I recently posted an article about Twitter for teachers, where I pointed out why it is a good idea for teachers to start tweeting (but also a few things to be wary of). I was pleasantly surprised by how many visits and the interest this post attracted, so I thought I would follow up with another little couple of tidbits I've picked up about using Twitter.
1. It's a good idea to use a real picture of your face in your profile:
As Tweets pop up, I realised it was nicer to see actual people's faces than logos or obscure pictures. It helps to make the messaging feel more personable, and reinforces the connection between actual people. Sure - for organisations and businesses, logos and brands are appropriate, but if you're using Twitter to connect as a person to other people, a picture of your face is probably going to have a better (and warmer) impact.
Based on this realisation, I changed my "naughty raven in a tree" avatar to a real picture of myself. I was surprised with the follow-up direct messages (DMs in Twitter parlance) thanking me for putting a picture of myself there - and hey, it makes a nice change to hear people say they're happy to see your face...
2. Use pictures of places to liven up your profile page and actual tweets
It's nice to see places that you can associate with people, so you might like to think about putting up a picture of your hometown or the region you come from (or even places you've been to or would like to go to!) as the background wallpaper on your Twitter profile page. This is something I personally enjoy about browsing other people's Twitter profile pages, as I get a sense of movement around the world and I like the connection of faces to places!
On the pictures/places front, I enjoy tweets from people in my network that include links to pictures of places/events they are at whilst tweeting. Ken Wilson has been a particularly good example of this: not only did he start a pretty interesting twitter exchange showcasing people's workplaces, but he's taken to also uploading some lovely pictures of places he's visiting on weekends, etc.
I also enjoyed a recent "live pic" on the scene from Burcu Akyol, who posted a picture from a romantic Turkish wedding she was attending at the time:
The most popular tool for doing this appears to be Twitpic, an application that allows you to upload pictures and post them directly into your Twitter posts.
I don't know about other people, but I like to see actual faces, and seeing some ongoing scenery (both for profile backgrounds and within Twitter posts themselves) makes for a more "scenic" and interesting Twitter experience.