Some ideas for the New Twitter User

Posted by Gerry on October 9th, 2009

Hi, welcome to Twitter.

This was written for a friend about getting started in Twitter but I’ll share it here.

From my perspective there are several subcategories of Twitter activity. Twitter itself has a lot of other information to help get started.

Go to Help @

The types of users I’ve encountered are:
Personal acquaintances. The original Twitter concept… Twitter back and forth about what you are doing, how’s it going, where do you want to meet, etc. For me these are our sons and other relatives and a few friends.

The second group, which I use the most, are the interest groups on subjects, politics, celebrities, sports, etc. I’ll describe below how to find them. A significant aspect of the issues groups, and businesses too, is that they use Twitter to link folks back to their most current blog, web post, etc.

The third type are the folks who see Twitter as a new version of network marketing and business development. They tend to follow a lot of people and often have a large number of followers. They are total strangers who you can’t figure out why they are following you until you go to their web site and see what they are offering. Lots of businesses and non-profits, particularly restaurants and wineries, in our area are doing this well.

A fourth type are what I consider the p****ography twitters. (They would see that last word and bombard me.) They tend to have photos of cute girls and cute girl names but they are explicitly or implicitly unappealing to me. You’ll notice they follow lots of people and have very few followers and often very few tweets. I don’t understand their angle and haven’t bothered to find out.

These last two types you can simply block unless you are interested in their tweets.

On Following and Followers.

The way to find like minded people is to search for your key terms. When you find someone you like and are going to follow if you go through the people they are following and their followers you’ll find more like minded people who care about the issue you are looking for.

So if you looked at what I follow you’d see my family members and their businesses. You’d see that I follow politics, particularly California politics and Sonoma County politics. I also have a strong interest in children’s issues so I follow some thoughtful people who write or blog about this.

Finally I also have a strong interests in technology use in government and public affairs and people who are thinking about what could happen next. If you want to survey this topic I have a Child Welfare Wiki where you can look at this.

I hope this was useful. Comment or Tweet me with other ideas.


Addendum: May 30, 2010

I found this from Gina Chen, it’s a good addition

Addendum 06/11/10 Roger Ebert on Twitter – Great post

Another addendum September 24, 2010

Thanks to Joel Hughes


  • Gerry La Londe-Berg said:

    I’m sure there is a social networking explanation for the folks who have huge followings and follow many people. They are like gurus in their respective fields.

    I don’t understand how someone could process that much input productively.

  • Kerry Rego said:

    I like the three ways people use it. This is an effective (and brief when this subject is simply overwhelming for the average user) for explaining Twitter. Since I explain it several times a day, I’m going to keep the list of three in mind. Thanks!

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