Posts Tagged ‘twitter’

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.

Tweet To Self

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

A tweet by @Creattica indirectly got me thinking deeply about the purpose of Twitter today.


When I first joined Twitter, almost a year ago, I didn’t really understand the power of it.  Actually the 5 stages of Twitter acceptance below pretty much sums it up for me, and probably a number of you too?


I signed up, played around with it reluctantly for a few days and (not realising it’s potential) abandoned it for months.  Only after getting my hands dirty with it in October 2008 and diving head first into the community did I finally realise what it was all about. Kinda.

In the beginning I found it difficult to determine it’s purpose.  Was this not simply one nanometre away from stalking?  Should we all be recording our every move [like ijustine below]?


Or should we be commenting on the fascinating situations life throws at us with strange tweets like @Takete?


I used it to get more involved in the design community, looking at social media and the evolution of Internet culture for my Masters, while also building up a reputation for myself and my blog.  I managed to interact with the high rollers of the Internet, including Guy Kawasaki, Pete Cashmore, Tim O’Reilly and ProBlogger, and interview them for this blog, all through Twitter.

Over the past few months I have made hundreds of relationships that would not have been possible before Twitter, some of which generated work for me, but the more important ones generated friendships.

Tweet To Self

So back to @Creattica‘s tweet, which just re-triggered my first thoughts about Twitter.


I had first looked at Twitter as a way of talking to yourself but allowing others to see what was going on in your head.  In theory, for me, it was a public ‘Note to self’, which could be interacted with by potentially thousands of people.  By making it public, a little more pressure is put upon yourself to react to your thought, rather than push it aside two seconds later.


While Twitter has evolved drastically, and for some people it is used exclusively to chat or promote their brand, I still try to occasionally use it for thoughts and musings.  Wont it be an incredibly fascinating experience to look back upon our tweet record in years to come?  Imagine our children and grandchildren being able to look at these blogs and tweets from us, seeing how we interacted and thought in 2009.

Perhaps to further emphasise which tweets are important to ourselves we should incorporate the ‘Tweet To Self‘ action?  Why not try putting ‘TTS‘ in front of those messages that you really want to implant in your head and have a slightly higher importance than @ replies?


Whether people use it as a chat room, a method of blog promotion, as a way of venting their anger, to pose philosophical conundrums or for market research, it’s all great.  The evolution of this community has been a fascinating one to watch and it’s clear that 2009 will be a very interesting year for the micro blogging sensation.

Follow Me

Don’t forget to follow me @Paddydonnelly to read my TTS. :)

Did You Get An Email From Arnie?

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Amongst all the Twitter technical problems and phishing attacks this week, there was one Tweet which shone through all the madness like a beam of ‘i’ll rip your arms off and beat you with them’ light.

I swear my finger clicked ‘follow’ faster than I thought possible! Although it’s mostly governor stuff at present (below) and not really that fascinating to me, how great is the possibility of getting an ‘@’ from Arnie!?

Hopefully Governor Schwarzenegger will start giving us pearls of wisdom like Shaq :)  His tweets always make me smile.

I must say I was thrilled as were many people by this email below.  It seems for the time being he is doing it manually himself but I’d say that will change seeing as he got over 2,000 new followers last night!  Amazing what’s possible when Kevin Rose‘s influence and Arnie’s legendary reputation meet on the Internet.

With the Daily Mail taking some notice of the latest celebrities to sign up to Twitter, it’s clear we’re going to witness a surge in tweets from hollywood and beyond in 2009.

We already have Barack Obama, Britney Spears, John Cleese, Stephen Fry and MCHammer, to name a few.

Personally the one Twitterer I want to see sign up is Eddie Izzard.  How fantastic would that be?

Who is next?

So it’s time for a quick survey everyone.  What celebrity should be on Twitter?  Who would you instantly follow if they signed up today?

Designer vs Developer: Twitter algorithm

Monday, December 15th, 2008

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Your Plant Can Now Use Twitter!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

When you read this you wont be able to resist saying those two little words.

‘What next?’

Botanicalls Kits let plants reach out for human help! They offer a connection to your leafy pal via online Twitter status updates to your mobile phone. When your plant needs water, it will post to let you know, and send its thanks when you show it love.

Did you say them?  Knew it.

My prediction for the next Twitter based invention. “Twitter Pacemaker” – Sends a tweet to your heart saying ‘keep beating’.