I’ve been asked how I use Twitter, what I try to avoid, what I try to emphasize, and just some basic guidelines for using it. Frankly, I just ride the wave and tweet my personality. I find it makes it easy, non intrusive into my work day, and I never regret something I tweeted because it’s “me”.
While these guidelines are no comprehensive, they do seem to cover the basics of how I operate. Here are some basic guidelines I follow, in no particular order, when using Twitter:
- Tweet regularly, and on topic, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind on whatever. Stick to a core set of topics. For me its .NET development and (of course) Silverlight. I focus most of most tweets around these topics though I also use twitter for discussing various random thoughts. It gives a bit of a window into the person you are following outside of the .NET world. I will tweet about football, baseball, my family, or some random thing that happened to me during the day.
- Don’t offend. If you want people to listen to you when you talk to them, it’s important not to offend them. Off color humor, targets at specific people, and heavy political views are sure ways to polarize your following.
- Speak your mind, respectfully. I respect and will follow people who speak their minds. I enjoy a fresh perspective that is challenging and respectful in tone. Think about it, would you listen to someone who calls you an idiot for what you do or to the person who likes what you are doing but thinks you might want to consider some variations on how you do it. If you want to make an impact, know your audience.
- Pay attention to others. If you want people to listen to you, show them you are listening to them first. Engage, interact, reply … and not just to people you know .. but to those you do not know personally. Twitter is a global community. Where else can you talk to people of many cultures and many experiences?
- Ride the wave. These are guidelines that I follow. They may not be right for you. It’s important to comfortable with what you write because it’s there for the whole world to read, literally.
These are by no means comprehensive … honestly, I just go with it :-)
Do what feels right for you, that’s what I do!