Follow Me: The Twitter edition

I’ve noticed that I’m getting a few hits per day from people who are googling “Sweet Mama M” to get to my lovely home on the internet! Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing some posts letting you know all the ways that you can connect to Sweet Mama M, making it so much easier for you to find out when there is something new!

Follow me on Twitter!

Twitter is one of those things that those of us who have been on there for ages do almost without thinking and those who hear us talking about it just look like this o_O tee hee. How is it different to a Facebook status? It’s really not a lot different, although you can direct it towards people much more successfully – the difference is more in how people use it. I like that Twitter enforces you keeping it short and sweet – I’ll do personal status updates on Facebook if I want to be effusive and posts on the Sweet Mama M Facebook page that are not quite long enough to be posts of their own. If I just want to talk about the great bargain I got on a cute top or how my tummy feels like it’s buzzing after acupuncture, that you can find on Twitter. It’s great for life-streaming!

Before I go into the advantages and disadvantages, I figured that I’d give you a little Sweet Mama M tutorial – a beginner’s guide to Twitter if you will!

Tweet Mama M’s Twitter Guide

Twitter is really easy to access! You can do it on the web:

Or on a desktop app (this one is TweetDeck):

There’s not usually a big white gap – that’s where my private messages are (more on that later)

Or on an iPad, iPhone or other smartphone (this is what it looks like on my iPad):

You can even tweet from a non-smart phone as long as it has text capabilities. So now that we know what we can use to tweet, how do you use it? The first thing to know is that Twitter consists of the followers and the “following”. You can follow someone’s tweets and read what they have to say without them following you back – following simply means that their tweets will show up in your timeline. An example of this is that I follow Khloe Kardashian (I know, I know) and can see her tweets, but she does not follow me, so my tweets will not show up in her Twitter timeline.

Some lovely ladies that I follow have offered to play guinea pig for a Twitter tutorial – Alice (alla15784), Liv (livbambola) & Alison (alliekatnz). We start off with Alice, who has just tasted the best coffee in Melbourne (lucky thing) and tweets about it:

Liv follows Alice so can see her tweet in her timeline. Liv is quite interested in finding out where the best coffee in Melbourne is as she is going there next week. She replies to Alice using the @ symbol before Alice’s username to make sure that the tweet comes to Alice’s attention (and it’s just etiquette to do that if you are carrying on a Twitter conversation) when she next checks Twitter or so that it pushes a notification through to her phone.

Now let’s add another person to the mix:

I follow both Alice and Liv so I can see both their tweets, both sides of the conversation. All this talk of Melbourne and coffee makes me quite jealous, so I can say so! You’ll notice in my reply that I don’t have the person I’m referring to at the start of my tweet – this is just the default placement if you hit reply on any tweet. This will show up in both Alice & Liv’s “@” columns, and will send push notifications to both smartphones if they have them enabled.

That works if we all follow each other, but what if you only follow one of the two people? Check out Alison’s example below:

So Alison only follows Alice, meaning that she cannot see what Liv has written. If Alice replies to Liv, Alison will not be able to see that either… unless she includes @livbambola within the tweet rather than at the start. Another example of this is a tweet I sent the other day:

Right, winding up productive day and heading for bed. Gotta get up early to run errands before mini-roadie with @astral_monkey 🙂

All people who follow me on Twitter can see that as @astral_monkey is only referred to within the tweet. If I had tweeted:

@astral_monkey looking forward to our mini-roadie tomorrow!

then only people who follow both astral_monkey and I would be able to see that tweet. Making sense? I promise that it gets even clearer when you start to do it!

But what if there’s something that you want to share with a Twitter friend that you don’t want other people to know. I was feeling insecure about a friend situation while writing this post and I tweeted a vague reference to it. One of my Twitter friends responded and I wanted to explain further about it. I’m not one for airing my dirty laundry in public, so I used the direct message (DM) function – this is very similar to the Facebook chat function, in that only the person at each end can see the message. It’s also great for when you win competitions on Twitter – you can DM your address so that the whole twitterverse doesn’t find out where you live!

One final thing I want to cover in this post is hashtags. Hashtags are a way to collect a whole bunch of tweets on the same topic together. This conversation about the best coffee in Melbourne may have got me interested in the best coffee anyone has ever had (by the way, I don’t think I could actually pick – Theobroma’s is pretty fabulous though!) and so I start a hashtag – asking “Twitterverse, what has been your #BestCoffeeEver?”

If I click on the hashtag it’s a link and will bring up all the recent posts that have the hashtag – hashtags can become contagious (otherwise known as trending) and you may see a whole bunch of best coffee ever posts from Tweeters that you don’t even know! Some trending hashtags lately in New Zealand have been #harrypotterparty – yes, the party that I was at – and #kishi where people describe what they are wearing a la Claudia Kishi from the Baby-Sitter’s Club books! You’ll also notice that using a @ mention (the Twitter account of the shopping centre where Theobroma is located) isn’t mutually exclusive with a hashtag – you can use both!

I’ve got more (MUCH more) to say on the Twitter topic but let’s keep it at the basics for now! Stay tuned for a bonus post this week on different types of Twitter posters – live to the blog on Sunday morning, NZ time. If this Twitter post has sparked your fire, catch you then! Otherwise, see you Monday with your dancing shoes on!

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One thought on “Follow Me: The Twitter edition

  1. Pingback: Hangin’ with my tweeps! | Sweet Mama M

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