Last week I wrote about 10 Ways to Find Cool People to Follow on Twitter. Well, here is one more way to find twitterers and be to be found! This week a new Twitter Directory for Progressives launched, called Tweet Progress. Browse the directory not only to find cool progressives, but list yourself in the directory too!
Archive for the ‘Online Activism’ Category
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and join Twitter. You’ve created an account and … crickets … well, now what?
Well, let me just throw out a couple of quick definitions first:
“Followers” are people who follow your tweets and receive your updates on their home page when they log in.
“Following” is the list of Twitterers that you have chosen to follow and you will receive their updates on your home page.
Unlike Facebook where you send a “Friend Request” which has to be accepted and mutually agreed upon, Twitter allows you to follow anyone and allows anyone to follow you (unless one of you have your updates set to private). If you follow a person, it does not mean they will necessarily follow you, and vice versa. So here we go …
Ten Ways To Find Cool People to Follow:
1. Find your friends that are already on Twitter through the email address book importer.
If you have a Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL email account, Twitter can use your contacts to find your friends who are already tweeting. Simply log in to your Twitter account. Click “Find People” on the Menu Bar. Then click “Find on other networks.” Enter your email address & password to your email account. And Wala! Twitter will show you all of your contacts who are tweeting.
NOTE: Personally, although I love my friends, I don’t necessarily follow all my friends on Twitter. I like to use twitter as a personalized newsfeed, and I don’t necessarily need to know that Jane is standing in line at the grocery store or Paul just dropped his kids off at school. I prefer to follow most of my friends on Facebook and follow more news type sources on Twitter. But that’s me – and lots of people do use Twitter to follow their friends – either way, this step is a good place to start …
2. Search for people you want to follow by name.
Click “Find People” on the menu bar then “Find on Twitter.” Please note this only works if they have entered their real name in their profile info. Not everyone does. And if you want to check if your name is listed on your account, you can look under “Settings.”
3. Look for organizations, bloggers, media outlets and personalities, experts, and others that you might want to follow.
You can either search for them using the “Find People” option, or check out their website. They will usually have a link to their twitter account on their homepage. Then you can just click on the “Follow” button under their profile name.
4. Look for people you don’t like and follow them on Twitter.
It may sound like an odd suggestion, but this is great for birddogging, watchdog, or corporate campaigns. Take Karl Rove or Bill O’Reilly, for example, both active tweeters. You could follow Karl’s tweets to keep an eye on upcoming events that he will be at, or follow O’Reilly’s to correct his misinformation.
5. Find your Congressional representatives on Twitter.
You can see what they are working on, and send messages their way via Twitter. There are also some great applications for petitions on Twitter, which I’ll cover in a future tip. But for now, check out http://tweetcongress.org/ to find your reps.
6. Search for conversations you want to be apart of.
Go to http://search.twitter.com/ and search for keywords or hashtags that you are interested in discussing or reading about. Look for people who are active in the conversation or putting out interesting links or information, then follow them. I have done this for CODEPINK campaigns around Afghanistan, Gaza, the Mother’s Day knitting project, and the boycott of Ahava beauty products. It’s a great way to find tweeters.
7. Twitter Directories.
There are dozens upon dozens of Twitter directories that list Twitterers under categories – everything from celebrities to social media gurus to politicians to local regions. Since most directories allow people to categorize themselves, they are usually incomplete and self-promoting. But they can be a good place to start. Check out WeFollow, Twellow, JustTweetIt, GeoFollow, and MediaOnTwitter.
8. Who are your friends following?
Browse your Friend’s “Following” List. You can see who other people are following by visiting their Twitter page. On the right hand side, you can see thumbnails of the profiles they are following. Click “View All” to browse the list. Add any interesting profiles.
9. Who are your friends having conversations with?
Look at retweets and replies of your friends in your Twitter feed. Who do they think is interesting enough to retweet or reply to? When you add an @ before someone’s profile name in a tweet, it creates a link to their profile. So check out your Twitter feed, and click on any potentially interesting Twitterers to view their profile and start following. Also, keep an eye out for “Follow Fridays” where people suggest other Twitterers they like. On Fridays, some people tweet a list of recommendations of others to follow using the hashtags #followfriday or #ff. And you can participate too by suggesting your own favorites on Fridays!
10. And with that, here are a few twitterers that I recommend:
By popular request, I am starting a Social Media Tip of the Day to help train and educate progressive activists on how to use social media tools for social change. If you’d like to receive these tips via email, you can sign up here.
This week, I thought I would focus on Twitter. If you have questions, please leave a comment and I will try to answer them in a future tip.
Since many people are still discovering Twitter, today I will simply answer … what is twitter and why should I be on it?
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social micro-blogging tool where you post messages that are 140 character or less (similar to a Facebook status update). The messages can be about anything – what you are thinking about, what you are doing, links to interesting articles, links to videos or photos, etc. Unlike Facebook though, tweets are public by default and searchable (although you can make them private in your settings).
Why should I tweet?
Twitter is not for everyone, but is a great tool for entering the conversation with others (bloggers, media outlets, friends, allies around the world, etc.). I use twitter to get a customized news feed from people and organizations that are doing work on issues important to me and connect with bloggers and experts.
Twitter is also great for posting live updates from actions. You can tweet from any mobile phone! You only have to look back to June and the election in Iran to see the potential grassroots power of Twitter!
I spoke to Vancouver’s Redeye Radio last week about how CODEPINK is using online tools such as Twitter and Facebook to organize. Listen to it here: