The careful re-tweeter, some tips for Twitter

retweetThere is a stigma in the social world where one regurgitates information. These are the people who re-tweet things carelessly and often not even reading the content of the Tweet. This specifically addresses Tweets with URL’s. Too often I see a great Tweet, open the URL and the content has nothing to do with the Tweet text. This is a form of phishing or spamming to get a click-through view. Here are some basic tips I try to follow:

  • Stick to your Twitter ID persona. If your account is for sports as an example then only re-tweet sports information. Forwarding tweets for other topics may lose you some followers. My own ID is somewhat general but I “usually” stick to technology related material and throw in a bit of my personality now and then.
  • Read the content! If there is a URL in the Tweet take some time to read the entire article before you re-tweet. Many people use “shock text” in tweets or article titles only to find out the actual content may be the opposite position or something entirely different that the title.
  • Be social – don’t just re-tweet, engage. If there is an article then even post a comment on the article. Don’t just re-tweet, reply to the tweet with an observation or a simply “thanks for sharing” if you found it useful.
  • Kids – be careful who you follow and what you say online. You never know what future employers or schools may dig that information up down the line.
  • Follow your company guidelines! Be on the safe side if you are employed, state in your profile Tweets are my own and be careful about re-tweeting content that puts your company in a bad light. Re-tweeting and tweeting yourself are the same thing.
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My Top 5 Twitter tips

Here are my top five Twitter tips for the professional and casual Twitterer:

  1. Hash tags
    Use at least one or two hash tags. Many sources on the net will say the most powerful aspect of Twitter is the hash tag and search. I have also read that readership starts to fall after two hash tags, so you can use three but I would not recommend going to four or more hash tags.
  2. Consistency
    Whether you do it professionally or just for fun, be somewhat consistent with what you Tweet. If you need to have multiple Twitter Id’s then so be it. Be consistent with each account and you will attract like minded followers.
  3. Block Spammers
    While having a lot of followers is good, make sure they are real followers. Many companies check to see who you follow and who follow you. If you have a lot of “let’s meet at a hotel” type of followers it does reflect on you. So I don’t have a ton of followers but I can say I block as many spam accounts as I can recognize.
  4. Be Social
    Don’t just push information out to others, start a dialog, get involved, retweet things you really like and if you truly like it then favorite it. This will get you on Twitter lists – another way to get recognized in forums.
  5. Publicly thank!
    Everyone likes a mention, make sure you thank people who re-tweet you or mention you. It’s part of being social in this online forum. If you get a new follower then you should seriously consider following them and thank them publicly!

Do you have a favorite tip of your own that you want to share?

    Creating wiki articles and some great tips

    Amanda Bauman posted a nice Wiki Help article on the Composite Application Wiki.  The post shows you how to format the text for your articles including many other tips like moving a document from Microsoft Word to the wiki or including an SWF file in your article.  This formatting is good for all of the wikis based on the XPages wiki template, you can check the LotusWikis.com for the full list of wikis.