Twitter primer Part II

OK, so in part one we covered the very basics of twitter. Now it’s time to make it work more easily and efficiently.

Twitter has a concept called “lists”, which are both very useful and rarely used. You can follow entire lists from other people or organisations with one click, which is very useful when you’re starting out/very interested in a subject, but that’s not how I use them, TBH – I like to pick and choose who I follow. I have just two lists – a-list, b-list. It’s pretty simple stuff – people/organisations I follow where I don’t want to miss anything they say go on the a-list. Stuff I like to keep across but isn’t critical goes on the b-list. Whenever I make a new follow, they always start off on the b-list, then I move them up if I decide I’m hunting around for them in the b-list.

So it’s basically priorities – A is high, B is other.

I used to have a multitude of lists – family, media, footy, friends, other sport, photography, music, etc, but it was pointless – way too hard to keep a track of. This way is simple, and it works a treat.

The other reason it works so well is that I don’t use the twitter page to use Twitter, I use a program on the computer called “Tweetdeck“. Tweetdeck is a Twitter “client” – it uses Twitter, but you don’t have to go to the Twitter website. Tweetdeck allows you to watch a variety of twitter functions – lists, mentions, direct messages, saved searches – all on the one screen. It makes twitter really usable and useful.

Tweetdeck was bought by Twitter a while ago, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but at the moment, it’s the best method I’ve found.

Tweetdeck is also available on iOS and Android. Again, I like it on Android because it’s nicely list-centric, and because all of my account, list, saved search information is available on the phone just as it is on the PC because I’m logged in to Tweetdeck. it also allows you to easily switch between accounts to post from, which is really useful if you have personal and business accounts.

Searches – if, say, you’re a photographer, you could search on #photo, and watch that in a column on Tweetdeck. Or #afl. Or #gotiges. Or #cricket. Pretty much, if you can think of something, somebody is tweeting about it and you can join in.

Tweetdeck also makes it easy to filter or search on each column to make finding content/posters easier, and it has a global filter which allows you t o block particular words, posters, etc. They haven’t bothered to make that easy to use at all, so it’s a bit of a PITA.

If I think of anything else, I’ll come back and add it 🙂

So, enjoy twitter. Remember, it’s not Facebook and isn’t designed to be – as long as you treat them differently, they’re both rewarding experiences.

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