I’ve been on twitter now for about a week (less if you count that I didnt tweet much during the workdays) and I’ve discovered two surprising things.
Firstly its harder to tweet than you might think. At first I thought it was basically just as inane as a facebook status (so much so I hooked mine up to facebook so I wouldn’t have to status twice). However I now remember the reason I got bored of updating my facebook status in the first place. Its dull. No one cares if I’m eating chips with my breakfast or travelling to see my grandma. I’m not famous so this minutiae on my life interests anyone (apart from perhaps my grandma).
Before I’d learnt how to use the search facility (an unassuming link at the bottom of your twitter home page) I was limited to searching for people whose names I knew or whose blogs I’d happened to come across. Don’t get me wrong. I love to follow my friends and colleagues and the odd comedian but I feel the real benefit from twitter comes when you branch out and follow people who have the same interests as you. I am interested in photography as you know from my blog here 😉 so I’ve now found a bunch of photographers to follow who post interesting info, links and so forth.
While I’m still very much a newbie (does anyone still you this word?) I am very much enjoying finding out new things about this fascinating social media every time I use it. And this is where google (as usual) is my friend, I have been wondering for a day or so what RT at the start of some posts meant. Then someone used the full word. Retweet. I found this really interesting article on retweeting as a result
Another interesting concept is hash-tagging. Like keywords in flickr and blogs it seems #tags are used as a sort of grouping mechanism. I’ve not really got my head full around it yet but it may be just as simple as tagging your post so that others may search on the keyword? Recent tags I’ve seen are #togs #CSS Sprites #photog #breakingnews and #Flickr
Something else I’ve noticed is the different rate at which people tweet. Some people tweet 6 times a minute and it feels like you have been blasted with a tweet gun. Some hardly post (I guess these would be lurkers) and some carry on a conversation with the people they follow and who follow them.
This is an interesting article I found about this: Conversational Symmetry and Twitter
I’m not yet sure which approach I prefer. I like to hold a conversation occasionally but I feel its rude if you ask someone a question and they do not reply. On the downside anyone viewing you profile only sees your posts and therefore only half the conversation which is no fun for anyone. If you tweet too much are you unnecessarily blocking up peoples twitter windows so nobody can get a word in edgeways? However if you merely lurk you aren’t going to be very exciting to follow. Personally I do not understand how you can follow thousands of people and expect to really follow them I have trouble keeping up with a few. Maybe its just a status things like having hundreds of ‘friends’ on facebook most of whom you dont really know and possibly wouldn’t even smile at in the street. Maybe I’ll get used to it.
One thing I love that I have discovered through twitter is posterous.com. How cool that you can auto blog via email! All those offices that block social media (like mine) will be scuppered by this one as email is now an indispensible business tool. I can now twitter at work (should I want to) just by sending an email thats one in the face of the IT services lol.
I now have pretty much everything hooked up. My posterous site feeds my twitter which feeds my facebook status and a updates box on my blog. I do love RSS feeds! 🙂
Feel free to follow me or just to take a look:
and hot off the ‘press’, just as I was finishing typing in this post someone tweeted this article which looks very intersting too: http://www.interactiveinsightsgroup.com/blog1/ultimate-how-to-grow-your-social-media-network/