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PSO, or Public Stream Optimization, is the new must have for individuals and companies in 2010. PSO means optimizing your communication and website for the streaming world of tweets, news feeds, and bulletin boards. By Leonard Speiser (@leonardspeiser)

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  • Hello everyone. My name is Leonard Speiser. I’m here to share my learnings on PSO. But first, let me tell you who I am.
  • I love building communities using technology. I’ve been fortunate to experience the process from many different viewpoints. About 90 days ago, an engineering friend and I began building products on top of Twitter’s APIs.
  • 12 products to be precise. Some were tools, some were forms of self expression, some were games. Our objective was to learn how people use Twitter, and what we could do to enhance their experience. During those 90 days we acquired 185K visitors35K installs,840K pageviews. It is the learnings from these experiments that I want to share with you now. But before I do, it is important that I contrast how most people think about their web presence today. Most of the time, we think of Google as the starting place on the web.
  • When the average consumer goes to Google, you have a question, or “search query” in mind. You love Google because it does a great job of getting you to the answer. New York Times shows you the website of the New York Times first. Success! As a website, you use Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, to get your site to appear as high as possible for every possible query. Then, you do the best job you can of landing the user on a relevant page of your site to accomplish your goal. How are things like Tweets and Facebook News Feeds different? Well, you have no question you want answered.
  • Tweeting, or Facebook News Feeds, or MySpace Bulletins. All of these are public streams. Public streams push content to you without you really having a question in mind. Think of it like window shopping vs. searching Amazon for a book title you want to buy. And whether you “get” them or not, and whether one of them “wins”, the fact is that Public Streams are here to stay, and if you want in, you’ve got to have a Public Stream Optimization, or PSO strategy.
  • PSO will be the biggest challenge for companies and organizations in 2010. So how do you become a PSO rockstar? Here are four guiding principles.
  • If you aren’t on the shelf at Safeway, most people won’t know you exist. In public streams, that shelf lasts just a few hours. That means if you aren’t posting 3-4 times a day, you don’t even exist to these people. “But I don’t have anything important to say three times a day,” you might say. That’s not entirely true, you probably don’t have something important to push to google 3-4 times a day, but this is the public stream. Let’s create interesting posts out of thin air.
  • This first tweet is fine, great actually, but we don’t have that happening three times a day. Instead, ask your followers questions. I just created three posts that not only get me in the timeline, but get people talking back with me. Want to know if it works? Ask lolapps, they have 44 million people using their quizzes application on Facebook. With our experiments, we found 5-10X the click through rate when using questions instead of statements.
  • People are fascinated by personal details. We built a do-it-yourself trivia game, but instead of building fact based trivia like “Sports” people had a lot more fun creating and taking “How well do you know me” trivia games. Another example of this was Miranda Cosgrove, start of iCarly, using our Two Truths and Lie product. Her followers went nuts over trying to find out which was her truth and which was the lie. Learning more about each other is what binds us together. You might be wondering how you can make a corporate acccount seem personal, but that is where the next strategy can play a role. If President Obama read from a press release every time he met with someone, he wouldn’t be very successful. “Hi Joe, good to see you, how’s the family” goes a long way. Twitter and Facebook are a dialogue between people. When tweets or posts come from human beings, rather than from the “corporation” or the “brand”, it benefits you in a lot of ways. People will be more forgiving of mistakes, which means you can post more rapidly without having 20 people approve the post. People are less likely to lose their civility when talking to a human being. Think about how you’d feel when the CEO picks up the phone vs. an automated customer support system. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a corporate account, on the contrary it will help you if you use the last technique.
  • Guys like Eric and Dave have huge followers. One reason, other than good content, is that they repost other people’s tweets to their accounts. How often, when you are talking to someone, do you mention something interesting you heard from someone else. Public Streams are no different. But even better, the person you retweeted or republished will likely look at your account and may start following and retweeting you, thus expanding your own audience. We built a product that automatically retweeted people and every account we created would grow almost instantly. Of course people will stop following your account if you retweet garbage or they figure out it is machine based. But the social dynamic is there. Facebookis just now starting to make this possible, although it is still awkward. In the next few months Twitter will make this feature unbelievably easy (expect a huge surge in their numbers). If you have a corporate account, retweet individuals in the office. Search for people talking about related content and retweet them.
  • The strategies I mentioned can be greatly enhanced if you are using a PSO platform. The only problem with that is, there are no PSO platforms. When I realized this I decided to focus my company on building the first. And no, I didn’t write this presentation to support my product, I decided to build this product to solve these problems. We plan to have this up and running soon and are already accepting early testers into the system, feel free to contact me if you want in.
  • Thanks everyone.
  • PSO vs. SEO

    1. 1. PSO vs. SEO<br />An Introduction to Public Stream Optimization<br />
    2. 2. Who is this guy?<br />Startups<br />Instant Messaging (1996)<br />Community publishing (1999)<br />User Contests (2006)<br />Companies<br />Intuit (1998)<br />eBay (2001)<br />Yahoo (2007)<br />Banks<br /><ul><li>CSFB Technology Group (1996)
    3. 3. Trinity Ventures (2009)</li></li></ul><li>Our research<br />
    4. 4. SEO and the Google Way<br />
    5. 5. Can you guess the next tweet? Nope.<br />
    6. 6. Public Stream Optimization<br />PSO<br />Frequency<br />Questions<br />Personal<br />Cooperation<br />
    7. 7. Frequency = Shelf Space<br />
    8. 8. Questions engage<br />Statement: <br />Obamais speaking to the nation now<br />Questions:<br />What do you think was most important in Obama’s plan?<br />Do you know someone who would benefit from this plan?<br />How many people did Obama shake hands with before his speech?<br />
    9. 9. Make it personal<br />Which is the lie about Dave McClure?<br />Dave is from West Virginia<br />Dave almost went broke with his first startup<br />Dave founded the Institute for Anachronism<br />
    10. 10. It takes a village (of retweeters)<br />
    11. 11. Get a PSO Platform<br />
    12. 12. Contact Info<br />@leonardspeiser<br /><br /><br /><br />