1 Month with Twitter

Published in: Just For Fun

One month with Twitter

Today marks the end of my first month as a Tweet-head/Twitterer, and I think I’m beginning to get a picture of the service’s big strengths and weaknesses (and how to work around them).

Twitter’s strengths?

  1. Keeping up with news — Find out about stuff fast. By the time something appears on the front page of Yahoo or Google News it’s probably already been tweeted about 1 million times.
  2. Taking advantage of e-bargains — There’s an ecosystem on Twitter between companies and their prospective customers where the companies feed out these little tweets to their followers with ways to take advantage of discounts and giveaways, many lasting just a few minutes or hours. A lot of beauty companies are getting in on the action, and I’m seeing new spins on Twitter-only giveaways every day.
  3. Networking — Both personally and professionally. Twitter is like texting, only the texts go out to all of your Twitter followers. People use Twitter to get instant feedback, but you don’t have to be at the computer every second of the day. Replies are saved to your Twitter page, so you check them whenever you want.
  4. bellasugar-twitter-biggerbellasugar — How-To: Christina Hendricks’s Shimmery, Smoky Eye Makeup
    http://bellasu.gr/3749897

  5. Sense of camaraderie — It helps me feel connected to the outside world. If you’re homebound or sick, it gives you a way to reach out to people. Even if you’re just shy and have trouble connecting with people, it gives you another means to practice your social skills.

Filling out your settings can help people find you

TIP: After creating an account, follow 10-20 people, and fill out your Settings page. Choose a colorful design for your page, and upload a picture (if you have one) to appear beside all of your tweets.

Twitter’s weaknesses?

  1. Starting with 0 followers — The one big weakness I see is for people just starting out. There really isn’t a clear path to take, and I see a lot of new Twitterers start out with 0 followers and then never use the service again. It can feel like an echo chamber at first, with people tweeting things into cyberspace like, “Is this thing on?” or “Hello?? Anyone out there?”

    Right after making an account, I think it helps to immediately follow 10-20 people (even ask your friends to join with you), and it almost doesn’t matter who they are (not at first), as long as a few of them follow you back.

    Twitter Direct Messages featureTwitter’s Direct Messaging feature (DM) comes in handy, too, particularly when you’re just starting out. To send a DM, you have to be following the person you’re trying to reach, but with it you may be able to get their attention even if they aren’t following you yet. — CORRECTION: The person has to be following you (obviously, I’m still getting the hang of this feature — Thanks, PumpsAndGloss!).
  2. Filtering out the noise — Ironically, while it can be lonely just starting out with Twitter when you have 0 followers, things can change literally overnight. You pick up some followers and suddenly find yourself trying to carry on multiple conversations at once!

    Programs like Tweetdeck can help. It’s easy to download and install (I use it), connects to Twitter.com and makes it easy to group followers into categories. I have categories for the beauty companies I follow, my friends and my freelancing contacts.
  3. It can be addictive — Just like instant messaging, Twitter can take up a lot of time, but the same thing goes for anything fun and useful. Everything in moderation.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

P.S. If you follow me at karenmbb, brace yourself for more than makeup and beauty. I must confess to posting the occasional embarrassing picture of Tabs.

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  1. Apple Diva says:

    Actually, the person has to be following you to send a DM. For example, Ashton Kutcher can DM you, but you cannot return the favor…

    Also try Twhirl and Seesmic Desktop (love both) as well as Selective Twitter Status for updating Facebook.
    .-= Apple Diva’s last blog post… NYX Yuppies and NOTS =-.

  2. Karen K says:

    I have no clue about Twitter or any other new fangled technology but WHO is that little sweet birdie? I want him! Please mail him to me asap! More about the birdie please!!!

  3. shontay says:

    Hi, Karen.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying twitter. I joined just to follow people I’m interested in (like you, of course). It’s not really my thing, though. I’m having a ball on facebook though :).

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shontay,

      Facebook is a lot of fun. I’ve always enjoyed it much more than MySpace, which I find a little stressful.

      Do you use it more to stay in touch with your current group of friends, or is it something you use more to network with folks in your industry?

  4. shontay says:

    Hey Karen,

    I use facebook to keep up with friends. It’s fun to just put out random thoughts, post pics and link youtube videos. It’s like my little playground. I also play games on there, by myself and with total strangers.

    I hate myspace. It’s so weird. I get guys sending me messages and it just turns me off. I haven’t been on there in a while and I’m about to just delete my page. It’s like the sewer of the internet. LOL

  5. Kate & Zena says:

    I’m still sticking with my Facebook. As someone who’s easily addicted to just about anything and has about zero time as it is, there’s no way I’m adding twitter.

    I finally managed to bring for the first time in seven or so months the Dyson upstairs and vacuum my bedroom. I had to vacuum it twice to get rid of all the dust and hair on my floor! I didn’t pull anything out so behind my entertainment system still lurks many a Dust Zena. Would you believe that despite having asthma and bad allergies, I’m not allergic to dust? How I manage to live amongst all that dust is unknown. I should consider vacuuming more often. The only reason I keep avoiding it is because the darn Dyson is a hefty 19 pounds in the shape of an upright vacuum.

    Zena then promptly rolled all over my CLEAN floor. Nothing stays clean for more than ten seconds, it seems.

  6. Hafsa says:

    Happy 1 Month Anniversary!

    I couldn’t have said it better, I love your strengths/weaknesses points :)
    .-= Hafsa’s last blog post… Some More Blossoms =-.

  7. Tavia says:

    I’m a beginner on Twitter…so your advices are really helpful for me. Cya out there
    .-= Tavia’s last blog post… My favorite articles of the week: new fall 2009 collections & new upcoming makeup products to try out =-.

  8. Stef says:

    Oh wow, Tweetdeck is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Somehow I managed to try 2 other programs that did the same thing, but very poorly.

    Thank you so much for mentioning it!

    I’m glad you’re liking Twitter so much. It kind of rocks, eh?
    .-= Stef’s last blog post… Mad Men Yourself =-.

  9. Marisol says:

    Glad that you are enjoying it. What app are you using on the iPhone? I use Tweetie and although it’s $3, it was worth paying for it.
    .-= Marisol’s last blog post… I heart Shu Uemura =-.

  10. Sakura says:

    Thanks Karen! I have a feeling Twitter is in my future. Now I won’t be a cyber nerd!

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