Tweet Tweet!

tweet_tdf7Supplies by Holly Designs from TDF7 during Sept,2009 font Giggles by Fontologie

Did you know that The Daily Digi is now on twitter? You can follow us at https://twitter.com/dailydigi

Twitter is a fun and busy place where users exchange information and ideas in short little snippets of 140 characters or less. I (Katie) have to admit that I resisted the whole twitter thing for a long time. I just didn’t “get it” and I saw it as another time-sucking internet wasteland (which it can be). I finally just decided to jump in and give it a try and now twitter is a wonderful part of my inspiration toolbox and I’ve come to enjoy it as a community member as well.

Whether you are an avid tweeter yourself, or if Twitter seems strange and overwhelming, I would love to share some ways that it can be a great resource for you as a digiscrapper and/or memory keeper. I thought it would be most helpful to categorize the ideas into 3 sections based on if you are new to twitter, a somewhat active twitter member, or an avid tweet-manaic like me.

New to twitter and not too sure about the whole thing:

  • Start small and don’t feel like you have to “get it” right away. I would suggest you open your own twitter account but you don’t have to do that if you are not quite comfortable with the idea yet. If you do sign up for a twitter account, all you need is your email and a user name. It’s free and you don’t even have to do any tweeting if you don’t want to or you can protect your tweets so no one can see them unless you invite them to. You will probably change your mind about this as time goes on, but this is a good starting point.
  • Follow at least a few people that are interested in the same things you are. In this case, I would suggest that you follow The Daily Digi because you obviously like getting good information and links pertaining to digital scrapbooking and memory keeping in general. If you want to branch out from there, you will most likely enjoy the people that we here at The Daily Digi follow. You can find them here.
  • If you don’t want to open a twitter account you can simply bookmark these twitter accounts to check on, or even add each one to your RSS reader because each twitter account has a RSS feed. You don’t have to be a registered twitter member to read tweets, but you will probably enjoy it more if you are.
  • What now? Just watch the people you are following and see what kinds of things they tweet about. Click on the links they post about because you will find some really fun ideas and great information. We tweet about sales from our current and past sponsors as well as pointing out useful articles and tips for digiscrapping.
  • If you want to find more people to follow, try checking out your favorite users follow lists for ideas.
  • Are you interested in tweeting back? Then go on to the next section. If not, then you will be plenty happy just using these tips to find fun things on twitter.

I’m on twitter now and I’m starting to see why it might be fun to start participating:

  • If you haven’t opened a twitter account, now is the time to take the plunge. Just sign up and pick a picture for your avatar and select one of their backgrounds.
  • If you like a tweet you find you can Re-Tweet it. This means you add the letters RT and then copy the link and put it in your own twitter stream. You will want to keep as much of the original tweet intact as possible and also credit the original tweeter. This is why it is smart to keep tweets under the 140 character limit so they can be easily re-tweeted. Here’s an example of a tweet by The Daily Digi that I re-tweeted in my own account.

This is what The Daily Digi tweeted: Scrapping 9/11 and other historical events –I Remember – http://shar.es/1XQjs #digiscrap #scrapbooking

This is what I did to retweet this information. RT @dailydigi: Scrapping 9/11 and other historical events –I Remember – http://shar.es/1XQjs #digiscrap #scrapbooking

The RT stands for ReTweet. The @ symbol before the twitter name of daily digi means I’m showing where the tweet came from and it also lets The Daily Digi know I’m passing this on.

  • Did you just freak out a little when you saw the strange looking URL? I did too at first! Let me explain a few important things. All URLS are usually shortened on twitter so you don’t use up all your 140 characters on the link. How do you do this? Use a URL shortner like http://bit.ly/ or a separate tweeting program. I will talk more about those in the next section.
  • What about all those # signs? Those are called hashtags and they are a way to let other readers find your tweets based on subject matter. If you search twitter for “digiscrap” then you will find any tweet with the word digiscrap typed in it or hashtagged with #digiscrap. It’s a simple way to keep things more organized. The most useful hashtags for me are the following: #digiscrap, #scrapbook, #scrapbooking, and there are some good hashtags for photographers here. Some photographers also use #togs for short. Don’t get carried away with hashtags though as they can be overdone. Don’t ever use them for spamming which means putting them in the tweet when they don’t belong there like putting #michaeljackson in a post about gardening just to get more viewers.
  • If you want to enjoy twitter as a community, you will need to respect general twitter etiquette. There is a really good article on twitiquette on Global Geek News. Just like anyplace on the internet, it is important to remember that what you type is public, even if you delete it. Use common sense and don’t tweet about things like how much you hate your job because chances are your boss will find out.

I’m right at home with all my Tweeple and I’ve started talking to my family in sentences no longer than 140 characters:

  • It is fun to make friends on twitter. If someone posts helpful links then send them an @ reply saying something like “Thanks for the scrapbook tip @ktscrapbooklady!” Then your message will show up in their twitter stream and they might even message you back a “you’re welcome @dailydigi!” You can always check your @replies in the sidebar of your twitter page. You will want to do a lot of retweeting to establish good relationships and it is also nice to suggest the people you like to follow as recommendations once in a while. Many users will do this on Friday as part of the #followfriday trend.
  • If you are a serious Twitter user you will probably want to use some 3rd party software to help you keep it all straight. I absolutely love TweetDeck which is a free program that helps you stay organized on Twitter and you can even see facebook updates on it as well. Some other great Twitter tools include Social Oomph (where you can schedule tweets ahead of time – I use the free version) and you can also link other services like a typepad blog or your delicious bookmarks to automatically post to twitter. It is literally impossible these days to keep up with all the innovative tools for using twitter. If you are a power tweeter than you should check out mashable’s Twitter Toolbox and Twitter Toolbox 2 posts. If you have an iphone or use a mobile device with applications, you might want to download a twitter app for it so you can tweet on the go.

A final thought to consider:

Twitter can be addicting, especially if you are on it throughout the day or have access on a mobile device or phone. Personally, I think it’s a bit sad when people spend the whole time they are doing something tweeting about it. One afternoon I saw a lady tweet about each step her kids took on the playground and I really wanted to message her and say, put down your phone and go play with your kids instead of tweeting about them! If you tend to get obsessive about technology (I’m guilty of this at times) keep in mind that twitter is something that should be regulated, just like any activity. Don’t let it rule your life.

katie

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