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A Review of Paper.li: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Topless woman reading a newspaper

Is a news aggregator the best way to keep abreast of news on Twitter?

Paper.li is a news aggregator. It gathers Twitter posts from a keyword, a list, or  a specific Twitter account and collects what it perceives to be the popular stories and tweets. It then puts them together in a unified format that is like an online paper.

I decided to try it out to see what I thought about the service:

The Good

  • Gathers news from the sources of your choice
  • Is a good clearing house of recently tweeted news
  • Great way to view what has been happening online without having to go through thousands of tweets.
  • Easy to set up
  • Easy to read format
  • Visually appealing
  • Nice way to promote people’s tweets and posts
  • Self Promoting, it posts the paper for you
  • You can have morning and night editions, daily or weekly
  • Once you set the parameters, it will create itself according to specifications
  • Establishes authority for people mentioned in the paper

The Bad

  • You cannot edit the paper, only parameters from which it pulls information
  • You do not control who it references in your tweet about the paper coming out
  • You do not have editorial control over your paper
  • You cannot chose what posts get put in and what gets left out
  • No approval before posting
  • Promotes the paper as something you created

The Ugly

  • Not everyone you put in your paper will want to be in your paper
  • People might get mis-credited for posts due to re-tweeting
  • You cannot fix a mis-post
  • Promotes a message as an overall source when it is pulling news based on set parameters as limited as a single Twitter account.

The positives about Paper.li far outweigh the negatives. Overall I feel it is a valuable resource, however the bads and the uglies do cause concern. The lack of editorial control is the biggest issue I have.

In a paper I created to try out the service, a story was mis-credited.  The Tweep that it was mis-credited to pointed it out to me. Of course, because of the lack of editorial control, I could not change it.  To remedy the situation I deleted the paper.

I have also experienced this in other people’s papers. I have seen posts I have written credited to other people. Of course when pointed out, it could not be fixed and properly credited.

I based my paper off a list I created called “Adult Industry”  that became the name of the paper.  Though I could have changed the name, I didn’t think to change it.  So the name indicated that the paper was representative of all Adult Industry, when in fact it was not. It was a sampling of the industry.  Most of the papers I have seen seem to convey the same thing. They are called things like “Music Daily” “Tech Daily” “Adult Daily”.  As readers we are not privy to the parameters of the paper, and most people would probably not think to ask.  So in the name it establishes a sense of authority that is not necessarily warranted.

My review:

I think that Paper.li is a great tool and has a lot of potential, but I also think it has some bugs to work out before it achieves that potential.

Paid to Tweet: Did you just sell out?

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Twitter bird holding a dollar bill in his beak

Is being paid to Tweet a great way to earn some extra money doing what you already do or are you selling out and compromising your Twitter integrity?

Everyone wants to know how to make money online and with their social media accounts. You are using them anyway, why not get paid for it?  Well, there is such a thing as getting paid to tweet; sponsored tweets are probably the easiest way to get paid for tweeting. But what does it do to your credibility? Does getting paid to tweet an ad affect your authority, or public opinion? Did you just sell out?

There are many services out there where you can sign up to become a sponsored tweeter.  What happens is: you sign up, they analyze your Twitter account for reach and influence, and then they create a pay range based on these criteria. The range is anywhere from $0.50 to $10,000 per tweet.

However, only people like Kim Kardashian are getting paid $10,000 for a tweet.

Paid to tweet or paid for a tweet

Wondering what the difference is between being paid to tweet and paid for a tweet? I don’t blame you.  Plenty of people are paid to tweet. What this means is they work for someone like an individual client or a business and they are paid to take care of their Twitter account, including making posts.  They are acting as a representative of the person, company or brand. This also means they can promote their own products without it being considered an ad.

A person who is paid for a tweet means that their tweet is an advertisement.  It is not something they would normally post, it’s like a commercial in the midst of their Twitter stream. It is something they are getting paid to tweet, but not paid a commission or bonus for sales.

I’m in Porn

Excellent!  Don’t worry, you are not excluded.  Porn stars can get paid to tweet! You can become a sponsored tweeter or an advertiser.  Twitter continues to be a place in social media where porn is not totally back-listed, even with sponsored tweets.

Rules of Engagement

Yup, there definitely are.  If you are a sponsored tweeter you have to make it known that your tweet is an ad.  Oftentimes, the hashtag #ad is used.  If you use a service that pays you to tweet, like SponsoredTweets.com or PaidPerTweet.com, they will give you parameters for your tweets: the appropriateness of your phrasing, not slandering the client, not using swear words and making it clear that the tweet is an ad.

Ultimately even if you don’t use a service, you have to mark a paid tweet as an ad. The FCC is regulating this and they will fine you.

I want to make the big bucks

If you want to make the big money with sponsored tweets, like Kim Kardashian, then you basically need to be famous. Oh wait..you are famous!  Well then, you will want to go to either SponsoredTweets.com or Ad.ly – these work with celebrity clients and will be able to help you command a high price.

Your Reputation

From an advertiser: As an advertiser it is in my interest to pay someone with good reach and influence to tweet my ads.  I will reach an audience I don’t normally reach and generate leads I would not otherwise be able to create. The better your reputation, the more I want you to tweet for me.

From a Tweeter: This is a great way to make some extra money. Most of your tweets are your own but then maybe 1 out of 50 you are paid for.

From a Follower: Most of the time I don’t mind seeing the very occasional ad.  But I do wonder, when I see one, if your Twitter is about making money or about engaging.  I question the integrity of your feed.  Do I understand it? Yes. But I also know about sponsored tweets. What about the people who don’t?  Did you just sell out?

Did I just sell out?

Since the ability to make money with sponsored tweets is based on your influence and your reach, if you are a popular and engaged Tweeter then you will be able to command a higher price.  However, if you are exceptionally engaged, you might be compromising your authenticity and integrity. It may seem a bit extreme to say that if 1 out of 50 tweets is an ad you have automatically compromised your integrity, but remember, it may be an issue for your followers.

The conclusion

Once you get your first payday your 1 in 50 tweets might become 1 in 20, then 1 in 10. So be careful; making money is addictive and getting paid to tweet is simple.   Before you know it you may have compromised your entire account, lose followers, lose influence and now your Twitter isn’t good for anything. You are just another spammer.

So keep your end goal in mind;  your Twitter is ultimately about you and putting forward your message. You could be ok inserting the occasional ad.

As a follower I prefer that my tweeps don’t ad.  It bugs me.

As a Tweeter, I decided not to ad because it bugs me as a follower. However, I understand why people do it.

As an advertiser, I think it is a good opportunity to expand my reach.

Do you think you will become a sponsored tweeter?

**Side note, 7 Veils was not paid to mention any link in this post. We do not blog for money.  There are many pay-for-tweet companies out there, we just listed a couple of reputable ones.

Create your own Banner Ad on Facebook

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Facebook has a new profile layout.  It is designed to make your experience more YOU-centric.  An interesting discovery has been made with regard to the photo strip at the top of your profile.  It can be made into a make-shift banner ad.  Oh yes, it’s true!

The top of your profile now has a photo strip that shows the images you have most recently been tagged in.  Seems pretty innocuous, however clever internet advertising people have figured out a way to capitalize on this space.

If you create images and tag yourself in the proper order you will be able to create what appears to be a banner ad.

Regular Profile

This is what a regular profile film strip looks like:

Facebook Film Strip

This is what most Facebook profile film strips look like.

Pretty simple. A series of 5 photos that you or your friends have tagged you in, meant to give people an idea of your recent photographic activity.

“Banner Ad” Profile

This is what a film strip tagged to look like a banner ad looks like.

The photo strip on facebook profiles creating what looks like a banner ad for Justin Bieber

It can't be linked. It can't be searched. But it can be seen when people land on your profile. Of course, these sections would contain images of Trevor... How would you turn your photo-strip into an ad?

*Image courtesy of Inside Facebook

Essentially images were tagged so they would appear sequentially in the film strip to look like a banner ad. Instead of having pictures that show tagged images of your life, you create a mini-mosaic creating a singular image out of 5.

If you click on the image it will take you to that photo, or segment of the banner ad. The caption could potentially have information about a website, product or promotional message.  But the picture itself would not link to any outside website.

Benefits of Tagging a Banner Ad

  • Another location online for putting your business message forward
  • Additional branding
  • Free
  • Tag your own profile
  • Tag and put a banner ad on another person’s profile*

*Read the disadvantages to see what can happen if you do this…

Disadvantages of Tagging a Banner Ad

  • It does not link to an outside site
  • CTR – No tracking of click-through rate – without a link there is no click-through
  • No metrics to analyze its effectiveness
  • Spam – you could get flagged for spam. If you tag someone else in your photos, to create a banner ad on another person’s profile page, you could get flagged for inappropriate activity and have your account deactivated. This is definitely a violation of the Facebook Terms of Service.
  • Spam? – if you tag your own profile you may still be at risk for being flagged for spam.  Even doing this to your own profile could be considered an abuse of the feature.  However, the likelihood that you will be noticed is much lower, because it is not like you are going to flag yourself(!)

How to do it

It is not as easy as it looks. Facebook does not put your full image in the tagged boxes. It takes a skewed thumbnail, most likely as a way to try to prevent this. However with a little perseverance you can figure out how to create a series of images that will line up.

If you are thinking of doing this, I would not suggest adding urls, business names or brand message. Basically anything that could be blatantly categorized as an ad should be avoided. Stick to an image, maybe even a name. Have something like “Welcome to…” “Your name here…with picture”

The question that remains is: will Facebook change this feature to prevent homemade banner ads? The spam possibilities are endless, but the potential for passive promotion on a personal page is huge.


photo of Lauren MacEwenLauren MacEwen is the senior strategist at 7 Veils Media, Inc., a premier social media firm for the adult entertainment industry.  She is a speaker at the upcoming AEE on the Selling through Social Networks panel and blogs regularly at www.7veils.com.  You can follow Lauren on Twitter: @7_veils

10 Tips for the best Twitter Bio

Tights with "Follow me" printed on the legsHaving a strong Twitter bio is important. This is your first impression – your first chance to get someone to like you. This is also how search engines find your profile, so you want to make sure it is SEO optimized.

Once a week I go through my new Twitter followers and I decide who I am going to follow back.  I consider a lot of factors in deciding why I follow or don’t follow someone.  One of the biggest reasons is their bio on Twitter.

Think of your bio as your 10 second elevator pitch. You have 160 characters to tell me why I should be interested in you.  If I like what I see, maybe I’ll click your profile and check out your most recent posts.  If those are interesting then I’ll follow you.  But the bio is your handshake.

5 Tips for a strong Twitter Bio:

  1. Tell me who you are. Are you a public figure? What do you do? Why are you here? I want to know who I am following
  2. Web Address: if you have a website, put the url in your bio.
  3. Don’t be crass or abrasive.  If you seem unfriendly and rude, then why would I want to follow you?
  4. Don’t try to sell me.  If your bio is trying to push a product, that tells me that you are about your sales and not about engaging with your followers.
  5. Be charming. Be nice. I want to think that if I follow you that you are approachable.

5 Tips to SEO optimize your Twitter Bio

  1. Web address in the bio. This is an easy way to have your Twitter associated with your business in the search engines.
  2. Business name in the bio. When people search for you, they often search for business names, so include it.
  3. Use industry key words in your bio. Do some keyword research and make sure to use some of the big keywords, that way when people search for those you have a chance of coming up in the search results.
  4. If your name is branded, use your name. This way when people search your name, they have an even better chance of finding you.
  5. Don’t shorten any words.  Search engines don’t search for abbreviations of words. So unless your key term is usually abbreviated, spell it out.

Do you vid? The Facebook rumors might be true.

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woman laying down in lingerie on skype chat

Do you vid?

Do you offer one-on-one conversations with your clients through Skype? Do your clients want you to see them too? Well there might be another platform coming out for you to vid.

Facebook might be integrating video chat into their chat platform. There are rumors, coming from the discovery of video code in the Facebook platform, that FB might be integrating video chat into their chat application.

Video chat has been more of a “when” rather than an “if” for a long time but it is possible that our wait is coming to an end.

With one-third of the U.S. population on Facebook, there is a better chance that your friends are on Facebook chat rather than an email oriented platform like AOL, MSN or Google. And of course integrating FB chat into outside platforms like iChat and AIM just increase the reach and usability. This makes FB a likely platform for chat.

The integration of group chat into the new FB groups, and being able to have email announcements stream into your chat box, has just increased the attractiveness and probable development of the chat function.

Facebook would be a very easy platform for transferring conversations.  Though there are many Skype users out there, there are pleanty of people who are still not on it.  If you were networking on Twitter and wanted to move your conversation from 140 characters to a vid chat you could send someone your Facebook link.  Once they friend you, you start your video chatting.  Not only does this provide an easy way to chat but you have just expanded your network.

Through creating the cross-network relationship you have now increased your reach and can communicate with your clientele in more ways than before.  And of course if you want to build a strong client base and really grow the profitability of your business, your ability to connect to your clients on as many platforms as possible is an important key factor.

Video Tutorial: How to Send a Direct Message on Twitter

A big question I often get asked is how to send a Twitter direct message. Especially after the New Twitter came out, some people were not sure how messaging worked.  So I put together a video tutorial to walk you through how to send a DM on Twitter. Enjoy

Cyber Monday: Top 7 Ways to Make Money and Build your Network

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womans legs and the bottome of her skirt, next to her holding a shopping bagCyber Monday is a notoriously big online shopping day. Why does that have to exclude adult shopping?  If you have a site and you sell something, then you should be taking advantage of the buzz about Cyber Monday. Adult sites can use this opportunity as a great tool for driving sales, making money and building your network.

From a business perspective this is an excellent way to work on your social media efficacy.

  1. Promote your promotions!

    Tell people that you are going to offer special deals just for Twitter and Facebook. Build the buzz around what you are going to do. Make it sexy and tell your fans and followers that you are going to do something special just for them, so they better stay tuned.

  2. Use your upcoming deals as a way to grow your network.

    Tell people to spread the word. Use growth benchmarks to give special secret deals, like “When I hit 500 fans I will give away a ….”. If you post videos then tell them that you will do something special on the video or post an exclusive photo.

  3. Exclusive Deals

    On Monday, offer deals that are only available on Facebook and Twitter. Give them access to special content or make a video that is only available if they use a promo code.

  4. Post deals constantly throughout the day.

    This will encourage people to stay tuned to your updates. You can even schedule these tweets so they keep coming on a regular basis and you can focus on engaging with your new and massively growing network!

  5. Set up an auto-DM

    Create a one-day direct message that sends a promo code, or a link to special content to new followers….and promote the fact that you are doing this.

  6. Re-Tweet Promotions

    Tell your followers that you will do a special giveaway to people who retweet your offers.

  7. Promote You

    Tell people that you are going to be online talking and tweeting with everyone.  Make access to you part of the deal. Create times of the day where people can ask you questions, or where you will do a live feed. Tell them that you will offer special content or deals for the people you talk to.  Promote yourself as a way to promote yourself!

Are you in her box? The new Facebook Email

woman wearing a sexy mailmans outfit

If I send you an email right now, I know that it goes to your inbox.  Worst case scenario, it might go to your junk mail box.   The new Facebook email might change that.  If I am not on your “preferred” list then I might not be getting into your box.

Are you sure you are getting in her box?

Here’s what is new and different, good and bad about the new Facebook email:

What will my email address be?

Anyone who wants it will get the @facebook.com email address. You can sign up for the email address here. Your email address will be your Facebook username@facebook.com.  Not sure what your user name is? Not sure if you have one?  Go here to set up your user name.

Good: Easy branding.
Bad: Most people can guess your email address.

Who can email me?

Everyone.  You do not have to have facebook, or facebook email to email someone with an @facebook.com email address.  Now when you send an email you can reach any email address as opposed to only being able to message fellow facebookers.

Good: Everyone can email you.
Bad: Everyone can email you
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Social Inbox

The biggest change in email management is the social inbox.  This gives you 2 boxes inside your email. 1 is the preferred email and the other is, well, “other”. The preferred inbox is where emails from people you want to read will go.  Facebook decides this though social mapping. They base this on who you interact with on Facebook.  You can add or subtract people from this inbox. So, even with the social inbox you can still control who is in your “preferred” list.

The “other” box is literally a catch-all for everything else. It is meant to contain emails you still need to read but don’t want to prioritize, like bills and newsletters.  However, since there is no spam folder, this is also where all your spam will go.

The other interesting feature about organizing your emails by “preferred” and “other” is that you will receive notifications any time you receive an email in your preferred box.  Depending on how you have these set up, the notifications can go to your phone, SMS & Text, facebook notification, and even to your chat window if you are logged into Facebook.

Good: You can easily read the email you want to read before anything else.
Bad: You might miss important emails because they are not in your preferred box.

Will there be spam?  oh yes.

The new email address makes it easy to figure out email addresses.  They are crawlable by bots, so the spam bots will be able to collect them. So it is possible that you will be flooded with spam.  Since there is no junk mail box, all your spam will go into your “other” folder. The biggest problem with this is that you will have emails that you want to read in your “other” folder and they might get lost in all the spam.

Good: Got nothing for this one.
Bad: Lots of spam.