Sunday, February 15, 2009

On Twitter and tweeting*

*'Tw' pun alert...

You may have noticed I've experienced a twepiphany recently and have been a lot more active on Twitter. And looking back to my first tweets, it feels like I've had to pass through a number of stages to get here.

I started out as reluctant, moved on to critic, window shopper, wader and now full-fledged user (with my Twitter ID appended to my email signature).

And, as a user, I thought I'd share some of the things I discovered along the way:

  1. Start slowly and experiment. But be aware that you're broadcasting so please use good judgement. Sure no one's perfect and you may end up looking like an idiot on occasion. But that's part of the process (at least it was for me).
  2. At the beginning, find a few people you know or twust and follow them. Don't pick too many or you might feel overwhelmed. You can add more later (see number 8).
  3. Try not to feel too guilty if someone follows you back before you post your first tweet. No one's expecting a proclamation.
  4. Find your twitsonality - your Twitter personality, tone and voice. Be yourself and be authentic. And have something to say.
  5. Don't just tweet and run. Stick around for a few minutes and take part in the conversation.
  6. Sometimes you only have time to browse and click and that's OK too.
  7. Remember you have a day job.
  8. Most important: it's all about the people you're following! That's been my biggest revelation. Some of the folks I know personally. Others, I've met via my blog or tweets. But they're all smart, funny, informative, energetic, insightful, helpful and entertaining. It takes time to find the right people to follow, but it's worth it.

Let me end with a warning before you take a big gulp of Koolaid. Twitter is fun and, once you've been bitten, it can be addictive. Try to make sure that you're remain user and don't fall into substance abuse. (We all know where that leads.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to log into Tweetdeck to see what I've missed.

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