I’ve been using Twitter for about 2 years now. I say “using”, but it turns out……probably abusing it. I decided to write this blog after some conversations I had with Facebook friends about them “not getting twitter” at all. I FINALLY got it this past week, and so I want to explain my thoughts on it, and then point everyone to some interesting blogs that i’ve found on twittering.
I’m completely convinced that MOST people are confused by Twitter and don’t see the real value of it in their lives. I was one of those people until last week.
I mainly used twitter to broadcast my whereabouts, or “what I was doing”–like a “status update” on facebook or myspace. From a singer-songwriter’s point of view the ability that Twitter gave me to “tweet” my status made alot of sense. I could quickly let “fans” and friends know where I was heading and where I was playing simply with a text to Twitter. While this was fine…..after reading a good bit about “twitter etiquette”–I realize I was probably being a little selfish.
After my re-education, I found in the past few days that i’m using Twitter in the following ways:
1) I monitor what the people are saying, and sometimes link through to links
they put in their “tweets”. Essentially, it is a human search engine for what my friends think I need to see. I’ve found some interesting articles.
2) If a “tweet” is humorous, or thought provoking I might click through to the person’s profile and try to learn more about them, thus, they have successfully drawn me into their world, and if they are pushing a blog, or selling something, then they have the potential to monetise my visit.
3) One of my friends on Twitter was talking about booking a trip to Europe, and another friend had just turned me onto a great travel website called www.dealbase.com, and i was able to use the “reply” facility to “retweet” the link to the person trying to book their holiday. I found a hotel in Paris for 1 pound a night, and thought they might find a good deal as well. She replied with a “thanks”, and I felt good that I was able to help this almost total stranger find a good deal. Quickly, and efficiently.
4) When I tour again I will “tweet” the cities i’m playing a few days in advance in the hopes that my “followers” might “retweet” to their followers. For example, I booked the 50 States in 50 Days tour using my regular email list, my myspace friends, and Facebook. The tour would not have happened had those social networks not been available. I can see that Twitter is going to have a big role in booking the 2009 50 States in 50 Days tour that i’m booking now. I will “tweet” the states that I need a house concert in, and hope that my “followers” will “re-tweet” to their friends. This will help me book the tour. (read this blog to learn more about this year’s 50 States tour, and how you can help)
Henry Boxer is an outside art curator from London, and a very good friend. He noticed my “status update” on Facebook about being into Twitter. He sent me an email saying:
”I spend too much time as it is on Facebook, Kevin!!!!
Here is my reply:
On Mar 10, 2009, at 2:47 PM, Kevin Montgomery wrote: ” I know what you mean, but you have to think of it as a place you can go to advertise what you do, or use it as a search engine.
here are a few things you could do to promote your outside art exhibitions:1) Get a twitter acount2) when you sign up it will go through your email account to find your friends already on there…….do that.3) Go to http://www.twellow.com and set up an account there. Then sign in and do a search on artists, or outside artists, or art editor, Editors of Art Magazines, or newspapers……….follow them………some will follow back. And, you will start getting people following you because of your profile there. This can open up a line of communication that might turn into real friendship.4) Go to http://www.tweetdeck.com and download the software and it will easily organize all your “tweets” and friends to make it more manageable.In action,……..next time you have an exhibition………you can “tweet” it…….and then your friends may “retweet” it.I have over 300 followers on twitter now, but my reach is potentially around 500,000 people (UPDATE 3/12-now 610 followers and secondary reach of 2,825,413 people). I used www.twininfluence.com earlier to ascertain that. If your 300 followers “retweated” your tweet about your art show, then it goes out to potentially 500,000 people………………I’m finding that the twitosphere is about community, and sharing information as well. I’m using it more and more.For me………..I can use it to promote my blog…..or a show, or a cd………….or help other people promote theirs? If you tweeted something about your art show…..I could “retweet” it and say……..”went to art show… planned to spend 30 minutes, but was there for 2 hours with..gotta see it (the link to your artshow)”There you have it.Kevin”So, those are my thoughts at the moment. I’m NOT an expert by any means. I welcome any comments that you might have on how to “Twitter” effectively, or just get started!****If you like this blog, then please and, “follow me” at my Twitter home
Here are some blogs that I found really helpful when I was trying to decipher the “do’s and dont’s” of twittering:UPDATE-just found this incredible video about successfully following 15,000 people. Incredible tips!UPDATE-3/12/2009-@alexgamela retweeted this article from the Los Angeles Times about the Twitter phenomenon. Amazing article, and a perfect example of how twitter works. He retweeted it after someone else had put it into his twitter stream……then he put it before me. I then retweeted it to all my friends giving him credit. There are a couple of paragraphs in this article that capture the essence of what i think Twitter is about. Check it out.UPDATE-4/2/09- I noticed that many of my friends signed up for twitter after i sent this out, but they FORGOT to “follow” me!!!!! There is a learning curve to twitter. If you did forget and want to follow me……..then sign in and then go to http://www.twitter.com/kevinmontgomeryand start following me.