There is a Triangle Tweetup tonight and I’ll be there, along with about 250 people from the Triangle, as well as from Greensboro and Greenville. You can follow the proceedings on Twitter, of course – @triangletweetup. You will also be able to watch it live!
Looking at the list of attendees, I see several names that are familiar, including my SciBling Abel PharmBoy who has blogged about the event in much greater detail. Then, there will of course be people like Ginny Skalsky, Wayne Sutton, Lenore Ramm and the amazing Rachel of @DPAC. I am assuming that Bob Etheridge on the list is really the NC congressman.
As you may know, I am a relatively recent migrant onto Twitter. While I have been using Facebook for over 5 years, and FriendFeed for a year, I only got on Twitter late last November. But I managed to grok it, I think, pretty quickly since then, and see it as a part of a new Journalistic Workflow.
Of course, there is more than one way to use Twitter.
You can do Lifecasting by taking the “What are you doing?” question too literally. Short messages about personal whereabouts and activities are important information that is always exchanged between people, but is much more meaningful between people who actually know each other. The human connection is just as important online as it is offline. Almost everyone on Twitter does this sometimes, and that’s perfectly fine, but if that’s all you post, you are only interesting to your Mother.
You can do Broadcasting if all your tweets are imported RSS feeds from your blog or news. This is fine if you are a news organization (yes, follow BBC and NPR and CNN on Twitter – you get fresh news that way), or your job is PR, but for an individual, perhaps the Twitter rule #1 still stands:
Nothing automated. No automatic follows. No RSS feeds. Just be yourself, be fun, and be Useful!
Then, there is Mindcasting, where Twitter is your first in a series of tools, aggregating information and getting feedback, while building a bigger story. I tried it for the first time last week, using a more light-hearted topic – Cilantro.
Remember that who you follow (their quality) is much more important that who follows you (quantity). But if you follow many people, remember Twitter Rule #2:
Your brain is the best filtering tool, so fine-tune it. You are not obligated to read every tweet in your stream.
More rules still to come ? Perhaps I’ll learn some more later today. See ya tonight!