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    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010
    So, partly out of boredom, partly out of "all the cool kids are doing it", and partly because I actually want to learn this arcane skill known as "ne-twer-king", I went and signed up for a Twitter account, "isaacsher".

    And immediately upon creating my account, I was getting porn spam. Joy, shipmate, joy.

    So, how's this work, really? I don't have an internet-capable phone (just a cell that costs WAY too much to get online), so this is something I'd just be checking at my home desktop for now. What's the etiquette? What are some classic noob mistakes to avoid? What are some interesting things to follow?

    And hell, for that matter -- where's a good place to go to learn the basics of how to *use* the silly thing properly?

    Much obliged, Whitechapel.
    • CommentAuthorAdam K
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010
    Can you text? If so, twitter works sans-internet on your phone. You just set it up to send/receive tweets, which you can do through the "Settings" tab up top.

    Honestly, there's not a whole lot to learn about it. You've got 140 characters to spout off whatever the absolute fuck you want. Go nuts.

    Being that you're here, the obvious "interesting thing" to follow is

    I follow this list if you wanna read the random thoughts of a bunch of comics people types:
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010
    Twitter is incredibly useful to you if you:

    1) Have a large group of friends who also tweet - you can all follow each other and then you always have a more or less real time spatially diffused conversation going on, and you always have an idea where each other are and what everyone is doing. This is actually very nice.

    2) Are semi famous (i.e. - well known among a small group for doing something creative or clever) - you can easily use twitter as a tool to increase your follower base, and connect with other people doing things in your creative space.

    3) Super famous - you can collect advertiser dollars for casually mentioning products and drive traffic to websites or events that will profit you, while maintaining an illusion of a "real" connection with your fans.

    I don't fit into any of those categories, and so twitter has proven to be fairly useless to me. I follow a bunch of people here because they do interesting things, and once in a while I learn about an interesting thing near me and occasionally that improves a day.

    But I go weeks sometimes without checking in on it. You'll know it's working for you if you find the thought of that surprising.
    • CommentTimeApr 20th 2010
    The flipside of 2) and 3) is if you're just interested in checking in on people who are semi-famous or super-famous or just a software developer or retailer that interests you (e.g. I follow Warren, I follow Avatar Press, I follow, I dunno, Craig Ferguson) -- it's a decent way to look down the water and see what folks are dipping out. Or whatever that metaphor should've been.

    I actually intensely dislike the conversational element of 1) -- twitter is pretty much the worst possible social network for discussion. It's just not made for it at all. Doesn't stop people from using it that way, though, for sure.

    (My personal use of it is as I say above, plus #2 -- moderate sized fish in a small pond that might care what I'm doing. Having said that, I pay pretty indifferent attention to it these days.)

    • CommentAuthorDrew_badly
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2010
    I tend to use Twitter a little like I use google reader - it's a kind of "comments catch all" for the people that interest me. Follow me and you get the odd glib comment and I use retweet as a "note to self."

    My only tip would be careful connecting all your accounts up (flickr, youtube etc), it can turn into a tautological nightmare!

    Collect & enjoy,

  1.  (8099.6)
    I mostly use twitter like an instant messaging service - I signed up because some friends were there. then I started following some famous people and some amusing fictional characters but have since unfollowed many of them because if i have to scroll back more than six pages when I check the damn thing then what's the point?
  2.  (8099.7)
    Delete it. Twitter is shit.
  3.  (8099.8)
    For me Twitter is like an IRC channel in slow-motion. I use it to talk to people who are friends/peers in the same business, and not much else. It’s a nice substitute for forums because I don’t have to look at postings by people I don’t care about so I’m not sifting through a bunch of stupid help requests from idiots who don’t know how to use Google.
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2010
    I have found that there are 2 kinds of people, those who use twitter too much and those who use it too little....

    as far as advice goes, I would say follow people who care about reading your posts, because if nobody ever replies to your posts and nobody acknowledges things you reply to then your really just lurking people and not actually "social networking"...
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2010
    I've learned LOADS about Twitter (that I have yet to implement obviously) from @juliaroy. She's pretty much the queen of twitter from what I can tell. She has a show on youtube about it too. Her website is a good place to start.

    I have my Twitter tied into Facebook and i'm trying to find a way to tie it into myspace. It posts in the status update field that way. It lessens the time you have to spend with these social networking things.
  4.  (8099.11)
    I just tend to chat with close friends, and then watch interesting people like William Gibson who regularly talk about and link to interesting/awesome things.
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2010
    @bramclark- actually, if you're using Tweetdeck for a client, you can have it auto-post to all three.

    @IsaacSher- Welcome to the twitterverse. I'd say follow me, but that's only true if you're into my weird art or horrible good morning links. (I feel the world at large should be abused when I'm pre-coffee.
  5.  (8099.13)
    I babble on mine, post to links of news I've read that I find interesting, do whatever.
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2010
    So, an etiquette question...

    Say I'm following a Celebrity (minor or worldwide household name, doesn't matter) on Twitter. Celebrity says something or asks a question or whatnot, and I have a thought or comment about what they just said. If I understand this right, I could just click on Reply, fire off a response, and it goes right to that Famous Person.

    Or have I just made a grevious faux pas by sending a tweet to a person who doesn't know me? Perhaps it would be considered acting too familiar?

    Or is that the whole POINT of Twitter? That some random shmoe like me could throw a comment out there to WIl Wheaton or Stephen Fry or Warren Ellis or whomever, and maybe they'll think I had something interesting to say, and thus more involved conversation can begin?

    I mean, logistically, some of these folks might be getting FLOODED with folks who want contact with a Famous Person. How would they manage it?

    This is why I'm still a neophyte (if that) with networking -- I don't want to be That Guy. The creepy fanboy who comes across as "Long Live The Batman" fodder. The stalker who offers waaaaaay too much personal info to famous strangers and then demands reciprocation. The leech who doesn't give a crap about what people actually say or want, they just use Person A as a stepping stone to meet their REAL person of interest, Person B, who can get them a job doing DreamComeTrueStuff. I don't want to be any of those, but I do want to be social, and figure out networking.

    Any thoughts?
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2010
    @IsaacSher - I generally try to follow the same rule I try to follow on Whitechapel: Don't Be an Arsehole. If you're helping progress a discussion or answering a question or have something nice to say to someone, say it. Part of taking part in Twitter is accepting that anyone can see what you post and/or anyone can reply to you (unless you have your account set to private, of course.) So there's sort of an implication that it's okay to talk to people you don't know.

    Just don't get your knickers in a twist if they don't respond. Some people, like the Avatar Press folk (I think it's Mark behind the Twitter, but I don't remember off the top of my head) or Ben Templesmith will reply quite often. Some people, like Wil Wheaton or Stephen Fry or, I don't know, Simon Pegg, won't necessarily reply. It depends on a lot of things.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeApr 22nd 2010
    ^^What Rickie said. I reply to Ben Templesmith, Warren, and a few others on occasion, if I have either a response I think is funny, or an answer to a question. I've gotten quite a few replies from them, which is always cool, but as mentioned, don't expect to get a reply every time. Some people will read most of their replies, and will appreciate them, but just get too damn many to reply to each one, so don't take it personally. Avoid being "THat creepy fanboy" by replying to every single thing, but definitely shoot them a line here and there if you feel the need.
  6.  (8099.17)
    If you've got something interesting to say in response to something a Famous Person says, yeah, tweet that right back at them. I've had both Our Generous Host and @neilhimself respond to things I've tweeted at them (of course, I've also gotten no response from a number of twitters as well). Look at @thatkevinsmith on twitter -- he's constantly retweeting and responding to followers.

    You're only going to be That Guy if you respond to *everything* someone says while acting highly sycophantically, or with incoherent cursing. That'll likely get you blocked right quick.
  7.  (8099.18)
    I tend to reply publicly but if I want a longer discussion or it merits it, I do direct messages or emails.
    • CommentAuthorIsaacSher
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2010
    Much obliged, folks. I sent a reply to @neilhimself the other day, just an off the cuff comment about something he'd said -- and then immediately after, I was worried that I'd crossed a boundry. Thanks for clearing that up.

    I wouldn't expect a Famous Person to reply to me -- it would be AWESOME, but one can't assume or demand it.

    Here's another question -- are there some web-based ways to check Twitter accounts without going to itself? The reason I ask is that my workplace blocks anything related to Twitter, Facebook, or related social network sites, and I don't have a mobile that can handle online function inexpensively. So if I can find a webpage that *isn't* blocked that lets me check Twitter, that would be pretty cool. I'm not really sure how to google for such a thing, what I'd call it exactly. A twitter emulator?
  8.  (8099.20)
    Twitter proxy, probably. Any http/html proxy'll likely work for the task. Try searching for "myspace proxy" or similar items, which pop up for use by students at high schools around the world to check their profiles at the school library.