The Twitter, the Tweet, & Me
“Create some lists on Twitter related to your beat and other interests. Find some new people to follow related to your topic of focus and other interests. Start interacting with others in your area of focus. Describe what you did in your journal blog.”
So Twitter, we meet again. Last week, after reading the Mashable Twitter GuideBook, I was feeling a bit more comfortable with the whole Tweetin’ thing. It’s not that I don’t know how to tweet or dislike tweeting – it’s that i’m not the most comfortable with tweeting. I often wonder – why tweet?
I mean, I get it – “live life in 140 characters or less.” If you haven’t noticed – that’s not exactly MY motto. In fact, I would feel rather hypocritical even pretending to use it seriously. However, I am a Political Public Relations person – I suppose I should become “twiterate” quickly.
In order to move forward in becoming “twiterate,” there is this thing called organization through list-making that I must attend to. Great – organization – another term that typically escapes me – especially in the social media world. I never got into “lists” on Facebook and finding bookmark on my browsers was like searching for a needle in a haystack until recently. I’m good at organizing and work stuff is always well-organized but my personal life is always lacking in organization. I have specific places for all my clothes and expensive hangers and drawers on which to put them, but somehow yesterday’s clothes (last week’s clothes) are usually found tossed over a chair and several pairs of shoes are lining the hallways and rooms of my house. Maybe the word I am in need of here is none other than motivation…or time. Yes…time. That’s probably the one.
But…I figured that not every person who sings the praises of Twitter Lists could be wrong and maybe, just maybe it would make Twitter more Robin-friendly – especially for my new TN Liberty blog. This way I could easily keep track of each section of Tennessee. Hopefully, this list-making would keep me from overlooking any current events and grievances, state legislation, and news specifically relevant to the state of Tennessee and the issues of the Liberty Movement.
So in keeping with my new found organizational spirit, I started making those pesky lists.
The next step was to finally download TweetDeck – a dashboard/app type device that supposedly makes Twitter more organizable and easier to use. Done. If you’re interested in using TweetDeck, Google Chrome browser has a nifty free app/extension that you can download, by clicking here.
Then, as I began to rifle through the 840 people that I’m currently following, I decided that one of my future steps would be to give the ol’ Twitter a good spring cleaning. Not today – but someday soon. Before reading the Mashable Twitter GuideBook I really didn’t understand that Twitter was “different’ than other social mediums in terms of the following/follower relationship. I felt that because some random nutjob followed me that I owed it to him/her/it to follow back. Does anyone want to take a guess as to what that left me with? Yep – a whole lot of weirdos, nutjobs, and people I am tired of hearing from every 2 minutes. But, for now, the nutjobs would remain.
Once I had TweetDeck up and running and started to use the +Create lists button, I began to remember why I am not a social media organizer. There are too many crossovers – too many possibilities – nothing is cut and dry! What is an over-analyzing follow freak to do?
You guessed it! I made a ton of Twitter Lists. I’m not sure I’m any more organized now than I was before. When I think about it, I kind of liked the haphazard Twitter feed. I would see a tweet about politics or a Young Americans for Liberty meme, right before one about a new journalism startup or a restaurant opening in memphis, followed by a friend posting another story explaining the anti-feminist culture of television or a guy friend explaining how he “leveled up” (whatever it is called these days) on WoW or Skyrim, followed by an album release date by The Dirty Guv’nahs, Jason Isbell (a Tiger alumni by the way), and Lucero, or a neat fact from Pew Internet or UberFacts and the most recent Tiger Basketball score. It kept me current and well-rounded.
At that moment is when I realized that I would use the Twitter Lists when I needed them to make sure I was getting all the pertinent news for my TN Liberty blog but I would keep my news feed formatted in the way that made me who I am today, for daily viewing.
As I started to put the people into groups, the cross-overs and the decisions about what type of group they should belong to, began to make me crazy. I couldn’t decide where these people should go. Were they a newspaper or a media news organization? What if they were a friend but also a musician? How about a member of the Liberty movement and a classmate? What if they weren’t exactly a Liberty Organization but they weren’t a real person either? All this classification was unnatural. Aren’t we taught to not classify people? I was finding this to be quite challenging.
So, I took a deep breath and did the best I could. Some people and organizations overlap. I guess that ‘s life though. Nothing is ever neat and perfect. You have gray areas and cross-overs, friends that belong in more than one group, and friends you don’t know what to do with.
Here is a list of my Twitter lists:
- Florida – 15 members
- Liberty Orgs – Liberty-Minded Organizations – 30 members
- Jour., Ad, PR, SM, & Mktg – 38 members
- Politicians & Govt – 67 members
- Miscellaneous – 3 members
- Social Media j7330 – 20 members
- EntreJ – 45 members
- Tennessee – 49 members
- Colleges & Student Orgs – 40 members
- Memphis – 27 members
- Newspapers/Press/News – 72 members
- Analytics & Media Co. – 18 members
- Liberty People – People in the Liberty Movement – 38 members
- Real-People – Private List – 79 members