Not Just a Sound Birds Make: Why We Love to “Tweet”

One of the last sounds that I hear at night before I go to sleep is chirping- and I’m not talking about the birds outside. Rather, I’m referring to the sound of those around the world who are still up and “tweeting” away into the wee hours of the night. Admittedly, I used to be (and still am) a huge fan of StumbleUpon, but lately, my attention has turned to Twitter.

Why Tweet?

I thought things were pretty sweet back when AIM first came out (which I still use religiously). But now there’s this new phenomenon that is sweeping the world, and it goes by the name “Twitter”. Twitter is based on the idea (in my humble opinion) of letting others know what you are up to in in 140 characters or less.

So, why would anyone be interested in this? Who knows- My guess is that like many other applications on the Web, it’s a platform for letting others know you are out there, that you exist and that you have something to say-even if it is: “I just brushed my teeth.”

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Twitterers Beware

Some things that I have learned while twittering:

  • Texting:You can change your profile settin gs to have Twitter text you whenever someone sends out a tweet. However, I personally do not recommend this unl ess you have a really good text messaging plan or if you have a low friend count (provided that your friends don’t use twitter that much).
  • URLs: You can tweet about sites belonging to you or others, but know that there is a restriction on the number of URLs Twitter will allow you to tweet about, so use them wisely!
  • Following: If you’re new to Twitter and want to m ake friends really quickly, start slowly! Automatically following upwards of 1,000 people can and often does look suspicious to many Twitterers as they may be inclined to think that you are a spammer- which will get you kicked out! Similarly, be wary of those who follow you but who are already following thousands of others. Look at the number of people following them as well as w hat their last tweets were. Is it comparable?
  • Personalize: Twitterers typically like to know that they are talking to a person who will have a vested interest in the mundane things they tweet about. That being said, make sure you personalize your page. It’s ok to use Twitter for business purpos es, but shy away from using your business as you username. Instead, your profile should include an actual picture of yourself as well as your real name. Both of these things help to build your credibility as well as let others know that you aren’t trying to spam them. If you want to promote your business, do it by linking to it in the URL section of your profile.
  • Blocking/Spam: Referring to what I said earlier about looking suspiciously spammy: On every Twitter profile is the option to “block” someone who is f ollowing you. It is important that you exercise some sort of discretion in who you follow on Twitter. If you think that the person won’t want anything to do with you, it is better not to follow them versus risking being blocked by them. If you are blocked too many times by those who you try to follow, this will alert the Twitter staff that something spammy is going on. The last thing you want is to h ave your Twitter account suspended!

My Favorite Twitter App

TweetDeck is perhaps my favorite Twitter application because of how incredibly organized it is. It’s a Twitter application that breaks down your Twitter feeds into mo

re manageable bite-sized pieces so that you can better see what’s going on in the Twitter Universe. And if that wasn’t good enough, it even “chirps” to let you know when someone’s put out a tweet! When I first started using Twitter, I had a lot of trouble keeping up with who (if anybody) was responding to the tweets I was putting out. I then saw that someone had put out a tweet about a Twitter application called TweetDeck. I noticed afte

r a while that a lot of people were using this, so I gave it a try. There are tons of Twitter applications out there though, so find something that suits you.

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