While Twitter is fast becoming a recognized way to communicate with friends, acquaintances, and professional peers, those new to micro-blogging often find themselves communicating in a limited number of ways. It's not just about mining your feeds for resources, it's about building relationships with your tweet-mates. The best way to do that, is to make an effort to post a variety tweets.
Do the Play-by-Play: Broadcast a live concert or sports event; or share your response to a popular televised experience. Twitter is about community, and the sharing of your live responses can make any news report, playoff game, or special event a memorable group experience.
Be a Friend: Send supportive replies to the tweets of your colleagues. If you can answer a question, lend your insight. If you'd like to keep your conversation private, don't be shy about sending direct messages. With practice, you'll soon deepen your online relationships.
Let the Twittersphere attend your Presentations: If you are attending a conference, or presenting a workshop, consider streaming or live-blogging the event. Tools like UStream.tv and Cover-it-Live make it possible to share text, audio and video, and to do so at no cost. Tweet the links and use conference hashtags to assist those looking for updates.
Publicize your Learning Ventures: Tell us about your online publications be they blog posts, podcasts or wiki projects. Using Twitter exclusively for self-promotion isn't recommended, but doing so as part of a broad range of tweets can help your followers understand your work 'in context'.
Re-Tweet: Share the best links and stories that come down your Twitter stream. It's great to be re-tweeted, so don't be shy about quoting the people you follow. At their best, re-tweets often serve to introduce your followers to colleagues who can enrich their personal learning networks.
Report the News & the Weather: Have you noticed the number of news broadcasts that are beginning to reference Twitter? Whether you're experiencing threatening weather or are present for a newsworthy event, you can be the first on the scene reporter. Tell your network what's going on, and encourage them to share the story with others.
Tweet the Small Stuff: Let us know you're a real person, by sharing occasional tidibits from your daily life. Share the cute stuff, the aching frustrations, the mini-revelations... In doing so, we remind ourselves and our followers how much we treasure experiences in the real world; and we remind colleagues and friends that family and community play important roles in our lives.
Ask for Help: Don't be shy. If you've built a network of followers, rely on the expertise around you! Need a resource or want feedback on an idea? Feel free to post the occasional question. Over time, you'll be surprised at the range of support you will receive.
Get Your Tribe Together: With Twitter apps appearing on more and more mobile devices, Twitter is the perfect vehicle for organizing impromptu gatherings among colleagues. Whether meeting at a restaurant, movie theatre, or online meeting space, the tweeting of meet-up details is fast becoming a popular mechanism for bringing people together.
Be Playful: Posting an occasional puzzle, riddle, or challenge is a good way to encourage creative thinking on your network. As Twitter groups become more popular, I think we'll soon see gameshows appear on the Twitter network.
Having a diverse network of followers and followees makes for the richest Twitter experience. Emulating this variety in your own posts will help you to be seen as a valuable and personable node in the network.
The Common Craft explanation of Twitter can help you introduce the idea to colleagues. Are there other types of Twitter posts that catch your attention? Are there any types of post that you'd recommend we NOT try to emulate?