Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To Tweet or not to Tweet...

Yes, I think you should tweet! 

So why did I suddenly throw in a blog about tweeting?  Because I found out about the Bin Laden ordeal before it was ever even announced on TV.  I was able to follow some particular tweets that kept feeding the information out through Twitter.  It was much better reading those than listening to the guys on TV who just kept babbling about the same thing over and over and not really knowing what they were saying. It was convenient and said just enough (140 characters worth) to get the info out yet still give you what you needed to know. (I'm going to put little pics throughout the post showing what I was reading as things were unfolding.  This isn't the only news source I was following, but it gives you an idea of what a tweet looks like.)

I think one of the first times I remember getting news via Twitter like that was when the plane landed in the Hudson River.  Tweets were fast and furious!  Twitter has become almost second nature to some, therefore, it is one of the best forms of communicating to a mass group.  Another time I remember hearing about something before the news broke was when Michael Jackson died.  I get tweets from Ryan Seacrest (go ahead, laugh and make fun of me :P) and he was on that story like no ones business!  That wasn't fun information to follow so closely but it shows you how powerful Twitter is becoming.

I remember asking someone from our home church in IN why he used Twitter and Facebook.  It seemed redundant to use both sites to me.  He said he used Facebook for more friend/family/personal information updates whereas he used Twitter to follow people in his chosen profession.  Since I don't have a "profession" so to speak, I wasn't sure who to start following.  Fortunately we attend a very hip, progressive church, so I noticed in our bulletin that our pastors each had Twitter accounts to follow so those were the first people I started following. (Lucky you, Jeremy and Trevor) As I got the hang of what it was about I was then able to start following more people that I had interest in keeping up to date with their news.

The other thing I wondered was who would even care what I was tweeting?!  Most people that I know didn't even know what Twitter was, let alone how to follow me, etc.! To be honest, I'm not sure how I began having followers!  I remember following some christian female bloggers so I think that some people that followed them as well began following me, etc. I still have a couple of "friends" that I "met" at the beginning of my Twitter journey that I keep in touch with but have never met!  One lives in NJ so we have a love of NYC together and another one is from MI and since she's about my age we discuss Big Ten stuff...shes a Michigan State Spartan fan :) For a while I had a LOT of people starting to follow me...unfortunately, not the kind of followers I wanted, if you know what I mean :(  Yes, there are some that use Twitter to get out not-so-nice pics, etc so at that point I locked my account so that only people that I approved could follow me.  I'd still get requests from these other "followers" but gladly declined their request and that was that.  There is a Spam protection service on Twitter but as with all things, these kind of things can slip through so if they do, you can let Spam know and they'll block them. (Letting you know this so you aren't caught off guard and not to scare you into not using Twitter.)
(As you can see, I don't have a BIG following nor do I follow a lot, but it's more than plenty for me!)
One rule I use for myself is to only follow people that I want to keep up with and not follow someone just because they're following me.  If it's no one I'm really interested in, I don't follow back. Here are a few I follow and why I follow them:
@wfaaweather- Pete Delkus, meteorologist for channel 8 news here in DFW.  I follow for obvious reasons
@funnyoneliners - like it states, they are funny one liners.  usually make me smile or chuckle so they're good
@androinica - this is all things Android related, usually new apps, new devices, etc.  My fav site
@BethMooreLPM - yes, it's Beth Moore's actual, personal Twitter account
@AmandaMoJo - Beth Moore's daughter and they banter back and forth so it's fun to follow both
@BartMillard - lead singer for christian group, MercyMe.  He.Cracks.Me.Up.!  Funny and posts pics a lot
@Mashable - a lot of cool news.  They post a lot but it's pertinent news info for me
@RyanSeacrest - enough said :)  Up to the minute Hollywood news, AI pics, etc.
@KariJobe - Worship leader from Gateway church. She travels a lot.  Cute tweets, lots of pics
@TexasStormChasers - need I say more?!!

I also follow some athletes, musicians, authors, etc or if I'm out and see something that I'm interested in knowing more about and they have a Twitter account I follow them to see if it's anything I want to continue getting more info about.  Just about everywhere you turn there is a Twitter account for a biz, person, etc.

Since this blog is suppose to be about tech related apps and gadgets, what does Twitter have to do with smartphones or tablets, etc? You can get the Twitter app on all of those devices so you can keep up while you're on the go!  You can set up alerts to notify you when someone replies to something you've posted or sent you a direct message.  There's a LOT you can do to customize your Twitter experience but if you are just starting out, just get an account started and start following a few people to get the hang of it.  Most times I tweet something less personal than what I post on Facebook.  For me, Facebook is for keeping in touch w/friends and family, whereas Twitter for me, is just getting my thoughts and voice out to whoever is following my tweets! On Twitter I'm @icofffeechick, and notice there are 3 "f's" in icofffeechick.  It's only like that in Twitter because I couldn't get the name without the extra "f" for some reason.

So there you go, a quick crash course on getting started using Twitter.  You need to do it.  Take the step and set up an account and let me know your Twitter name and I'll follow you!

Tweet, tweet, friends!

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