How I Use Twitter (And Why)

Twitter is a big part of my life, since 2008, after I completed my dissertation, it became my primary source for breaking news, on-going interests and the chance to create friendships that have started in the online space and moved into the real-life space. For someone who craves the ability to re-charge quietly, in an introverted way, Twitter has been a platform for me to express myself without fear. Chances are that you’ve stumbled across this page to find out exactly who I am and what I get up to online. So I thought it would be time to provide those kinds of details here. Thanks for finding this page, this is going to be a living document and be updated (as and when I can), and in the interest of full transparency (the principle of the social web), this is the space I want for us all to occupy and not be afraid to live in.

Here’s what you can expect from me:

  1. All my tweets have a purpose and intention (most of the time). Professionally, that means you’ll see tweets covering a lot of different aspects of the publishing industry (not just book reviews, but the topics that effect the digital and print space), like e-readers, e-books, online reading habits, best practices and the social web. Personally, it’s all about cycling, interacting with  friends, men’s issues, authentic communities, relationships and communication. I think it’s fairly evenly split, 50/50, between professional and personal topics.
  2. For the most part, I approach each tweet, reply and re-tweet with a smile. I like interaction on the web because it’s typically something I can control the speed and pace of.
  3. I am a positive kind-of-guy, and I don’t let much stand in the way of my having a good time. Unless it’s cycling related, or has anything to do with my bike, and/or road safety. There’s no excuse for driving or cycling like a prat – obey the rules of the road and everyone should get home alive.
  4. What I re-tweet, I don’t always agree with or support what I share, but what I do share will always be of interest to me, with the possibility that it might create a sharing space.
  5. Conversations and sharing. See point 4, it’s what Twitter was designed for. If you ask me a question or make a request, I’ll do my best to get back to you with some kind of information. Or if I see a conversation happening that I know something about outside the realm of Twitter, I’ll get involved.
  6. If you do follow me, it doesn’t mean I’ll automatically follow you back. I recognize even now that I want to narrow down my twitter stream at times, so please don’t be offended if I stop following you as well.
  7. I make lists and keep adding to them when I come across people I think it would be worthwhile to listen to. These are based on my interesst, and geographic region. Being put on a list doesn’t mean I automatically follow you though.
  8. Hashtags can be, if used properly, a lot of fun, entertaining and resourceful. I use them frequently when live tweeting, and I typically like to see them at the end of a tweet. If they begin to be overused throughout the tweet (making all that blue text hard to read), then you’re doing it wrong.

Thanks for reading this through, I’ll try to update it now and again.

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