After some ambivalence I set up my Twitter account as I mentioned on a previous post.
What I would do different? Research a little bit more before taking the plunge. Paying attention to the settings a little more would have saved me some grief. Let me explain.
A couple of things seemed to re-enforce what my feelings of uncertainty. One was my fault. I was not paying attention, yes I was a little exited (Im really worried now, too much of a geek excitement). When I setup my blog integration with Twitter I put what I thought was my user name. Some places my user name is a combination of first name last name (there are quite a few I can come up with).
I put in one of those user name combinations and all of a sudden I have ten followers. How did that happen so fast? Especially since one of the followers was this woman’s photo who represented the NaughtyGirl account that we dont really want to have in our profiles for professional reasons. After rechecking I realized that in Twitter the name I used was for someone else who had the same name combination. Ok, I fixed that and putt my real Twitter name which is @ottonote.
The other day, I mentioned to a couple of my colleagues about my foray into Twitter and they seemed visible upset. All about how it was a big waste of time. Lesson learned, ask what people’s opinion is about Twitter before you tell them your handle, the perception that your just tinkering wasting time is really strong out there. 🙂
Ok, so there is a third thing. Once I was setup and ‘twitting’ I felt pretty good. Simple to use, nothing to it! Now I’m exploring how to best use it. Lo and behold, I get a text message at 1:45 AM, yes I said AM! It was from one of the conference trainers. Now I have to explain to my wife why I’m getting texted at such an ungodly hour by a woman at that! 🙂 Lesson learned, direct Twitter messages go to your text messaging service and e-mail if you allow it. And yes I did click that option.
Controlling when you get messages from your Twitter account is easy, if you pay attention to the settings. Ive now set mine up so I don’t get anything past 10:00 PM and before 7:00 AM. My beauty rest is very important to me.
Another thing I did, after the fact, was research Twitter Etiquette. It is known as Twittequete, yep a new word is born! Googling Twitter Etiquette gives you many results which I think are worth reading. Here are a few of them (the list will grow I’m sure):
13 Golden Rules (added 12/28/2009, another excellent post on using Twitter).
Additionally I’ve found more ways to use Twitter professionally, the following are very good posts on the subject. I’m only a couple of years behind! 🙂
Finding a job (Added on January 2, 2010)
How Amy Blankenship from InsideRIA uses social media (Added on January 25, 2010)
So as you may eventually conclude, Twitter is very simple to use, which makes it simple to abuse and do dumb things with it. Already my mistakes when up to four!
I’ve now created lists to group tweets by subject and I feel a little more in control. Like spices in your food, I’ll be using it sparingly so as not to overwhelm myself or others.
There are many soft rules, but one that is really solid and set in stone and you should never violate is this one: never, never, ever say anything that will embarrass you, your family, something about your boss. Remember everything put on the Net is there for ever. And anyone can read it! And some one will and they’ll call you on it! This goes for e-mail, blogs and whatever else we can think of.
Below is my customized Twitter background.