March 3rd, 2011 by

Twitter is perhaps the most well known simple website on the planet. The entire concept revolves around writing 140 character entries to communicate. In a world where superficiality runs rampant, Twitter has definitely done its part, leaving each of us more alone, and more isolated. Slowly we disintegrate into a cold calloused society that cares little for each other, forgetting and forfeiting all hope of meaningful contact. Fortunately, many people lose interest in Twitter within a few weeks.

In this despairing and sorrowful situation, there is hope. The maze of typically meaningless tweets and promises for money can now be readily sifted. Giving a rare reprieve of color to an otherwise gray world is inboxQ. InboxQ is a way to quickly search Twitter for questions that you can answer. It provides a new way to connect with other users, all the while establishing your brand and expertise.

inboxQ Home

inboxQ Home

InboxQ is a browser extension. Currently it’s downloadable for Chrome, with FireFox on the way. Once installed it’s accessible as a widget in the top right of the browser. The window pops open, shining a rare beam of light into the otherwise dark world of Twitter. This window has four tabs- Questions, ToDo, Campaigns, and Answers. The use of these gives you the ability to connect with Twitter users on topics that you’re an expert in.

The first thing to do is to link your inboxQ with your Twitter account. Once you grant them access you can set up a campaign. Let’s say you’re a subject matter expert in pottery. You know everything about how to send the clay through the kiln, paint it afterward, and all the history behind the various methods. You’d like to establish yourself as a pottery expert online to help further your pottery classes and web store. So you create a keyword based campaign using the words pottery, clay, and kiln. You can pick whatever words you think are most likely to be included in questions you can impart knowledge on. The questions appear almost as quickly as you create the campaign. It’s almost like the Twitter users, desperate and alone, are reaching out for help to a world that rarely answers. Today though, there will be an answer. Just click on the reply and it autopopulates the ‘@potteryfan’ label. You’re now left with (less than) 140 characters to illuminate this person’s world with a shiny glimmer of hope. Once you answer, that question pops out of your queue and in comes a new one. For questions you’d like to answer but want to save for another day just click on the todo list button and it’s saved for a later date. Questions can also be shared with any of your followers via direct message. The Answers tab tracks all your previous responses.

inboxQ Widget

inboxQ Widget

As you continue with answering questions you’ll occasionally come across people that you’d like to follow. You’ll also likely impress people so much that they hope to follow your every tweet. For this, inboxQ reports everyone who joins your growing list of twitter followers after you’ve answered their questions. This is one way to gauge the success of your efforts. Perhaps you gave them reason to carry on, to believe that there really are meaningful connections that happen on Twitter’s otherwise stale stew of information.

Regardless of what you think of reducing one’s communications to less than complete sentence intervals, Twitter remains a powerful tool for social media marketing. The frenzy of tweets most of us receive is in not easily sortable. With inboxQ this is made simple. With it, you can establish your brand, demonstrate your expertise, and connect with new, likeminded people.

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