Trend Yourself


One of the most intriguing ways to find good reading and determine what’s happening in the world is to check out Twitter trends.  You’ll get a sense of what people are talking about by messages and clicks.  As I write this entry, here’s what’s trending on Twitter.

And, another client that I use does allow for localized trends.  Here’s what was trending in Canada?

Great reading and an interesting place to get started checking out the latest.  You may, in fact, be contributing to part of that conversation.  Chances are, you aren’t.  But, if you’re using Twitter, hopefully you’re sharing links to learning with the rest of the world.  How do you know if you’re being effective and your message being spread?  Is your content trending?

If you have a bit.ly account and the bit.ly extension installed, you can do it.  When you shorten a link with bit.ly, some interesting things can happen and one of them is to ask bit.ly to count the number of times that others click your link!  When the number of clicks reach a threshold, then a popup appears to let you know you’re trending!

Just set the link threshold to your desired number and let bit.ly do its thing.  For the purpose of this post, I had to generate a popup picture so that I capture it.  I didn’t have the time to wait for 100 hits so lowered it to 5 and sent out a message with a link in it.  Sure enough, within minutes I received the notification.

How cool is that?

Now, traditionally, you gauge your reach by the number of retweets of a message or the number of replies that it generates.  You may not get a great deal of satisfaction that way since many users just read your content and move on.  If you’re curious about whether people actually click through when you’re sharing a link, this is a great way to do it.  Just set a threshold and start posting.  You’ll be amazed, as I was, with how many people are actually clicking through to find out what you’re talking about!

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links for 2011-02-07