Twitter has been in the news a lot lately, but I’ve been using it only a short while — and I’m really a novice at it still. So this feature is by no means offered as a complete or expert guide to Twitter’s service.
But if you are new to Twitter or have never tried it, I’ll share some of the resources that got me started. And I’ll thank all the generous people I met on Twitter, who shared tips, links and other resources, all delivered in updates of 140 characters or less.
Although it has taken me a while to get started, now that I’m using Twitter I’ve found it really useful. It all started because I couldn’t keep up with the daily content in my RSS reader.
An RSS reader (or aggregator) downloads all the new information published on your favorite websites, so you can read it all in one place — without having to navigate to each site on the Web. One popular Aggregator is the Google Reader.
I started using an RSS reader a long time ago because I didn’t have time to visit all the web sites I like to follow. But eventually I collected too many RSS feeds to keep up with them all. But that’s another story.
Anyway… I decided to use Twitter to follow the updates (“tweets”) from my favorite sites in small updates 140 characters or less.
If you don’t know much about Twitter, you read about it at wikipedia, or visit Twitter and watch the video that explains the service. Or is supposed to explain it; because having watched that video myself a long time ago, I completely failed to grasp Twitter’s potential.
For a long time I assumed Twitter was to update people that I already communicate with in person or by email and phone, a means to notify them en masse about about matters too mundane for email … like what I was cooking for dinner or when I was doing the laundry. That didn’t seem interesting to me.
My opinion changed when I started using Twitter to follow a few of my favorite sites, including smashingmagazine.com. From them I learned about a great opportunity to buy a huge collection of Photoshop textures form from artist Grant Friedmanoff at his site colorburned.com. I followed him and came across his feature A Chat With Twitter Master & Designer Calvin Lee
By using Twitter I discovered that what makes Twitter fun, useful and addictive — getting updates from people I’ve never met, and getting a chance to find out who is influencing the writers and artists whose work I follow and admire on the Web.
So for any other Twitter newcomers, here’s a list of resources I came across in the last few days (all these links are fairly fresh)…
- Another interview with Master Twitter Calvin Lee: How Do You Twitter: Mayhem Studios? by Paddy Donnelly Jan 20, 2009
If you follow Calvin, you’ll get loads of updates on graphics, web design, twitter, etc.
- 3 New Tools for Better Twittering by Darrell Etherington | Feb 06, 2009
- Dawn of the Twitter Effect on Royal Pingdom | Feb 03, 2009
How a single Tweet crashed a blog
- 8 Useful Tips To Become Successful With Twitter by Paul Boag on Smashing Magazine | Feb 03, 2009
- Do you want to know why people won’t Follow You in return on Twitter? by Andy Headworth | Feb 05, 2009
- Just to clarify …Twitter is not Facebook! also by Andy Headworth | Feb 06, 2009
- 10 Cool Tweeple in the Design Community by Andrew Houle | Jan 21, 2009
- How Twitter Was Born by Dom Sagolla | Jan 30, 2009
- Twittering Tips for Beginners by David Pogue in the New York Times | Jan 15, 2009
- A Visual Journey into the History of Twitter by Mike Johnson | Dec 19, 2008
If you give Twitter a try, you’ll find me @jcov