OVER the past few weeks there has been much talk both online and off about the website twitter.com.
And while the service is sold as a way to answer the question, 'what are you doing?' there is so much more you can do with it to learn about France, make new connections and maybe even help your own business ventures.
Registering with the site couldn't be simpler, just provide a username which is the name other users of the service will see and a password.
From there you will be able to leave messages about what you are doing, interesting websites you've crossed or helpful advice that others can then explore.
And you pick up this audience by 'following' other users of Twitter so this means that when this person updates their Twitter account you are able to see what they've said on your own page.
Often people will follow you back so that you can keep in touch easily, but over time as you see others highlighting the comments of different users, you'll be able to follow these new 'discoveries' as well.
There is a little etiquette involved with Twitter but nothing that a couple of hours use won't help clear up, for example:
- A message posted by yourself will be seen by everyone following you and will be fully searchable
- A message that starts with @person's_username will go direct to that person, but is still public and will be seen by people who follow both sides of the message
- If you want to resend a Tweet someone has sent to your own followers then start with 'RT' and then @person's_username followed by their message
- And the fun one, you've only got 140 characters to play with, so be succinct and interesting
Twitter can be used to help your business in France if used sensibly, see it just as an advertising vehicle and no one will follow you, look to offer advice and interesting links with the occasional 'plug' for what you offer and you have a far greater chance for success.
Also built into Twitter is the opportunity to send a message direct to some, similar in style to a mobile phone text message, and once you get up to speed there are a number of online tools that allow you to send pictures directly to those following you.
A couple of tools that might help you approach Twitter easier for people using the Firefox browser is the TwitKit add-on, or if you want a standalone piece of software TweetDeck is very popular.
Finally, to get you up to speed here are links to the Twitter pages I follow who have a touch of France about them:
And something a little different:
And of course if you are on Twitter and I have not listed you here, please feel free to leave a comment below so others can follow you.
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Hi Craig. This is an excellent summary and very helpful for would-be twitterers like myself. I registered a while back, but have so far failed to really understand how it can be a useful tool. I think I'll get myself a tweetdeck and try again. Richard.
Posted by: Richard Stewart | 06 January 2009 at 21:57
Hi Richard, link up on Twitter and I'll add you to this list ;-)
All the best, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 07 January 2009 at 08:52
Just like last time you mentioned twitter, I have changed my Twitter ID! I have lost the underscore so I am now @richardbarley
If you could update the post, that would be great!
Posted by: Richard B | 12 January 2009 at 16:50
Hi Richard, you are keeping me on my Twitter toes, all done :-)
All the best, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 12 January 2009 at 20:13
Good post Craig and thanks for listing other 'French' people on Twitter, it's good to find more interesting people to follow!
Posted by: Sam McArthur | 14 January 2009 at 10:11
Hi Sam, hope you enjoy discovering some new Twitter folk.
All the best, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 14 January 2009 at 15:35
Hi Craig. Was interested to find this as have started to mention Twitter to my French friends here (I'm in Southern France). I have pinched some of your "people", hope you don't mind! It will be interesting to Tweet to other Anglophones over here. What is your "touch of French" by the way? Jane
Posted by: Jane Levine | 12 February 2009 at 14:26
The list of people is for 'pinching' and hope you enjoy following them.
I am at https://twitter.com/craigmcginty
All the best,
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 12 February 2009 at 14:39
Hi Craig, good article. Here I have some adresses that may be of interest to people:
- twitter.com/BeerBergman (internet, web2.0, society)
- twitter.com/lagrossetalle (gites, campground in the Deux-Sèvres)
- twitter.com/jannagel (bilans de compétence, coaching)
All three accounts are French / dutch and sometimes in English.
Also, I publish the Holiday Accommodation France list on http://www.tweepML.com - feel free to send me a message if you feel you belong on that list :-)!
Posted by: Beer Bergman | 30 October 2009 at 17:07