Friday, June 26, 2009

Changing My Twitter Name (without losing followers)

I started on Twitter with a couple of friends the week it came out of Beta, and we had no idea just how big this would get a few years down the line. Back then I happily hid behind the nom de plume of 'Lactose the Intollerent' so that I could voice my opinion while being a part of a large news organization and with out the fear of repecussions. Times, however, have changed.

Now I work in social media and, frankly, my name is my brand. Hindesight is a marvelous thing, and it's unlikely back then we'd have gone for the names we did if we'd have know what Twitter was to become. Consequently I've decided to risk changing my username to my real name, and take close stock of the consequences.

Here is how I changed my Twitter name (hopefully) without losing any followers.

, I checked my name was available. Important one this..., all was clear.

, I made the name change. You can change your Twitter name at any time on the ’settings’ page at Piece of cake. Bob's ya uncle. Yada, yada.

Third, I create a new account with my old Twitter name. I added a pic, chanced the background, added a URL to the new @nikhewitt twitter account, and posted a single tweet telling folks my name had changed. I also had to change the graphic on my background which, luckily, I'd saved as a PSD when I did it.

, I let folks know through my old account, now @nikhewitt, that the name had changed but they needed to do nothing about it. I just did this for 'belt and braces' really, so they don't see something they don't recognise popping up in their stream.

, I ran around quickly changing the resorces I know used the old name/RSS stream, like the widget on the blog, FriendFeed, a few Ning sites, any links I could think of, PodBean etc. I'm sure there's a few stragglers, but I'll pick them up when I notice them and there's nothing important. Disco.

Including writing this post, the whole thing probably took about an hour.

Doing it this way I won’t lose any of my followers (touch wood) and they’ll all see the name change as their Twitter clients refresh. I did, however, miss a couple of @replys direcly after the switch. Most Twitter apps won’t update existing tweets with a new name until they are restarted, it seems. As a result a couple of @replys went to the old account. This was literally just for 20 minutes though, but if you're doing this yourself be sure to monitor your old account for a bit so you can catch missed replies and update your follower of the name change.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Podcast on Microblogging

Just for your info, our informal semi-weekly 'Yank & Limey' podcast is live at Podbean.

This week, a tiny bit late and in a change from the scheduled chat on Virtual Worlds, @alizasherman and I talk microblogging, applications we use to smooth the social media process, tweeting etiquette, and twitter journalism.

There's a good chance we'll be doing the Virtual Worlds cast later this week.

Yank and Limey is also available on iTunes.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Online Journalism: Yesterday & Today

Found this in my inbox this morning.

Sad in a way, but probably true.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The League of Marvels

This'll thouroughly appeal to some of the folks I know.

A top-draw joint project from the craft knives of Bruce Ross & Joshua Izzo. There's more information and more pictures here, here, here, and here.

See if you can name them all before you go and look, I got 'em all right but one ;-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Been Busy

Maybe I should just shoot this blog and put it out of it's misery?

Where have I been? Short answer, busy.

Suddenly, I was self employed again with all that that entails. It's been a long time and, at first, I didn't like it very much. Day time television is appalling and it's hard to go from a dynamic creative envoironment (even one within an old institution like Northcliffe) with good friends of some 6 years standing, to suddenly having to make all the running. Gotta be honest, it took me a while to get my head around it. I'm easing into it now.

So, what's been happening? Well, I've found a good company (actually, an 'excellent' company) to work with on a regular basis, and I've got a fine crop of social media projects to keep me interested. I'm working with a firm in the US called Conversify, AKA Aliza Sherman and Monique Etwell, social media and business marketing specialists and their awesome team of hard working researchers, writers, and community specialists. They're a joy to work with. They really know their stuff, which, in a world where every cybersquatter and his dog is trying to hop on the seemingly easy-ride of the social media bandwaggon, is refreshingly and amazingly rewarding. I've been working as project manager and strategist on campaigns as diverse as financial products, film festivals, college education (yada, yada) and across the full gamut of social media channels. I'm rather enjoying it and we're all hoping it turns into a permanent position :-)

I've been doing a few lecturing gigs for students, journalists, and PR companies. Including a chunk for my good friends at BCS in Notingham (who used to work with us on Lasting Tribute ) and who thoroughly understand the value of leveraging social marketing. If anyone's curious about arranging a presentation for a group, drop me an email and we'll talk. It's likely, if it's social media, I already something prepared that's suitable.

Aliza 'Cybergrrl' Sherman (of Conversify) and I have started a new podcast, 'Yank and Limey', under which we talk about social media & trans-Atlantic web habits. You can find it here at Podbean, and on iTunes. The first one's a bit of a ramble, but the second one improves and we've committed to a weekly slot and we've got bags of material to keep it going.

I've got back into using virtual worlds for pleasure instead of business (it might be time for another change of blog title, actually). I'm a sim owner now, renting out skybox space to fellow Dr Who geeks. It's not-for-profit, just covering the bills, but it means we have cheap prims and build space at our disposal.

I've been going to the gym as usual. Putting on weight through inactivity I guess. Getting some decent walks in, including 34 miles in 12hrs on The Sandstone Trail. Hoping to do some more while the weather's good. Looking forward to getting out on the hills so much it's promoted me to finally take some driving lessons and maybe sort out some transport of my own.

Anyway, that's me of late. Busy, but happy.

If you want to keep up on the usual crop of links and stuff, grab me on Twitter at @lactose or follow us on 'Yank & Limey'.

Doesn't blogging seem 'SO' 2004 :-)