Are you not on Twitter yet?
Twitter is a powerful and disruptive medium of communication, but few are reluctant to use Twitter as medium to disseminate and gain knowledge and news. Twitter is the little obscure sister of Facebook; many actively participate on Facebook but most do not know what to do with Twitter or how to use it. When I started on Twitter, I tried to “find friends” on Twitter from my email list. Only a handful in my network is on Twitter; and most of them have zero tweets and a couple of connections.
What is Twitter?
If you were to stand, for example, on Federation Square in Melbourne and make a statement to no one in particular – that is equivalent to a tweet in Twitter. Some people (“followers”) might respond (“Reply”) to you; some people might repeat your statement (“Retweet”) to their network; some might mark your statement as a “Favourite”. Most will ignore you.
Unless you have something important/ different / interesting to say, you should not expect people to listen you. That works in the real world as well. Unless you are a leader in your field (political, sport, thought leader), it is unlikely you will have a significant following when you start tweeting. That should not discourage you to use Twitter. Over a period of time, your tweets will get attention and you will find your followers.
Twitter should not be seen as a substitute for Instant Messaging; the audience of Twitter is far-reaching.
A good start to your Twitter is to find some people to follow. By following people you can:
- Enhance your knowledge
- Constructively interact with them
- Gain information on the latest events and happenings
Many people particularly journalists tweet live from site; these tweets reach you faster than updates from news media.
Here are some ideas on who to follow:
- Follow thought leaders in your niche area
- Follow news media to read about the latest news and events
- Follow leaders like Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey
- Follow twitter users who tweet funny and interesting news and thoughts like @Charles_HRH, @itsWillyFerrell
All Twitter IDs have a @ in front of them – if your name is John Doe and your Twitter ID is jdoe then your Twitter handle is @jdoe.
Once you follow a few people, your Twitter stream will show tweets from these people and tweets that have been re-tweeted by your following. Over time, you will find more people to follow; people from whom you can learn and enhance your knowledge. However, be selective of whom you follow – if you follow too many people who tweet nothing of importance, your Twitter stream will show up a lot of juvenile stuff and you will soon lose interest in Twitter.
Below are some suggestions of people to follow (based on my following). There are several lists, online, of people to follow on Twitter – search the web for these lists for your area of interest.
|Category||Name / Twitter handle|
|Celebrity||Seth MacFarlane @SethMacFarlane|
|Celebrity||Steve Martin @SteveMartinToGo|
|Celebrity||Oprah Winfrey @Oprah|
|Celebrity||Stephen Fry @stephenfry|
|Humour||The Daily Show @TheDailyShow|
|Humour||The Colbert Report @ColbertReport|
|Humour||Prince Charles @Charles_HRH|
|Humour||The Daily LOL Pics @TheDailyLOLpics|
|Humour||Not Will Ferrell @itsWillyFerrell|
|Humour||Funny One Liners @funnyoneliners|
|Humour||funny humour @funnyhumour|
|Leader||Barack Obama @BarackObama|
|News||Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki|
|News||Aaron Lee @AskAaronLee|
|News||Huffington Post @HuffingtonPost|
|News||Blair Semenoff @Flipbooks|
|News||Sunil Jain @gupshupblog|
|News||SPIEGEL English @SPIEGEL_English|
|News||Andy Carvin @acarvin|
|News||Alyssa Milano @Alyssa_Milano|
|News||The Economist @TheEconomist|
|Social media||Neil Patel @neilpatel|
|Social media||Robert Scoble @Scobleizer|
|Social media||Warren Whitlock @WarrenWhitlock|
|Social media||Reg Saddler @zaibatsu|
|Social media||Chris Pirillo @ChrisPirillo|
|Social media||Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan|
|Social media||Brian Clark @copyblogger|
|Social media||Chris Garrett @chrisgarrett|
|Social media||Darren Rowse @problogger|
|Social media||Brian Solis @briansolis|
|Social media||Seth Godin @ThisIsSethsBlog|
|Social Media||Jeremiah Owyang @jowyang|
|Social Media||Tyrone Shum @tyroneshum|
|Social Media||Hector Cuevas @HectorCuevas|
|Technology||Eric Schmidt @ericschmidt|
|Technology||Vinod Khosla @vkhosla|
|Technology||Om Malik @om|
|Technology||Michael Krigsman @mkrigsman|
|Technology||Vinnie Mirchandani @dealarchitect|
|Technology||Tim O’Reilly @timoreilly|
|Technology||Walt Mossberg @waltmossberg|
Open a Twitter account; unless you already have one. Follow people you want to hear from; follow thought leaders. Spend a few minutes every day browsing your Twitter stream – to read what your following is tweeting. That itself would provide idea of what you can tweet over next few days.
— Rajesh Shanbhag (@rshanbhag) March 7, 2012
If you are active on Twitter, what would you suggest among the first steps to people who are new to Twitter. Drop a comment, share an idea or ask questions using the comment box below.