A few days ago Linda Baie asked me to share some ideas for using Twitter. I remember thinking the same thing. Remember the reason I started tweeting in the first place? I wanted to learn a new genre. What I didn’t know I would find was incredible professional development and relationships with a variety of people.
Getting started in Twitter definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I had trouble figuring out what was “tweet worthy” (and honestly, I still do). I felt like I was learning a new language — hash tag? Tiny URL? Abbreviations? I didn’t know who to follow and I wondered if I followed people would they think I’m a creeper.
So in an effort to ease the awkwardness of other Twitter newbies, here is a little list.
- Start following people you already know. I thought about the people in the profession I respect and admire. I started following them.
- Then I looked at the people they were following and started following some of the same people. So, go to my list and then follow some of the people I follow who you think you would like.
- You are no where near creeper status when you follow people. In fact, you brighten their day. Each time I see I have a new follower my heart stutters a little and I have to pinch myself.
- Force yourself to tweet. This little bullet is as much for me as it is for anyone else. I often say to myself: What is one thing that happened today that other people would be interested in hearing? What cool realization have I noticed today? What great blog post have I read? Then I tweet these things.
- Yes, tweet. Just like anything else in life we get out what we put in. Twitter is successful because of the layers of ideas that people share. Your voice matters. Tweet.
- Read this article by Franki Sibberson, “Making the Most of Twitter.”
- If you have a smartphone, add a Twitter app. Most of my tweeting happens from my phone.
- I’ve just downloaded TweetDeck to check out for my laptop. I’ve not used it, so I have no idea if it is something I’ll like.
- Hashtags are like labels. They make it easy to follow conversations about a specific topic. You’ll want to check out #NCTE11 in order to see the tweets from (or about) the conference.
One more thing…