Please retweet: Why do I tweet?

It took me a while to get a twitter account. I never really understood what Twitter was before I got an account. I kept asking my friend Steve why should I tweet? What can you really say in 140 characters or less? How can it be valuable to others or a good use of our precious time? I just couldn’t understand how you could get value out of a tweet.

Then there’s the vocab. Twitter is a trademark of the organization and name of a service. A tweet is a noun. To tweet is a verb. And a person who tweets is a tweeter (as tempting as it is to call them/us twits.)

How To Do Twitter

Still not understanding Twitter, I opened an account to see what people tweet about.  I also followed some people who tweet about copyright law. My own account was private which means only those who I approved could follow me. I didn’t tweet much but the people I followed grew. Over time, I became more comfortable with the concept of twitter and like others wanted a greater following. My account went public and my followers quickly grew. It was exciting when someone sent me a direct message or I got new followers or my tweet got retweeted.

Am I addicted? No, I tend to check my Twitter account while eating a sandwich at lunch, or in the carpool line picking up my kids at school. It’s a great use of time to catch up on copyright news. When do I tweet? If I’m working on something or teaching a course and there’s something I want to share. If my research leads me to some interesting sites. If there’s copyright-related news to get out there. Sometimes I tweet practical copyright tips. And I tweet to make announcements about my own blog posts, books, articles and courses I teach. I’m sometimes surprised by how much there is to tweet about.

How do I select who I follow? I like to follow copyright tweeters from a variety of countries. I like the information in the tweet itself, or one-click away. Don’t send me to your Facebook page where I have to click again to obtain an article. I see who retweets who and I don’t need to get the same tweets again and again. If you tweet what you had for breakfast or about your niece, chances are you will lose me as a follower. I eat breakfast too and have nieces but if neither involve copyright I won’t be tweeting about them. Okay, once and only once in all my tweets I used the phrase Off Topic and tweeted about a funny video about the high-scoring Scrabble letters.

Should You Get a Twitter Account?

At the end of the day, do I recommend Twitter for copyright issues? Yes. Twitter allows you to get news fast – a newly published court case decision, a newly filed case appeal, new amendments to the law, some fun things happening in the world of copyright. I think it may even save me time – I no longer regularly check various copyright blogs. I use the tweets I receive as a guide to the blogs I read. Say something interesting in your tweet, I’ll go to the blog to read the whole story. I try to only retweet tweets where I have gone to the source/blog first.

Please Follow @Copyrightlaws

And yes, I do enjoy watching my followers increase. In February I had 297 followers and now I have over 660 followers. And I hope you too will follow me.

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