Browsing Darren Rowse's posts

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of a variety of blogs including TwiTip, ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School.

How to Follow A LOT of People on Twitter and Still be Engaging using TweetDeck

One of the most common questions that I’m asked by fellow Twitter users is how I manage the large number of people that I follow and am followed by on Twitter.

I always struggle to answer that question because to be quite honest there are days that I don’t think I do particularly well with the task and where it can all seem a little overwhelming.

However…. one of the tools that has helped me incredibly to manage the task is TweetDeck. TweetDeck has a lot of great tools designed to help Twitter users with a variety of tasks – some of which are simply indispensable to those trying to connect with large numbers of people.

Yesterday I stumbled upon a great video by Jesse Newhart which shows a few of the features of TweetDeck that he uses to stay engaging with over 15,000 followers. In the video Jesse talks about his API settings and how he uses Filtering to find people to engage with and interesting information.

To be honest I’ve not previously used the filtering feature very much (I do outline one way that is different to Jesse below) – however now that I see how Jesse uses it I think it could become quite useful.

Here’s the video. Below it I share 3 more techniques that I use with TweetDeck.


What Businesses are Doing Well on Twitter?

Over the last 6-12 months we’ve seen a real shift on Twitter with a lot more talk about Businesses using it to support various aspects of what they do.

Much has been written about businesses using Twitter badly – but I’d be interested to hear some examples of businesses that use Twitter well.

Which businesses use Twitter well? What are they doing to make you think this?

Let me ask it a little differently:

Which businesses do you follow on Twitter? Why do you follow them?

I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

How I’d Use Twitter if I Were an Acupuncturist

Today as I lay squirming (just a little) on the table of my acupuncturist thinking about what we talked about before my treatment I let my mind wander a little to the topic of ‘how I’d use Twitter if I was an Acupuncturist’ (I had to take my mind off the needles sticking out of my legs somehow!).


Actually my acupuncturist Anthony Olsen IS using Twitter (but more connected to his Joomla Template membership site) but what I was thinking about as I lay on his table today was more about how an acupuncturist (or really any person with clients) could potentially use Twitter.

Here’s what came to mind.

Every time I go to see Anthony the session starts with some Question and Answer time. It usually covers a few topics like:

  • Have you had any headaches (I go for migraine treatment)?
  • How has your diet been?
  • Have you been exercising?
  • Have you been drinking enough water?
  • How have you slept?
  • Are you stressed?
  • Can I see your tongue? (who knew that the color of your tongue could say so much!)


Do You Use Twitter for Business or Pleasure? (or Both)

It always amazes me how many people critique Twitter for being trivial due to everyone tweeting about the minute and mundane personal aspects of their day to day life – however the more I’ve interacted on Twitter the more I see people are using it for so many other purposes, quite often as part of their business (or at least for some kind of professional purpose).

So I thought it’d make an interesting question for some discussion – are you using Twitter for business or professional purposes or are you using it more in a personal, social or fun way? Or…. are you a little like me…. and use it for a bit of both?

Lets have some discussion – how do you use Twitter?

PS: a followup question – have you always used Twitter in the way that you now do? As I look at my own use of Twitter I’d say that I’ve gone through phases which have been more ‘personal’ and more related to my work. But perhaps that is just me?

Do You ReTweet? [POLL]

There has been a lot of talk about ReTweeting in the last month (see below for some posts here on TwiTip) and increasingly I’m becoming aware that it is a part of Twitter that people either love or hate.

So here’s a quick poll question – do you ReTweet? If so, how much?

Do You ReTweet?

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Here are a few resources and posts we’ve done on ReTweeting lately:

How to Get Twitter Followers

What follows is a collection of rather unorganized thoughts on the topic if growing follower numbers and some of the recent schemes circulating through Twitter that claim to help people grow their numbers.

Today in response to a new ’scheme’ (some are calling it a ’scam’ – it is very ‘pyramid’ like and largely benefits those early into it, mainly the guy behind it) to ‘help’ people get more followers on Twitter I had a conversation with some of my own network on Twitter about getting followers.

A few of my followers asked me how I recommend people grow their follower numbers. It’s hard to put advice like that into 140 characters – so I replied with a few tweets and thought I’d share them here.

“Best way to get followers. Be useful, unique, focused on a topic, interactive and genuine. Don’t spam or get sucked into a numbers game.”


“Best thingt to happen to me as a twitter user was moving to tweetdeck & iPhone twting where I rarely see my follower numbers.”

Someone asked me what I meant by ‘getting sucked into the numbers game’. My reply was simply to ‘don’t work on getting more followers – work on being more useful’.


Twitter is a Stage – Be Careful What You Say

Would you say what you say on Twitter if you were face to face with the person you were saying it to or about?

This is a question that I asked a couple of days back but one that I pondered last night as I lay in bed (sad…. I know) after witnessing a conversation between two Twitter users (that I didn’t really know and don’t think I’ve had any interaction with before) talking about me.

Who the participants in the conversation were and what they were saying isn’t the point of this post – so I’ll leave out the details – except to say that they were ‘critiquing’ the way that I do what I do and that they then started to move onto my character and got a little personal.

To be clear – the conversation wasn’t attacking, angry or spiteful – but at the same time it wasn’t particularly…. uplifting. As I watched it unfold I had a range of emotions and reactions including:


An Illustration of the Power of Twitter to Spread a Story

Today I’m feeling pretty amazed by Twitter and its capacity to sneeze word of a story, need and message far and wide.

In response to the bushfires in Victoria Australia (where I live) Sitepoint (a previous sponsor of Twitip) decided to put together an offer to raise money for the many thousands impacted by the fires. They are offering 5 of their books for the price of 1 for the next couple of days and donating every cent from the sale to the Red Cross.

Yesterday I went into the offices of SitePoint to see how I could help get the word out. We worked out a simple plan and about 16 hours ago from now I tweeted the offer. I’ve retweeted it myself a few times since so that my followers in different timezones see it – but other than that have left it to the Twitter community to spread word.

This morning I woke up to hundreds of retweets of the message. I count over 270 of them on Twitter search for the exact message and know that there are quite a few more with other versions of it where people added their own words. Add to that the many retweets of SitePoint’s on announcement tweet and those of many others who heard about it in other ways and from what I can see the link to the offer has been retweeted around 700 times in the last 16 hours.

The link is the most retweeted link on Twitter on both RetweetRadar and Retweetist.

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I’ve always known the power of Twitter to spread a story or news and have experienced it to some degrees previously but this has been an amazing ride and one that I want to thank the Twitter community for jumping on board with. You all are amazing – thanks.

update: the goal of this project was to raise $50,000 for the bushfire appeal. It’s just been announced that in less than 24 hours it has already raised $75,000!

Helping others leads to Twitter Success

tweetlater.pngby Jamie Birch from Jeb Commerce (@jamieEBirch) on Twitter.

I’ve found myself becoming increasingly more organized in my “Twitterating” (you can use that) the past month or so. When I first joined the Twitternation, I was, like others, skeptical and at times annoyed by the service. But since starting my own agency, I’ve become more engaged in Twitter and found one way to broaden your reach, identify and work with new partners, and connect with potential new clients. It’s now become a vital piece of my business and I think it can become the same for you. It’s a concept that is very basic and has been around forever – help others. There is my tip for you.

Ok, I have a little more than that. I use two things, one application and one service, that allows me to identify individuals that are having trouble with items that I feel I can help them with, and relate to my business, and alert me to their questions they post within Twitter: Tweetdeck and

There have been much discussion on how to use TweetDeck, so I’ll focus on is a tool used to increase your productivity within the Twitter service. It has several functions, but the one I use most is the alert system. It works very much like Google Alerts and I have my alerts set to once every hour. Every hour, sends me a report that includes any tweets that contain the words or phrases I set it to. An example of that alert, via email, is below: