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How do you Twitter: ProBlogger?

This is the latest in a series of interviews with a variety of marketers, advertisers, bloggers, SEO consultants, businesses, artists and Internet gurus on the latest micro blogging sensation to hit the interwebs, Twitter.

It’s not often that you get someone of Darren Rowse’s status on your blog and so today I will be celebrating with some fine belgian beers.  It just so happens I’m in Belgium today :) Darren’s alias is ProBlogger, quite fitting as he is one of the most highly regarded professional bloggers in the blogosphere!  Even though he is extremely busy and has enough on his plate with various sites including TwitTip, he spared me some time to talk about Twitter.  Thanks Darren!

Will we still be tweeting in 5 years?

I doubt we’ll be doing it in the same form that we do today. As we’ve seen blogging evolve from the early days we’ll probably see social messaging evolve too. Where it ends up I’m not sure anyone really knows!

How can you trust a big name brand on Twitter? You never know who is tweeting, it could be anyone from the CEO to an intern.

I’ve found that trust only really comes with time online – whether it be on a blog or a social networking site. If a Twitter account provides value and proves to be useful to people consistently over time I think it’ll gain trust and profile – no matter who is behind it. I think the key is consistency, transparency (ie don’t say it is the CEO if it is not) and usefulness.

Are we losing our ‘real life’ social skills because of the increase in social media tools?

I’m not so sure, in fact Twitter has opened up social opportunities for me and given me plenty of chances to have face to face and engaging interactions. I guess some people’s personalities might be the type that would use Twitter to hide away from real life social interaction but if it wasn’t Twitter they’d probably do it with something else. The majority of us are having our eyes opened up to all kinds of new and interesting social interactions as a result of the tool.

You run (which I love by the way), what would your number one tip be for people wanting to get the most out of Twitter?

I think the key thing is to be useful, add value and to ‘give’ to your network. The more I put into Twitter the more that comes back to me. Those that I see consistently ‘taking’ from or ‘using’ Twitter tend to become ostracized by the wider Twitter community.

What are your thoughts on the power of the ‘Retweet’?

I didn’t realize the power of the ReTweet until I started using TweetDeck. Previously I was using to monitor replies but this meant I was only seeing replies that started with @problogger (and not messages that started with any other word). When I started using TweetDeck I began to see all tweets that others did with a mention of @problogger. This included many many ‘retweets’ – hundreds of them every week.

When I saw this I began to see their power and ability to spread a link virally among the community. It is no wonder that Twitter is one of the larger referrers of traffic to my blogs now – retweets can be very powerful.

Has the arrival of Twitter allowed you to interact with a new audience or do you feel most of your 24,000 followers were aware of your work before?

Twitter has both opened up a new audience and deepened my brand and engagement with my existing audience. There’s no doubt that people have discovered my blogs for the first time through Twitter – however what I think is more powerful is the way that Twitter has allowed me to ‘rub shoulders’ with those that had at least some awareness of me previously. There’s something quite powerful about someone seeing what you’re up to, working on and thinking every day over an extended period of time.

How do you feel our interactions will change if Twitter goes completely mainstream like Facebook or Myspace?

I think 2009 is going to be an interesting year for Twitter – particularly as it explores its business model. I hope that it won’t change the nature of how people use it but do worry a little that it’ll become more and more overtly commercial and in doing so become more noisy, more spammy and less personal.

Having said that – I guess Twitter is only ever as good as the people who use it and so we as the Twitter community have the ability to really control much of how it is used.

If you could only follow one person on Twitter, who would it be?

My wife. Now I just need to convince her to sign up.


I can’t thank you enough for this advice Darren and for taking the time to help me out with this blog post.  I really appreciate it!

Almost 25,000 people currently follow ProBlogger on Twitter, I’m one of them and I would suggest you guys should be checking out and Darren’s tweets for some high quality info on social media, blogging and a peek behind the scenes of a highly successful blogger. :)

Tomorrow – Brian Chappell

Organic SEO expert, Brian Chappell, will be joining us tomorrow for some more Twitter chat.  Looking forward to it!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS Feed to be kept updated on all the exciting goings on at I Am Paddy.

Comments (22)

  1. Lindsay

    30 Dec

    Nice interview. I’ll have to check out TweetDeck, as I keep hearing it mentioned. I’m always slow to adopt (read: lazy) this social networking stuff though. ;)

  2. Fabulous interview. I’m new on Twitter and just in the short time I’ve been on it, I can see what Darren means about how powerful it can be, and could become.

  3. Zsolt Balla

    31 Dec

    Hi, thanks for the interview. I’m a real newbie at Twitter, especially when it comes to its networking and “useful” features. I’m already following Darren, as I have been religiously reading problogger for a couple of years, but I’m also keen to following you, Brian, as well.


  4. Patricia

    31 Dec

    Very good interview and great information about Twitter. I like to learn something new and I have just found Twitter and now need to get TweetDeck? as that sounds even easier. Also I need to learn what retweets are and figure that out.
    Thank you Barbara – I followed you over

  5. Paddy

    31 Dec

    Thanks everyone for the comments! I love doing these interviews as I get to connect with experts like Darren, and I couldn’t have done it without Twitter!

  6. rosie

    2 Feb

    Each interview is making me more and more Twitter wise. I am going to do Twitterdeck!!!! Also, contribute as much value as I can on Twitter.
    And I am also going to sit down with hubby, on a Twitter Date and get his stuff going to promote his artwork and connect with other artists. Thanks again for a great post

  7. Fantastic interview. It’s interesting to look at @ProBlogger now… 83k followers at the time of commenting just as 2009 is coming to a close.

    Darren really does send quality tweets, although he sure writes a lot!


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