Twitter Observations After The First Month

    Twitter RetweetAs I enter my second month of tweeting, here are some observations from the first.

    Twitter101 Happies:
    Retweets. (Your tweet is sent to the Retweeter’s entire group of followers. If you have 50 and they have 15,000, this is MAJOR WONDERFUL!)

    Favorites. (Not sure yet how this comes into play. The initial Twitter set up has place for these. I suppose on off days you can visit your favorite list & read the compliments given you, or go through your @Connect section and see all whom you made feel better.)

    Replies. (Even though it only took a few seconds, the person read you tweet before hitting the retweet or favorite button. If they replied, they took a few seconds more to compose it.)

    Twitter FavoriteAttaching images. This is huge! You can post images (and Doodles!!!). When retweeted, your audience expands that much more!

    Rising ERs. Apparently there are some rules (norms?) regarding the ER/ING ratio. (As in your followERs are to be higher than your followINGs.) While my techno-challenged brain doesn’t get this, it’s fun watching the ERs rise. (All ER raising greatly appreciated @TanaBevan.)

    Twittererables:
    *Events
    *Photographers
    *Artists
    *LOTS of Writing:
    -Fiction.
    -Nonfiction.
    Writing as a way to:
    ^overcome grief,
    ^avoid committing felonies (mother on teens),
    ^cope/share/inspire themselves and others when blessed with children of the special-outside-the- perceived-“norm,”
    ^cope/share/inspire themselves and others when dealing with infertility, illnesses, hurts and “owies,” large and small,
    ^make fun of themselves as they navigate this adventure called life,
    ^a voice for others who have yet to find theirs.
    *Child advocates
    *Sustainable clothing designers
    *Speakers
    *Investors.

    Twitter Direct Message*You name it, it’s probably out there. It’s as if Twitter leveled the playing field. Anyone with internet access can get on their soapbox and spew forth (in 140 characters or less). In time those who want to hear what you’re saying gather round. Those who don’t, go elsewhere. HOWEVER, even as you’re “going elsewhere,” you’re being exposed to ideas and points of view you might not have otherwise had. (Expanding your mind is said to be a good thing.)

    It’s okay to not like all the happenings. I long ago accepted there were those I was more comfortable hanging with than others. Not everyone has to be my friend. No everyone has to like me. I do appreciate my differences being respected. (So long as no harm or hurt is occurring, I aim for respecting others who comport themselves differently than me.)Twitter Terms

    Twitter 202:
    So while I have lots to learn still: the hashtags, adding music and/or video links, the acronyms and abbreviations (important when you are limited to 140 characters at a time), the #FF thing (something to do with Friday and the @ sign which at present makes no sense to me), it’s been a productive Twitter month, IMHO. TTFN.

    PS: Feel free to tweet this post and follow me @TanaBevan.

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    Josanne - August 14, 2013 - 12:42 am

    I’m still floundering in the quagmire that is Twitter! I only responded to someone else last night about the same thing. It still baffles me, and I struggle with the etiquette of it all. No doubt as time goes on I will forget I ever felt nervous around it!

    shelley - August 14, 2013 - 6:24 am

    Looks to me like you’ve got it all figured out. And you’ve explained it for other newbies in such a fetching way. Love it. Cheers!

    Tana Bevan - August 14, 2013 - 10:13 am

    I hear you! One of the main motivators when learning something new (for me particularly of the techno/social media kind) is knowing (hoping!) that at some point I’ll feel comfortable (or at least less uncomfortable) about the procedures and protocols. That said, even though it isn’t easy for many of us, I think those of us who keep slogging through deserve a resounding Woo-Hoo! Consider this yours!!!

    I appreciate you stopping by and commenting Josanne. Have a wonderful day. May another piece of the techno/social media puzzle fall into place for you!

    Tana Bevan - August 14, 2013 - 10:22 am

    Shelley, Thank you for stopping by and commenting (which by the way I take as a compliment *smiles*). It’s been an interesting few weeks getting up to speed on Twitter. Many have helped me along the way, so if the manner in which I’ve explained something helps others, that’s wonderful! It keeps the helpful moving forward.

    Considerer - August 14, 2013 - 10:33 am

    COMPLETELY SO HELPFUL! Thank you.

    And also #FF is ‘I’m posting a list of way cool people I think you all should follow’ and stands for ‘Follow Friday’ (no, I’m not that incredible – I had to ask a friend)

    The hashtags I think can be used ironically or to highlight salient points of what you’re sharing.

    I don’t understand how to post pictures yet :(

    And retweeting – REALLY? Goes to ALL their followers? That’s very cool.

    Tana Bevan - August 14, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Woo-hoo! I’m so glad the post was helpful. (Yes, the retweeting is very cool!) Thanks to you I now understand the #FF. (The concept of the hashtags is taking a bit longer, but is now definitely coming into focus.) Let me return the favor.

    When you reply or write a tweet from scratch you’re working within a small rectangular box. On the far right is a “Tweet” button & next to that on the left is a character counter. On the far left you’ll see a small icon which resembles a camera. Click on that & then choose a file to upload. Another techno-wonder.

    Thank you so much for stopping by, Lizzie. Fingers crossed the uploading-a-picture explanation helps!

    David Haywood Young - August 15, 2013 - 1:39 pm

    Hi Tana-

    I think Twitter’s a lot of fun. It’s essentially a huge, shallow cocktail party–the sort of thing I’d never attend in real life. Somehow, though, I’d much rather sit around tweeting than watch TV.

    But it’s possible to get caught up in things that don’t matter…like hashtags, in my opinion. You can use ’em, and if you happen to be using one that other people are using and searching for, you can join a conversation among strangers. They may come find you and “follow” you afterward. But…so what? That’s not the only way to meet people (in fact “meeting people” is really hard to avoid) and I think it leads to madness.

    Of course I’m no Twitter guru, and don’t plan to become one. I say hi to people, thank those who say nice things about stuff I’ve written, get into conversations on whatever subject happens to take off (yesterday’s was my daughter’s preference for olives in her orange Jell-o), and goof around. Sometimes I try to write a 140-word story, or at least twist words around a bit.

    I guess I’ll always be a Twitter newbie. And I’ll probably do things that the twitterati consider uncool. But so what? It’s just a party, and I keep meeting nice people.

    My $.02, worth nearly everything you paid for it. {8′>

    Tana Bevan - August 15, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    David — I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. For the record, you definitely added more than two-cents worth to the conversation. *smiles*

    The image of Twitter being a casual get-together (along the lines of a b-b-q or open house), resonates. At those events you get there when you’re in the mood and it’s convenient, then you circulate, see who’s there and what they’re up to. You stop here and there to shmooze, have a nosh or two, and when you’ve had enough, you leave. Since Twitter is 27/7, you’re free to come and go whenever it suits you, and stay for as long and short as you like. Yes. That makes sense.

    Enjoy your Twitter time.

    catherine gacad - August 15, 2013 - 9:37 pm

    I feel so overwhelmed with social media, Twitter included! But I love your synopsis and graphics. So cute.

    Tana Bevan - August 15, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    Hi Catherine — I totally relate to the overwhelmedness of social media. I thought I was hot stuff when I figured out how to send attachments via email. (Of course that is now passe, except for work.) No matter. For those to whom this whole social medial thing does not come naturally, there are numerous resources available: tutorials in written format, video format, probably podcasts & others. I lucked out because finally this year, after stumbling around for a LONG time, I connected with a two wonderful mentors Tammy Bleck and Julie DeNeen (mentioned in the original Twitter Tale).

    Rather than trying to master them all at once (which is what I did before and was getting nowhere!) my focus now is getting comfortable in one format before going on to the next. This builds my techno-confidence which will make the next format I tackle easier, and so on.

    Know that I’m rooting for you. If I can help as you’re finding your way with social media, let me know. I believe in keeping the Good flowing by moving it forward. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Thank you!

    Luca Rossi - August 18, 2013 - 1:45 am

    It’s going to be fine to be your follower.

    Nice observations

    Luca Rossi - August 18, 2013 - 1:47 am

    Twitter is the funniest social network. I feel very comfortable to tweet all my thoughts and emotions there…

    Tana Bevan - August 18, 2013 - 3:18 am

    Hi Luca. Appreciate the compliment. (Hard to believe I’m only in my second month!) Glad you stopped by and chose to follow. Thank you for both!

    Tana Bevan - August 18, 2013 - 3:22 am

    So far Twitter is the first social media format I’ve really applied myself to. It is interesting working within the 140 character parameter. Makes you think about the essence of what you want to say. (It’s very similar to doodling in that respect, though of course with doodles you’re “speaking” with circles and lines, whereas Twitter is with words and acronyms.) Again, welcome and thank you for contributing to the conversation. Have a Marvelous, Terrific & Wonderful!

    Kern Windwraith - August 18, 2013 - 11:59 am

    This was a very cool read. I’ve been on Twitter for, oh, I have no idea really–couple of years, maybe? I continue to find it fascinating, frustrating and hellaciously amusing. Kind of a microcosm of human interaction in all its flawed and fabulous glory.

    When I first started dabbling in the Twittosphere, I wrote a short series of blog posts called a Newbie’s Adventures in Twitterland, or something like that, as much to help me make sense of things as to pass on my learnings to other newbies. I think I’d probably disagree with a good half of what I wrote then, but maybe only a quarter. :)

    It was so much fun reading your post and remembering how I had to keep Googling terms like hashtag, DM, RT, etc, to figure out what the heck people were on about. You seem to have an excellent handle on things, but let me just comment on two things. First, “Rising ERs.” My suggestion is that you follow whomever interests you and not worry too much about the ratio. If you follow people and they bore you rigid, don’t feel you have to be polite and continue to follow them. Unless it’s your mother, of course. :) Some people work really hard to keep the “era” and “ings” in perfect balance. Bottom line, it just doesn’t matter that much.

    Second, I worked hard to build up my followers for the first 18 months, and then I hit 2000 followers/following and suddenly realized I couldn’t keep up with anyone any more. I didn’t do a mass unfollow, which has always struck me as unnecessarily rude (and also makes people think you’re just trying to make yourself look more popular than you are). I started dividing people into lists, though, and I wished I’d done it much sooner.

    Love your post and love your doodles, and I’m sorry for the length of my comment. Apparently economy of wordage only works for me on Twitter!

    Tana Bevan - August 18, 2013 - 5:58 pm

    What a delightful and thoughtful comment, Kern. Thank you so much for taking the time, both to read my post and to share your experiences of the Twittersphere.

    As Twitter is my first “serious” foray into social media, I don’t have much in the way of comparison. However, one thing I really like about it is, it forces me to think about the essence of what I’m trying to say. As I have a a tendency to ramble and am a minimalist-wannabe, that’s definitely a Good.

    I like your gravitar/avitar doodle. I’m off to check out your blog now. Have yourself a Wonderful!

    Autumn Seybert - August 25, 2013 - 4:50 am

    I really like your blog! This post shows your wonderful enthusiasm for learning-which is great!

    Twitter has become essential to me for my work as an illustrator. I love that I can connect to other artists and people in the publishing field!

    Hashtags are getting more complicated, but I can tell you the very simple basics. It’s best used as a brand. So if you have a few words that make you recognizable, like John Pinette uses #naynay . People associate that with him so much that if I tweeted without mentioning him but said “#naynay” I’m still using his brand.

    It’s also very helpful for reaching out to a specific group of people for a conversation. Every thursday night I participate in #kidlitart chats and using the hashtag makes sure my comment reaches everyone looking at that #kidlitart feed. Lots of different fields use this, I know student affairs professionals meet Fridays for #sachat, and I’m sure there’s many, many more.

    There’s more to it, but personal branding and making more intentional connections to others is the primary use of hashtagging. :)

    Tana Bevan - August 25, 2013 - 3:26 pm

    Autumn — Thank you so much for your insight into hashtags. I like the idea of using them to “brand” oneself. #tanadoodles is 12 characters. Would that be too long? I’ll scope hashtags to see if that’s a reasonable length.

    Full disclosure: I’d be lying if I said I was enthusiastic about learning things techno. We are not a good match. However, I am realistic and since it is here to stay (even though it changes every Tuesday and Thursday), I do what I can (hollering, swearing, and crying along the way. *smiles*)

    May the upcoming week be both fun and productive as you add more delightful art to the world’s collection.