So, for those of you who don’t use Twitter, I would describe it as “Facebook on speed”! It’s people writing 140 character posts about what they’re doing, what they’re thinking about, what they’ve written, what they’ve read, etc. It’s a social networking site like Facebook, but the major difference is that people “socialize” based on their interests, not based on being friends. It’s also completely public, so everyone can see your posts, even if they’re not on Twitter. Here’s a look at my Twitter profile to give the new-bies an idea of what it is. I also posted a video below that shows you more about how people use Twitter.

Rachel Levy Twitter profile

For me, my interest in Twitter went like this… I kept hearing about Twitter, and since I am interested in the area of social media and networking, I finally signed up about 4 months ago. Twitter has a function where it will scan your email address book and tell you who you know on Twitter. When I did this for Facebook, it came up with hundreds of “potential friends” for me. But, on Twitter, I wasn’t so popular… only four people! So, I thought, well, I guess people I know don’t use Twitter. So, I gave up.

Until, I went to the New Marketing Summit run by Crosstech Partners and Chris Brogan. The first day of the conference blew me away in terms of Twitter. Nearly everyone at the conference had a laptop or a blackberry out and was “tweeting” (a posting of 140 words or less). The were writing to each other across the room. They were commenting on the speakers. They were documenting what the speakers were saying for their Twitter followers not at the conference. And they were asking questions of the live panel! There were so many tweets about the New Marketing Summit that it rose to the #1 topic being talked about on Twitter that day!! I felt like I had walked into another universe.

I decided I needed to get on Twitter and see what all the hubub was about. My neighbor, and now friend, Pamela Rosenthal gave me a few names of people to follow that night. And then, because I was at the conference, there was a special code for the people at the conference so all of our Tweets would be in one place. I started following the people who had been active on Twitter that day writing about the conference and the speakers at the conference. Then, I showed up the next day with my computer. Wow, is all I have to say. The rolling of the tweets was going so fast, that I couldn’t even keep up with reading it. But, it was fun! I saw other people’s perspectives on the speakers before the speaker was even done! I found out about the people in the room by looking at their blogs and websites. And, I shared my opinions on the conference with other people.

That got me started with a bang. In the six weeks since the conference, I have tweeted 357 times, have 425 followers and am following 454 people. I’m officially addicted.  Here are a few questions that people are asking me about Twitter:

“How do I find people to follow?
I started with a few interesting people from the conference, and then I started following the people they are in conversation with (on Twitter, you can see who is talking to who). And, it goes from there. If you like what someone says and find their profile interesting, you follow them. Then, you can be more proactive about it, and search for various topics. If you’re interested in people talking about Boston, you can search for Boston, and then you can start following those people. If you’re interested in Social Media, there are a few people you MUST follow: Jeremiah Owyang, Chris Brogan, and Guy Kawasaki. There are also a bunch of companies on Twitter, so I’m following them to learn how they use Twitter: Starbucks, Home Depot, Jet Blue. And then, there are celebrities: Britney Spears, Benjamin Netanyahu and Shaq!

I just realized this blog is getting really long, and I still have much more to say, so I’m going to create a Part 2.  In it, I will answer these questions:

  • “How do I get followers?” (I just got 5 new followers in the time I was writing this blog!)
  • “What do you say on Twitter?”
  • “How is Twitter helping me in my job search?”
  • “What else do you learn on Twitter?”
  • “Twitter is so basic… are there ways to do anything more advanced?”

That’s it for now.  Did you learn something new?  If so, please leave me a comment below.

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