Testing new functionality... Hey! It works!... All you Twitter users can not post conversation about what you read here on The Nylon Gene, without leaving the website. See below for how to go about it...
[NOTE: Steve Newman can be followed on Twitter under the username 'newmansa'] It was a bit of trial and error, and eventually solved for me by a blogger on the Bit.Ly forum, but I've added some interesting new functionality to The Nylon Gene that any Twitter users ought to find very useful. Now you can use Bit.Ly URL Shortener to post directly from the blog to Twitter. Those of you who are still trying to figure out what to do with Twitter (as I've been doing lately) will hopefully make use of it eventually.
Basically, each post on the blog will have a little line at the bottom that says, "Share with Bit.Ly Sidebar". If you click on this a sidebar will slide out from the right and give you the option of posting some conversation about what you're reading to Twitter, along with a shortened URL that will link to the blog post in question. As many of you may know, Twitter is a micro-blog that limits posts to 140 characters. Thus, most URLs are too long to fit into that limit and allow any commentary to go with it. A number of utilities have popped up to create shortened URLs that somehow allow a 19 character code represent any URL you can type--giving the user a remaining 121 characters in which to formulate a message to "Tweet", as Twitter messages are called.
It's a good way to initiate wider conversations on the web about topics of interest. For instance, when I use Bit.Ly to 'Tweet' something, within minutes I can see how many hits appear on the page in question as a result of the Twitter posting. A side benefit of Bit.Ly is that you can go look at your links and it gives information on how many hits have come to that page as a result of your posting to Twitter. It's kind of neat to see that immediate feedback on what sort of impact you are having to the online conversations going on about something... in this case, men's legwear.
So, if you see something here that interests you, try out this new feature. Click on the link and when the sidebar pops out, you'll see the shortened URL, along with four options to post it to: Email, Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. For Twitter, click on the link and a new window will open, with the shortened URL already in the message box. Just add whatever commentary you want to include (within the 140 character limit) and hit 'Update' to send it out into Tweetland.
Of course, if you don't already have a Twitter account you need to set that up first. And, the Bit.Ly sidebar has the added benefit of being usable in email applications for Facebook, too. You don't have to worry about email links getting broken if you use it to email a friend the link to something you want them to see.
I'm finally beginning to see how Twitter can be used in our efforts to continue building the 'buzz' surrounding the men's legwear trend. I'm going to start posting 'Tweets' each time I post a new item here on The Nylon Gene.
If you see something--a posting, a comment or reply, whatever--that you think is interesting, chances are others will too. Put it out there on Twitter so those who are following you will also see it. If a lot of people do this, the blog traffic will grow even faster than it has so far, and more people will become aware of the growing popularity of men's hosiery.
It's been our experience at ACTIVSKIN that the primary obstacle holding more men back from trying it isn't that they don't actually like the legwear or find it doesn't help them. It's because they don't realize just how many average, ordinary guys are already wearing our legwear and they're reluctant to be the first guy on their block to try them out. They don't see it much with their own eyes, either because many men are still wearing it only under long pants, or because even the growing number who wear them with shorts is still a rather small overall percentage of any given population.
But, as the conversations about men's legwear proliferate on venues such as Twitter, etc. it will begin to bolster the confidence of the men already wearing ActivSkin legwear to learn they are far from alone.