You have heard of Twitter, but have no account? You have an account, but you don’t really know how to use Twitter? Or maybe you use it, but not as efficiently as you could. I found Twitter to be an invaluable tool for networking, sharing ideas, being up to date in a domain, asking questions, etc. I wonder now – as was the case for other killer applications – how I was doing without Twitter.
I have used Twitter actively for a few months now, so let me share some advices. The examples are of course for data miners, but the ideas could be applied in any domains. I also make the assumption that you will be using Twitter mainly to connect with other data miners, brand your blog or for other professional purposes.
1. Create a Twitter account
First, if you haven’t yet an account, you can create one in a few seconds. Try to choose a name that is not too long neither to difficult to remember. For example, I have choosen DataMiningBlog as it is the URL of my Data Mining Research blog.
2. Complete your profile
Fill your name, location, web and bio. Don’t avoid any of these fields. In the bio field, explain who you are by using keywords such as “data mining” and others that describe your area of work. You can see my bio here as an example.
3. Follow other data miners
You can start by the small list on the Data Miners on Twitter page. You can then continue with my data mining list at @DataMiningBlog/data-mining. You can also check who these people are following and follow them if you’re interested.
4. Search for other data miners
You can search manually by using Twellow for example. I often search using keywords such as “data mining”, “behavioral targeting” or “customer intelligence” (try with your own keywords). You can also use TweetBeep to be alerted automatically for your keywords. Unfortunately, you can only set alerts to happen hourly or daily (not weekly). Finally, you can also have real-time alerts with Twendz. You can easily tune the frequency of updates if needed. It’s an amazing tool that you should use. Here is, for example, the data mining real-time feed.
5. Connect Twitter with your social networking toolbox
Have a blog? You can connect it to Twitter using TweetFeed. Once done, your blog post will automatically been shown on Twitter with a link. If you’re using LinkedIn, there is also Tweets, a nice tool to update your status automatically from your Twitter updates. Facebook has also an application for the same purpose. You can find it here.
6. Tweet about data mining!
Here are some ideas of tweets for data miners to start with:
- Explain what data mining project you are working on at the moment.
- Re-tweet (RT) a few tweets when you find them really interesting.
- Ask questions about a data mining algorithm, tool or concept. Don’t be afraid, people are always happy to help.
- Participate in discussions of other data miners if you think you have something interesting to add to the conversation.
- Ask people for their opinion on an open issue in data mining.
Have a BlackBerry? OpenBeak (formerly TwitterBerry) is a really nice tool that allows you to tweet easily from your mobile phone. Have any other recommendations for data miners using Twitter? Feel free to share.