The River of Twitter

Alex Moore’s post 2 weeks ago resonated with me for a few reasons. One of which is the fact that I think he copied my idea – I am convinced I talked to him about this concept a little while ago 😉

But more importantly, back to the river. There is no bigger river than the river of Twitter. Thanks to my Facebook status updates several people have asked me recently what Twitter is. In a way it’s a bit like micro-blogging – here’s a commoncraft clip that explains it a lot better than I can. And here’s another good link.

It’s great if you’ve mastered continuous partial attention but you have to pick who you follow carefully as you can be inundated with the most trivial facts about people’s lives (Sorry Chris, couldn’t resist… my dad also loves Indiana Jones).

The Twitter signal-to-noise ratio is terrible though. The highly regarded Nassim Nicholas Taleb has strong views on this. He doesn’t read newspapers for this very reason.

On the flipside, Nic Brisbourne reminded me that ‘when you are in the business of trying to predict where the hype will be in 12-24 months then [you] don’t have the luxury of ignoring the breaking news.’ And I have to admit, amongst the froth, Twitter certainly has delivered some timely nuggets that have really helped us as we strive to stay ahead of the curve. Or, in Alex’s case, just behind.

Here’s a useful list by Paul Walsh that includes some tips for new users.

Most people will only spend a few seconds reviewing your Twitter page before deciding whether to follow you or not. The more followers they have, the less time they’re likely to spend. So, these tips should help increase the chances of people following you.

1. Fill in the bio. Include a few words that describe you. Try to make it punchy.

2. Link to a Web page that’s relevant, preferably a blog or biog.

3. Don’t follow everyone you find interesting at once. Wait for some to reciprocate or you’ll look like ‘billy no mates’.

4. Using a company name as your screen name is ok for some people. Loren Feldman and Mike Arrington are amongst the ‘exception to the rule’ category. I personally prefer to follow people, not companies.

5. Be honest, open and above all, be yourself.

6. Be patient. You won’t build relationships or feel the community spirit over night. It takes a little getting used to. Use twitter to have conversations with people for at least a few weeks before forming an opinion.

7. If you’re unsure whether to publish a comment, publish it. Ok, that’s probably not the best tip, but it’s what I do all the time. Sometimes it doesn’t work in my favour but mostly it does as people know that what they see is the real me.

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3 Responses to The River of Twitter

  1. […] talked about this before. Ironically this list came from the business section of The Times… a Black Swan […]

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