Over the past month I’ve really put in some effort to participate in and understand Twitter. There are good things and bad things, but overall I think I’m much better off for joining. I count it as a primary research source, as well as a place to vent…just a little.
Below are a few of my thoughts and observations about my short time on Twitter. I’m sure that my understanding will expand the more I read and experience. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned so far from Twitter is that social media needs to be taken in moderation.
• I follow people I know, listen to online or read their blogs. I’m always looking for new information about design and web development, business and all my other quirky hobbies.
• I find great info by using the Search feature in my TweetDeck. Allows you to search for key works. All tweets with that key work in it shows up. Other designers around the world tweet about interesting design topics and share the things they have found. Then they add links to their tweets.
• It’s actually better than searching for things on Google. You’d never be able to find all these things if you just searched for them. Plus the things that people post are things that you might not specifically search for, but are still very interesting and applicable.
• In the end it’s how you use Twitter that makes it a powerful tool. A good example of using Twitter effectively is Mt Spokane. People are passionate about about skiing and they love to keep tabs on “their” mountain. They don’t put out too many tweets and the ones I get are full of useful information.
• Tweets from Paul Boag. I listen to his podcast, he’s very personable on the podcast and you get the feeling that he’s one of your friends. He’s a web design guy like I am, and I feel a kinship with him hearing the things that are going on in his life. Now he’s added tweets with links to his Audioboo posts. Audioboo is a micro podcasting app for use on the iPhone.
• Tweets that are too personal. Like I said this can be a great tool if used correctly. I don’t really need to know when you are going to pick up your kids or that you’d on the toilet. I suppose Facebook suffers from the same misuse.
• The other side of Twitter…being followed. As you participate more and more you’ll start picking up followers. They may find you by doing searches, reading your profile or seeing something you tweeted. In order for them to find you via search, you’ll need to be aware of the key words that you’re using.
• Another way to get followers is to start following others. Many times you’ll see that if you start following someone they will reciprocate and follow you.
• Sometime if you just mention a certain topic, people searching for that key work fill start following you. Try talking about SEO in your next few tweets. See what happens.
• Is it different than a Facebook Status? That’s a good question. Some people use it as a way to share their status. Everyone see these social media outlets in different ways. They use them as places to vent, places to share their personalities, places to share important (and often unimportant) information.
I’m sure that as time goes on I’ll have more to say on this topic. I’d like to hear about other people’s experiences with Twitter and some of the programs you use to access it. Currently I use TweetDeck on my MacBook and Twitterfon on my iPhone. Any other suggestions?