Being a Good Twitizen (Part 1)

Part 1 of 2:  twitizen2 projects Twitter will have 26 million users (15.5% of adult internet users) in 2010. That’s a lot of folks. If you haven’t joined the Twitter-train yet, it’s time you got onboard.
Here are the basics as well as some guidelines for being a good Twitizen, assuming that’s one of your goals.

Opening your account:

  • Create your account. You’ll need to create aunique username (see next bullet) and password, and have to enter your email address. These can all be changed.
  • Unless you’re a major corporation, if this account will be used to promote your business I highly recommend using some form of your name since the Twittersphere is social media – an online conversation amongst people.
  • Create your fill-in-the-blanks Bio. Give this some thought, especially if you’re using this account for business.
  • You can upload your picture, or a picture/image, which I highly recommend.Note, the file can’t be larger than 700k and since the default window is square, a square image works best, at least in my opinion.
  • There is a Default background, or you can create your own. There are several free templates online. (Short commercial: Contact me at if you want my design team to develop a custom page for you or your business.)

Twitter terms you should know:

  • Tweep or Twit is someone who uses Twitter.
  • Tweet is a message. Messages must be shorter than 140 characters, which is why many refer to twitter as a micro-blogging tool.
  • Follower is a person (tweep) who has chosen to track (follow) your tweets.
  • Short URL refers to one of the many tools you can use to shorten long urls and, thereby, tweet them without exceeding the 140-character limit. I use the “TinyURL Generator” Add-on for Firefox.
  • Re-Tweet or RT means resending another twit’s tweet. As you can imagine, this is huge in the Twittersphere because it is a form of viral marketing.
  • DM is short for direct message. A DM is a private tweet to a specific twit. (Okay, even I have to admit, that sounded weird.)
  • If you want to send a tweep to a specific person simply insert “@” before that person’s Twitter name and it will be sent directly to them. Note, it will be visible to all so, as with anything in the ether, be careful what you say.

How to be a good Twitizen:

  • Be friendly and open to others.
  • Don’t be put off by all the spam, let it roll off your back.
  • Similarly, don’t spam or sell constantly, it’s a form of harassment.
  • Limit your tweets (I tweet 5-10 a day) and pause between tweets.
  • Be funny but understand one person’s joke can be another’s insult.
  • Mix your business/cause tweets with pleasant, fun or interesting tweets.
  • ReTweet often but only if you genuinely think the tweets merits recycling.

On Wednesday’s post we’ll teach you:

  • How you can find people to Follow.
  • How to find people to Follow you.
  • How to locate tweet topics and items to retweet.

Remember, this is the only Monday you’ll get this week so enjoy it and do something remarkable!