Posts Tagged ‘advice’

Not Another ’10 Tips to get more Twitter Followers’ Post

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

twitter paddydonnelly

Ok, this is not one of these ’10 Tips to get more Twitter Followers’ posts that have been clogging the interwebs for the past few weeks. Think of it more as a wake up call.

Twitter and it’s users have undergone massive changes since going mainstream in 2009. People have become maniacally obsessed with numbers. Everyone is desperately seeking as many followers as possible, clawing at any of these crazy ‘sure fire’ methods out there in an effort to reach that unreachable high.

Here are some suggestions from how I use Twitter, which I feel helps me get the most out of it, while offering something of value.

Don’t follow back automatically.

Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean you have to follow back. This ‘courtesy followback’ thing that has developed is horrible and has created a generation of people just obsessed with numbers, not gaining anything from the people they follow. I can’t believe that there are people out there who will follow you and then unfollow you after a day if you don’t return the favour. Come on, are you serious?

Here’s the way I do it. If someone follows me, I always check out their profile and website if they have one. I base the decision to follow them on a variety of things such as their frequency of tweeting, content of tweets, whether I already know them, their location or whether they are in my industry. If I don’t follow you back, don’t take it personally. How could I follow everyone? I barely keep up with my current stream at the minute so I need to be selective.

I have literally been begged by some people for me to follow them. Begged! You know how desperate that sounds? The point of me following you is so that I get something out of your tweets, not to add 1 to your total.

Use DMs, Twitter isn’t a chat room.

Nothing turns me off more than reading a string of tweets between two people. What am I getting out of  ‘@name Thanks!’ ‘@name Hey!’? Golden Rule: If more than two people would get something out of your tweet then use an @, if not then use a DM. I fully understand and appreciate that Twitter is an amazing networking tool but have a think about who will be seeing your tweets.

Use Via instead of RT.

There’s so much Retweeting now that my mind has actually trained itself to ignore anything that begins with ‘RT @name‘, certainly anything that has a string of ‘RT@name RT@name RT@name’.  If someone tweets a link that I feel needs to have some recognition then I tend to write a new tweet with my thoughts, the link, then ‘via @name‘. Come on, it’s not hard to take 10 seconds to do.  It’s just laziness to Retweet other people all day and a personalised tweet has so much more value, both to you and the original linker.

Be valuable.

Add some value to your twitter stream by posting links that are genuinely interesting, reducing the amount of waffle and posting intelligent thoughts rather than just ‘At work’. Granted, I’m no stranger to tweeting absolute rubbish, but try to be valuable in your tweeting generally, without being too noisy.

Space your Tweets.

There are, and always will be, extremely noisy people on Twitter. You will find it hard to imagine how they get anything done in between tweeting every 2 minutes.  If you space out your tweets you will give people time to react, resulting in your tweets both gaining reactions and credibility.  Another Golden Rule: If you emphasise everything, you emphasise nothing.

Never Use Auto DMs

I follow you because I have done the research and I’m genuinely interested in your tweets. I then get an auto DM spamming my inbox telling me to check out your site etc etc. This doesn’t need to happen. I click unfollow almost without fail after an auto DM.

Don’t use people

These tweeters who are desperate for numbers are trying to cash in on Twitter’s potential the fast and easy way.  There is a disgusting amount of ‘Please RT this, Please Digg this, Please Float this, Please abuse-your-followers-and-spam-them-with-my-stuff-every-time-I-make-a-blog-post‘ going around.  If you provide good content I will pimp it myself. Don’t spam me!

Provide Good Content and they will come.

I think this is the most important aspect. Just use Twitter sensibly, post your intelligent thoughts, post links you think are cool or worthy, follow people who influence you and you will gain twitter followers. It won’t happen overnight, but there are more important things in this world that that little number under your avatar.


Twitter is free to use whatever way you want so take my advice or ignore it. Follow me @paddydonnelly only if you want, but don’t be pressured and controlled by this numbers game that has reared it’s ugly head.

What advice would you give to…?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

A week ago, I gave everyone the opportunity to part with some advice for anyone they deemed fit to receive it.  Thanks to everyone who submitted!  The results of this mass collaboration post are listed below, with some great advice from a wide range of people, including bloggers, designers, ninjas, chefs and marketers.

Advice to: Women

Stop worrying about how big your tush is. A sour disposition makes it look bigger than it really is. Smile–a lot. As we age, no one really notices the flaws but they do notice when you are bitchy, grumpy and generally unappreciative.
Love your man. Stop trying to be a pseudo-feminist. Men are simple. They like food, sex and communicating with their buddies. They also love you when you are happy, content and not complaining about the way the sun sets.

Life is short. Smile so much it hurts. Laugh at yourself every minute you can. It’s infectious.
Try to remember you were a kid once and how great that was. Be a kid. Stop trying to rule the world and climb to the top.

Success is in the smiles you gave and the laughs you encouraged.

There. I said it. That’s my advice to women.

Advice to: Everybody, but mostly Bloggers and Designers

Maybe it’s cliche, but do not bite off more than you can chew! This involves only taking on projects that you can handle and projects that you will be able to maintain. When you do too much, you end up doing nothing. I can testify to this myself. Often times I think I can juggle 5 different projects and still do my homework and eventually I have to abandon certain projects – that makes me feel like crap. For example, instead of publishing five rushed articles everyday, maybe just write one really good, polished article every week. But, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take risks. Risks are good and can prove rewarding. Simply take them in moderation.

Advice to: Web Designers

I just did a little screencast about a tip to help keeping your code organized in dreamweaver.

Advice to: Cooks around the world

The best advice I can give is around food so I would say……Make sure not to over cook steak! Try it medium rare and you will get to like it and eventually totally love it!

Advice to: Non-Profits

If you think that you know everything, then surround yourself with lot’s of very smart people – just in case ;-)

Advice to: Designers/Developers

Always keep learning and improving your skills. In a fast paced field, stay on top of the design community, keeping up with the latest trends, learning new software, and broadening your skill level is essential. Hard work and dedication pays off in the end.

Advice to: Designers/Developers

Always Remain Teachable.

Advice to: Songwriters

The first draft is always crap. Even if you love it. Never write without humour and humanity. Write concise, meaningful lyrics. No filler. Sing in your own accent, character and style. Never underestimate the power of the first inversion and the octave leap.

And most of all, write more. There’s never an excuse not to have written another song.

Advice to: People who walk in the middle of the pavement

When I’m out for a run get out of my way!

Advice to: Google

Please make your captchas readable.

Advice to: People learning CSS

Use Eric Meyer’s CSS reset to get rid of all the default browser settings before styling things the way you want them to look.

Advice to: Everyone

I advise you to read this blogpost at Minor Issues.

Advice to: Everyone

In memory of my mum, Ann Sewell, “Don’t put off till tomorrow, what you can do today”. It’s like she knew.

Advice to: Anyone

Todays musings: Don’t leave things to the last minute. Don’t let someone unreliable do something just to avoid confrontation. There is no such thing as too much coffee.

Advice to: Slow Walking Pedestrians

Please if you are looking to take a nice stroll in nyc on a busy day do so on the side and not the middle of the sidewalk. I BEG YOU!

Advice to: Aspiring Ninjas

Remember not to carry your throwing stars in your pants pocket. Use a specially designed accessory belt instead.

Advice to: My Co-workers

I would REALLY keep close your valued possessions at work this week. Office pranks will NOT be made on ME this week. :-D

Advice to: Web Developers/Designers

Our profession is unique, and we should be unique as well. We should strive for greatness to further our field and help others along the way. Technology is a great thing, and we should all do our part in contributing to the web and Design community in general. If you want to get noticed in your field and make a difference, people are going to look at what you did, and how you helped the Development/Design community advance. Whether it be your great resources, or your great web application or site that you created that helps others enjoy the internet even more, or even giving fellow developers your time and advice. Whatever it is, don’t give up on it, keep your head in the game, and finish what you start. Keep learning and achieving your goals. Do what you love and Others will notice your hard work. And you will be a success at it.

Advice to: Anyone and Everyone

There is a difference between what you are willing to do and what you have to do to succeed.

Advice to: Politicians

Regret everything

Advice to: Independent musicians and music businesses

Understand the internet properly. Not just its mechanics – but the kinds of connections it creates and the different behaviours it encourages. Accept that this is the way it is, and then capitalise on that fact.

Advice to: Bloggers

Forget your SEO and your web design. Write articles that will make people either 1) die from excitement or 2) overwhelm with knowledge.

Advice to: Everyone

The Bible, a good read… ;)

Advice to: Everyone

The best quote I ever read is frighteningly simple – “often the obvious is not apparent” (I can’t remember where I got it!)

With hindsight, the development of the iPod was obvious… but if it was so obvious why didn’t Sony or someone build it?

“Well-informed people know it’s IMPOSSIBLE to transmit voice over wires and that were it possible to do so, the thing would be of NO practical value.” – Boston Post, 1865, quote from an article concerning the arrest of a man who had been attempting to raise funds for work on a telephone.

“I don’t really foresee any commercial possibilities for COMPUTERS and I predict a world market for maybe FIVE computers!” -Thomas Watson, 1940, Chairman of IBM

In short, many things are only obvious after they have been built/created/designed/introduced!

Advice to: Start-Ups

Make money now!

Advice to: Visitors to London

First thing to do when arriving in London is invest in an Oyster card – It will be much cheaper in the long run and you can reuse the next time you visit London!

Advice to: Everyone

There’s no substitute for hard work. To be a little more precise, about 10,000 hours worth.

What advice would you give to…?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

In an effort to persuade the experts of our world to part with some of their wisdom, I ask you to give us some advice. It can be on anything, your practice, your obscure hobby, getting a job. It can be to anybody, web designers, bloggers, developers, students, lollipop men! It can be as long or as short as you want and it could be to someone specific e.g. ‘Advice to my Milkman. Only deliver 2 pints on Tuesday’.

The advice received in this mass collaboration project will be made into a blog post on the 8th of December.

Thanks in advance!