You’re Being Followed …

Now that you’ve hopefully read my post Twitter 101 and are starting to follow some fun people (please send comments and tell me who you found!), you are probably getting some followers back. This freaks a lot of people out.  So, before we move on to Twitter 201, I thought I’d throw out a few notes on how “following” works:

1.       First, do not let the word “follow” freak you out. Twitter should have named this something else because “Joe is now following you on Twitter …” has a terribly predatory sound. Especially to women. (Especially when accompanied by an avatar with a guy with barbells who looks like he could snap your neck in two.) But do not let the term “follow” intimidate you. Think of it as “Joe wants to network with you.”  Because that’s what it is. People “follow” you because they perceive you to be someone they can network with.

2.       Many people have “auto-follow” set up. This is why you get immediate follows. Don’t freak out. Auto-follow means the person doesn’t even look at who they’re following, they just follow anyone who follows them. This is fine. Relax.

3.     It’s considered “polite” to follow anyone who is following you. You don’t have to, of course. If you think their tweets are going to be weird or annoying, then don’t follow. But the truth is, you never know who is going to send the tweet that could be of vast interest to you. For this reason, I follow tons of people. I’m always surprised by the interesting things various people say. Continue reading

Twitter 101

tonywright_birds02_470x3501I’ve been giving tiny tutorials to friends and coworkers on Twitter, so thought I’d share with my blogging friends, too. I have to admit, I’m liking it more and more.

If you’re interested in giving it a “twhirl,” here are some first steps:

Set up Your Account

1. Log in to and select a user name.

2. Update your profile data right away. Your profile tells people about you, and helps them determine whether to follow you or not. If you don’t want a lot of people to follow you (some don’t — some would rather “listen” on Twitter than “talk”), then don’t put much info. If you do want a lot of people to follow you, however (if you want to make new friends regarding your interests, or you have something to promote), then put a lot of info. The more info you provide, the more people you will connect with.

3. Write a bio that shows what you want out of Twitter. If you want to make friends who have a similar interest (say, tiki culture or photography) and you want to find out more about events/ideas/tips/etc. about those things, let people know by putting “devoted tiki fan” or something in your bio. If you want to meet other people in your region, say where you live. If you want to connect with people over books, mention that you love to read. Your bio is what people see when they’re deciding to connect with you, so they’ll choose people with whom they feel they can share info. A good way to write a bio for Twitter is to make a list of people you want to meet and construct your own bio that expresses your desire to meet people involved in those things.

4. Put in a photo or avatar quickly. People w/out an avatar are considered total newbies, so don’t call attention to yourself that way for spammers, etc. If you don’t have a photo of yourself, you can use a photo of your main interest (soccer ball, glasses, etc.). In Twitter’s spirit of “transparency,” however, a photo of yourself is preferred.  Continue reading

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