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    • ColtSeavers Fascinating again. Great tips for someone like me who (37 and started learning again.....)
    • delboydare Cheers. Very interesting tips there.
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    omaniblog likes this.
    • mcwoods Hey Paul, You raise a great point I directly address your question in my own AudioBoo here: In short - yes I think they do. I think there is a better way. Social networks and Social media are all about sharing opinions and views and getting feedback, it is at once personal as everyone has different views and will receive different responses and also herd like - we tend to agree with others and identify with view points. But all in all its a lot of fun, we as humans enjoy this type of thing and we do it every day - it is what makes social networks so compelling. When was the last time you were in work and had a conversation about a TV show you watched the night before? - "Did you see that Top Gear last night, wow, what car.. and they put a caravan on the roof … nuts!". This 'water cooler' conversation is what social media is all about and should be captured and displayed next to the web page or content it relates to. Placing the two together provides context and depth. Separating the two means that others that discover your conversation see it without any context. - Ever stumbled across a conversation in Twitter and thought "what the heck are they talking about"?. Additionally placing the conversation on the same web page as your content means that visitors can directly see the conversation and participate without leaving your page. They may also see other peoples comments and existing conversations and wish to join in - I think it will help drive social network engagement and ultimately provide more traffic for any given site. It also aids brands, as they can see on their own pages, exactly what people on the social networks are saying and provides the brand with an opportunity to also join the conversation. But most widgets don't do any of this - they don't capture or keep a conversation on your website with your content. Instead they are one way posts where we shout "I like this!" - but don't actually add any gravity to the conversation. It is a lost conversation and a lost opportunity where the link disappears into the Social Network, but we never see any of the conversations which it might provoke. But it is something I hope we can change. Your question rang bells with me as it is something I've been thinking about too - and I've a side project, an experiment where I try to address it. It's called Voczie ( and it combines RSS feeds with Twitter, so you can read a news story and at the same time see the Twitter conversations which are happing about it. You can even participate. It is free to try, you just need to log in with your Twitter account and your all set. This is my first website, and it was a lot of fun to create - there is still more todo (at the moment it doesn't work on mobile devices… I know.. I know.. think mobile first.. as the guy who released an open source mobile device detection service for ASP.NET while employeed at Microsoft, I know it… but I was just so excited to see the experiment come to life that I skipped it :-) ) BTW: You can see this page in VocZie here : Thanks and I hope you get the chance to check out VocZie and let me know what you think. Chris PS: Bugs and pending features for VocZie -
    • omaniblog I use Twitter so much - I'm a bit shocked I've never considered this question seriously. Thank you very much. Maybe: (1) A website without a social widget is risky - the absence of Twitter or Facebook suggests something... (2) A website with social widget leading to an obviously irrelevant Twitter / Facebook account is risky - it suggests a serious weakness in the business comms, the marketing department, the direction of the company
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    • franksta Generally I choose which ones I am going to by the speakers and what they are teaching. I have only started being able to afford going to conferences more recently and since I am frugal to begin with I make sure I like who is going to be there and what they are talking about. Doesn't hurt when you win free tickets either. =)
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    • Caledoniaman Paul, in my experience (as an accessibility consultant), the WCAG guidelines and fear of legal action result in too much focus being place on actually meeting the guidelines rather than taking steps to identify what the main issues are for disabled users and then resolving them. Too many times, I come across sites which are 'technically' accessible (as in they fulfill particular guidelines) but are not accessible in practise. For example, take a form which is marked up correctly, labels applied to fields etc etc. If there are too many fields in the form then this form is not accessible as it is exceptionally laborious for physically impaired and/or screen reader users. Obsession with adherence to the guidelines is in many ways preventing sites from being truly accessible.
    • TheDJBook Currently I'm working on WC3 validation (which my new site does so far) and cross-browser friendly (Firefox, Safari - Mac, IE6 to a point, IE7, Chrome, Safari - iPhone). Accessibility is something I want to tackle, but not during the beta stages I'm in at the moment. Good post though.
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    Philwtv likes this.
    • LAHornbogen Spot on Paul. I don't think the majority of people or businesses who set up social media realise the commitment it takes. Yes it take up time, yes you have to be interactive just as you would at a face to face networking or social event - however bearing in mind that social media gives you a "global" presence then surely it has to be worth it.
    • ATCKaren Good advice - you have got to commit and go for it. However, I believe that a lot of businesses appear to be lacking in commitment to social media because they don't know how to use it. It's no good just being aware that you should be using Twitter and Facebook ect - you have to know how to use it. As someone who's fairly new to using social media, I learnt this the hard way. Training is key, so that you understand what you can do with Twitter, Facebook, Linked In etc and how to actually do it. It's something I invested in and it was worth every penny.
    • Philwtv I have seen alot of examples of this Recently Paul and yes, your absolutley spot on
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