May 16, 2012

Twitter Thoughts

Some folks from my writing group just joined Twitter.  I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm still new enough that I remember having no followers and wondering what I was doing.  Here's some cool stuff I wish I knew.

Hashtags.  These are everything that's immediately followed by a # sign (like the popular #amwriting).  They're kind of like labels -- you can search for them and find other people talking about what you're interested in.  Often writing conferences have their own hashtag, making it easy to find others who attended.  I didn't realize it until I was on Twitter for a while, but using hashtags makes it easier for people to find me, too.  I've made friends because of hashtags -- at least one of which I've now met in person.

Twitter Chats. People often host interviews or Q&A's on Twitter.  The first time I tried to follow one, I failed.  I couldn't refresh the screen in an easy-to-follow manner.  Then magic struck: there's a really handy site called Tweet Chat.  Type in the chat's hashtag, then follow along.  When I can, I join the #sffwrtcht, which is Wednesday nights at 7:00 MDT.

Find Friends on Twitter.  Twitter's awesome in that I can follow industry professionals.  But, it's also pretty lonely if I'm just using it as a news feed.  Search hashtags.  Look through the "following" lists of people you follow.  Ask people you meet at conferences if they're on Twitter.  I love seeing what Alton Brown's up to, but it's even better to be able to send a congrats to a friends who's just accomplished something.

I think I've just exhausted my Twitter knowledge.  Any one else have thoughts?

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