Tag: spain

15 Twitter tips for beginners

A friend of mine has just set up a Twitter account so I wrote him an email with some instructions on how to get the most from it.

Thinking some of the advice might prove useful to others, I genericised it and re-posted it here.

Dunno how well you know Twitter – if I’m teaching Granny to suck eggs, apologies but if you are a noob, read on…!

  1. Start off by posting a few innocuous posts – “trying out Twitter”, “Recently moved to Vancouver, anyone here from Vancouver?”, and some stuff introducing yourself your interests & why you’re using Twitter, e.g. “I hope to learn more about cleantech”, that kind of thing.
  2. Then build up your network. Start with your friends you know to be on Twitter. Start following them. But also look at the list of people they are following. You may know some of them too, if so, add them to the list of people you follow too.
  3. If you precede someone’s username with the @ symbol in a post on Twitter (i.e. “@tomraftery how is it going?”) then your post appears in the Reply tab on their Twitter page. This works whether they are following you or not. When you @reply to someone, they are likely to check out your profile and may decide to follow you. This is a very powerful way to build up your network with people who don’t necessarily know you but with whom you want to connect.
  4. Check out the TwitterGrader page for your area, for instance, if you are based in Andalucia, in the south of Spain, like me, check the TwitterGrader page for Andalucia and you’ll find some interesting people you may want to connect to, to get into the local scene.
  5. Follow some of the people there, check who they are following and talking to (@ replying to) and consider following them too.
  6. Sidenote: if you precede someone’s username with “d ” (i.e. “d tomraftery how is it going?”) this sends a private message only to them – called a direct message or DM. You can only send DMs to people who have chosen to follow you.
  7. Also, don’t be shy about asking your friends to pimp you to their followers!
  8. Then, using Twitter:

  9. On the computer – download & install Adobe AIR (if you don’t already have it installed). Then use either Twhirl or TweetDeck for posting/reading posts. I prefer TweetDeck. The Twitter web interface is still prob the best for checking people’s profiles and seeing who they follow.
  10. On the iPod Touch/iPhone use Twitterfon, on Blackberry I hear Twitterberry is good and
  11. On any other phone use dabr.co.uk – a web based mobile Twitter client
  12. Always remember, if you @reply someone looking to get their attention or hoping they will follow you, they will likely click through to check out your Twitter page. There are many bots on Twitter so to weed out real/interesting users from bots I always look at a persons most recent posts to see what they are talking about (if their posts are all links to one site, forget it!), I look at the number of people they follow vs the number of people following them. If they are following 1,000 say and have very few followers, it is a sure sign that they are a bot who just auto-followed lots of people.
  13. I also check out what the person says about themselves in the bio and click on their site, if they have one.
  14. If you want people to follow you, then ensure your updates are not protected. Someone coming to your Twitter page and seeing Protected Updates is very unlikely to decide to follow you.
  15. Purely a personal preference, but I think it is far better to use your own name on your Twitter account than some handle. It is a matter of personal branding but to my mind, a Twitter account called @JohnDoe tells me more about the user than @stargazr49!
  16. Finally, a photo is also very important on your account, be sure to add one to your profile
  17. BONUS EXTRA TIP!!! – Use your Twitter username everywhere – add it to your email sig, put it on your business cards, leave it in blog comments – don’t spam, just do it where appropriate.

Hope some of that is useful!

If there are any other tips I missed out on, feel free to add them in the comments…

Post updated after helpful feedback from JAdP and RichWalsh on Twitter!

We are off to the beach!!!

Playa de Roquetas
Photo Credit technokitten

We have been in Spain for nearly two weeks now. Most of the boxes and bags are unpacked. We have a phone line, gas, broadband, mobile and electricity accounts in our names and we put a deposit on a car (a Prius). It has been busy.

The most difficult thing to deal with has been the banks – both Spanish and Irish. Bank of Ireland have been particularly unhelpful and inflexible.

My brother-in-law has a time share in Almeria he couldn’t take up this coming week so he offered it to us. This afternoon we are heading to the beach for a week! I’ll be the one under the umbrella, trying desperately to stay in the shade!

In Spain at the minute

I’m in Spain at the moment. I flew over here on Sunday for my brother-in-law’s wedding. All good.

However, this has been a nightmare journey. I woke up on Sunday morning with a temperature of 38.8C. And Tomás, our four year old, had a temp of 38. We managed to get the kids and bags ready and arrived at the airport on time only to have our flight to Spain delayed by four hours.

We arrived at our hotel in Malaga (after deciding to overnight there) at 2:30am.

I drove to Seville the following (Monday) morning. I still had a high temperature and collapsed on the hotel bed when we arrived and awoke 3 hours later. I saw a doctor later in the day and he told me I had a bad lung infection and was heading for pnuemonia. I am now on antibiotics and getting better but still haven’t eaten since Saturday lunch!

To cap it all, Pilar and Enrique are now sick as well (Enrique’s temp was 39.9 last night) and there is no wifi in the hotel room so I am getting online extremely intermittently.

Still, the weather here is beautiful. I looked out the hotel window last night and one of the street signs which also gives the temperature was reading 17C. At 8pm. In January. Hard to beat that!

In-car GPS units

I drove to Dublin on Saturday. I had a couple of small jobs to do and I was going to the Blogger meetup in the Market Bar afterwards.

Now I don’t know Dublin well at all so I was mighty relieved when a friend offered me the loan of a Sony GPS unit for the trip. It was the Sony NV-U50 and I would have been literally lost without it!

The user interface could definitely stand some work (it took me a good while to figure out how to get it to plot a course to a destination) but once underway and following its instructions, it brought me to the door of my venues flawlessly. I didn’t even have to think about where I was going.

Who else makes these in-car units and which ones are best (i.e. easiest to use)?

I’d love to take one to Spain in a couple of weeks when we go there on holidays