Friday, April 12, 2013


I never thought I'd be a user, much less a fan, of Twitter, but after a few trusted friends encouraged me to do so, I hopped on the bandwagon a little more than 3 years ago. 

It's been a really great ride so far:  I've found work projects; forged connections that evolved into real-time friendships and collaborations; and discovered info about amazing arts and culture events in NY.  I'll never forget riding up to Asphalt Green to join hundreds of other New Yorkers welcome home Brooklyn Olympic medalist Lia Neal from London.  How did I find out about this awesome event? Through Twitter!

Every single day, I feel like I've won the jackpot in terms of  the huge dose of inspiration I receive from seeing all the amazing things that people are doing and thinking about out there.

I thank my fellow/sister Twitterers for this gift, and offer you some of my own thoughts about being a presence on Twitter:

* Do treat Twitter like a cocktail party.  Don't spend the whole time talking about yourself.  Do shine the light on other people.  See what they've been up to; make connections between other guests at the party.  Follow Friday is a nice opportunity to do that.

* Don't treat Twitter like a bullhorn.  It's fine to share your thoughts, projects, photos, etc.  But no one wants to be bombarded with constant announcements about you, your product, your service, your articles, etc.   

* Do pick themes for Follow Friday. I'll do ones like "All Things Theater" and "Literary Delights".  It lends cohesiveness to your tweets, shows what you are committed to, and lets people who do similar types of things see and connect to each other.

* Do show thanks or a friendly acknowledgement of some kind when you are mentioned in someone's Follow Friday tweet. 

* Do have your Twitter account at the ready when you read magazines, newspapers, and online publications.  Every Thursday, when I read the NY Times arts, business, and style sections, I add interesting-sounding people mentioned in articles to my account and often give them a shout-out along the lines of "Enjoyed the piece about you in today's @NYTimes !  Congrats!"  Doing so has led to some great online and offline connections.

* Don't be a clique-y tweeter; that is - don't just follow or send tweets to people in your world, whether it's the world of dance, politics, baseball, or sock monkey collecting.  Twitter is a great place to branch out, make new friends from all walks of life, and find out what people are doing in all corners of the earth. 

* Do show appreciation for people and places that have moved, inspired, or served you well.  Recently, I tweeted a thanks to the people, a restaurant, and cultural institutions that helped make my parents' visit from CA to NY a special one.  People love to be spotlighted for what they do best.

* Don't send a lot of cryptic tweets that come across as inside jokes or as messages designated for one or two people.  Doing so makes other guests at the Twitter party feel left out, annoyed, and confused.

* Do write Tweets using a variety of tones - light and playful, funny, serious, thoughtful, spontaneous.

 *Don't be a "one-note" Tweeter.  For example: No one wants to read tweet after tweet with links to articles about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  What are your Twitter Tips?
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