Cool Twitter resources

Essays by Shalon Sims on education, creative writing and literacy

Cool Twitter resources

Twitter Tips for Twitter Chicks

This list of twitter resources and secondary applications will help you run your twitter effectively and with less effort:
(Updated June 2011)

Twitter profile design

Design your profile to reflect who you are: put up a good picture and design the background: the more personal and ‘real,’ the better (Believe me, this cannot be understated).  If your twitter profile is boring, it’s telling the world that YOU are boring.  If your twitter profile is generic, it says that YOU are generic.

  • Be careful with your photos, because they are often obscured by the Twitter foreground.
  • Here is an amazing blog-post about ‘pimping’ your twitter profile (for intermediate computer users, or die-hard tweeters).
  • For a more simple option, Flickr has amazing seamless backgrounds (like the starry universe of my twitter profile), just be sure to thank the author. Oh yeah, that reminds me, the best designer of seamless patters, IMO, is Patrick Hoesly ðŸ™‚ thanks Patrick!
  • Or you can go to to create and customize your very own background.

Finding people to follow

I have found the twitter search bar absolutely useless, except for finding people I already know.  Choosing who to follow on Twitter will depend on what you want to do with Twitter: 

    • If you are looking to keep up to date in current trends in your field, follow selectively and use lists to organise followers.
    • If you are looking to contact many people to share yourself and meet new people, then you will want to follow many people.  In this case, it can be helpful to follow 10-50 people per day, and

To find people who are interesting to follow, either check out who your friends are following, or use some secondary applications, such as:

  • and List yourself in their databases and use the simple search to find other twitter users who have similar interests to you.  They’re both large databases, and I find interesting people on them all the time.
  •  This site allows you to perform very intricate searches, based on location, list, key words, Just put a keyword in any of the tag/search-bar and start reading/clicking–you can put in multiple key words and see all of the results in one pane and watch as they continually flow in.  Check it out–it’s cool.

I met William Gibson at the ViWF last fall and he told me: “Twitter is like a magazine you can customize.  You need to be careful of who you follow and how many people you follow.  If you follow too many, you just can’t keep track or have very meaningful conversations.”  He recommended 70, but hey, he’s William Gibson, he’s supposed to be a loner.

On the other hand, if you are trying to promote yourself for some reason, and you don’t necessarily want to use Twitter as a magazine, but are more interested in reaching a large audience, one option is to follow TONS of people who are interested in your topic/passion/product, because when you follow people on Twitter, there is a good chance that they will follow you back.  Especially if you tweet about things they like (use to find people who will be interested in what you tweet about).


  • downloads a file with information about all of your friends & followers.  You can easily find things to retweet and get a better sense of what people are talking about.
  • By filling out a short form, you can download Hubspots free ebook with tons of tips for using twitter for business.


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