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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Interview for Tweetabix

Tweetabix interviews Twitter users as to how they use Twitter be it for fun, community or business.

Here's my interview:

Q1 Name

Steve Garfield

Q2 Twitter username


Q3 Location

Boston, MA

Q4 Website

My main site is

There you can find links to my blog, Off On A Tangent and my video blog, Steve Garfield's Video Blog, plus other info on learning videobloging, photography and live streaming.

Q5 Bio

Steve Garfield is an advisor to media and internet companies about online video, a speaker at conferences on mobile video broadcasting, video producer and teacher of New Media Tools for Journalism at Boston University.

Q6 When did you start using Twitter and how were you introduced to it?

I started using twitter in early 2007. It's hard to pinpoint the exact date. Did you know that twitter history only goes back 40 pages?

I resisted Twitter for a while.

I knew Chris Brogan was on it so one day I sent him an SMS telling him I was at the train station.

I didn't get it.

Then I joined.

Added friends, yet again, on yet another social network.

But this time it was different.

Although I had thought that it would be silly to post about what I was doing every minute of the day, I found that I could send out a question to my friends and get a quick answer.

There is a living and breathing community here. It's not static. It's alive!

Became addicted during SXSW 2007.

Steve Garfield gets ready to shoot...

Q7 What are your typical Twitter habits on an average day (e.g. frequency & time of day most active)?

I usually send out tweets during the day. Yesterday I sent out 30:

12 were @ messages to someone.
2 were questions
3 were text posts
12 were posts with links to video, blog posts or meetups
1 was a retweet

I entered my username into twitterstats to get detailed stats and also just signed up for twequency.
Twequency measures your daily Twitter frequency and compares it with your friends’. Who’s been tweeting the most twequently?

Q8 What are the main reasons you use Twitter (e.g. business, marketing, fun, community etc)?

The main reason I use twiter is for community. It's fun to have people with me all the time. Twitter has also supplanted my blog as a place for sharing links.

I'd like to send a shout out to Frank at comcastcares. He recently helped me solve some technical issues.

Q9 What aspects of Twitter do you love?…

I like the fact that people are always there to interact with.

Q10 …and dislike (if any)?

I don't like how twitter changes full URL's to shorted URL's after I've spent a lot of time fitting my post into exactly 140 chaaracters. After the tweet posts, I get mad when I see the URL changed into a tinyurl.

Q11 If you could make changes to Twitter what would they be?

If I could make changes to twitter I'd add a group functionality.

Q12 If you Tweet from a PC or a Mac which Twitter applications do you use and why (e.g. main Twitter site, Tweetdeck etc)?

I use twhirl because it allows me to have multiple windows open at once.

How Steve Garfield handles massive followers

Q13 When posting Tweets via mobile, what applications do you use most (e.g. Twitteriffic, Tweetie, Twinkle etc)?

I use iTweet on an iPhone.

iTweet vs. twitter interface

Q14 What other Twitter apps and tools do you use and would recommend?

I love twitter search. I use URL shorteners from within twhirl.

Q15 Do you actively seek followers? If so how do you go about increasing your followers?

I've got a message on my blog that says:
Want more frequent updates follow me on Twitter. Thanks for visiting!
That let's people know where the action is.

Q16 Do you automatically ‘follow’ back or are you more selective?

I automatically follow everyone who follows me. If they turn out to be a spammer, then I unfollow.

Q17 If looking for people to follow what attributes do you look for?

I look for funny.

Q18 What type of behaviour would make you unfollow someone?

I stop following someone if they repost the same tweet over and over again. Sometimes I'll unfollow someone of they post a tweet that breaks my browsers window, like typing in, "ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!"

That's annoying.

Q19 What tips do you have for newbies?

Read others nad see how they are using twitter. Be real. Don't just autopost your blog titles. Make it fun!

Q20 Do you use an auto welcome message?


Q21 How do you find new people to follow (e.g. Twellow, Summize, friends of friends etc)?

I usually follow friends of friends, twitter links on blogs, and people I meet in real life.

Q22 How many Twitter accounts do you have? If more than one - how many actively used?

I have two accounts and actively use them both. On my main account @stevegarfield I follow 6,379 people and on my secondary account I follow 118.

Q23 What are your views on Magpie?

Haven't looked into it.

Q24 Do you know what hashtags are and do you use them?

I use them for larger events and conferences when part of the experience is following everyone else's tweets.

Q25 Qwitter - do you use it? If someone unfollows you do you reciprocate?

I do use Quitter. I think it's funny to see what makes people quit you. I usually don't reciprocate.

Q26 If you agree that Twitter should be monetized do you have any suggestions how?

I wouldn't mind seeing a reasonable number of inline ads.

Q27 What other social media communities do you belong to? Which do you use more often?

I belong to the Yahoo! videoblogging group. Facebook and a number of NING groups.

I read the Yahoo! videoblogging group regularly and post when I've got somethign to share or answer.

Q28 Any famous people you’d like to see join up with Twitter?

I'd like to see Larry David on twitter.

Q29 I’m looking for interesting people to follow - who do you recommend and why?

Imogen Heap - My favorite musical artist
Jay Rosen - Great links to citizen journalism
1Tim Street - Good info on video production
Scott Simpson - Funniest tweets
Baratunde Thurston - Conscious comic & vigilante pundit
GordonWinston-Smythe - Anchor of Goodnight Burbank
Scott Beale - A must follow during SXSW

Q30 Suggestion for someone to interview next?

I'd be interested to hear from Imogen Heap.

Interview on tweetabix

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