Twitter Noob

By Jamie NanquilI’ve always been one to avoid Twitter like it was an awkward conversation.  I had no interest in using it and thought it was a fad that people would eventually get over. Plus, Twitter-users were so confusing with their @s and #s and RTs. I didn’t try to get its attractiveness and wrote it off as some magnified, glorified version of Facebook stalking. Being a naturally private person and typically un-cool individual, I never understood the appeal of wanting to let the world know every detail of your goings-on and vice-versa.

jamienanquil @world, not 5 seconds ago, I found a Jolly Rancher in my pocket – it turned my whole day around

Is this interesting? No, not at all, 99.9999999% of the U.S. population could care less. However, there is 0.0000001% that might care because they know me or maybe they stumbled upon my page and think I’m a bit interesting and they have something to say about what just happened to me.

This is a golden nugget of realization. Twitter is not about you having to read your grouchy neighbor with the yappy dog’s daily routine or that one mobile content company’s spam about purchasing what could quite possibly be the worst ringtones ever. It’s a filtration system that allows you to receive messages only from the people, companies, and organizations that you want to hear from.

Because of its popularity, Twitter is a better resource for making actual connections with people you are interested in, but may not know personally. For example, I promptly began following several celebrities that I like and calling them out in true @ fashion. With luck, they’ll reply, but even if they don’t I have found that I have a new addiction for reading their tweets.

And although my tweets aren’t nearly as exciting as road-tripping across the country to play live shows with my trendy band mates, there will be people who will find an interest in what I have to say, especially if I hashtag it. I found out that one can ever so cleverly insert a # before a keyword, which allows others who are searching for that keyword to stumble across your tweet and hopefully, onto your page. Now, those people might find my tweet interesting enough to RT (that means ReTweet for those of you who aren’t up on the hip Twitter terms just yet), which means their followers will see it and thus, another opportunity is created to gain more followers. Twitter has given me the voice to communicate with a broad audience. Now if I could just get above 16 followers…

So from a newly converted Twitter-user, let me recap the beauty of this fine social media tool: 1) networking and making connections with people you may not have access to otherwise 2) expanding your audience and reach through keywords and hashtags 3) directing traffic to your page through RTs.

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Happy 5th Birthday Mashable!