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me: Here’s the key: 140 character questions
and 140 character answers could be less
Justin: glad to
let’s go!

me: ok
here we go
Why do use Twitter?
Justin: I use twitter to connect with people, build relationships
and to hear other people stories and wisdom!

me: What do you like best about Twitter?
Justin: Twitter let’s us talk to anyone! I mean Twitter let me meet you, Julio.
Twitter gives you a voice. The deer now have guns!

me: Ha!
Ok, what sucks about Twitter?
Justin: People who think Twitter is just about spamming, auto dming
or that it’s all numbers! It sucks that people don’t get that it’s about relationships

me: Got it
What would be your ideal dream version of Twitter?
Justin: That there would be no spam and people would openly talk
about life and help each other with making their dreams happen!
me: Nice answer

me: My favorite Twitter profile is ____ because _____.
Justin: My favorite Twitter profile is @samtaracollier
because she is kinda new to Social Media but she gets it!
She is smart and great writer!

me: What is the greatest thing that happened to you on Twitter?
Justin: I have found people like
@ginidietrich @jeffmello @ChicagoDiane
@adriandayton and @samtaracollier who I now call friends!
I have also found clients

me: Aw, that’s sweet.
Last question: Where is Twitter going? What will it be like in a year?
Justin: Unless people start seeing
the value in building relationships
and actively pursuing new relationships
Twitter will be a iGhost Town
me: Thanks, Justin!

To Follow Justin on Twitter, visit @JustInTheSouth

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Yeah, we have been around Twitter for a while and are very aware of FollowFriday, where you recommend profiles to other people and offer your reasons. When it started, it was a cool idea. However, it was quickly becoming obvious that Twitter streams were getting clogged up with tons of profile names, it was hard to keep track of the recommendations. So, as others have done, we started blogging our recommendations, and this practice returns today. Here is our list of GREAT and ENGAGING Twitter profiles to follow. We really enjoyed connecting with these profiles the last few weeks.

 

Profiles to Follow from @Julito77

  • @Danigrrl5: Danielle has quickly become a very close social media friend. We share a love of writing and we love to read each other’s work. She is also becoming such a regular and loyal visitor to this site. I love how she converses on Twitter. 100% Real. Follow Danielle at @Danigrrl5.
  • @hackneyhive: Another new connection that “gets” it. I already love the wit, the charm, and the authenticity. Makes me want to live in Hackney, London. Follow at @hackneyhive.
  • @tonytorero: Even though root he roots for Real Madrid, Tony is cool. We share a love of #Latism and soccer, and I love to tweet with him in both English and Spanish. You can follow Tony at@tonytorero.
  • @mkelly317: Another fellow fiction writer, Maria is so supportive, positive, and sweet. She brings a smile to my face every time she shows up in my stream. And she also roots for the Red Sox! Follow at @mkelly317.
  • @giorodriguez: Another #Latism supporter who shares a lot of things in common with me, like the fact that we are BOTH Puerto Rican and Italian and spent our formative years of our lives in the boogie down Bronx. But seriously, Giovanni is the best. Follow him @giorodriguez.

Profiles to Follow from @fbnovel

  • @babelonandon: She made us crack up when several puns on book titles were being shared this week. We instantly fell for the humor and wit. Follow Ms. Riggs at @babelonandon.
  • @stmartinspress: This esteemed publisher tweets from the Flatiron Building in New York and we love the fact that the profile is actually replying to its followers. They love to chat about anything literary. Follow at @stmartinspress.
  • @Glory_66: Slavica is one of our most loyal readers. She always visits whenever there is a new installment of FRANKY BENÍTEZ and always tweets about the book for us. We love our loyal readers! You can follow Slavica at @Glory_66.
  • @reynaldomacias: We love Reynaldo and his writing. We love his poetry so much that we made it the first submission ever of #LatinoLit. Follow at @reynaldomacias.
  • @LaLicenciada: She was one of the first to reply to us this week on Twitter and according to Klout, she has already influenced us! And that is a good thing. We love her vibe. Follow her at @LaLicenciada.

 

 

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This entire year, we have been talking about how sports and Twitter make the perfect match, not only in how we can get real-time information of our favorite teams, but the fact that social media, if done right, can truly enhance a team’s brand and loyalty.

We have see tons of teams and media channels that tweet, yet we always get frustrated because they never engage in real interaction with their fan base. Biggest culprit is @WEEI. I mean, the country’s TOP sports talk radio network and all they do on Twitter is tweet out automated information and NEVER NEVER NEVER engage their fan base. And they are in talk radio!

So, we were thrilled when we found out that @peter_r_casey became a credentialed Twitter blogger for St. John’s Basketball. And when we found out about this, we actually had some REAL two-way sports talk and engagement with Peter and the St. John’s Twitter account. How cool.

You see, when I was living in New York in the 80s, St. John’s was the king of college basketball. Every kid wanted to be Chris Mullin (well, at least every New York Irish kid I knew. Ha!). The last few years, SJU has had some tough seasons, but here’s the point: By engaging an old St. John’s fan in social media, the team is back on my mind. They have brought me back through social media. All because they responded to my questions about the game.. That engagement took like 3 minutes, but to me it felt like hours.

So when will other teams and leagues “get it”? Social media in sports is happening in pockets (Chicago Blackhawks being honored for social media efforts, good ol’ OchoCinco, etc.), but we truly hope for the day when teams and sports media everywhere stop just pushing information out and start interacting with the loyal fans who actually follow their teams with passion.

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In honor of “Black Friday,” we are doing our FollowFriday post at midnight on Friday!

Ok, now that that bad joke is over with, we move on to continue our ongoing blog series about the TRUE MASTERS of Twitter. That is, people who truly “get” what Twitter is all about: a place where you MUST always be authentic and real. A place where you initiate conversation, but also connect with people who reach out to you. Last week, we focused on Five of the Best, and this week, we add to the list.

The reason we do this is a simple one: we want to take the time and tell people, especially those who are new on Twitter, why we think the people we follow here would enrich your Twitter experience. The people we list today and have listed on previous posts ALWAYS provide incredible value to our Twitter streams. And for that, we thank them.

These five Twitter rockstars are very active on Twitter, but they are also very genuine. How do we know? Well, we have met three of them in person, and that always helps. But even if we hadn’t met them, just a quick glance of their profiles shows why they are so good on Twitter. For us, when we decide to follow people on Twitter, we always looks for three things:

• a great profile
• a steady stream of tweets (yes, we do not believe that you should be worried about “limiting yourself” on Twitter; any time you limit yourself, you stop being yourself)
• how many @ replies are in their stream

To us, that is all that matters and not the high number of followers someone might have. (Psst, next week we are going to list some great group of people who don’t have those high follower numbers, but are just as strong as anyone else on Twitter.)

On Twitter (and listen up, all you brands and businesses who think they know the secret, but don’t), we focus on this basic question: Does the person or brand truly connect with people? If yes, we follow. If no, thanks, but no thanks.

Here is our five for this week:

@theAlReza: they come no truer that Al here on Twitter, and for that, we thank him. Why do we love Al? When we catch each other in the stream, we stop, we converse, we joke, and we connect. Then, we do it all over again the next time we see each other. Perfect.

@sarahrobinson: Yes, we have met Sarah IRL this year, and yes, we have met the apple of her eye, AKA “The Young Turk.” And Sarah has such a sense of coolness that is 100% Alabama Genuine. She offers amazing content and is quick to converse, and she also cracks us up with her wit and charm. Oh yeah, Sarah is also savvy and sharp.

@adriandayton: One of the hardest working Twitter people we know, Adrian exemplifies what every person should be doing with social media: helping, helping, and helping. Once we connected with Adrian, we formed an instant kinship that extends into our offline worlds. We are proud to call him a dear friend, and if you are new to Twitter, Adrian is a walking Twitter encyclopedia who will always @ you back if you reach out to him.

@ginidietrich: This is probably like the 6th time we have put Gini in one of our blogs, and the reason why is rather an easy one: She is Simply The Best. (Ok, cue bad Tina Turner music). But seriously, in the days of companies and brands who think they still can control their message, Gini goes against that older way of thinking and basically says that you must be more transparent than ever before, because, and this is the most important thing, you are no longer the sole keeper of your message. So, you better just dive in and connect.

@chrisbrogan Chis Brogan IS the gold standard here. I am constantly impressed by how he can manage to offer amazing value, yet still do the simple things, like sending off @ replies. For some reason, we still think Chris remembers how it felt to be new to Twitter and even though he has reached the stratosphere of the Twitter Elite, there is something cool when he just sends out real tweets from him that reinforce what social media is all about. Anyone new to Twitter would benefit from what Chris does. Hopefully, we will run into him somewhere in Boston. Not an actual run-in during rush hour, but just a chance to say hi.

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As you know, Twitter is a large place, and there are many who claim to be “experts” and “social media gurus.” We aren’t knocking the many talents of these kinds of people who have the large number of followers and have great reach and influence. However, we do think that if you are going to say you believe in the power of social media and are a top social media evangelist, you should practice what you preach.

That is, if people are engaging you in the conversation on Twitter, it might make sense to actually and consistently engage back. No excuses. In this spirit, we are recommending 5 of Twitter’s Best, people who actually have a very large number of followers, truly understand Twitter, and truly engage their followers (always), even when they are inundated with 100s of @ replies every day. We commend you all for doing this. We know how hard it is to constantly be in touch with your stream, but when you do, your reputation and class show with flying colors.

FOLLOW THESE TWITTER MASTERS

@earthXplorer: JD is the REAL DEAL on Twitter. I am always happy to see him in my stream, and he does share amazing content. He is the perfect example of someone who can get a large number of followers but still remember that numbers don’t matter: it is just about connecting here. JD is a MUST FOLLOW.

@RizzoTees: Full disclosure about the fabulous RizzoTees. I don’t work for them and I don’t get anything from. I just love their amazing tees (have bought 2!) and how Chris has been able to create a true “social media brand” for his company. It’s funny, when I first started following the Rizz (at 20K) I was afraid to reach out to him, since I was just starting at Twitter. But I said, wait, I love Chris’ vibe and I am so glad I reached out and connected. I have made a true friend. We are brothers forever.

@shellykramer: to one of my fellow “Overtweeters,” I salute you! Shelly is amazing, just amazing. She GETS it and has the uncanny ability to make each Twitter convo authentic, funny, and personal. One of the best!

@tommytrc: another one of the Twitter Greats! Tommy is always engaging and always providing amazing content to my stream. His tweets are interesting, fun, and pure. He also engages the right way with people. Go, Tommy!

@mattsingley: You know how people have required reading, like the Times or the Journal or the Huff Post? Well, Matt is my required reading. His blog on social media is EXCELLENT, but more importantly, Matt makes it a point to continue to connect with his base. Believe me, that is HARD to do as you keep growing, but Matt keeps it real, and we love him.

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Happy Follow Friday, to all my Yankee Twitter Friends.

In all seriousness, the people mentioned in this video are some of the coolest, most amazing people you will meet on Twitter. Please follow:

@vvarela1974 (my baby sister!)
@John_Rivera
@mikeroblescomic
@theonlinemom
@theJLV
@mami2mommy
@ruthpolanco
@bronxbebe
@zemog

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The jury is still our for us and Twitter Lists, although we applaud Twitter for trying to change the Twitter experience for many people. The only big issue for us is that we rarely use the web version of Twitter, since we truly love the third-party apps like Hootsuite and Tweetie, and right now, our favorite third-party apps don’t support lists (although some apps will be adding this feature soon).

Nonetheless, we still played around with lists this week and in the conversations we had with our Twitter friends, a debate about Twitter Lists and their value ensued. Some thought it was a waste of time, while others were intrigued. We fall into the “intrigued” category and decided to have fun with those people who taught it was a “colossal waste of time.” Those people know who they are, because we created a list for it! Yup, it’s called the The Grump List, and what started as a joke to playfully tease some great friends who think of Twitter Lists as a “colossal waste of time” turned into a fun topic with our Twibe this week.

Grump2

It was with this list that we began to see a little value: that is, by creating a specific, goofy list and inviting people to the list, we saw a way to engage people and create a little buzz in our own little Twitterverse. And isn’t that what it is all about?

So if you want to be a part of The Grump List, send a tweet to @julito77 telling us why you want to join the list. By they way, this list DOES have some great people to follow.

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