Posted in Social Media by
Anthony Hortin

Well, it’s exactly one month ago today that I did my first “Tweet”. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ll know that Twitter is the latest Social Media craze.

What are you doing?

Twitter asks one question, “What are you doing?”. People must write their updates or “Tweets” in 140 characters or less. After signing up to Twitter you can search for people, import your friends from other networks such as Gmail or Hotmail, or you can invite friends via email. Even the Twitter sign up process suggests people that you can follow. Once you’ve found your friends or anyone of interest, follow them to start getting their updates.

I have to admit that I was hesitant in signing up, which I suppose is why I haven’t been tweeting all that long. My initial thoughts were “why would I want to read about people ranting on about boring crap”. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! I am absolutely hooked on Twitter. In fact, I have to make a conscious effort to actually do work rather than sit and tweet all day or read everyone else’s tweets.

There is a huge design community using Twitter, from all around the globe. In fact, about 90% of the people I’m following are in someway involved with the design (and/or development) industry. They range from students studying design, to full-time logo, web & graphic designers, to people with just a passing or personal interest in design.

One of the things I love is the enormous number of links that people tweet. There’s links to interesting design & development articles, design blogs, tutorials, product reviews and not to mention the countless posts that simply contain a collection of links on particular topics, also known as “The Speedlinker” (named in honour of Problogger Darren Rowse). In just the last month that I’ve been on Twitter, my site “bookmarks” have doubled from all the great links people have tweeted.

This last month on Twitter has really been inspiring. I’m following some very talented people and I’m really enjoying seeing the various designs they tweet. I’ve also been reading lots of informative blog posts. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading about what other designers are working on or just their views on particular topics. It really gets the creative “juices” flowing.

If you’re looking to follow some super creative’s, you can’t go past the following…

@imjustcreative – Logo and Brand Identity Developer, Freelance design – http://imjustcreative.com
@nikibrown – Graphic & Web Designer  – http://www.nikibrown.com/designoblog
@mistygirlph– Avatar designer, blogger, grafix designer – http://digigirlmisty.blogspot.com
@jenniferbourn – Brand strategist, graphic designer, web developer – http://www.bourncreative.com
@chriswallace – Designer, developer, entrepreneur – http://www.chris-wallace.com
@minervity – Heavily in to web and graphic design – http://www.minervity.com
@Kodespark – Creative Jockey. Technology Junkie. Programming Geek – http://kodespark.com
@traceygr – Graphic/Web Designer, Illustrator, Blogger – http://www.traceygrady.com
@justcreative – Graphic Designer, Logo Designer, Web Designer, Blogger – http://justcreativedesign.com
@MadysonDesigns – Graphic Designer/Fashion Addict/Mac Geek – http://www.madysondesigns.com
@chadengle– Designer, WordPresser, caffeine addict, Adobe nut – http://ceaweed.com
@kriscolvin – Chief Mischief Maker at the Fuel Labs, User & Brand Experience Designer – http://kriscolvin.com

These are just a very, very small collection of the some of the amazing talent that I’m following out there on Twitter (listed in no particular order). I’m loving their tweets and gotta say a big thanks to them.

This Twitter thing isn’t just all work and no play

This Twitter thing isn’t just all work and no play though. There are also lots of tweets that are worth reading or viewing either for personal reasons, for socialising or just for a laugh. There was even a big milestone this week with @aplusk challenging @cnnbrk in a race to reach 1 million followers. Ashton won early Friday morning (US time). The funny thing is, it was only very recently that CNN purchased the rights to the @cnnbrk Twitter account. Up until recently, it was owned and operated by James Cox. (In case you’re wondering what Ashton’s twitter name means. Its pronounced A + K)

As part of his “pledge” if he was to win, Ashton will donate US$100,000 to http://www.malarianomore.org for the purchase of 10,000 mosquito nets to protect African families. Whether you’re a fan of Ashton’s or not or whether you think it was just a publicity stunt, it really doesn’t matter does it? The real winners are the families who’ll receive this valuable donation and not to mention, the huge amount of publicity that he’s been able to provide this worthy cause. Good on him, I say.

There are a number of celebrity tweeters out there. Obviously @aplusk is one of the more popular ones, but there’s also @mrskutcher, @iamdiddy, @bob_saget, @danecook, @realhughjackman, @tonyhawk, @greggrunberg, @jeffrey_donovan and even @oprah made her first tweet this week, live on her show. There’s also a number of other celebrities, which I wont bother mentioning, that have accounts but all the tweets are made by people they employ. There’s even been a number of accounts setup under the names of particluar celebrities, but tweeted from people who have nothing to do with them. Quite a few of these accounts have also been shutdown recently.

So, if you’re not on Twitter yet, I say “what are you waiting for!”. It’s fun, it’s highly addictive and you get to “meet” and chat with some fabulous people.

What are your experiences with Twitter? Who are you following? I’d love to hear so leave a comment.