Three weeks to Twitter credibility, part 1Twitter quickstart: Your first 21 tweets

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N00b on Twitter

Gillian Shaw pointed out a "Twitter squatter" to me last night -- Mel Lehan, the NDP candidate in our riding, who'd nabbed his name on Twitter but not actually posted anything. It's smarter than not squatting -- the last thing you'd want as a candidate is to see someone else posting in your name! -- but there is a better way.

If you need to stake a claim to your Twitter identity, but you don't know what to tweet about, here's an easy way to get your Tweeting underway. You don't need to look like the world's most longstanding Twitterer (after all, Oprah just started tweeting last week!), but an empty Twitter feed is just, well, a little forlorn.

So I've taken the liberty of writing your first 21 tweets for you. That's enough for you to post something once a day for the next three which time you should have the hang of Twitter and know what kinds of things you want to say. If not, at least you'll look like you gave it a decent try.

You can log into Twitter once a day for the next three weeks, or you can use HootSuite to queue up all your tweets so that they go out once a day, automatically. Just set up a HootSuite account (it's very quick) and give it your Twitter username and password; then post each of these 21 tweets, but select "send later" (and try to vary the times you're telling HootSuite to post, so you don't end up posting every 24 hours on the nose).

If you use HootSuite and the tweets below, you can have a perfectly respectable Twitter feed up and running in 15 minutes. If you want to keep it alive, you'll need to read part 2 of this quickstart guide.

  1. Just joined Twitter. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it works for me/connecting with my friends/finding out more about X.
  2. Check this out -- it made me laugh. (Link to a cartoon or funny story you've already bookmarked.)
  3. One of you people MUST have my keys. I know I left them right here.
  4. Just got off a great call. We are going to do amazing work for these people.
  5. "Everbody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." -- Gertrude Stein
  6. Suggestions on best Twitter client? Can't decide.
  7. I am so not going to be one of those people who twitter their breakfast choices. Use your imagination, people.
  8. Just tried Seesmic. It's cool, but I'm not sure if I'll use it.
  9. "Real freedom lies in wilderness, not civilization." -- Charles Lindbergh
  10. Still not sure how to balance Twitter with Facebook. Same thing? Annoyingly different?
  11. OMG that was the craziest season finale -- no spoilers though I promise!
  12. Drowning in e-mail. OK, blitz time!
  13. "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." - Jim Ryun
  14. Grooving on my new Firefox add-ons. Worried that the performance is a bit slower, though.
  15. Must-read story on the front page today: [insert link to news story of your choice]
  16. Ugh. Too much cheese.
  17. "Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose."  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  18. Booked fantastic new gig. Details soon I promise.
  19. I wish my sweetie were here right now.
  20. Having one of those brutal, "I can't believe I just said that" moments. Ah, this too shall pass.
  21. Three feeds you must follow: @awsamuel @robcottingham @socialsignal

Hey, we wrote your first three weeks' worth of tweets -- don't we deserve a little gratitude?

Add a tweet, win a Twittercation

Suggest a tweet to add to the list above by:

We'll retweet our favourites, and the author of the best tweet will win a Twittercation: turn off your computer, and the staff of Social Signal will twitter for you for three weeks! Build followers and amaze your friends with your sense of humour, erudition and extensive inside references to Social Signal blog posts.


heather gm says

April 20, 2009 - 2:45pm

Love this and would so much rather see this than blank pages on Twitter. I will laugh my butt off if I find these among a new users tweets and will insist they use #21 if they haven't already. I have to take exception with #16 however, as there is no such thing as "too much cheese".

Rolf Kleef says

April 20, 2009 - 3:52pm

You can also learn from the master(s), and check out for anyone's first 16 tweets :-)

Raul says

April 20, 2009 - 4:11pm

I usually favorite the funniest tweets I've seen, or important stuff. This list is beautiful. I love # 20.

I am afraid that this is going to happen to me sometime


Catherine Novak says

April 20, 2009 - 4:19pm

It's a great start - but I hope while those wonderful tweets are going out via HootSuite (of course) the new users are picking wonderful people to follow and interacting with them.  Why not include a couple of the following?

@raincoaster You sure know how to make me laugh!

@awsamuel No kidding!  I'd never thought of using Twitter that way before!

@wordspring Great blog post! Of course I'm going to have to retweet it...

@robcottingham Have you cleaned the bird guano off the stroller yet?


Even better if you have something actually real to say to the people you follow!  Because ultimately, Twitter lives and dies on the authenticity of its users, the conversations that are started through Twitter, and the actions that take place once you have left the Twittersphere.

Julie Ovenell-Carter says

April 20, 2009 - 4:48pm

22. @braddo Late home, tough day. Pls make dinner, feed kids, pour wine and win lottery.

drnelk says

April 20, 2009 - 5:43pm

you don't have any retweets (ideally of @mashable, lol).

Also, a link to something about the ubiquity or power of twitter.

ideasdept says

April 20, 2009 - 5:44pm

For the list: Must one go to work on the sunny days?

Ed says

April 21, 2009 - 12:53am

@socialsignal Just started following @Oprah @aplusk and @THE_REAL_SHAQ. Yay for celebrity Tweeters! http//


from @creepyed

drnelk says

April 21, 2009 - 3:36pm

23. Commute was a horror (again!). TG I can get work done on the bus/train.

@drnelk says

April 21, 2009 - 3:51pm

24. (Fill in team)'s game last night was no real surprise - it went just like I predicted.

25. Trying out a new recipe. Who wants a taste?

26. Mall was empty yesterday - consumers still scared. Did my best to stimulate the economy.

27. Kids are in bed early- Impromptu Date Night!

28. Sleep I can do without, but gym time is not negotiable.

Jeff Cohen says

April 21, 2009 - 7:10pm

Great addition to the the Twitter canon. Should you start talking about bacon around Tweet 17?

Tori says

April 22, 2009 - 9:58am

If you really want to get in the - er - spirit, and double the posts, here's one for Hootsuite, a variation of which can be scheduled for 11 pm each night:

Big day - time for bed. Signing off folks, tweet ya later. » Blog Archive » Wanted: I says

April 22, 2009 - 12:24pm

[...] “starter kit”, so to speak.  With her tongue firmly in her cheek, she’s created 21 tweets any newbie can use while they find their own voice for this ultra-condensed [...]

StarryNightDiva says

April 22, 2009 - 7:07pm

Did someone say cheese?

KLJ Burke says

April 29, 2009 - 2:40pm

You're awesome! And of already know... come to HollaYo. Thank you for your expertise, and your time.

HollaYo is a live Internet radio station - aired every Tueday and Thursday from 6-8pm (et). We address public interest. We give exposure to aspiring artists.


KLJ Burke


347-702-9916 (Home Office)

646-200-4983 (Station)

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