Stacey Loscalzo

Jan 22

Everything I Need to Know About Twitter I Learned in Kindergarten

by Stacey

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A few weeks ago, Shana and I kicked off a series about Facebook and Twitter. I was comfortable in the world of Facebook but scared to death of what went on over in the Twitterverse. And vice versa for Shana. Today we thought we would come back and share a bit of what we have learned exploring our new platforms.

To be honest, I will say that Twitter still confuses me a bit. It is just not intuitive for me although I know it is for many. That said, I have come to appreciate it and am more motivated than ever to really figure it out. In just the short time that I have worked on it I have made new connections and found more and more interesting things to read.

My highlight during the month? After writing a review of Ann Patchett’s latest, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage for Great New Books, Parnassus Books (owned by Ann Patchett!) started following me on Twitter. I think that means she may have read my review which makes me giddy!

So, when I tried to sit down and write what I have learned I got a bit overwhelmed again. I am still not sure about the logistics. To favorite or to retweet? To schedule? And how often? Follow everyone who follows me?

I know I am getting bogged down in the details so for now, I truly think that…

Everything I Need to Know About Twitter I Learned in Kindergarten

(with apologies to Robert Fulghum)

1. Share everything: Well, maybe not everything because that would get annoying. Re-tweet a few things a day.

2. Play fair: If someone mentions you a bunch on Twitter, mention them too.

3. Don’t hit people: This just sort of always applies.

4. Put thngs back where you found them: Always include a link to ideas that aren’t yours.

5. Clean up your own mess: Apologize if something you say makes someone upset. This week I watched a very public argument between two popular tweeters. It was really interesting to watch them truly apologize in such few words.

6. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you: I can’t edit this one out even though it has nothing to do with Twitter. I love cookies.

7. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some: Twitter can suck up a lot of time. Pay attention and set limits on yourself.

8. Take a nap every afternoon: Different think tanks report differently as far as the best time to tweet but there are trends. Pay attention to when your tweets are re-tweeted and favorited. These are the best times to tweet. Go ahead and nap at the other times.

9. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together: Tackling a project like this with a friend is the way to go. It was great to go to Shana with questions during this steep learning curve.

10. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that: When you get cool followers, don’t be afraid to do the happy dance. Remember the Ann Patchett story? Totally did a happy dance.

So hopefully I will remember what I just wrote and not let perfection get in the way of good. Twitter is fun and a great way to make connections with people. I can’t wait to continue the learning process.

9 Comments

  1. I am no twitter expert, but those sound like very good tips!  (Especially the one about cookies.  Can you ever go wrong with cookies?)  I still haven’t quite figured out how to work sharing other people’s posts (consistently and “fairly”) into my schedule.  But, “wyc, wyc” as they say…

  2. I’m so glad you and Shana did this series-not only did I get to “meet” you but I’m really feeling much more comfortable on twitter…I still have lots to learn but it doesn’t intimidate me anymore 🙂 

  3. Tamara says:

    It took me a LONG time to understand twitter, and I think you nailed it. It’s totally just about remembering what we learned in preschool/kindergarten. (even the cookies and milk. why tweet without cookies and milk in front of you, I say!)  And sharing is key. Playing fair, being accountable, apologizing if you do offend. Following back, unless they’re so obviously a spambot..

  4. Nina says:

    This was great and spot-on! Totally curious about #5 now!

  5. Kristen says:

    Great list! I’ve really grown to love Twitter and have had to learn some of the “rules” along the way, but reading these are a good reminder. (Nina did a post a while ago that I found helpful too.) Especially #7 — Twitter can be like a rabbit’s den if I’m not careful!

  6. Shana Norris says:

    Oooooohhhh – I love your Ann Patchett story.  My husband has had that happen with some artists he really admires.  He’s always beside himself when it happens 🙂

    I have been off a day all week … my direct messages don’t show up on my Echofon app (on my Twitter to-do list: find a different iPhone app for that platform … I’ve just used Echofon so long that I feel used to it and comfortable with it …) and I panicked when I saw your post in my Feedly this morning.  Luckily I had a rough draft going!

    I’m actually looking forward to experimenting even more with Facebook.  I’m thinking I need one of those social media sharing and activity checklists to keep everything on my radar every day.

  7. Pamela says:

    Such a relief I know I am not the only one who doesn’t understand Twitter. Although it sounds like you have it figured out!

  8. Allie says:

    I tweeted this:). I’m still so nervous on Twitter, I don’t know why!

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