An Open Letter To Oprah: How To Get Good At TwitterAn Open Letter To Oprah: How To Get Good At Twitter
Dear <a href="http://twitter.com/oprah">Oprah</a>: Looks like you've signed up for a Twitter account. That's terrific. Welcome! <a href="http://twitter.com/mitchwagner">I've enjoyed Twitter</a> for more than two years now, so let me offer you a couple of tips for making your Twitter experiences enjoyable and productive.
April 20, 2009
Dear Oprah: Looks like you've signed up for a Twitter account. That's terrific. Welcome! I've enjoyed Twitter for more than two years now, so let me offer you a couple of tips for making your Twitter experiences enjoyable and productive.There are no rules for using Twitter.
You'll encounter many people who will attempt to dictate the right away and wrong way to use Twitter. But they're just full of themselves. Half of their rules are really just suggestions, and the other half are utter nonsense. There are no rules, other than common sense. While there are no rules, there are guidelines you can follow for succeeding on Twitter. Here are a couple of them. Learn by doing. Just jump in, use it, listen to what your followers say -- like, for example, the way Shaq let you know it isn't cool to tweet in ALL CAPS -- have fun, and you'll figure it out as you go. Don't get into long arguments. Make your point and move on. Twitter is not the place for point-by-point rebuttals. Use FriendFeed or blog comments for that. I've broken this rule myself several times, and I'll probably do it again, because sometimes I'm this guy: But it's really not a good idea, it just bores everybody. Don't tweet about bodily functions. You think now that you'd never do that, but you will. After you're comfortable with Twitter, it becomes an extension of your thought processes. We all have moments in life when ... how shall I put this delicately? ... we all have moments in life when our bodily functions are uppermost in our thoughts and demand our full attention. At these moments, just keep those thoughts to yourself. The one bodily function you can, and should, Twitter about is eating. One of the cliches that Twitter critics bring up when they make their little condescending jibes is that Twitter is all about narcissists telling people what they had for breakfast. And then Twitter defenders say it's not about that at all. But, actually, if you had something interesting for breakfast -- especially if it's bacon-related -- or even if you just had the same old breakfast you always have, but you enjoyed it more than usual -- then go ahead and tweet about it. It's a little burst of cheerfulness during the day, and who doesn't need that? For some more tips about how to get more out of Twitter, watch this video I made with the help of our TechWeb TV team.
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