How to Create a Twitter Card

On December 8, 2014, in Raj Murthy, by Raj Murthy

TwitterCardIt is surprising to see the number of companies and the Twitterati who for some reason do not always have a Twitter card setup on their blogs. Simply put, a Twitter card is just something that ensures that your tweet expands to a preview of the rich content with a title, summary and if you wish, an image or video. These three reasons alone will considerably increase the engagement that tweet receives whether it be the link being read thus driving traffic to your site, or being retweeted and thus spreading yourself into the social sphere.

If you’ve ever watched a Vine, viewed a YouTube video or clicked on a photo with your Twitter stream, you’ve already come into contact with a Twitter card. Twitter’s card infrastructure is what allows us to have these rich media experiences that go far beyond a 140-character written message right within Twitter.

By adding a few lines of HTML to your webpage that are described here, you can create this experience for your audience, too. Any users who Tweet links to your content will have a “card” added to the tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.

There are three types of Twitter Cards: summary, photo, and video. The summary Twitter card is for articles and text-based content, while photo and video cards are self-explanatory (YouTube uses the video card type, for example). There are a few META tags used for all card types, then a few more that are card-type-specific. All META tag name attributes are prefixed with twitter so you will have to follow them verbatim

Watch out – When you edit the code remember that HTML escape characters such as / ‘ ” < and > could really mess up your formatting and invalidate your card or in some cases really mess up your wordpress or CMS for that particular post. It is best to stay away from these characters unless you know how to make them HTML friendly. The template below is for a Twitter “Summary Card” A text version of the Twitter Card Template for your own use and customization is also included here for your perusal.

All you need to do is to use the template and update the information to your own accounts, title, link to the story, and select the path to the image you want attached and insert it into the <head> </head> portion of the page.


Ten things you probably did not know about Raj Murthy

On October 22, 2014, in Raj Murthy, by Raj Murthy

Here are ten things that you probably did not know about me? These are in no particular order.

  • I speak about 6 languages
  • I have lived and worked in three continents
  • My immediate family lives in three continents (yes, travel is a pain)
  • My blood type is one of the rarest in the world
  • I still feel strange when someone calls me ‘Sir’
  • I am a proficient woodworker
  • I enjoy making or modding things more than writing papers
  • I have driven vehicles at over 160mph (thats about 260kmph for metric folks)
  • I do my own maintenance on vehicles I own
  • I happen to be an excellent cook, both on and off the grill


Now that you know a little about me, which pill do you think I would take? Just click on the links below to choose as I would…


THE BLUE PILL                               THE RED PILL

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What is this International Women’s day?

On March 8, 2014, in Raj Murthy, by Raj Murthy


A very happy International women’s day to the women of the world. For those confused by these posts on your Facebook timeline (wait,you are still on FB), March 8th is a big day for women in most countries outside the US. The days festivities include men running to the florist to grab flowers first and then dash to the local department stores in search of perfumes, scarves, trinkets, jewelry and gift certificates. For the inspired, this could also extend to making food at home for breakfast and serving it but rarely includes the clean up. It also doubles as mothers day in some east European countries. Florists have been known to have a hard time choosing between this and valentines day as their favorite days of the year to raise prices for their last minute customers.

Jokes aside, celebrate the women you have in your life, be it mother, sister, spouse, or daughter. Because, if you don’t they will remember and then make sure that you will too.

The purpose of this day and what it stands for is explained here by Hilary Clinton, who says it all at the U.N. In all seriousness, the rights women and even their safety is still under threat in most of the world including here at home in the U.S. This issue could indeed use the support of everyone, and that includes you and I. So, support equality and celebrate women for all their contributions to your life and to the world. And…. call your mother.

Social media marketers, here is my top pet peeve. Designing content is difficult, agreed, but at the very least, the content should do something for the reader other than extol your products’ awesomeness. A lot of the current social media content appears to be based on the old school thinking that typically follows the three steps.

  • grab attention, get reader to notice
  • include a call to action, somehow, even if it seems forced
  • pimp products/services or brand, hoping for a purchase

This works well for the typical print advertisement and has even carried over to email marketing and sometimes television. This works for certain approaches but almost never on social media. It has already been noted and shown multiple times that advertising on social media does not work. Several noted experts have mentioned that we need to do stop thinking about “pimping out your stuff on social media.” Yet, hundreds of posts across dozens of platforms do just that.

Pause for a moment and contemplate this from the point of the receiver. What type of content do you want as a social marketer. Content that aggravates or frustrates like advertising, or content that I, the recipient, found so useful that I want to share it with my ‘friends’ and my social peeps. Social media content does not necessarily need a call to action, this is not a magazine and you are not creating an advertisement. So, social media marketers,

Stop thinking about “will you buy this” start thinking about “will you share this”

  • gain attention
  • tell a brief story on something that the reader wants to share
  • make it easy to share

Still boils down three steps with nothing force fed. Instead of hawking out your products proud attributes, talk about its different uses or a story about how some people have used it that is of value to your community. Create a how-to post, write about how your employees use the product in their daily lives, or feature a departments role in getting the product to the consumer.  Use it for recruiting, use it for storytelling, use it for almost everything except to just pimp our your products. Content that is share worthy is just all around you, you just have to look.

Inspiration for post: This post was inspired by my involvement in a rather long term social media research effort that I am attempting to share socially. This is the result of several rounds of interviews, content analyses and number crunching.

This question has probably been asked about a million times and answered a few hundred thousand times only to come up every now and again. Lets quickly roll through what you could have done to improve your SEO. Assuming you have done the most important basic items, a) create original content, b) make content interesting, share on social media and on other sites then you probably are waiting patiently for the PageRank to change. What you have done thus far is something that is necessary and obviously something you should be doing on an ongoing basis. However, remember that PageRank is primarily concerned about links and their quality. there are three main reasons why your PageRank has not changed.

1) PageRank is primarily interested in the number of unique links from external sources that link to your carefully created content.

2) The quality of those inbound links is even more important for PageRank to change.

3) Lets say you have done the basics and satisfied conditions 1 and 2, remember that PageRank is updated only once a while, usually in conjunction with large scale Google algorithm updates. So it may be several months before you actually see a change.

So, keep doing the right things and keep at it. PageRank success will follow. Matt Cutts explains this very clearly in a recent video attached below that you can review. a summary of the recommendations he provides before you start worrying about PageRank is below.

1) Make sure the structure of the website is very well designed. Matt suggests a clear tree like structure

2) Within this structure, make sure to highlight static links to the most important pages (content perhaps) within 1 or 2 steps away from the main page.

3) Emphasize the original content and make sure to let other people know of the content’s presence (presumably through social media and newsletters etc)

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