Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Twitter 102 with Slash Coleman

(This post was originally published in Storytelling Magazine in 2011)
Q: Staring at a column of random thoughts (Tweets) is overwhelming, isn’t it?  
A: Yes, that’s why you need to download Hootsuite.com The free application gives you the ability to listen in on individual thoughts in two ways:
a) By a persons name (also called a Nametag)
b) By topics that interest you (also called a Hashtag)

Q: Is it true that having Twitter without Hootsuite is like having a car without keys?
A: Yes.

Q:  What is a Nametag?
A:  When you sign up for Twitter you’ll decide what your username will be. Each Nametag has the “@” symbol in front of it. My Nametag is @slashcoleman. I used my own name. Others use something clever like @getstoried.

Q:  What is a Hashtag?
A:  When Tweeters tweet about topics they put the “#” in front of their topic. Some recent Hashtags I’ve used are #storytelling and #NSN2010. At www.hashtags.org, you can type in a Hashtag and you’ll find out who’s using it and how popular it is.

Q:  What is the correct way to use Nametags and Hashtags in my tweets?
A:  Right: The #NSN2010 in #LA is awesome. I’m meeting great #storytellers.
Wrong: I’m meeting lots of great storytellers at the National Storytelling Conference in California.

The first one is a part of a global conversation that others can search, find and read. Anyone who follows the topics #storyteller, #LA or #NSN2010 will immediately see my message in their Tweetdeck column. The other is a random thought that is un-searchable and lost. (When I set Tweetdeck up, I was surprised to find mentions of me dating back a year. Some resulted in bookings).

Q:  How do people have time to tweet all day?
A:  Most don’t, that’s why they download HootSuite (free at Hootsuite.com). It allows you to create all your tweets in the morning and schedule them to be sent throughout the day.

Q: What now?
A: Click your name in the right corner. When the menu pulls down, click “Who to follow.” Click “Find Friends” Type slashcoleman in the search bar. Click the green“+” sign. You are now following me. Tweet a message to me: “@slashcoleman I love your #Twitter article in #storytelling mag.” I will tweet back to you recommendations on how to use Twitter to boost your storytelling connections.

Q:  What is a direct message?
A:  A 140 character private message that only the person you’ve sent the message to can see.

Q:  What is a Retweet?
A:  When you copy and paste someone else’s message into your tweet bar and re-send it, you have retweeted their message.  Retweeting is a nice thing to do, like holding the door open for someone else.

Slash Coleman is a professional storyteller best known for his award-winning PBS special "The Neon Man and Me." His twitter campaign helped him win over PBS stations nationwide and land a two year distribution deal with NETA His recent column in Storytelling Magazine concentrates on social media and marketing strategies for artists and he was most recently featured on the NPR series "How Artists Make Money." For more information about Slash Coleman - please visit www.slashcoleman.com

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