Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tips for Twitter Newbies

One of my goals this school year is to get some of my co-workers to jump into the Twitter realm and try to build a PLN (Personal Learning Network).  I don't know if they realize how awesome it is to gain a plethora of information from so many people who are just like them.  I decided the best way to get them started it to share some quick and easy tips.

1).  Start off following a few people who have similar interests as you. (Ex: If you are a SS teacher, find a few social studies teachers and follow them, read profiles and look for subject matter similarities or interest similarities.) Look for tweeps who have more than a few hundred posts and scan some of the things they have posted.  If you notice most of their posts are super personal and don't focus on education, they may not be the person for you.  It's okay to follow someone and change your follow later if they really don't cater to what you are looking for.

2) Set up a diigo account and a pocket account because you will want to save some of the links people post. Diigo has a place in the settings where you can connect twitter to Diigo.  Once you favorite a post, it saves it as a Diigo bookmark for later reference.  Pocket does the same, but it is a visual bookmark. *I use both because sometimes so much gets saved in Diigo that I get behind.  With pocket, the visual helps me refer to what I need.

3) Don't tweet immediately unless you feel ready. Start off following feeds, get a feel.  Remember, 140 characters.  Keep it short and simple. Ask questions, people will help you. Don't be afraid to retweet something that interests you and don't be afraid to tweet something and join a conversation.  Some of your best learning experiences will be with people you don't know and you will find that eventually these people you meet will be some of your best motivators, idea bouncer-offers (yep, made up a word) and best encouragement.

4) NEVER open direct messages that tell you that someone said bad stuff about you.  Unless someone asks you a question dealing with your conversation, avoid the DM.  It seems like there are a lot of spammers out there.

5) Learn how to list and use hashtags.  Creating lists helps you develop connections with other people in your content.  You can add people and communicate and collaborate with them when you need to work on a project.  Using Hashtags (which is the # sign before a text) will help you follow a specific topic.  You can refer back to that topic or build a news feed of it (A Later lesson).

6) Finally, ask for help.  People on twitter will help guide you.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.

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