

The video below is my pitch to present at TEDx St. John’s, to be held May 25, 2012.

While it focuses on one concept in particular, it actually touches on two possible presentations:

“Not Your Father’s Adversity”

and the main presentation:

“Adrift on the Ice… Grenfell and You”

Looking at the Grenfell concept, there are three main points:

1.  You will make mistakes, but you can still survive.
Grenfell made a couple of mistakes that could have been fatal — traveling alone even when urged to travel with a guide, and then taking a shortcut across the bay even when it was April and ice would be getting soft.

2.  Be prepared to make sacrificial sacrifices.
Grenfell cut away his sled, abandoned the first ice floe he was on and swam in the icy water to a better one, and killed three of his dogs.

3.  Build a network around you by caring for them first.
Grenfell was alone on the ice, but he was never truly alone at all. He had people on the shore who were desperately looking for them and even willing to risk their lives to save him, because he had done the same for them. Without their help, he never would have made it back to shore.

The overall tone of the presentation is fast-paced, but mixed with periods where we step back and say, “What just happened? How does that relate to us?”

In one sentence, the overall message is that you do have what it takes to overcome adversity, but the better you prepare yourself before you need to, the better you’ll be able to survive anything.

Top 40 questions to help optimize your Website design

'Question the Answers' photo (c) 2009, walknboston - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/You’re planning or maybe redesigning your Website, and you want it to be great. Not just look great, but be great at bringing in new business, or raising awareness of your big issue, or helping you accomplish whatever your primary objective is.

Ummm… you do know what your Website’s primary objective is, right?

Here are 40 questions to help you create a Website that will indeed be effective, no matter what your ultimate goals may be. And remember that it can be easy to pop out quick answers, but that won’t always give you the insights and direction you really need. So the more time you take to really think through your answers as you ask yourself these questions, the more effective your Website will be. [Continue reading…]

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

EDIT: Within a few minutes of publishing this post, I received some great input from contacts on LinkedIn and Google+, as well as by Skype, email and the comments below. Thanks to each of you! I have now updated this post to reflect your suggestions, rather than have two versions floating around. So while you [...]

[Continue reading…]

How social media and the Internet improve life in Romania and here.

We are all unique. We are all the same. Every country has its own unique challenges, yet it is striking how similar our struggles can be from community to community, country to country, and even continent to continent. The more we recognize those similarities, the better we can apply solutions that worked in one area [...]

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