I'm Twittering Now

Monday, December 29, 2008

This is one of the few non-art or animal related posts you'll find here on my blog, but I think the subject is interesting and worth writing about. And I hope you'll think so too. You won't even find photos or art in this post, which is very unusual!

I'd heard of Twitter some time ago and had resisted joining - thinking it was yet another time-sucking social networking site and I spend more than enough time on the computer & internet as it is. But a favorite Star Trek quote of mine is "resistance is futile", so you can guess what happened. Yes, and now you also know I'm fond of Star Trek.

In past posts, I've mentioned belonging to assorted eBay groups; I also have a MySpace page. I have a Facebook page too. I've never really gotten into Facebook, though, so I don't do much there. For the most part, I'm networking as a way to get the word out about my art and pet portraits, but I do find it quite enjoyable to interact on-line with other like-minded folks from around the world.

Now, back to Twitter, which I must admit, I'm glad I was unable to resist. In the short time since I've joined, I've found it to be interesting, thought provoking, fun and quirky. What exactly is it?, you may be asking. Well, think of Twitter as a micro-blogging site, where posts (tweets) are limited to 140 characters and designed to answer the Basic Twitter Question: "What are you doing?"

You will find thoughts, links, quotes, jokes, etc. on Twitter - some tweets are mundane, others are quite insightful, and there's everything in between. And now that I'm a resident of Twitterville, I've realized that I think in tweets. A thought will pop into my head and I'll think, "I have to tweet that!" It's an interesting by-product that being limited to 140 characters makes one think concisely - not a bad thing. I try to avoid the text messaging shortcuts if at all possible (because I'm not a texter and frankly, the shortcuts annoy me), but on occasion, I'll be forced to use a shortcut to get my tweet down to 140 characters.

I attempt to remain professional - I don't want anything incriminating, offensive or completely stupid floating out there in cyberspace - but Twitter is a place where I can make random comments and observations that I wouldn't post here on my blog. And I try to tweet thoughts that others will find interesting and that reflect the kinds of things I'd like to read on Twitter. I do tweet links to my art, as marketing is part of why I joined Twitter, but I try to balance that with other thoughts and discoveries. If followers (other Twitter members who decide to keep track of what I'm tweeting) decide I'm not their cup of tea and stop following, that's fine with me. I've done the same.

One of the more interesting things I discovered on Twitter is Tipjoy, a way to "micro-donate" via the web and very easy to do if you have a Twitter account. I read a tweet about donating to wellwishes to raise money for water projects in Africa. Intrigued, I looked into it further and discovered the Tipjoy site. I've set up an account and am working on setting up pages so that I can collect tips for my favorite local animal charities. Here are the two pages I've made so far: Greyhound Friends for Life and FieldHaven Feline Rescue

If you'd like to know more about Twitter, they have a thorough FAQ page. And these are some helpful, interesting and educational blog posts written by Twitterers with far more experience than I:

  • Before You Tweet by Tojosan

  • Twitter Etiquette: Viewpoint from a Non-Business User by LilPecan

  • Your Twitter Friends by NataniaBarron

  • . . . Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Follow . . . by Atherton Bartelby

  • And if you're curious about my tweets (come on, I know you are), I'm AnnRan5.


    Todd Jordan - tojosan December 30, 2008 at 3:51 PM  

    Thanks first of all for the link love to my blog.

    Second, I'm impressed with how astute your observations are about Twitter and its use. Also, you've done a good job of explaining some positive uses, and actually implementing them. Cheers for that.

    Can't wait to interact with you more. Do let me know if I can push for your projects in some way.
    I'm tojosan on Twitter.

    mousewords December 30, 2008 at 8:14 PM  

    Not only are you a Twitter natural, but you're also a great member to have in any community. :-)

    Awesome post!

    PaintDog December 30, 2008 at 11:14 PM  

    Thanks Todd & Mouse, your comments mean a lot to me!

    LilPecan/eldevlin December 31, 2008 at 12:13 PM  

    Good explanation of Twitter! I'm never able to explain it to people who don't tweet. Thanks for the link love and letting me know this was up. Great to tweet you!

    Danielle Barlow January 11, 2009 at 12:10 AM  

    good for you! I just CANT get my head round Twitter. I still can't work out what I am supposed to do with it! Maybe I'll go and try again now!

    nataniabarron January 22, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

    Yay for Twitter! But be careful, it does become rather addicting rather quickly. I went from "meh, I'll check this once every few days" to "OMG must know what's going on in the Twitterverse AT ALL TIMES!"

    Thanks for the link, and welcome to the loony bin. :)

    PaintDog January 22, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

    The latter has already happened to me, Natania. "I'm Ann and I'm a Twitterholic."

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