Twitter, Best Ways to Use it

Very few people in Taiwan use Twitter. I was wondering is foreigners in Taiwan do?

I drew the line at Fb, then Forumosa came along. My line is drawn there. I think I opened a twitter account eons ago, when Oprah first featured it, but no one I knew had, so that fell into oblivion, but now, I’m NOT interested. I don’t have a business, movie or even lifestyle to promote, so I don’t bother. About following someone’s tweets, all the famous ones are in the papers the next morning, if anyone has any inclination to read that kind of thing.

I have an account, but I don’t check it regularly. I’ve tweeted less than half a dozen times. While I think it probably does have useful applications at times, 95% of what is on there is useless. It’s an extension of the high school popularity-contest mentality, but engaged in by adults. I think it also sums up the state of 21st-century Western society: no thought goes deeper than 140 characters.

I use it daily and have done for a couple of years. For me it’s mostly keeping in touch with and sharing things with other photographers around the world, especially ones in the same general genre as me.

Of course, there is the broadcasting other mindless chatter, but Twitter is extremely powerful for many productive things. It is the fastest way to find information today. I often find myself not searching Google anymore. Instead, I will use Twitter, Quora and mix of specialized search engines for things like food, travel, etc. that are simply better at finding those bits of info.

Here’s how I use Twitter.

As a News Source
I use Twitter as a news source with Flipboard as an endpoint. There’s no other news source needed and without fail, Twitter is always faster than any other form of media. Moreover, it’s much easier to find and consume long-tail, specialized news content.

This is what it looks like:

As a Topic Aggregator
I also use it during conferences and during world events to see what people are talking about and linking on that topic. The easiest way to do this is to simply find the #hashtag that was designated or bubbled up for that conference or current event (eg: #egypt). This is also a good way to virtually attend conferences that you can’t make it to. For example, I have a column of Tweetdeck set right now for the South by Southwest conference, using the hashtag #swsx. The #hashtag tactic also works well for topics you are interested in, for example #apple. Last week, I had it set to the Gaming Conference, #gdc and got a lot of benefit from the activity in that conference without actually going.

This is what that looks like:

As an Expert Aggregator
It’s also a good way to congregate expert opinions on topics. This is simply done by creating groups of people that are experts in a field (say for example Persuasive Technology or Clean Tech) and then setting them to a column.

On the comment regarding 140 character, that’s just the surface of it. The power of it is in linking to information, retweeting to propogate stuff, mentioning to get direct access to engagement with thought leaders. So on and so forth. And of course, short comments.

Should also point out that Twitter become infinitely more useful when it’s accessible anywhere, at any time. Meaning smartphones and tablets. It’s useful on a desktop also, but not nearly as much as it is on a mobile.

[quote=“mabagal”]…Last week, I had it set to the Gaming Conference, #gdc and got a lot of benefit from the activity in that conference without actually going.

This is what that looks like:
[/quote]

I see a bunch of gibberish lines of text. Can you explain what you got out of that?

[quote=“Mucha Man”][quote=“mabagal”]…Last week, I had it set to the Gaming Conference, #gdc and got a lot of benefit from the activity in that conference without actually going.

This is what that looks like:
[/quote]

I see a bunch of gibberish lines of text. Can you explain what you got out of that?[/quote]

  1. The links to the relevant content
  2. Discussion around that content
  3. Curation of that discussion from RT and @ mentions
  4. Occasional original insight from definitive thought leaders (eg: Koster on Gamification, AJ Kim on Virtual Goods) or retweets, @mentions of those

Another thing is that in conferences such as this, the speaker will more often than not encourage live tweeting on a hashtag as a means of efficiently getting questions up to the front of the room and to generate side discussions. These same presenters will often push their deck out to Slideshare then tweet the link. Being able to see the live discussion on top of the deck is beneficial both in live-at-the-site and also remote scenarios.

If attending a conference, there’s often a few places you want to be at the same time. This is one way to get somewhat close to that.

Remember, it’s a touch device, where scrolling is fast (and fun) and people tend to scan fast

[quote=“mabagal”][quote=“Muzha Man”][quote=“mabagal”]…Last week, I had it set to the Gaming Conference, #gdc and got a lot of benefit from the activity in that conference without actually going.

This is what that looks like:
[/quote]

I see a bunch of gibberish lines of text. Can you explain what you got out of that?[/quote]

  1. The links to the relevant content
  2. Discussion around that content
  3. Curation of that discussion from RT and @ mentions
  4. Occasional original insight from definitive thought leaders (eg: Koster on Gamification, AJ Kim on Virtual Goods) or retweets, @mentions of those

Another thing is that in conferences such as this, the speaker will more often than not encourage live tweeting on a hashtag as a means of efficiently getting questions up to the front of the room and to generate side discussions. These same presenters will often push their deck out to Slideshare then tweet the link. Being able to see the live discussion on top of the deck is beneficial both in live-at-the-site and also remote scenarios.

If attending a conference, there’s often a few places you want to be at the same time. This is one way to get somewhat close to that.

Remember, it’s a touch device, where scrolling is fast (and fun) and people tend to scan fast[/quote]

So in other words, the real content is actually somewhere else and so your claim earlier that all you need for news is Twitter is just plain inaccurate. No offense but you do this so often, make claims that are half-explained, misleading, or obscure, and write posts like the one above that lose everyone that doesn’t already understand what you are trying to say, that I find you are a walking case example of why so many of us find social media a waste of time.

Don’t you have to get people to “follow” you to make it meaningful?

I hated the popularity contest that was high school. I’ve no desire to repeat the experience as an adult.

I can see the appeal in some ways. As cfimages says, it’s a way to keep professionals in touch with each other and a quick way to pas on links and ideas. Or of course activists as we have been seeing in the mid-east can use it to organize and promote a message. But in general the type of information surfeit that mabilius is expounding is just not attractive or in any way beneficial to the average person. It’s brain clutter.

No, all you need is Twitter for news. The point is the that Flipboard or other services built on Twitter auto-render linked content. Thus, all you need to get the news is Twitter because every news channel uses Twitter as an outlet. This is not hard to understand.

You can tune the curation both much more widely, yet much more precisely than if all you did was read whatever 10 headlines the paper decided to run or the 5 stories the nightly news decided to feature. Brain clutter as you call it is easily minimized by using the built in organization metaphors such as columns and groups.

No, you do not need to follow a single person to get value out of Twitter. This is what hashtags and search columns are for.

“No offense to you”, but if you don’t understand then you get frustrated, then that’s not my fault. I am only assuming a prerequisite level of understanding that I feel is fairly standard these days. So if my posts seem obscure, then I apologize for over assuming that prerequisite. Maybe people like you are why posting anything forward thinking or anywhere near bleeding-edge, let alone early-adopter on this forum is a waste of time. :unamused:

mabagal, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be posting “forward thinking” “near bleeding-edge” and “early-adopter” stuff and then expect most people will have the prerequisite level of understanding.

[quote]Twitter’s origins lie in a “daylong brainstorming session” that was held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. While sitting in a park on a children’s slide and eating Mexican food, Dorsey introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group.[14] The original project code name for the service was twttr, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The developers initially considered “10958” as a short code, but later changed it to “40404” for “ease of use and memorability”.[15] Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST): “just setting up my twttr”.[16]
“[W]e came across the word ‘twitter’, and it was just perfect. The definition was ‘a short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. And that’s exactly what the product was.” – Jack Dorsey[17][/quote] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

Another way I use it (to a lesser extent) is to have a column set up with various photo editors at magazines / art buyers / art directors etc. If I then interact with them in some way, say “retweeting” (effectively passing on) things they post, or answering a question they may have while they are doing research or anything, I then become more of a known quantity to them if/when they need photography from this part of the world. I have gotten work out of it that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and it has led to other connections that benefit me professionally - being asked to guest blog at Scott Kelby’s site recently being one of them which put me amongst some very famous names in the industry. The short amount of time I put into it has more than been worth it for me.

As an example, if you were to do it, you may find some editors from publications you’d like to write for, interact with them in some way which would probably cause them to want to at least look at your bio. They’d see you’ve written for LP, WSJ etc and were based in Taiwan, and it grows from there. The key is not to be pushy and pimp yourself too much. It needs to be a very passive marketing thing to work.

Another way I use it (to a lesser extent) is to have a column set up with various photo editors at magazines / art buyers / art directors etc. If I then interact with them in some way, say “retweeting” (effectively passing on) things they post, or answering a question they may have while they are doing research or anything, I then become more of a known quantity to them if/when they need photography from this part of the world. I have gotten work out of it that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and it has led to other connections that benefit me professionally - being asked to guest blog at Scott Kelby’s site recently being one of them which put me amongst some very famous names in the industry. The short amount of time I put into it has more than been worth it for me.

As an example, if you were to do it, you may find some editors from publications you’d like to write for, interact with them in some way which would probably cause them to want to at least look at your bio. They’d see you’ve written for LP, WSJ etc and were based in Taiwan, and it grows from there. The key is not to be pushy and pimp yourself too much. It needs to be a very passive marketing thing to work.[/quote]

Thanks, cf. That is interesting (in the way that simply using it as a news collector is not). But how would your tweeting them or passing on their tweets get them to look at your bio?

Mainly because your Twitter name becomes familiar to them and so natural curiosity leads them to at least scan the basics of your bio which should be briefly mentioned on your Twitter profile with a link to your blog / website / Facebook / whatever.

A one hour lecture by the founder of twitter. What do you read in it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJiMGdN--QU&tracker=False

Case in point, right now: #earthquake

The news broke on Twitter first, as are follow up pictures, video, etc.