Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWITTERPATED - Getting Started

I think Twitter has been the most intimidating form of networking to me. I picture getting tons of text messages on my cell phone from celebrities and people selling trendy stuff, not knowing how to read them or delete them, and at the end of a month getting a huge bill from my phone company for too much use.

I use my phone to call my work, call my mother, and write in the blank on forms so they don't think I'm homeless. I don't want to maintain it.

The other possiblity in my mind was 7,000 e-mails a day, with that one important one (about the sale on Etsy) being lost in the mob. I just didn't want to go either direction.

Boy, was I confused.

I did a search for Twitter (and felt very brave), clicked on it, and followed directions to sign up for a new account. I used an e-mail address that I wasn't using, just in case, and I also thought it would help me keep up on e-mails I wanted to follow up on from my marketing efforts if my fears were groundless. I chose the name of my Etsy shop (Miniscapes) for my Twitter user name, and lucky for me it was available.

Once I had an account, I was taken to a home page that gave me three options of actions to take:

1. Tell us what you're doing in the box above.
2. Find some friends and follow what they're doing.
3. Turn on your mobile phone to update your friends on the go.

Option 1, I just didn't see the benefit of letting no one know that I was trying to figure out Twitter. Option 3, the huge phone bill and textophobia, that was out.

I clicked on the link for "Find some friends" and was taken to the screen that will always come up when you select "Find People." It let you search by first name, last name or username among Twitter users.

I put in the name of a young person I know (my nephew). I got a list of photos (this is a good thing to have), their usernames, and for most of them a brief description and where they are. My nephew apparently is not using Twitter, at least not by his real name.

I learned two things: It was going to be impossible for me to find many people who don't already know about my blog, my shop, my paintings this way, and that I needed a photo and a good description in my profile.

In the next post, I build my profile, find out how to automattically search for a bunch of people I know, and Tweet for the first time.

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