Friday, November 11, 2011

tweet tweet


Tell me.

Do you have Twitter?

Do you have Facebook too?

Do any of you out there tweet, and facebook and blog?

Give me some pointers here.

You see, curiosity got the better of me and I set up a Twitter account just to see what it's all about. But not only am I confused about the ins and outs and how-tos and what-the-hecks?? But I can't figure out if I really want/need/should/could maintain all 3 platforms for sharing my personal life with the world. hahaha.

So, for those of you that do tweet: why do you do it? Would you typically post different things as tweets than you would FB status updates? Are they any different? I know some people use twitter and then have it automatically imported into FB as status updates, so you're kind of, uh, hitting 2 birds with one stone (ahem, pardon the pun). Are there any reasons why you would prefer FB over Twitter or vice versa?

And then, someone please give me a basic twitter tutorial. Oh yes, I've googled it and tried to figure it out - but if you had to explain it very quickly and concisely to a mostly tech-unsavvy gal such as myself, what would you say? Retweets, hashtags . . . I don't even know what else it is that I don't know about. Help me, someone please!

And then . . . there's always the option of maybe just blogging everything and just reposting it in FB and/or twitter and let this be my primary virtual-world home. The place where I can invite you in to sit on my virtual couch (wait, let me move that so there's more room . . . just ignore the mess) and we can sit together and eat yummy treats and chat about all the things going on in our lives, etc. Or, you know, maybe I'd be the one doing most of the talking. But this is the place where you would all be welcome and we could all be friends and give hugs and support and watch each other's kids. Wait. No.


At any rate, I'm just trying to figure this out. I'd love to hear any advice, tips, suggestions, warnings, chastisements, complaints, whatever you've got, I'll take it.

Ready, set . . . go!

(and I promise I will try to refrain from making stupid bird jokes . . .)

(oh and ps - if you know me, you can find me in twitter with my full name and middle initial. If you feel so inclined. Even though I haven't tweeted anything yet because I don't know what I'm doing there.;) And if you don't know me, well sorry. Maybe if I set up a twitter someday that doesn't have my full name visible, then you can "follow me" and we can be fellow tweeters. Or whatever. Ok. Until then . . . )


Colleen said...

I have a Twitter account, but I use it very rarely. I have it connected to my Facebook, so it automatically updates my FB status if I tweet. Which I can do from my (non-smart) phone. So pretty much the only time I use it is if for some reason I feel the need to update my Facebook status when I'm away from my computer.

The only other use I've found for it is real-time news. When something major happens (earthquake, tsunami), it's cool to see immediate reactions. I got much better coverage on the Japan earthquakes via Twitter than on the news networks. It was also fun to watch off and on during General Conference.

Kristen said...

how do you do tweets from a non-smart phone??

Kristen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

I am with you, I have no idea the purpose of twitter. My friend loves running and so on her twitter account she follows runners to get tips and advice. That is the extent of my knowledge. I will stick with a blog and facebook just because that fills up my screen time quota already:).

Michael Cummings said...

It'll go without say that in the land of geeks, yes, I tweet, FB, even g+ (though the latter isn't mature enough yet). There are plugins (its always about the plugins with me, isn't it? :) ) in the FB apps that will let you post to twitter from FB or create FB posts from your tweets (either all of them, or with a keyword you set for those tweets you want to cross post). Personally, I have a FB app that creates posts in FB from my tweets (so I typically only update twitter), though I can "manually" add a FB post that bypasses twitter and its 140 char limit. My blog, btw, posts to twitter which trickles to FB when I make an update.

As for what its all good for - meh. Some folks prefer twitter, some prefer FB, so mileage varies. Lately I've been feeling like putting it all in a bin and ignoring it for a while. And then I get notified someone left me a message...and I am an ego hungry, pay attention to me kinda guy (some things never change, eh?) :)

Jennifer Pelo Rawlings said...

I have a twitter, but never use it. I don't understand it. It's nice to hear what Colleen said about it being more up to date than the news. I will need to remember that.

heather b. said...

Here's what I see as the main benefits of Twitter:
1. It's a cultural gauge. By its very nature, Twitter is designed to track trends (through use of hashtags, but also just what people choose to type on the internet) and thereby gauge the temperature of what's going on in the world. So instead of just knowing what people in your social circle are saying and thinking, you can use Twitter to learn a lot about teenage culture (just browsing through the trending topics on any given day= fascinating!), how people are responding in real-time to any given news event, etc. Ex: I originally signed up during the Sundance Film Festival so that I could be in-the-know about what was going on at certain venues at certain times and get feedback from people on films, traffic, parking, etc. simply by searching. So if I was the type to want to stalk Kristen Stewart, let's say, searching Kristen Stewart Sundance would probably be the world's best way to track the second people on the streets were taking pictures of Kristen Stewart with their phones, and where they were located :) (Crazy example that does not apply to me.) If you're the type that's interested in social trends (whether religion, pop culture, entertainment, sports, politics, what have you), Twitter is the quickest, easiest, most effective way to gauge that, whether you're interested in Occupy Wall Street or the Oscars or LDS General Conference.
2. My favorite description is that Facebook is for keeping up with the friends you had in high school, Twitter is for the friends you wish you had in high school. For me, that means being able to follow bloggers, celebrities, authors, etc. that I do not know in real life but that I'm either interested in or can relate to more so than anyone I actually know. Typically, you wouldn't "friend" these people on Facebook, because you do not actually know them, but following them on Twitter is generally seen to be more akin to following their blog (i.e. socially acceptable :) Same goes for following people in your professional industry or big names in a field you're interested in - cooking, gardening, crafting, whatever.
3. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, so people automatically have to edit themselves. This can be a good or a bad thing, and illustrates why many people end up using all three mediums for different purposes. It's a style in and of itself and when done well, is more of a literary art form than anything I've ever seen on Facebook.

heather b. said...

And now for basic mechanics (haha, you asked for it.)
1. Hashtags - groups themed tweets together throughout the whole site. Used to track trends (e.g. #herrimanfire, #ows, #theoscars, #ldsconf). Can also be used tongue-in-cheek, as it's a way to save character spaces and is part of the Twitter style (e.g. #idontwannadomyhomework or something silly.) You hashtag something by putting # in front of it, then you can click the hashtag and see all related tweets (from everyone in the whole world! updated in realtime!), or enter any hashtag with the # in the search box.
2. Retweets: it's like reblogging something and crediting on your blog, or resharing something someone posts to Facebook. Someone you follow said something you like; you hit the retweet button and share it with your followers, too, and it automatically gives credit to the original poster. (Slightly advanced Twitter: if you want to share but also add your own commentary, then you would use the old keyword system, e.g. "Me too! RT @marthastewart I love fall." (You want to both retweet and add your own comment to what Martha Stewart said.)
3. In its new format, you can follow threads or view photos and videos directly in Twitter by hovering over the tweet and clicking the little arrow that pops up in the upper right hand corner. It shows you every user who's retweeted it as well as any related comments if they've used the "reply" button (not everyone does, as the old school way is just to direct a message at that user using their username.) If the post has a photo or video in it you'll see a little icon. If the link shared goes to an outside website, you still have to click it and it goes outside Twitter, but your Twitter page stays there so I'm not sure where the fuss is on that?
4. The only other basic is privacy, which I don't get into because I don't put anything on there I wouldn't want to be seen by anyone in the public. You can make your feed private to friends only, and you can send messages to other users that are private (direct messages: this is where all of those scandalous politicians have run into trouble!)

Your sister, the Twitter advocate

Kristen said...

Ah! Thank you Heather - that makes a lot of sense. So now I have to ask, if you were me, or knowing me and the things I post on FB, would you post the same things on Twitter or what? haha.;)

thanks also to everyone else's comments! I appreciate the input!!

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