Following along our post last week about why to use Twitter, today we provide a bit more information on how not only to start, but how to maximize, your presence on Twitter.
For many people, the experience of using Twitter for the first time can conjure anxiety similar to the first day of high school after moving to a new town. Everyone you see is a stranger and breaking the ice with someone seems next to impossible. If you’re like me, most of your real-life friends don’t fall into the “techie” category which makes getting started even harder.
By shear coincidence, the same week I joined Twitter, I also became a member of Chris Brogan’s Grasshoppers social network on Ning. At that point in time, Twitter was still very new and very few tools were available for searching to see who already had an account. After a quick post to the forums about my Twitter woes I experienced an influx of followings and my micro-blogging network began to expand.
Almost a year later, there are now a growing number of ways to find people to follow on Twitter. However, most involve finding matches to your existing social graph or searching for discussions involving select keywords. Keyword searching may work in some cases, but say you would like to meet fellow Twitter users in your local geographic area or maybe others who enjoy similar hobbies, such as running. Chris Brogan enters the picture again with a new experiment called Twitter Packs.
The basic idea of Twitter Packs is to allow the creation of editable lists of Twitter users grouped into categories like geography, company, events and identity. The lists are maintained by the Twitter community since the site was launched as a wiki. Definitely a smart choice of tools on Chris’ part. As a new Twitter user, being able to quickly find other people of similar interests to follow is fantastic and can get the conversations rolling in no time.
While the initial reaction from the Twitter community has been favorable towards the idea of this type of listing, it is not without potential flaws. The idea of being on a publically accessible list and grouped in a specific category seems like a great way to meet and connect with people of similar interests. I’m sure most would agree that it is. However, some folks fear that this will cause Twitter to become more clique-driven and work against the open nature that the platform originated with.
Regardless of any flaws that people may find with Twitter Packs, it’s certainly off to a strong start and it should be interesting to see how it evolves. If you are new to Twitter or have been thinking about giving it a try, this is definitely a great resource to help you get started. Feel free to follow PerkettPR on Twitter or any of our employees who are currently active Twitter users!