This post is part of the “Life Skills” series by former MiddBlog editors.
In my previous post on being an active consumer of the news, I discussed how to assemble the sources one needs for a media mix that will keep you informed. In this post, I’ll provide advice for keeping up with these sources.
Make Twitter work for you
There are a lot of reasons people stay away from Twitter. People see it as being too turbo, too nerdy, too much of an obligation for their careers or too superficial. Twitter may not be for everyone, but I believe most people can find a way to make Twitter work for them. The key is to assemble a list of followers you find compelling and to think of Twitter as a tool for keeping up with your interests and for sharing. Twitter can easily become a natural extension of one’s interests and one’s desire to share.
If you’re new to Twitter, create an account and find users to follow. When looking for feeds, I recommend keeping in mind the Media Mix I suggested: you want a cross-section of news sources ranging from the hyperlocal to the international. Also, one of the great things about Twitter is that you can follow people and organizations that you’re interested in without getting information through a filter. If you want the latest on Tebow, go straight to the source.
As you choose whom to follow, it’s important that you assemble a feed you’ll find compelling going forward. Especially if you’re just starting out, be wary of accounts that are too prolific and don’t double up on accounts that essentially do the same thing. This means not following too many sources for breaking news, for example. To keep your feed organized, make lists that create new streams with a combination of accounts you chose, including accounts you don’t follow. You can also subscribe to other users’ lists.
Many users like to download applications that run Twitter on their computers and mobile devices. There are many options out there, but the applications made by Twitter itself work quite well.
Finally, Twitter is also about leaning forward and interacting with other users (more on this in my post next week). This friendly introduction to Twitter includes a glossary and will help you get started. Read more