Twitter Tidbits

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Are you wondering about how to make the best use of Twitter? If the “sold out” attendance at Seltzer Design’s program on social media is any indication, I think many people are. Moreover, I think different things work for different people.

How I use Twitter:

I mainly use Twitter to stay abreast of what’s happening in my profession, my industry, and the world. I do this in three ways.

I use Twitter as a newspaper. Instead of scanning the headlines of a print publication, I “follow” reporters and publications that tweet headlines of breaking stories with links to the full article. When I want to learn more, I click the link to the full story.

I use Twitter as a peer-reviewed publication--and empower others to sift through the news, highlight articles of interest, and provide useful insights. Instead of subscribing to a print journal that arrives once a month or six times a year, I “follow” a group of thought leaders I’ve identified as providers of interesting content.

The third way I use Twitter is as an antenna. With the help of Tweetdeck (described below), I scan everyone’s tweets, including people I don’t know, to learn what others are saying about topics I find interesting.

I do this by setting up a permanent search in Tweetdeck and checking the results whenever I have time. When I find useful information, I often start "following" the person who posted the tweet--and "retweet" his/her post to those that follow me.

How others use Twitter:

I use Twitter mostly for listening but of course that means someone needs to be talking--I mean tweeting. Annie Schmidt, the Senior Designer and Strategist, identifies six ways people can tweet: curatorial, tips and advice, shout-out, self-promotional, responses and retweets.

Curatorial tweets identify topics of interest and provide useful insights. Shout-outs are requests for help and/or ideas. Retweets are posts that Twitter readers forward, with full attribution, to those that follow them.

Twitter tools:

There are a number of tools that extend the power of Twitter. Examples include Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Seesmic’s Twitter desktop client. Shortly, after the Seltzer seminar, I came across a great Tweetdeck demo that John McTigue posted on one of the Linked In groups to which I subscribe.

Are you atwitter about twitter?

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