New Zealand Twitter User Directory

Although I have a TweetDeck group dedicated to New Zealand based Twitter users, it’s still difficult to keep tabs on who is who and where they’re located.

My frustration hit an all-time high while trying to organize a Christchurch-based tweetup the other day so I decided to create a directory listing all the New Zealand tweeps that I follow based on location, linking to their Twitter profiles.

It struck me that others might find this helpful so I’ve opened up the post to all NZ based Twitter junkies. Feel free to add other NZ tweeple and their locations (nearest major city only please) in the comments and I’ll add them to the relevant sections.


















@kalena (yours truly)























































Also see

New Zealand Wide (not location specific)











New Zealand Corporate





See also:

Q and A: Can you start a career in SEO / SEM from home?


Dear Kalena…

I just read your article on SEM careers at Pandia and I have a strong feeling that you probably are the right person that I can air my career-question to.

I am Raj from Hyderabad, India and I am an engineering graduate. I worked as a Software Developer and am planning to shift my career to SEM/SEO. I have been reading as many article as I possibly could on SEO/SEM but unable to get that first break. Could you please answer the following questions for me?

1. Is it possible for a newbie on SEM/SEO to work remotely (from home)?

2. Where does a newbie make a beginning and how?



Hi Raj

There’s no reason why you can’t start a successful career in SEO and/or SEM working from home. As you’ve already read my “11 Reasons” article, you’ll know the benefits of gaining employment in the search industry.

If you need SEO / SEM training, there are plenty of options available these days, (including *cough* Search Engine College *cough*) but you should also start practising on your own sites and others as soon as possible. Hands-on experience is essential to competency in the field.

Once you feel confident with your newly acquired skills, offer to SEO sites pro-bono or for very little compensation, to help expand your experience. Charity or Not-For-Profit sites often need SEO services but don’t have the budget to hire experts.

Monitor industry job sites such as our SEM Jobs Board and join sites like Elance to bid for projects to gain freelance SEM work. If there is an appropriate opportunity in your location, offer to be an unpaid intern for a SEM agency for a month. The knowledge you will gain will be invaluable. Likewise, you could offer to do some voluntary freelance SEO or SEM work online from home for an agency you respect that is not necessarily in your region.

Review all the posts here in the Jobs and Salaries categories for more inspiration.

Best of luck!


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Twitter’s New Retweet and Why You Shouldn’t Hate It

Twitter tools

Twitter began rolling out their controversial new Retweet functionality last week to quite a large number of beta testers, me included.

Old Skool Retweeting

In the past, when Twitter users wanted to repeat the tweet of somebody they followed, they would simply use the *RT* or *via* syntax in front of the twitter handle of the person whose tweet they were repeating, to signify attribution.

For example:

@kalena: wondering why monosyllabic isn’t.

@bob: RT @kalena wondering why monosyllabic isn’t.

@jane: wondering why monosyllabic isn’t. (via @kalena)

Some Twitter clients have built-in functionality to enable people to retweet other’s tweets automatically this way and add the RT syntax with one click.

Now, Twitter has introduced functionality that streamlines the process of retweeting and makes it more intuitive for the user.

New School Retweeting

If you’ve been granted access to Retweet beta, when you login to, you’ll see the following message about it at the top of your timeline:


“Hi there, you’re part of a beta group receiving this feature, which means you may start seeing retweets in a new way. People who don’t have this yet will see your retweets prefaced by *RT*”

Once Retweet is active in your account, you’ll see a new Retweets section in the side bar where you can see “Retweets by others”, “Retweets by you”, and “Your tweets, retweeted”:


Users that you follow will have a new retweet icon appear under their profile picture when you view their timelines. Hover your mouse over the icon and it says “Retweets from this user will appear in your timeline”.

Next to each tweet in your home timeline, you’ll now see the “Retweet” option as well as the “Reply” and “Favorite” options.

When you see a tweet you’d like to tell your followers about, click on the “Retweet” link and a popup will ask “Retweet to your followers?” and provide you with a Yes button to proceed or a X to cancel. Once you click Yes, the tweet will be sent out and appear ONLY to your followers. You also have the ability to permanently *undo* your retweet at any point.


Retweets sent this way by those you follow will be identifiable by a special Retweet icon next to them in your timeline. (Except, it seems, any retweets of YOUR tweets. A tweet that already exists in your timeline won’t reappear at the top if someone you follow retweets it, but it will be added to your RT list).

Retweets will also have extra attribution underneath them stating “Retweeted by [user] and [#] others” where “user” indicates the person who retweeted it and “#” represents the number of others who have retweeted the same tweet.

Retweets sent via the new system will only display the RT icon when you’re logged in to Twitter. When you’re viewing a timeline with new Retweets in it while logged out of Twitter, those tweets will just have “RT” in front of them and no attribution underneath.

You can see a visual breakdown of new retweeting in action here.


The Tweeps Are Revolting

Although I’d read about the new feature, I’ve been finding it hard to get my head around. Now that I’ve got beta access, I’m even more confused.

Judging by some of the Twitter commentary taking place between beta users, it seems I’m not the only one who is initially unimpressed.

A major sticking point for some users is the loss of the ability to edit or append comments to the tweet you are retweeting. This is a big change from old skool retweeting and has some users in knots.

Another major irritant for some beta testers is that Retweets by persons you follow will appear in your timeline in pure context – so even if you don’t follow the person who made the original tweet, you’ll see their Twitter avatar and tweet in your timeline with the “retweeted by” attribution underneath. Complaints about this have started already.


A poll launched by a Retweet beta user tells the story quite well. Asked “How do you feel about twitter’s new integrated retweet feature?”, 6% of poll takers claim to “love it”, while 43% “prefer the original method” of retweeting and the remaining respondents (51%) feel “It has potential but still needs work”.

Why Change?

So if the organic RT functionality was working so well, why did Twitter executives decide they needed to legitimize it? For a lot of reasons, as it turns out.

Organic retweeting had the following issues:

  • attribution confusion
  • too many identical retweets
  • lost context due to editing original tweets
  • faked RTs caused by persons falsely retweeting another user
  • 140 character limitation making RT attribution challenging
  • no trackability

But even though the new Retweet overcomes the disadvantages of the old skool retweet, users are clearly threatened by the changes.

I think it’s stirring people up mainly because the whole concept of retweeting was developed ad hoc by Twitter users. They began sharing tweets by people they followed with their own followers, adding “retweet” or “RT” in front of the tweet to indicate such.

The developers of Twitter apps caught on to the RT popularity and many of them added retweet functionality to their Twitter clients. Not surprisingly, Twitter users are protective of the function and have certain expectations when it comes to official integration of the functionality.

Rather than simply imitate 3rd party Twitter client developers and add a RT button on, Twitter executives wanted to build something with more scope.

According to his blog post this week, Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams (@Ev) fully expected the Retweet feature to be controversial. But, he says, the new feature resolves many of the technical issues that organic retweets were causing:

“The design is simple: There’s a retweet link by each tweet and, with two clicks, it will be sent on to your followers. This takes care of the mangled and messy problem because no one gets an opportunity to edit the tweet.”

“ The meta data (about who tweeted and who retweeted) is not in the tweet text itself, so they never have to be edited for length. Because they’re built natively into the system, they’re trackable. And because they’re trackable, we can take care of the redundancy problem: You will only get the first copy of something retweeted multiple times by people you follow.”

Evan also has a response for people complaining about seeing the avatars of people they don’t follow in their timeline:

“The drawback is that it may be a little surprising (unpleasant even, for some) to discover avatars of people they don’t follow in their timeline. I ask those people to keep in mind the following: You’re already reading the content from these people via organic retweets. This is just giving you more context.”

Evan also says that retweet annotation, (where you can add a comment or hashtag to a retweet), may be added as a feature in a later version depending on demand.

A major factor that likely had a large influence on Retweet development but hasn’t really been touched upon is the impact of RTs on search.

Extensive retweeting can skew search queries both on Twitter Search and major search engines and the new Retweet functionality will filter out much of that redundancy. The new RT also adds meta data to each tweet you retweet, sending a clearer signal to search engines about what content users are finding popular and making it easier for users to search for specific tweets in full context.

Don’t Like It? Don’t Worry

If you’re not impressed by the new Retweet feature, don’t stress about it. From your Twitter dashboard, you can:

  • Turn on and off retweets on a per-user basis. If you only want to see someone’s personally authored tweets, you can shut off their retweets altogether but still follow them.
  • Permanently delete retweets from both your timeline and the timelines of persons who have retweeted you.
  • Continue to use organic retweet and ignore the new functionality altogether. As Twitter staff keep stressing, the old skool method of retweeting will remain available to users.

Happy retweeting!

Google’s Liquid Lunar Doodle

Scientists and space enthusiasts the world over were entralled on Friday when NASA announced that they had discovered water on the moon following their deliberate rocket blasts into the surface last month.

We’re not talking just puddles here. According to NASA, about 25 gallons of water in the form of vapor and ice were discovered, giving legitmacy to the idea that man could one day establish a lunar colony. Until this week, such theories of lunar living have been considered far-fetched.

The possibilities opened up by the discovery have captured the imagination of Google staff too. To pay special significance to the event, displayed a new Google Doodle (logo pictured) on Friday 13 celebrating the discovery. Clicking on the logo brought up search and news results featuring NASA’s announcement.

It’s not the first time Google’s gotten excited about the moon. In 2007 they announced a competition to the tune of USD 20 million for the first team to design a private robot that could land on the moon, roam for at least 500 metres and beam images back to earth. The competition is called the Google Lunar X Prize and runs until 2014.

Q and A: Will Multiple Description Tags affect my Rankings?


Hi Kalena,

I just noticed that my company’s homepage has five meta description tags within the head tag. Will this have any negative ramifications? Thank you,


Hi Heather,

The Meta Description Tag in itself is not likely to have a significant effect on your rankings one way or another, but it is still important because more often than not, the snippet displayed in Google search results is taken from the description tag.

Using a description tag therefore gives you some control over the “message” you are providing to searchers about what your page is about.

Having multiple description tags on the same page, will not provide any SEO benefit – only the first one will be considered – the rest will probably be ignored. However, there is a chance that search engines could consider multiple tags as “spammy”.

There is NO good reason to have multiple description tags on your site – at best it is proof of lazy coding, which increases the size of you page and slows down page load times – at worst it could be considered spamming and may result in search penalties.
What about Keyword and Robots?

Using multiple Keyword and Robot Meta Tags are also probably not a good idea. Google will aggregate the content for multiple Robots tags (but don’t advise using more than one). It is not clear how multiple keyword tags are treated – but these days their use is mostly irrelevant anyway.
Duplicate Descriptions?

While we are talking about Description Tags… You should also try not to have “duplicate” description tags – i.e. multiple pages with the same description tag.

The fact that Google webmaster tools goes to the trouble to flag duplicate descriptions as a “warning”, should provide an indication that Google doesn’t think this is a good idea either. Description tags should be unique, and provide a succinct (and keyword rich) description of the content of the page.

Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing