Power Twitter user tells us his secrets!
DD: Right, hello everybody. Wells we’re gonna have a little special interview today with a very important guest. This is guest is someone that we’ve known for a long time. He’s a Markzware customer, or at least was when he used to be a printer. He’s now off on his own doing consulting and cross media along with print media, which is quite interesting. He’s also the ‘voorzitter’, the chairman of the board for the CMBO, CMBO in Holland. It’s a very important organization that ties together, let’s say, cross media and printing. Now it works very closely with the printing organization in Holland, the KVGO, the royal Dutch printing association. He’s on the front cover here of the latest ‘Graficus’ here in Holland. They have a nice little, full-page article on him here. So, let’s give Peter a call. Let’s go over there on iChat and give him a call and see if he can do a little interview with us. ‘Cause he’s very active on Twitter and I’m interested how he sees the usefulness of Twitter for printers and professionlsin media in general. So let’s give him a call.
DD: Okay, great. I have him on the line now How are you doing today Peter?
PvT: Fine. How are you David?
DD: Very well, very well.
DD: Well we know you for quite a long time and… and I could give an intro, but maybe it is better, before we jump into the subject to Twitter here, you can give a little background on who you are, what you do etc.
PvT: Yes… Well I’m 40 years old and I’m married, I’ve 3 kids. Right now I’m an independent cross media specialist and I help my clients understand cross media and technology and I know a little bit about content processes like creation, distribution, etc. And at the time I’m chairman for CMBO.
PvT: Which is a type of an association of media production companies here in Holland.
DD: Yes… very cool, yeah. And Peter is well known in the industry and he’s… he comes from a printing background, he co-owned a print shop, or more, I guess, actually.
PvT: Yeah, I had a printing company from the early nineties. And that evolved into a type of content management company. And I left that company August last year.
DD: Yes… very nice, yeah. And now you’re active with the CMBO and all these organizations and your consulting, but what really caught my attention was: you’re really active on Twitter. I mean you have somewhere around 765 people following you, which is quite a few. I mean there’s others with more, but that’s a pretty good amount of people following you and… why did you choose to get active on Twitter? What drove you there?
PvT: Well… I’m like an early adopter and I really like to try out beta web services. Every web service is a beta today. So, it’s still a beta, but I like to try out these new tools and to see if it is of any use with me in my work or if it’s any use for somebody… for professional use and I met this tech blogger, Robert Scobel, a couple of years ago and I followed him online since then and Twitter really took off… on a South by Southwest conference in Texas in… I think it was fall 2006. And I started using it February 2007. It was a nice tool to see what users were doing and what they were looking at and reading. So, it’s kind of a news tool for me and now it is a networking tool as well.
DD: Yeah… I noticed you give those personal insights into your daily life, but yes… you’re also talking business and giving tips and getting tips. So, I have to say Peter is a sort of a model Twitter user. He’s a sort of the way a lot of folks will use it. Get personable, but also give a lot of professional insights.
DD: So, now more on to something I’ve been getting into a lot lately. Why should players from print media or why should printers consider using Twitter?
PvT: Well, the funny thing is… with Twitter is that you can… It is like talking or chatting to somebody as we’re doing now, but you’re not on to just one person. You’re talking to a lot of persons as your followers and I don’t think that the number of followers is leading, but I think the quality of your followers is even… actually discuss or talk with them about new developments or new technology or anything else. And what it is really good for is… especially for printers is that they have a platform to demonstrate their expertise or their knowledge and they can share it with other users. That is, I think, the main part of networking in general as well. The same rules that apply to Twitter as well you share your … and by that you generate traffic to your website because some get interested in what you’re talking about and you also establish your expertise in the specific print area as well.
DD: Yes… and you mentioned some good tools in another conversation we had, which is TweetDeck. Another tool, third party tools that help you use Twitter, which people should look into as well and I’ll give some in the text on the blog.
DD: Are you active in any other social networking sites, or online tools or anything else?
PvT: Well, there are two, of course… Well, as an early adopter I think I have profiles on most social networks, but I don’t actively use them. The one I use most actively is LinkedIn as a professional at work and one I’m more actively using lately is a service called ‘frame feed’.
DD: Oh, yeah.
PvT: Which is a… it’s more like an aggregator of all your social networks and information streams and where you can actively discuss news or technology news. Things that Twitter is lacking a little bit. You can react and you can talk to each other, but you don’t get a condensed view discussion. That is what frame feed is facilitating. It is taking off a bit and it’s very interesting to follow specific subjects as well.
DD: Yes indeed… it’s ever evolving and…
PvT: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It never stops.
DD: Yes, I’ve enjoyed getting involved in this online social networking bit, but it is sometimes a bit daunting. But I guess the best advice is: stick with it and it’ll come for itself all these different networks.
PvT: Yeah, but what I think is the main thing about networking is also in real life is that you have to… your main focus should be: “what can I do for you” instead of “what can you do for me”.
DD: Good point.
PvT: If you start… if you go by the second way, I think you’ll end up with a worthless network very soon and I think what a thing like LinkedIn is great for is to see what people are doing and who they are connecting to and than you get a certain insight on their expertise and their networks and you can see if you can help them before you can ask the question: What can you do for me?
DD: Yes, that’s a very good point. That’s been in my tests throughout the years. Last year and a half or so, I’ve noticed in totally different networks that when you get too greedy you fail. But when you list people out and care like you normally do, with real networks anyway, things go for themselves very good.
PvT: Yes, yes.
DD: Well, thank you, today. I will give a link to people where they can see you on Twitter, which is: https://twitter.com/pvantees
DD: Of course, I’ll provide that link and they can come chat with you on Twitter.
PvT: Yes, of course, cool.
DD: Great! Well thank you.
PvT: Okay. Thank you, David.
DD: Have a good day. Too bad we can’t ice skate anymore, but maybe next week.
PvT: Well, you never know, David, you never know.
PvT: Bye, Bye.
DD: See you, now.
(End of transcript)
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Links for Peter:
More Resources for Printers:
TweetDeck (an Adobe AIR based app):
Great Twitter resource for printers:
Twitter Tips for Business from Print-Media Expert