Monday, 21 June 2010

Twitter, Furwalls and David Milliband. Thing 7.

I think I've cracked writer's block, or at least know what causes it in me:  I'm just too damn busy at work to be creative. I've discovered I need time and space to a) enjoy blogging, b) feel that I can spend time creating a quality post that I'm happy to put out there in the ether.

Where am I sitting now? At home.
Sad? ... hmmm. Yes and no. Okay, so I'm giving up my precious spare time at home, BUT,
I've got the music of my choice playing, a nice widescreen monitor, a glass of something cold beside me ( I won't tell if you don't!) and hec, I'm relaxed and enjoying it. The only trouble with being at home is the cats and keeping them off my keyboard. Why do cats feel they need to walk all over your letters? That's another blog post in the making...

Also, by the way, I've been spurred on by all the friendly comments about Marsh's B(l)og out there. Thank you. I may not have had time to interact with you directly, but your comments are really appreciated.

Enough waffle. Down to the nitty gritty, or, twitty gritty?

Twitter, or my quick user guide.

I recently handed over the @libatcam twitter name when I moved back to my cataloguing job and part of the handover process was initiating the new person behind libatcam into the world of twitter. I won't tell you who this person is by the way, as I don't want to blow their cover, that's up to them. Anyhoo, I put together a few essential pointers for the handover, so thought they might be useful to share with you here:

  1. check your @your-twitter-name messages. This is the FIRST thing I do when I login in the morning. Situated to the right of the twitter dashboard in the 'home' section, this little gem will make sure you never miss anybody who is tweeting to you or about you by using your @name. I didn't learn this until a few months in and wish someone had told me about it earlier!
  2. Want followers? Tell them who you are!! Take the time to write a small bio and put in a picture. When I'm deciding whether to follow somebody, the first thing I read is their bio. If they say nothing about themselves I don't feel inclined to follow them. if they can't write a short bio, can they write tweets??
  3. DMs. Danger Mouse? David Milliband? or Direct Message? Not very often used as they kind of go against the spirit of twitter. However, do consider DMs for conveying personal info, like an email address, to someone you follow and trust. That way the information is ony shared between the 2, or however many of you, and not blurted out to the world (and archived at LC!).
  4. Try to keep your follow/follower/tweet ratio on an even keel. This conveys a good vibe about you and your tweeting habits. You've got a decent amount of followers so must be worth a follow, you don't stay completey slient, but at the same time you don't flood peoples feeds with a constant stream of tweets, and you are interested in following people back. A good ratio also implies that you are not a spammer.
  5. Don't forget to check your 'connections' tab in your 'settings'. This lists the 3rd parties that have access to your twitter account. People like Tweetdeck, Tweetmeme and addthis. Usually you will have given them access and all is ok. However, if you see someone there you don't recognise, don't be scared to revoke access. If they are bona fide and you've just forgotten who they are, you can always set them up with access again at a later date.
  6. Most importantly, have fun! Take the opportunity to intreract with a community you wouldn't have had otherwise. Talk to people, ask questions. See it as another group of friends who can help you out if you need it, and who you can help in turn. 
Happy tweeting!  


  1. Great post from the Marsh! I'd add one thing, if you are feeling a bit of a twitter wallflower, add hashtags to get out there. If appropriate, suffix your tweet with #cam23 #latenightlibrarian or even #nowplaying to descibe the contents of your head. These are the kind of tags that people save as searches, and joining in the fun can be a great way of meeting people and breaking the ice.

    Also, check out trending topics. The emergency budget is coming out soon- if you are interested, have your say, people are listening: number10 follow me! #bbcqt is also good if, like me, you enjoy shouting at the TV on a Thursday night.

    My hashtag of the week is probably #andypoll, he puts out a different library-themed poll every day, do you have a favourite subject heading? yes, you do! Then it's the place to be. Mine is Boring sponges- who wants to share with me on #topLCSHs ?

  2. I wish I'd heard about that @your-twitter-name messages wheeze earlier, an' all.

  3. Yes, I had to actually tweet a question about where all the @your-name stuff was going as I couldn't find it at first.

    I agree, I find it much easier to post from home too.

  4. Well if you're sad for blogging from home, then I must be too. I can't think about my blog until I've left work and even then have to work up to it. Perhaps that's why I so far behind the pack?!

    Love your DM, Danger Mouse, David Milliband line. Whatever happened to Danger Mouse?

  5. Danger Mouse, still to be found on You Tube!

    Love Penfold too!