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Shoq's Twitter Tips

Page history last edited by Shoq Value 14 years, 3 months ago




For updates, and occasional support (for nice people), follow twitter.com/shoq




About These Tips

Most tip services want to sell advertising, so they bloat their pages with noise you don't need. This page will just put down the key things I feel any Twitter user MUST know to improve their Tweetsperience. I will add them as I think of them.


Is Your Name "Filtered Out" of Twitter Search


Many users get "filtered out" (they prefer that term to "banned") from Twitter's search index because they unknowlingly violated one ore more of Twitter's odd Rules that discourage spamming. 


Twitter does a less than stellar job of making user's aware of these Rules, and an even worse job of clarifying exactly what those rules mean. 


What being "filtered out" means is that your updates will not show up in any searches, hash tag streams, ete. Tweets that mention your name will show up in a search, but not those actually posted from you.


To test this, do a "FROM:your_name" search, like this. Click the link below, and in the twitter search input box, replace the name "Shoq" with your Twitter name (no spaces). 



If you see "No results found," the congratulations, you too have been banned.


To FIX THIS: You have to first know you have a problem, and then find your way through a dense thicket of mostly unrelated help pages. Fortunately for you, you're already here, and  we can steer you to all you need to know:


  1. Get a Twitter trouble ticket number by "Submitting a Help Request here. Say that your reason is: "Can't find myself in search."


  2. There is no #2 any longer. Once upon a time, you had to also @tweet a support person at Twitter, but after months of sending people to her, simply posting the trouble ticket is now sufficient to fix this problem (but it may take a few days.)
  3. Please Tweet this to help others find this page and solution, as you did:

    I used @shoq's tip to make sure my tweets show up in Twitter seach. 

    Get the tip here: http://bit.ly/ShoqTips


To avoid the problem in the future, try your best to grasp these Rules


Final Note: After supporting dozens of users with this problem, I have posted an extensive suggestion to Twitter (via Get Satisfaction), for making users more aware of this problem, and how they can get remedy for it without coming here first.

You can read my suggestion here. http://bit.ly/SearchFix


Getting Twitter Status info

Simply check this page. http://status.twitter.com  When there are major issues or failures, they are reported here.


Use The Reply-Fix Workaround.

Until Twitter resolves its reply issues, if you want people to see every @reply you make to others, don't use reply button, and prepend a period or exclamation point in front of the @replyname.  For example:


 !@shoqsmom By using this exclamation point (or some other character), I am breaking the normal reply mechanism and allowing this update to be seen by all my followers, even if they don't follow that person.


See this post for a complete explanation http://bit.ly/Replies


Tweet Composition 


  • Limit Updates to 125 Characters         

It's very annoying to have to edit an update (a.k.a. Tweet), shrinking it to fit, after a "RT @name " (usually requiring around 8-15 chars).  You can encourage people to retweet you, and ensure that you control just what gets shrunken or changed, by doing it yourself before you even send the tweet. This little extra time will greatly enhance both the clarity of your updates and the number of retweets it gets.


TIP: Tweet grammar really doesn't need many articles, demonstratives or pronouns. Readers fill in blanks pretty well. Tweeting isn't 9th grade English class; few teachers with rulers lurking. Take liberties!


Don't Under-Follow People

One of the joys of Twitter is discovering new friends and contacts. When you get too fussy about whom you follow, you can miss a lot of great people.  Everyone can be dull or silly at times, so don't unfollow someone just because a few tweets turn you off. The next ones might be interesting or valuable. Just learn to skim your timeline for the people who most interest you. The new voices will sneak in, but they can't do that if you've never followed them.


Backup Your Tweets and Follows


Your Twitter timeline only goes back about a month (or so).  Services like Tweetscan.com can go back to about December of 2007, but with very BIG holes in it. This is because Twitter does not let 3rd party services have the entire public timeline, so at best, they can record "snapshots" of your updates.

To my knowledge, only Tweetscan allows you to easily save files for tweets, friends, followers, and favorites. The other services I discuss here will only backup your updates (tweets).


Until Twitter, or someone else comes up with something better, the best approach--and what I do--is to use a service like Tweetake.com, and backup everything to a spreadsheet format once a month. Set your Google or other calendar to remind you to do this.  You can back up all your data, or just selected portions of it. I back up everything every two weeks, and my Tweets once a month.


About Backup Usability:  Keep in mind that backups of tweets are not really very useful, except as a primitive personal record archive.

You can't really navigate the archives, nor merge them into one big database. No doubt, someone will provide a service for this at some point, but whether they will ever let you import your saved archives into such a service is highly doubtful.  Until then, assume you have a raw archive, by export date, which either a programmer will have to combine for you, or you will only be able to do text searches within using whatever spreadsheet or text editors you can access the files with.  Kinda sucks, but.. there we are.


Note: I also do redundant backups using Tweetscan and Tweetbackup.com, simply because I don't yet know which format will import better when I finally decide to program some kind of aggregator for my past tweets. But I consider my tweets to be a kind of creative work I may want to consolidate one day, and most people probably don't have such a concern, so just the Tweetscan each mother is more than adequate.


The Backup Services I Use:

Tweetscan.com -- I use once a month (saving 5 different files (tweets, friends, followers, favorites, everything).

For most people, I would recommend only freinds, followers and tweets).

Tweetake.com -- Tweets only, in two formats (csv and html)

Tweetbackup.com -- Tweets only, in three formats (html, rss, txt)




For updates, and occasional support (if you're a nice person), follow twitter.com/shoq 


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