Like many I suppose, I gave Twitter a few tries before I finally started to understand what it was about. Well, just a little understanding anyway. What then looked so simple superficially, has in fact turned out to be an extremely new and complex form of communication. While other forms of social networking are basically controlled by the user with regard to access and permissions, Twitter has thrown away these protections, or if you wish, restrictions. You can follow whoever you like. And anyone can follow you.
In recent months, my following has increased at a such a rate, I have had problems learning how to manage this. Unashamedly, I started using Twitter to promote my books and CDs, but learned very early on that this was best achieved by interaction and not blatant advertising, increased my work load. Two months ago, I knew I had to find an effective system, or I would soon be sitting in front of Twitter 24/7.
So here are the confessions of a Twitter user. Or more precisely, my management process.
Firstly, I set aside two sessions per day of a maximum of one hour and complete the following tasks.
- Write ten new tweets for the day. My OWN words, and NOT a list of copied quotes.
- Schedule these tweets for the coming 24 hour period.
- Read my @mention tweets and reply or RT. Read my DMs and answer if necessary.
- Scan my home feed looking for interesting news or people or worth RTs.
- Scan my lists for interesting news from people I follow there.
- Importantly, try to interact with any messages I receive during these two sessions.
- On Fridays, I add suggested users from #FF messages.
Outside these two sessions, I tweet interesting information I might come across on the web. Such as news items of interest.
With this new discipline, I have now managed to recover the time I need to write, blog and live a life! So, I feel better now. I have confessed! If you happen to follow me on Twitter, you now know my secrets.
As an aside, it will be interesting to watch Twitter develop in the future. The ever increasing number of supplementary programs, applications and services for Twitter increase daily as does the level of automation that is available. I suppose the question will be how this automation will be used and accepted by the Twitter community.