Welcome to Tweetville
As I am developing my website, tweaking design elements and adding lots of different features, I am also expanding my efforts within the world of social media. I’ve been inspired the last couple of weeks, particularly with Twitter.
I’ve gone through my account and actually did some housecleaning this week. I unfollowed social media “gurus” because quite frankly, no one is a guru in this field. We are all learning as we go and we all have a lot to learn. I did away with people who had 50,000 followers and who follow about the same amount, because they really don’t have an interest to connect with me and won’t miss me anyway. I did keep Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) though, because he is really good as using Twitter and everything he tweets about is appealing, entertaining, educational or really funny. Actually, he might be a guru.
One piece of advice I did take from all my research was to only follow people who share your interests. Some dude in farmville who has a love of tractors may choose to follow you, but if you’re not interested to read posts about tractors, there should be no obligation to follow back. It certainly feels flattering when someone is interested in what you have to tweet about, but I have quickly gotten over feeling obliged to follow everyone who follows me. And in the same respect, I don’t care if the person I follow adds me to their list. I certainly was happy to see that @MariaShriver chose to follow me, but I don’t expect that @Oprah will make me #20 on her list of people she follows.
Another important note I read was that it really doesn’t matter how many people are following you – in the sense that you don’t need a bazillion gillion followers to be considered “successful” in Tweetville. I do feel happy when I see that more people are following me (I’ve gained over 180), but I hate to open my list of followers and see @succezstwittey who doesn’t have a clear connection between their bio and tweets, and who appears to just be “collecting” people or is perhaps even an automated account. I also don’t care to earn money from tweeting or buy a list with 50,000 followers. I think these things are just plain weird. Not my reason for participating.
The aspect of Twitter I have enjoyed the most is opening up communication with a few individuals. If I have a new follower and they meet my interests, I will follow them and thank them for signing on. If someone posts an interesting tweet, I’ll make a comment back and am pleased when they respond in kind. For example, yesterday I noticed that @AliAdventures7 was tweeting from an airplane. And after a brief exchange learned that Delta has in-flight wifi available for a fee of $13. I find that pretty cool and led me to look online and find an article like THIS. Also found THIS if a bit dated article on the race to install wifi inflight. Good stuff to know for someone who travels as frequently as I do. What I couldn’t find was an article which rates how strong the wifisignal is from 35,000 feet!
I believe Twitter could stand to offer some features which help a user like me better organize the people I follow and the people who follow me, but this need has prompted me to investigate sites like Hootsuite and Mixero. I’ve already got TweetDeck, but I’m not love love loving it. Do you have a preference for a desktop application like these?
If you’ve made it to this paragraph and have no idea what I’m talking about in terms of followers and why I’ve got an @ sign in front of a user name, then I encourage you to get an account on Twitter and try it out for yourself. If you feel lazy or simply want some suggestions as to how to get started, you can just follow me and also everyone I follow. Especially if your interests are in writing, travel, food&wine, living abroad, news, humor and inspiration. If you are interested in bobsledding, you may have to search a bit to find people who are tweeting about your hobby…but I’m sure there is someone out there!
My friend Lilli asked me recently why I am so interested in participating in Facebook, Twitter and the like, and for me I just love connecting with new people who have similar interests or fascinating lives. That’s also why I love to live in different parts of the world and travel. I love people! Some of the people on my travel list have truly amazing stories and I am learning from this group of tweeters all the time. If you do log on and you want to see what people on my travel list have to say, take the time to follow:
You might become interested in a good charitable cause from these folks:
The possibilities are endless, so get online and get on Twitter! If you are already on twitter and would like to leave me your link, please add a comment. If you are using other forms of social media that you have really come to love, please share by adding a comment. There so much fun stuff out there! Let’s share the goodies!