What Has Twitter Done For Me?

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Twitter is a form of social networking, communication, promotion and news site all under one banner. As long as what you have to say is under 140 characters you can pretty much say what you want. There is no censorship, and increasing the number of followers only goes to expand the number of people your message is going to reach.

Making New Friends

Twitter has allowed me to connect and network with other design creatives from all over the world, people who in a normal situation I would have never crossed paths with. I always love to share new ideas with creatives, and gather advice from people who are more successful and knowledgeable in their field of expertise. As I have matured using Twitter over the past few months, I have grown to love some very special people.

Lauren Thompson: @nymphont

Lauren is someone I have found a great joy to communicate with, she is often looking for a designer’s feedback on web templates and other works. So I have the privilege of having a peak at the work she is soon to release and discuss the finer nuances of her brilliant web design work and font design.

Mia Zoe: @Vegagirl5

Mia is someone I have only truly begun to converse recently with on a daily basis, she is always offering me positive feedback and lines of communication relating towards my article writing over at Design Something. She has a brilliantly diverse portfolio and I have found it a rewarding experience when talking to her about all things design related. She has been a massive help in my ideas and thoughts of my own personal website design and future thinking, offering me useful links and information on a range of topics I would otherwise be lost in.

Christy Latz: @OuttheOtherSide

Christy is probably the first designer I have had the chance to speak with on a regular basis when first setting up my blog and design portfolio online, Twitter allowed me to reach her either privately through direct messages, or simply hitting her with a quick message. She provides me with positive thoughts and always makes me smile when I’ve had a rough day with work, I attempt to do the same when we both come to discuss our workload and experiences from each week.

Chris Trude: @trudesign

Ask and he shall deliver, I wanted someone to collaborate with on a professional level and work with me on a guest posting. Chris straightaway delivered and I get a real good vibe whenever I have the chance to speak further with him, he works hard on his personal blog ‘Ruminations of designer.’ This blog holds great articles on design and everyday life.

Amanda: @GritFX

Forever working hard with her own community and website I know that if I send a message she will endeavor to take a moment out of her time to get back to me on Twitter. She is on the other side of the world in Australia and of course in different time zones but this doesn’t stop her from taking time out to communicate with me.

Special mentions must also go towards

Keeping in touch with Old friends

Facebook is often cited as the main place with which social events are seemingly organized through Facebook events, groups and wall posts. But if I want to write a quick message to friends I would normally contact by phone and text; then I am able just to address a quick point or question towards their inbox. Posting this information on Twitter means that it can be accessed by others but it does also offer the flip-side of hearing their opinions. I have left questions for friends only for another person to have seen it and offered me help in return.

Networking

Twitter is a fast acting and non-stop feed of information, you can reach so many people with a tweet and instantly receive feedback and information on an idea or problem you have undertaken. I have often found a quick precise tweet which can be responded to within a few lines, that very often sees some great useful feedback received from people. This back and forth is a quick form of communication and can often build relationships and bring to you new followers and friends.

Promotion

Twitter has helped massively in spreading the word on all sorts of activities I undertake in my online experience, the creation of my twitter page directly stemmed from me blogging about design more seriously. I wanted an outlet where I could direct people to the articles I was creating and network with other bloggers, designers, and creatives to gauge feedback, understandings and any questions helping me to improve my way of working.

Promoting My Blog

Twitter helps me to tweet about all my articles and get other people to quickly pass or RT the articles to another set of followers, which only goes to improve the possibility of the article reaching as many page views as possible. Constant re-tweeting of a personal article is counter-productive though, and I would definitely recommend to only tweet it a few times. Although the flip side to this argument is the more you tweet about one thing the bigger expanse of people you are going to reach by them clicking the link and exploring your site.

Other things which I find are helpful in promoting through twitter are Flickr groups in showing off people’s work and this promotion can also bring to it new articles. Having your own Facebook page for your blog is invaluable by increasing the page views on your site and then can be further promoted on Twitter. I have been fortunate enough to connect with some great creative personalities through my Twitter feed, this has further lead to articles being written with some people as guest authors and performing informative interviews on the blog. It is always refreshing to work with new people, and working alongside someone on an article is something which really ignites creativity and a willingness to work as hard and productive as possible.

Promotion of my personal portfolio and the work that I have created online can further be spread to large numbers of followers that will hopefully equal to more opportunities for people to be interested in my work, and can later lead towards an increase in job opportunities. Connecting with more experienced Twitter creatives and designers is often invaluable, if they become interested in your work it can lead to more exposure of your work, articles, and thoughts; if the right people tweet your links to their large numbers of followers. Increasing the amount of people you can reach can mean increased opinions, job opportunities and constructive feedback on work.

What do I Update twitter with?

Echofon was my first twitter tool I used over an extended period of time. This is a small Firefox plug-in resides on your toolbar and updates periodically alerting you of messages, tweets and direct messages. I found the user interface easy and simple to deal with, and its settings could be easy adjusted to the amount of times that the icon popped up notifying you of new messages. It also offers you the opportunity of turning the add-on off when you don’t want to be interrupted with notifications.

I have only begun to see the massive advantages of using Tweetdeck, it’s a program which is widely spoken of in twitter circles as being a great program to keep up-to-date with all things relating to your twitter account. It works as a fully functioning program and offers a lot of customization in its layout, and the settings are so minutely adjustable you will have a program which can either bother you every minute or just once an hour on your coffee break. The program also offers the advantage of working with Facebook and other social network sites so you can monitor several social network sites at once.

About the Author

Jared Thompson is a keen product and graphics designer. His strengths are his ability to produce high quality work from graphics software like Photoshop. He has a great eye for detail and understands how an image should be presented in its best quality. He has a passion for the works and designers of the Bauhaus movement and strongly believes that ‘less is more.’ Jared is currently studying Product Design at the Northern School of Design.

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  • http://www.dondavidvera.com David Vera

    Hey Jared you forgot me! Lol!… Nice post!
    Twitter + Tweetdeck are a powerful tool for Web Designers to have feedback or answer questions related to our job..

    http://twitter.com/David_Vera

  • http://www.twitteruse.org/ Michael

    I totally agree, twitter has certainly helped to make more friends. Not only that, there’re many other general information on tweets that helped to increase general knowledge of many different topics. People and companies can make use of twitter to their advantage in promoting themselves and, most importantly, to develop a better personal relationship with potential customers.

  • http://xpirtdesign.com Xpirt Web Design

    Twitter hasn’t really helped me much, in terms of revenue. I’ve heard many people making a buttload of money because of twitter though.

  • http://blogpost.dj23.net Jared Thompson

    thanks for the feedback, I would certainly agree that companies can better relationships on a personal level with customers.

  • http://www.psdfan.com Tom Ross

    Great post Jared. I agree that Twitter is a great tool, but at the same time I do think that quality posts/people become lost in a cloud of self-promotion. Saying that, the idea of lists certainly seems to be working towards solving that problem.

  • http://www.nopun.com Noel Wiggins

    I was using PPC to try and drive traffic to my website and would on average get as little as 30 people a day. The day I started twitter I stopped the PPC campaigns and since that week I have averaged around 120 visitors s day. That is a tremendous jump, and it only costs about 15 minutes of time about 3 times a day.

    I have also gotten a handful of projects directly from contacts made in twitter, not big projects but every little bit helps…

    Thanks and Regards

    Noel for Nopun.com
    a graphic design studio

  • http://www.designthatrocks.com Design That Rocks

    Excellent summary of what twitter can do. My experiences have been very similar. You have made some great contacts and friends and when it comes right down to it thats one of the most valuable things you can get.

    I follow many of the peers you list here, and will soon be following the others. Look forward to your next post Jared!

  • http://www.bighdesign.com Justin Moore-Brown

    Love this post sir!

    You’ve inspired me to go and create my own reasons how Twitter has helped.

    Love the profile spotlights as well!

  • http://www.gritfx.com Manz

    I thought you were a designer, not a writer… great post Jared! Touched on some very good points.

    “Constant re-tweeting of a personal article is counter-productive though, and I would definitely recommend to only tweet it a few times.” – that’s something I try to keep in my mind at all times. However, sometimes an event like a giveaway takes it grip and madness takes over reason!

  • http://www.nymfont.com Lauren

    Thanks so much Jared for mentioning me here. I was impressed with your talents after stumbling onto your blog Design Something & I too have enjoyed our friendship over twitter. Very glad to have made your acquaintance & happy to see you gain recognition each time that I do. My Ink Blog has been a favorite haunt of mine as well, to be mentioned here on this site is quite an honor for me as well. Keep up the great work Jared :)

  • http://designthoughtfortheday.blogspot.com Ted Rex

    This is a great piece you put together. I think a lot of people are still very mystified by Twitter and see it more as a self-indulgent way to self promote. Thanks for adding another viewpoint to that.

    I made this one of my three links for the day on my daily design blog Design Thought for the Day:
    http://designthoughtfortheday.blogspot.com/2010/01/01-21-what-has-twitter-done-for-me.html

    All the best, Ted

  • http://blogpost.dj23.net Jared Thompson

    thanks for the great responses people. You will only serve to harm and degrade your reputation and standing on twitter if it is simply used as a self promotion tool. You should look out for others who are kind to you also and promote those things which you find inspiring and useful.

  • http://www.ladyumbrella.com Rob

    Hey Jared, as I said via good old twitter, great post..you pretty much nail what twitter is about, how useful it is and how many great contacts can be made through it…tweet on…

  • http://www.makeprintingeasy.com Michael -Make Paper Easy

    Jared – I agree with you about Twitter. It’s a great way to meet people from around the world that you would not have otherwise probably met in life. I’ve met some really great people there as well.

    With so many people on Twitter it’s so nice to see that you featured five of your favorite people. :-)

  • http://robertoblake.com/blog Roberto Blake

    Hey Jared, never got a chance to say thanks for the mention! This is really a great article and an interesting perspective on how you can use twitter. Some people for get that Social networking is not just about networking but about being social.

    The value of being able to communicate with like minded people is not only beneficial to business, but can enrich your life and lives of others.

  • http://www.migratedesign.com Laurent Jouvin

    I’m still trying to get on this bandwagon called Twitter. I have a twitter page but not a lot of followers yet. I’m also trying to design twitter backgrounds for small businesses but I find people continuously skeptical about the benefits of a Twitter page. Now I have this page to send them to! Here is mine:
    http://blog.migratedesign.com/twitter-background-design/
    Thanks Jared!

  • http://twitter.com/idilciise Idil

    Great post. first time on your blog, I love the design. I use twitter but not for business reasons. I haven’t made a portfolio for myself yet but will use it once I set up my freelance career.

  • http://www.threepixeldrift.com/ Taylor Satula

    For the real addict Tweetie 2 is the way to go.

  • http://www.christrude.com @trudesign

    Great post Jared. Thanks for the Feat! My picture died but oh wells.

  • http://www.eastcomfort.com/index.ro.html Regim Hotelier

    I am a twitter convert too. Not so much the social chit chat but definitely following like-minded tweeters.

  • Frankjl

    Truly enjoyed this article. I’m new to the whole design/web development industry. One of my goals going forward is to achieve what you illustrated here. Meet individuals that will enhance my passion through their experiences, knowledge and advise.