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How I Use Twitter

While the world focuses on how internal Twitter documents were accessed, I thought it might be interesting to offer up how I use Twitter.

For me, Twitter’s biggest strength is having access to an enthusiastic team of content curators. Throughout the day, I’m looking for interesting stories and news services from the 250 or so people that I follow.

I tried to keep my followers to a manageable number. I know there are people who believe in following lots of people (including people such as Guy Kawasaki and Robert Scoble, who follow thousands of people) but 200 to 300 seems like a reasonable number without feeling like things are overwhelming.

For most part, Twitter has replaced Google Reader as the way I read blogs, and Google News for getting news. If work is busy or I’m looking at Twitter on the iPhone, I’ll “favorite” a lot of items so they can be read later.

While it’s good to receive, it’s also good to give. This means I’m looking to share news, interesting facts and services – probably four or five updates/day. A good sign of success is the number of ReTweets.

In terms of how many updates, it depends on the day. If I’m working from home, it can range from five to 10/day. If I’m out of the office, there can be days with no updates. Fortunately, I don’t suffer from Twitter withdrawal.

I also tend to do updates in the morning – something that may be fueled by caffeine consumption. As the days progresses, I check in on Twitter from time to time to see if anything interesting in happening.

So, how/when do you use Twitter?

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  • @Anita_Lobo

    I use twitter to connect with 'content curators' [love that term] across
    - a diverse set of topics: social media, sport, art & literature, etc
    - across geographies, time zones, languages etc
    - esp like the bite sized format so I can read now/ later or move to the next item

    I also make it a point to stop following people who use twitter like a giant megaphone i.e. broadcast only and don't engage/ respond, even if they are twitterati!

    If you're going after numbers, create the capacity to deal with them.

    Really appreciate the few who reach out, engage and have the courtesy to thank their followers and get to know them.

    Good to see your post – relevant, clear and brief!

    Cheers

    Anita Lobo

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Chris_Schmitt Chris_Schmitt

    I use Twitter much as you describe: as an access to "content curators" (a great term). Twitter is great at getting interesting tidbits of information that you would never have seen via a news reader. Learning about the interesting things that other people are doing is a great motivator.

    I tweet or re-tweet any items that I think will be of interest to my followers. I follow anyone that has similar interests to myself and I'll unfollow anyone that consistently tweets about things that are trivial or depressing.

    Sometimes there's too much information to read and lately I've been using Favorites to tag them for review later. I shut down Twitter whenever I need to focus on my work otherwise it's too distracting.

    Twitter is becoming a great way to get in contact with like-minded people in my locality. I've met some new and interesting people through Twitter many of which have become good friends.

    I've also been using Twitter to plan and manage meet-ups. It's a great way to let your followers know about events and it tends to attract interest from others as well.

  • http://MikeMandelHypnosis.com Chris

    I still actually *prefer* Google Reader for most blog following. I think Twitter is good when you are doing some digging into a very specific area and need to find very recent results, with people's personal spins on them. That's what I find Twitter good for.