Saturday, 23 January 2010

Twittering along

This year I've managed to get myself very much into Twitter. People ask why I like it so much. The reason I guess is that I like information. I like data. I like to suck it all up and filter it in my head. I have always been good at skim reading, so Twitter is pretty perfect for me to suck in huge amount of data and read only what I want to.

I admit, it started off fairly small. I had an account where I followed mainly people I knew. They followed me back. My account was publicly open, I got a lot of spammy followers. And then I got hacked. Aaargh.

So I started again. I made my account private. This meant that I had to approve any followers. Sure I might not get as many, but at least I can check that they aren't spam. I put back onto the list the people that I knew. I added bands that I loved. I added websites that I liked. Pretty soon I was following about 100 people, and I couldn't read all of the messages. This was (thankfully) around the same time that twitter added lists.

At the moment I'm following around 900 people. These are a combination of people with hobbies similar to mine, music that I like, design sources for things that I might like to try myself at some point, photography sites etc... you get the picture. I have a list for each category which means I can go straight to the thing I want to look at. I also have a private list for those people whose tweets I really don't want to miss. When I'm short on time, I just read this one.

So, my top 5 tips for using Twitter:

1. Start small - build up a private list with the stuff you don't want to miss.

2. Categorise as you follow new people - then when you follow many people you can find the one you want much more easily.

3. Use favourites - If you're short on time, mark things you want to come back to as favourites. You can read these at your leisure and they won't vanish.

4. Retweet things that interest you - I was happy to learn that people I know have found some of the retweets interesting and informative.

5. Don't try and read everything. It's impossible. Just let it go.

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