Tag Archives: Social network

5 Descriptions of What Makes a Great Tweet on Twitter

What Makes a Great Tweet

This Actually is My 20,000th Tweet

This post is actually going to mark my 20,000th tweet on Twitter since I joined back on November 1st, 2007. Over that period of 5 years I have tweeted approximately 10 times a day, from 3 different countries, on 3 different continents, posted approximately 1,000 original images, and 1,000 original blog posts, while following around 1,000 unique very specific individuals. In honor of this pointless historical marker I have published my next list, 50 Reasons Why I Still Love Twitter, and give you 5 examples of what makes up my favorite tweets below. By the way, the Twitter favorites (star) is the greatest ever feature of twitter, and you can even create your own rss feed for your favorites list.

Twitter as an Essential Tool

Twitter has become an essential tool of our culture, and that’s where Twitter gets it’s power, it’s a tool, and a useful one. My very first post about Twitter on my blog back in 2008 asked just that question, Is Twitter Really a Useful Tool for Your Business? While that post is now far outdated, at the time, I really didn’t know the answer to that question. Back then people would tell me I don’t want to know what you are having for lunch, but now Twitter can facilitate changes to governments like we saw in Egypt and elsewhere, it’s gone beyond expectations. Many still choose to ignore it’s significance, but the power of Twitter has an almost undeniable usefulness the world has never seen.

What Makes a Great Tweet

So what makes a great tweet? Harvard Business Review did this study on just that very subject, and provided their results in this superb graphic shown above on what makes a great tweet and what makes the worst tweet. Overall, their conclusions seem to be spot on, but it can also be summed up in saying the overall best tweet is one that leads to something else. It provides some useful piece of information, or some unique insight such as this post I came across yesterday, What Would Peter Tweet?, and then leads the reader to take some action. So here are five descriptions that makes an overall great tweet.

  1. One that calls you to an action of some kind
    This can be anything from going to buy a pair of shoes from Toms because they do good things to doing the mundane
  2. A tweet that sends you to something bigger than the tweet itself
    Many times this can be as simple as providing a link to a book that the majority of your readers may not be familiar with, often this is a link to a news article or a blog post that will send the reader off to another site other than twitter
  3. A message that gives the reader some unique insight into your own personal life
    Too many tweets are party line tweets, whatever that party line is for you. It could be theology, it could be politics, or just pick something, but this is meaningless without being able to get to know the writer. All business and no play makes for a boring repetitive tweets.
  4. One that asks a question of the reader
    It doesn’t have to be a hard question, it just needs to invoke a response from the reader. This can be totally overdone, but this creates interaction, and that creates community, and Twitter is a community of followers and followees.
  5. One that shares a general piece of knowledge or information
    This is the biggie for me. There is so much noise on the internet and in the world today. Provide me with some useful knowledge about my faith, about the world we live in, about how other people live, about different unfamiliar communities. Twitter’s greatest power comes from its free flow sharing of information and knowledge, and this is the great advantage to society as a whole.

The worst tweets, totally not worth reading, are those that are complaining about something else or someone else. I personally can’t stand reading tweets from my followers who only say what’s wrong with this person or that (even if that actually is the case), and I will often quickly unfollow that user. Give us some insight into your life, in a positive way, and send us on our way better than when we came.

Some Recent Examples of Great Tweets

Those are just a few examples of great tweets from my most recent favorites list, and there you have it. My 20,000th tweet 740 words instead of 140 characters. Coincidentally, much of what makes a great tweet also makes a great blog post as well, but that’s for another day.

10 Reasons To Learn Social Media if You Are a Christian

Scott Fillmer on Facebook

I decided to start a series of sorts on social media and how we the people of the church body use, don’t use, or outright diss the majority of the world at this point. I’m hereafter coining this series of sorts as the SMFT (Social Media, Facebook, and Twitter) discussion. Part of the necessity of this discussion comes after reading some of Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival by Leonard Sweet (or @lensweet), which I would highly recommend to anyone, but should almost be required reading for anyone born prior to 1985. I have written on this many times before, but I do so now mainly because there are still some in the church today who continue ignore this medium, which has now become the most powerful tool in the world to connect with other people.

Much of the premise behind Viral is to bring the older generations of believers (that is those born prior to about 1985) into the fold of understanding in the world we live in today. It is far easier to say “I’m not part of the world, the culture, the depravity of our society,” and ignore everything our world has become, even though we do still live in the world. We are supposed to be the salt and light to the world, not to be just the salt and light to the baby boomers. Many of us do ignore the power of social media in our calling as Christians to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).

How in the world can we make disciples if we don’t know and understand the different forms of social media like Facebook and Twitter? So you say I’m on Facebook, got that covered… well, I would say Facebook is the most closed, the least evangelically available social media tool there is. You can close yourself off in Facebook by locking every aspect of your Facebook account and never be heard from again, what type of witness is that? Did you know that most younger generations are moving away from Facebook at this point (partly because we are now on there). It’s extremely important to get beyond Facebook and into other areas like Instagr.am, Pinterest, Foursquare, FlickrSpotify, YouVersion, Kindle Books (yes it’s social), blogging, texting, and various avenues on Twitter.

[On a side note… if you are only on Facebook, you are not a part of the social media revolution, this is basically pseudo social networking at best. I say this because Facebook is close to reaching saturation levels. Facebook has become like the telephone or cable TV of the 80’s. Once everyone is on there who wants to be on there it’s growth is all but flatlined. I don’t mean if you aren’t on there yet, you shouldn’t get on there, and fast, but If you are only willing to get into one single social site, I would not recommend it be Facebook, I would first make it a smart phone, where you can learn how to access everything the world now takes for granted.]

So, if you are a believer, and think this social media thing is going to go away, I’m sorry, it’s only going to get more and more ingrained into the very fabric of the world we live in. In another 5-10 years it will encompass the world’s population, except for those who ignore it’s existence. For us the church to ignore social media is akin to the church ignoring electrical power and the car when they were invented, choosing instead to stick with candles and horses.

10 Reasons To Learn Social Media if You Are a Christian

  1. Jesus would have used this media (this is a later post, but I will show from Scripture why this is the case)
  2. We are called to disciple the world, and the world is connected via social media
  3. If you don’t learn the basics, instead of you teaching your kids, your kids will be teaching you at some point
  4. By the time you are ready it will be too late (it’s already quite late as it is)
  5. Your target audience are all sitting right there waiting for your witness
  6. How many people in your neighborhood have your talked to (witnessed to) lately?
  7. Door to door is dead. Buried… and greatly frowned upon in our society. Social networking is the norm.
  8. The disciples used every tool to their advantage (they wrote books and distributed them)
  9. The Bible is the greatest social media tool every created, it’s meant to be socially shared
  10. Because there are lost people who do not know Jesus and you may be their only connection

So there you have it. That’s just a start. I didn’t put a lot of references, or other specifics as to where my ideas came from, I will put those in future SMFT posts, and those 10 reasons are just off the top of my head, I’m sure there are a ton more. I beg the church body to not let itself become irrelevant in such an overwhelming way as to not be able to reach our world today. We make disciples by investing in people’s lives, and more than any other time in the history of the world, we have access to more people, to discuss the good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ with more people, than any generation who ever lived before us.

Repeating the Same Message Dilutes It’s Value

This is the industry standard for information today. Repeat, repeat, repeat, the message so many times that at some point it will finally sink into the person’s mind, unless of course you are one of those who hears the message the first time, then turns off every next repetition. There is actually a negative term for this, which some people call numbness of frequency.

I really get tired at times of people and organizations that continually repeat the same message over and over again on commercials, marketing, their blogs, twitter, facebook and the like. I really like to get to know some of these people I read or follow on a more personal level, but when all they can do is continue to repeat their party line, whatever that is to them, in some ways it dilutes the message they are trying to send out.

Obviously the message is important but finding ways to provide some variety, or allow others to get a more personal view of themselves goes a long way to providing trust and value. Just a little variety once in a while would be great. I try to keep this in mind myself whenever I write anything so my message is more about what is going on with me personally, i really don’t think my readers, whoever they are, want to read about Auburn football every single time they see a post from me, and I would love to read some variety from those people who have none, just sayin.

The Complete Egoist by Arthur Guiterman

I have tried over the years to reconcile the whole of what is social networking to how it helps or destroys the effort of devoting one’s life to the pursuit of God.  Reading through a sermon written by a family member in 1976, I came across this poem by Arthur Guiterman called “The Complete Egoist”, who wrote this around 1930 about our pursuit to self. I wonder what he would think of our narcissism in 2010.

A Mollusc who dwelt in primordial slime
Was always himself to the innermost core;
As being himself took up most of his time,
He never did anything more.
Still just as he was, though long ages have flown,
He stands on the specimen-cabinet shelf
A fossil, immortal in durable stone,
A monument raised to himself.

–Guiterman ~1930

How Do You Make a Maximum Impact on Something?

After using tumblr for two plus years i finally figured out what it is good for, rough drafts or incomplete thoughts. Where my blog is for more polished and complete thoughts, tumblr makes a great place to throw out the unpolished. Below is an unpolished, incomplete thought process of a blog post i am working on right now.

This question above is something i have been thinking about and struggling with for years, perhaps more than a decade. How do you do something that will make a lasting impact, that will make the maximum impact? The short of it is i have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what it is you are talking about, it can be making an impact on anything, your work, missions, an individual, a blog, financially, or playing a video game.

My answer. To make the maximum possible impact you have to make small, incremental, continuous progress towards a stated, or unstated, goal, which continues to an almost unspecified length of time. This is how Dave Ramsey would tell people to build wealth, this is how you build a community on your blog, this is how you make a difference in a person’s life, you do it one small step at a time and keep working at it on a continual basis. What doesn’t work? Doing what i call dart-board ministry. Throwing darts at a board and either doing something only once, or continually changing your methods, objectives, and goals. This is the fastest and easiest way to kill all momentum and progress.

Plurk Tries to Takeover Where Twitter Leaves Off?

Scott Fillmer on Plurk

Have you seen the movie Wall Street? I assume so, I guess just about everyone has seen that movie at this point. A movie deemed to be about greed, but really is much more than surface deep. I love the link in the movie Wall Street that goes something like this.

Bud Fox: How much is enough Gordon? How many boats can you ski behind… how much is enough?
Gordon Gekko: It’s not a question of enough, Bud.

How Much is Enough To Make Us Crazy

The Internet is a lot like this. How much is enough to make us go crazy. I think that is the wrong question. My friends over at Worship Journey and GotRoot have been discussing the use of technology and how to use the tools and options that come along with embracing technology (also see The Church Body and the Internet, Part 2).

I don’t think it is a question of how much is to much, it is a question of will be embrace “new” or “change” or we will turn a blind eye.

Today I started checking out Plurk (add me to your plurk here). If you don’t know what Plurk is, it is like a pimped up version of Twitter (follow me on twitter here). Don’t know what Twitter is, it is sort of like texting the entire world what you are doing. Don’t know what texting is, well, guess I can’t help you then, and how in the world did you make it to this blog.

To Embrace Change is to Grow

We tend to get overwhelmed easily by new things like this, but I think we look at it head on, and maybe we need to look at it from the side and upside down. We don’t have to dive into everything full boar, but to resist change, or new things is to stop growing.

I try to keep an open ear and if something comes up several times, I will probably go check it out, and over the last week or two, that was Plurk.

What I am more interested in doing is being able to brainstorm enough to come up with new and innovative ideas on my own. How about you? Is see new things like those mentioned here and inevitably I think, why didn’t I think of that. Or, if I did, I had no way to implement my ideas.

So, I am constantly looking around for ideas and those new things that other more brainy people that have been able to implement their ideas and see how they were able to go about this process.

If you are a little more interested in seeing what Plurk can do, a real good article was posted a few days ago, read up at Plurk: Unique or Just Another Twitter Clone?

So, do you Plurk? Do you look at new things like this with anxiety or with excitement?

Words of the Wise, The 24 Hour Challenge A Day Later

twitter convo

Here we are another 24 hours has gone by and the 24 Hours of Wise Words, Rusty’s Challenge from Rusty is over for the sake of this blog post. As far as the meaning in our lives and how we treat others, this should continue and be a part of our persona as we grow in our Christian walk.

A Reflection on How I (We) Did

I will have to say if you didn’t participate or haven’t tried doing this yet (using wise and kind words all day), it is far harder than you might think. I can’t say that I went the entire 24 hours without an unkind or unwise word, but, I can say it made me much more cognizant of what words I do use.

Doing this little exercise did make me examine the words I use, or was going to use, and how they might effect those I was speaking to or about. It showed me where I was building others up, and in the process of tearing them down. There were several others (@hspur, @mandycon, and @bslash) who followed Rusty’s suggestion and if you followed us on Twitter you could see the progress we made and didn’t make in real time. If you didn’t, I think the others would tell you it was a good 24 hours of self examination of words and heart.

Is Twitter Really a Useful Tool for Your Business?

Follow Scott Fillmer on TwitterWith all the hype surrounding Twitter I had to give it a go a few months ago. The big question for me at the time was, is Twitter a useful tool or another avenue that eats time on the Internet?

I am not sure that question has really been answered in my mind yet, but I have made some observations over its use the last month, and if nothing else at all it has connected me to some people in business and blogging that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. At this point, I only wish more of my existing friends were using Twitter.  I do see some fluctuation where people do come in and out of Twitter so it can be hard to make acquaintances and keep them going if the someone you meet then jumps out or is never heard from again.  I wouldn’t say this is the norm, and there are so many useful applications now that you can use with Twitter, it is hard not to jump on the Twitter bandwagon.

So Does Twitter Have Usefulness

What caught my eye and got me using Twitter was all the blog posts about its usefulness in business applications, and of course blogging. A few good posts I came across are:

Since most of these posts go into how Twitter functions I won’t try to repeat that here, but I have found a few good applications for its use. Blogging is all about networking of sorts, and Twitter is a social networking agent, so put the two together with a WordPress Twitter Tools Plugin and you have a great match.

Twitter Tools Plugin & Twhirl

This is a great plugin (and another great one by Alex King, whom I am starting to think is the king of WordPress plugins) that will automatically post a tweet when you post a new blog article. It is simple to use, and is loaded with options. This is the area on my sidebar that says “What I’m doing…” and it updates with blog posts and also @replies and regular tweet posts.

Then there is Twhirl. This is a standalone program that runs on Adobe’s Air platform that will allow you to use Twitter similar to an IM window on your desktop. They also just came out with a new version, info is on their blog at twhirl 0.8 released – adding friendfeed support. This and support through iPhone and other mobile devises make using Twitter easy.

Interacting is Networking

I found out that you really don’t want to call an automatic blog post entry the end of your Twitter use though. This is not quite the best etiquette to be used on Twitter. Like most things. To make them truly useful you really need to use and interact with them.

This is the case on Twitter as well. I learned how to use the @replies and general updates through a fellow user on Twitter and it expanded it use and productivity, at least as far as traffic goes, ten fold. I would highly recommend using Twitter for more than just blog post entries.

What has your experience been with Twitter? Do you find it a useful tool to use in business applications?

If you are so inclined, you can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/scottfillmer