How not to be a Twitter nit-wit

When I first signed up for Twitter last year, I really didn’t know what to do with it. Really, I was just being a sheep – following the lead of some of my blogging friends and my brother-in-law. So my account sat there with 2 or 3 friends for a long time.

Since the first of the year I have slowly become addicted to it. And I’ve learned my way around it and in the meantime found some great tools to make it more fun and helpful to use.

Maybe you are in the same boat that I was. You have an account, but just don’t know how to use it.

Well, guess what! Today I’ll be your Fairy TwitterMother.

(I have now increased my level of dorkiness 10-fold)

Twitter has been very helpful on many levels – I have been able to quickly ask what a substitute word is for something I am writing. Or where a link for something is that I misplaced. People on Twitter are always looking to help.

Add in a dash of silliness, and you’ve got the potential for non-stop fun. Consider yourself warned. And if your house suddenly starts becoming neglected, the laundry pile reaches the ceiling and dishes go unwashed for days, pretend you didn’t hear it from me. kthanks.

TweetWheel is an easy way to see who you have in common with the people you follow. You enter your Twitter name and it loads up all of your friends. It then creates a wheel to give you visual image of who you have in common with your Twitter friends. A great way to find new people to follow. But also, just fun to see all of those links to each other.

TwitterVision gives you a world map view of what is being twittered around the world in real time (at the moment). For me, this is so fascinating. There is something surreal about seeing glimpses of people around the world at any given time. One way to use this tool, is for finding people in certain areas of the world to follow. For instance, if you need information on a particular topic and it’s regional, find people twittering in that part of the world and follow them. Then twitter away.

Twistori – this is simply a fun tool. It is an “experiment” that allows you to follow Twitters about Love, Hate, Think, Wish and Believe.

Twhirl – I found myself going to my Twitter page throughout the day, and found it distracting and disruptive. I’d often check it only to see that there wasn’t much conversation going on at that time. Twhirl has been time saver. Not only can you reply and send direct messages without having to type @_______________ , but it also pops up a message each time a Twitter is posted from someone you are following. It’s a nice subtle message in the lower right side of your screen. So no more popping on and off Twitter all day. Some may find this distracting – but I find it to be less disruptive than completely stopping what I am doing to check.

Twitterverse – looking for people discussing a certain topic or theme? Click on a word in the word cloud and find a long list of Twitters that include that word from up to 10 prior hours.

TwitBin – Do you use Firefox? (If you don’t, you should!!) You can use TwitBin to Twitter right from your Firefox browser.

This is just the tip of the Twitter Iceberg. There are tools for your phone, tool after tool for your browser… the list is long. But I find myself using these the most often. My personal favorites may change one day, but for now, these work well for me and allow me to feed my Twitter addiction and remain productive.

By the way – If you want to follow me, you can find me here.