Getting started with Twitter

Image of Shakespeare deciding at the computer to blog or not to blogTo blog or not to blog… 

After much deliberation I have decided to use this blog to document my learning technologies journey and share both my learning and the challenges I face.

After attending the Learning Technologies Conference in January this year I decided that 2011 was the time for me to stop thinking about SoMe technologies and to start using them!  Following an inspiring session with  Craig Taylor I took advantage of the free desk calendar he gave out and committed myself to trying out at least one SoMe technology per month. 

January 2011 – Craig’s tip – get started with Twitter
Whilst I already had a Twitter account, TuppyMagic I hadn’t really used it other than to learn how to tweet and send a direct message with a couple of colleagues Sue Fredson (@azzadays) and Jan Cowell (@geordiecow).  I am not sure any of us would have selected the code names had we realised at the time how much potenial Twitter would offer us to network with other professionals in our field and be part of a community committed to sharing good advice and resources.

In the same month I received an email from recommending a free online Twitter course. Within minutes I realised where I was going wrong – I needed to build up my followers to make Twitter work!  Craig gave some really good advice – follow the people I follow and some will follow you back.  I am now following over 200 people and have just over 80 followers. 

My main learning points: View user profiles to choose people that you want to follow.  Spend time building up your followers; in many cases (unless they are a celeb!) they will follow you back.  If anyone mentions you in a tweet this is listed in the @mentions tab.  If you want to send a private (direct message) to a someone you follow they need to be following you. 

My main challenges: I don’t work in an office everyday so am not always sat at a PC when working.  I am living in rented accomodation temporarily so don’t have a broadband line or wifi access at home and at the time of taking the Twitter plunge didn’t have a smart phone.  My access was restricted to a 3G connection via a shared laptop that my partner needed for study.  This resulted in irregular and inflexible access to Twitter which was more than frustrating. 

Overcoming my barriers: In February 2011 I placed an order for an iphone.  Since then I haven’t looked back! With my iphone in hand access to Twitter and being able to Tweet/Retweet is at my fingertips!! 

The next challenge…getting to grips with the iphone!!!!!!  This is where February 2011, Craig’s recommendation, You Tube comes in handy – I’ll share that journey in my next blog now that I have finally taken the plunge!


4 thoughts on “Getting started with Twitter

  1. Hi there
    I really liked your blog, well done for getting started!
    I’ve been tweeting since July of 2010, but not having attended a session like Craig’s or an Alison module, only found out that one’s followers generally and exponentially increase if you actively (whilst selectively) follow others. So that’s what I recently started doing and it seems to be working.
    Also, like you, my iPhone delivered last November has made tweeting so much easier!
    I have found however, that if someone maniacally tweets one after the other about not very much, then I may hit the unfollow button, if just to turn off the ‘white noise’.
    I really find Twitter useful for nano moments of learning and breaking open my awareness of all sorts L&D.
    I started blogging recently too and have set myself the task of publishing once a week, to keep my brand alive (I’m currently unemployed and finding it tough trying to get work-tweeting and blogging goes some way to stopping me feel as though I’m disappearing) so blog no 3 should be around this week soon.
    Mandy Randall-Gavin

  2. Hi Mandy

    Many thanks for your feedback! Blogging itself is a learning experience for me! I’ve just looked at my statistics and can see that there have been over 30 views BUT with the exception of your comment which I got via email initially I have no idea who else has visited the site so its back to the wordpress site to learn a little more before I attempt another post! I look forward to reading yours so will look you up on Twitter!

  3. Hi Lisa
    Great start to your blog-and I like the wordpress look and feel. Like you I’m just getting into the tweeting/blogging after attending WOLCE last September. I haven’t taken the plunge into the blogosphere yet but I look forward to following your journey.

    Good luck


    • Hi D. Thanks for your comments. I have to admit that I pondered about blogging for some time before I took the plunge. I kind of stumbled when I thought about whether or not I had anything to say that people might be interested in! In the end I decided to stop thinking about it and just started writing using the blog to reflect my learning experience thinking that there were probably other people just like me that might find some of it helpful! Now that I have taken the plunge I am glad! In under a week there have been just under 80 views which I don’t think is bad considering one of my stumbling blocks was “what have I got to share???”. Getting a couple of comments on top of that has been the icing on the cake and I am looking forward to the next opportunity to get an hour at the laptop on 3G to attempt my next story!! The iPhone is good but typing a full blog on it might be too much…it’s taking me an age to type this comment plus with the size of the screen and buttons I’ve already managed to trash your comment by accident and had to undo it!!! Let me know if you do take the plunge and I promise you a view!!!

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