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Monday, August 31, 2009

TweetScraping: @ivread - the new way to track books you've read on Twitter



I've not ever accepted advertisers on my blog - Google Adsense just doesn't give me control. I have however, used Amazon Affiliate program, just because I share so many books and although it isn't enough to cover the costs I have with the various cool cat teacher websites I have, it still is a little bit.

Well, recently Amazon has made it very clear that they weren't going to accept tweets as generating affiliate income.  Which was a bummer, although I didn't do it intentionally, when Kindle 2  came out, I tweeted it and had gotten about $80 in income showing in the affiliate account with amazon - but it came out that Amazon doesn't count tweets - so, easy come, easy go and they took it out of my affiliate income.  That is NOT why I do cool Cat Teacher, anyway.

But when I saw I'vread on TechCrunch this Sunday, I was intrigued.  This newly launched website gives you two useful features:

1)  Tweet:  any book you've read @ivread and a review 

and

it will make a page automatically to track the books you've read via Twitter.  As much as I love Goodreads, I don't really have time to get over there like I should.  I can just write a tweet @ivread with the book name in it and it will keep up with what books I've read.

And that, will be enough for most people and really, if this was the only feature, I love it because it gives an easy way to track my reading list - just for reference.

However, if you do happen to have an Amazon affiliate program ID, you can also harness the tweets you give to go to your affiliate program. (you can also use an affiliate program to support your favorite nonprofit!)

2) Tweet @ivread AFFILIATE  youramazonid

and then it will edit the Amazon ID on your I'vread page to be yours - if anyone looks at your books, you'll receive commission.  (I did this tonight and lo and behold, it actually worked!)

Again, this isn't a huge amount and probably won't be for me, anyway.  However, it is a model that I think we'll continue to see as people figure out how to make money off of their tweets.

Twitter Harvesting
The ability to harvest our tweets to create meaning - sort of a tweetscrape or tweetharvest to extract meaning and lists of this type is very useful.

Who would have thought there would be such a use when Twitter was invented, but now my mind is going in all sorts of directions - even some sort of cool automated scrape of class data (which you can easily set up with a twitter search.)  The mail problem with some things is that tags can be used by anyone -- for example, after I followed #necc for a while someone told me to take off the hashtag for my tweetdeck search and I did - well, who knew so many people cannot spell "neck" and I got all sorts of things I didn't want AND items I did.  I think that people will continue to refine ways to scrape our tweets for meaning in ways that will add value and this is just one example.

This is a very interesting model and not one I've seen before, so I thought it was worth sharing with you.  Bottom line - if you are a person people trust and stay honest, sometimes, when you share a product that you really like, there is a possibility for income.  I don't mind buying through the link on someone's blog if they are the reason I'm buying it.


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