Tsu groups: Why your beta tsuGroup is not getting authorised

Lots of people who engage on Tsu have been asking why their particular group has not been approved for the beta testing phase of tsugroups.

Eileen Brown social Media consultancy Amastra Tsu groups

 I talked to the Tsu team about the new Groups feature and how tsuGroups groups will work. I have two Tsu groups in the beta test: Tech and Social Media Trends. It will be interesting seeing how these groups evolve.

To join Tsu – the social media network that pays users to post, you need to use another user’s link to join – such as https://www.tsu.co/eileenb. From there you will become part of the user’s family tree and be able to build your own network from there.

Here are the definitive answers to the questions I got to #askSebastian for my article on tsu.

  • If the group owner has a ‘low quality’ page with few posts or interaction the group will not get approved for the beta. For the time of the beta tsu wants groups that have owners that are really active on tsu already.
  • Every group in the beta MUST have an admin name in the application. Furthermore, the admin MUST have accepted the invitation to be an admin of the group. Groups without admin names WILL NOT be considered for the beta.
  • Groups will NOT be permitted if the group name contains the word tsu in the name (It might be mistaken for an ‘official’ account and might have incorrect information). The terms of service for #tsugroups says this really clearly.
  • Groups offering tips, rules, hints on how to use tsu will not be allowed at beta stage (they might also have incorrect information and might mislead readers). It MIGHT be ok to run groups like this AFTER the beta ends – I do not know this for certain.
  • Tsu has over 3000 groups in the queue — it is rolling out groups really slowly — a few per day — to watch the spam levels and how users react to the different views of groups (timelines sometimes, images other times).
  • Its a beta test — EXPECT change.
  • Remember – this is still a beta test. Tsu is working out how best to optimise the platform so that when groups are fully live, then everyone will have a great experience.
    If you have been wondering why your group has not been approved yet, check that the group has a nominated charity and that the admin has accepted your invitation to administer the group. Tsu doesn’t have the resources right now to chase everyone to provide this information. Hopefully the community on Tsu can let everyone know :-)

Is blogging still relevant?

Blogging is old hat and no longer needed as a separate entity. There, I’ve said it. After blogging for 11 years, I have had an about face and decided that blogging for blogging’s sake is irrelevant.cms-265133_1280 pixelcreatures Eileen Brown Amastra

But am I right?

Blogging has been around for the whole of the 21st century.

First coined as a term “weblog” in 1997, blogging exploded in 1999 with the launch of blogging tools such as LiveJournal and Blogger which made it easy to put your thoughts down online.

Writers live-blogged events long before instantaneous tools like Twitter and Weibo were thought of. Writing down your every thought became the de-facto “thing” for bloggers to do.

I started blogging in 2004 – fairly early on in the big scheme of things blogging-wise. Back then it was the only way to be able to communicate with an audience. We were hidebound with simple newsletters, fairly poor web pages and had little opportunity to interact with our online writers or customers.

Over the last 11 years there has been a plethora of tools that enable us to express ourselves online. YouTube (2005) allowed comments, shares and uploads of visual vignettes. Facebook initially allowed us to write on another’s wall, poke each other, and post snippets of our lives.

Self hosted WordPress sites have been around since 2003. These allow all traffic to be directed to your website and blog. Blogging was an easy way to gain clicks and eyeballs of your content

Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, MySpace, Google+ and now Tsu, the new kid on the block all allow us to express our thoughts. Even LinkedIn encourages posting directly onto its platform. We are no longer hidebound to short status updates (even Twitter has apps that enable you to tweet longer updates – or send direct messages that have no character limit.

All are discoverable by a web search. Even your public posts on Facebook can appear at the top of search results if you know the correct keywords to use.  Google+ has long indexed posts and Tsu has recently opened its doors so that its content is fully searchable.

So, with all of the opportunities to talk about what you want to, spread across numerous platforms, is blogging really necessary?  This post will propagate across four different sites – to get an audience that might find me by different means.

But will a carefully crafted bunch of content ever beat a quick post with a link to a funny video or “you’ll never guess what happened next – I was shocked” clickbait article?

Has blogging had its day? Will it be lost amongst all of the other instantaneous pieces of hurriedly curated links and status updates populating everywhere online? Or will our thoughts and musings be appreciated, discovered and relished years and years down the line as the genre evolves into something completely different…

Death of my blog?

I really intended to stop blogging on my hosted WordPress blog. I had planned to call this blog “the last post” or “Bye,Bye blog” – something whimsical perhaps, something that meant a lot to me. I had spent sometime reviewing the variety of topics I had talked about over the last ten years.

Looking back and learning will enable you to move forward eileenb Amastra Eileen Brown motivational quote

I have a new blogging site using self-hosted WordPress on http://amastra.com/blog My last few WordPress posts were geared up to moving my regular readers to my new location.

I included links to my new blog location and I intended to – well – just leaving the past behind as I stopped posting on my old post. I’d even planned what I would write.

I would do a retrospective post. I would touch on the highlights of the last ten years and muse on how things have changed in social publishing and engagement since I started blogging back in 2004.

But when it came to it, I just could not do it. Over the past ten years I’ve posted over 2000 articles. Most are not relevant any more. Software has been updated, opinions have changed, my job has morphed into something totally different more than once, and technology has moved on dramatically. In some ways a lot of this blog is now obsolete.

But not for me.

This is a record of the last ten years of my life, the trips I went on, the experiences I had. It really is a trip down memory lane for me. Even though I migrated the posts over to the Amastra web site and blog, I can’t leave this old blog to  site and away and die.

Blogging has been a big part of my career journey – and what an amazing journey it has been. It has not all been good. The bad bits have given me some great life lessons, and some of it has been painful, some parts have been boring and some has been filled with anxiety.

But its still my journey. And I can’t let it go.

So to compromise, I’m going to post to https://eileenbrown.wordpress.com occasionally.The Amastra blog will now be my main blogging platform whereas my hosted WordPress blog will be updated from time to time. Hopefully these posts will never go stale, become out of date, or slip away and disappear. They will continue to be my link to my past.

Am I holding on to an out-dated blog out of some misplaced sentimentality?.  Am I doing this just to preserve a record of my longevity in this fast moving social interactive world? Am I reluctant to embrace the new and leave behind the old? All of them are probably true.

But killing this old blog off permanently is a step too far for me. I’ll be leaving my digital footprint here for a while longer I think – until it is really time to leave my musings and experiences to decay in the ethereal reaches of the digital void…

How to create YouTube slideshow videos from your images

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You do not need to capture videos to upload onto YouTube. You can make great videos using YouTube’s slideshow tool. It is really easy to do too.

The YouTube upload button gives you four options: Capture a video with your webcam, create a photo slideshow, broadcast a Google+ Hangout, or edit a video.

  Eileen Brown Amastra

After uploading the images you have the option to rearrange them into a logical flow or story .

Eileen Brown YouTube slideshow Amastra

You can then add appropriate music to go with your video slideshow, select how long you want each slide to display, which transition you would like and whether you want to pan across the images and zoom.

How to create YouTube slideshow videos from your images Amastra Eileen Brown

Click upload, give your slideshow a title and description – and voila! You can see the finished result of uploading my images on the Amastra at Whistler slideshow on my YouTube channel.

Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

How to optimise your images for blogging and the web

Many blogs fail due to the poor insertion of images in their posts. Images cut and pasted from your image library on your PC often contain bloated oversized images which take an age to load.

It is really important to make sure that images – and pages load quickly to stop your readers turning away.  So how do you optimise your image for your blog and the web?

Here’s an image of the office kitten sitting on the sofa in reception.

 Clyde Kitten Eileen Brown Amastra

The image name, WP_20140814_14_26_59_Pro.jpg is not very intuitive, containing only the date and time stamp of the photo. Consider naming it to something more appropriate. I renamed it to Kitten Clyde relaxing on the sofa at Amastra offices.jpg. Logical names will make the image easy to find.

On my smartphone, all images are saved in large file format. This picture currently has a file size of 3.9MB. On slow links, this image would make page loading unacceptable. The file is 1632 x 918 pixels — too wide for most web pages.

Before posting to my blog, the image needs to be optimise. Compressing the file to suit on screen displays and configuring it for websites gives me a image 448 pixels wide and 336 pixels. More importantly it gives me a file size of 33.2KB which has a faster page load time.

In order to find this image on the web it needs to be tagged. Lazy web developers often do not add the Alt tag text to the image. Adding a simple tag can ensure that your image is more likely to get discovered.

I tagged this image Clyde Kitten Eileen Brown Amastra. This will ensure that if you search for any of these phrases then this image will appear somewhere in the search results.

I have also added a watermark to the image. Most image manipulation software packages have this feature. Adding the originating URL ensures that  if the image is copied and used on another site, then the originating site can be credited where appropriate.

So now, it is ready to go, and soon will appear in searches for any of the terms in either the title or the Alt text as the web spiders crawl the site.

Try it on your own site and see your images appear in your own search results… 


The image above took 17 minutes to appear on bing search for “Clyde kitten” which proves that the technique works.

Clyde kitten Amastra Eileen Brown

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Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Do you take a Twitter holiday, or do you holiday with Twitter?

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Some of us need to completely disconnect from social media whilst we are away on holiday – others feel the need to update our friends and connections with an hour by hour account of what we are doing whilst we are away.

Some people can not bear to disconnect from the Internet, we have an addiction to our smartphones and get separation anxiety if we try to disconnect. We like to keep in touch.

And Twitter is one of those tools that help us to stay connected whilst we’re away.

Twitter Ads in the UK knows exactly how we use social media on holiday and it has published the results of a survey it carried out showing how holidaymakers in the UK stay connected using Twitter whilst they are away.


Research Now compiled its Twitter Holiday Research 2014 survey. It  surveyed 1,000 Twitter active users in the UK about how they use Twitter.

Almost 90 percent of Twitter users in the UK are planning to go on holiday this summer and two out of three of these plan to use Twitter whist they are on holiday from their mobile device. In fact 71 percent of users will Tweet about their holiday whilst they are away.

75 percent of users will be leaving the UK for their holiday and 57 percent of these want to stay in contact with people they know. 

Half of us use Twitter when they are on holiday to stay on top of the news and 25 percent of travellers will use Twitter to look for local restaurant recommendations.

Almost half of us – 46 percent look for local information and 25 percent of travellers use Twitter to get transport and travel updates. Even when they are on holiday, one in seven of us look for special deals and bargains.

Although the whole world seems to be connected at all times, some of us love to take a well-earned social media break and relax from the hyper-connected world we find ourselves in. Sharing our amazing, envy inducing photos will just have to wait until we eventually get back home.

Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.