Browsing Twitter Tips

General tips on using Twitter to make the most of your experience.

75% Use Same Password for Twitter and Email, Study Finds

According to a week-long study conducted by Internet security company BitDefender, over 250,000 user names, email addresses, and passwords used for Twitter sites can easily be found online.

The study also revealed that 75 percent of Twitter username and password samples collected online were identical to those used for email accounts.

The sensitive user data was gathered from blogs, torrents, online collaboration services and other sources. It was found that 43 percent of the data was leaked from online collaboration tools while 21 percent of data was leaked from blog postings. Meanwhile, torrents and users of other social hubs were responsible for leaking 10 percent and 18 percent of user data respectively.

BitDefender warned social media users to be careful when setting up passwords for Twitter platforms and email. The researchers managed to verify the leaked email accounts and found that 75 percent of users had one common password for Twitter and accessing their email. Additionally, the study revealed that 87 percent of email IDs, user names, and passwords gathered from various sources were still active. (more…)

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Twitter

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
- Confucius

I admit that when I first signed up for Twitter in the spring of 2008, I didn’t really “get it”. It took months for me to “see the beauty”, even though the awesomeness of Twitter had been there all along.

Twitter really came alive for me when I began to see it as a mirror for life. I realized that Twitter teaches us everything we’ll ever need to know in 5 simple tips:

1. We Are Interconnected

Twitter is an interconnected web of life. What I tweet has an effect on you, and what you tweet has an effect on me. Twitter thrives on interconnectivity. (more…)

Why Twitter Needs Channels

Twitter is a wonderful communications tool and while it does many things really well, there are a few things it doesn’t do so well. One of those things is having discussions about specific topics with specific groups of people. This is often known as a TwitChat.

The Problem

I participate in a number of weekly TwitChats. These TwitChats are often very educational and can be a lot of fun; that is, for the participants. For everyone else, they can be a real hassle.

The problem is that while you’re having a heated debate about the merits of origami (no offense to origami fans), you’re going to have followers who couldn’t care less. Moreover, if you fire off fifty or sixty tweets during an hour long TwiChat, you can really flood some of your follower’s streams. I’ve had plenty of people unfollow me because of this and if you participate in TwitChats, I’m sure you have too. (more…)

Why Twitter Lists are Less Effective

Image credit: Michael Hamburg.

Twitter introduced the concept of lists about 16 months ago to enable the manual grouping of people into categories.

If you visit Formulists or Listorious you can type a keyword and see the different lists that people maintain. Searching for the keyword apples, for instance, you can read Twitter biographies of the 491 people who someone added to a list about honeycrisp apples. You can either follow the list or follow its members individually.

Any Twitter user can create his or her own list, or follow an existing list — such as the above one about apples. (more…)

The Pointless Chase of Follow/Unfollow

Regardless of how you use Twitter, there’s one thing you don’t need to worry about half as much as many people do.

I’m talking about mutual/reciprocal following.
When I started using Twunfollow to see who was unfollowing me, I was shocked by one single thing. Not the number of people unfollowing me, not a load of people who I thought of as great contacts, not anything negative at all.

The one thing that surprised me was the number of users who would follow me and unfollow me within a day or two. If I didn’t instantly follow back, I was swept aside. The user didn’t want genuine engagement, they simply wanted me to follow back. The initial follow was simply so another user would reciprocate and add to their following tally.

Most users using an aggressive follow/unfollow technique consist of:

  • spam accounts;
  • promotional accounts;
  • people/brands trying to push their ’social media expertise’;
  • users boasting how many followers they can get.

I don’t understand why anyone still sees value in obtaining so many pointless follows like this. Thousands of untargeted and unengaged followers don’t automatically bring you greater coverage or retweets.

Boasting the number of followers you have is no longer a big deal. A successful account is one that provides value and engagement. If you’re not making a genuine play, even your followers won’t help you out.

Yet people still pay for services that offer loads of followers when you cough up the cash. What’s the point?

If you must improve your follower numbers in an artificial way, here’s one method. Next time you’re followed by an account that’s chasing only the people who automatically follow back, check that user’s list of followers. All you need to do is try following all those users in the hope that they’ll follow you back too! That method costs nothing other than your time…good value, huh?

But it’s not good value, because most of those users won’t actually care about what you’ve got to say. It’s much better to have interested, relevant followers. Isn’t it?

The End of the 140 Character Tweet and its Repercussions

A note from the Editor: After a too-long haitus, Twitip is back. We’ve got some great posts lined up, and we’re always looking for more. This post by Neal Wiser is the kickoff post to our return to a regular posting schedule. Thank you to all who have stayed with us! – Lara

A few weeks ago, Iain Dodsworth, founder and CEO of TweetDeck, introduced, a new component to TweetDeck that allows users to send tweets greater than 140 characters in length. While exceeding the 140 character limit is controversial to some Twitter purists, other services, such as TwitLonger, do the same. But what makes the move different is that it gives Dodsworth, whose TweetDeck has millions of users, the potential to free TweetDeck from its dependence on Twitter.

Or does it?

On the heels of the announcement, TweetDeck was acquired by UberMedia who already owns several other Twitter apps. Yet almost as soon as UberMedia announced the TweetDeck acquisition, Twitter fired a warning shot across UberMedia’s bow by cutting off access to UberMedia’s Echofon, UberTwitter, Twidroyd and UberCurrent apps for alleged policy violations.

TweetDeck, which is highly, but not wholly dependent upon Twitter (it also allows users to connect to other social networks such as Facebook and Linkedin), continued to operate normally during the shutdown. Perhaps it’s because with the TweetDeck acquisition UberMedia now controls an estimated 20% of the world’s daily tweets and TweetDeck represents the vast majority of that traffic. Any wholesale shutdown of UberMedia that includes TweetDeck would be extremely damaging to Twitter. Conversely, the vast majority of TweetDeck’s traffic goes to Twitter. Clearly, ending the Twitter/TweetDeck relationship, at least for now, would be something close to Mutual Assured Destruction. (more…)

5 Ways to Use Twitter to Become a Happier Person

A lot of people see me, you and others “Tweet” and wonder why they should get involved. I am asked this question at least once per week. Twitter is a great, great platform that we can all use to make a big difference in our lives if use it well. Here are some ways that I use Twitter to help me that you can use, too, and become a much happier person.

1. Tweet to help people that you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

Be intentional about sharing wisdom and lessons you’ve learned in life. You might do this in concert with a blog or not, but either way, you’ll feel better knowing that there is someone out there benefiting from something you’ve learned. They might be on the other side of the planet, but they’ll appreciate knowing someone else has gone through what they’re experiencing. (more…)

Six Benefits to Using Instead of an App

There are often comparisons between various Twitter apps and discussions about which is better; however, there are several benefits to using without using an app at all.

One benefit to using is the ability to send and receive Tweets more quickly. Apps can only retrieve messages in intervals so there is usually at least a short delay in receiving messages. Users of can send and receive instantly without having to wait. (more…)

Writing Killer Content in 140 Characters or Less

How do you say what you want to say in less than 140 characters? Ask any writer out there. Writing short is difficult.

But it’s something comedians have been doing for years – writing short, pithy punch lines. Ask Comedian Michael Ian Black who recently decided to add advertisements to his tweets. Black wrote in his blog “As of today, I’ve written 2,655 tweets. That’s a lot of free material, all of it contributing to the entertainment of the 1.5 million people who follow me, as well as the multibillion dollar capitalization of Twitter itself.” (more…)

10 Controversial Twitter ‘How To’ Issues

I’ve been using Twitter for over two years. I’ve noticed a few things in that time:

  • There’s no specific, agreed etiquette;
  • One user’s potion is another user’s poison;
  • Your tweeting technique WON’T be liked by everyone, no matter what you do.

This causes difficulty, since there’s no standard to work from. Do you send out hundreds of updates every day? Should you schedule your tweets and pump out content even as you sleep? Will it upset someone if you state an opinion? Will it bore someone if you don’t?

For all the difficult questions millions of users pose every day they use Twitter, the twitterverse is a relatively friendly place. If someone doesn’t like the way you tweet, you won’t find much more than an unfollow coming your way. People get followed and unfollowed all the time, so you won’t have time to take it personally. That’s if you notice at all.

There are many opinions on how to tweet effectively. Most sound sensible and work fine if you follow them. That doesn’t stop the opinions from being controversial. Here are 10 tweeting issues that are subject to the biggest arguments: (more…)