May
5
2008

Twitter Guide – Learning To Use It The Right Way

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Ever use AIM? If you have I’m sure you’re familiar with setting an away message. Some of us are worse than others with how often we change it and if we ever mix up what it says. I’m notorious for leaving it on “around” most of the time as I don’t enjoy updating it. Twitter however, I’ve found much more enjoyment. Heres is mine: twitter.com/robmalon

Twitter vs. AIM

Twitter is exactly that. An ongoing message updater – without the chatting. You can however set messages directly to your friends (either out in the open as part of your twittering or privately).

Here’s where twitter gets good. Imagine if your AIM away messages were tracked and syndicated. And if you could get an instant update/feed of what all your friends are/were doing. This is possible through RSS feeds and 3rd party applications.

Reminders

Along with updating users on what I’m doing I also tend to use the twitter service as a reminder for things I want to do later on. More often than not, your friends/followers will be interested in those things too. Things like this and others are what can make someone interesting! This is a new unique way to reach your friends and/or your websites fan base.

Visitors are not interested in your site because you don’t update it enough?

Keep your blog updated! You can use twitter’s badges to put your more recent twitters on your site and let people know you’re active! Or you can easily pull your feed, or friends feeds and create sections like “What I’m doing right now”, “What My Friends/Fans Are Doing”.

I also like to keep my facebook updated through facebooks twitter application. This might apply to more sites (or may eventually grow to support more sites. Its nice only having to update things in one place! Updates that used to be tedious are now spent doing other, unproductive, things on facebook ;) .

Accomplishments

One great way to keep people interested and to add some benefits for yourself… Keep a log of your everyday accomplishments! For example, One of my accomplishments today was, I “wrote 8 pages of content for sites and made some minor backend tweaks to topsites.extreme-gamerz.org“. Twitter is a miniaturized way of providing simple news like this to your fans and friends. I would never take the time to put that one liner on the site itself, so now that kind of news has a home!

Popularity

Twitter Alexa Rating

Its been rising as you can see from Alexa’s one year recordings of it. Seems that a lot of other people are finding a variety of uses for it like described here.

Motivation

A lot of my friends and followers tend to post about what they’re working on. When you feel like you’re getting off track. I read some of their twitters and it more often than not, motivates and improves morale. It works like this. When you’re in an office, and you see your co-workers working at their desks, it feels “right” to be working right along side them. When you do part-time work, or fulltime work where you are all alone (seems to happen a lot with the make money online niche) its nice to have that kind of support.

Topic Ideas

This might be considered a motivator as well, but often times if I’m stuck on what two write on, I might by chance look into something that a friend twittered and suddenly have something to write or talk about.

Variety Of Ways For Easy Access

So many applications have been created for easy use of twitter. I’ve tried several and found I like the one at twhirl.org the best. Simple to install and provides the most features in a friendly manner. Best of all, it sits in my desktops tray, sends me notifications of new twitters, and allows me to twitter directly from the interface. Twitter also provides a way to update via text message with a mobile phone.

3 Step Guide On What Not To twitter.

  1. Twittering more than 10 times a day. If reading someone’s twitters becomes a chore, its a quick way to frustrate your followers!
  2. Messages like “BRB eating lunch” – no one cares and I would hope people draw a line for how they use twitter versus an instant messenger. I think its obvious that the ones with the larger fan/friend lists on twitter do not do this. However, you can define how you use the service anyway you’d like. If you don’t care about a fan base, then this its probably helpful to your friends!
  3. Overuse of @username – If you find you’re sending a lot of public messages directly to people, again, get the persons instant messenger account(s). This is speculative depending if you’re using twitter more for a fan base or friends list.

Twitter Wish List

What I’d like to see with twitter is a way to select different groups of friends which you create. This way you can follow each group individually and/or have twitter apps give you popup notifications only for certain groups.

Find Me

Hope to see you around twitter!

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