Some Tips on Twitter from a TWIT

I’ve been using Twitter for a couple of weeks now; my Twitter nom-de-guerre is http://twitter.com/daveshields.

Twitter has become one of the few social-networking web sites I try to visit daily, the most heavily-used is http://del.icio.us/daveshields, which I use to prepare my list of daily links to articles I find of interest.

I have found twitter to be a fun, helpful, informative, and interesting tool. You can use it to create and nurture relationships.

Here are some suggestions based on my experience to date. I also have some experience as a TWIT.

Don’t twit too much. Aim for once an hour, though a few additional twitterings are ok when you first use twitter on a given day.

Twitterings can take several forms:

  • The offer of new information;
  • A comment or suggestion based on someone else’s recent twitterings;
  • A personal update such as “taking the dog to pee” or “going to the gym.”

You should limit these personal updates. While the dog may care that you are taking him out to pee or poop, no one else does.

Also, fellow twitterers won’t be able to view the well-sculpted body you are trying to create in the gym unless you use SecondLife. There every avatar is a well-sculpted body, so no one will know whether or not you go to the gym; [1]

Twitter limits each twit update to at most one hundred words, so using twitter is itself a good way to learn to write concise prose.

The best guidance to writing such prose can be found in:

  • The Elements of Style, and
  • The writings of Stephen Potter, notably in his books Lifemanship and One-Upmanship. Be as playful and ployful as possible in writing your updates.

I have had fun using Twitter. I have also found it profitable. Robert “Scobleizer” Scoble posted a comment to my blog solely because I brought my post Dr Watson: “Noble Scoble” To Win Nobel Prize to his attention via Twitter, as you can see in the comments for that post. See also If Noble Scoble and Blogger Dave Use Twitter, Shouldn’t You?

So take Twitter for a ride, for each day you can find there “All the Twitty Dimwits Who Think They Are Fit to Twit.”

Notes:

1. I once attended a talk by a developer who works for one of the first companies that was created to build a business based on SecondLife. Though he weighs close to 300 pounds, his avatar tips the scales only half as much.

That is one of my chief objections to SL. One of the main reasons I left LA-LA-Land (where I attended college in Pasadena) to live in New York City was the cult of youth worship that then — and most likely even today — believes that life ends at twenty.

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