How to get started with Twitter

I have several friends who "just don’t get" Twitter.  And I know why – they are not USING Twitter.  They are just looking at the Public Timeline and wondering, "Why do I care about this crap"?

And that is fair.  But that isn’t Twitter.  At least not the best of Twitter.

Twitter becomes interesting (and useful) when you follow people that have similar interests, people who make you laugh, people who make you think, or you get similar people following you.  To accomplish that you have to be actively involved in Twitter – that doesn’t mean running it 24/7.  It does mean getting involved though.

I have four uniquely different groups of Twitter Friends.  Those that follow me for a variety of reasons, those I follow for business, those I follow to learn from, and those I follow to have fun with. It is easy for me to separate the three groups – because I pay attention to them based on the time of day.  During the day, I focus on people I learn from, and people I am invested in from a work standpoint.  Late at night I like to have fun with another group (although many individuals cross-over).

If you are just starting on Twitter you need to find interesting, and interested people.  Two quick ways to do that:

1) Go to and type in a keyword you are interested in – like WiFi, or Microsoft.  Follow some of the people you see Tweeting things you find interesting.  Rinse and repeat.

2) Find people close to you – it is always nice to know that a Freeway is closed, or that school is canceled tomorrow.  Or even that a tornado is headed your way.  You can find people in your area on  Don’t narrow your search too tightly – search for your city, or the nearest large city to start.  Again, find people that say interesting things and follow them. Rinse and repeat.

Twitter will ONLY work for you if you follow people – and don’t worry – you can always UN-follow them later.

But don’t stare as the public timeline flies past your screen and tell me you "don’t get it".  You can’t learn programming by clicking on executables, and you can’t learn to bake by eating donuts!

If you "don’t get" Twitter then you are lazy – or scared of "following" – or you just don’t want to get it.

And if those three things do not apply to you, and you still don’t get it – call me – let me help.  But first you need to follow at least 50 people. If you can’t find 50 interesting people on Twitter you are not trying.

PS – Download a Twitter Client Application – like Twhirl.  It takes your focus away from the public timeline and focuses on you, and your friends, and followers – and their friends (which may quickly turn into your friends).

Really.  Don’t dismiss this too quickly.