Now, I’ve been known to rail against people saying “This is the right way to use Twitter” – but there’s a couple things that I’ve started doing over the last few months that I think are worth sharing. I’m sure the expert Twitterers amongst you won’t find this new, and it really is only a couple of tips – so please suggest others in the comments – but perhaps some will find it helpful.
So, first up: If you’re following a lot of people (say, more than a couple of dozen), I recommend you don’t try to read every tweet everyone says. You’ll go crazy from the information overload. Don’t trawl back through the pages of tweets you missed while sleeping – just live in the moment.
Secondly, keep your eye on the Replies tab. This tracks every tweet addressed to you by others – whether or not they’re following you or you’re following them. That in itself is useful, but what makes this extra-special is the RSS feed for that page. This makes it super-easy for keeping track of messages, with one caveat: you need a feed reader that supports authentication (such as NetNewsWire).
The last tip I have also ties into RSS – the feeds for results from Twitter’s search. I use this to track messages about me (so I do get some duplicates with the Replies feed, but I also see all tweets that mention me but aren’t addressed to me), as well as a few other keyword searches – in particular, Rails Camp and Thinking Sphinx. The latter not only shows me the occasional tweet of people liking my plugin, but also gives me the opportunity to contact those with issues or complaints, see if I can help in some way.
See, told you I didn’t have too much to say.
So, how do you use Twitter? And what tips can you share?