Help me make my friend love twitter.
August 27, 2009 6:32 AM   Subscribe

What sort of guidelines should I provide for a friend for a crash course in social networking?

My friend and I are doing an experiment where we give up the thing we love most (for me: video games; for him: books) for a week and indulge in something we don't appreciate very much (for me: books; for him: social networking).

We're laying out ground rules for one another that are designed to both stretch us and help us to appreciate the medium. So, for my friend: what are some good guidelines I can propose to help my friend understand and appreciate facebook and twitter for a week.

Yes, I know a week is not quite enough time to really have him get it, but that's what we have. And there are no rules against doing preparatory work before the week starts. So, be creative and provide me a bunch of guidelines I can give him to make him love facebook and twitter!
posted by superbird to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What makes or breaks twitter is who you follow. find out who his favorite authors/actors/artists are, and see if they are on twitter, and see who they are following. Find if there is local news or reporters covering issues he's interested, and collect their twitter names. Use twitter's location search to see if any people in his neighborhood are making interesting tweets.

I think if you give in a good list of around 25-50 people to follow on twitter it won't overwhelm him, but will provide enough chatter to have him see the benefits.

Unless he's really interested in seeing how old everyone now looks since high school, I'd avoid facebook, but maybe that's just me. I just feed my twitter status into facebook to maintain a presence there, but I find all the group invites and dumb games a bit annoying.
posted by jrishel at 8:01 AM on August 27, 2009

I think you have to figure out what you hope to get out of each network. It may not be immediately apparent, but if he's taking it seriously he should be able to enumerate how each network could be valuable to him.

For example, my Facebook is loaded up with college friends who I'd never talk to otherwise, and my Twitter is mostly professional (software/web) related so I am up to date on local issues that I should know about. Doesn't mean I use either every day, but I know what I can gain from using them.

Other guidelines:
Don't flood the timeline: This may mean no celebrities "friends", be brutal about hiding/unfollowing overly talkative people, hide the games/polls. If he enjoys that stuff, fine, but don't let an unfocused stream set up in the first day of use harm the experience.

Spend time looking for people he knows by skimming other people's friend lists.
posted by samsm at 8:05 AM on August 27, 2009

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