Archive for » May, 2009 «

May 27th, 2009 | Author:

There is no shortage of blogs and articles online that offer tips for Twitter users.  I’ve read some of them and when I’m at school, my mom reads even more so that I can get the most out of using Twitter.  Even with all the information available, people (many of them kids) ask my advice on how I meet people or make friends on Twitter.  So I’m adding my two cents to the already volumes of Twitter tips.

These are in no particular order.  The first one applies to kids only.  Some of these I learned from very helpful tweeples when I first started and some I’ve figured out as I went along.   If you don’t agree, remember, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  1. Have a parent or other adult help you tweet.
    • Even though the minimum age requirement is thirteen for Twitter and most other social networking sites, it’s no secret there are kids much younger online.   There are also adults who shouldn’t be allowed on at all because they haven’t figured out it’s not cool to use bad language or act inappropriately.   Except for a couple of tweeters who sent horrible tweets to several kids (me included), the majority of the adults I’ve met on Twitter have been awesome.  By the way, one e-mail to from my mom about a user who was at the total opposite end of the “G” rating, and their account was deleted the next day by Twitter.  Keeping it clean for everyone does work. 
  2. Remember that ANYTHING you say online stays forever somewhere.
    • If you are a biz kid using Twitter, you want to have people take you seriously.  Using proper grammar and spelling helps.   Even if you only get 140 characters to say what you need and have to abbreviate a lot of words, you can still come across much better if you’re not just plunking out the first thing that comes to your mind.  Think before you type.  It can save you a lot of embarassment later on.
  3. Learn how to have a conversation with people.
    • Don’t just say random things.  Use Twitter to practice talking with people about a lot of different subjects.
  4. Use http:// before a URL so it makes a clickable link.  Or better yet, use a Tiny URL option to save space.  Tweetdeck has an auto option for this.
  5. Do searches with keywords that interest you.
    • If I’m stalled and haven’t had many new followers lately, I’ll go to the web version and use the Advanced Search option.  Type in some keywords to find people who might be tweeting about the same subject.   Then take time to see what they’re talking about and if you want to follow them.
  6. Take time to do #followfridays
    • Don’t just list people.  Tell why people are worth following even if you have to do several #followfriday tweets.   I started making a list (on paper) during the week to group my favorites.  I’ll usually have a Biz Kid group, Awesome Adults, Artists, etc.  You get the idea.  Then because I’m in school all day Friday, when I’m done with homework after school, having my faves in groups ready to go makes it a lot easier to tweet my #followfridays.
  7. If someone refers you on a #followfriday,  it’s good to reciprocate.  
    • Okay, for this one you have to be reasonable.  Some Fridays there are too many to even keep track of so I’ll just do a general shout out and thank all the people who included me in their #followfriday tweets.  Most of the time, people understand and aren’t offended.
  8. I recommend Tweetdeck
    • It has so many advantages over the web version:  separate column options, auto tiny URL, post tweets to Facebook at the same time, among others you can play around with.  I have mine set up with a DM column, my own Pencil Bugs column, my Favorites, and All Friends.   It’s easy to see who has mentioned you by quickly looking at your own column or who has DM’d you. 
    • The only thing I still go to the web version for is to see new followers and follow back.
  9. Take time to read other people’s tweets.   There’s always something you could comment on (i.e. movies, people asking opinions, etc.)
  10. Send replies as soon as you see them.
    • Try to mention what you’re replying to especially if it’s been awhile in between tweets.  Otherwise, the other person may not even remember what they said to you in the first place.
    • Even if I somehow missed a tweet directed to me or referring to me in some way, I still send a reply.   People would rather have a late response than no response.  What’s one of the rudest thing to do to another person?  Ignore them . . .  so don’t.
  11. It’s ok to sell or advertise your own services or products but it’s even better if someone else does.  Recommendations from other people is better than tooting your own horn all the time.
    • If you have something you really need to promote but don’t want to keep saying it too often, send a DM to someone you know really well and ask them if they’ll tweet it for you.  I’ve had people do that with me and I know who I can ask for favors in return if needed.
  12. NEVER EVER use bad language.   There’s just no reason for it and it doesn’t make you look good.
  13. Web Twitter and Tweetdeck have a delete tweet option but you only have a short time to delete it.
    • I’ve tested it and was able to delete a tweet up to a minute afterward.  It may go a little longer but I haven’t tested that yet.   Don’t get worried if you still see the tweet in your own column because it stays there but it’s gone from the general view.   For general purposes, I’d still make sure you proof before you hit enter just in case.  You may not realize your mistake until it’s too late for delete.
  14. Use DM if there’s no reason for the world to see what you’re saying to a specific person.
  15. RT whenever you find something that’s worth repeating.  Not only are you spreading good things but your username comes up more often too.
  16. If you know people that have something in common, do a tweet with both people’s usernames in it so they can meet & tell them why.  Twitter is like trying to find a needle in a haystack so if you can introduce people, they appreciate it.
  17. Be genuine. 
    • Don’t have people tweet for you.   Tweeples see your profile pic, get to know “you” and expect they’re talking with “you”, not a hired substitute.
    • Even though it’s fun to change your profile picture, keeping it the same helps people recognize and find you faster. 
    • Take time to fill our your profile information and post a picture of you, not of some random cartoon unless of course you’re a cartoon artist. 🙂   I’ve heard from many tweeters that say they won’t follow people without a profile pic or information.
  18. If you tweet something that you hope others will RT, make sure you leave enough characters for that.
  19. Even though many Twitter applications have auto responders, etc., I wouldn’t use them.
    • If you follow someone and you instantly get a DM that is obviously not personalized, it’s like hearing a recording on a phone message or getting junk mail.  If it wasn’t meant for me personally, I usually don’t pay much attention to it.
  20. Don’t schedule tweets ahead of time like when people write a bunch of famous quotes and set them to auto tweet on a regular basis.  Without too much effort, anyone can see they are auto generated.  If you’re too busy to tweet them yourself and have real conversations with people, maybe you shouldn’t be using Twitter until you’re not so busy.
May 17th, 2009 | Author:

My grandma says that the best learning is from the school of life.   It didn’t make much sense the first time I heard that but since I started my business, I have learned more about life and business than they ever teach in school.   Some of the things I have learned with my business are pretty basic but they still don’t teach or spend time on them in school like balancing a checkbook or legal aspects of business or even the art of conversation which a lot of people could definitely use.

Many schools still take field trips but a lot of times, those are just for fun even though they say they relate to a particular subject.   Kids like them but use them as just another excuse to get out of a day of class.  Life outside of school when you are involved in a business or charity work can teach you so many valuable lessons.

Below are some topics that I think should be covered in school, even as early as middle school.   Having an introduction to these things would make more kids ready for life than just what they are taught from a textbook.   Isn’t that what school is for?  To get us ready for the real world?

  • Public speaking (and not just memorizing poetry or speeches)
  • Interviewing with the media (which would be good for job interview experience)
  • Social networking (learning how to communicate with a large variety of people)
  • Profit and loss (or at least some basic business finance)

One of my video games even teaches things that aren’t taught in school.  It’s called Runescape and it is an amazing game that teaches about economics.  School is great for the basics, but life teaches you more.

May 08th, 2009 | Author:

When I first got on Twitter and saw people saying they were V.A.’s or had a V.A., I wasn’t sure what that meant.  So like I do with most things, I asked.

Simple:  Virtual Assistant.  Mystery solved.  I should have figured it out myself because my dad works from a home office here in California and his assistant works from her home in Pennsylvania.

A few weeks later on Twitter, someone referred to my mom as my V.A.  I never really thought about her as an assistant because she’s much more than that.  Plus she isn’t virtual. 🙂  So I started calling her my R.A. (Real Assistant) just for fun.   But that wasn’t right either.

Next idea:  Since my mom does a lot of my business stuff, calling her my B.M. (Business Manager) made more sense except that I’ve heard doctors use the initials BM so that didn’t work either.  [If you’ve never heard the medical term BM, ask someone.  It’s funny.]

So what initials could describe all that Mom does for me?    I thought awhile longer and then came up with the perfect title:  M.O.M. (Mother of Me!)

V.A.s are great.  R.A.s are too but MOMs are the best!  I wouldn’t be where I’m at without her.


May 03rd, 2009 | Author:

When you talk, you want to be heard.  Right?  And don’t you just hate it when you tell a whole story and then find out the other person wasn’t listening?  I have been on both sides of this situation.

Not only is it respectful to listen when someone is talking but you gain credability because they know you will really listen, not just pretend to hear.   My parents try to listen when I tell my never-ending stories about my video games.  Since they really listen and not just hear, I feel able to talk with them more about everything.  Even if they get tired of hearing about the game and sometimes they don’t understand all the details, at least they listen.  In return, I try to listen to what they say.  I admit to sometimes not listening even when it is important but I am human and make mistakes just like everyone else. 

I feel when you pretend that you are listening, people don’t want to be around you.  Nodding your head to make it look like you are paying attention is just the same as lying.

So no matter who is talking, you should really listen, pay attention and not just hear them.   There’s a huge difference between listening and hearing.

Category: Kid's POV  | One Comment