OK, so my colleague/mentor/friend Sky finally got me on Twitter. If you don’t know twitter, it’s a microblog, where you post the equivalent of a SMS (text message), maximum 160 characters. People I respect are into it, but I’d wondered the advantages. Sky told me he was using TwitterFox which lets you put it in your Firefox browser. So I installed it, and managed to get it running (tho’ I may still be mucking a few things up). And finding out that people will ‘follow’ you in the hopes you’ll visit and see their ads, e.g. weightloss; there’s spam everywhere; something I’m doing wrong?
So far, I’ve been on it a few days (@Quinnovator), and find it easy to update what I’m doing, harder to use it as a reflective tool. I’m also only following a couple of folks I know, as I haven’t found an easy way to find folks I know who might be tweeting. So far, some interesting things are coming through and I’ve answered a couple of questions.
One of the few folks I am following, however, pointed me to this site, recommendations of how to use Twitter as a college student. I like where someone looks to a technology and finds the learning affordances (what I try to do myself). I’ve not the experience with Twitter, let alone the additional apps people are building (e.g. retweetme, a twitter reminder system), as yet, so it’s nice to see someone else doing it.
I’m not going to be SMSing my tweets (I’ve a limit on SMS messages, and like that I never come near the limit), but I will be giving it a spin through the browser interface. Any recommendations?
Michelle Lentz says
I’m glad you’re on Twitter! I’ll make sure to follow you. The best thing about Twitter, outside of the community, is the wealth of 3rd party apps. I use Twitter on my desktop with Twhirl, for instance. It allows me to update Jaiku and Pownce as well.
I recommend using Summize.com to search Twitter for any keyword, or even people. It works best as a “Google for Twitter” however. From a branding and marketing perspective, Summize is a fascinating way to watch, in real time, what people are saying about your product.
I also recommend Twellow.com, which is a Twitter people search, recently released in Alpha. Twellow indexes people based on the key words used in their Twitter bios. It’s a great way to find experts and other people you’ve always wanted to meet.
When setting up a Twitter profile, I recommend using a user name, and then entering your Real Name in your bio. This assures others that you’re real and not a spammer or a bot. Filling out your profile with the right key words is also important. From there, just go out and follow other people. I always tell folks that you only get out of Twitter (or any Web 2.0 social app) what you put into it. People won’t find you until you’ve gone out and started to chatter and integrate yourself into a community. One other thing that always throws people on Twitter is the constant-ness of it all. I like to say that Twitter is like a party. You can hop from one conversation to another, but you don’t necessarily have to be there for the beginning or end of that conversation.
Finally, don’t forget the built-in Twitter tools, including the @ convention for replies, the Replies tab for viewing them, and using Favorites to save relevant Tweets for reference.
I could go on and on and on. I’m speaking on Twitter (and microblogging in general) at DevLearn in November and I just recently had the same topic at PodCamp Ohio. But I’ll stop. If you have questions though, feel free to tweet at me! @writetechnology
Wow! I track your blog, so I know you’re a tweeter, but this is a real goldmine of help. THANKS!
Mark Roche says
Only just getting my head around Twitter. I use Flock as my browser which has support for Twitter and a whole range of other tools – Facebook, Flickr, delicious etc – built in to the browser. I also use Twhirl.
Enjoy reading your posts.
Mark, I hadn’t even heard of Flock! Very interesting. Much appreciate the pointer (and the feedback). Thanks!