Twitter Karma

Twitter Karma is my favorite application for managing Twitter friends and followers. It’s especially great for people who have a lot of connections. I’m regularly surprised other applications have not included bulk actions the way Twitter Karma does. The killer features are “bulk follow” and “bulk unfollow”. If you want to follow all of your followers for instance, you can just “select all”, then click “Bulk Follow” and that’s all there is to it. No need for individual clicks. Also, because you can sort your connections in order of most recent tweet activity, the people who have never updated or stopped using the system sink to the bottom and can be isolated for your actions. Here is a step by step process of how I use the tool every couple of weeks to clean up my account. I tend to get rid of most of the people who have dropped me, and follow most of the people who have followed me:

At the time of this writing I am following 4373 people and have 4608 people following me:

Once I’m logged into my Twitter account, I head over to Twitter Karma at http://dossy.org/twitter/karma/ and click “Whack!” to let the app run: 

This can take quite some time to process depending on how many connections you have. Remember that the time it takes is not an indication of how crappy Twitter Karma is; if you have a lot of connections it takes a long time because Twitter Karma is going to render them out for you all on one page. If you do have a lot of connections, go have a sandwich or clean your room and come back in five or ten. It’s worth the wait. Eventually a page like this will appear:

In the above screenshot, you can see how Twitter Karma lays out the connection on the page but what you cant see here is that I was able to scroll the very long page as Twitter Karma rendered all 4627 of my friends on the same page. Yes, that’s right, thats a lot of pictures to load on one page and it takes a long time to scroll down to the end. But as seen in the screenshot below, the first thing I do is select “Only Followers” to display all of the people who are following me, but who I’m not following yet:

Since everyone is sorted by “time of most recent tweet”, as you can see above, there are many active users with recent updates who are following me so I am inclined to follow them back. However, as you can see below, at the end of my list, there are many people who follow me, but have never updated. If they have never updated, or have not updated in over 60 days, there is nothing for me to see there so there is no reason for me to follow these people:

Thus, I will check the top half, but not the bottom half, and then select “Bulk Follow”. Now I will be following all of my new connections.

Next I will go on to get rid of the people who I have been following, but recently dropped me. As you can see below, there are a total of 20 people who stopped following me since the last time I checked in. This may because I suck but also happens regularly when people are trying to game the system. They will add you as a friend and then wait for you to add-back, then drop you. This is a method many people use for building up friends while trying to seem cool by only ever following a few people. This is why I dont auto-ad-back people. In the below example, I simply clicked “Check All” then clicked “Bulk Unfollow”. Damn, looks like I was dropped by MCHammer:

Because developers of 3rd party apps like Twitter Karma only get a limited amount of API calls per time period, I’ve noticed that I can only use Twitter Karma once a day. If I try to use it any more, it wont work because I will have used up all of my call requests. It should reset in an hour but I’ve noticed that it can often take a day to reset with this application for some reason. If you have a hard time with Twitter Karma or feel it’s clunky or don’t like the look and feel, I would say that you should lower your expectations and just focus on the crucial functionality. It has a a couple of killer-app features that you can’t get anywhere else and it’s free. 


Rocketboom and Lisa Nova Join Forces

It is my greatest pleasure to announce that Rocketboom is teaming up with Lisa Nova to produce additional content for the Rocketboom network. In addition to Rocketboom’s rock-solid anchor, Joanne Colan, Rocketboom will expand from five episodes per week, to seven episodes per week with the addition of Lisa Nova hailing from a new west coast Rocketboom news desk.

Lisa Nova will of course continue to post on her Youtube LisaNova Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/LisaNova in parallel with creating and hosting two news days per week of Rocketboom. 


In my post in August announcing our partnership with Sony Pictures, I had a few words to say about how this positioned us alongside some of the other networks which grew out of independent shows like Rocketboom (e.g. Revision3, Nextnewnetworks, etc.). A lot of the networks created a series of verticals, or silos for their shows, in an attempt to fill up demand for niche interests with specialized content for different types of people (e.g. the Weblogs, Inc./Gawker model of expanding from one blog on one specialized topic to many blogs on many topics.) Audiences however are very hard to build up and a “template” for the various show websites, etc. may not fit everyone’s needs. It’s likely more difficult to leverage production resources and especially more difficult to leverage your audience from one show to another. If your company is the size of CBS, its not the same kind of a problem. If you are a small start up trying to leverage a show into a network in the most efficient and economical way, another way is to “spin off”.

Anyone remember who lived next door to Archie Bunker in All in the Family? Yep, The Jefferson’s which went on to became it’s own show. An even better example stems from Stephen Colbert, the once rare correspondent of the “The Daily Show”. The audience loved him so much, the show kept bringing him back and by the time they were ready to branch off with a new show, The Colbert Show, they had a formula, a system, the brain trust, support systems, tested pilots and especially the audience all in place and on stand by to nearly guarantee the success of the show. 

As it relates to Rocketboom, we realized this last year consequently with our Know Your Meme series. Over the winter holidays, in order to give ourselves a break, we decided we would prerecord an entire week of Know Your Meme episodes and run them back-to-back, breaking down the memes and viral videos of the year. By surprise, our audience went nuts and the episodes became some of our most popular content ever. Since we loved the series too, we decided we would spend the year developing the show and continue to sprinkle episodes into Rocketboom as test runs and pilots while building up the idea with our audience.

Rocketboom’s Elspeth Rountree in a Know Your Meme episode

Starting today with two weeks of back-to-back episodes of Know Your Meme for the holidays, along with a weekly Know Your Meme series for yet another episode per week, many more field reports as we grow our Human Wire category and our field correspondents and right away, with Lisa Nova on board, our staple daily news offerings will double in 2009.

Rocketboom Field Correspondent Ruud Elmendorp reporting from Kenya

On another note…

I’m also very proud to announce a new project that we have begun with Agility Studios. Together we are building a project that is not content creation, but is related to online video. We are not going to say another word about it until we are ready to release it, but I’m ultra excited because it fills a very big hole in the video marketplace that has not been captured. We are currently looking for developers and a designers to begin working in our studio in NYC starting this January so please pass on the word if you know of anyone.

I am feeling the weight of the economy on my personal life and in the world around me and have seen several of our colleagues and competitors take big hits in the last few months (Mobligic and Mobuzz are all but gone, Rev3 had large layoffs, shows were slashed, etc.), so I’m even more grateful than ever to our awesome partner Crackle at Sony Pictures – this has been a great year for Rocketboom as a result. And Sony has been a real pleasure to work with. Everyone has been extremely bright, helpful, honest, sincere, and especially open. We truly feel supported at Sony and only hope we can give back to our group as much as they have given to us throughout our partnership.

If I had to extract one major point – a single insight for a business like Rocketboom – I’d say it all comes down to content. In the earliest stages of creating a content business, if you find yourself spread too thin trying to do everything from business dev to producing to tech, it might be better to spend the majority of your time improving your final content offering. With that, everything else will likely come more easily. With everything we do, it’s always the day to day episodes that we want to make as wonderful as possible. Every day counts.