New to Twitter? Top 10 Tips For People

10 by Leo ReynoldsSo you’ve done it, you’ve jumped on the Twitter “bandwagon”.  At least, you’ve decided that its now worth your time and you’re ready to reap the rewards, whatever they are.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the corporate space for the use of Twitter.  Why you should, why you shouldn’t, and a lot of “mushy middle” discussion around the water cooler that doesn’t really help much.

I’ve been there behind the firewall where it’s difficult to get access, or demonstrate value of a service.  So here are some tips on how you really get value for yourself when using Twitter.

1 – The Follow

Don’t think of “friends”, think of people you would like to learn from or listen to. Sure, your personal friends and colleagues will be among those you follow, but find interesting people to follow. Check out who your friends follow, you’ll meet a few new folks, then check out who those people follow, and I guarantee that you’ll start connecting with truly interesting people that you’ll benefit from knowing. It’s really a form of viral networking.

2 – Be Conversational

Jump in and take part in conversations and discussions.  Or simply share your quips and quotes, though with nearly any followers at all you’ll be brought into the conversation.  Twitter is possibly one of the best tools for introverts to meet new people and enter into conversations.

3 – Be Inquisitive

Ask questions, seek answers, explore! While an unending stream of questions can be annoying, starting conversations through the use of questions is quite often appreciated. By our very nature, we all like to learn something, so for the sake of a conversation or for getting an answer to something, ask away!  Twitter is a wonderful crowd sourcing tool.

4 – Be Helpful

A very powerful aspect of the Twitter community is how helpful most people are.  There are so many ways being helpful to your friends and followers that it’ll pay you back in the long run.  Think of it on interpersonal networking terms. The folks you help out may end up helping you in the future.

5 – Please Disagree

Differing points of view help foster learning and discovery. Its ok to disagree with friends and followers. What isn’t pleasant is arguments. Sure these happen in any social interaction sometimes, but its having different points of view that make sharing more interest. Be respectful, be nice, but be yourself.

6 – Don’t Flame

This goes hand-in-hand with number five above. If you can’t add something constructive, informative, or useful, perhaps it’s time for a break.Flaming only harms a person’s reputation (personal brand) and since it’s online, it’s hard to get rid of that newly written record of your actions. Something to keep in mind for online reputation management!

7 – Share Things

Everyone enjoys learning something new, so bring a link or unique piece of knowledge. Maybe its in your profession, or more enjoyable, something that you’re passionate about. Don’t hesitate to share things you find online as your Twitter community is probably already sharing things with you. It’s a great way to learn new things.

8 – Peripheral Services

There are a ton of unique services that build on top of Twitter, or make it an even better platform for communication.  There are a number of audio, photo, and video services that add extra dimensions to Twitter.  Other services use Twitter to share what you’re doing, like webcasting, or checking in with geo-location services.  Other services are built for sharing links and use Twitter for that sharing platform.

9 – Twitter Clients

The Twitter ecosystem has expanded to include dedicated client software as well. There are web based solutions and desktop/laptop based solutions, not to mention mobile apps too. You can likely find the one that fits you best to help customize how you use Twitter and read the stream of information from your network of peers.

10 – Be Yourself

Of course, it should go without saying that you need to simply be you. Trying to be something you’re not usually is discovered early on anyway, and the value of interaction is to be transparent – that’s one of the ethos of social media to begin with. So be you and be proud of it, even if you’re more of an introvert, you’ll find Twitter is a great way to break out of that shell.

Photo credit: Leo Reynolds

Social Media Something

I’ve been wondering, has social media done anything really special for you?

'RESOLVE' by vaXzine Has it brought in more readers?

Has it increased your earnings?

Has it simplified your life?

Has it generated more sales leads?

Has it improved your customer service rating?

Has it save you more time?

Those are the questions I (and others) have about social media.  The intangibles indicate yes on multiple fronts.  The trick is how to measure that, and it’s different for everybody and every business.

Of course it’s worth the effort, but for you and your organization to succeed in your work, accurate metrics are needed.  What have you found that works for you?

Photo credit: vaXzine

Android Developers! Here’s a phone-load of free ideas

android logoYeah, I’m a little excited while I sit and wait for my T-Mobile G1 to be delivered. During this waiting period that nearly every geek worth their weight in Apple will experience, I’ve been reading  reviews, opinions, development docs, looking up existing applications and so on.

During this time I’ve been thinking about the things that Google did & didn’t put in the phone. I’ve been pondering the criticism and the early praise for the device, and I’ve started thinking about what I want out of the G1, and through this I’ve come up with a list of possible application ideas for some “Rock Star” android developers. So here they are.


  • Video Camcorder App (since Google left this out!)
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Flickr Uploader
  • QIK & Seesmic Video Client
  • A Slingbox client
  • A Kick-But Media Player
  • Rhapsody client, iTunes Client, and so on
  • Skype, GrandCentral, ooVoo Clients

image Social Media

  • Twitter Client
  • Facebook (and other social networks) Client that supports pic/vid/audio uploads
  • Find a way to use the accelerometer as an input device – specifically for scrolling. (Ok, yes like the information pads from STNG that the crew would simply tilt back & forth to scroll the information on the device – geeky I know.)


  • Bluetooth AD2P Stereo Headphone Support
  • Bluetooth HID support for keyboards (Specifically my older ThinkOutside Bluetooth Keyboard please!)
  • Bluetooth HID support for Mice
  • Multi-Touch input drivers (I believe Google didn’t do this because of IP concerns – I’m probably wrong)


  • Google Reader App (How’d they miss this?)
  • Google Docs App (Gears… Hello!)
  • Note taking app (I’d like one that integrates/syncs with Microsoft OneNote, but others like Evernote)
  • Full Screen Keyboard
  • Blogging client similar to Windows Live Writer
  • Weather App (Forecasts, Maps, etc…)
  • Support for email signing/encryption certificates
  • Travel App (This one could be cooler than they have been to date: detect location via GPS, set correct time/date, download current weather, look up local restaurants automatically and present by breakfast/lunch/dinner times, download current exchange rates, more…?)

Heck, I’m just listing off things I want – but look at the device and think of the G1 as a PC rather than a phone. Remember, with 3G, GPS, accelerometer, touch interface, camera, access to your Gmail Contacts & Calendar, Maps, etc… what could you build using a combination of these hardware and soft resources? What if…? Since Android is an open platform, you can replace even the core components of the software suite: dialer, browser, email, input drivers, camera software… it’s endless.

Ok, now that I’ve demonstrated that I’m an Android fan-boy, I’m going to go back to work. Have fun!

GoDaddy: isn’t your goto-daddy today!


There, I’ve gotten that off my chest. Usually I jump on my blog early in the day and check up on a few things. You know, like comments, spam, outdated plugins, incoming links, etc… Then come back later in the day and, hopefully, get a post written and posted a couple times a week. Of course, I’ve been quite lax in that area lately. 😉

So this evening, I go to log into my blog and I get this:

I dig a little deeper and find that the entire site, services, and everyone who hosts their sites with them is offline. Heck, even TechCrunch was unreachable for me – are they on GoDaddy too?

Apparently GoDaddy is the exclusive registrar for the new .me TLD domains, and many in the blogosphere are pointing to the massive registration and failure of correct billing of these new domains. I can’t find enough time at this point this evening to really give a good account of what’s really going on. All I’m reading is people’s experiences and their frustrations, so I’ll hold off on drawing any conclusions.

At this point, about 9:00PM (CT), I’m not really upset yet. Sure, my blog is down – all my sites are down actually – but I really don’t know the facts, and I can’t blame people for things without knowing the whole story. As an IT pro – I’m continuously amazed that all this stuff works in the first place, so I’m not too surprised when a complex operation or an overabundance of traffic takes a site or service down. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s figuring out the reasons that these things happen is the puzzles that I really love to solve most. 😉

So I’m writing this post offline and will upload later when GoDaddy is back – hope it’s tonight. My comment to the team at GoDaddy right now: don’t rush, you’ve got a big outage – take the time you need to be able to come back at or near 100%. Good luck!

UPDATE: Just as I finished this post, up came GoDaddy.

UPDATE 2: I got a friendly call on Friday (July 18th) from GoDaddy’s “office of the President” from a fellow named Alon. Nice guy, he explained the challenges that GoDaddy (and other registrars) faced when new TLDs were brought online with the large number of highly sought after domains.

We also talked about the outage that I (and many others) suffered through when we couldn’t access our hosted sites. It seems that the problem was actually with Comcast and their network. Appearantly (and I have yet to verify this, but have heard rumblings about it) Comcast had a trunk issue in their network that affected customers in the midwest that affected their ability to access many sites that appear to be hosted in the Pheonix area. Strange stuff, but it happens.

So I was right, I didn’t have the whole story – still don’t, but at least it’s starting to make a bit of sense.  Also, I see that this post is attracting a bit of attention for comment spammers. Just an FYI to those types of folks: I’m deleting any spam post, so move on.

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