Twitter 101

I joined twitter a few months ago and like John never really understood what it was all about. The twitter site does not do a very good job of explaining why you should use it or what you should do after you sign-up. So I let it sit and did nothing with it. I then read on a local bloggers site (Miss604) about some fun going on at twitter and decided to revisit twitter and how I could use it.

What is twitter?

twitter is a micro blogging system. If you currently blog you most likely blog 200 words or more into your blog on a regular basis. twitter only allows you to post 140 characters per post. This is a great way for you to post links to cool sites, random thoughts, questions, trivia. The possibilities are endless really. Once you get in you start to find yourself almost in a large chat room where you can talk to others. twitter is great for networking with others and developing relationships with people you would normally not know.

How do I get involved in twitter?

The first step is to sign-up for an account. Once you are set up with the account your one third the way done. Next you will want to search for people you know, want to know or are interested in. For example John Chow, Shoemoney, Problogger and DoshDosh post frequently on twitter now. When you find someone choose to follow them. This will then send your twitter account the updates from that person and you can see what they post. Now that you are following people it is time to make it easier to be notified of when they are online. If you are on Windows then Twirl is the tool of choice and if you are on a Mac then Twitterific is very popular. Install one of these on your system and start it up. You will start to receive notifications of when someone you are following posts.

Why should I use twitter?

Networking with others in a web 2.0 world will ultimately be your chance for success in whatever you do. twitter is an easy way to get to know others and be known. Since using twitter full time for two weeks it is now my second biggest referral of traffic and will most likely be number one in a few months. If you join twitter, be helpful and try to keep advertising you do to a minimum you will gain good traffic from twitter.

Are their any cool WordPress plugin’s for twitter?

If you have a WordPress blog there are plugin’s that will allow you to send a notification to your twitter account that you made a new post. I have had been using WordTwit on my blog but another good one is Twitter Tools.

Conclusion

If you are not using twitter yet you should. Once you sign-up send me a shout out by doing an @bluefur <your message> so I can follow you.

This post was guest blogged by Gary Jones from BlueFur.com. BlueFur provides Dedicated Servers in Canada like the one that runs John Chow’s sites.


61 thoughts on “Twitter 101”

  1. Eastwood says:

    let’s all get on the bandwagon!

    1. Done and done! :mrgreen:

      Great write-up on Twitter!

    2. The bandwagon has been taking people for months now. I’m surprised it took John so long to actually get on it!

      ~ Dave

      1. Not really. Twitter still hasn’t gone mainstream.

        1. I think it is mainstream now. I heard it mentioned on PBS

    3. MR. NICE GUY says:

      Thanks for the info Gary. I would also join Twitter. I think the site sounds interesting with your explanation.

    4. 😛 Twitter is pretty cool, i think i should signup

  2. I am going to jump on and install the wordpress plug in. Very cool that it will notify them. I am hearing more and more about this site every day.

  3. Jarel says:

    Are you a twit? lol, that’s what i’ll be asking my friends from now on. …and yes, i’m a twit (joined just recently). I’ll have to check out the wordpress plugin, that could be great.

  4. Shawn Knight says:

    I have accounts at most of the social networking sites, but for the life of me, I just don’t “get” this one. It seems totally pointless and a waste of time. People could care less that I am eating at McDonalds… and I could care less that they are doing the same. You just picked up your dry cleaning? Good for you, I don’t care.

    1. Your following the wrong people then.

      1. Mayank Rocks says:

        I agree lol 😈

      2. Shawn Knight says:

        Seriously, who / what could be so interesting that it is imperative that I know what you are doing?

        I’m not trying to be rude, I just don’t get it.

  5. Chetan says:

    Great 🙂 You can have twitter sync with wordpress, wow.. And yeah twitter is just good for networking too.

    Nice post. If anyone wants to follow me, you can do that from http://twitter.com/sizzler_chetan 🙂

    1. Mayank Rocks says:

      You also got twitter? Nice Nice :mrgreen:

  6. Caren says:

    Synching twitter with a blog via plugin is fine as long as people remember to also do real tweets or else, not only will you be considered a spammer, but people will stop following you (and then who’ll see your spam? no one).

    happy twittering

    1. Best comment I ever read was “twitter feeds consisting entirely of blog post links are probably written by the same people who – when they were little – told their parents about every time they went to the toilet”.

  7. Vu Hung says:

    Hi – just wanted to say good blog.
    😛

    1. Robert Scoble’s blog is a pretty cool blog too 😛

  8. Joe says:

    2nd largest source of traffic? Holy cow.

    But I’m STILL not really getting it. So you type a short message into your phone, it goes to everyone who’s following you on their phones, they click through to your website through their phones?

    Can somebody please explain this to me like I’m five? Thanks.

    1. Just want to make sure you understand that you can post from multiple devices like your web browser, phone or the software mentioned in the post.

      So here is how I would explain it to my 5 year old.

      1. You join.
      2. You follow people you want to know.
      3. Talk to those you want to know and make friends.
      4. Do not use this tool for spam it is to build friendships.
      5. Friends help friends and that drives traffic.

      Examples of how twitter has been used.

      1. Copyblogger asked out to his followers what is creativity to them. He collected the replies and used the one’s he liked in his post.

      2. Problogger asked his followers for their best posts of the week. He then put them together into a post on his blog.

      3. Affiliate Summit held a live trivia contest and was sending out $50 per winner of each question.

      There are lots of uses for this tool. Do not think of it as a tool to just say where you are now because it has evolved already above that.

      1. Joe says:

        Okay, now it’s making some sense. I thought this was only for text messaging.

        I checked out the site months ago and there was no real explanation. I also just now noticed they put up a video. Thanks for the clarification.

      2. Terry Tay says:

        It makes a lot more sense when you list uses for twitter like that, as opposed to using twitter for posting links or other spam.
        ~Terry

  9. I’m on Twitter. It’s great for networking and helps you become more creative (saying what you want to say in 140 characters is a challenge). My feed is http://www.twitter.com/rhyswynne

  10. Zac Johnson says:

    i’ve been enjoying my time on twitter too, its fun to see what’s going on with else.
    twit me up: http://www.twitter.com/moneyreign

  11. mike huang says:

    Twitter = the new spamming place 🙂

    -Mike

    1. Mayank Rocks says:

      I agree. All such heavy promoted place becomes a SPAM ZONE…bad 🙁

      1. whataboutbrazil says:

        I agree too. I signed up for too many social network websites that I can’t read my good email no more.

    2. I disagree. Unlike email you can block followers and just unfollow people you think are spam.

      If you spam you will end up just spamming to yourself.

      1. Sha says:

        You can block people in email as well.

  12. Albert says:

    Great post Gary! I just joined 5 days ago too… it’s so addictive. It’s a drug I tell you. 😈
    It’s pretty funky to use – similar to a facebook “status” update too but with more random people. I’m looking for those with similar interests too so I can get some insight on investments/deals.
    If anybody else is also into investments, saving money, and making money, my twitter is http://twitter.com/trustful88

    Let’s start a bandwagon and get us all linkedin!
    -Albert

  13. Jolin says:

    😈 I will try it out.

  14. Azrael says:

    Why are you writing this the second time?
    Your just copying what John Chow just said in his post!

  15. Sunduvan says:

    I’m still confuse. What do you mean by using twitter, setting my blog in there or whether I can blog in twitter and getting some traffic to my blog about fishing? I love fishing and I don’t know if I can blog about fishing in twitter.. need to check it out then 😈

    1. You can blog about fishing. Then find people to follow who also like fishing and talk to them about it.

  16. Sunduvan says:

    i posted a comment but it does not appear. where does it went to? 😯

  17. Hannah says:

    I’ve checked it out, but personally it doesn’t seem to do anything for me. I just don’t see the point/usefulness.

    1. Did you follow people that you want to get to know?

      For example I follow a lot of web designers because that is my taget market. Following them and interacting with them helps me understand that market more.

      For your blog you might want to seek out investors and follow them.

  18. Fitness Site says:

    Nice post there bluefar.
    Twitter is a nice tool and you will get addicted to it soon. 🙂

  19. yeu2dotcom says:

    Whoohooo! (oops is that trademarked by WAMU?)
    I just jumped aboard the twit-wagon!
    http://twitter.com/yeu2dotcom

  20. kevin says:

    twitter is good to drive some traffic to your blog.. you can enter text with more than 140 characters in twitter using twitzer: http://i-stuff.blogspot.com/2008/03/enter-longer-text-more-than-140.html

  21. Gray says:

    What is this Twitter all about? I wonder what the meaning of this word is?

  22. Azrael says:

    What I want to know is how could I use them to advertise my site?

  23. Doug says:

    I have to say I am in the camp that does not get this service. I think it is better said I don’t want to get this service. I saw someone above linking to Robert Scoble. Ahhhhhh! another guy that drives me crazy. He said in an article on CNet News that speakers at tech conferences should take “twitter breaks” DURING their speech in order to take in the comments of the back channel commenters. Just shoot me.

  24. MR. NICE GUY says:

    I visited Twitter today and it really a cool site. 😮 😆 😆 😆

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  26. Felex nTan says:

    It is a useful method to improve traffics and readers,

  27. woohoo says:

    I’m another non-getter. I joined a while ago and still don’t get it. You say “find people you want to follow, and follow them”? That’s the problem – every time I’ve checked it out there is NO ONE there I have the slightest interest in. If there’s intelligent life there, it’s well hidden.

  28. Syed Balkhi says:

    twitter is just another thing nothing special … I decided not to waste my time making an account there.

  29. Mike says:

    I guess I’ll have to try twitter out. Uhh, all these internet social sites give me a headache. Entrecard, Sitehoppin, Blogexplosion and now Twitter.

  30. Wayne Sutton says:

    It’s interesting to see the growth of twitter over the last 6 months and how it’s growing now. Some are using twitter just to network and some for PR/marking. I use twitter for it all but still try to answer the question what are you doing?

    The key to me is finding the right tools to help you manage your twitter community and decide how many followers you want to stay in contact with. You can go hyper-local on twitter or world wide and follow everyone.

    Good post
    I’m @waynesutton on twitter and I approve this post.

  31. Carmina says:

    Here’s a cool video tutorial: Twitter in Plain English (http://blip.tv/file/719841). I signed up a while ago and invited friends to follow me but haven’t been using it. I’d like to add the application that lets me twitter to Facebook so I don’t do it twice. Hopefully I’ll get around to that soon (after I’m done updating all my online social networking sites!).

    Carmina, aka Mogulette-in-the-making
    http://mogulette.blogspot.com

  32. Infogle says:

    another good marketing tool good stuff this time

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