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6 things to do on Twitter before you die


We all have our “life lists.” 10 things we want to do before we leave this earth. It usually includes incredible trips to far-flung destinations like Australia or Tahiti and serious challenges that you would normally never consider. Think sky-diving (OK, so maybe that one’s not on Peter Shankman’s list).

Life in the online world’s a little different. But, I would argue it’s somewhat similar in that there are a number of things I think every Tweep should do before they pass on to the next life.

Here’s my short list. What would you add to this Twitter “bucket list”?

1. Participate in a Twitter hashtag conversation. Specifically, I’m thinking about Sarah Evans’ and her immensely popular Journchat on Monday nights from 7-10 pm CST, but really any chat will suffice. I recommend Journchat because of the collaboration and sharing it fosters between PR pros, journalists and bloggers. But, I also recommend it to many who are new to Twitter for the “experience.” I mean, the first time you try to follow Journchat (I recommend using an application like TweetChat), it can be insane. Your eyes glaze over. You can’t follow the conversation. You may even get a little dizzy. But, then you start to figure it out. You begin to follow the threads. You may even post a tweet or two. Next thing you know, you’re hooked. And then you’re participating every week and encouraging your colleagues to join the fray (and Sarah’s legion of Journchat disciples continues to swell!).

2. Live tweet an event. Attending a conference in the next month? Bring your Blackberry or iPhone along and tweet right from the event. For you, it’s a fun way to relay useful information to your followers, friend and colleagues. And for those following you, it’s a great way to glean useful nuggets of information from an event they may not have the good fortune to attend. Right now, this is relevant as I, and many others, would love to be in Austin at SXSW. But, since I can’t, I’ll be sure to follow Mack Collier, Beth Harte and others who are in Texas and relaying the best practices, tips and interesting stories along the way. Over the last few months, if you’ve noticed, I’ve also enjoyed live tweeting Gopher basketball games (lately @dfolkens, @mnheadhunter, @rpmaus and @ryanmathre have joined in the action)

3. Raise money for a good cause. Think Danny Brown and 12for12K. Think David Armano raising more than $16,000 for a homeless mother of three in just a few days in early January. Twitter can be a powerful tool to help rally your community around a common cause.

4. Have fun with your avatar. Chris Brogan seemingly changes his avatar once a week (closed circuit to Chris: I like the one with your daughter in the pic). Others have swapped out their avatars to demonstrate support for causes or charities (the various 12for12K avatars, for example). Whatever the case, let your hair down. Have some fun. Live a little.

5. Help someone get a job. Heather Huhman and Sarah Evans are the leaders in helping connect job seekers with employers in the PR area, but really, anyone can lend a hand. Send PR job openings you hear about to these two and they’ll RT them to their networks (2,400 for Heather, 15,000-plus for Sarah). That’s some serious reach. Or, make personal connections among your friends and followers. You might know someone who’s hiring–and a few people that are out of a job. Broker an online Twitter introduction. And change someone’s life.

6. Be a virtual mentor. Many Twittizens mentor in their “real lives”. However, that doesn’t mean you should pass on the chance to mentor someone virtually as well. It’s easy and doesn’t require a ton of time. Just passing along a few good pieces of advice to younger pros can help immensely. And make sure to tag your posts–use the #pradvice tag so everyone can benefit from your pearls of wisdom. You’d be surprised how far your message, tips or insights might travel.



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