This is a blatant
homage to Guy Kawasaki’s FAQ on how he uses Twitter, only this way, I’ll explain how I use Twitter, including answering some questions I tend to get more often than others. These answers might change as time goes on. As they do (and depending how lazy I am at fixing it) I’ll just try to update this post. ripoff
- Question: How do you follow so many people?
- Answer: I don’t see every tweet you make. I have several searches on terms that interest me at given times. For instance, when I’m visiting a place, I search on variations of the city and region name, to get to “know” some of the folks in my area, and to be alerted to local news. I have searches running on other marketing and emerging media topics. I also have limited groups built into my Seesmic Desktop client. I do read every @ reply and mention of my name, as well as all my direct messages.
- Question: I sent you a request to retweet something and you didn’t (or you did). What motivates you to retweet something?
- Answer: I receive about 45-60 retweet requests a day (as of July 6th, 2009) in direct message. They range from lame requests for blog traffic to boring blogs that can’t get visibility on their own, to really important requests that would benefit charities and causes. Sometimes, they’re just pointers to decent posts that might have slipped past me in the normal stream, but that the person believes my audience will like. I retweet based on a few things: 1.) is your only interaction with me to ask me to retweet things? (if yes, then I’m probably not going to do it). 2.) have you asked me frequently in the past while? (you’re burning me out). 3.) is it really something my community wants to know about? 4.) do I like what you’ve done? If I can answer no to 1 and 2, and yes to 3 and 4, you’re golden. Sometimes, I can’t just because I’m busy.
- Question: I sent you an @reply or a direct message and you didn’t respond.
- Answer: I’m sorry. I try to reply to as many messages as I can. On any given day, I average well over 75% @replies in my stream. Sometimes, I get pulled away from the computer. Other times, I just can’t dig back in and respond. I see every one, and I do try to respond to as many as I can. You matter, and it sucks when I can’t reply directly. Stick with me. I try my best.
- Question: I saw another chrisbrogan Twitter account. Is that you?
- Answer: There are several fake chrisbrogan Twitter accounts run by people who have a comic angle on something related to me. Around my birthday, someone launched @birthdaybrogan. There has also been @britchrisbrogan, @antichrisbrogan, and several other variations. None of them are me. I manage @chrisbrogan. With well over 80,000 followers (in July 2009), I think that’s enough to manage. Don’t you?
How I Use Twitter
- Question: You’ve called Twitter the next telephone and the next dialtone. What’s that about?
- Answer: I have two sources for this. Marcel Lebrun, CEO of Radian6, has this thing about the social phone. He likes to say, “The social phone is ringing. Are you answering?” My interpretation of this is that Twitter (and a few other services) have become as important as dialtone to business and communication in general. My other inspiration is Jeff Pulver, godfather of the VoIP generation, and someone who knew lots about presence and dialtone before anyone else thought to apply it to the computer world. Simply: I think Twitter is a service as useful as the telephone was to the last 100 years.
- Question: You talk to a lot of people on Twitter with @replies. Why not use direct messages?
- Answer: I like tweeting out in the open unless the conversation is private for two reasons. One, I like to share ideas with many, in case someone else can chime in and add something of value. MOST times, people know more than me. I prefer sharing @replies so that others might learn and pitch in.
- Question: You’re on Twitter a lot. Don’t you have a job?
- Answer: I sure do. I am on and off Twitter throughout the day at many strange hours. I’ve actually cut down tweeting a bit, believe it or not ( the stats are here), but I use it a lot for different reasons: checking in with people, asking questions, learning, and driving awareness to things that matter to me. I love Twitter for those reasons. I love asking people things.
- Question: I want as many followers as you. How do I get them?
- Answer: Heck, if it’s just numbers you’re into, there are tons of software out there now that robot-loads your account. I do mine the old-fashioned way. I follow back people who follow me. I don’t have robot answers, but the human answer is: be helpful, share, communicate, use @replies a lot. That’s it. That’s how I did it.
- Question: You get all these responses for everything you tweet and I don’t. It’s not fair.
- Answer: I’m just like you. We all start somewhere. Believe me, it’s a meritocracy. There’s no “man” holding you down. Now, you’re never going to surpass the big names and the robot mongers, so don’t try. But really, get to know some folks, talk, make some value, and you’ll get there. I don’t pay attention to all the crazy stuff. I don’t care who ranks higher in whatever. It’s not why I’m there. Make it YOUR Twitter.
Tools of the Trade
- Question: Which apps are you using these days?
- Answer: I’m using Seesmic Desktop on my laptop, and Tweetie on my iPhone. I use SocialToo.com for auto-following people back. I use Twitter Search all the time. I like tools like Wordle to analyze what people are talking about in a visual way.
- Question: Inside Twitter, do you use Search, and Hashtags, and @replies?
- Answer: I sure do. All the time. I use Search more than I use straightforward Twitter. I love following hashtags during events. A great web-based app to do that is TweetGrid. I think there are others. I know of that one.
What Else Do You Want to Know?
This is your question and answer page. What do you want to know that I haven’t covered? Again, this is about how I tweet, not how YOU should tweet. That’s another matter.
Photo credit mandj98