Building the Network
When your profile is complete, it is now time to start building your network. With help from Twitter, though, you can start right away, as shown earlier in this chapter. You can also go to the top of your Twitter page and click on Find People, which gives you four options:
- Find on Twitter—This search option lets you look for people already on Twitter by username or their first and last name.
- Find on Other Networks—This option searches other networks such as Gmail and AOL for friends who have accounts registered with Twitter. After you log in, you can then follow them on Twitter.
- Invite by Email—Whether it is on a popular service like Yahoo, Gmail, or AOL, or on a private server, you can email anyone in your address book and invite them onto Twitter.
- Suggested Users—Look familiar? This is the offered option at the beginning of your registration, now offering a bit more as you have a complete profile. Twitter takes a look at the details of your bio, finds active Twitter accounts, and then makes suggestions. With each one you check, Twitter lets you know whom you are following when you click on the Follow button.
Figure 2.13 Now that you have Twitter the way you want it, it’s time to build that network, and Twitter’s Find People option is there to help.
This option is usually a popular one because Twitter features a variety of account all showing active use. It should not take long for people to find you. Within the first 24 hours of setting up the TweetMorris account, I picked up three followers. It’s that easy to get your network underway!
Along with what Twitter offers, you might decide to venture out into the Twitterverse, just to see who is out there. Much like Capt. Jonathan Archer of the (original) Enterprise, you are boldly going into the open spaces to make First Contact.
Don’t be nervous. This is the easy bit.
Following Someone at Random on Twitter
- If you are new to Twitter, click on the Everyone option on the right side. This shows you the public timeline of everyone on Twitter.
- Scroll along the first page. If you find a tweet that strikes your interest, click on the username. Twitter immediately sends you to that user’s home page.
- Look over that first page of tweets. If this Twitter sounds like someone you want to connect with, go to step 4. Otherwise, click on the Home link at the top of the page and repeat steps 1 and 2.
- Under the user’s avatar is a button that says Follow. Click on it.
Congratulations! You just made your first random connection on Twitter. This is social networking at its easiest and at its finest. This is, however, following someone at random. What if you get a business card with a username on it? How do you find this person on Twitter?
Following Someone You Know on Twitter
- With the person’s username on hand, log into Twitter.
- In the URL field of your browser, edit the address from http://twitter.com/home to http://twitter.com/username. (Examples: http://twitter.com/ITStudios, http://twitter.com/TeeMonster)
- After the user’s Twitter page loads, single-click the Follow button under the user’s avatar.
Now comes the ominous emails you receive at random points throughout the day: Someone is following you on Twitter. That does sound a bit stalkerish, sure, but that is what happens when someone clicks that Follow button on your Twitter home page. So you receive email notification that you are being followed by another Twitter user. What do you do now?
Following Someone That’s Following You on Twitter
- In your email notification, you see under Check out User Name’s Profile Here: a URL for that user’s Twitter home page. Single-click the URL in the email or copy the URL.
- Your browser should launch automatically if the URL is active in your email, or launch your browser of choice and paste the URL you copy from the email into the URL field. You will find yourself at that user’s Twitter home page.
- Review that Twitter’s opening page. If you think this is a follower you want in your network, click on the Follow button under the user’s avatar.
From here, it is up to you. You start tweeting. You start communicating. You let your network know what you are doing in Twitter. That’s all there is to it. From here, all you need to do is maintain your network, keep an eye on the activity, and participate in the chat or simply post your current status wherever you are, keeping those in your network informed.
So, come on in. The chat is always on, and you might learn something new before the day is done.