Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Use and Enjoy Twitter with Your Pet

by @MissBusyBiz 

(I’m a Bichon with lots of Twitter friends and having loads of fun with Anipals)

It’s not everyday that I can go for a walk and meet great friends on my way. When I do I make sure that mom has my business cards in her pocket. Yup, even though I’m a dog (a very cute Bichon dog) I have business cards that tell everyone to join Twitter and become my friend by following me!

I had no idea when I joined Twitter that so many wonderful anipals were a part of the community. But now that I have been enjoying the daily chats with dogs, cats and guinea pigs from around the world, I don’t know what I did before Twitter. (BT to those in the know) Twitter may seem like a waste of time, or a 140 character a tweet routine that you don’t need to add to your daily duties, but it is so much more. It’s a community of other like minded anipal friends that chat about everything you can think of during their time online. Now, you know that I tend to tilt towards the fashion, shopping, and food areas of life. I am very much like my mum Francy and we like to talk to others about their lives and what they are fixing for dinner, what book they are reading and even about their day and what has happen in their part of the world. There is so much more, lots of boy dogs get on twitter and talk about sports, politics and bacon treats. Lots of girls talk about hobbies, travel and local events. Lots of anipals talking about what has gone on in their own home towns and homes all over the globe. It is very interesting and fun to be apart of it all. Yes, I do have some regular humans that read my tweets and write back to me but most of all I have best ever dog friends that teach me so much stuff - every day.
@PrincessGwenie is always talking about travel and her toys, she buys a lot of them and she sends me cards in the mail and gives me help when I have questions. @SmokeyPoodle is always there for me with ideas on how to use my iPod, laptop and anything about cooking. He is even working with his dad on a cookbook that has recipes from loads of anipal moms all over the place. Little @Niqqi talks about fashion and loves to shop. I do have to hold her paw when we go shopping she is still a young dog. @Danapixie is in charge of putting together paw circle for dogs that are unwell or lost and if they pass away she helps them find a place at the rainbow bridge. @SamthePoodle diets with mommy and @lunabellasworld ‘s mom talks about life on the east coast. @Tallulahsmom is a fancy designer chick and keeps me in the know with home d├ęcor. Yes my Twitter home is filled with hundreds of pets with expertise in all fields as well as good runners, jumpers and cuddlers.

Are a senior? Are you a busy parent, a young tween, a professional under stress or a just a regular guy it is good to have friends. Everyone knows that “man’s best friend is his dog” and that is no truer statement that those friends on Twitter.

If you have not gone on Twitter yet and wonder why you would? Then it is time for you to give the anipals a try. Go ahead and join Twitter which is all FREE…you type in and it will come up and you can walk through the sign up information. Always remember to keep your privacy high and use a fun name to represent your own real anipal. So my name is Missy. Since I am never in one spot longer than a minute mommy thought Busy was a perfect way to talk about me. And because mommy has home business she added Biz to the end of my name. So I am @MissBusyBiz on twitter. When you join you want to go and look for other dogs and people that you know on Twitter so be sure you type in the @ sign and then the name. I would be so pleased to have you as my follower. Then you just poke around and find other dogs, cats, fish, ducks and click on their page, read about them and then start to follow them. Send them a little Hello Tweet and wait for them to follow you back. That is how you do it, you slowly add a few friends at a time and suddenly you have a group of pals to talk to each day.

There is a little profile or bio on twitter so other people know a little about who you are when they follow you. I had mommy talk about me and her and daddy…Oh, and my brother Mac who is a westie/schnauzer mix. He is boring so no bother talking about him any more. But this profile section is under SETTINGS and you will find it important to those that look you up.

There is a place to put a website. So if you have a business you can put the website there, or a blog address, or just a site that has your family pictures on it would be fun too. This is an important place, lots of people will go there when they come to look at who you are…so direct them to a place they will get information or enjoy.

Pictures are called avatars on Twitter. They are what people see when you post on twitter so its important. You need to make them real. People do not like to see fake pictures or place holders from Twitter. Just take a friendly picture of your pet or you and your pet, and use that as the avatar. You do not need to have anything fancy, just real. Mommy goes through pictures of our family and crops out my picture and then posts that on the avatar. This picture will change through the months. Some times people do silly things with their picture. People will add a ribbon on a dog or a little toy on a picture of a cat…just for fun. What you do with you avatar says a lot about you as a person. Lots of very talented artists do very fun things. But simple photo of a pet is just right.

You will select a time zone and that will be posted, but you don’t have to tell where you live. You can say “West Coast, or Puget Sound Washington“…or your actual home town and state or country…you use what ever you feel comfortable with as you fill out the information. Time will pass and you will change your password, your avatar and your information, so just use something simple in the beginning. I like to check out new friends or followers and see where they’re from and what their parents do or what kind of a dog they are it makes it fun to know about them. I also know a friend in the UK is going to be on line at different times than I am, so it helps to grow a friendship anywhere in the world when you know what time it is at their home.

You check into Twittter each day and you quietly read over what messages you have in your twitter folder. Sometimes they are ads and you just ignore them. Sometimes they are peeps that want to know something and need help. Just hang out for a while and see who they are talking about and then ask them a question or tell them a statement from you and your life. You want to make sure you are on twitter with a group that you feel safe with when you come online each night. So at the beginning just say Hello and tell every one what you are doing like this:

Hi all, I am waiting for mom to finish dinner, having pork chops and I’m so hungry

When you are new you might not hear anything back, but after a while, you will get someone answering you and telling you HI and what they are having for dinner. Or they might ask you to send a pork chop over to them cause they are hungry too. This is just the usual chatter that goes on, on twitter. It is usually fun and informational so just read and respond. If you have a question, then click on the Return button and the name of the person you are reading comes up on your screen and you type in your message.

@MissBusyBiz hey Missy send me 2 pork chops plse, I am so hungry I could eat a bear-BOL

See that shows that this person is wanting to talk to you, they are hungry and making a little joke. The BOL is Bark Out Loud…some use LOL for Laugh Out Loud. To show you they are being friendly. You do not have to know all the short letters, they are just a way to use less letters and say more with a 140 character count. People would appreciate spelling to be easy to understand. So use words you know and know how to spell, make it simple and easy.

I try to make a few tweets each day. Even if I don’t have a lot of time, I go on and say what I am doing. Then I read what is being said by my follower group and enter into a conversation if it has interest to me. Or I might just leave a message for a friend that is not online at that time. To do that start the message directed at your friend.

@Niqqi just thinking of you, here for little while will be back later tonight got UR card, thanks!

That is called a Reply and it goes out for everyone to read and shows up under @Niqqi s in box so she can read it when she comes online. It is public, but directed to a special friend. Now if you want to say something to someone that is private you click on DM or Direct Message. This message goes only to the friend and not the general public.

D niqqi this is my personal phone 555-222-1345 call me around 10 your time

You see this information only goes out to your @friend…but, you must make sure you are careful. Most Twitters will give out their email and ask you to send personal information out through that venue. They worry about privacy on Twitter and it’s good to worry. You want to have Twitter a fun place not a place that brings you trouble. If you tell people you are leaving town, your home could be burglarized…so keep your personal information private and Twitter will be fun, not scary.

Using Twitter to ask questions is so helpful. One of our family members had a problem, they thought their dog had been poisoned and did not know what to do. They sent out a tweet and three Vets (moms and dads of the dogs and a cat on twitter) answered them back right away and they were able to save their dog.

It is hard to explain what Twitter is until you begin to use it on a daily basis. I would say your beginning would be 10-15 minutes once or twice a day. As you go forward and have friends you may want to set up a time that all of you can meet to chit chat each evening or a couple times a week. You plan to use a time that will fit - We use 7pm on the west coast so the friends on the east coast can check in before they go to bed. It makes it fun for our group to enjoy each other and our day’s ups and down with friends.

What I like about Twitter I think is the nice friendship without requirements. You don’t have to take someone out to lunch, or talk to them each day, or call and spend time on phone, or to worry about dinners together for a friendship to bond. On Twitter you just check in and talk about little things and check out. It is a nice way to feel a part of something bigger than your regular day, but still within your own limits of tastes, language and interests. There is a friend for everyone on Twitter you just go out there and find them.

Twitter will show you how to look for your friends on their system. Then when you find a dog or cat you like you click on the picture and it will take you to their Twitter page. You can read their bio and see if they sound fun. If they do you click on the Follow tab and there you go, a new follow is on your list. A message will be sent to them that you are following them and they can then decide to follow you back. You will also see a bunch of pictures of other people and pets that are following this friend on the page. You can double click on those followers avatars and go to their Twitter Page and you will be able to gather in more and more friends. They do the same back.

At any time you can unfollow someone. If they are using language that is not to your liking, or do to many messages that have advertisements in the twitter or what ever reason. You once again double click their avatar and their twitter page comes up and you click the unfollow button. If you click the block button they will not be able to see your messages either. I use the block only if the person is doing spam or is talking porn. That is when I draw the line. Otherwise I just unfollow and forget them. I have loads of other nice friends to talk to so I do not miss a person or dog that has been using blue language or sending information that has nothing to do with my interests or lifestyle.

The more followers you have the more fun you have online and more friends to talk to and enjoy. But the followers just come, it is like a snow ball going downhill…it happens with or without you. On Fridays lots of people will put up names of their new friends and ask you to follow them. Its called Follow Friday or #FF. You can take a little time on a Friday and go to a friend you like and see what friends they enjoy and then click on them and follow them.

If you have a hobby, profession, health challenge, type of pet, place, or common interest of any kind, those friends will come to you when you just post a Tweet. Talk about yourself and be real and you will find interesting people coming out of the Internet walls. Its what’s fun about Twitter.

What you do not do? The NO NO, Bad Dog Stuff? Do not say hurtful things about anyone. If someone does not please you, unfollow them instead and forget it. Do not use nasty language, we all have to see it and read it. Do not allow yourself to get so mad you go nuts over a conversation or thought. Everyone has options and you need to read them and respond to those that you have interest in each day.

Do not click on Internet addresses in tweets until you know a person. They could be places with sex or a bug that might hurt your computer. On the good side, when you get to know people and talk to them a lot they will send you fun pictures and to places on the net that have interesting information that you both share. They will do videos for your viewing and exchange information about SKYPE (it’s a video and phone site) that will further enhance your time as a friend. Its like anything else, it is building a friendship and it is all on your own terms. If you want to participate you can- if you don’t - you don’t. That is what makes it safe.

I adore my friendships on Twitter…they are fun and helpful and make me laugh and learn all at the same time. So, when I am out and about at my own home town, I carry a business card with my Twitter name and picture on it to hand to new friends. They can then join twitter and find me! When I go on my walkies, they are in my mom’s pocket.

You can order your simple @anipaltwittername business cards Free + shipping on…give it a try and collect friendships as you go on play dates and meeting mutts at the dogs parks -- Don't forget when you get on Twitter be my friend and follower! See you there...Missy