Twitter with Confidence

How to Thank Your Twitter Network: A Follow Friday and a Half

How do you thank your Twitter network?

Some of the comments on the thank you, commenters post got me thinking about this.

I meant what I said in that post: the comments that I get here are priceless, and a large part of what allows me to keep blogging.  To keep the creative juices flowing and the motivation high.

But that’s not the whole story: there are other things that you’re doing to contribute, support and help build this blog, and that deserves some acknowledgement too.

Some of that is bookmarking, stumbling and promoting posts.  Some of it is talking about my work on Twitter - maybe a link, which is the equivalent of a recommendation as a good read, some comment and opinion on a piece, or a continuation of the conversation around the ideas and issues raised.

Comments are changing, on and off the pages of our blogs.

Here are some of the points that came up in reaction to the post:

We need to think of  readers as stake-holders as well as readers or commenters:

Thanks for giving recognition to your readers. Not only do we feel safe here, but we’re being acknowledged as stake-holders in your blog’s well-being as well. ~ Jan Geronimo, Writing to Exhale

And the impact of Twitter on comments:

In general, it seems to me that Twitter siphons off more and more blog comments every day, in the form of ReTweets and conversation around posts. Twitter does expand the participants in a conversation, but it would be a shame to lose the permanency of comments in the post itself ~ Brad Shorr, Word Sell

A thought about how to thank Twitter supporters (with a plugin, I wish!):

This is my first comment here, because I’ve limited all my earlier comments on your posts to Twitter! Is there a way to pull those in to the blog, and then have a plug-in display top Twitter commenters?! ;-p ~ Dr Mani, @drmani on twitter

And a question about how to integrate comments and tweets:

So why did I instantly respond to Joanna on Twitter, rather than on this page? Mainly I guess because it’s easy and quick and that’s where the conversation is. And I think this is why comments feel more valuable, because they’re generally longer and take more effort to create. Plus, they don’t disappear into Twitter history, never to be found again after a couple of days.

I just wish there was some easy way of aggregating Tweets replying to a blog post with the comments. Or is there? ~ Christopher Sleight, Small World Media

So how can you bring tweets and comments together on the pages of your blog?

And how can you say thank you to those that ‘comment’ elsewhere?

Building Twitter Reactions Onto the Blog

Well, the conversation in the comment boxes and on Twitter has pointed me towards some of the software solutions that are currently being used.

One is Tweetmeme, that I’ve just introduced at Confident Writing.  It’s an easy way to click on to the reactions to a particular post.  Here’s an example of some of the conversation around the recent ‘black belt’ post:


That isn’t exactly integration though, and you’d need to know to go and look.

Some of the other suggestions that came up are: Connect from BackType, ChatCatcher, and Disqus.

At the moment I’m tempted by Disqus because of the way it encourages a flow of conversation (with replies to individual comments/ threads) as well as the integration with reactions on Twitter.

This is the example I mentioned in the comment box, from a post at Danny Brown’s blog - it shows Disqus in action.

But I’m open to ideas, suggestions, things to watch out for before I launch forth into a new comment system - not least given how important comments are to me / you here.

Are there systems you’ve used and would recommend, as a blogger, commenter, blog reader or tweeter?

Saying Thank You

Dr Mani’s comment about how to thank Twitter friends and supporters got me thinking too.

How do I say thank you to the people who support, connect, encourage and cheer lead?  Who give me ideas, link to my posts, ask questions, make me laugh, share songs, get me dancing?

One of the ways people say thanks on Twitter is to recommend other people on ‘Follow Friday’.  It’s a chance to highlight the names of people you enjoy following, and to find new people you’d want to connect with and follow yourself.

There are limitations and frustrations to Follow Friday: there’s never enough room to list the people you want to; do you go for a list of lots of names or single person recommendations; do you try and  include an explanation as to why; do you group and categorise, and does that mean you’re labelling others; what about the people you’ve forgotten for some reason to mention…

But still, it’s a good system.  So I thought I’d do a little Follow Friday thanking you here, with the same caveats - it’s not a perfect list, there are people I’ve no doubt forgotten, I haven’t had time to explain all the reasons why except…

The people on this 100 person list are all ‘real’ people.  They’re all conversational, friendly, engaging and positive.

They’re all good people to follow.

Links to Twitter aren’t quite the same value as links back to a blog, I know, but the list is here if you want to explore and find some more people to follow.

Plus I’ve just found and introduced Apture to the blog, which offers many fantastic features including, with the Twitter links:

A preview pane that opens up showing the picture, profile and most recent tweets, together with a ‘follow’ button so you can click and follow without leaving this site.  Pretty nifty!  To open up the preview pane, click on the little icon to the side of the link (in this case, a person icon).





































































































What ways have you found to thank your Twitter network? What else could I / should I try?

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23 Responses to “How to Thank Your Twitter Network: A Follow Friday and a Half”

  1. On July 24, 2009 at 8:02 am Rhiannon responded with... #

    Very useful article Joanna, especially the thoughts about whether responses are on twitter or in the comments. And since I’ve finally joined in with followfriday, timely too. Thanks for including me on your list :)
    *wave from the east coast*
    ´s last blog ..Sibiu Polaroid – 12 City Project, City 11 ! My ComLuv Profile

  2. On July 24, 2009 at 8:07 am Emma Newman
    Twitter: emapocalyptic
    responded with... #

    Thanks for putting this together - after the post that kicked this off it’s been brewing at the back of my mind, without any idea of what to do. Something to experiment with soon methinks.

    And yay! I made the list! Thank you :) Apture is just gorgeous, a real time saver.
    ´s last blog ..Is there an artistic double standard? My ComLuv Profile

  3. On July 24, 2009 at 8:09 am Ulla Hennig responded with... #

    Thanks for taking the time and putting up the list! I am honoured to be a part of it!
    ´s last blog ..Taking Photos – a Means to re-live your Travels My ComLuv Profile

  4. On July 24, 2009 at 12:11 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Joanna, SUPER useful post, and that Apture plugin looks great. It’s just a matter of time before I (and I think bloggers in general) will be using tools like diqus and Apture routinely. Also, thank you for taking the time to list 100 of your Tweet friends. That had to take some time, and it’s much appreciated.
    ´s last blog ..Funny Marketing Photos My ComLuv Profile

  5. On July 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm Danny Brown responded with... #

    Hey there Joanna,

    Nice follow-up post and there is definitely a lot of options available when it comes to blogging and involving your community. Nice to see you try the Apture plug-in, I forgot to mention that - I’m using it as well, and it really does open up the information side of a blog.

    I agree with you on the way #followfriday has devolved on Twitter. What started as a great idea seems to have turned into just listing a bunch of names for no reason. What I’ve tried doing is taking people from seven different niches (plus one “Wildcard” entry) and taking the #followfriday recommendations to my blog.

    I’ve changed my last blog post on the CommentLuv plugin to give you an idea of how it works.

    Just one quick thing - if you are thing of going to Disqus, you will lose the Commentluv options as the plugin isn’t supported by Disqus at the minute. They may change that, but something to keep in mind for now.

    Have a great weekend, and thanks for the #followfriday shout! :)
    ´s last blog ..From Twitter to Blog – #FollowFriday Vol. 5 My ComLuv Profile

  6. On July 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm Bo responded with... #

    I know I don’t mention as many as I could if I just did lists, but this is how I manage follow friday on twitter. I try to think of the three twitterers that I most enjoyed or learned the most from in the last week, and then do one recommendation per tweet, noting why they are good for a follow or leaving a compliment.

    I have one blogging friend who has been slow to adopt twittering ways. And she observed that it surprises her in a way because she considers herself a hare and me a tortoise. She’s always jumping in and exploring and adopting the newer ideas while she claims I’m more of a “smell the roses” kind of person. It rather surprises even me that I like twitter. I resisted for a long time. But now I follow a slew of photographers, writers, and other creative types, and I love picking up the latest news or seeing their photographs from around the globe.

    I love that you did this post with your twitter recommendations and that you can just click and check without leaving your site. Now that is a really handy idea for a different sort of follow Friday, and much more informative.
    ´s last blog ..Circus Wagon Wheel My ComLuv Profile

  7. On July 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm Bo Mackison responded with... #

    Have to come back and tell you I just went through your twitter list — all of them. I look for content on interesting subjects, promising links. And I just found 57 twitterers to follow! (Must admit I already followed a few of them.) Thanks ! That was not only fun and fast, but very practical!

  8. On July 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm Paul responded with... #

    Hi Joanna,

    Confident Writing hasn’t felt like a blog to me for some time. You’ve created something much more welcoming with more than just a virtual sense of place and belonging too.

    I ‘m proud to be a part of it! :)

    All the best for now,


  9. On July 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm Robert Hruzek responded with... #

    Joanna, what a nifty plugin! I like the ease it introduces into the “getting to know you” process on Twitter. Now, how to integrate that easily… (scratches head)

    Oh, and a tip o’ the hat on putting me in your list!
    ´s last blog ..2B or not 2B My ComLuv Profile

  10. On July 24, 2009 at 9:20 pm iGoMogul responded with... #

    I am really loving the FollowFriday evolution that seems to be happening, not just here but on Danny Brown’s blog and elsewhere. It is so easy to list off a bunch of names in a Tweet and feel you’ve participated in the conversation / trend. But I often wonder if the people making the recos truly feel engaged with those people. Thus, reading the reasons why I should follow those people, or why you feel connected to that person is infinitely more valuable than an antiseptic list.

    So funny too because my blog post today is about Twitroduce, a Twitter app as an alternative to #FF. Seems we’re all in tune with the evolution…

    Finally, as a newbie to the SM space, thanks for the inclusion, it makes me feel all included, and stuff. Translation= warm and fuzzy. :)

    Thanks, once again, for making my day Joanna!

    Sara @ iGoMogul

  11. On July 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm Davina responded with... #

    Hi Joanna. I’m getting a swelled head :-) Thanks for including me in this list. I have a lot fun on Twitter because I take writing posts seriously (probably more than I “should”), and Twitter gives me the freedom to play. This plug-in is a great idea! I can’t think of any other ways to thank a Twitter network other than tweeting and re-tweeting value, and making conversation.
    ´s last blog ..Roaming with the Metaphor My ComLuv Profile

  12. On July 25, 2009 at 11:00 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @Rhiannon, thanks for popping over - seamless transition betweeen twitter and blog comments there!

    @ Emma, I think I’m going to experiment with one of them next week too. Glad you like Apture, I’m really impressed by it

    @ Ulla, thanks and of course you’re part of the list :-)

    @ Brad, Apture offers loads of possibilities for improving the quality of the web experience - allowing people to explore without leaving your site until they want to. I enjoyed putting the list together, it was a labour of friendship and love :-)

    @ Danny, thanks for sharing that additional information. I think I’m going to try and keep it simple - not sure I’m ready for disqus yet, but I’ll keep thinking about it. I like your FF on the blog approach - it’s a great way to thank and spread the word

    @ Bo, I’m glad you’re enjoying Twitter. I felt I was partly responsible for tempting you over but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know writers, artists, photographers and quirky people too. Glad you found some on this list :-)

    @ Paul, thanks so much. That probably is what I’ve tried to do, and your feedbackmans a great deal to me.

  13. On July 25, 2009 at 11:04 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @ Robert, you would be on each and every list :-)

    @ Sara, thanks for mentioning Twitroduce, I’ll check that one out. I’m glad to include you - I hadn’t realised you were new to the space, because all your behaviours have been friendly , supportive and natural :-)

    @ Davina, I love the chance to play on Twitter too. I can also take the old blogging and writing stuff just a wee bit too seriously;-)

  14. On July 25, 2009 at 11:26 pm Tumblemoose responded with... #


    I’m honored ot be included in such an eclectic list.

    I do love follow fridays. It’s my favorite day to tweet because I always meet so many great people.

    You are really one of the most generous people I know. Thanks again.


    ´s last blog ..Let’s help a friend build momentum My ComLuv Profile

  15. On July 26, 2009 at 4:55 am Karen Wallace responded with... #

    As always, your beautiful, generous spirit shines through. Thanks for including me on your list… I often wish we were awake at the same time so we could connect more.
    ´s last blog ..Monthly Prize Draw – July My ComLuv Profile

  16. On July 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm Terry Heath responded with... #

    It’s taking awhile (and a few sessions) but I’m adding each of these people to those I follow (except myself and the half dozen I already follow!). I’m looking forward to hearing from them; with your recommendation I know it will be some great stuff.
    Terry Heath´s last blog ..Goldilocks and the Three Personal Development Gurus My ComLuv Profile

  17. On July 27, 2009 at 6:04 pm Linda Abbit responded with... #

    Hi Joanna,

    Thanks for bringing this new plug-in to our attention — love the way it works! I rarely (if ever) particpate in Follow Fridays — just didn’t feel comfortable for me, so this plug-in may be a solution.

    Thanks for the tweet luv, too. I’m honored to be on your list!
    Linda Abbit´s last blog ..Letters from Readers: Daughter Worried About Exhausted Caregiving Mom My ComLuv Profile

  18. On July 27, 2009 at 9:06 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @ George, eclectic, just the perfect word to describe my friends, thanks! I like FFs too… it’s frustrating when there isn’t time to play properly. Hope to see you on Twitter again soon

    @ Karen, thanks for your lovely words, and yes, I know… Will e-mail you x

    @ Terry, I like the way apture gives you the chance to have a look see and follow easily from there. Lots of interesting folk on the list, I’m glad you’re finding some you want to connect up with too

    @ Linda, thanks - it seemed like a different approach to do it via a blog post rather than in the frenzy of FF on Twitter… Thanks for stopping over here and saying hi

  19. On July 28, 2009 at 2:18 am Karen Swim responded with... #

    Joanna, your thoughtful consideration of how to engage community have always been such an inspiration. I love that as you explore you share and in so doing allow us all to learn and grow. I love tweetmeme and plan to take time to install on my site too. However, you’re right the void in social media is a central point where we can connect the conversations. I find that I have conversations about my own blog on Facebook, Twitter and sometimes Friendfeed. While I try to spend time in each location engaging I long for the interactions to connect the commenters. I am signed up with backtype and Disqus and like Disqus but there doesn’t seem to be one centralized conversation point…not yet anyway. :-)
    Karen Swim´s last blog ..Are You in the Dark? My ComLuv Profile

  20. On July 29, 2009 at 7:58 am Danielle Ingram responded with... #

    In business i think that it is really important to acknowledge and engage with those people that help you to keep going. Many businesses are now using Twitter as part of their marketing campaigns and one thing that this is great for is facilitating conversations between the business and their customers, something that can create a real feeling of community.

  21. On July 29, 2009 at 6:52 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @ Karen, it’s tricky isn’t it… I’m not sure there is a joined up nirvana, except maybe Twitter, which is where I keep on ending up (even when I try to stay away). I’ve just added BackType Connect to try and integrate blog comments & tweets at any rate. It’s not the total solution but I’m liking it so far

    @ Danielle, I agree very much, we should try and acknowledge & engage with the people who support us. I’m always looking out for new ways to try and say thanks to my own wonderful community of readers and supporters because I get so much from all of you, you’re a constant source of inspiration :-) Thanks

  22. On July 30, 2009 at 9:09 am jan geronimo responded with... #

    What a fantastic way of giving recognition to your Twitter network. This is a saner approach than using the 140-character tweet which is very frustrating. And you’ve found a perfect plug in to do this. I particularly like that I don’t have to leave your page to follow some people on this list.

    I’ve read Apture in one of Brad Shorr’s posts. He credited you of course for this great find. Now that I’ve seen it in action on your blog, I’m very interested in using it in mine. :)

    Thanks for the mention, Joanna. :)
    jan geronimo´s last blog ..Do, Or Do Not, There Is No Try! My ComLuv Profile

  23. On July 30, 2009 at 12:45 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    @ jan, I really liked the fact you can look at the profile and follow (if you want to) without leaving the site. Apture really is a brilliant tool I’m sure you’ll enjoy experimenting with it. Thanks for letting me know about Brad’s post, I had inexplicably missed it first time round.


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