Sunday, October 30, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
When it comes to wine, do you wish you were just a bit more savvy? Then the Cellar Angels blog is for you! Below you’ll learn the “Top 11 Wine Facts” every wine lover should know…
|Great Red Wine is HEALTHY|
- Wine making is an art that has been practiced for over four thousand years. Essentially wine falls into three basic categories: table, sparkling and fortified wine.
- Wine making begins when the grapes are crushed and the juice is extracted. The juice contains sugar and yeast. The yeast ferments the sugar and gradually alcohol and CO² are produced. Although the alcohol is always the same, every wine has its own flavor. This depends on the type of grape used and the conditions in which fermentation occurs.
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Syrah grapes make full, rich red wines. Merlot and Pinot Noir grapes generally produce somewhat lighter, softer red wines. Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are popular white wine varietals
- A wine’s vintage is the year the grapes were harvested, and is listed on most wine bottles. Some vintages produce better wines than others.
- Most wine is meant to be consumed immediately, as winemakers will frequently hold the wine for 2-5+ years before release. Some red wines will improve with a little aging, some for as long as 10+ years. However, most white wines do not benefit from aging. Champagne, some Rieslings and sweet dessert wines are a few exceptions
- If a sparkling wine comes from the Champagne region of France it is named after that region. Other French regions that produce good wine are Bordeaux and Burgundy. Popular Italian wines come from Tuscany and Piedmont, and the most famous American wines come from California.
- Wine can be enjoyed like any other drink, but is often consumed with a meal. For full flavored meats such as beef, choose a full red wine, like a Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.
- For lighter meat dishes like pork or roasted chicken, a medium bodied red like a Merlot or Pinot Noir is usually a good choice.
- A simple fish or chicken dish will go well with a Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling or a Pinot Gris (Grigio).
- Sparkling wine is best served between 5c degrees 10 degrees. White wines are best served around 8c degrees and 15 degrees. A red wine should be served below room temperature, around 20c degrees 25c degrees.
- Older red wines may have sediment and if so, require decanting before consumption. A full-bodied red wine will benefit from ‘breathing’ for about half an hour or more after the bottle is opened. For best results, decant the red wine into another container. This allows a greater surface area of the wine to breathe and leaves the sediment (found in older vintages) behind in the bottle. If you do not have a decanter, pour the wine into glasses and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
Red wine is my passion and there are many Wine stories on my website.
Monday, October 24, 2011
We’ve collected 11 of the best and most helpful Twitter apps, sites and tips that you might not know, compiling what we think are some of the best tools available to help you get the most out of your Twitter activity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Did we miss one? Please share your thoughts and let us know the top tools, apps and tips you think should be on this list in the comments.
1. Find out when you were unfollowed and why
This is an excellent tool both for business and personal use on Twitter: Tweeteffect. By searching for any Twitter username, you can see a summary of how many follows/unfollows that account gained over the past 30 days. Where it gets really clever though, is when you scroll down you can see a full summary of your tweets and which ones caused you to gain or lose followers, and how many. Tweets highlighted in green are where you gained followers and tweets in red are where you lost followers. The screenshot below shows an example of this from my Twitter account. Business users in particular should monitor this to look for patterns, as although some may be coincidental you could find patterns emerging that allow you to optimise your Twitter activity.
2. Advanced Search on Tweetdeck
While many people use the advanced search function on Twitter, the same search operators apply when searching on Tweetdeck. This can make for a much more efficient and streamlined way to search, if you want to filter by location for example, or exclude certain keywords from your search term. You can do this by loading up the search bar as you would normally (by selecting ‘add column, then ‘search’), and simply applying the search operators. You can then save those searches for instant updates. Here’s a handy list of the search operators that you might want to try, with the full list available here :
3. Optify – Measure your Twitter campaigns
Optify is a social media monitoring tool that contains a free product for Twitter, allowing you to measure the success of your Twitter account. While it offers much of the same tools available within CoTweet for managing your Twitter account, Optify does offer a lot more in the way of Twitter analytics, which is key for any business active on Twitter. Though you’re required to set up an account to use Optify, you don’t have to add any credit card details and the Twitter section is always free to use. I recommend you set up an account on Optify to gain full visibility of your performance on Twitter, as they offer an impressive advanced analytics suite. The tool also allows you to track leads and referral traffic from Twitter, so you have full visibility of the ROI of your activity:
4. Monitor your new followers
Tweetdeck has a handy option that not many people use or discover, that allows you to monitor your latest followers. You can find this by adding a new column in Tweetdeck and then select ‘Core’. This will bring up an option on the right called ‘New Followers’. Select this and you’ll have a new column on Tweetdeck that only contains tweets from your newest followers. This is an excellent way of building out your community on Twitter and making sure you’re keeeping track of your new followers. It can be easy to stick to the same people on Twitter and not follow your new followers back, but this helps to ensure you can always find valuable new connections :
5. Share Screencasts on Twitter
This is a great way to add different content to your Twitter stream. Screenr is an app that allows you to create screencasts instantly, including the option to add an audio commentary. This screencast can then be shared straight into your social networks, including Twitter. The site is very quick and easy to use and I think it offers a great way for companies to share new content with their users, such as showing them a new section of their site for example. It’s also likely to engage your followers a bit more as they might not be used to seeing this kind of content within Twitter.
6. Twitter for Android
Tweetcaster is a very cool app available for Android users. The mobile app allows you to create multiple Twitter accounts that can be managed with the same screen, which is great if you run personal and business profiles. The app has lots of nice functionality to make for an easy Twitter mobile experience, including being able to easily navigate to different user profiles and easy integration of complementary services such as shortening urls, sharing photos and videos. Tweetcaster is also available as an app for the iPhone, though it appears to be getting the most positive reviews across the Android platform, with poor image quality seeming to be an issue for the iPhone version.
7. Post images from Flickr
Flick to Twitt is a nice app that allows you to instantly share your photo uploads in Flickr, back to Twitter. This is a useful app as there is a correlation between active Flickr users and Twitter users. Though there are plenty of photo sharing services available through Twitter, such as twitpic or Yfrog, Flick to Twitt offers a simple one-click process to tweet your Flickr uploads instantly. You don’t need to create a separate profile, simply add your Twitter and Flickr logins and you can instantly share links to your photos.
8. Twitter SEO Tip
I found this interesting SEO experiment using Twitter Lists, courtesy of Peter Drew, that can be easily replicated across any Twitter account. SEO still applies to Twitter profiles in the same way as any other site and this tip shows you how you can use SEO on Twitter lists to help improve your Google ranking for your chosen keyword. By creating a Twitter list that has your chosen keyword in it, such as twitter.com/LaurenFisher/socialmedia you can help your Twitter profile rank for your own name, plus your chosen keyword. Though this will happen naturally as you’re added to Twitter lists, you can help control this by creating your own that contains a keyword you’d like to rank for. When Peter Drew ran the experiment he found the Page Rank steadily improving for the list and despite not promoting it at all, it had a Page Rank of 4 within 2 weeks. Through further optimisation, the term is now appearing in the top 50 results on Google, showing the importance of SEO via different means within Twitter.
9. Find trending topics
Twopular is a useful site that allows you to find the trending topics on Twitter, split by hours, weeks, months and the past year, allowing you to access archived trending topics. While the homepage of the site provides lots of useful information on current trending topics, there’s lots more you can discover by clicking further, such as the ability to compare trending topics, adding in your own search terms to compare to the trends offered. Their ‘sparklines’ are also particularly interesting, allowing you to see peaks in trends over time, with the option to drill down further to see particular results:
10. Find deals on Twitter
This Twitter coupon search is a handy tool that allows you to see which deals are currently being shared on Twitter. You can search by keyword or type to see a current Twitter stream of people sharing offers in real-time. What I like about this is that it adds some authority to deals. Though there are plenty of deal aggregator sites, the user experience is often messy, leading to old links or offers that aren’t always legitimate. As this is based on links being shared, there is an element of trust in the results. You can click right next to a result to claim that coupon code.
11. Browse your Twitter friends
This is a very cool site that allows you to easily track connections with other new users and discover new people to follow. To use the app, simply put in your own (or any) Twitter username to bring up your latest connections. You can then click on the avatar for the profiles returned, to instantly see their own latest followers, tracking your connections between the two. By continually clicking and dragging you can build out the connections returned, making it incredibly easy to find new people to follow. Warning: it can get a little addictive.
Did we miss one? Please share your thoughts and let us know the top tools, apps and tips you think should be on this list in the comments.
Co-founder at Simply Zesty. I love everything social and I think I have the best job in the world! I'm particularly passionate about blogging and seeing innovative uses of social platforms by organisations. Feel free to drop me an email if you've got any questions, comments or you just want to say hi - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, October 23, 2011
|Queen Elizabeth II|
In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).
Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.' Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary').
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of '-ize.'
3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
God Save the Queen!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
140 characters may seem morsel-sized but billions of them have managed to put Twitter on everyone’s radar from celebrities to marketers. What began as an experimental side project in 2006 has quickly ascended the ranks to become one of the world’s best known and most utilized social networks. Not to mention the world’s first micro-blog and real-time news feed.
There have been a few hiccups along the way, to be sure. It wasn’t that long ago when overload resulted in frequent crashes that tested the patience of users everywhere. What’s more, the network was hardly capable of delivering the content that its growing user-base demanded. A devoted community of developers bridged the wide and often neglected gaps, offering users an array of choices for specialized applications. Yet, some of those chasms are now closing and the San Francisco-based company seeks stronger control at a time when its valuation is sky-rocketing.
Despite Twitter’s rapid metamorphosis from its experimental genesis to a network that has helped to spawn the titles of Social Media Marketer and Social CRM, there remain a surprising number of inaccurate misconceptions about it. Get that cup of coffee ready for a little light reading- we’ve pulled together some of the strongest and most important metrics to date that show Twitter for exactly what it is.
1. Twitter has over 200 Million accounts.
2. Headquartered in San Francisco, Twitter’s user-base is widely international with 70% of traffic coming from outside of the U.S. (Twitter).
3. The first tweet went out on March 21, 2006, by Founder Jack Dorsey after a mere 8 days of programming. It read, “just setting up my twttr”.
4. Today there are 1 Billion tweets PER WEEK (@Twitter).
5. 140 Million= average number of tweets PER DAY.
6. The average number of tweets per day has tripled in the past year (Twitter).
7. Twitter averaged 460,000 new accounts per day during Q1 of 2011 (Twitter).
8. Twitter’s market value is $4 Billion USD following recent funding in Q1 of 2011.
9. 8% of online Americans use Twitter (Pew Research, Nov 2010).
10. The average Twitterer has 27 followers.
11. Users aged 18-34 account for the largest age demographic in the U.S. at 45% (Quantcast).
12. Urban residents are nearly twice as likely to tweet than their rural counterparts (Pew Research).
13. Roughly one-quarter of all tweets originate in Japan (Twitter). In 2010, Japanese Twitter users numbered 13.2 Million, quadrupling from the previous year (comScore Data Mine). Meanwhile, Facebook has been unable to tap into the Japanese market with minimal growth since 2009.
14. Women slightly edge out men on Twitter (55%) (Quantcast).
15. 47% of users have children (Quantcast).
16. African and Hispanic-Americans are more than twice as likely to use Twitter than Caucasians (Pew Research).
17. Twitter users are more educated than the general population. Just 12% of users report a high school education or less (HubSpot Internet Marketing, Edison Research).
18. Twitter users have higher incomes than the population at large with nearly half of Twitterers earning $50,000 USD or more annually. This compares to 33% of the general population (HubSpot, Edison Research).
19. Many Twitter users are considered early adopters with 19% among the first to purchase new products upon launch compared to 10% of the general population (HubSpot, Edison Research).
About Traffic & Usage
20. Users are nearly divided equally among those who check the site daily and those who infrequently check it (Pew Research).
21. The 53% of users who check into their accounts daily account for 93% of all daily Twitter visits (Quantcast).
22. 52% of Twitter users update their status daily compared to just 12% of Facebook users (Digital Surgeons).
23. Users post a wide range of content on Twitter, with personal and professional-related tweets ranking highest (Pew Research).
24. Twitter ranks third behind Google and Facebook for driving news traffic. Of Twitter’s daily users, 55% share news story links (Pew Research).
25. One-quarter use Twitter to tweet their location. 7% do so daily (Pew Research).
26. Nearly two-thirds of Twitter users access the site via a mobile phone (Edison Research/Arbitron 2010).
27. The highest tweeting activity historically occurs following major events that attract world-wide attention (Twitter).
28. 177 Million= total tweets on March 11, 2011, the day of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami . This was 37 Million more tweets compared to an average day.
29. The ‘highest rate of sustained tweets ever’ followed the recent death of Osama bin Laden with an average of 3440 tweets PER SECOND (Twitter).
Twitter Marketing & Advertising
30. Twitter earned $45 Million in ad revenue in 2010. That number is expected to triple in 2011.
31. 42% of users utilize the platform to discover more information about a product or service (HubSpot, Edison Research).
32. 67% of users are more likely to buy products from brands they follow on Twitter. This compares favorably to the 51% who buy products from brands they follow on Facebook (HubSpot, Edison Research).
33. 93% of marketers employ social media for marketing purposes. 84% of them utilize Twitter (SocialMediaExaminer, Apr 2011).
34. 73% of marketers plan on increasing their Twitter activity this year (SocialMediaExaminer).
35. Companies that use Twitter gain twice the number of leads each month than their non-Tweeting counterparts (HubSpot, Edison Research).
36. Large businesses report the strongest interest in increasing Twitter activity with 77% reporting they will do so (SocialMediaExaminer).
37. 72% of marketers ‘new’ to social media intend to learn more about Twitter. For veteran social media marketers, that number dwindles to 45% (SocialMediaExaminer).
38. There are over 100,000 third-party Twitter applications have been built using the Twitter API to accommodate user demands that allow users to post photos, advertise, automate tweets, play games, track analytics and more.
39. Twitter recently acquired one of the most popular Twitter applications, TweetDeck, in April of 2011. It is estimated that some 13% of all tweets originate from the application.
40. Peaking in mid-2010, interest in the Twitter development API has declined from a high of 5.0 Search Volume Index to its current 3.0 (Google Trends- “Twitter API”) as Twitter has tightened the reigns on third-party apps.
Source: http://www.socialtechnologyreview.com written by Bonnie Boglioli-Randall