We'll be honest. When we first starting looking into Twitter, we didn't know what it was all about. We spent some time on it, didn't understand it, and just sort of discarded it. But over the past year, we've realized the potential Twitter has, both for people running a blog and for Pens fans in general. And we've realized Twitter, at its core, is basically the biggest text-messaging hub in the world.
This post pretty much sets out to explain how we use Twitter and the ways we've noticed other Pens fans using Twitter.
From what we can tell, there are a handful of reasons people won't join Twitter:
1.) The word "Twitter" sounds gay, and people want no part of it.
2.) Twitter has exploded, and none of their close friends are on Twitter.
3.) People already have Facebook and don't need another social-networking orgy
4.) People don't have smartphones.
We'll start with #4, because it's the most logical reason not to bother yourself with Twitter. Content on Twitter flies past at 100mph. It wouldn't make much sense for you to be doing whatever you do during the day…then come home, jump on Twitter, and try to read through everything that went on during the day. That's too much work. You're better off visiting your usual news sites and blogs, giving the business to the missus, and watching Seinfeld as you fall asleep.
Essentially all smartphones out there now have Twitter apps or clients you can download onto your phone.
Just from our personal experience running Twitter accounts tied to a blog, we couldn't fathom using only our desktop/laptop.
We couldn't envision using Twitter in this way, although if you read the rest of this article you may find a way to utilize it in that way. With that being said, the rest of this post is for people who stay connected to the Internet wherever they go and have never bothered with Twitter.
Another reason people won't be bothered with Twitter is because of Facebook. You already have your own personal blog, essentially, at Facebook where you can post pictures, update your status, find friends. When Facebook exploded, people started "friending" everyone they had ever met in their life. And nowadays, their news feeds are swamped with pictures of some dude they friended because they met him at some party once…4 years ago. And no clue why you would care that that dude just broke up with his girlfriend and is listening to 311.
Twitter pretty much gives you a chance to start over, to only include friends you want to keep in touch with. It puts the focus solely on those Facebook-esque "status updates" and finding friends. Posting pictures on Twitter is no joke, either, but you'll want to use Facebook to post 20 pictures from a recent camping or beach trip or something.
Put it this way: When you want to communicate with your best friends, you will text them, call them, e-mail them. When you want to communicate with an acquaintance, you use Twitter.
And that brings us to another hurdle to jump for potential Twitter users.
"None of my friends use it, so I'm not going to."
There's really no argument to that.
All we can say is that that hasn't stopped approximately 26 million people from joining Twitter.
And, honestly, we can't really speak for someone independently joining Twitter, since we were fortunate enough, because of the blog, to find many friends on Twitter the same day that we registered accounts. What we have noticed, though, is that our Twitter accounts have become pivots for other Penguin fans to meet. (More on that later.)
There are other reasons to join Twitter other than keeping up with friends, too.
Breaking news about the Pens (or anything) spreads like wildfire.
Are you gonna register a Twitter account?
Here's what you do.
After you register an account, you realize you have no clue what to do next.
Welcome to the club. Everyone felt that way.
If you're reading this, you're a Pens fan.
So you should probably "follow" the Penguins official Twitter account: @PGHpenguins
Head to their Twitter account page and click "Follow."
"Following" @PGHpenguins means everything they say will show up in your Twitter feed.
In this post, you were fortunate enough to be given the link to the Pens twitter account.
If you didn't know it existed, you would use the "Find People" feature on Twitter to find it.
From our viewpoint, the best way for you to get started is to follow our personal Twitter accounts.
(No, we aren't gaining anything by you following us.)
We acknowledged long ago that anyone following us initially does so to keep tabs on the Penguins, not to keep tabs on what we're doing in our personal lives. So we utilize our Twitter accounts differently than most people. Over time, though, you fall in love with us.
We mentioned above that our Twitter accounts have become pivots for Penguins fans. If you're following us, you'll see us "retweet" things that other Pens fans say. If someone with 30 followers says something and we retweet it, every one of our followers will see the tweet that initially only people following that person saw. We also retweet things that NHL journalists are saying, what other bloggers are saying, etc.
One of the things you should be doing on Twitter is utilizing the "search" option, too.
If you took part in last season's Twitter contests, you already have a Twitter account lying around somewhere.
Our suggestion is to take the plunge into Twitter, try it out for a while, give it your heart.
And then after a while, if you see it not serving a purpose, then don't use it. Simple.
As we said, when we first joined Twitter, we brushed it aside. But we've since embraced it.
An example of what goes down on Twitter:
An hour or so before making the recent NHL11 post, we posted the NHL11 screenshot on Twitter.
We did the same thing with the recent Guerin pic of him in a Philly jersey.
These are just little examples.
During the season (and especially during games), Twitter is the best place to be.
If you're at the game, spending a couple minutes on Twitter during intermissions is a good waste of time.
Again, if you don't see any benefit in Twitter, then don't bother with it.