Friday, April 18, 2008

Are You a-Twitter-er?

Have you heard of Twitter? I didn't "get" the point of this new social networking site at all at first, but I had heard about it from the big cheeses at Squidoo, and the folks at Squidoo haven't steered me wrong yet so I signed up. It didn't hurt that it is also free to sign up.

Ok, right now, if you hadn't heard of Twitter before, you're wondering why I am mentioning it. It is an interesting way to network. I'll try to explain how it works.

Twitter allows you to post Updates of up to 140 characters into the field. Everyone who is "Following" your updates can see what's up with you. It can be major stuff - for instance, I announced that I had a new artwork published & I announced something as dorky as "I just made my first smoothie...ever." Some people may find the publication of artwork exciting when they read about it, and others might find the smoothie adventure more stimulating. It just depends on who's reading.

People can follow what you say, but you can also follow what they say. Just because someone chooses to follow your posts, you don't have to follow them unless you would like to do so. Even once you start following someone, you can easily click and un-follow them.

You can send messages to another Twitter user just by putting the @ symbol right before their username. Your message shows up on their list. Your username is clickable from that other person's list...and that's where the networking magic comes in. As more @username messages fly with news of interest, your username gets more clicks, and therefore attention can be drawn to your Twitter Profile page. If you have a business, then that can bring traffic to your site. You can use Twitter to announce new blog posts or different features and special offers you may have on your website. Just don't constantly promote your own websites. That's a good way to get un-followed, and fast.

For artists who might feel only driven to networking sites like MySpace and Facebook that you can post artwork to, Twitter may not seem like a place you want to spend any time. But you can link to an artwork. If your URL is too long, then you can use a site like TinyURL to shorten it. The 'http://' isn't necessary within Twitter. Just the www. in front of the URL will make it clickable. There is an add-on to Twitter called Twhirl that allows attachment of photos/artwork. I haven't tried it yet though. Twhirl apparently gives the user the ability to get notification of new messages, which sounds like a very handy tool to have.

I think it is really impossible to effectively describe Twitter. I think the best way to learn how to use it and how it works is just to do it. At first it seems actually kind of well, stupid. I didn't see the point. But after using it for a few days, I am seeing the value of it. The messages from certain people you really want to keep up with can be sent to your mobile device.

Imagine if you could trade quick info and tips with hundreds of people in your industry? Imagine if you could share business items of interest with all your colleagues within seconds? If you can imagine that, then you can start to understand the wonder and majesty that is Twitter. Uh... "Wonder and majesty?!?" Oh that's going too far, but Twitter is pretty neat.

By the way, the smoothie came out quite yummy.

If you'd like to follow me,
just click here: Follow ddixonart

1 comment:

Jaguar Julie said...

Darla -- I am so glad to hear that you like Twitter! I'm just getting the hang of it myself and trying to figure out TwitterFeeds. Glad you are enjoying the lens, Black and White. Are you into design? I've got a new contest I just launched! Jaguar Julie Designs Logos Contest. Oh, I'm following you on Twitter now too. ;-)


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