Tag Archives: Twitter

3 Ways I Check Engagement on Twitter

1. Who are you talking to?

When someone follows me I always go to their page, check if they have a bio and photo and then start to look through some of their recent tweets. I want to make sure they are someone who is interesting and add value, but sometimes even more important than that I want to know if they are conversationalists. Do they have any @ replies? Do they RT others? Are they just automatically feeding links from their Facebook or blog? I like to interact and follow real people.

2. Who is talking to them or about them?

The next step is getting on search.twitter.com and looking for @ replies to this person. Are people interested in what this person has to say? I want to know if people are answering or paying attention. A one sided conversation isn’t helpful to me (aka answering every question a celebrity asks). I don’t count @ replies but I definitely check out the stream and notice if you haven’t had a mention in two weeks.

3. What Twitter lists are you on?

I really like the Twitter list function, but maybe not for the same reasons as others. Often people view individual lists and compare the people who are listed together, or they expect people to follow lists they build as a recommended group to watch. Typically I’m more interested in visiting a page and looking at all the lists someone has been placed on. It helps create a profile of that user. It’s also helpful because it tells the story of outside perception versus self-perception that particular person might have. Their bio might tell you what they think they stand for but when you read through the 100+ lists they’ve been placed on you can start to see how others perceive them. Someone who is on lots of lists is usually someone who is engaged and values community.

How do you check engagement on Twitter? Is this important to you when building your network?

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Networking, So Classic.

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I struggle at times to explain to my parents and some [ahem] older friends the world of social networking. Yes, there are such things as tweet-ups and yes, I do meet with people in person that I first met online. If you an avid user of these online tools this may seem very normal. If you are my father who doesn’t even have an email account, it’s not only foreign but also perhaps a bit frightening. There is a certain amount of distrust for him with the internet. Stories of children being abducted by people they met in chat rooms comes to mind. I realize that not everyone sees these online networks the same way I do.

It has been my experience that social networking is really not that different from traditional networking. It’s an old game but the tools and platform are just evolving. We meet people in the places we hang out, work, spend time, etc. So instead of hanging out at a local coffee shop, I’m spending my time on Twitter. There is etiquette to interacting with people. The rules of networking are still there. You meet people and build trust gradually.

So many of the people that I first meet online I’ve later met in person. I never feel as though I’m meeting a “stranger” for coffee or lunch. These are people that exist in my network already. Perhaps my friend has met them before or I’ve seen them at an event. I don’t want you to think that I don’t value meeting people in “real life.” In fact, I find it’s very important and part of what makes social media a great tool to assist in meeting new contacts in person.

It’s not just people like my parents who get confused on how social networking sites work. Students also get a mixed message. They are told they should be participating in social media because there are job offers, chances to meet professionals and other opportunities. This is true, however no one seems to follow up with the second part of that message. The rewards of social media are not for just being a member or participant of x, y, z site. You must be engaged and understand how the system works. The classic staples of networking still apply online. Focusing on relationships over time is so important.

What are your thoughts? Do you view more traditional networking the same way you view social networking sites? Is this typically a generational phenomenon in your opinion?

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Filed under Networking

Seeking a Student: Social Media 101

cc license, UBC Library Graphics

I need your help to find a student in Columbus.

This quarter I’m taking a psychology course (part of my Deaf studies minor). Everyone in the class is designing a project using operant conditioning to teach something new. For my project I would like to teach someone how to use a social networking site such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

I realize that many of these sites require more training than just the basic “how to” steps of creating and using an account. For my project specifically I need to work on the basics, but I would be happy to fill in the missing steps as well so both parties can benefit. The complexities of online etiquette and relationship building would come second.

My ideal candidate is…

  1. Completely unfamiliar with the chosen site. They have never been on it before or created an account previously. This will be something completely foreign to them.
  2. It should not be a digital native. I don’t want to say I want someone “old” for this experiment, but I also don’t want a younger person overly familiar with computers.
  3. I need this to be someone in Columbus who is willing to meet up with me for a couple hours during the next 5-6 weeks. I can be flexible in choosing a meeting location.
  4. It would be great if I found someone who really wants to learn. I chose this project because of its real life application. I know there is a demand for this knowledge and I want to help someone learn who in return is helping me.

Do you know someone who fits these qualifications? Please let me know so I can set something up with them and feel free to pass this information along to a friend. Thanks!

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Filed under College Life, Columbus

Twitter is the New Telegraph

In my persuasion class this quarter we read a novel by Neil Postman called Amusing Ourselves to Death. It examines how television has shaped society and affected our outlook. The book was written in 1985. I won’t lie, when I realized this I was automatically uninterested in Postman’s message. I was annoyed that my class wasn’t focusing on up and coming trends or reading novels that explored the digital age of communication. Television felt like a topic of past.

It took me awhile to accept the fact I would be reading the book and writing a final report whether I wanted to or not. When I finally opened my mind to the ideas of Postman I was quite surprised. I was able to relate the book to my life and found some comparisons I had definitely not expected. Let me share one of my favorite passages from the book:

The telegraph is suited only to the flashing of messages, each to be quickly replaced by a more up-to-date message. Facts push other facts into and then out of consciousness at speeds that neither permit nor require evaluation.
The telegraph introduced a kind of public conversation whose form had starting characteristics: Its language was the language of headlines–sensational, fragmented, impersonal. News took the form of slogans, to be noted with excitement, to be forgotten with dispatch. Its language was also entirely discontinuous. One message had no connection to that which preceded or followed it. Each “headline” stood alone as its own context.

Wow…this was supposed to be a description of the telegraph? I could have sworn this was the bio written for everyone’s favorite micoblogging site, Twitter. My silly, little, undergrad mind was amazed. It feels like the modes of communication and technology change every day, but perhaps certain ideas change less than I think.

I’m in the middle of reading Chris Brogan’s book Trust Agents, and was able to pull some of his thoughts into my report. Two novels with connecting ideas and 25 years between them, I love that. I like making those connections, realizing the value of my education in my classes and seeing how I can apply it.

If you haven’t read Amusing Oursevles to Death, I recommend it. If you have read it, what did you think?

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What’s in a Name?

openinggntdoorsOn twitter I am @openinggtndoors – (It stands for Opening Giant Doors FYI). I have mixed feelings on my handle choice. Many would advise when signing up for Twitter, to pick your name or something close to it (if yours is taken). When I created my account I didn’t think twice about it. Basically, I have been ‘openinggntdoors’ for as long as I’ve been online. It was my first email account when we got the internet at my house. It was also my first instant messenger (AIM) username and I still use it today. It’s part of my online personality.

I’ve been told a few times that I should reconsider using my name instead. I do understand the power of my name in building my personal brand but I also wonder if it’s the best choice for me.

Some reasons I like being @openinggntdoors:

  • My name is not that easy to spell and it’s long. If you have a short easy to spell first and last name then yes, it would be smart to turn that into your handle. I don’t know if it would be an advantage to switch it. I would only be saving two characters by switching.
  • If someone really wants to find me my Twitter handle shouldn’t matter. I have my name on my profile with a bio and website link. You can find my profile by Google or via Twitter search. Plus, there are no other Hannah DeMiltas around to compete with.
  • Can’t I make any name famous one day? If followers are invested in who I am and the content I produce my choice of Twitter handle should be unimportant. There are definitely people who I would consider successful who don’t use their real name.
  • It’s unique to me. I want to stand out and have a different style. I recently met Andrea (@aslesinski) for the first time in person. When I introduced myself she said “Oh my God, opening doors! I feel like I know you!” I like being opening doors and getting that type of reaction.

I don’t like being @openinggntdoors because it is too long and makes it harder for people to re-tweet me. I also think it appears unprofessional to some people. I mean, I did come up with it in middle school. A lot of people just don’t understand it or wonder what it means.

What is your opinion on this topic, do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment. If you make a good enough argument and maybe I’ll be @hannahdemilta by the end of the week.

UPDATE: Well that was short lived. I lasted about 1.5 hrs. Give me a follow @HannahDeMilta

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Filed under Personal Brand