Is Twitter safe?

TwitterI blogged earlier about checking Facebook settings and my instinct was right. Since the compulsory live feed about who is liking what and who is commenting on what, the likes and comments have dropped off significantly and it’s interesting what people have since decided to comment on and react to. A reminder to check bottom right on the cog and you can turn off the right sidebar as I have. You still get birthday notifications! Twitter is a different kettle of fish entirely and it is harder to manage as such for you keep a stable, balanced feed. Every so often there is a spawning of grossness and undesirable which puts good people off and makes it hard then to enjoy the benefits of Twitter. Again, as social media users , we perhaps need to make some requests of the social media companies because we are contributing to their success and the research that goes on around them. Twitter is by far the most efficient means of communicating and getting out information in an emergency. Our farmers use it to get stock and feed to each other during bushfires and floods and to organise the help they need to save their farms. It has been a huge bonus in those times that Twitter is there, the hashtag can be created and people can get the help and/or reassurance they need in times of trouble. Companies can engage with customers in a real way and I won’t forget the day I solved my problem on Twitter while I was waiting on the phone to be put through to resolve a phone company issue. I hadn’t planned it that way. I just was trying to fill in the wait time. I have also used Twitter to help others who are stuck or want immediate help with something. Twitter can be great and providing you follow the hashtags you want it is more than a helpful venue. There are some interesting statistics on brandwatch:

Twitter user statistics

There are 310M monthly active users

A total of 1.3 billion accounts have been created

Of those, 44% made an account and left before ever sending a Tweet

Only 550 million people have ever sent a Tweet

500 million people visit the site each month without logging in

29.2% of US social media users are Twitter users

80% of active users access the site via mobile

208 is the average number of followers

391 million accounts have no followers at all

Katy Perry has the most followers, with over 87m

Journalists make up 24.6% of verified accounts

83% of the world’s leaders are on Twitter

79% of accounts are held outside of the U.S.

Twitter estimates 23m of its active users are actually bots

 

It’s the bots and fake accounts which tend to create the problems. A bot can spam Twitter feeds with anything. Fake accounts can spread whatever they like and are not held accountable. Real people are surprisingly good at finding out who owns these fake accounts. From that point of view Twitter becomes self regulating but there are times when you know that things just should not be there. We have laws and they don’t seem to be able to be applied or they are being ignored. I would think most users do not want to be in a swamp or cesspool and that intermittent aspect of Twitter is doing it harm. The fakeness aspect has to go. There is no kudos in having 40, 000 fake followers and building your name on fake just doesn’t work.

Theoretically children younger than 13 should not be on Twitter without parental consent. Given the nature of some of the material at times then 13 is still too young according to our laws and media ratings. Social media ratings matter and Huffington Post explains why. Trying to pin down the age restrictions is hard and it is explained here in the post and comments on Lisa Nielsan’s blog. Age screening is explained on the Twitter support site. There are other Twitter-like sites which might be more suitable for children. Learning how to use social media effectively is a desirable part of current educational needs in the digital age. education.com has some solid advice about children and Twitter.

2000 Twitter followers

Twitter followers

Thank you!

Icons from : nymfont

The good news is that these followers are real people with some impressive interests, involvements and skills. I enjoy engaging in the Twittersphere and Twitter has helped me a lot to develop my thoughts , ideas and to create a PLN worth its weight is gold. Many of the followers come from my blogging. I run different blogs, each with their own focus and they all pick up followers both from the blogs and  Twitter . I follow over 3000 people on Twitter and I have built my own numbers up by being there and providing content which others value. My handle @sally07 comes from  the days where we did not blog or tweet as a real person. We hid behind a pseudonym. It was part of the fun because the internet has always had a sense of the ridiculous in a good way. It used to be email addresses, then it was names on blogs and Twitter and it now has become the hashtags. Some of those hashtags become iconic and drive change. Twitter does not let you change your original name when you signed up unless you go through a big process and that would then mean losing all my followers. I run the account in my own name as I do my blogs. There was a day where I had to decide whether to stay behind a pseudonym wall or be a real person on the internet. I have found real works well for me. People need to know I am real and I exist and that has improved engagement. It’s how you get followers. Yes, you can pay for them. Yes, you can have a successful account under a fake name and then it comes down to your own values. My decision was I wanted to be able to make a real contribution as a real person. I am doing the same on Instagram. I have 163 followers now which is nothing compared with some but it’s so much better than the 6 followers I had at the beginning of the year.  If you want followers I have 3 pieces of advice:

  1. Be yourself and genuine
  2. Offer something positive
  3. Have a sense of fun

Not everything I do is funny or light hearted but you do have to lighten accounts up from time to time. I thank everyone for contributing positively to my Twitter account and to my blogs. I have had some sound help, support and encouragement. I have had some great discussions and input. The strength you can gain from social media is not to be underestimated. I’d like to think I provide some of that strength with my accounts.

The case of the Twitter edit function

twitter impressionsOh what a tangled web we have woven with social media. Instagram lets you edit as does Facebook but not Twitter. Three years ago they were supposed to be creating a limited edit function but still there isn’t one and still I can make myself look like a prize twit because I cannot correct a typo or malfunctioning link. I have to delete the tweet and put up a new one or quote the tweet. If I delete it , it means I would lose the retweets and likes I may have gathered and that can happen so quickly on some tweets. The logic is that Twitter can send out viral tweets and if it is misinformation then the best option is for the tweeter to delete that post. It has caused a lot of heartache when people or organisations have put out incorrect information. The impact can be a lifechanger  in a bad way for some. Twitter is also used by opportunistic advertisers who might use the edit function to change a good tweet which is gathering momentum into advertising for something.  Quora has some interesting responses to the twitter lack of edit position. I quote my tweet if I want to correct an error so then the original tweet and the quoted tweet are gathering impressions. quotetweetThere is a belief that any tweet has a short life span and so it’s better to delete and start again or quote the tweet so that it just goes back into the new stream of tweets. I guess Facebook and Instagram do not have the same time turnover and short life of information. I still think it should be possible to correct spelling errors or links. How hard the algorithm is for that I cannot say. I am just asking!

Twitter analytics

Twitter analyticsTwitter analytics is a helpful function which is offered on your tweets. You can check the impact of a tweet, the reach of it and you can gauge how you are going from one month to the next. You can get analytics on your whole account each month too so you can see your progress. This month I can see I have done some good work but I have to lift my tweeting game. This is where analytics are helpful. I thought I was tweeting as much as usual. When I checked against other months, well, no I am not. In fact I have tweeted quite a bit less and yet, that is not what I have been thinking. Analytics put an end to perception, guesswork and impressions. You get some clear information to work on. I knew I was getting followers but it has gone even better than I thought. The lesson for me is it is not just about what I think. Get the information, look at it and work on it.Tweet activity Analytics focus you without all the thinking and feeling. Having looked at the analytics I am not sitting here feeling bad about what is not going so well. I am thinking about how I can correct that and I have something to measure myself against next month. In that sense analytics hone your strategy skills. You can pay for sponsored tweets if you feel you want your tweet to last longer and have more impact. The life of a tweet is quite short although, this month, I have been surprised how many of my older tweets have been picked up and reacted to so quality is still important and valuable. As far as sponsored tweets are concerned then there is only so much cyber real estate. If everyone pays for sponsored tweets the same problem will occur – too many tweets and not enough air time. For me it is important to get authentic followers and  engage with them. Businesses and entrepreneurs will do it differently because they have different objectives. The analytics then will get you thinking straight so you can plan next month’s twitter activity!

You can get to the analytics by clicking VIEW on your tweet and then viewing the activity or type into your browser address bar :

https://analytics.twitter.com/user/sally07/   where sally07 is your username

https://analytics.twitter.com/user/sally07/tweets  if you want to look at tweet activity

 

Take up a challenge.

cleaning challengeI am always doing Twitter challenges. They were coming up on a fairly regular basis but now I go looking for them. Why?

1. They challenge me!
2. They make me achieve
3. They make me rethink
4. They are fun
5. They make me grow

happy teacher

Image : Presto Plans Blog

Currently , I have moved away from the education challenges and am doing Buzzfeed’s Spring Cleaning Challenge. In Adelaide it has to be the Autumn Cleaning Challenge and not a bad time to do it. You get one room a day. It takes 10 days and you are given instructions and tips. It is quick. It makes a difference and I loved dusting with socks on my hands for today’s challenge.

The education ones I have done have made me really think about what I am doing. They have kept me very focussed but the biggest impact they have had on me is to remind me that I am the one who can make a difference. I can do things which change my day, others , what I am doing. I have done the #30goals (@30GoalsEDU) #gratitudechallenge and most recently the #pcps_teach challenge about the impact of Twitter on me professionally. There are all sorts of challenges you can find on the internet or Twitter – fitness challenges, health challenges, photo challenges, February challenges. Each day you have something to do. The longest are a month. My cleaning one is for 10 days. In 10 days I shall have changed myself and my home. That’s why I like challenges. They make a difference.

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