Are you following me?

Well Twitter’s popularity continues to grow (as can be evidenced by the return of the whale).

imageI have a chequered relationship with Twitter.  I have been a cynic, a convert, a lapsed practitioner and a pragmatist. I see great utility in the service, along with great waste, great opportunities and great disappointments.

Overall though I think Twitter is a great social experiment and the number of people continuing to come onto the service is absolutely staggering. 

Furthermore the growing number of tools to help you search and track topics of interest make it even more interesting and valuable.

Of course, I’m also developing pet hates:

1) People who automate a reply when you follow them: “hey hi, thanks for following I’ll try and be interesting” or some such.  Like I need more inane messages in my life – probation

2) People who automate a reply and try and sell you their get rich quick scheme – unfollow

3) People who exclusively use Twitter as a cheap and not so cheerful promotion vehicle for their inane blog posts – unfollow

4) People with Twitter tourettesunfollow

5) People who offer you the secret of 10,000s of followers on Twitter – unfollow

(Insider advice from someone not on the inside: Folks if you want 10,000s of followers, just follow 30,000 people on Twitter, the proportion of people who will follow you back will probably be 3:1. It’s easy and just takes some time.)

I can’t imagine that Twitter, with that number of follows, is of any value whatsoever, but if you’re looking for numbers then you probably don’t care and just want to broadcast.

Twitter can be incredibly useful for keeping in touch with people, researching things, finding out what’s hot (on Twitter), connecting with people etc., etc. Just remember that like every other single part of life there are some eejits.image

What’s very interesting (to me) is that companies are doing some very interesting things on Twitter.  Given my geographic location, let me give a local example: Starbucks.

Nothing earth shattering… but they are providing a human face on the organization.  And they have over 130,000 followers!


I spotted some new Twitter-related content today (not a terribly difficult task), so I thought I’d share (all were found via Twitter, but I can’t recall from whom – so apologies).


  • Utility in the jumble of Tweets (NY Times)
  • The “Golden rules of Twitter marketing” from Ireland’s Business & Leadership:
    • Do engage in conversation. Watch what people say and, if it is relevant to your area, offer advice and get to know their needs.
    • Don’t use Twitter as a place to continually post about how great your company or product is. People will block, ignore or unfollow you.
    • Do learn the power of ‘retweeting’. Make your message short, snappy and useful. This way, if someone finds it useful they can re-send or retweet it to others in their network.
    • Don’t be formal. If your company wants a presence on Twitter make sure that it is Dave from Acme Ltd as opposed to a faceless entity. People can approach Dave on a one-to-one basis.
    • Do think before you tweet. Before you write a new message ask yourself: Am I connecting with someone? Am I adding something useful?
    • Don’t think of Twitter as a closed container. Twitter is picked up by the Google search engine so if someone googles your company or keywords associated with your brand, then your relevant tweets will appear in the search engine almost like a mini webpage.
    • Do learn how to filter the users you are following. Using a tool like TweetDeck means you can place followers in different groups to read tweets more easily. You can also search for keywords and keep an eye on your brand in this way.
    • Don’t be bland. Not everyone will like you so there is no need to try to please everyone. A strong viewpoint will help your brand positioning.


Yet another Twitter satire: Flutter. (Via Mr. Barefoot’s article on social media gimmicks).



A tutorial on using Twitter:


So there you go. 

Feel free to share your thoughts, aspirations and challenges with Twitter…


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