Intermediate Twitter—1500 Followers, by Joffre (“JD”) Meyer

This article represents a happy sequel to “Introduction to Twitter,” when I crossed the 1000 follower mark in mid-July 2014; now I’ve made it to the 1500 follower mark at the start of December. What additional insight and advice can I give? First of all, tweet something everyday, and include a link virtually every time if your goal is to be a serious news curator.

Answer private messages promptly. Otherwise they may quit following you. Nearly always, it’s a new Twitter associate, and they probably want you to like them on Facebook. Make it a daily ritual to re-tweet something from a prominent follower. It’s a wonderful honor to meet such prominent leaders through Twitter. In my case, they’re in education, social media, business, travel, and music, and cooking. Twitter can lift you from the confines of your hometown to a scholarly, analytical world, yet I’m not a serious scholar all the time .I’m going to tweet something of relevance to my neighborhood BBQ/bar hangout: Stanley’s Famous Bar-B-Q of Tyler, TX.

Three of my mutual educator followers are in the Top 50 Twitter for Education:Angela Maiers of Iowa–the #youmatter teacher– (also on Facebook), Ioannis Ioannou of the London School of Business (sustainability expert), and Cyndi Burnett of Buffalo State (creativity/gifted & talented).

Become a fan of social media leaders, in addition to your field of expertise. Some of my most precious memories involve reading the works of Melonie Dodaro, Sean Gardner, Ann Tran, and Ekaterina Walter to name but a few. When somebody new follows you, include the number of those you already know as a reason for following them, together with the superstars. Approach the proverb-heavy twitter folks with skepticism but not disdain. Avoid those who want you to pay a little to gain followers; that’s what your content is supposed to do!

Check out the Twitter analysis tools. I really love the Tweep Map, for it showed me in which countries, states, and cities my followers reside. The USA is the home for two-thirds of my followers while Canada and the United Kingdom are at 8% each. Twtrland states that my most popular followers are largely from the Arabian Peninsula and Brazil, so look at more than one instrument.

Remember, “Home” is who you follow and who they re-tweet while “Search” is what topics should interest you, according to Twitter. Stances in the Search section may be of the opposite end of the political from you; nevertheless, it’s much easier to dodge those who aren’t like-minded on Twitter than Facebook. For me, it’s more likely to know hometown folks of the “other party” on Facebook. Yet my former students share their lives on Facebook, which is sweet.

So far, I have two lists. I’m a member of an urban policy group and started my own small Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (#mbti) group. I should resolve to start a Community Health Worker (#CHW) list, as I attend luncheons for a local coalition, and it’s become my newest research area. CHW’s are paraprofessionals in the health industry who know their community well and how to explain complicated directions from doctors, nurses, and social workers.

To end for now,let’s remember two funny tweets. I checked the trending column and found “#WorstChristmasEver,” a movie in which a junior high school-aged girl succeeded in thwarting efforts to rob a mall pet store of an expensive dog, together with co-star Grumpy Cat. They had a heart-warming telepathic relationship. I had just seen the movie’s TV premier the night before–a Saturday. Anyway, after complimenting the movie, I forwarded a note asserting, “Now that I’ve got your attention, #mbti, #Kwanzaa, #susty.” (“Susty” is an abbreviation for “sustainability”). These hashtags go straight to three of my favorite research fields. Normally, one shouldn’t use more than two hashtags, but one is better than none. In another tweet, I also complimented the friend who turned on the movie while reminding her that @Fareed Zakaria comes on in 45 minutes–9:00am CST on CNN. It’s fun to go to Fareed Zakaria’s Twitter site and tweet while you watch his show. Last week, he had a wonderful focus on innovation program.

As you can see, Twitter provides a lot of good times for me. To cite John Langan, the godfather of Developmental Writing and Reading, the goal of writing is to inform, persuade, and entertain. With Twitter, we can do all of those things.

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