Startup Blog

Twitter Charity Challenge - December 2008

Posted Mike Volpe on 12/1/08 10:54 AM

I am a complete Twitterholic.  I am also passionate about a nonprofit organization that I co-founded, the Boston Scholars Program. So, why not put these two things together?

For every new Twitter follower I gain before December 31, I will donate $0.50 to the Boston Scholars Program.

I have 2,955 Twitter followers today, so if I have 4,000 followers on 12/31, I will donate $523... And so on.  My Twitter followers increased by 1,000 in the last 30 days, so we could be in for a big donation if this actually starts to spread the word and accelerates the number of people following me.  I'll track our progress here, and of course in my tweets.

So... Follow Mike Volpe on Twitter today!

Click here to view the spreadsheet with the raw dataHere is the fine print: I am not going to track follows and unfollows, the donation will be based on the difference between the number of followers I have today (2,955) and at 6pm EST on 12/31/08.  Maximum donation of $2,500.

UPDATES: More People Joining the Challenge 

@corbett3000 = $2,500 max. More details here.

@jessieX = $250 max. More details here.

@pmhesse = $2,500 max. More details here.

@SeanDaily = $500 max.

@JordanAyan = $2,500 max.

@dankeldsen = $2,500 max. More details here. 

Reply or DM me on Twitter or leave a comment here if you want to join the fun.

Final Update: I raised over $500 for charity for the 1,015 followers I gained.  I added another $50 to the donation since Twitter cleaned up some accounts and dropped my folowers by about 100 during the month.  So, in total, I made an additional donation of $557.50 to the Boston Scholars Program.  Thanks everyone!

Twitter Pic Contest #mvolpe-pic

Posted Mike Volpe on 11/19/08 4:29 PM


Write a caption to this photo, win a free t-shirt. (Update: contest is now closed, but you can still add captions for fun)

mike volpe ann handley marketing

This photo of me (Mike Volpe) and Ann Handley just seems weird/funny and deserving of a humorous caption.  So, let's have a contest!  (Photo credit: Bob Collins).

How to Enter: Enter by Tweeting your caption along with the hashtag #mvolpe-pic, or for those of you not on Twitter you can leave a comment on this blog article below.

Rules:Caption must be less than 140 characters long (for Twitter compatibility).  Winner will be chosen by Mike Volpe, maybe with help from Ann Handley based on humor and cleverness.

Prize: The prize is any t-shirt from the HubSpot Gear store, including free shipping to you.  (There are some pretty cool/funny shirts there if you ask me - "I'm kind of a big deal (on Twitter)." and "I love f*cking with Google." are my favorites.)

Sample captions (bad ones, hence the reason for the contest):

  • "Big or small, marketing loves them all"
  • "On Twitter, we can all be 7 feet tall, even @marketingprofs"
  • "Clearly, Twitter followers are not proportional to your size in real life"

Update: Winners

I picked based on the shortest and cmost clever ones, and rather than just pick one, I picked two.  Here they are:

  • Tim Jackson (blog comment): "Proof that size does not matter."
  • missleah26 (Twitter): "Marketing genius: Now available in 2 sizes."

Thanks everyone for the fun.  I might have to do something like this again.

Something Happened on Twitter for me...

Posted Mike Volpe on 10/30/08 11:37 AM

Once I got to about 1,000 followers on Twitter.  I noticed that something changed.  I used to Tweet, and not get much of a response.  And if I did, it was from people I knew.

Just a couple days ago, I tweeted that I was in the Atlanta airport (with a link to a photo).  A few months ago nothing would have happened.  But now I got a number of replies and carried on a couple mini-conversations - all with people I have not met in real life.

I continue to be surprised by the entertainment / community / usefulness of Twitter as my network grows.  So, follow me on Twitter!  I'll follow you back.

twitter atlanta airport mvolpe

Twitter - What's the difference between #mvolpe and @mvolpe?

Posted Mike Volpe on 10/22/08 12:03 PM

I recently got an email from someone with a question about the difference between a hashtag (#) and a reply (@).  See my reply below in bold, and you can also follow Mike Volpe on Twitter.

Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 11:57 AM
To: Mike Volpe
Subject: RE: Twitter


Sorry to bother you but you seem to be a "goto" guy on twitter matters.  I noticed in your tweet last week regarding Seth Godin's book, you had a reference to #hubspot as opposed to @hubspot. What is the significance of the hash mark? Where did I miss that information?

What's the difference between #mvolpe and @mvolpe?

Check out  Basically, #hubspot indicates a threaded discussion on a TOPIC, while @hubspot is a directed message toward a specific person/entity.  Think of "#" as like "about" or "re:"  and @ as like "to".  Typically people will search on twitter for #hubspot to follow a conversation, but not as much for @hubspot.

Boston Tweetup for Inbound Marketing Summit - #IMS08

Posted Mike Volpe on 9/4/08 11:37 AM

We're holding a Tweetup / Meetup / Gathering on Sunday 9/7 at 6pm at Tommy Doyle's in Kendall Square to kick off the Inbound Marketing Summit (#IMS08).  This is open to ALL, you don't need to have bought a ticket to to attend the reception Sunday evening.

Twitter message:

Facebook event:

Will I see you there?

Twitter Finds Jay-Z Fans for Me?

Posted Mike Volpe on 8/20/08 6:01 PM

When I commute home on the T (that's the subway in Boston, for the non-locals) I'll often twitter up a storm from my crackberry.  Last night I posted a tweet with a line from a Jay-Z song, just because I was in a spunky mood.

What surprised me is that I got a number of responses from people I did not expect, sort of like Twitter helped me find other Jay-Z fans.

  • "Jay-Z Baby....He is coming out with Blueprint 3 Produced by Kanye and Timberland...Should be Hot" from HappyHourBoston
  • "Great lyric, I used to set that as my away message on AIM." from Dan Abdinoor
  • "Did not peg you as a Jay-Z fan... nice!" from Seph250

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