Weekend Wrap: Twitter has grown up a lot since we first wrote about it in March. Here are some more reasons to join the revolution.
When I first wrote A photographer's guide to Twitter back in March, I spoke about how it has become a useful resource for photographers looking for tech advice, what camera to buy, or how to increase their photo business. It had already gone viral.
Now, it's become a worldwide phenomenon. Just look at the millions of messages from Iranian protesters and links to their cell phone camera videos, and how the world followed the horrific messages and images that appeared under the search topic, iranelections.
In the intervening months, many more photographers and resources have started tweeting, and you can benefit from them.
Getting Through the Static
The downside of Twitter's success is that it has hit critical mass, and it takes a bit more adroitness to navigate around the static, the marketing messages, and the spam. I get hundreds of messages a day from internet marketing snake-oil salesmen that are just about how to make money on Twitter! They all automatically go into a "special" folder.
Tweet Deck, which I mentioned last time, continues to be an excellent tool for dividing up your tweets into categories that you can check as time allows. As my followers doubled from around 1,000 to over 2,100, I've added more categories, and rearranged my followers to include "General photo", "Photo biz", and "Photoshop, etc." They make sense to me, but you can create any categories you want!
You can also easily cut through the static by typing in a word or term. Look at the results I got when I did a search for "Photographer."
Pretty interesting stuff! Some of the posts are intriguing. I think I'll check out their links.
See how that works?
The power of #
When someone puts a # before of a word (with no space in between), the word that follows is categorized and can be searchable. So, if you are looking for the term "sensor", search for it and any message with "#sensor" in the text will be included in the results. These are called "Hashtags". During the height of the protests in Iran last month, messages with #iranelection were being posted at the incredible rate of 200,000 an hour!
The most popular hashtags (in other words, the total number of current messages with a particular hashtagged word or phrase) are visible on the left side of the Twitter screen as "Trending Topics" (shown, right). While Twitter doesn't give exact number (these are available through other sources), you can see today, for example, that Follow Friday, iranelection, TGIF, and Michael Jackson are among the most popular Trending Topics.
Use a hashtag so your message has a better chance to be seen. Or to put it another way: Use a #hashtag so your #message has a better chance to be seen! If you are a wedding photographer, hashtagging #wedding #photographer is not a bad idea, either within a sentence or at the end of a message. If you want people to retweet your message for greater visibility, put RT! at the beginning or end. (Of course, you will need to write something compelling enough that someone else will want to share it with their followers!)
More Great PhotoTweeters!
In the spirit of #FollowFriday, here are more photography-related Twitterers who I follow and enjoy:
leggnet: Rich Legg is a full-time pro shooter who is doing very well as a microstock shooter working for iStockphoto. He is constantly tweeting about tech issues and posting informative links. Listen to Jack Howard's podcast interview with Rich! [http://www.adorama.com/alc/blogarticle/TechTock-Podcast-5-Rich-Legg]
polaroidgirl is a New York-based "film evangelist" who says she likes "Polaroids and plastic deer." Her tweets are mostly concerned with different ways to still use Polaroid andnow Fujifilm instant film in all of their varieties and perumutations. Fuji instant pack film in a Polaroid back for a Holga? She can tell you about it!
photoshelter is Andrew Fingerman, Marketing VP of PhotoShelter, a sescure photo storage service that houses portfolio websites and e-commerce for professional photographers. Andrew admits he spends too much time on Twitter, but shares lots of solid marketing info and interesting inside info. Recent tweet: "How the photo pool operated for the Michael Jackson Memorial using PhotoShelter http://bit.ly/L3d87 23,000 images downloaded in 24 hrs!"
robertmjohnson is a documentary photographer who follows artist-photographers and "other creative people and organizations" as well as some absurd news of the day. For example, this bizzare report: "- RT @1854: French government destroys 551 images by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Le Monde reports. More here: http://bit.ly/UBL2Z"
photojack is a Social Media coach and consultant to photographers, as well as a stock shooter himself. If you're looking for self-promotion ideas, he's your guy.
And of course, be sure to follow the growing posse of Adorama Tweeple:
TechTockBlog (run by Jack Howard, our blogmeister)
adoramapix (Ingrid Spangler at our lab)
adoramaused (Joel Meisels in our Used department)
jeffreypix (Jeff Snyder, Adorama's DC-based pro markets rep)
adoramalearn (That's me!)
That's a wrap! Have a great weekend!
Who are your favorite PhotoTweeple to follow? Share in the comments, below!