Still Trying to Figure Out This Twitter Thing…

A few things I’m not entirely sure about:

1) When people click to “Follow” me, I feel like I should do something…like thank them in a private message or in a tweet.  Is there an established protocol for this?  What’s considered polite?  I can imagine some people being miffed if I don’t thank them, others being perturbed if I do…right now, my solution is apparently to just follow everyone who follows me, which isn’t a terrible thing I suppose, but at the same time, it makes it hard for me to find the tweets I really enjoy reading (like everything from @wilw aka Wil Wheaton, if you want a guaranteed smile everyday, I suggest following him).  Someone help me!?

2) Hashtags (fighting the urge to call it a pound symbol, this is how noob I am) will be the death of me.  I’m kind of tentative to use them because I’m not entirely sure how they work.  I know that you hashtag a topic in your tweet that you want others to search it by but…do I create my own hashtags, or do I use those already established, and more importantly, does anyone actually use these things to find tweets of interest or is it just when the media tells them they might win something?

3) Tweets…right.  I don’t really want to be annoying.  I keep having these “flashes of brilliance”, immediately thinking something would be great to tweet and then (thankfully) talking myself out of it.  A lot of celebrities can get away with tweeting whatever the frick they want because they have an established (slightly fanatical) fanbase that worships (almost) everything they tweet no matter how irrelevant or entirely random it might be.  This sets up a strange atmosphere of social conduct, because twitter puts you (essentially) on the same level of these celebrities, you all have the same license to tweet whatever and the same 140 character limit, but most of what celebrities say (which gets retweeted and favorited up the wahzoo) would never get a second glance were I to say it.  But then, I don’t want to feel so confined as to what I can tweet that I never tweet anything.  I have a co-worker like that, he wants to make sure everything he puts out there is just so awesome and brilliant, that he’s had his twitter longer than me and we’re at about the same number of tweets.  I’ve already decided to use the twitter account as another type of interface for the blog, and as an extension of that my writing, so I will tweet pertaining to those things, but I don’t want to limit myself to only that, or I’ll never find new followers, at least, that seems to be how it work.s.  I guess what I’m trying to ask is, what do you guys think are unacceptable tweets?  What gets annoying?  And more importantly, what really catches your eye?

4) How do people not grow incredibly frustrated with the 140 character minimum?  I mean, seriously, I’ve had to forego proper punctuation on a tweet and I nearly ripped my own hair out.  

5) There is no five.

6) I apologize for all the seemingly random tweets I’ve already posted and will probably post in the future.  I blame my job.  If work were more interesting, I wouldn’t be tweeting.  Gosh, I hope my boss isn’t reading this…

And that’s all for now.  If you got solutions for me, please, let me know in the comments below!  If you want to talk to me or follow on twitter: @dastardlyreads

  1. I smiled when I saw this post show up in my Reader. Let’s see if I can help:

    1. If you want to speak to someone privately, you can send a DM (direct message) to someone on Twitter by clicking the little envelope icon from your Me page. You can thank them publicly by simply addressing them using @whoever. I don’t think there are any rules of etiquette for thanking folks who follow you, but you might want to Google this and see what you find 🙂

    2. Hashtags are used similarly to categories/tags on blog posts. If you tag your post #helpmewithTwitter, people who search the term “help me with Twitter” will find your Tweet. You can create your own (I do this because I write a humor blog, and it’s part of the joke) or you can use established ones. Yes, I think people do use them to find content on Twitter.

    3. Tweet whatever the frick you want. 😉

    4. I think the 140 character limit makes you very, very concise. I’m finding it a fun challenge. Twitter should be “short flashes of brilliance.” Save the longer stuff for you blog.

    5. Hope this helps–feel free to contact me

    • Thank you so much for all your help! You’re like my guide to the twitter-verse, I appreciate it a lot. I’m oddly glad my confused noobie state put a smile on your face!

      I think I might go Google “twitter etiquette”. I really got to start remembering to use those hashtags, and I think I will start just tweeting what the frick I want.

      Thanks again, you’re too awesome!

  2. I definitely struggle with the character limit because I absolutely refuse to write in “txt talk” one solution is writing multi-tweets and making clear you are continuing in the next tweet.

    Hashtags are tricky. I don’t use them a lot unless I’m trying to be funny or am using a really established one. I WANT people to be able to find my tweets about something imprtant to me, so I will hastag #FallingSkies or #cdnfilm (Canadian film) because people search for those hashtags.

    I tend to err on the side of not thanking people following me. I have thanked around two people for following me. One is a Canadian film channel and the other is a producer on a film I worked. Considering the people I didn’t thank include Falling Skies cast members and several prominent filmmakers (to the indie community anyway) I think that’s telling.

    I don’t blindly follow back anybody who follows me. Though I used to, and is a good strategy when you first start out and are looking to increase your followers. These days I look at who followed me and ask “Does this person tweet as much as me (too much)? Are there tweets worth reading? Do they, again like, retweet a whole bunch of stuff and will clutter up my feed? And importantly do I speak whatever language they tweeting in?”

    • Thank you! I completely agree with that struggle not to use “txt talk”, though I’ve relented over the years and will throw in the odd “LOL”…this is the new digital, limited speech world we live in, I suppose.

      Your advice was all very helpful! I appreciate it! And I feel very flattered that I’m one of those who made the list of follower-worthy. Thanks again!

  3. I should have mentioned I don’t include “LOL” as txt talk. I know it is, but I use it so…

    Also noticing the typos in my previous comment and kicking myself.

    • That’s quite alright. I try not to judge too much when it comes to typos in comments. They don’t make what you say any less valid, so why nitpick?

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