Tweepi: Twitter Follow Management With Stats

One of my “vacation” projects was to do some Twitter housecleaning. I needed to unfollow a lot of people who weren’t following me on one of my accounts. Twitter, as you know, provides no built-in options for filtering followers, mass unfollowing, or mass reciprocating (following people who follow you). When you get past a certain number of people, trying to manage followers through Twitter can make you want to scream.

I have one account that I essentially use to deliver content to a special interest group. I manually search for people who might be in this group using a saved keyword search in Tweetie. What I do is follow them just to let them know the account is there. If they’re interested, I figure they’ll follow back. And I don’t do this aggressively — only a few people a month. (Read Twitter’s rules/recommendations for acceptable follow practices.)

After a while, I had a buildup of people I had followed but who hadn’t followed back. And because Twitter won’t let me follow more than 2,000 people, and this keyword search technique is how I get the word out about the account, I can’t waste follows.

So this morning I did a Google search on “mass unfollow,” and found a few tools that would unfollow everybody who wasn’t following you. The problem was that they didn’t allow you to pick and choose, and there were a few of those tweeps I wanted to hang onto. So I did another search for “selective unfollow” and found Tweepi, “the first and only Twitter follow management with stats.” To quote the developer, it’s “very much a beta,” but it did what I needed and more, with a perfectly intuitive UI that required zero learning curve. Read More about Tweepi: Twitter Follow Management With Stats

Year-end Performance Reviews for Freelancers

In the corporate world, this is the time of the year for year-end performance reviews. But as a freelancer, how do you decide how well you’ve been performing? Do you even bother to assess your performance?

While it might seem like unnecessary overhead, I still think it’s worth spending a few hours to think about your performance over the past year. At the very least, you should be thinking about your accomplishments, your strengths, and areas where you could improve. The format is less important than spending some time reflecting on your performance, but I liked the format we used a few years ago when I was at a major corporation. Each performance review had three main sections: “Accomplishments,” “Strengths” and “Areas for Improvement,” and each section was limited to about three items. Read More about Year-end Performance Reviews for Freelancers

gwabbit Offers Free Version of Its Blackberry App

Gwabbit Logo

gwabbit is a handy application that automatically identifies and parses contact information from your emails to help ease the process of creating new entries in your contact list. I’ve written about the Outlook version (s msft) as well as the paid BlackBerry edition (s rimm) in the past and was impressed by the offering.

The team at gwabbit recently released a free version of the BlackBerry app. It offers the same functionality as the paid version, except that it automatically notifies the folks whose addresses you’ve grabbed via email. I’m not usually a huge fan of this sort of thing, but it could be useful to let people know you’re trying to keep in touch with them. Personally, I think I would spend the $9.99 annually and spring for the paid version. The time savings make it a no-brainer, as does the knowledge that you’re not bugging your friends, clients and contacts.

You can download gwabbit (both free and paid editions) at the BlackBerry App World.

Would gwabbit Free help you keep your contacts in order?

YouTube Pages Go Light as a Feather

In this gimme-gimme-now-now-now! Internet era, even waiting just a few seconds can spell the difference between someone staying on a page or exiting immediately. To appeal to the instant gratification set, YouTube (s GOOG) unveiled its “YouTube Feather” format today.

Feather is basically a lightweight version of a YouTube page that defaults videos to standard quality, and strips down the comments and related videos. The result, according to YouTube, will be a page that loads and plays quickly.

Feather is currently part of YouTube’s TestTube incubator, and you have to opt-in to the beta to check it out. Since I’m at home on a pretty fast connection, I noticed more (and welcomed) the visual sparseness of the page over any improved load time, but I could see this coming in handy when I’m on a shared Wi-Fi connection or going through my EVDO.

Start Now to Wrap Up 2009 and Prepare for 2010

For those perfect freelancers who remember to carefully record and track every expense, there isn’t much to do at tax time other than hand over their perfectly organized documents to their accountant. For the less perfect among us, we probably have some work to do. I am reasonably good at keeping track of everything, but there are always a few things that slide and get neglected. In my previous post about holiday stress reduction, I talked about getting ahead on some tasks that can be accomplished early — and one of those tasks is taxes.

For most freelancers, December is a slower month. Our clients are taking vacations and rarely does anyone schedule a big launch in December or January. This makes December an ideal time to get our finances in order, prepare for 2009 taxes and make any adjustments in our plans for 2010. Read More about Start Now to Wrap Up 2009 and Prepare for 2010

Capture Ideas On the Go: Idea Organizer for the iPhone

There’s one thing I can count on having on me at all times, and that’s my iPhone. It stands to reason, then, that in a pinch, my Apple (s aapl) wonder device is what I turn to in order to keep track of stray ideas and thoughts that might otherwise go unrecorded, lost forever to the ether. Imagine where we’d be if the Snuggie inventor hadn’t been able to record that gem.

Idea Organizer is an app for the iPhone that I recently discovered that makes logging those ideas incredibly easy. There are other ways to do what it does, some via built-in tools offered by Apple itself, but no other solution brings all the features and functionality together in the same place. Read More about Capture Ideas On the Go: Idea Organizer for the iPhone

Live-streaming Event: Video Rights Roundtable

Online video and copyright have been through a lot in the past few years, evolving from a highly contentious relationship to more a transactional partnership. But media creators and technology companies have learned about each others’ businesses largely in conference rooms and in courts. Today, at the NewTeeVee HQ here in San Francisco, we’re holding an event aimed at bringing the discussion into the light, giving stakeholders the chance to talk to one another constructively. Participants today will include content owners, video sites and copyright service providers, such as Ethan Applen, director of technology and business strategy, Warner Bros.; Betsy Zedek, counsel, content protection, Fox Group Legal; David King, senior product manager of Content ID, YouTube; Michael Seibel, CEO,; and Yangbin Wang, CEO, Vobile.
We will be live streaming the event, starting at 9:30 am PT, for two hours. We hope you can join us — please leave your thoughts as to what’s being discussed in the comments section. And for those who want to talk about it online, the Twitter hash tag is #NTVL.
To follow along via liveblog and get access to post-game analysis and video interviews with attendees, head over to GigaOM Pro. Sign up today with the discount code “BUNKERNTVL? to get an additional $20 off our $79 annual subscription price.

Keep Your Address Book in Sync With Google

google-macOne of the reasons that I recently upgraded to Snow Leopard (s aapl) was the new ability to sync the Mac OS X Address Book with Gmail’s (s goog) or Google Apps’ Contacts. This function has been around for a while, but for some reason, it was previously available only to iPhone users.

I really appreciate well-produced synchronization, because I’ve experienced firsthand how difficult it is to get right. It seems that software developers can never quite agree on how to organize contact information, so everyone’s databases are different. For a long time, for instance, one of the major makers of financial management software didn’t even create city, state and ZIP/postal code fields, opting instead for an address field where all of that information was run together, making the data very difficult to parse.

So I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Snow Leopard’s “sync with Google” function, especially because I have a fairly large address book, and most of its entries have photos associated with them, something that very few sync solutions even try to support. Read More about Keep Your Address Book in Sync With Google