26 on Twitter

Every writer should be on Twitter, the ‘microblogging’ service that lets users post little updates about what they’re doing/thinking/reading/watching at that moment. You can only use 140 characters – a diverting writing challenge in itself.

Twitter is enormous fun, and can plug you into all manner of interesting people and networks across the world. As well as people you know, you can connect and correspond with big names like Stephen Fry, Richard Branson, John Cleese andMC Hammer. Yes, MC Hammer.

You can search for ‘trends’, finding all those who are ‘tweeting’ about a subject – say, copywriting – and then ‘follow’ anyone who looks interesting. (The ‘following’ of strangers on Twitter is positively encouraged, unlike the real world.) If you have a question, why not put it to the ‘Twitterverse’? You’d be amazed how generous people are with their knowledge and ideas.

Indeed, generosity is at the heart of Twitter. It’s all about sharing – news, ideas, links, conversations, pictures, whatever. Yes, some people post nothing but drivel, but that’s okay – just don’t follow them. It’s about finding the networks that are interesting and useful for you.

And now, we have a 26 Twitter tool. www.tweety6.co.uk is a dedicated webpage that aggregates all relevant ‘tweets’ from 26ers. If you’re a 26 writer on Twitter, just ‘tag’ your tweets by typing #tweety6 somewhere in the text. Then it’ll appear on the page. (If you type your post on the Tweety6 page itself, it’ll add the tag on its own.)

How did this happen? Well, Mike Reed had the thought, which he posted on the message board. 26 tweeter Andrew Arnold offered his help. Together they had various thoughts on how it might work, and got suggestions by others on Twitter. We found something called TweetChat, whose developer spotted our Twitter messages, and offered his advice. Bingo: we had the site. And Twitter made it work. That’s what it’s all about.

If you’re not on Twitter already, sign up and start tweeting at http://twitter.com. Then log in to www.tweety6.co.uk and see who’s there. It’s a good place to start. See you there.

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