Lindsey Tweets: Twitter Insight for Dockside Book

I had the pleasure today of having coffee with a Twitter confidant of mine, Lindsey Hamlin. She really helped me focused on thinking of twitter as a set of conversations and looking at joining them based on your interests. For the past few months I have spent a lot more time in Facebook than twitter. We both agreed that more of the twitter conversations seem to follow professional interests over friend relationships in Facebook, so this may be a good place to connect with other interested in crowdfunding. My previous experience with Twitter had been more in the followers listening to experts’ mode, which works too. I like following Yoast tweets because I use their SEO plugin for WordPress and sometimes I get an idea I can run with. However, conversations give you a two way street to learn more about your field from the leading names as well as comment on where your niche may be or a new direction you are developing in the field.

If you have found someone interesting to follow, check out who they follow. Lindsey suggested I follow Karim R. Lakhani, @klakhani, because of my interest in crowdsourcing. He claims to be an expert social janitor. Hmm… have to figure out what that is, but sounds related to crowdsourcing. As of this writing, he is following 1129. Let’s see who looks interesting among them. There are a couple links to the Nest thermostat people. I love their thermostat, but that’s not what I’m looking for now. Many of his followers have no description. Note to self, fill out the about me blurb in twitter in case anyone is reading about you in a list of followers or following (followingers?). I found he was following a number of people that captured different things I might be interested, but today I wanted to stay on target with crowdfunding or at least related social networking. I found Pinar Yildirim ‏ (@Pinar_Wharton) who is a Marekting professor at Wharton who studies “New Media, Advertising, Networks, Online Platforms.” I’ll follow her. Chris Sacca ‏ @sacca invests in twitter and Kickstarte. Off the subject, but I will follow him case we crowdfund the printing of Dockside. Mike Morris ‏ @mpmorris36 says he using the crowd to move people to the cloud. Can’t pass that up. Anyway you get the idea, but it take a little snooping. I’ll probably look who Pinar likes next.

Lindsey  also discussed the art of composing your tweet. Of course you only have the 140 characters, but you need to fit your hashtag and URL in there as well as an engaging comment. Bitly is a URL shortening service that can reduce the size of the URL you want to share with people and leave you with more room for your message. Bitly is good because you can use it with any service. Twitter has updated to its own service that adjusts all included URLs. If you put the bitly URL in Twitter, it still comes out as the twitter 22 character standard.

As a comparison though, I put http://tropnetworking.com/ in bitly and it shortened it to http://bit.ly/1a5eap2. 26 charaters to 21 or a 19.2% reduction. Of course if you put in a perma link to a blog page you get a better reduction ratio. When I put in the link to my blog post on burger tasting at Dockside (http://tropnetworking.com/dockside-book/2013/11/03/burgers-beach-bob-coldies/) I got http://bit.ly/17uEt9q. 77 characters 21 or a 72.7% reduction. So I decided to give Google URL shortner a fair try. They reduced my site to http://goo.gl/7RDz8P. 20 characters, 1 character better or a 74.0% reduction from the original.

Anyway, those of some of thoughts for the day on Twitter. These will make up some first draft ideas that I will add to the Twitter section of the Dockside book. Soon to be in hardcover, paperback, and eBook. But lets not define soon quite yet.

About Ken Walsh

Ken Walsh is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at University of New Orleans. His latest book project is Dockside.
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