Friday, April 13, 2012

Tweet Tweet!



Are you on twitter?  I am!!  I joined in the fun as @FluffySheepQuil.  If you would like to, you can follow me using the little button on the right hand side of the blog.  Chance are I will follow you back!


Since I have ABSOLUTELY no idea what I am doing on Twitter, I quickly (like 15 minutes after joining...) ran to my friend Laura Jane for help.  She was kind enough to write a guest post telling me all about it.  Want to learn with me?  Teach us, LJ!  xx




So, Cindy asked me to do a little “Twitter 101” for you, her readers, after I helped her out settling into twitter. I wouldn’t say I was an expert; in fact I’ve not even been using twitter very long. Well, actually, that’s a lie. I got a twitter account years ago, but I followed, and was followed by, 3 people. My then Boyfriend, my Bestie, and my Dad. I thought, “What’s the point?!” I could just text any interesting life updates to my Bestie, or discuss it in person with the other two. So I didn’t tweet very much, if at all.

Fast forward to a month or so ago and I thought I’d give it another whirl, it seemed like something all the cool kids were doing, and I wanted in. In the short space of time I’ve been using it, I have tweeted 956 times, found 149 people to follow and am followed by 103. (This is not bragging. In twitter terms, I’m a bit of noob. I know people with upwards of 36,000 tweets. Yes @imagingermonkey, I’m looking at you… )

I’ll start by explaining the main twitter-isms, hopefully in a way that makes sense to all, and then give you a bit of an overview on how I personally see and use twitter. K?



-Following/Followers
Twitter is, at its core, a social networking site. You follow people you think are interesting, or are friends with, or who post funny tweets. You can also follow celebrities (authors, film stars, TV personalities, FABRIC DESIGNERS etc) or themed tweet accounts. When you follow someone, their tweets will be displayed in a stream on your home screen. You don’t necessarily have to know the person to follow their tweets.

-Character limit
When you tweet, your message is limited to 140 characters. This is based on the length of one standard sms message. Bear in mind if you are replying to someone, or a group of people, their user names will take up some of those characters. NB: Twitter will automatically shorten any web links you put in your tweet.

-Reply vs Mention
If you start a tweet with a user name, eg “@laurajane7789 I think you’re really cool” it is classed as a reply. Only people that follow both you and the person you are replying to will see this tweet in their stream. If you put the user name anywhere else in the message i.e. “I think @laurajane7789 is the coolest gal in town” it is classed as a mention. Anyone following you will see it in their stream.


-Retweet
To retweet a message is to pass it on to your followers, like a techy version of Chinese whispers. Twitter will automatically add the text “RT:” to the beginning of the message, and you can add some text to the beginning or end of the message as desired. Let’s say Cindy, @FluffySheepQuil, tweeted this “Showing a quilt at the Ireland modern quilt guild today!”, I might go ahead and retweet it to my followers because I thought it was interesting, or I wanted to get the word out to people who may not necessarily follow Cindy. I might add a little message when I retweeted it, so my tweet would look like this “Good luck Girl!! RT @fluffysheepquil Showing a quilt at the Ireland modern quilt guild today!”. Usually people retweet messages with web links/urls so you can go and look at something on the web that they liked.

-Direct Messages
You can send users direct messages, which are completely private tweets. They will only be seen by you and the recipient. You can only do this if you follow that person.


-Hash Tags
Hashtags are kind of hard to explain until you start reading the twitter language! In my opinion, they are used to either express a feeling of the message i.e. “Drank too much wine last night… #hungover #fail”, or are used to group a whole load of messages from different people together i.e. “I’m really excited about going to #sewingsummit”.  You can click on the hashtag and see everyone’s tweets that include it, and as such they are used to “trend” stuff (i.e. make it popular among the millions of twitter users). Last week there was a #sixwordfilmplot trend… i.e. “big ship, cant sink, it sinks #sixwordfilmplot” (Titanic). I contributed “Tiger in bathroom, where’s the groom? #sixwordfilmplot” (The Hangover) to that one.

Learning to use Twitter is hard to begin with… well, not hard, just slightly overwhelming. But then one day you will have a light bulb moment. Everything will just click into place and you will be tweeting like mad. For me, it’s less about posting interesting one liners about what I’m doing (akin to facebook status updates, if the analogy helps anyone) because let’s face it, who wants to know that I’ve woken up, then gone to work, then come home from work, then ate some dinner… etc etc. It’s more about chatting with people who have similar interests.

I see it as less formal/long winded as an email, and not quite as personal as a text. Anyone can see what you are saying, which initially is a bit weird and voyeuristic, but actually works in its favour. By following one person, you can see and find out all kinds of things about other people (in a non stalkery way, of course), events, news etc. You might feel like you are butting in on people’s conversations, but don’t let that worry you. If you’ve got something to say on the subject, just bite the bullet and butt in!

Twitter moves fast. It’s a fact you just have to get used to. I have the twitter app on my iphone, which means I get notifications sent straight to me when someone mentions, or replies, or DM’s me. I occasionally have the webpage open on my desktop too, but truth be told, I find the app much easier to use. You WILL get sucked in. That’s another fact. There's always someone to talk to! From UK time zone perspective, early morning you get the Aussies before they go to bed, then the Brits all day. The Americans start waking up about lunchtime and will take you through to late night. By which time the Aussies are up and you can start all over again!



I hope this has cleared up at least some of the mystery surrounding twitter, for at least some of you. If you have any questions, do feel free to email me (LTAYLOR AT ETHITEC DOT COM), or you know, you could tweet me... I’m @laurajane7789










16 comments:

Nicky said...

Thanks for attempting to bring me into the 21 century but I can't cope with blogs, flickr and something else as well...

Patchwork and Play said...

I'd love to follow you on Twitter, but I already spend too much time on blogger, my iphone and computer!!

Di said...

Thanks for the tute 101. I understand more now. Apparently the older teens are 'flocking' to twitter from Facebook (so my teen says) ! :) Di x

Katy Cameron said...

I'm a sporadic twit, mostly at the weekends when I'm bored and winding Laura Jane up ;o)

Laura @ Needles, Pins and Baking Tins said...

Katy is right. She is a twit. ;-)

pippablue said...

Great Post! I never really understood twitter ...lol! Sounds like something else to get addicted to :)

Annabella said...

Great post Laura Jane - you almost convinced me.

Dolores said...

Thank you, thank you! I've been on Twitter for a couple of months and have been winging it... it's good to actually understand what's really going on now! :-) You can follow me back @DoloresALOL. And yeah, I feel like I spend the whole time watching the cool kids in conversation but have also had some awesome tip-offs.

dxx

Sarah said...

must ignore little voice in head whining "i want to play too"....

bearpaw said...

that was really interesting Laura! I didn't know that bit about mentions versus replies. I feel like I have been forced into twitter to promote my classes and so that's really all I do with it. I go on and lurk and read all the chatter from you lot (like you say- the cool kids!)and I just think -why aren't you sewing? Who's got the time to chat on like this? As I can barely keep up with writing my blog let alone reading others as well as all the flickr stuff, I daren't get sucked in to twitter too! But I do like having a quick peek at what you are all talking about! Thanks Cindy for airing this - spot on timing wise!!

Pieces to Love said...

LJ you are 'da bomb' as my son would say with your awesome knowledge of twitter.

Flying Blind... said...

All well and good, but I can't be arsed!!!

Archie the wonder dog said...

Great post - thank you!

Indianna said...

Mmmm I'm dabbleing in twitter - but I hadn't got a clue how it worked until I read this - so a big thanks from @IndiannaDreams

verykerryberry said...

Grrreat explanation Laura, you have got it all in there! I am going to add this to my blog tips page, hope that is ok Cindy?

Susan said...

Ahh Great Post! I've been on Twitter for about five months now and I've just learned a few more things - yea....plus you are on there too! Going to find you now. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Label Cloud

241 tote all heart appeal antique applique apron art quilt aurifil award baby quilt back background bag basket batik bee Bee Blessed Big Stitch Swap bird's nest birdie stitches birthday blankets of love block blog blogaversary blogger bundle bloglovin' BOM book brit bee brooch bundle bunting business card holder camping cathedral window chain piecing chaos charm pack charm squares charm swap chickens Christmas class clothes color commission community community quilt contest craft craft fair cross cross stitch Cúchulainn cushion design wall diaper Do.Good Stitches donation double wedding ring drawing dress eclipse election electronica embroicery embroidery eraser stamp exhibit fab fabric fabric tape facebook FAL farmers journal fat eight fat quarter fat quarterly feature festival of quilts film finish finish along flag flickr flying geese FMQ FNSI frame Free Motion Friday free motion quilting friends fugly Galway Galway Now gift giveaway goal goals goodie goodie swap granny mania granny squares graph guest blog guild hand puppet hand quilting hand sewing happy hat help hexagons hey girl hospital hot pad HST I Spy ICA improv innovation award inspiration interview invitation ipad ipad cover IPS IQFOI Irish chain Japanese key fob kind stitches knit knitting knitting and stitching kona lattice illusions laugh launch learning lecture Liberty linky list little star loops love on the blocks LQS Day magazine market medallion mennonite miniquilt mixer cover mod logs Mod Pop QAL modern blocks Modern Irish Bee modern irish quilters modern quilt guild modern quilt guild bee modern stitching Modern Stitching Bee monster mouthy stitches mug rug mural name name game name tag napkin needle book new york beauty newsletter Nieve notebook cover overlocker panel paper piecing patchwork pattern Pay it forward Peace Valley peanut butter perle cotton pezzy pizazz photograph PIF pillow pillowcase dress pin cushion pinwheel PJ placemat podcast polka dot pom pom portholes post pouch precut puffy pouch puppy purse QAL quilt quilt exhibit quilt frame quilt top quilter in the gap quilting Rainbow Charm Swap research retreat retroflower review sale sampler scarf science scrap scraps screen printing seams selvage sew and bee happy Sew Bee Blissful sewing machine sewing room shop significant sizzix sketch skirt solid spools stall stand star stargazing start your own stitched in color string stuffed super tote surprise swap swoon tablerunner teaching text thumb tack tiles top tote toy travel tree skirt tumbler tutorial twinkle twinkle twitter video vote walk wallet website win WIP wonky house yarn youtube zip

Total Number of Page Views