Saturday, August 7, 2010

7 + 1 twitter tips : my experience !

1. What is on the twitter profile picture link?

When we go on someone’s twitter profile we see – small profile pic, twitter username, numbers of following & followers, profile bio,  indication of you following the user or not and their tweets. Have you ever clicked on that small profile image? try clicking it and you’ll see there’s a big image (originally uploaded by the user). You get some feelings when you get to see someone’s big picture. Or let’s say the real picture is behind the small one :P

Smaller one:

profile-pic

Larger one:

profile-pic-big

just  to mention, this picture is from my India tour, we were on the way to Water Kingdom in a boat :)

2. Write the 160 character bio and profile url

Whenever i have to know something more about a twitter follower or the person i am following i quick scan their bio and profile url.

Twitter always wanted to save their server space they provide to their user that’s why they don’t allow more information on the profile page. And never mind, it was a joke. I think the idea is to shift focus to tweets and updates. what you tweet conveys you and your persona. The more you tweet the more of you shows up in your tweets list.

That’s a plus for sure, still i think the 160 character bio and the url you provide their in your profile information is equally important to mark your identity. Use it to convey the message why you are in twitter. It will result in more like minded followers and hence more fun.

Have a quick bio setup, have a personal url (your site, your portfolio, your business, your blog anything). This increases your twitter and other search visibility, lets your follower be in more touch. Your twitter follower will travel along with the url you provide and will interact with your business or say blog. That’s again a plus.

3. It’s not that bad to start conversation first :)

Is their any special reason for the one who starts conversation has to be someone other than you?

The fun begins when you start conversations with your following/followers. Cheers them on their success stories. Suggest to their confusion. Give review of their blog posts. The idea is, don’t wait for others to begin talk with you. Go with your, “just to mention kind of expression” and say : “ hello @billgates how are you doing? Here’s a handshake for your good day :) “

provided :
tweets = original content (stories, feelings, blog posts by the twitter user)
and the receiver is not a BOT!
(look into the tweet’s source, if there is From API, it is more likely a bot)

You can use service like Twitoaster : The Twitter Conversations Service, to get threaded version of your twitter conversations.

4. How to find who is tweeting near your location? (use twitter search)

nearktm

I never expected that twitter will ever add Kathmandu city in the Location Wise Trending List. But ain’t there a way to find twitter friends near your location?

You can always opt to use advanced search operators or advanced search page to search for tweets and users you want.

The search operator near with syntax near:location as search query will result in the result page containing tweets from that specific location. The location string has to match the address provided in the twitter users profile page.

For eg. If you use twitter near kathmandu, try near:kathmandu as search string. The result will show you real time tweets coming from around kathmandu.

search-results

Don’t forget to click on the Save This Search link so that the search query will be saved for future use. Now its the right time to use the Tip number 3 above.

newtweets-search

You’ll never miss the tweets near your location onwards, there is no other as easy as this way to find people near you to be friended with, sitting just in front of twitter interface.

 

5. Do you use Lists?

Twitter list gives you place to organize the tweet feeds you receive. Create a list, name it the way you want and add related friends to lists. How tangled your following/followers ratio gets, you now have a list that will always keep you up and front  with updates from the users in the list. This is very effective way to never miss tweets from the people you like.

Twitter lists will show you recent updates and you can even have a office meeting or organizational discussion adding related users in the list. This would be more useful.

I have a list web-lovers-entrepreneurs, i follow @photomatt one who initiated wordpress @jwage who created doctrine @codinghorror – i don’t want to miss this blog, @philsturgeon codeigniter and stuffs, @fabpot  - he is the one who thought symfony, @tylerhallhe is engineer in yahoo @jeresig – i wonder why he thought $  in jQuery, @biz, @ev – they gave us this twitter thing and few more profiles in this list. I always like to read their tweets. This list is very handy, i even have bookmarked it.

Since twitter list are visible in user profiles now, the listing gives one more chance to get visible to the person you follow. The description you add to the list can actually add a lasting impression on the users you have in it. Better you make the list name and description taking in account the users you intent to have in it.  Further, the list you created is visible to everyone, and they too can follow the list to get updates without actually following the people (without increasing the number of following in their profile)

Here are some list i created:

Singers Bands I like : http://twitter.com/bhu1st/singers-bands-ilike
Twitter Friends Near Kathmandu : http://twitter.com/bhu1st/twitter-friends-near-ktm
Follow Back List: http://twitter.com/bhu1st/follow-me-i-will-follow-u

What with the private list:

Private list are visible to only you. If you would like to follow some users privately, without letting them know you follow them, include them in the private list. This comes useful sometimes ;)

There are services like Listorius which maintains directory of popular twitter lists. You can use it to find some useful lists to follow. 

6. And Favorites??

How often you favorite tweets? One feature i don’t like about twitter is - it is very hard to traverse through your own and others twitter timeline. What if you wanted to check once the link your friend shared back some weeks? This is where the favorites feature comes handy. If you like a tweet, favorite it (that little star link attached in tweet box ), its like you are going to check that favorited tweet later. Try it, it saves a lot time.

favr

Favorites list is public and you can check on others profile what they have favorited. 

Here is a service called Favstar to help with popular and your own favorites.

7. Why care the : Retweets Link

links

There are three tabs under Retweets Link Retweets By Others, Retweets By You and Your Tweets Retweeted.

Retweets By Others

What your followers are retweeting? This tabs gives some space to the retweets in your twitter connection (following/followers). You can get insights about what is popular within your connections. It is more like getting to know your follower, what type of content they like and got popular. Check this tab frequently and if you find the info useful retweet it.

Retweets By You

What you retweet will be listed here. The advantage of this tab is more like the Favorites Link.

 Your Tweets Retweeted

Does what you share got retweeted? This tabs lists all the info about your tweets that got retweets.

And here’s a bonus REMINDER:

7+1 :  Beware! You are in public place

Twitter is public place, like the one we live outside of twitter,  unless explicitly you have set your profile to private from the settings option.

By public i mean, let us discuss

- our tweets are visible to everyone, to each and every search engine, to each search bot or crawler that are constantly indexing our tweets

- we never know where our tweet ends up and what it would be used for.

- would you share your email address in tweets, so that few bots with regular expression searches will list your email address in their index and you will end up getting spams in your mailbox.

- do we talk about what is the color of our underwear in public place?

- some things are better be said to a closest pals then be sent as tweet.

Then,

I think we should at least follow some public etiquettes before clicking on the publish button.

Happy Tweeting!

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