Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWITTERPATED - Let Me Introduce Myself

One of the first things I wanted to do after having my Twitter account was set up an informative profile. I like being able to get and give information at a glance. And one way people with similar interests will find me is the accurate and specific information in my profile.

I had a little trouble finding where to enter my profile data. The place to start is the "Settings" tab at the top of your "Home" page. You can edit your profile fields that come up when you click on the "Account" tab.

One of the most important fields is the One Line Bio, because it appears along with your photo on a lot of searches. I want followers who are really share my interests, so I wanted to pack in as many tag words as possible. Lots of people seem to repeat information here that's already been entered, like location. Just like a by-the-word classified ad, if they already know it leave it out.

While you're on the "Settings" page, click on the "Picture" tab to put in your photo. In the interest of estabilishing comfort and familiarity (I think they call it "branding"), I used my Etsy avatar as my Twitter photo.

They suggest your photo be square, or they will crop it and it may not be what you'd expected. Don't enter too small a photo, because viewers can enlarge it, and the Twitter People will resize it for you. The maximum size is 700k, and they accept JPG, GIF, and PNG formats.

The other tabs on the "Settings" page are Password -- if you're having a problem or need to change, Devices -- the scary place I do no go, where you connect Twitter to your mobile communication device, Notices and Design. I'm going to try out some design options later but I'm just going simple for now.

You may want to make some changes on the "Notices" tab. I've copies your options from the page with a few tips:

Auto Nudge: Nudge me if I haven’t updated in 24 hours
This will send a txt to your phone.

New Follower Emails: Email when someone starts following me

Direct Text Emails: Email when I receive a new direct message

Email Newsletter: I want the inside scoop—please send me email updates!

These settings control how much we bug you about various things.

* Nudge only works if you have a registered device and it is on.
* The @ Replies setting can be confusing. Read the help article if you're unsure.
* Be sure your email is correct in account settings to receive emails.

I did some searching about the @replies question. This is the way you send a Tweet directed to just one specific user. You address it to @ followed by the user name. If you've chosen to have your updates public apparently anyone can read these, at least I saw a lot in looking at posts. It sounds like if you get one of these it goes in the sidebar of your home page, not just mixed in with all the thousands of other tweets all your friends are sending.

In my next post I'm going to start to actually make contact. I'll start "following" people, and if I'm as wonderful as I think I am I'll get some followers. I'll post, and I'll share what seems to be the typical post I'm seeing from others.

Go get signed up. I'm thinking this could be kind of fun...or a major time waster...or something that falls by the wayside.

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.

TWITTERPATED - Meet Your Guide

My name is Polly, and I'm one of those older people who think all this e-network stuff is for "the young people" -- a term that was meaningless to me until I was well past 45. Texting, My Space (is that still around), Flickr, Facebook, Twitter -- all are foreign to me, and I know this only scratches the surface. But I have a passion for miniature painting, and an Etsy shop I'd like to be busy filling orders from, and if I want to share information about these things, networking on the internet seems a logical way to proceed. I'll start by inviting you to visit my shop using this link: Miniscapes - Small Oil Paintings

My head spins when I hear all the terms specific to one site or another, and number of follows and clicks sound impressive, but I suspect they may not amount to readers, sales or even views. I'm ready to explore, though, and I might as well share what I learn, maybe save you some mistakes along the way.

At this point I obviously have a blog started. I've uploaded some photos to Flickr and figured out how to post from there to my blog, but I've yet to caption or tag them. And I've signed up for a twitter account without fleshing it out. I plan on setting up a Facebook presence as well.

I'm going to start my adventure with Twitter. I've done a search in the Etsy forums of threads about Twitter and got some information from one about increasing followers -- whatever that means. Here is a link to it: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6127828

On my next post I'm going to fill out my Twitter profile, if there is such a thing, post, and try to start gathering followers. I hope you find this helpful, and if you have any questions you'd like me to look for the answers to, or anything you'd like me to try, let me know.

Let's promote; I hear it can be fun!