I'm in pajamas in my living room, but I just found out that neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor's talk moments ago at the TED conference was fantastic, magical and transcendent (thanks pkedrosky). Holding up a real brain on stage in her gloved hands, spinal cord dangling (thanks pierre), she is describing how she had a stroke and then studied it first hand as it happened and as she recovers from it.
Breaking news often hits Twitter first. Use Twitter to be there as the most exciting conferences and events are happening (especially if you're in the new media industry); hear insider commentary (sometimes less than discreet if tweeted from a drunken afterparty) from the most brilliant venture capitalists, CEO's, technology leaders, SEO's, and social media consultants; participate in amazing conversations about anything from enterprise software solutions to the most interesting new web sites; or get the latest headlines from business media and companies such as:
- NYTimes Business
- Financial Times
- LA Times Biz
- Small Business Trends blog - Anita Campbell
- Duct Tape Marketing - John Jantsch
Get started on TwitterGo to Twitter and sign up for a free account. Then create your profile and upload an image. Add a one line bio - these are often whimsical. You can choose to set up phone or IM notifications in addition to web - this means you may send and receive Twitter messages through your cellphone or instant messenger client. You may choose to approve people who can read your updates (protect your updates), or you may want the whole world to follow you.
Design your Twitter presenceTwitter success is often based on subtle and cool details, like what your one line bio says, your username, and your Twitter page design. Remember, you want to transmit something of your real presence and emotional nuance across the ether.
Give some thought to what you'll Twitter...or notIf you are a media company, blog, or business selling a consumer product, you may want to Tweet a series of constant headlines or updates. It pays to give some thought beforehand to the structure and frequency of your Tweets to both make your life easier and because a key to addicting devoted followers is content whose form or topic they can rely on. As in any social media participation, make sure you add value and are not just tooting your own horn. Well...too much tooting is just boring and boorish!
On the other hand, you may be using Twitter purely to keep in touch with friends or associates, or to communicate in a freer way than usual. In that case, enjoy your freedom, divulge your most profound thoughts and deepest insecurities, tell us what you ate for lunch or where you just had a cup of joe, or even how your wife's labor is going.
But...Twitter is stupid! Solution: Follow smart peopleMany people sign up for Twitter, all excited, and then...nothing happens. They don't get it or think it's stupid. Why? Because they have not yet found interesting people or businesses to follow. You need to find people to follow and convince others to follow you to make it all interesting, addicting, and useful!
You can also find lists of Twitterers to follow such as business Twitterers, SEO Twitterers, IT analyst Twitterers, Twitterers interested in social media marketing and Twitterers who are at TED. You may also randomly find interesting people to follow through browsing the Public Timeline to see recent Twitter updates, or find influential Twitterers at Twitterholic.
Search TwitterSearching Twitter can be a fascinating way to see what keeps popping up in the latest conversations, from Jill Bolte Taylor's brain to Blue Bottle coffee. Reporters these days are searching Twitter as a starting point, and many people are ignoring their feed readers in favor of getting the most important links of the day at Twitter.
Use desktop applications to streamline your Twitter useIf you use Twitter's web interface, it can be hard to easily see who is replying to you and who is sending you direct messages. Desktop applications built for Twitter allow you to read replies and direct messages inline as well as offer a more custom browsing experience.
Sync your Twitter & Facebook updatesNo more writing of multiple updates...use the Twitter application so your Twitter updates become your Facebook updates as well.
Totally addicted?First of all, it's nice that you're developing an intimacy with strangers, but *do* remember that you live in a real neighborhood. Consider getting up from your keyboard from time to time or putting down your cellphone and chitchatting with your in-the-flesh neighbor over the backyard fence, or even go get Blue Bottle coffee with that neighbor instead of tweeting about it. Yes, attention to real people in actual physical proximity can be a good thing.
- To monitor how your business is perceived, create a Twitter account and then send "track [your company name]" to Twitter to get text messages whenever your company is mentioned by any of the million Twitter users.
- Find out what Twitter is talking about today at Twitterverse: http://www.twitterverse.com/ or see popular stories digg-style at: http://twitigg.com/
- You may achieve a certain intimacy with your fellow Twitterers that you didn't expect, such as awareness of what kind of green tea they like to drink, issues they are having with their significant others, or their pet peeves.
- Be careful about Twittering when drinking wine - you may achieve a level of intimacy with your followers that you were not planning.
- There's a great introductory video about Twitter from Commoncraft community expert Lee LeFever: http://www.commoncraft.com/Twitter
- If you want more Twitter followers or know of great Twitterers to follow, please comment with usernames below.
- Track the URL's you put on Twitter through Tweet Burner http://tweetburner.com/