Two Neweeters: Hillary & Me

 a twitterpated newetter

photo © 2009 petesimon, Flickr CC BY 2.0

Hillary Clinton and I joined the twitosphere within a day of each other.  Thus, as new tweeters; we are neweeters.  Neweeters is a new term I found on Webopedia, some random site for deciphering Twitter slang.  I’m learning that Twitter, like Facebook, has its own language.

Username.  That’s a term I understand, but how do you choose one?  Do you choose your birth name, married name, nickname, pet name, CB handle (that dates me!), avatar name, pen name, one from a name generator or blog name?

Bio.  Again, understandable but what do I write?  Why do I get 160 characters instead of the allotted 140 for tweets?  Hillary used thirteen descriptors in her bio.  I’ve already edited mine many times and now have nine.  Is that enough?

(In case you are wondering, there’s no need to speculate about my candidacy for an elected office.  I can only imagine what the pundits and news journalists would make of my boring and basic bio.  What’s the big deal about listing “wife and mother” first anyway?)

Following.  What does it mean to “follow”?  Does that mean I’m shadowing someone or something?  Is following the same as “stalking” or “lurking”?  I assume I should choose people, businesses and organizations I know or am interested in learning about.

Followers.  Should I be concerned if Toon Goggles is following me?  And who is Brian Hazard?  He doesn’t look too scary.  Do I need to follow those who follow me?  What if I don’t know them or if we don’t seem to have any common interests?

I’m receiving an inordinate amount of tweets to read!  How am I to sift through them all?  Do I have any control over my newsfeed (or what’s it called on Twitter?!)?

I’m receiving frequent emails with recommendations on more people and organizations to follow based on my current selections.  That’s all the more tweets I’ll receive!  I can’t keep up!  I think I really am flailing here!

Twitter is so NOT intuitive. What can I possibly contribute to this endless and chaotic conversation?  I’ve tweeted five times. How do I even know if anyone reads them?  Does it matter?

I must confess that I get distracted when reading my incoming tweets.  I found I really like reading bios (maybe even more than greeting cards)!!  Some bios are just so funny and creative.  For example:

  • @Jillfoster is “Pro-joy”
  • @KellyRipa is a “dragon slayer”
  • @Crissy says she’s “a run-on sentence”
  • @ariannahuff is a “flat shoe advocate” and “sleep evangelist”
  • @geoffreyowens is “nerdy about nerdy things”

When I searched my first name…

  • @PhoebeLapine is a “competitive french fry eater”
  • @phoebefoliver is a “sugar enthusiast”
  • @RadioPhoebe states “I know the difference between your and you’re”

Great!  Now I’ve discovered another form of procrastination.  As if Facebook and Pinterest aren’t enough already!

So, how’s Hillary feeling about Twitter by now?  It’s been six days since her last tweet.  My guess is she’s twitterpated just like me!

What wisdom do you have to offer this newetter?  Are there any tutorials you’ve found to be helpful?

2 thoughts on “Two Neweeters: Hillary & Me

  1. Welcome to the Twittersphere!

    I felt totally swallowed up when I joined Twitter. I had all the same questions you have. Let me see if I can answer any for you.

    Follow whomever you’d like. It isn’t stalking. It’s a compliment. And if you don’t like their stream, then unfollow them. It’s easy as that.

    The whole character limit thing on Twitter has something to do with bandwidth or some such nonsense. You get 160 characters for the bio because of this bandwidth thing. Just go with it.

    The three best tips I ever got about Twitter were:

    1. Use a picture of your face.
    2. Use a name. A human one.
    3. Make a good bio. Mine keeps evolving.

    And the one other piece of advice I’d give you is to get Mark Schaefer’s book, “The Tao of Twitter”. Totally worth it.
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