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Naomi Whitmore
Senior Move Specialist
Yakima, Washington
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Understanding Twitter: Why Twitter is Less Like Facebook and More Like Email

Learn about what Twitter is, how it works, and how to use it to interact with others. Are you trying to fit Twitter into a Facebook mold? If so, you might be missing out!
Written Mar 20, 2009, read 38558 times since then.
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By now, we’re all at least somewhat familiar with Twitter, the micro-blogging phenomenon that everyone seems to be joining in on.  It’s on the nightly news, in commercials, on late night TV and talk shows – everyone’s “tweeting”.  You’re probably wondering if you should jump on the Twitter bandwagon, or maybe you already have, and it’s still not making sense.

There are plenty of articles, tip sheets, and tutorials about how to use Twitter, and more specifically, how to use it for business.  However, let’s back up a bit.  I think there’s still a lot of confusion about what exactly Twitter is, and how to use it effectively and enjoyably.  This confusion results from thinking that Twitter is something it’s not.

Some people say that Twitter is “just like Facebook’s status updates.”  It’s true that Twitter is similar to Facebook, but it’s also different in very crucial ways. 

The similarities

  • You have a profile
  • You can upload a photo and some information about yourself
  • You post “updates” answering the question “what are you doing right now?” or “what’s on your mind?” 


Your Facebook profile serves as an online poster that tells your friends “all about you”.  It’s a hub where you can summarize what’s going on in your world, and other people can look at your page and see a snapshot of your life.  You could conceivably complete your profile, and then do little or nothing with it, and it still serves its purpose – to stay in touch with friends.  You can log in only once a week and still get a lot out of Facebook.

Twitter is not like this at all.  Your profile is much simpler – it shows (at most) your photo, your location, a website link, a brief bio, and your most recent tweets.  If you set up your Twitter account and do little or nothing to it, it doesn’t work at all.  The heart and soul of Twitter is interacting with other people.  If you only log in once a week, you may get something out of it, but you’ll be missing the true wealth of Twitter, which is constantly streaming information and connectivity, and real-time interaction.

Twitter doesn’t make much sense unless you’re actively using it.  The foundation of your Facebook experience is your profile – you post updates, photos, etc. – and other people's profiles, and the interaction that takes place between friends.  On Twitter, your profile is not the foundation.  Most probably, the only time anyone will ever look at your Twitter profile is when they are deciding whether to follow you or not.  They’ll spend about ten seconds on your profile and then move on.

The point of Twitter is to listen, talk, and engage in conversation with other people who are also using Twitter.  This all starts to make a lot more sense as you follow more people who tweet on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are setting up Twitter profiles with the idea that it's something like Facebook - you create a profile that other people will look at, and then something will happen.  But Twitter doesn't work that way!  It requires you to be more proactive and more involved than many other social networking sites.

I like to picture Twitter as a river.  All the people using Twitter all over the world are contributing to this giant river of tweets.  When you join in, you’re adding your tiny stream of tweets into the river, and when you follow people, you’re taking in another tiny part of the river.  No one could possibly consume the whole river, so don't even try!  And if you just set up a profile, follow a couple people, and tweet once, it’s like sitting by the river in a lawn chair, sticking your toe in the water, and complaining that “this river is no good for swimming!”  You have to dive in! 

Once you’re following some people, and other people are following you, the conversation can begin.  It takes time and effort to establish your own little “Twitter stream” and to get comfortable swimming in it.  As you follow people, they will follow you back, and as you reply to people, they’ll reply back, or comment on your tweets.  That’s when the fun really starts.

If this still seems confusing, let’s compare Twitter to something we’re all familiar with: email. 

Interaction on Twitter is a lot like email:

@reply

Email wouldn't be very useful if we couldn't reply.  On Twitter, replying is really important too.  You can reply to anyone publicly, or reference them, by typing @ followed by their username (no space).  If you’re talking about someone else, refer to them by their @username. 

Example:

@harmonymatters I really enjoyed your class! (reply)

or

I attended a great class by @harmonymatters today. (reference)


Referencing other people is kind of like a cc in email.  It includes them in the conversation without talking to them directly.  On your Twitter homepage, there’s an @replies tab.  This will show you any tweet with your @username in it.  @replies that you send are visible to anyone and will show up in your public Twitter stream.

Direct Message

Talk to someone privately via direct message, or “DM”.  You do this by typing “d username” (this time WITH a space!)

Example: d harmonymatters I really enjoyed your class!

These messages are private and go to your DM “inbox”. You can only send DM’s to people who follow you (and conversely, you can only receive DM's from people you're following).

Re-tweeting

The re-tweet, or “RT” is like an email forward.  When someone else tweets something interesting or useful that you want to share with all your followers, you can re-tweet it.  Be sure to reference the person you got it from by including their @username.  Re-tweets are either preceded with RT, or are noted by including “via @username” somewhere in the tweet.

Example:

RT @harmonymatters Free organizing class! http://www...

or

Free organizing class! http://www... (via @harmonymatters)


#hashtags

Hashtags are a huge part of the functionality of Twitter, and are (loosely) akin to an email's subject line.  (However, not every tweet needs to have a hashtag.) Hashtags are basically a way to “tag” a tweet in order to make it easier for people to find by searching.  You add a hashtag by typing the # symbol, followed by your tag word or term of choice (no space).

Example:

@harmonymatters I really enjoyed your class about #organizing today.

or

Want to get #organized? Check out this free class by @harmonymatters http://www...


Hashtags are commonly used to organize around events or popular topics.  For example, people tweeting about American Idol might tag their tweets #americanidol.  Or, people attending a business conference could arrange a “tweet-up” (yes, that’s a Twitter meet-up) or share info about the conference by using a hashtag. 

If this all still seems confusing, follow some people who tweet regularly and just observe.  You'll see them using all these interacting tools, and it will start to make more sense.

Twitter is what you make of it.  By understanding what Twitter is (and what it’s not) and by using @replies, DM’s, RT’s, and #hashtags to connect with others, you’ll be able to get more out of Twitter, give more value to your followers, and use Twitter effectively for your business.

Happy tweeting!

Learn more about the author, Naomi Whitmore.

Comment on this article

  • Writer, Editor, Marketing Pro 
Kent, Washington 
Dana E. Neuts
    Posted by Dana E. Neuts, Kent, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Naomi, this is great advice. I help clients with social media, and your article is easy for newbies to understand. I posted a link to your helpful article on my blog: http://virtuallyyourz.blogspot.com/2009/03/understanding-twitter-how-it-is-less.html.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this info. (Oh, and I'm formerly from Bellingham - so it is great to see you here!)

  • President / CEO 
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 
Diana Bourgeois
    Posted by Diana Bourgeois, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina | Mar 20, 2009

    Very good information. I tried to explain just this thing to a client the other day. Kudos!

  • Writer, traveler, bon vivant 
Seattle, Washington 
Betsy Talbot
    Posted by Betsy Talbot, Seattle, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    @harmonymatters Great article about the diff between Twitter and FB: http://budurl.com/y6he

    It's kinda strange seeing you in a different place and with a different name. :-) Thanks for writing this, and I'll see you in a bit on Twitter.

  • Seattle area Memorial/Funeral Officiant  
Seattle, Washington 
Diane Dyer
    Posted by Diane Dyer, Seattle, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Thank you! As someone who is new to Twitter, I really needed this straightforward information. Just logged on to Twitter and experimented with my new knowledge! Diane

  • Entrepreneur, Writer, Publisher, Public Speaker 
Burleson, Texas 
Dave Hayden
    Posted by Dave Hayden, Burleson, Texas | Mar 20, 2009

    Excellent. I am finding, like email, Twitter takes discipline or it is a huge time sink.

    http://twitter.com/EssentiaLink_

  • Business Coach/Life Coach 
Bellingham, Washington 
Nancy Grant
    Posted by Nancy Grant, Bellingham, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Great article Naomi. Thanks for the smart strategies and tips on using Twitter. I especially appreciate how you have clearly defined the differences between FaceBook and Twitter.

    http://twitter.com/CompassCoach

  • Sex Expert, Pleasure Coach 
San Jose, California 
Chrystal Bougon
    Posted by Chrystal Bougon, San Jose, California | Mar 20, 2009

    Thanks, Naomi. You summed it up perfectly. I am going to R/T it! :)

  • Blogging Coach and Copywriter 
Seattle, Washington 
Judy Dunn
    Posted by Judy Dunn, Seattle, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Thanks for this great overview, Naomi. I am just beginning to fully understand Twitter and I think it does take some time and committed effort to realize the benefits.

    I recently wrote a blog post on the "5 Irritating People You Meet on Twitter—and How Not To Be One Of Them." In that regard, I would just caution people to go easy on the @s. They can quickly turn into a stream of one-sided conversations that make no sense to other people (the people who are following one person but not the other). I see people on Twitter who post 8 or 10 @s in a row and, yes, it can be irritating.

    Thanks for these helpful tips!

  • Social & Organic Search Consultant 
Kirkland, Washington 
Tami Smith
    Posted by Tami Smith, Kirkland, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Thanks Naomi. Your explanation is clear, easy to understand and useful. I'm sure people new to Twitter will appreciate the How To's like hashtags and RT's.

    Grokking that Twitter is not a site, it's a protocol might help us all understand how to use it and what is appropriate. Twitter's growth is largely because of the "easy to follow" nature...but it is also just as easy to "unfollow" where there's no value.

    Tweet

  • Fiber Artist prividing custom yarn and knitted items. 
Lynnwood, Washington 
Larisa Hunt
    Posted by Larisa Hunt, Lynnwood, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    I have friends on Twitter but hadn't jumped on the bandwagon yet as it seemed to just be another chat client to me. Your article has given me a little bit more perspective.

    I think you will find me tweeting soon.

  • SEO | Social Media Marketing | Revenue Percentage Based SEO  
Bellevue, Washington 
David Johanson
    Posted by David Johanson, Bellevue, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Another cool thing about twitter is that a lot of celebrities use it (in my case sports stars) so you can hear whats going on out there in the world straight from the horses mouth, up to date music release, and cutting edge technology news.

    http://twitter.com/djplb

  • Writer and editor, travel and sustainability content specialist 
Seattle, Washington 
Annika Hipple
    Posted by Annika Hipple, Seattle, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Awesome article, Naomi! I've been on Twitter for almost a month now (@annikahipple), and while I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on it, this straightforward article helped clear up some confusion. Nice job laying out the basics and the comparison with Facebook.

    I'm going to go tweet a link to this article right now...

  • Social Media & Internet Marketing Consultant 
San Diego, California 
Kimberly Yow
    Posted by Kimberly Yow, San Diego, California | Mar 20, 2009

    Great article Naomi. I like your explanation of the similarities and differences between Facebook and Twitter as well as the tweet examples you gave.

    A very straightforward piece that I will use when talking with new clients.

    Kimberly

  • Corporate Lawyer/Attorney and General Counsel to Business Owners and CEOs 
Bellevue, Washington 
Michelle Bomberger
    Posted by Michelle Bomberger, Bellevue, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Naomi,

    Thanks! I started using Twitter two days ago and have been a bit lost! This article definitely points out the "how to" of Twitter...

    Michelle

  • Brand Strategy & Sustainable Graphic Design 
Bainbridge Island, Washington 
Corbet Curfman
    Posted by Corbet Curfman, Bainbridge Island, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Great article Naomi. I concur with everyone. This gave me some useful information and demystified some aspects of Twitter for me.

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Wow, thanks so much for all the fantastic comments! I’m so glad that this article was helpful to you. Thanks to everyone who took the time to tweet, link, and share this info. I’m so happy to connect with each of you on Twitter and Biznik too.

    Judy, and others who may be overwhelmed with all the @replies, did you know you can turn them off? Yup! When you’re logged into Twitter, click on settings in the top right hand corner of your homepage, then click on the “notices” tab. Here you have the options to control DM and follow notifications, as well as @replies. You can set it to either “all”, “none”, or “@replies to the people I’m following". This will show you @replies posted by people you follow to other people that you also follow.

    Another note on replies though, don’t feel like you have to reply to everyone, all the time. It’s true that Twitter is about communicating and interacting, but unless you’re going to keep your circle very small, it’s impossible to reply to everything.

    Happy tweeting!

  • 5Rhythms movement instructor/studio owner 
Olympia, Washington 
Liz Temple
    Posted by Liz Temple, Olympia, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Thank you Naomi. I'm one of those who has been lost in psuedo-Facebook land and couldn't get Twitter to fly. I'm a newly hatched "chick" when it comes to this online networking idea. Now that I understand how it works, I feel like I can dive in.

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Here are a couple other great resources for the curious:

    This is a really good article by David Pogue (@Pogue) about Twitter:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/12/technology/personaltech/12pogue.html

    Twitter's help section is a wealth of information on everything from account settings to Twitter ettiquette:

    http://help.twitter.com/portal

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    Why are so many comments double posting? Weird!

  • Word Mercenary / Marketing Wonk 
Seattle, Washington 
Chris Haddad
    Posted by Chris Haddad, Seattle, Washington | Mar 20, 2009

    I've often said that twitter is email for exhibitionists. There are actually startling benefits to having some conversations "in public."

  • Pet Friendly Agent 
Portland, Oregon 
Jennifer Hajdu
    Posted by Jennifer Hajdu, Portland, Oregon | Mar 21, 2009

    Thanks Naomi, now I'm following you!

  • Internet Marketing Consultant 
Dallas, Texas 
Beth Kahlich
    Posted by Beth Kahlich, Dallas, Texas | Mar 21, 2009

    Naomi - you explained this so well - thanks for posting!

  • residential & commercial realtors 
Seattle, Washington 
Reba Haas
    Posted by Reba Haas, Seattle, Washington | Mar 21, 2009

    The comparison of FB and Twitter is spot on and I couldn't help thinking that FB is more a passive type of technology - people post their stuff and others have to look for it. Twitter tweets are more active and engaging because they have the potential to be more real time.

    You can find me there @teamreba

  • B2B Midmarket Sales Prospecting Expert 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 
Lori Richardson
    Posted by Lori Richardson, Portsmouth, New Hampshire | Mar 21, 2009

    Well done, Naomi - and a good follow up to the session you did here in Bellingham on using Twitter.

    Looking forward to connecting to any Bizniks on twitter. I am scoremoresales.

  • Photographer 
Seattle, Washington 
Shannon Kringen
    Posted by Shannon Kringen, Seattle, Washington | Mar 21, 2009

    i love using twitter! thanks for your insight. http://www.twitter.com/goddesskring

  • Sales and Marketing 
Kirkland, Washington 
Jesse  Nelson
    Posted by Jesse Nelson, Kirkland, Washington | Mar 21, 2009

    Thanks for the details...

  • Baby Sign Language Classes Seattle  
Seattle, Washington 
Nancy Hanauer
    Posted by Nancy Hanauer, Seattle, Washington | Mar 22, 2009

    Naomi, Thanks for the great article. I am hosting a Biznik workshop on Twitter and started doing my homework by reading your article. Thanks for the info! Too bad you are in Bellingham...too far to join us for the w/shop but you will be there via your helpful info I can share with the group. I'll ping everyone before the event too and ask them to read your article and other relevant Twitter info.

    Nancy

    Hop to Signaroo

  • Graphic Designer 
River Falls, Wisconsin 
Amy Christensen
    Posted by Amy Christensen, River Falls, Wisconsin | Mar 24, 2009

    This post is EXACTLY what I needed! Thanks so much for posting this! Joined Twitter a month or so ago and then just haven't had time to figure it out at all. I definitely thought it was a micro Facebook and although I've read many other posts about Twitter, I still wasn't "getting it." Your article made it make so much more sense to me. I'm following you and am going to tweet this article too. Thanks again!

    http://twitter.com/MoonliteCreate

  • Professional Haberdasher 
Seattle, Washington 
Jeff Collins
    Posted by Jeff Collins, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Excellent article. I have a Twitter profile but did not know why. Now I at least know I definitely do not have time to do anything with it ;-)

  • Book Publisher 
Majadahonda, Madrid Spain 
Alex Perez-Prat
    Posted by Alex Perez-Prat, Majadahonda, Madrid Spain | Mar 26, 2009

    Thanks for this useful recap.

    http://twitter.com/iberbiz

  • Glass Artist 
Odessa, Florida 
Paula Hall
    Posted by Paula Hall, Odessa, Florida | Mar 26, 2009

    Great Article!

  • Organizing Specialist 
New York, New York 
Barbara Fields
    Posted by Barbara Fields, New York, New York | Mar 26, 2009

    Thanks, Naomi. This has been helpful. Now I don't need to stare blankly at the screen and scratch my head in wonder.

    http://twitter.com/paperchasers

  • Public Speaking Coaching in New York 
Brooklyn, New York 
Jezra Kaye
    Posted by Jezra Kaye, Brooklyn, New York | Mar 26, 2009

    I've been waiting for a Twitter explanation that combined the big-picture overview with practical tips for actually using it.

    NO ONE had delivered that level of utility until you!

    Thanks so much, Naomi! Jezra www.communicatewithpowerandease.com

  • photographer 
Milford, Michigan 
Amber Stanley
    Posted by Amber Stanley, Milford, Michigan | Mar 26, 2009

    Great article. So much to keep up with between facebook, blogger, and twitter @amberlights. oh my! Now I dont feel like I'm waisting time when I tweet. Got the lingo, right? Thanks again.

    http://twitter.com/amberlights

  • acupuncturist and herbalist 
New York, New York 
Nanci Simari
    Posted by Nanci Simari, New York, New York | Mar 26, 2009

    thanks- was wondering about all that.

    will save this as a clipping for when I'm Twitter Ready -#DM@RT etc. to you too!

  • Executive Director, The Transition Companies, Addison Texas 
Addison, Texas 
Richard Parker
    Posted by Richard Parker, Addison, Texas | Mar 26, 2009

    Fantastic!

  • COO 
Walnut Creek, California 
Richard Sorrentino
    Posted by Richard Sorrentino, Walnut Creek, California | Mar 26, 2009

    Great article! I shared this article in a class I am taking with Christina Hills- she featured Mari Smith yesterday who presented on Twitter and Facebook. Your article is a great resource for understanding how these social networks are unique and complementary. Thank You for taking the time to write it.

  • COO 
Walnut Creek, California 
Richard Sorrentino
    Posted by Richard Sorrentino, Walnut Creek, California | Mar 26, 2009

    What are your thoughts on maximizing Twitter and Facebook to market a business?

  • Home Staging Consultant and Redesigner 
Newnan, Georgia 
Nan Johnston
    Posted by Nan Johnston, Newnan, Georgia | Mar 26, 2009

    My ASHSR group just discussed twitter, facebook, etc., at our meeting yesterday. This is an extremely helpful article that I will be forwarding to them. Thank You, Thank You!

  • Professional Business Muse 
Monroe, Washington 
Donna Angevine
    Posted by Donna Angevine, Monroe, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Great, clear writing Naomi! To be honest, I have been spending quite a bit of time researching Twitter but since there is sooooo much information out there that seems to be growing every second, I hadn't had time to investigate the curious case of the "hashtag" or the meaning behind the @. Thanks for all your information. You have saved me and others considerable time that we can now better spend actually using twitter.
    One thing I have personally been experiencing as I have been using twitter is that only the "big names" actually respond back to me when I send a DM or even send a tweet out. It seems as if many twitter users are just throwing tweets into the river but don't follow where their tweets go or pay any attention to what others have tossed into the river. I"m sure those people will eventually fall by the way-side but for now it is frustrating to me. Do you have any thoughts for increasing response rate from followers? Besides the, "throw interesting questions out," because I've tried that in my efforts to make this experience the interactive experience it is meant to be. Again, thanks for the terrific information.

  • Home Decor store Owner, Interior designer 
Kirkland, Washington 
A Liengboonlertchai
    Posted by A Liengboonlertchai, Kirkland, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Thank you very much. I have been tweeting for couple month now but still have no clear direction. Your article really helpful and straight twitter up for me. As a business owner who are not Tech savvy, even though I have no clue what I'm doing but I got quite a good result by tweeting and doing my best. Keep tweeting people! http://twitter.com/asimplicity

    Thanks again A Simplicity Decor

  • product designer 
Spokane, Washington 
Cherie Killilea
    Posted by Cherie Killilea, Spokane, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Thank you Naomi. I will be passing this article on. Now I know I will not be tweeting any time soon! I can see how a lot of people get a lot out of it though.

  • Web designer, Technology Trainer: Don't be Afraid to Cross the Technology Road...Get to the Other Side with 2 Smart Chix! 
St. James, Missouri 
Paige Eissinger
    Posted by Paige Eissinger, St. James, Missouri | Mar 26, 2009

    Naomi, thanks for making is so simple!

  • Graphic Designer 
Frederick, Maryland 
Kimberly Dow
    Posted by Kimberly Dow, Frederick, Maryland | Mar 26, 2009

    Thanks so much for your article, Naomi. I have not joined Twitter yet, but probably will be soon. I was apprehensive about how to use it for business purposes, but as I learn more about how it works, I can definitely see the benefits. Your article was a great help! You'll probably see me on twitter soon!

    Thanks again! -Kalico Design, http://kalicodesign.blogspot.com/

  • Instigator, Connector, Evangelist 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe McCarthy
    Posted by Joe McCarthy, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    This article does a great job of differentiating Facebook and Twitter, and providing a primer for tweeting etiquette ("tweetiquette?"). However, I would caution that, as a microblogging service, attempting to characterize how or why people use it is problematic - as is trying to explain how or why people blog. There are as many different reasons as there are [micro]bloggers. While some people are clearly seeking - and finding - interaction through Twitter, others are simply putting their thoughts / feelings / judgments out there (as Donna notes "It seems as if many twitter users are just throwing tweets into the river but don't follow where their tweets go or pay any attention to what others have tossed into the river") ... FWIW, I'm one of those tweeters who never checks for @gumption replies.

    Having noted that characterizing [micro]blogging is problematic, I will hazard a judgment regarding one theme that appears to flows through the motivations of all [micro]bloggers, perhaps best captured by my favorite quote from the movie, "Shall We Dance?", uttered by the character Beverly Clark (played by Susan Sarandon). Although she is referring to marriage, I think the general human need to be noticed, to be witnessed, to matter, is behind much of the popularity in all social media, but perhaps most acutely in Twitter. Anyhow, here's the quote:

    We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

  • marketing 
Bellingham, Washington 
Bliss Gurney
    Posted by Bliss Gurney, Bellingham, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Thank you Naomi for a well written, informative article with even more great info in the comments. I was really sad I missed your class and I do hope you might have a class in the evening one of these days, hint hint ...I am just a part time twitterer but I do like jumping in sometimes.

  • Photographer for books, websites, headshots, businesses and families 
Sammamish, Washington 
Anne Lindsay
    Posted by Anne Lindsay, Sammamish, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Naomi,

    Hey, very succinct. I love to jump into the river and see if I can swim. I thrash around a little and then watch those inner tube riders drift by with mint julips and wonder how I could be doing that.

    I love it when one of the inner tubers lets me hang onto their float and whisper in my ear the facts of life....twittering.

    Thanks so much for the tips! These are invaluable.

    Ciao....Anne Lindsay Photography and Redheads and More Redheads

    Looking for redheads! http://annelindsayphotography.blogspot.com/ REDHEADS UNITE. We are a minority and are proud of it! Oh okay, if you are not a redhead but are a redhead friend, come on by. We love you too!

  • Qigong/Meditation Teacher  
Bainbridge Island, Washington 
CarolAnn Barrows
    Posted by CarolAnn Barrows, Bainbridge Island, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Thanks, Naomi, for writing this illuminating article.

  • Life Coach & Creator of Ready, Set, Manifest! and The Money Mindful Way 
Redmond, Washington 
Debbie Lacy
    Posted by Debbie Lacy, Redmond, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Thanks, Naomi! My favorite part was the simile of "Twitter as a river." I have TwitterFox (http://twitterfox.net) and enjoy watching the river stream by as I work on other things.

    I'm going to head over there now and follow you.

    p.s. Were you at the Money Wi$e Women conference in Bellingham last Saturday?

    --Debbie

    www.twitter.com/moneymindful

  • Business Networking California Specialist 
La Jolla, California 
Rick Itzkowich
    Posted by Rick Itzkowich, La Jolla, California | Mar 26, 2009

    Naomi,

    As someone who works with many Social Networking newbies, I found your article to be very informative and useful. I have posted a link on my http://www.snfornewbies.com blog. Well done.

    Looking forward to connecting with you and others on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stayingintouch

  • Social Media Assistant for Small Businesses 
Cornelius, Oregon 
Kimberly LeRiche
    Posted by Kimberly LeRiche, Cornelius, Oregon | Mar 26, 2009

    Naomi, I really like how this article explains things in simple and clear terms. While I've been using Twitter for a while now and it seems intuitive to me, there those who are still new to the platform and can benefit greatly from what you've posted here.

    I'm following you now on Twitter as well and look forward to connecting with you there! http://twitter.com/jkvirtualoffice

  • Real Estate Consultant and Wedding Officiant 
Bellingham, Washington 
Rev. Meredith Ann Murray
    Posted by Rev. Meredith Ann Murray, Bellingham, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. --Carl Sandburg

    Thanks, Naomi! It was nice to have a summary in writing of what you taught us up in Bellingham when we did our class on Facebook and Twitter.

    Twitter still seems to me to be a huge time consumer and to call for a person being in front of a computer a lot or to have a phone with a computer connection, true? As the quote above says, consider how your time is spent and if it adds value to your life. If so, great! Tweet away... if not, then unplug. Same with Facebook, e-mail, etc.

    What I love about Biznik is that it's high tech AND high touch. We are based on face to face events. I would say the same of Twitter, Facebook, etc. It's the up-close and personal encounters that still hold the most meaning for me. How about you?

    Blessings, Rev. Meredith Ann Murray Bellingham, WA

  • Certified Postpartum Doula 
Seattle, Washington 
Megan Davis
    Posted by Megan Davis, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    I'm new to twitter and this tutorial was exactly what I needed. Thanks so much for writing it!

    http://twitter.com/doulamegandavis

  • Certified Postpartum Doula 
Seattle, Washington 
Megan Davis
    Posted by Megan Davis, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    I'm new to twitter and this tutorial was exactly what I needed. Thanks so much for writing it!

    http://twitter.com/doulamegandavis

  • Graphic Design & Illustration 
san francisco, California 
kimberly  schwede
    Posted by kimberly schwede, san francisco, California | Mar 26, 2009

    Good job breaking it down!

  • Internet marketing writer and strategist 
Seattle, Washington 
Peggy Dolane
    Posted by Peggy Dolane, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Way to nail it with a fresh new take on Twitter!

    Just yesterday I tweeted how twitter DM was a 140 character email substitute: http://twitter.com/FreeRangeMom/status/1391601387

    http://twitter.com/freerangemom

  • Sales 
Atlanta, Georgia 
Christien Louviere
    Posted by Christien Louviere, Atlanta, Georgia | Mar 26, 2009

    Nice analogy here. I thought the most crucial point you made to newcomers of twitter is that if you don't tend it, then it dies. FB can just sit there but twitter is useless unless you use it.

  • IT specializing in order processing 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Kevin Andrien
    Posted by Kevin Andrien, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Mar 26, 2009

    Great article, but I have a question. Is the 140 character limit related to SMS message length limits? Seems to me that twitterers (?) would tie up a lot of trafic on the net, and SMS uses a different protocol. How are you billed for its use? Again, as in SMS, as a text message?

  • Freelance Copywriter, Advertising Copywriting 
Bellingham, Washington 
Teresa Schmidt
    Posted by Teresa Schmidt, Bellingham, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Great job Naomi! You really nailed it. I find that it takes more time to build your Twitter network than FB because you don't necessarily know anyone in the river when you dive in. But the longer you're in, the more "tweeps" you encounter who enrich your day. Take the time to find folks you really want to follow, and you'll build a buzz around yourself, your company, your brand. http://twitter.com/Teresa_Schmidt

  • Stress Awareness and Inner Communication Coach 
Bellevue, Washington 
Patricia  Klingler
    Posted by Patricia Klingler, Bellevue, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Naomi,

    Highly informative article with very useful advice. I just started tweeting last week, and appreciate your nudge to get out there and be more active. Thank you.

    ~ Patricia (@CoachZing)

  • Filmmaker 
Seattle, Washington 
Dan McComb
    Posted by Dan McComb, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    @Joe -

    That's a great quote. Seth Godin (who always has something compact and perfect to say on such things) said this in his blog earlier this week:

    Why people choose to visit online social sites:

    • Who likes me?
    • Is everything okay?
    • How can I become more popular?
    • What's new?
    • I'm bored, let's make some noise
  • Organizing Consultant and Speaker 
Santa Cruz, California 
Tamara Meyer
    Posted by Tamara Meyer, Santa Cruz, California | Mar 26, 2009

    Thanks for the simple explanation and easy to understand examples of how to use these features in Twitter. I have been on Twitter for a month and never looked at the @replies page. I guess I didn't think my updates would be retweeted or that people would respond like that.

    I had been getting direct messages, but this piece was huge. I had some replies to catch up on.

    What I am enjoying the most about this experience with Twitter is that I am really feeling like the people I see in my "stream" are becoming more familiar almost like friends or family. I would have never connected with so many people so quickly, all over the world.

    Thanks again for the great article.

  • Healthcare Photograph and More! 
Los Angeles, California 
Mark Harmel
    Posted by Mark Harmel, Los Angeles, California | Mar 26, 2009

    This is the Twitter 101 that I've been missing.

  • Instigator, Connector, Evangelist 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe McCarthy
    Posted by Joe McCarthy, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    @Dan: thanks for the recommendation of the Seth Godin blog post ... which in turn references a post at http://writingboots.typepad.com (whose author does not identify himself by name) about Shel Holz vs. Kurt Vonnegut, in which he shares the "Kurt Vonnegut Rule about Farting Around" (and its realization through Twitter):

    The other reluctance we should all have about Twitter, even as we grudgingly accept its occasional social utility [story about Twitter-enhanced overreaction to a speaker's travel exhaustion at a conference omitted], is the Kurt Vonnegut Rule of Farting Around. "Electronic communities build nothing," my favorite humanist wrote near the end of his life. "You wind up with nothing. We are dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go out and do something. We are here on earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you different."

    He also proposes an interesting test to evaluate the relative interestingness of virtual communities vs. physical communities:

    Here's a test: Spend one day surfing the Internet and spend another roaming your neighborhood. See how many good dinner table stories you have after each. There won't be a contest.

  • Instigator, Connector, Evangelist 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe McCarthy
    Posted by Joe McCarthy, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Oops ... pardon my HTML. I guess only some HTML is permitted in comments ... would be handy to list which HTML tags are available shown somewhere around the comment box.

  • Filmmaker 
Seattle, Washington 
Dan McComb
    Posted by Dan McComb, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    That's a great quote, Joe. My response would be: why not both? The cool thing about Web 2.0 is that it isn't an either-or world any more. The line between online and face-to-face gets blurrier every day.

    Re: html - that's a good idea for us to put a blind-down thing that shows you formatting help. I'll see what we can do.

  • Engagement Ideas for Family, Corporate and Education 
Edmonds, Washington 
Jessie Upp, M.S.
    Posted by Jessie Upp, M.S., Edmonds, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    investment is one's time. best used minimally, can be addictive, then potentially a waste of time. used well, good for quick info coming in, quick responses going out without the stigma of 'will I be sounding like I'm spamming' of course, careful not to get too personal if you use it for business. keep it private for family if that is the only use. this article lays all that etiquette and simple usefulness of Twitter right out there. kudos.

  • Personal Coach 
Kent, Washington 
Caron MacLane
    Posted by Caron MacLane, Kent, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Useful article that I found very helpful. Thanks!

  • real estate, stager, home renovations 
Snohomish, Washington 
Sherri Hansen
    Posted by Sherri Hansen, Snohomish, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Great info! Thank so much

  • LiquidGratitude.Com Sales 
Battle Ground, Washington 
Mickey Lane
    Posted by Mickey Lane, Battle Ground, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Naomi,

    So many have already said what I wanted to communicate to you. Just know that I wasn't sure if I wanted to jump into yet another vehicle for communicating but you're article cleared up many questions I had.

    You have a great writing style. Thanks again.

    Mickey Lane LiquidGratitude.Com

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Wow, thanks again for all the wonderful comments and questions!

    Richard asked about maximizing FB and Twitter to market your business. Social media is social – ultimately it’s about creating and maintaining connections and giving value. Whatever you’re promoting – a service, a product, a blog – the magic of social media is in the connections. It’s up to you what you DO with the connections.

    Donna, you asked about increasing response rate from followers. It can be frustrating if you’re interacting and putting your best stuff out there and you’re not getting much back. If the group of followers you have now isn’t interacting with you much and you want more interaction, then I would say expand your network! Follow people who you would like to have following you. Many of them will follow you back, and start interacting with you.

    If you’re tweeting links and curious about whether your followers click on them or not, you can use a URL shortening/tracking service (http://tr.im/ is one) that will let you see statistics about the links you tweet. You may be getting more interaction with your content than you realized, even though people aren’t @replying or DMing.

    Kevin, the 140 character limit did originate from text message limits (I’m not sure when/why it was shortened from 160). You can tweet from text, or from a twitter client on your phone. If you tweet from your own text plan, you would be charged per your plan, but if you use a service like TwitterFon or TwitterBerry, it’s free (of course you pay for your data plan, but that’s your phone service package and not Twitter itself). Right now Twitter is free, but there are rumors that paid “pro” accounts may be coming soon.

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Joe, thanks for your insightful comments!

    I LOVE the quote from “Shall We Dance”. That is one of my favorite movies too! Among all the reasons for using social media, the common thread is wanting to connect and to know that we matter in some way. Of course this can be taken to the extreme. Check out this cartoon, "Twouble with Twitters":

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN2HAroA12w

    It makes some good points and highlights the main critiques about Twitter. One of the characters says at one point “If we’re disconnected we can’t Twitter! If we can’t Twitter we don’t exist!” This is, unfortunately, an honest critique of many people and how they use social media (myself included at times).

    I also really liked your challenge to “surf” the neighborhood vs. surfing the social web. It’s true that all this “connectedness” isn’t worth much if we don’t translate it to the real world somehow. For me, Twitter has opened up doors I my local community that I wasn’t even aware of. If I could only follow one group of people it would be locals, hands down. These connections are turning into real-world relationships that are very valuable to me. I think more and more, our virtual worlds and our real worlds are converging. Witness the upswing in popularity of “hyperlocal” news sites and neighborhood blogs. Exciting stuff!

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    It’s true that Twitter can be a huge time consumer and does require regular monitoring, as Meredith pointed out. This is next to impossible to do on the web. My computer crashed earlier this week and I couldn’t use TweetDeck for a few days. It took hours to do on the web what I was used to accomplishing in minutes on TweetDeck. I honestly don’t know how anyone follows more than 20 people without a desktop client! Websites like http://www.retweetradar.com and http://www.twitscoop.com also track trending topics and can be a way to get news/info without monitoring your personal Twitter stream. For example, I “watched” the superbowl on Twitscoop this year – as soon as a big play happened, it “trended” because so many people tweeted about it. That’s a silly example, but the point is, with the proper tools you can find the nuggets of value in the midst of all the noise, and you don’t necessarily have to follow 10,000 people or even 100.

    Another facet of this is that you don’t necessarily have to use Twitter constantly (every day) to get value from it. You could spend one or two days a week paying more attention to Twitter, or even an hour or two here and there, and not spend so much time with it other days. Or you could use Twitter to find information about a specific event.

    Thanks everyone for your inspiring comments and for adding more VALUE to this article!

  • design, code, communicate 
Seattle, Washington 
Joshua Lind
    Posted by Joshua Lind, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    It's most like group SMS text messages... online.

    You should try www.swaggle.mobi It's actually more useful.

  • Professional Business Muse 
Monroe, Washington 
Donna Angevine
    Posted by Donna Angevine, Monroe, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Wow, I've been to a couple of biznik events that have really "rocked" but this particular interaction as we all share our twitter experiences together has been my favorite to date. I have learned so much from all the comments in addition to Naomi's wonderful moderation of our questions and comments. I say bravo to all of us for fitting the "new stuff" into our already packed lives. That is after all what makes us entrepreneurs.
    Does anybody know of any social media conferences where interested parties could take say, a couple 2-3 hour intensive workshops in some of the various platforms (e.g. FB for business, Twitter, Ping. etc..)? If not, are there any experts out there interested in entertaining getting something like a "Social Media Expo" together? I have been thinking this would be really well received right now. Hmmm?

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Neat, I hadn't heard of Swaggle before. That definitely sounds like a useful service. Tatango is another similar service:

    http://www.tatango.com/

    They're located right here in Bellingham! (And they got a shoutout from @scobleizer recently - very cool.)

  • Filmmaker 
Seattle, Washington 
Dan McComb
    Posted by Dan McComb, Seattle, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Thanks a great idea Donna. I bet there are enough experts on Biznik who would love the opportunity to speak at an event of this kind. Organizing an event of this kind is not a trivial matter, though. We decided not to host BizJam again this year because of the huge time commitment.

  • business planner 
Blaine, Washington 
Gloria Point
    Posted by Gloria Point, Blaine, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    Thank you so much for the very useful article. You explained thing so well....

  • Home Decor store Owner, Interior designer 
Kirkland, Washington 
A Liengboonlertchai
    Posted by A Liengboonlertchai, Kirkland, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    so many people up for twitter. Fun Fun Fun

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 26, 2009

    I would love to participate in a social media expo and I agree, the time is definitely right. I can imagine it would be a huge job to organize though, even with all our great tools like Biznik and Twitter!

    Perhaps the best solution is for us to each organize smaller workshops in our own communities and tap the knowledge of our local experts? I'm blown away by the response to this article and I'm going to plan another Twitter workshop very soon. Clearly there is a lot of interest!

  • Professional Psychic 
Wesminster, Colorado 
Ron Adams
    Posted by Ron Adams, Wesminster, Colorado | Mar 26, 2009

    thanks for the article. Maybe I will get better at twitter now.

  • Marketing Consultant 
Portland, Oregon 
Jim Smith
    Posted by Jim Smith, Portland, Oregon | Mar 26, 2009

    This has really put Twitter into a different perspective for me and gives a very helpful way to explain Twitter to others including my clients. Thanks

  • Professional Business Muse 
Monroe, Washington 
Donna Angevine
    Posted by Donna Angevine, Monroe, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    The Social Media Expo warrants further conversation, I think. I am out of town 4/2-4/7 but would love to get together with anyone interested in brainstorming some ideas. Even if the best practice does turn out to be smaller workshops in various communities, our collective energy could make the task (I shouldn't call it a task because it sounds like a blast to me) smoother and more productive? If some Biznik event planners participated, it might actually be possible to pull something off on a large scale. Thoughts? Anyone want to play a bit at least to discuss the possibility?

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Donna, I would love to talk more about the possibilities! Who knows what can happen when we all put our heads together. :)

  • Hypnotherapy and Nutrition 
Kirkland, Washington 
Carole Freeman
    Posted by Carole Freeman, Kirkland, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Thank you Naomi. I've been contemplating starting a twitter account, and this was the perfect primer for a newbie!

    Do you have any other shortcuts or suggestions?

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Hi Carole,

    I think as a follow-up to this article I'd like to do a "how to set up your twitter account" article, and a "how to use tweetdeck" as well. What questions would you like to see answered?

  • Filmmaker 
Seattle, Washington 
Dan McComb
    Posted by Dan McComb, Seattle, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Hi Naomi,

    One frustration I have about Twitter is that I have four things I'd like to Tweet today, but then I get busy and forget to do it. Is there an easy tool that let's me schedule my Tweets in advance?

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Indeed, there is! Several actually. The one I've heard talked about most is http://www.tweetlater.com. I've also heard about http://twuffer.com and http://futuretweets.com/ You could also ask your followers and see what they recommend.

    I haven't used any of these tools myself but it is a good idea if you want to time your tweets. This can be helpful if (like me) you get good ideas at 2am but don't want to send them out to the Twittersphere until your followers are likely to be online.

  • Specialty Travel Expert 
Severna Park, Maryland 
Hazel Boone
    Posted by Hazel Boone, Severna Park, Maryland | Mar 27, 2009

    Very informative article. In the past two weeks, I've participated in an "online" twitter event and attended a seminar on social networking. The virtual event might be useful way to help twitter users figure out what all the tweeting is about. It's also a useful way to get more followers.

    http://www.twitter.com/hazelboone

  • Yoga Teacher & Therapist 
Portland, Oregon 
E.B. Ferdig
    Posted by E.B. Ferdig, Portland, Oregon | Mar 27, 2009

    Thanks! I really needed this info - glad to find it on #biznik!

  • Chiropractor 
Seattle, Washington 
Vivian Ledesma
    Posted by Vivian Ledesma, Seattle, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Well I guess it's time for me to just dive in!

  • Professional Business Muse 
Monroe, Washington 
Donna Angevine
    Posted by Donna Angevine, Monroe, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Dan, Definitely check out the TweetLater which is one of the tools I mentioned in my Twitter-Tango article. You can manage multiple accounts and schedule your tweets in advance.

    Naomi, let's touch base tomorrow via phone (I'll DM you my phone number) and get something on the calendar for the second week of April. I am excited to meet you and collaborate. And I'm not looking to make any money for myself by setting something like this up. Just think it would be a fun challenge and a great opportunity to show off the power of Biznik.

  • Filmmaker 
Seattle, Washington 
Dan McComb
    Posted by Dan McComb, Seattle, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    Thanks Donna and Naomi. I tried all three and liked Twuffer the best. Already qued up five posts. That's what I'm talkin' about!

  • Hypnotherapy and Nutrition 
Kirkland, Washington 
Carole Freeman
    Posted by Carole Freeman, Kirkland, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    @Namoi - the topics you listed all sound useful. Another area I struggle with is juggling facebook, twitter, blogging, etc. Sometimes it seems so redundant - is there a way to know what to put where? Also, is there a way to integrate my Tweets with my facebook status updates? @Dan - I like your new picture BTW. It fits better with your recommendations :-)

  • Hypnotherapy and Nutrition 
Kirkland, Washington 
Carole Freeman
    Posted by Carole Freeman, Kirkland, Washington | Mar 27, 2009

    @Dan - you chose one of the 3 tweet later websites @Naomi recommended - can you share why you chose one over the others? I'm looking at them now and feeling overwhelmed!

  • Special Events & Promotions Director 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Ariane Griffiths
    Posted by Ariane Griffiths, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Mar 28, 2009

    Thanks Naomi for a great article - could you add me to your workshop email lists? Would love to attend a workshop on this type of stuff..

    Donna, when you get your events up and rolling, I'd be open to having one in my area.. Thanks again ladies!

  • 3D Visual Solutions 
Miami, Florida 
Olga Vasiuk
    Posted by Olga Vasiuk, Miami, Florida | Mar 28, 2009

    I wish one could get a shorter link to share it on twitter J

  • Cartoonist, Caricaturist & Graphic Designer 
Valley Stream, New York 
Joe Vissichelli
    Posted by Joe Vissichelli, Valley Stream, New York | Mar 28, 2009

    Gee, do you get the feeling many of us were just DYING for someone to translate Twitter in some form of sense? My online networking heart now has wings – and soon it'll tweet!

  • Professional Business Muse 
Monroe, Washington 
Donna Angevine
    Posted by Donna Angevine, Monroe, Washington | Mar 28, 2009

    Oh, hadn't heard of twuffer but like the sound. I will check it out as soon as I post this.

    Naomi, for some reason when I said lets connect tomorrow I thought it was Sunday at the time ... OMG so much good stuff on my plate right now I am losing all sense of time. Off for the weekend so back on Monday.

    Or maybe tomorrow a.m. (more than 140 characters is good sometimes. )

  • Seattle Hypnosis Training, Bellevue Hypnotherapist & NLP Trainer 
Bellevue, Washington 
Connie Brannan
    Posted by Connie Brannan, Bellevue, Washington | Mar 28, 2009

    I'm new to twitter, and I sure appreciate your article here!! Thanks!

  • Instigator, Connector, Evangelist 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe McCarthy
    Posted by Joe McCarthy, Seattle, Washington | Mar 28, 2009

    @Olga: TinyURL is a web service that will produce a short URL for any web page. For example, here's a tinyurl I created for this article: http://tinyurl.com/cyo6lq

  • Creative Consultant/Interactive Designer 
Portland, Oregon 
Verne Lindner
    Posted by Verne Lindner, Portland, Oregon | Mar 29, 2009

    Thanks for a great article! http://www.twitter.com/vernelindner

  • Virtual Assistant 
Haymarket, Virginia 
Katie Bauer
    Posted by Katie Bauer, Haymarket, Virginia | Mar 30, 2009

    Wow, I'm fairly new to Twitter and had seen some of these symbols but had no idea what they truly meant. I really appreciate the time you took to write this article. Good stuff!

  • Office Consultant & Organizing Coach 
Marysville, Washington 
Nancy LaMont
    Posted by Nancy LaMont, Marysville, Washington | Mar 30, 2009

    Wow! Awesome information Naomi. And all the comments were interesting and helpful. I wish I had read this before I joined twitter a few weeks ago.

  • MarCom Copywriter 
Nashville, Tennessee 
Joyce Dierschke
    Posted by Joyce Dierschke, Nashville, Tennessee | Mar 30, 2009

    Great article Naomi. I've been using Twitter for sometime now, and am just scratching the surface of how it can be useful. Your article clarified quite a few things for me!

  • Owner & Sole Member - Civil Split LLC 
San Mateo, California 
Sandy Rivers
    Posted by Sandy Rivers, San Mateo, California | Mar 30, 2009

    Naomi...Naomi...Naomi - I finally get it. Until your article, I did not have a clue and I'm registered with Twitter.com.Thank you for explaining this so...well...."organized". No wonder you are so good at organization.

    Sandy www.CivilSplit.com

  • user experience design 
Toronto, Ontario Canada 
Lucilla Madamba
    Posted by Lucilla Madamba, Toronto, Ontario Canada | Mar 30, 2009

    I've been using Twitter since 2007. For me, Twitter is less like email, and more like eavesdropping on the useful, interesting or mundane conversations between people.

    But it has only been in the last year when its value has really hit home for me. As a user experience designer, I started following the thought leaders and practitioners of my field, and have gotten great insights, advice and information sharing.

  • Senior Move Specialist 
Yakima, Washington 
Naomi Whitmore
    Posted by Naomi Whitmore, Yakima, Washington | Mar 31, 2009

    Once again, thanks for all the awesome feedback, everyone! I'm thrilled that this article has been so helpful to so many people.

    Lucilla, your explanation of Twitter makes a lot of sense to me too. I follow many more people than I have time to interact with, and I often feel like I'm "eavesdropping" also. But of course, the people we follow WANT us to eavesdrop! It's very fun to follow the movers and shakers. We can learn so much from them!

    Twitter is such a great tool on many levels, whether it's for listening, communicating, marketing, etc.

  • Author, Speaker, Trainer, Mentor 
Honolulu, Hawaii 
Ken Ng
    Posted by Ken Ng, Honolulu, Hawaii | Mar 31, 2009

    Mahalo! Good stuff. I needed that. @KenNg

  • Life, Prosperity, and Small Business Coach. Author. Speaker. Trainer. Singer/Songwriter. 
Seattle, Washington 
Kate Phillips
    Posted by Kate Phillips, Seattle, Washington | Apr 05, 2009

    Great article, Naomi!

    I've been tweeting for months and I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't understand the hashtags until now. (Thank-you!)

    I have also found the "search" function INCREDIBLY useful in finding like-minded people, even potential clients.

    I'm MoneyHealer and BestSellerCoach on Twitter, fyi. (Love biznik follows!)

    Kate

  • Graphic Designer 
Seattle, Washington 
Mark MacKay
    Posted by Mark MacKay, Seattle, Washington | Apr 07, 2009

    Naomi, Thanks for demystifying Twitter! I've been struggling with how to incorporate this new media into daily life. Your river analogy and description of conversations provided needed clarity. Tweet on!

    Mark

  • Business Development Coach 
Tucson, Arizona 
Matt Walker
    Posted by Matt Walker, Tucson, Arizona | Apr 08, 2009

    excellent - timely! i have begun using twitter as a way to connect people and the results so far have been amazing. twitter (without the spam and mlm) can be a great tool to build community.

  • Independent Marketing & Promotional Consultant 
Wasaga Beach, Ontario Canada 
Bill Frieday
    Posted by Bill Frieday, Wasaga Beach, Ontario Canada | Apr 12, 2009

    Dear Naomi:

    Really good article. Could be used as a text book for new users. Twitter is an excellent vehicle but time consuming if you don't watch yourself.

    Congrats,

    Bill Frieday

  • Business Advisor, Coach & Public Speaker 
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 
Prafulla Pande
    Posted by Prafulla Pande, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan | Apr 12, 2009

    Love your article. Thanks for taking the mystry out of something very valuable that can be a little intimidating. I like the analogy of the river.

  • Photographer 
Ocala, Florida 
Luzviminda Rivetz
    Posted by Luzviminda Rivetz, Ocala, Florida | Apr 13, 2009

    After reading your very insightful article, I decided to create a twitter account only to find out that someone had already claimed my favorite user ID. Fortunately for me, I know just the person who did it. After few emails, I manage to reclaim it from myself. Yes… I created a Twitter account and did nothing with it. Thanks to your article; I was able to post my tweets.

  • Instigator, Connector, Evangelist 
Seattle, Washington 
Joe McCarthy
    Posted by Joe McCarthy, Seattle, Washington | Apr 17, 2009

    Just discovered an interesting article at the PBS Media Shift site about "Warning: Dependence on Facebook, Twitter Could Be Hazardous to Your Business":

    http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2009/01/warning-dependence-on-facebook-twitter-could-be-hazardous-to-your-business029.html

  • Generational Diversity expert, public speaker, video host 
Los Angeles, California 
Emily Williams
    Posted by Emily Williams, Los Angeles, California | Apr 21, 2009

    Nice job! I never would've thought to use the analogy of a river.

  • Brand Strategist + Marketing Maven 
Portland, Oregon 
Lacy Kirkland
    Posted by Lacy Kirkland, Portland, Oregon | May 06, 2009

    Brilliantly stated, Naomi! I was just trying to explain the benefits of Twitter to a friend of mine the other day. He happens to be in web design and social networking. I'll pass your article along! :) Thank you.

  • Custom Content, Reaching Boomers & Beyond 
Baltimore, Maryland 
Wendy  Meyeroff
    Posted by Wendy Meyeroff, Baltimore, Maryland | May 27, 2009

    Hallelujah! I'm an "over-30" (and that's as high as I'll tell you) who was on the leading edge of moving from print to web writing and who still teaches Enhancing Your Website's effectiveness. But I could not find anything (including on Twitter!) that made it clear how to use Twitter. I registered and posted a couple of my own notes...and that's as far as I got.

    Thanks Naomi for getting past geek speak and putting this in plain English. As someone who's biz motto is "Turning the complex into the comprehensible" (I do it for companies in health areas), it's a skill I really appreciate! Thanks!

  • Networking courses dumps 
Shreveport, Louisiana 
alexander rider
    Posted by alexander rider, Shreveport, Louisiana | Nov 30, 2010

    Thanks Donna and Naomi. this article is great and very useful for students and other which know about twitter. I tried all three and liked Twuffer the best. Already qued up five posts. and i also want to tell about my self we are member of pass4sure that is is the leader in supplying certification candidates with current and up-to-date training materials if you need any information about certification for you articles we will provide that will be honer of us. Thanks from pass for sure

  • Clinical Hypnotherapist 
Tarzana, California 
Susan French
    Posted by Susan French, Tarzana, California | Dec 08, 2010

    Hi Naomi,

    I signed up just to say thank you for the great, wonderful, clear, easy-to-follow, concise information!

    I will try to follow your instructions now to let others know how much I like it.

    In fact, I just signed up for some pay thing which is nothing but funky circus music and lots of continuing sales and very little information, via video only, which I hate, bc I'm a reader. It takes too long to listen.

    thanks again

    susan french

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