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.

Are you more or less likely to ReTweet (RT) something that someone else tweets if they specifically ask for a retweet? [POLL]

We’re running a quick poll over at TwtPoll today looking at the topic of ReTweets and whether asking for them has any impact upon whether people actually ReTweet things for you.

You can vote here:

I’d love to hear your comments on your answer. I know that some of you would change your answer based upon what the content that you’re being asked to retweet is – but I’d love to hear your gut reaction to the question in your vote but also in comments below.

There are also some good comments on the poll page at TwtPoll.

How to Get More Followers on Twitter

“How do I get more followers on Twitter?”

This is a question I get asked a lot – so I thought I’d put together a bit of a compilation of links to posts I’ve published that touch on the topic of getting followers.

I’m sure others have written some great tutorials and tips on getting followers on Twitter – feel free to suggest them in comments below.

Let me finish however with a quick piece of advice – raw follower numbers are not everything. I personally would prefer to have 100 followers who shared my interests and who were interested in interaction than having 1000 unfocused and uninteractive followers. Twitter isn’t just a numbers game – sure having lots of followers has its advantages but don’t let your goals all be purely about getting as many followers as possible.

Grow Your Blog Readership with Twitter High and TweetLater

Today Shelley Binkley from Heal the Woman (follow her at @healthewoman shares how she uses TweetLater to grow blog readership and be more effective on Twitter.

twitter-Party.jpgSpending time on Twitter is like mingling through a crowded room, trying to participate in a hundred conversations at once. This can lead two two opposing states of mind, “Twitter High” and “Twitter Dysphoria”: What are these and how do you balance them and your Twittering habit to grow your blog readership?

Tweet with an Eye for Giving Other Tweeps Twitter High

Like any party Twitter is populated by interesting people and not-so-stimulating people who seem compelled to recount mundane details of their day. Fortunately Twitter is inhabited by thousands of Tweeple who like to Think Big and ponder and pose Big Questions. They throw their Big Ideas out into the Twitter Stream and see what kinds of answers bite. This can sometimes prompt a lively discussion and provide fodder for future Big Ideas.

Besides the potential for creating World Peace, the brilliance of Twitter is twofold: Unlike a cocktail party, or the office Christmas party, you can discuss topics you wouldn’t bring up with people you know “in person”. And you wouldn’t dream of going to the office party in your pajamas, but on Twitter the sky is the limit–whether it topics, attire, or lack thereof.


Follow Me and Win a Prize – The Merit of Twitter Competitions

competitions-on-twitter.jpgLately I’ve been witnessing more and more competitions and prizes being offered by Twitter users as a way of increasing subscriber numbers. They usually go something like this:

Follow me on Twitter and you’ll go in the running to win “XXX INSERT PRIZE HERE XXX”.

Each time I see these competitions (and I’m asked to link up to them every 2nd day by those holding them so I see quite a few) I have mixed feelings. I’ll be honest (and I hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s toes) but there are things about these types of competitions that both attract and repulse me. Let me explain (and hopefully in the process of writing this post I’ll actually work out what I think on the topic).

The Positives of Twitter Competitions

As someone looking to find followers a competition can and (in many cases that I’ve observed) does work. I watched with interest @shoemoney and his competition recently and he saw his follower numbers shoot up hundreds (it could be thousands now) almost overnight by offering some pretty cool prizes. If you’re just interested purely in raw numbers of followers then it’s probably a strategy to try.

The flow on impact of lots of followers has some positives to it – particularly if you’re promoting a site, product or service (or building profile). It’s also probably quite good for social proof and recruiting future followers (there’s nothing like having 10,000 followers to make you seem legitimate on Twitter.


4 ReTweet Tools and Trackers

track-retweets.pngThere’s been a lot of buzz around Twitter about ‘ReTweeting’ lately. Quite a bit of it has been a result of some of the conversations like this one at TechCrunch – It’s Not How Many Followers You Have that Counts, It’s How Many Times You Get Retweeted.

Whether or not ReTweeting is the best way to measure the authority of Twitter users (and whether authority needs measuring at all on Twitter) is s conversation for another place and time – however since posts like the one above by TechCrunch there have been a number of ‘ReTweet’ tools and trackers developed. Here are a sample of them:

  1. Dan Zarrella was one of the first and has come up with a number of tools including his ReTweet Mapper which among other things allows you to see a ranking of the most ReTweeted people on twitter (arranged by the last hour, day and week).
  2. retweet radar – this tool describes itself as ‘Finding trends in the mountains of information ‘retweet’ed on Twitter.’ It puts together a retweet cloud of terms that are being retweeted, ranks most retweeted users of Twitter and ranks the links that are being retweeted.
  3. Retweetist – similarly this service ranks the hottest links being retweeted and most retweeted people on Twitter.
  4. Retweetrank – another tool that simply ranks the number of retweets twitter users have (not sure how up to date it is).

I’m sure there are others around – feel free to link to them in comments below.

Is Twitter A Market Manipulator’s Dream?

Jonathan Fields from and (follow him at @jonathanfields) asks whether Twitter is a Market Manipulator’s Dream?

On The Drill Down on Friday, Andy, Mu, Reg and Lid had a great discussion about the speed with which the twitterspere can bring news to the world, often breaking stories before even the biggest mainstream news outlets could.

Joining the conversation was guest Daniel Honigman, Social Media Strategy Coordinator, Tribune Interactive who is the brains behind Colonel Tribune…the voice of the Tribune in social media.

The conversation began to make me wonder, how you handle the inevitable inaccuracies that pretty much necessarily come with twitter’s time-warp speed, especially when you’re the voice of a major, mainstream media outlet.

So, I asked, and, his answer was essentially that they try to correct it pretty quickly, if something wasn’t right.

But, here’s where it gets really squirrely.


Squidoo Release TwttrStrm – Organize and Archive Feedback from Your Followers

A few minutes ago Squidoo released a new Twitter tool by the name of TwttrStrm.

In TwttrStrm’s own words – this is a tool that helps you to “Ask a question of your Twitter followers and easily gather all their answers in one spot.”

The process is simple:


Once you’ve filled in the form you’re taken to a Twttrstrm page where you can tweet your question and create a Squidoo lens to host the conversation. On the lens your question or statement is of course asked but you can add an image, where information on your topic is shown, where your latest tweets are shown etc.

Here’s a Twttrstrm that I created where I asked ‘ What Feature Do You Wish Twitter Would Add?’

Seth Godin (founder of Squidoo) comments on Twttrstrm – “Here’s the magic part, as your followers click through and respond, the storm spreads to their followers. So, in short, it’s a threaded, viral, structured conversation in the middle of the Twitter melee.”

I’ve not fully had the opportunity to test Twttrstrm yet – but I think it has potential. One of the things that many of us on Twitter struggle with is being able to collect and make sense of replies to our questions – this takes a step in the right direction in meeting this need. I suspect it’ll be particularly helpful for those who already use Squidoo (as it’s very much reliant upon that site).

Have a play with TwttrStrm and let me know what you think in comments below.

What Percentage of your REAL LIFE friends have Twitter Accounts? [POLL]

This post is a poll but also a test of a new tool for Twitter users called twtpoll – a basic Polling system for Twitter users.

You can cast your vote in this poll here and see the results of it here.

Here are some early polling results:


PS: The only real feature I’d love twtpoll to add after my first impressions are the ability to embed the poll into another type of site (ie this blog). While I know this is a tool aimed at Twitter users it’d be great to be able to also run it on a blog or other type of website. update – they’ve just added this feature – nice!

Find the Best Twitter iPhone Client for Your Needs

iphone-twitter-clients.jpgGot an iPhone and want to know what apps are available for your to use it to get on Twitter? In this post Joe Meenen from Cute Machine (follow him at @cutemachine) explores your options.

If you searched through the App Store lately you should have noticed that there is a diverse selection of Twitter clients to choose from. That is no wonder, as the App Store now holds over 13,000 applications. Twitter clients come with different flavours and philosophies. To declare any one as the king of the iPhone twittersphere would be to presumptuous. Nevertheless, in the list below you might find the perfect tool for your Twitter needs. Here is every list item under 140 characters for better readability for us tweeples.

  • Twittelator – (Free) Good groups concept for viewing different timelines. Twittelator Pro (4,99) with many more features.
  • Summizer – (2,99) Advanced search capabilities. Configure search terms and then get the results in the future with just one tap.
  • Tweetie – (2,99) Huge feature set. Recommended by John Gruber from Daring Fireball fame.
  • Twitterrific – (Free) Ads on top of the timeline. Twitterrific Premium (7,99) with even more features. Very nice user interface.
  • Tweetsville – (3,99) Has also a good feature set. Supports TwitPic.
  • Twittervision – (Free) Impressive world view. Tweets get displayed on a world map. Double tap on a tweet to translate it into your language.
  • NatsuLion – (Free) Clear design with separate views for different timelines (user, sent and unread). Uses accelerometer to hide tab bar.
  • Tweeter – (Free) The most minimalist Twitter client. Post tweets and that’s it. Source code available.
  • TwitterFon – (Free) Developer asks for a donation. TwitterFon is licensed under GPLv2. You can download source code from an svn repository.
  • Twinkle – (Free) One of the most popular Twitter clients.
  • iTweets – (0,99) There are free clients which offer more features, but if you need just the basic features this might be for you.

There are also some hybrid applications, which do have built-in Twitter support. If you are using other social networks along with Twitter you might be interested in these two:


How to Stop Twitter Becoming a Waste of Time

twitter-waste-of-time.jpg“Twitter is a Waste of Time” – it is a criticism that has been leveled at Twitter many times over and while I’m one of Twitters biggest fans I’m also in agreement that Twitter can be a compete waste of time. I’ve wasted time on Twitter and I’ve seen many others do it. In fact recently when I asked my followers about the topic I found that most people could relate to the idea of wasting time on Twitter.

So how do you stop yourself from letting Twitter become a waste of time?

Below are a few of my own tips on the topic – interspersed with a few tips and comments from my own followers on Twitter.

1. Know Why You’re Using Twitter

If you don’t know why you’re using Twitter it is highly likely that you’ll either not use it beyond your first day or two or you’ll use it in such an unfocused way that you’ll end up wasting time with the medium.

Set aside a few minutes to think about your goals and objectives for using Twitter. You don’t need to over think it but identifying what you want to achieve helps you to be much more effective as a Twitter User.

@timbursch“Have a purpose for being here and tweeting. Don’t follow too many rabbit trails.”