Guy Kawasaki: Twitter As a Tool for Social Media


Alright. It’s time to do this liveblogging thing again. And if it feels like we’ve just sat through a Guy-Kawasaki-talking-about-Twitter keynote it’s because we have. At the PubCon Guy Kawasaki/Chris Brogan chat. And yet, here we are at the first day of Search Engine Strategies New York to do it all over again. Yey!

I’m kidding. We love SES. But seriously, here we are again. Do you have your breakfast in hand? Can I have it? Because my morning has been seriously not fun.

Okay, I take that back. I just had my first Kevin Ryan sighting of SES.  [swoon]

Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki Keynote – Photo used with permission by

We’re kicking things off a bit late here. Typical Day 1 craziness.  But Kevin Ryan is heading up on stage so I guess that means we’re about to get going.  Kevin brings the action.  He introduces his parents who are in the audience and celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. Aw! That’s kind of cute. Though, also sad. I wouldn’t want to celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary at SES NY.  I hope I’m not still liveblogging by then. I will be, won’t I? Okay, I’m rambling, but so is Kevin.   We both decide to stop.

Welcome Guy Kawasaki!  He asks how many people are on Twitter and lots of people raise their hands. He says we can just tweet that he’s a dick now. Okay, then!

He thinks Twitter is a tool (I think Guy is a tool). He doesn’t judge people who use it differently than he does, but he doesn’t like the Twitter nazi’s who think it’s all about relationships.  Lisa =Twitter Nazi. Got that?

Nobodies are the new somebodies. In this world, you have to approach things differently. He loves Twitter. He thinks its the most powerful marketing tool since television. You can reach hundreds of thousands of people for free. He loves that.

Lesson #1: Forget the A List

They’re overrated. They’re like the mafia that you have to suck up to. It’s all bullshit, according to him.  Marketing has been a trickle down philosophy. If you could get one of the big names to talk about you then their wisdom will trickle down to the masses and people will care about your company. He doesn’t believe that. Instead of trickling down, it should be bubbling up. You don’t know who the best evangelist will be for your service.  And with Twitter, these people will find you.

Don’t ignore the A List (but forget it? That makes sense.). Try to get into TechCrunch and BoingBoing, but also go out into the community and look for the person who loves and embraces what you do. Twitter is all about finding those people.

Lesson #2: Defocus

You don’t know who will be your most useful follower. It’s not the top dogs. It’s one person you’ve never heard of who will carry the battle for you.

Lesson #3: Get Lots of Followers

He believes Twitter is a numbers game and you need to get lots of followers. You want more places where people can find you and talk about you and send the message up. His theory is that you need to get a lot of followers. It’s controversial. Other people (like me, and those with souls) think that instead of getting a lot of followers that you need people you are engaged with and that you interact with. He doesn’t buy that. To him, it’s a game of big numbers.

Should you automatically follow everyone who follows you?  He does. He thinks its arrogant if you think that you believe you are worth following but the person following you is not worth it. He uses SocialTool to keep his followers in sync. Now he follows more people than that follow him because people have *unfollowed* him. Lots of people laugh. I’m thinking those people have never seen Guy on Twitter and that’s why they’re laughing.  You couldn’t pay me to follow Guy Kawasaki.

He also follows everyone so that they can DM him. I don’t buy that, but okay, Guy. We’ll pretend.

The best way to measure the quality of your tweets is how often you’re retweeted.  He uses ReTweetist to see how many people are retweeting him. He checks if 5-10 times a day.

Guy admits that he has people who find things and tweet for him. He doesn’t understand why that’s a big deal and people are laughing. My stomach is turning. Seriously.

He says the number of followers you have is meaning less and less these days. Which totally contradicts his mantra of “get lots of followers”.  He brings up the Suggester Users list that caused so much Scoble drama. He says he doesn’t know how to get on that list. Then he takes some shots at the people who are located in that box because he doesn’t know who they are. One of the people he “doesn’t know” is A Googler (@google), you know, like the search engine. [There are SEO sessions going on all week, Guy. You should stick around.]

He’s talking about other ways to measure influence and talks about the Twitter epenis site. It’s really nice to see him make such a joke out of Twitter and the people who follow him. This is mildly disgusting and I don’t want to liveblog it anymore.

How do you get more followers/ value out of Twitter?

The key to finding more followers is finding interesting stuff to tweet. He uses StumbleUpon and AllTop.  People like to click on interesting stuff.

Lesson #4: Monitor what people are saying about you

He pulls up a Twitter Search for his name in real-time and I hide in my chair a bit.

Monitor your company, your name and your segment.

Lesson #5: Copy Best Practices

He talks about Twibs. It’s a site that tracks what companies are doing on Twitter. It’s basically a company directory for Twitter. You can see what the big dogs are doing and then copy them.  He talks about Comcast Cares and Jet Blue and all the standard “watch these guys” Twitter accounts. Nothing more.

Lesson #6: Search

He takes people through Twitter Search and shows the audience how to monitor important search terms.  He also goes through the Advanced Search options and goes down the advanced parameters and how to narrow things down by zip code. He says its useful and for perhaps the first time, I agree.  It’s great for business development.

Lesson #7: Tools

  • TweetDeck: He shows his personal TweetDeck and how things are all broken out.
  • Twhirl: He uses Twhirl to monitor his two Twitter accounts. (I thought that’s what the people he hired to tweet as him did?)
  • CoTweet: Built for companies who are tweeting. It’s Web-based. You have mulitple accounts and multiple people. You can assign tweets to people. You can monitor tweets.

Lesson #8 Squeeze the Trigger

He talks about Tynt even though it has nothing to do with Twitter.  It’s one line of JavaScript that you add to your site. Then, when people copy and paste text from your site, it’ll also attach your URL. There’s also a dashboard component where you can see what text people have taken. He says this leads to more traffic. I don’t know much about Tynt, but what I have heard, isn’t good. So I’ll put a warning label on that.

[Ironically, Eric Lander brought up Tynt on Twitter as Guy was talking about it here in NY. Eric must share a wavelength with SES NY or something. Eric calls Tyntt a scraper tool and not quite the SEO godsend Guy says it is. Like, I said, I’m not familiar with it. Maybe Eric will come comment here.]

Guy starts talking about TwitterHawk and calls it the ultimate spam tool.  Expect a long post on Guy and Twitter when I get back to Troy, NY after SES.  I’m completely annoyed.

Lesson #9 Make It Easy to Share

Sadly, we have to wrap this up. Guy says he doesn’t care that its time to go, we started late so he’s going to keep going. He doesn’t care about the other sessions. Okay. Unfortunately for him, I do.

See you in a bit.

Your Comments

  • Griffin Granberg

    Sounds like a repeat of 2 weeks ago in Austin, TX.

    IS GUY THE ONLY PERSON DOING KEYNOTES RIGHT NOW!? People follow guy on twitter because people think he has a ton of money and people want to learn “the secrets” (they are never coming people) — they could give a shit less about Alltop or his “interesting links.”

    Come on organizers of these conferences – Guy’s keynotes are everything BUT prolific or groundbreaking. I’d rather hear Rae rant about something or talk about building up one of her brands online or something that’s more beneficial than Guy crowbaring a bunch of his investments (a la tynt) into a keynote.

    Ok, that’s it for now. Thanks Lisa for the great coverage – hope your day gets better. //g

  • Eric Lander

    Your liveblogging has replaced conference attendance for me. I fear what happens though when you stop blogging because session panelists and keynote speakers are recycling the same content over and over again.

    I’m happy to have the coverage to read, don’t get me wrong. It’s just a shame to think the largest growth area for online marketing has it’s largest conferences filled with regurgitated information that doesn’t even apply to search.

  • Josh Katinger

    He asks how many people are on Twitter and lots of people raise their hands.

    Why is the “show of hands” thing now compulsory for any cool SEO/Web2.0 related speaking event?

    He thinks Twitter is a tool (I think Guy is a tool).

    His theory is that you need to get a lot of followers. It’s controversial. Other people (like me, and those with souls)

    Don’t ignore the A List (but forget it? That makes sense.).



    Go girl…expose them for what they are!

  • Dana

    Wow. That makes me want to whip out a blog rant too. I’ve not been using Twitter for long on a social marketing basis, but there’s a lot of what he says that I have to disagree with in terms of offering actual value and human interaction to your tweeting. Some of my clients would run very fast in the other direction if we turned their Twitter into a spammy spman tool.

    In other news, looking forward to all your live blogging of SES. You do a great job of recapping everything! :)

  • Terry Richards

    Quite possibly the most misleading keynote evAr?

  • Kerstin Baker-Ash

    As usual, stellar recap of a conference session a bunch of us wished we could be at. Your take on the banality of the keynote and the underlying sarcasm of Guy’s take on Twitter was spot on – looking forward to more.

  • Jordan LeBaron

    Wow – that was entertaining.

  • David Lewallen

    Its about getting targeted twitter followers to interact with and share ideas that interest the community. I put together a list of 13 ways to get targeted twitter followers. I hope they are used to build the up the quality of the community!

  • Charlene Jaszewski

    I am proud to say that the person who called Guy a dick is a friend of mine, @whitneyhess. WOO! Secondly, I’m annoyed at him for taking my tweet and claiming it as his own with NO RT credit. Is that what he does? Ok sorry I’m hijacking your comments to rant about Guy.
    Awesome non-PR coverage and I’m following you and want to see pix of your kneesox since Marty keeps mentioning them.

  • Lynne

    “One of the people he “doesn’t know” is A Googler (@google), you know, like the search engine. [There are SEO sessions going on all week, Guy. You should stick around.]”

    LOL…you’re the best, Lisa. Thank you for not fawning all over this crappy keynote just because he’s Guy Kawasaki. I agree with what Jeff Rohrs said this morning: If everyone used Twitter the way Guy does it would collapse into a mess of static and spam.

    Again thanks–this was perhaps the most entertaining bit of liveblogging I’ve read in a while :)

  • Gab Goldenberg

    “He doesn’t judge people who use it differently than he does, ”

    And perhaps neither should you? Why are there “rules”? To protect people, or because people agree to play by them so as to have a fair outcome at the end of the day. If people consent to follow Guy and vice versa, that’s their prerogative, imho.

    FYI: I subscribe to the relationships thing and am just following a handful of people I don’t know, mainly because they’ve tweeted interesting replies to my stuff. But I am using it as a relationship item.

    Besides that, wrt points 1 and 2 about the a list and trickle down vs bubble up, I’d agree with Guy. His language is maybe inaccurate (e.g. ignore) but he just means not to get obssessed with a list mentions, because the aggregate value of b list downwards is huge. And also because if you want to get to the a list, you can’t skip the line – you need the b listers on down liking you.

    The big numbers debate is a very interesting one. It’s ironic to hear him urge folks to get lots of followers, because if everyone had 30K followers, the tactic wouldn’t be effective. Your tweet would have to fight for attention with the 30K other tweeps’ tweets. So Twitter wouldn’t serve as a broadcast tool. In this way, the whole ‘get lots of followers’ business is a bit of a pyramid scheme where it only works for the people at the top if it doesn’t work as well for the people lower down.

    Note: I’m not ascribing malicious intent/intent to take advantage of people to these broadcast Twitterers/people who seek 30K followers. They probably don’t realize that they’re advocating a tactic that is self-defeating in the long run. And at least for now, he’s right that broadcasted tweets can help launch things virally. A friend got a 6 figure book deal through viral content that launched on Twitter.

    As to Guy having others tweet for him, it may be a bit deceptive, I grant you that. But in fairness, companies have multiple people working one account, and we’re fine with that. The difference is just that his brand is personal. An arbitrary difference which he didn’t plan to be misleading 25 years down the line when Twitter would emerge, imho…

    Besides that, I foud this post entertaining, but unconvincing in most of its criticisms. And this comes from someone who, while appreciating Guy’s business writing and savvy (Reality Check is a great book, fyi) doesn’t care very much for Guy. I find him abrasive.

  • Hannah

    Lisa, after both this and the big brands post, I’ve heard several comments that you’re really overstepping the line of being brave and saying what you think and moving into just being obnoxious. All the good points you’ve mentioned (and yes there are some, I am not saying that) are losing to your snide tones. You did not used to write like this in your previous jobs! No one wants to say too much in public because the fans and people like @sugarrae will swear at them. THere is no opportunity to be anything but a fan-boy. You will lose respect and clients because of this tone you have picked up somewhere in the past few months, because people are definitely noticing even if they know that saying anything will only cause them to be ‘yelled’ at and sworn at. I think that kind of proves the point in a way.

    There is a line between being outspoken and being loud-mouthed.

  • Lisa Barone

    Hannah: I’m always open to constructive criticism, so I appreciate the comment.

    I agree that I can be harsh at times, but I don’t think I do so without a reason. And I don’t feel that I yell at people, not on the blog, nor on Twitter. Am I sometimes strong with opinions? Yes. But in a sea of people kissing ass and writing what everyone else does instead of what they think…I’m willing to risk being too harsh at times then hold my tongue.

    In terms of Guy Kawasaki (just cause that’s the post you chose to comment on), I don’t think my comments were off base and I think they reflect what a lot of people think on the matter. He was invited to give a keynote (his second in two weeks) on twitter. He then took the stage and, in my opinion, insulted every one of his followers and the site itself. If I that got me riled up, I’m not going to apologize for that. My tone may be hard to swallow sometimes, but I’m honest. Which, frankly, is more than you can say for most people. I also respect people like yourself and those that follow me on Twitter. I can’t imagine dismissing them the way Guy does.

    Really though, I appreciate the comments and they’ll definitely be something I think about.

  • John Jantsch

    I contend there is no one way to use twitter, there certainly are better ways I suppose, but all this whining over the “right” way comes off as “social media holier than thou” and isn’t any more authentic than using auto DMs.

    Guy is just being Guy and it sells in some circles – me thinks some of the folks that complain the loudest are really just pissed they aren’t asked to give the keynotes.

  • aaron wall

    I totally disagree with Hannah. I would rather be honest than a fake fanboy of wankers. Great post Lisa!

  • Rae Hoffman

    >>>You will lose respect and clients because of this tone you have picked up somewhere in the past few months

    Obviously, you don’t like me… “somewhere”, “fanboy”… and whether you like me, my style, or not, I’m me. Lisa is Lisa and she is simply being herself. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Period. It’s a simple process. And one I’d suggest you do, because I’ll be blogging here as well and your distaste for me is obvious.

    Yes, it is clear that Lisa will lose the respect of industry leaders like Aaron Wall as evidenced above and that she is losing the respect of the community in general as evidenced by her first SEL column being promoted to the lead story on the homepage after receiving 140 Sphinns and 50+ saves on delicious.

    And frankly, we’re turning away potential clients every week, so if being ourselves loses us anyone, then so be it. We’ve got no shortage of people who want to work with us because of our skills.

    Lisa, you’ve been bitchy this week because of the BlackBerry and that’s come across in the liveblogging posts, IMHO. The brand rant was a *rant* and served it’s purpose and many folks liked it. You are who you are. WE are who WE are as a team. Don’t let others make you doubt yourself because you aren’t being who they think you should be. Period.

  • Robert

    Hahahahaha… very candid post. I think you were fully justified in making the comments that you did – even if they were a little harsh. Then again sometimes it’s best to call a spade a spade.

    Although I bet Guy would argue and call it a shovel?

  • Olivier Amar

    This post made me smile because it hit on all the right points that people have with regards to Guy’s view of what Twitter is. He’s been a little out of control and the only reason his success has been so is because, as you stated, people feel that if they follow him they might learn to get rich. Well guess what? That’s how Guy is getting richer. Getting people to think, in masses, that by buying into his lines of business (and twitter is huge business for him) and following him and regurgitating him (alltop) then they’ll get rich too. He’s the only one getting richer, not you.
    Lisa is dead on. She brings it to us with humor. She takes the hard edge of our very serious clients off our shoulders for a few minutes a day and for that she’s not only appreciated but a queen. All Hail. :-)

  • Dave Matson

    A strong, opinionated post that is not the “same old thing” is always going to piss a few people off.

    I think if Lisa agonized over it for a few hours, asked for 10 different opinions before posting it, she could have sliced off 6% of the snark and made the *perfect* post.

    Or you could just let it rip as you did, get everyone’s attention, strong praise from smart industry leaders, and annoyed a few people.

    That seems like a pretty easy call.

  • Sean Carlos

    For those interested in Twitter metrics, Eric Peterson, of Web Analytics Demystified fame, is working on Twitalyzer ( This tool is slightly more evolved than than epenis tool mentioned above :-). As with web analytics in general, the raw numbers only tell part of the story, so use with caution.

  • Tonya H

    **You don’t know who will be your most useful follower. It’s not the top dogs. It’s one person you’ve never heard of who will carry the battle for you.**

    Lisa, that is a life lesson in itself. Congrats on the post and speaking up for the others who don’t or are afraid to speak for themselves. We at RegencyInteractive love you! Keep up the blogging!

  • netmeg

    Lisa’s not going to lose the respect of anyone whose respect is worth gaining – unless she bows to pressure to alter her ‘voice’. I for one think each of her posts is better than the last – I can hardly wait to see what she’ll be doing six months to a year from now.

    And – nothing but highest respect, Rae – some of us are not in the least bit afraid of being sworn at by @sugarrae.

  • Alan Bleiweiss

    I used to wear suits to client meetings, and not speak up when I felt it would go against the grain of acceptability. Sure, I don’t need to be completely honest all the time, and thus just keep my true feelings to myself in some situations.

    Yet the fact is that now that I am coming on 50 years old (oh god here they go – “he’s fifty – great some old baby boomer being opinionated like a too-late-born-wannabe-hippee… HA!) I’ve come to accept that who I am is who I am. I no longer have any willingness to wear a suit, or even a tie for I don’t care how big the shot is across the table from me. It’s not who I am. Wearing ties was people-pleasing based on fear and the other-people-induced-shame based on their beliefs and their illusion of having to do so to fit in.

    I now say what I mean and mean what I say, and if in some situations it comes across as mean-spirited, I step back and take a look. Okay so sometimes it is. And sometimes it’s not called for. Yet sometimes it’s exactly what the situation calls for. Because sometimes the situation is otherwise so out of whack, so twisted away from reality and into upside down existence, that if I am truly moved to rant or to be what many might call brutally honest, then I do what I feel moved to do.

    And I trust in that process now more than ever Lisa. Because I am not here to please those who live in a fear based world, a conform to the old-world-illusion of people-pleasing-as-a-business-practice. I am here to be me, and I believe there are enough people like me in that regard, and enough of those who want to do business with me because they respect my honesty, and appreciate that I was willing to speak up and clearly and directly on point in my own voice when not enough people do so about a situation.

    And guess what? I have more business coming at me than I have ever had in my life. And I am grateful that I finally listen to my intuition more and the tapes of old about “you should this” and “you should that” coming from others.

    If some who are perceived as “leaders” in our industry think that is the wrong attitude, fine. Whatever works for them. Thanks for sharing. Yet nobody has the right or ability to tell me, you, Rae, or anyone else in this universe how they should or should not be.

    If anyone does not want to work with me or they disrespect me because I am being the true me, then my God bless them (she’s good at blessing people -it’s her job ya know?) and I wish them well as they go on their merry way. The universe really is big enough for all of us and I don’t have to have their approval to know that I have my own UNIQUE gifts, talents, experience and twist on life and in that lies commonality with enough others for me to succeed at being human.

    Man, I love ranting when it comes to standing up for the truth that too often gets bullied by people thinking their way has to be my way.

    Love ya Lisa!

  • Alan Bleiweiss

    minor syntactical correction. 5th paragraph 2nd sentence should read:

    And I am grateful that I finally listen to my intuition more THAN the tapes of old about “you should this” and “you should that” coming from others.

  • MikeTek

    Hey, call it like you see it I say.

    I don’t know Guy well enough to call him a tool, but from what I know about his use of Twitter (not 1st-hand b/c I don’t follow him) I don’t agree with it.

    At the very least, if you’re going to use Twitter to spam, do it anonymously. Don’t get up at a keynote and tell people how you’re spamming them all. That is a lame move in my book.

    Of course Google has no problem with Guy spamming Twitter users – no problem at all, thanks very much.

    I say we launch a campaign to unfollow Guy Kawasaki – he’s clearly adding no value anyway.

  • Eric Ward

    OK, have to chime in here and use my standard “I’ve been doing this since you were all in middle school, and BY GOD, here’s what I have to say about it.”

    Having smart people like you and Rae parsing the presentations of so-called authorities is a gift. You have an experience-based zero bullshit radar, and any potential client who is put off by anything you or Rae post is not worth having as a client. You guys are BOTH a daily breath of fresh air. Frankly, I thought you took it easy on him. I’d have been hyena laughing while rolling down the aisle out the doors.

  • RobBothan

    Interesting, Ok: I find that Guy is abrasive and dislike him and alltop. If comments were accurately reported here then he’s even more of an ass on twitter. But to be fair I do follow him (ironic huh) as there is occasional things of interest there.

    I do think that by publicising numbers and the focus on numbers of followers (which nearly all of us are guilty of even if we deny it) there is an increasing strain on twitter with artificial noise and crap going on, with autodm’s autofollows, autoretweets etc.

    Hannah seems to have raised a secondary topic which is that how do people “feel” online – again. Sure I like some people, I dislike others, but I’d personally rather stay an honest accurate professional 99% of the time and not go to the extremes of some by going “hail to the queen” or “f&CK off you loser” etc. Seems a bit pointless to me. Again I’ll contradict myself by doing it occasionally :P Then again there seems to be a hysterical element to the interweb at times, or us British are just more restrained :)

  • Alan Bleiweiss

    And one more thing (lol) – your post actually gave me pause to think about why I chose to follow the all-knowing Guy Kawasaki on Twitter. At first, it was because I do respect his knowledge re: venture capital. Okay, fair enough – he deserves all the credit in the world for massive success. And too, I’ve found much of what he offers about start-up is dead-on the best advice around.

    Yet I’d been seeing how completely rampantly spammy much of his tweeting is (wow that didn’t even take the whole 5 days I’d been on Twitter for me to see the pattern). Then I read yesterday another article about how he pays two people to tweet for him (read that flood the air with his “omnipotent views”, which really aren’t because they’re just push marketing gone sour over his latest venture, Alltop).

    And then reading this blog just finally confirmed my own intuitive – if I want to continue to gain knowledge that Guy has for the imparting re: start-up and the like, I can just read his books or blog posts on the subject. I don’t need to be following the stream of non-stop self promotion. And if he is a keynote at any future event I attend I am now fore-warned thanks to you Lisa.

  • Gerard Babitts

    Keep. It. Real.

    While rants can become tiresome if it’s all you do, this one is spot on and timely. If more people spoke truth more often instead of worrying about clients, hurt feelings, and business protocol, things would be a lot better. The digital gatekeeper ego tripping and accompanying fan boy echo chambers need to be stopped.

    Thanks for being real.

  • Paul Baranda

    Lisa i love your raw and unfiltered statements! It’s what keeps me listening to you and Rae. I want to hear all points of view from people whether it be good or bad and you certainly tell it how it is! :)

  • Godhammer

    One thing consistently impresses me as to Lisa’s liveblogging… this post was written in almost real time. I doubt I could recycle the bullet points of a conference and absorb anything of importance in the process. For her to add a dose of humor and personality while selecting the more salient points to report and spice with color commentary, is quite a feat.

    That Lisa is successful in her efforts can be measured by glancing at the names and numbers of thoughtful comments, here and elsewhere. Indirectly, it’s hard to imagine the WSJ coverage was unaware of this post or emotions generated by it. That’s a very long reach of influence generated by a live-blog post, nice work.

  • Gab Goldenberg

    @Olivier & @Lisa : I disagree with “people feel that if they follow him they might learn to get rich.” I used to follow Guy because I really enjoyed his blog and thought Twitter would be more of the same. Turns out it wasn’t and I stopped following. I would imagine that many people follow him for similar reasons, and continue to follow because they like his tweets or else want to build a relationship with an influencer.

    Besides that, I’d love to see you respond to my earlier comment, which I put a lot of time/thought into :).

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Thanks Lisa for this post, these lessons are excellent best practices for new folks learning the power of Twitter…I do like the mention about the helpful tools as well.

  • Lisa Barone

    Gab: Give me til tomorrow to respond to all the awesome comments here. With the liveblogging running around, I haven’t been able to spend as much time commenting here as I want (and should). Tomorrow things go back to normal and I’ll respond to peeps. I promise. Thanks for commenting, BTW. :)

  • john andrews

    @hannah said

    “I’ve heard several comments that you’re really overstepping the line of being brave”

    Social media fail. If it’s YOUR opinion, say it. If it’s hearsay, keep it to yourself. If you have no opinion, or lack the courage to express yourself, get out of the media until you either find your courage or find someone to do it for you. or, just be a follower of celebrity talking heads… they love your kind.

    Great job Lisa.

  • FionnD

    I just got back in the office from SES and this is the first time I have had a chance to read the reviews. Lisa is so right (very colorfully put) this guy (pardon the pun) is completely off base. I do not think the subject of how Guy Kawasaki spams Twitter should be a keynote at SES. How are we ever going to be taken seriously as an industry when we devote a whole hour to a spammer or a Twammer as I like to call him. I sat in that session and cringed. I fel like I had gone back 6 years to disucssions on how to turn Google into garbage with Black Hat SEO now its Twitter. Twitter needs to exercise some controls of die off as pure Spam. I can see why Guy is a draw to entreprenurs because they want to make money like he did so have him as Keynote but choose a different topic.

    Guy says UFM him if you dont like it. Done!

  • Eric Lander

    Hopefully this post gets some more attention now that SESNY has wrapped up and everyone’s here reading the coverage. If not, my apologies on the late comment.

    Guy Kawasaki’s mentioning of Tynt at the SES keynote, from what I have read, was restricted to the benefits behind the Tynt Tracer tool. Tracer seems useful for some aspects of SEO.

    The irony here though is that Tynt was the one stealing content in the past.

    In September Tynt broke onto the scene allowing users to mark up anyone else’s content with visuals, cartoons, sticky notes, etc. I posted *their* example of Tynt’s use here.

    Search marketers were infuriated because in order to do this Tynt had to republish your content on their own domain of just to make it all work.

    Making matters even worse, Tynt’s system used a combination of tools to steal your content which made blocking them from doing so next to impossible. Combinations of .htaccess files, IP detection and user agent sniffing did nothing to prevent your content from being copied and Tynt’s website offered no opt-out whatsoever.

    With the help and research of industry peers I published my first post on Tynt called Tynt: Stealing Site Owner’s Content & Refuses to be Blocked? (See Also

    It quickly gathered comments, Sphinns and even yielded a phone call between Tynt’s CEO Derek Ball and Scott Polk, a Senior Optimization Strategist for Bruce Clay, Inc. The resulting attention from the post and conversation prompted Tynt to respond publicly on their own blog when Derek Ball posted Tynt Responds to SEO Community. There were a number of inaccurate statements or assumptions in Derek’s post.

    I then posted Tynt’s CEO Derek Ball Responds to SEO Community Concerns which covered my thoughts of Tynt’s response along with commentary from Graywolf, incrediBill and others. One of the most alarming elements to this story came from your own Rae Hoffman who noted that non-content files like XML sitemaps, robots.txt files and others were all available for Tynt users to modify and mark up.

    Throughout this entire situation Guy Kawasaki’s name was involved.Many people twittered replies to him about Tynt, asked him to become involved via email, and we all asked Derek Ball about his involvement.

    We had zero response from Guy.

    Now, I could be way off here… Considering this army of Twitter account holders Guy employs who are just waiting to pounce on any opportunity to promote, reinforce or applaud his brand publicly – where was the response?

    There was a clear opportunity to work with a dozen or more people who knew precisely how Tynt could make good on their intentions. It was even more disastrous considering the search marketing industry, armed with some of the most influential online marketers, would have continued to applaud Tynt’s efforts if they took the high road.

    Instead, they go back – scrap their entire program and rebuild a tool that completely goes against their original model.. and Guy then has the audacity to promote Tynt?

    The icing though was Guy telling his 94,000+ followers yesterday that I’m “so misinformed”. Isn’t that exactly what he has been regarding Tynt’s value to the SEO community?

    Good thing he’s not on their advisory board or anything.

  • Augusto Ellacuriaga

    Just wanted to point out what Guy said in this video at around 15:34:
    “For me, I consider spam if someone else does it to me, but if I do it, it’s good marketing”

  • Lisa Barone

    Okay, I’m just getting caught up so I’m going to do my best to respond accordingly to everyone. ;) Have mercy on me. It’s been a long week!

    Griffin: I feel your pain. Guy Kawasaki is this year’s Jason Calacanis. We’re going to see him whored out until every just starts to roll their eyes and move on. Hopefully that’ll be sooner rather than later.

    Terry: Misleading how?

    Gab: I don’t judge Guy for how he uses it. I think he uses it poorly, but that’s his choice to do so. I don’t follow him and therefore don’t have to deal with it.

    What got to me in this session was his total lack of respect for those that *do* choose to follow him. To hear him mock Twitter, make fun of people’s reactions to it, and then talk about his followers as if they’re dogs or trained monkey’s, that’s when I began to get upset. He’s given two keynotes on Twitter is 2-3 weeks. You’d think he’d have some respect for the people he’s talking about.

    I’m in the world of community building. That’s what I do, through the blog, through Twitter, through other social media avenues. People are important to me. The people who read this blog and who are kind enough to engage with me, they matter to me. I value them. When I hear about other people basically kicking those that have invested in them…that really bothers me. Perhaps I’m oversensitive. I’d rather be oversensitive than feel nothing.

    As for him having people tweet for him…sure, if it was a company, I’d have no problem with that. Because we expect that from companies. But when you’re a *personal* brand, people expect to get *you*. They want to know what Guy finds interesting, what he’s talking about, etc. If I suddenly hired people to start tweeting as @lisabarone, I have a feeling people would find that deceptive and call me out on it. Because it is.

    Dave Matson: Appreciate that. People don’t realize that these posts are written in the moment and then published with 10 minutes of the keynote/session ended. Things are still fresh. They’re heated. They’re fast. Would the post have been more *perfect* and maybe calmer had I had more time to edit and review and change things? Of course. But it’s liveblogging. That’s not the nature. Thanks again for the comment.

    Alan Bleiweiss: You’re awesome. That’s really all I have to say about that. :)

  • Gab Goldenberg

    Perhaps we’re miscommunicating then. “What got to me in this session was his total lack of respect for those that *do* choose to follow him. To hear him mock Twitter, make fun of people’s reactions to it, and then talk about his followers as if they’re dogs or trained monkey’s, that’s when I began to get upset.”

    WHen I read your post, it wasn’t clear what in particular he said of that nature. It felt like that was just your interpretation bc he says it’s a tool. What did he say, precisely?

  • AussieWebmaster

    Lisa you should have just covered my 10 minute spiel on Twitter – no self-promo just potential if we get beyond the ego stroking narcissism. Any time you need a place to stay in NY to blog a conference or seminar you know my place is yours… keep up the voice of anti-BS

  • Maria Marsala

    There is nothing more refreshing than reading something written by a New Yorker. Give me honesty and bluntness any day of the week!

    Doesn’t matter if I agree or not, it’s good to see more than 1 side to every story.

    HIP HIP!

  • Mike

    New York is the best place in the world. Excellent article.

  • Michael Schwartz

    Great tips. One that stood out, I recently started using Tynt and am already a big fan. It really makes it much easier for people to link to you.

  • Richard A. Lewis

    You are right Michael . Tynt seems to be a very interesting tool.

  • Phani

    Good to see that you are accepting negative comments as well! Anyways I agree with you! A little bit of spam can be accepted :p

  • 10th Degree

    I think there are definitely two approaches to Twitter; the first is “quality over quantity” and involves developing a solid connection with followers who are genuinely interested in your subject. The second is the “Guy” approach, a bit more spammier but focusing on volume. Both methods can work depending on what your goals are. If you want to do it on a higher level, #2 would be a good way to go.