(Re)Discovering Twitter


I started Twittering after attending an online writing conference. Everyone there was giving out their twitter id for contact rather than email or website/blog! So I dusted out my old twitter account which I had forgotten I had and started following people. Suddenly, people were recognising me from the conference and I had conversations going on.

Great Writing Exercise

It wasn't until I got active on twitter that I realised what a great writing exercise twittering is! It can be the perfect case study for concise writing. Having just 140 characters to get your message across in an effective method is not an easy task. Yet, millions of people are doing it every day.

Productivity Booster

If you're looking for something, tweeting about it can have great results. As a writer, I find I can't work on one article/blog post etc at a time. When I'm writing, I have at least a couple documents open so that I can jump between them. Working out of MS Word made too much of a clutter from having too many windows open. So I tweeted,

'I wish there was a text editor that would open up docs in tabs! Working 5 inter related articles and it sucks to have so many windows open.'
In a short while, I had a lot of replies telling me about programs that had the tabs option in them. Most of them were for Mac but someone recommended 'IBM Lotus Symphony'. I looked it up and it was everything I needed. Working has been so much easier and faster since then!

Promotional Tool

Twitter is a great promotion tool. It also helps us discover the best of the web. When people tweet about blog posts or websites they found interesting or helpful, droves of users click on it driving traffic to the site. Similarly when people publish posts on their own blog, they tweet about that too (it's only fair) which drives traffic to their post. This results in a lot more feedback in the comments and more readers.

It has also been used to promote products and campaigns. Social Networking is effective. More so, twitter is effective. A big reason for Barack Obama's successful campaign was social networking. His team knew how to work the Social Media and for a long time (at least till it counted) he was the most followed person on Twitter.

Finding People In Your Geographical Location

I moved to UAE early last year. I had no family here and no friends. Through twitter, I started discovering people who live in Dubai or Sharjah and suddenly I know people! I'm making friends and finding out about events of my interest. Since my bio states 'Freelance writer in the making', people from the publishing industry have found their way to me and through them I discovered even more. Of course, it could just be because there are so few twitterers from UAE that we tend to find each other... but it's good to see social media alive in companies in this part of the world.

Giving Back What You Receive

For any social networking medium to work. It has to be a give and take relationship. You can't just keep expecting people to answer your call of help if you don't help them back.

  • Make it a point to engage in conversations with people
  • Answer questions that are asked
  • Re-tweet an article if you like it or simply if someone asks
  • Share interesting links often - at least twice more than you do your own
  • Tweet about blog posts of your readers
  • Make it a point to send direct messages to your followers. Stay away from automated welcome DM's though.
The only way for twitter to work effectively for you is if you give back what you receive.

How has Twitter shaped your online networking? And if you don't use twitter then why not?

P.S: Leave your twitter id's in the comments. I'd love to connect with you guys. Mine is @samarowais.
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