Twitter, Facebook, I don’t need that because:
– It takes to much time;
– I don’t want to know when somebody drinks a coffee;
– It’s for the younger generation;
– Give me some privacy please.
Those remarks are often heard when I start talking about social media. This article desribes how I use social media and how it brings me added value. And trust me, I don’t want to know when somebody goes to the toilet ;-).
Social media can offer a way to gather information about topics you are interested in. This can be al sort of topics, for me those topics are mainly photography and projectmanagement. So I started using Twitter just to find out what it offers. I created my Twitter account and started searching on ‘Photography’, ‘Photo’ and ‘Projectmanagement’. Of course I found a list of other Tweeps (Twitter People). I looked at their tweets (Twitter messages) and when it looked interesting, I added those people. I just started with a small number of people. I also knew a couple of names of ‘great photographers’ and searched for them and added them too.
The result? Within a couple of days I found out that those people retweeted messages of other photographers, some of them interesting enough to be added to my following list (follow = people who’s messages you want to see).
Doesn’t this take me too much time? No, it doesn’t. I check my Twitter messages when I feel like doing this. This might be when waiting on something else. The coffeebreak, a delayed meeting, or the commercial breaks on TV. I favorite the interesting tweets or answer questions of other people when possible.
When scanning the tweets, I skip al nonsense tweets of somebody having lunch although sometimes it is a connection point like in case you have been in that restaurant or whatever…. It is just another way of making contact.
For my work and photography I use several different software tools. I started to follow the suppliers of some of those tools so I see all kinds of interesting information passing by. And what do I post myself? When I have written an article like this, I post the link on Twitter. People who follow me are probably interested in this. Also other photographers are following me, so the results of a photoshoot are published online and a link is posted on Twitter.
Facebook is the other social media site I use. Actually all my Twitter messages are automatically posted on Facebook. I made my Twitter account visible to everybody. My Facebook is visible to my friends only.
How to make things easier:
Scanning the tweets itself is done very quickly, reading an interesting article which you found on Twitter (at least, the link to the article) takes more time. Usually I just favorite the tweet (there is a favorite link beneath the Twitter message). When I have more time scheduled, I can go back to my favorite tweets and read the articles. Actually I’ve made it a even better by using Instapaper… Read on !
Send favorite tweets to Instapaper:
Instapaper is a webservice that you can use to save articles or webpages you want to read later. I.e. you are browsing the internet, find something nice and want to read it later. You can save that page to Instapaper and easily find and read the page later. Visit that site and check it out !
I used the site IfThisThanThat www.ifttt.com to create an automated tasks that checks my Twitter account every 15 minutes and when I favorite a tweet in my account, it send the Tweet to Instapaper. Next time I visit Instapaper I have a nice overview of all the articles or pages I want to read. It is not difficult to setup. Create an account at that site and search for a ‘recipe’ like: Link In “Favorite” Tweet Sent Directly To Instapaper. Configure your Twitter and Instapaper account and you are ready to go !
I even went one step further. In Instapaper you can configure to send a Liked (or favorite) article to Evernote. So when I really like the article and want to save it for future reference, I just push the Like icon in Instapaper and a couple of seconds later it is offline available in Evernote. Visit Evernote.com for more info about Evernote !
Share the Knowledge:
When you have something that might be of interest to other people, why not share it on Twitter. Just share the knowledge. And when you see somebody asking a question and you know the answer, why not answer it. Next time you have a question… 😉
Flipboard on iPad/iPhone
There is another very nice way to read Twitter, Facebook and all other kind of information streams. Download the app ‘Flipboard‘ to your iPad or iPhone. Flipboard is a digital newspaper that is build up with things you like. Flipboard collects the messages you receive on Twitter or Facebook. In case the message contains a link it will display the page behind the link. So you a get kind of newspaper that is build up of the messages you receive on your social media and contains information from your friends or contacts. Flipboard is really great and contains more than Twitter and Facebook. Just check it out.
Twitter has brought me an additional, more dynamic flow of information. Scan the Tweets when you have some time left. Pick out the interesting articles and read…..
Of course, when you have something to tell to the world, put it on Twitter and share the knowledge!
Using an app like Flipboard makes things even more usefull and fun to use.
And remember, this is how I use Twitter. Try and find your way of using it !