A Twitter Virgins Story: How I Went From Twitter Hell To Twitter Heaven

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I didn’t know that losing my virginity would be so disappointing and humiliating. It was also necessary.

………………

I was a twitter virgin

I’m no internet prude, nor do I have a social media or Twitter aversion but for years, I resisted temptation and peer pressure to jump in bed with all the other twitter users.

Deep down, I always knew I would eventually join the gaggle of twitters users and JUST DO IT.

I just didn’t know when that time would be.

………………

My Wildly Naïve Imagination

Tonight would be THE night. I was ready and willing.

Everyone was doing IT, so It had to be good

Even though I was a Twitter virgin, I did have an idea of how things worked, what went where, what buttons to push and how often to do it. Nevertheless,  I was still nervous. After all, it would be my FIRST time.

On the night I was to lose my Twitter-Ginity, I closed my eyes and imagined what my first twitter experience would be like.

 

Would it be magical, exciting and full of potential?

 

I was so sure there would be many late night conversations sharing short, concise, meaningful bursts of messages no more than 140 characters long.

I was equally sure that the fear I felt now, the newness of tweeting would turn into a wonderful relationship and I would eventually feel comfortable and fall in love with Twitter.

I would soon find out that I was half right.

First Contact

There I sat in my room staring at my computer screen.

“No time like the present”

I went to the twitter homepage, clicked the signup button and twitter lead me through the process of setting up my new twitter account step by step. Slowly, I revealed myself to twitter. Screen after screen I was exposing more of myself and before I knew it, it would be too late to turn back and the deed would be done.

( First Base) Signup Process

NAME; I typed A-N-N-I-E  A-N-D-R-E. That was easy.

USER NAME; I typed AnnieAndre but twitter didn’t like that name because there was already a user with that name. “DAMN”. I tried to think of another identifiable name for my twitter persona. Different variations of my name with numbers, extra letters and finally, I settled on @AnnieAndreHacks. (go ahead and follow me)

“YES!” Twitter liked that one so I claimed it as my own Twitter user name. I could always change it to something different.Twitter is easy that way.

PASSWORD: I typed in a secret code no one else could figure out. It was our little secret between me and Twitter.

Finally, I pressed the ENTER key and my new twitter account was created.

Dressing up my account and making it sexy

Like attracting bees to honey,  I had to make my account look good to tantalize other twitter users to “FOLOW ME”. If I didn’t attract followers, I would be tweeting into the nothingness of Twitter and all would be for NOT.

For a split second,  I felt a twinge of angst and I wondered “who would ever want to follow me?” I shook it off and continued on.

(Second Base )The Photo

imageI had to replace the bland default egg avatar and upload my own profile photo that would capture the essence, persona I wanted to show.

In my opinion, users who use the default egg are “egg heads” for not taking the time to at least upload something more representative of themselves, their business or website.  I would not follow an egg and I imagine others must feel the same. So always upload a photo. Don’t be an egghead.

(Third Base )The Biography / Description

I added a Bio that described a little about myself. I wanted to let others know what kind of tweets they could expect of me while revealing a little bit about me and my personality. This was deceitfully difficult, since I had to say all this in less than 160 characters.

After dozens of iterations, I finally settled on my twitter bio, picture and added my website address so people could visit my website.

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On The Hunt

All the pieces were in place. Now I needed to find people to follow. I had no clue who to follow so I used the twitter search feature to find people.

I searched for families who like to travel by typing “Travel With Family” in the twitter search box. It yielded a few interesting twitter accounts. so I followed them.

image

A few of the people whom I followed,  followed me back. WOW! It can’t be that easy! Can it?

I was excited. I had a few followers now, my profile was filled out with a short clever bio and I had a photo that I was satisfied with.

I was ready to tweet. Everyone following me would see my tweets.  And I was sure I would experience  the magic of twitter that everyone was raving about. I couldn’t wait to be sending and receiving multiple tweets with multiple partners day and night or whenever my heart desired…….

(Homerun? Third Base? ) FIRST TWEET

I had no idea what to say my first time. In fact, I can’t even remember what my first tweet said. I just know it was something awkward  like “HELLO” or “Check out my website”.

I cringe at the thought of those first tweets..

Nevertheless, the deed was done. I was no longer a twitter virgin. Strangely, I didn’t feel any different.

The Morning After

Like a homely girl sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring, I waited for the onslaught of tweets, mentions and Direct Messages from other twitter users to come my way.

NOTHING! Days passed, then weeks. I started tweeting for the sake of tweeting. I tweeted randomly about anything and nothing. Inconsistent tweets about diverse unrelated topics. I followed more people because I knew a large part of those people would follow me back. It didn’t mean anything, it felt empty and meaningless.

Still Nothing. No one was re-tweeting my tweets.

Where was the magic?

Several months after my first tweet, I finally gave up.

I just didn’t get it.  What was all the fuss?

Twitter is stupid!

What is the point?

Twitter is a waste of time!!

I have better things to do with my time

Social Media Envy

Despite feeling slighted by Twitter, I still wanted IN. I thought, maybe I just did it wrong,

On Twitter, everyone seemed to be having meaningful conversations. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing. Yet there I sat, alone, jealous and yearning. I had “SOCIAL MEDIA ENVY” in the worst way but I was frozen with fear. I let my twitter account sit idle for over a year.

Alone on my island isolated from everyone on the Internet  from my customers, from like minded people. I lurked secretly in the dark alleys of Twitter and blogs. I didn’t interact with anyone. I became a social media wallflower and a VOYEUR.

This was pure Hell.

I didn’t know it but I was about to go from scary twitter voyeur and stalker to sexy twitter networker.

MY TWITTER EPIPHANY

Around February of 2011, a year after I first started tweeting, I had a conversation with Tara Gentile of ScoutieGirl.com.  She gave me some solid advice that made it all begin to click. Admittedly, it didn’t click right away, because that would be far too easy.

Tara said “Twitter is about personal relationships and building a community”.

She told me to find a handful of users to follow who were in my niche, get to know them, introduce myself and take it from there.

I thought to myself “HUH? That’s it?”.

I think under normal circumstances I would have smiled politely and dismissed what seemed to be an overly simplistic explanation. I didn’t though because Tara is one smart business woman and she’s kind of a rock star in the DIY handmade community and social media scene so I kind of COULDN’T ignore her.

Well, I could have but that would have been idiotic. Like refusing the business advice of Bill Gates or something.

How I Fell In Love With Twitter

I ditched my fears and tried to forget my first experience and decided to give Twitter a second chance based on Tara’s advice.

I started very small and took things slowly this time. I decided I wanted to go for quantity over quality.

First, I un-followed a bunch of people who I previously followed but had no interest in conversing with.

Second, I found five people who really interested me on a personal level. I loved their bio, I liked their past tweets and most of all I enjoyed their websites.

Third, I started reading their websites, re-tweeting their tweets, commenting on their blogs and before I knew it, they were re-tweeting my tweets and commenting on my blogs.

It’s all about Relationships

I actually feel a connection with these people. So much so that I started to follow some of the people that THEY were following.

Now I have a small network of about 30 people I regularly tweet with, comment with and converse with. And it’s been all the difference in the world.

Twitter Heaven

I am absolutely over the moon about Twitter and all the things I can do with twitter. I have a small community of followers who are fast becoming friends. Real friends. I know it may seem hard to believe that someone I have never met can become a friend. But it’s true.

I have found that we tend to reveal more about ourselves, and are more transparent when we write. It happened expectantly.

It took failing the first time around and It was entirely worth it. I no longer think of twitter as a thing I use to get more followers. Rather, Twitter is a way for me to really connect with other people. People who inspire me, people who I can inspire. People to learn from, connect with.

If you haven’t given twitter a try, get a little adventurous and go try it now.  If you had a bad experience the first time, start over and try it again. This time take a practical approach and start small like it did. Choose five people whose blogs you like, or do a keyword search and find people who tweet about subject matter you like.

You can even follow me on twitter @AnnieAndreHacks. I blog about being adventurously practical to live your life to the fullest and I’m always looking for new friends. So say hi and introduce yourself.  I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was.

p.s. if you need a little help, here are some Incredibly wonderful, and inspiring people to follow. Each have touched me in different ways, and I think you will find they have a lot to offer. If you do follow them, say hi and tell them Annie sent you…

Benny Hsu @Benny_hsu Visit his blog at Get busy Living

Cigdem Kobu @cigdemkobu Visit her blog at Cigdem Kobu.com

Sarah O’Leary @saraholeary Visit her blog at Holistic Hot Sauce

Do you have your own twitter story, pet peeve or thoughts? Leave a comment below.

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About the Author

Annie André was born in Thailand to a Thai mother and French Canadian father. She knew from an early age that she was meant to experience the world first hand. By the time she was 23, she had visited over 20 countries including a 3 year stint in Japan. Currently she lives in the south of France with her husband Blake and three children who attend French schools.

Graham Lutz

Hey Annie – have you found Triberr.com, yet?
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Graham Lutz

I guess you have! I just saw your post tweeted by about 5 people I follow!
Graham Lutz recently posted..How to Plan a Blog Audience That Makes MoneyMy Profile

Annie Andre

Graham,
I guess we travel in the same circle. Isn’t that great? I’m loving Triberr. I recently was without internet for 3 days but still was actively promoting my friends posts via triberr. Are you part of a group already?

Benny

Annie! Great to see you back posting.

For my Twitter story I’ve had it since 2008. I didn’t do much with it for a couple of years really. I didn’t know how it worked. My friends weren’t using it. They had accounts but weren’t tweeting. Since then I slowly started to follow a bunch of celebrities, sports stars, then people like Tim Ferris. I still didn’t know what a RT was.

Then this past February I started to learn how to really get the most out of Twitter. I learned all the basics. Learned how to get people to follow me. Slowly I started to unfollow all those celebrities that don’t really add anything to my life. You would laugh if I told you who I followed. :)

Now I enjoy Twitter. Probably spend too much time on it!

My pet peeve? One that comes to mind is responding to someone’s question and not getting a reply back. It’s not even for the A listers. I can understand if they get a ton of replies. It’s for the regular folks. Ok so maybe they don’t reply once but if they keep doing it then I guess my answers or comments are important enough!

    Annie Andre

    Benny,

    You were actually THE first person out of my five people i followed when i dove back into twitter. Isn’t that funny?

    I think if i hadn’t found a small select group of people on twitter to become friends with i would have given up by now.

    And i also spend way too much time on twitter but i look at it as hanging with my friends online.

      Benny

      I was the first? Wow I didn’t know that! That’s cool! I remember you said some nice things about a post if I remembered correctly. That is funny!

      Twitter wouldn’t be as much fun if I wasn’t talking with others too. Just reading content and RT stuff is nice but not as much fun.

      Annie Andre

      That sounded funny. You were my first…LOL

      Reseller Hosting

      Hi, Annie!

      I’m going to join triberr for the first time, let see how it went for me. :)

      Best regards

      Reseller Hosting

      You will be able to send me invitation?

      Benny

      I was going to make a comment about that too but held back!! LOL!!
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Ronna

So fabulous, Annie. I was totally there – in my own virginal experience – and as I vicariously (voyeuristically) experienced yours.
Ronna recently posted..Beauty that achesMy Profile

    Annie Andre

    Thank You Ronna,
    This means a lot coming from you because you write exquisitely. I hope that after writing/blogging for a year i will be half as talented as you. I really mean that.

Lindsay

I can totally relate to your Twitter Virgin story. I used to think Twitter was for narcissistic people who wanted to share their every thought at every moment. Once I found the right people to follow and engage with, my opinion of Twitter changed drastically.

Twitter truly is about relationships and community and I love meeting new people and learning from their insights
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    Annie Andre

    Lindsay,

    Nice to meet you and thank you so much for stopping by.

    Narcissistic people: That is exactly why id didn’t like twitter in the beginning.I had no idea how to use it. without the relationships it just doesn’t work.

    As soon as i figured out that it wasn’t just about the sex but about the relationship (on twitter that is) than everything just kind of clicked in place.

    I really love it and love the people i’m meeting too. It’s hard to explain to my face to face friends but then again, that’s another world right?

MummyinProvence

Awesome post – it really is about the relationships you create – it can be so hard to maintain them … I find myself having crazy flings with some tweeps and then never really connecting again – it’s a funny, precarious world out there!
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    Annie Andre

    It really is a strange thing to say that twitter is about relationships isn’t it?

    ps
    i won’t tell John you are haing crazy flings with some tweeps. :)

Meg

LOVE IT! Such a cute post and creative way to describe twitter. Ohhhhh twitter. I was the same way. I was very hesitant. I made fun of people who “tweeted” and now here I am . A Twitter-ite! I made the mistake of following everyone and their mom, grandma and dog. So…. I backed up the bus and decided to go through my “following” list and remove the people who really didn’t interest me. A spring cleaning you might call it. This makes my twitter viewing much more pleasant. I really love this Annie. GREAT POST.

I am off to tweet your article! :)

    Annie Andre

    Meg,
    Twitter is like my dirty little secret. I don’t tell a lot of my friends on im on there because then i have to get into a long debate. They see it as purely for bizness or for following celebrities. SIGH!!

    BTW, You were very wise to do some spring cleaning. I am baffled by the people who follow 50,000 people.

    I barely have 200 followers and i’m struggling. I have my top 30 that i go to regularly like you and David cause i love you guys but i’m stretched.

    P.s. I spent a week doing yoga in the hills of Virgina. it was AMAZING.. Not quite as progressive as California but it was still pretty great. I can now touch my toes again. I thought of you when i was in class. In a hetero kind of way ok!!!!!!!!. :)

      David

      Oh, and Meg and I love you too! :)
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      Meg

      Ooooh that yoga adventure sounds delightful. I am glad you are getting back into it. I would love to hear more about it. AND… Yes. David and I love you too! You have made our top following list! :)
      Namaste!

David

Annie, this is great! I too was recently a twitter virgin. In fact, I am still learning the ropes. I need to get a lot more partners before I feel I have a handle on this thing. But it’s fun to learn! And I no longer fear it! :)
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    Annie Andre

    It’s funny to relate twitter to sex but it really is all about the relationship isn’t it.

    And David, this is probably the only time Meg will let you have multiple partners so enjoy it…….

Jk Allen

Hey Annie,

Can I tell you that your Twitter story sounds so close to home. I’m still learning and have a lot more learning to do.

I actually started my Twitter account after our friend Marcus Sheridan told me I was crazy for not having it. So I got it set up, but had no clue what to do with it.

But since spending some time on Twitter, taking my time to watch and observe others – it’s all starting to make sense. And being in contact with folks like you, Marcus, John F, and Benny make it truly enjoyable!

Thanks for the mention!

PEACE
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    Annie Andre

    Hi JK,
    I’m truly astonished at how many people don’t actually openly admit to not understanding twitter. Myself included.

    There definitely is a learning curve but once i got in the mindset of actually connecting with people on a personal level, something really did just click. my aha moment and i love it. Love it over Facebook. It forces us(me) to say what i have to say in a short concise message. No messing around with long wordy messages like i’m writing to you now… LOL..

    I’m sure you are going to be a twitter-expert soon enough. I see so much potential in using it and have been able to connect with so many awesome people whom otherwise would ignore me..:)

    And that Marcus is one smart NUT. I’m just hanging on his coat tails hoping he’ll throw me some intelligent scraps of information..

Jack

I love Twitter. It has been a great tool for making friends and has been a good resource for business.

It is one big conversation.
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    Annie Andre

    It IS kind of like one big conversation. I equate it to being in a room and having the ability to hear everyone talking at once. Which is really hard. Learning to filter out the noise can be the difference between a good and bad twitter experience. And about the relationships n’est-ce pas??

Kiki

Annie,

This was, maybe still is, ME to the very smallest (and juiciest) detail. I love your truth (envy, despair, and the giving up) and want to give hugs for telling it. Ohhhhh, I get you!

    Annie Andre

    KIKI,
    Even your comments are beautiful. I want to take your comment and put it on a card to give to my loved ones… LOL..

Steve

I had a similar experience with Twitter. It’s really frustrating at first because you don’t know how to use it and don’t know anyone to interact with. But if you’re like me, you slowly use it more and more until you realize that you check it every day. And it really is about making connections. I’ve met so many cool people through Twitter and had some interesting conversations. It’s also important to just have fun.
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    Annie Andre

    Hi Steve,
    I had hoped a lot of people would get my post. I actually thought it was just me in the beginning. So to say that i am relived that i’m not alone is an understatement.

    Like you i definitely think there is a lot more to learn and i’ve just touched the tip of the ice berg so to speak..

    I know some people who use twitter to get work and find clients. Isn’t that amazing?

Dan

It’s amazing how you can capture the essence of how it feels on twitter the first time for genuine people! I’m sure those who pile in and just autofollow everyone and build up a massive network to send out their meaningless drivel to never have this experience at all.

The real magic of twitter – and your entire online presence – is from the social aspect of it. The fact that you connect with like minded people and build friendships and interactions that enrich your life.

I’ll take a look into triberr now… I’ve seen a few people talking about it, but as yet have no idea what it is!
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    Annie Andre

    Hi Dan, Hope all is well.
    It is a funny thing to equate sex and relationships to twitter isn’t it.

    When you make those connections, that’s when the light bulb goes off. It’s fantastic…

    ps I highly recommend Triberr. I didn’t get it at first either but the trick is to join a tribe of like minded people with blogs you trust. You’ll be tweeting their posts mostly automatically and don’t want to join a tribe about dog grooming if you tweet about confidence building.
    check it out. Tell Dino Annie Sent you… LOL,

Philipp Knoll

Twitter really is like Apple, isn’t it? You feel that you should check it out but for some reason you resist for very long. Then one day you decide to give it a try. You think: Well, this is OK – but I’m not really convinced I need this.

But then after a short period of trail and error you’re addicted and never return to anything else.

Used to have PCs for years but will never buy one again!
Used to be quite active on Facebook – not anymore. Its Twitter now.

But you are right that people need to find out how to use the service. It is all about direct communication – fast, efficient, global and fun. It brings people like us closer together and reading what you are up to or your thoughts makes me feel that there is a connection. Those little daily doses create the impression of physical presence.

It is a weird thing – but it is working.

Love the way you tell your story. Must be the most erotic Twitter article ever written!
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    Annie Andre

    Phillip,
    I LOVE your Apple analogy. God, its so true. It’s just too damn good to resist. Try as you might, you know eventually you will give in to temptation..

    and your words “Those little daily doses create the impression of physical presence”. I feel like it’s my little dirty seccret that i am fast growing very fond of a select group of people online. But i’m glad that my sentiments are shared.

    Hopefully we’ll meet soon. You know you will see me and the Family on your doorstep when and if we make it to Europe. It’s only a train ride away….

Kaarina Dillabough

Annie, this is a fabulous post that every person new to Twitter should read. I think most people go through similar experiences, and to see your journey in print is both helpful and heartening for those entering the fray.

I’ve been negligent in getting to your site, so I’m glad that your latest tweets have prompted me to visit. I’ll be by again soon.

Great post Annie! It’s a home run. Cheers! Kaarina
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    Annie Andre

    Kaarina,

    thanks you for the encouraging words. I’m truly honoured you are visiting. I absolutely love your inspiring posts. Now if i could only make mine as short and concise as yours. I tend to get too preachy but i’m working on it..

    Cheers,
    see you on twitter, blogs and more..

      Kaarina Dillabough

      Oh my gosh Annie, how have I missed staying in regular contact with you?! I just watched your video on “How to travel like a gypsy”, and cannot believe the inspiring, challenging awesome life you and your family lead. You are brave, soul-committed souls, following your dreams and your purpose.

      I do tend to be concise (although this response might not show that:), and I’m so glad that you find my posts inspiring. Ditto that back at’cha.

      I don’t know how you do it: a vagabond gypsy life with children…wow! I had a teensy bit of that when my first son was born, where I took him all over the world for Rhythmic Gymnastics competitions. People thought I was nuts, but it was fab.

      Annie, I look forward to staying in touch. Maybe we can Skype one day soon. I’ll be watching your travels with interest. Cheers my friend! Kaarina
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Frank

Annie,

Thanks for sharing your twitter experiece. I can honestly say I get how it works I just suck at using it. I spend my time connecting in other mediums. Your story inspires me to give it another shot and actually use it appropriately. Thanks for a great and entertaining read.

    Annie Andre

    Hi Frank,
    I know what you mean about connecting with people in other mediums. I’ve actually been doing way too much socializing.

    I highly recommend you give it another try. You already have a huge network. You know everyone loves your wonderful stories on yor blog. I think Twitter will add just the right balance and mix for to your networking plan. for me, It allows me to see what my friends/network is reading and promoting. Plus, i can send and receive short messages to and from them allowing me to maximize my time on other areas. Otherwise, i tend to get a little wordy… On twitter i’m limited to 140 characters.

    cheers,

Tony Milano

Annie,

I love the way you write. I use to think Twitter was useless, but the more I jumped in the more I realized that it was fun and helpful. Like everything else in life it is what you make it. If you follow the right people, Twitter can be an awesome tool. Thanks for sharing.

Happy Blogging,

Tony
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    Annie Andre

    Thank You Tony,
    I think twitter is a great place to meet people like you who you would normally never get to meet in person.

    I’m really looking forward to connecting with you. Can’t wait till your screenplay gets famous and i can say i knew Tony Milano when…..

Brad

Wow, I kept on thinking about my first time. It included a black light and MadDog 20/20 Grape. (It was all I could get my hands on in high-school). My Twitter-Ginity, (dude..that word kicks ass) was basically the same. I realized I was tweeting to myself. (Tweet-asturbation)

Now that i’ve connected and shared great content, I don’t feel like a high schooler talking about the newest video game or the cheerleader who turned me down….

Great post Annie. Keep writing like this and you’ll have your own tv show…

    Annie Andre

    Tweet-asturbation. WoW. It’s just too easy isn’t it?

    Isn’t it great though; it’s like one big Titter-Orgy. We’re all tweeting together with each other, with multiple partners, day or night and no one gets jealous.

    Not sure i could do my own show unless i had an equally sassy co-host. Or maybe a audio or video cast would be fun wouldn’t it?

    Thanks for the inspiration BTW, i love being able to write like i actually think and talk and let loose to have some fun sometimes.

    I’m working my way up to the F-Bomb… I might need some of the MadDog 20/20 to do that…

Vitaly Tennant

Awesome post Annie. I actually didn’t know what all the buzz was about either, until I saw the relationships that were built via Twitter!
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    Annie Andre

    I know, the buzz is amazing. Nay sayers just don’t get that it’s not really just about twitter, it’s about the people who you connect with on twitter.

stacey herbert

Ha ha, Annie I hear ya girl. My first month or two made me feel like ‘Milly no mates’, until I changed tactics..not that I had one to begin with. I have to say getting invited into triberr at the beta stage sure did get me started off to a fine start. Then I went M.I.A for a month, my followers went down, as did engagement around my blog, but I guess I expected it. I think the thing I have learnt with twitter and blogging is it’s all about consistency. That doesn’t mean you have to post 5 times per week, or tweet your every breathing thought, though occasionally, when I have too much time on my hand I can do this
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    Annie Andre

    Hey Stacey,
    There is a learning curve isn’t there? We’re still talking about twitter right? hahahah..
    I would add that having a rhythm along with being consistent is key. Triberr definitely helped me out a heap too.

    But It is frustrating that when i take my foot off the gas pedal for a bit, engagement goes down a bit but as you said it’s to be expected.

    Keep on tooting, i mean twitting

Carolyn

Hi Annie, I just followed you on Twitter. Your well-crafted blog enticed me to continue to follow your Twitter journey.

I have been on Twitter for about 2 1/2 years, but only when I started writing my blog in January did I become an active user. I regard Twitter differently now and have built some amazing relationships through Twitter.

I will definitely save your post. It’s very difficult to convince other Twitter virgins to take the plunge, but your blog is very seductive. ;-)
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Courtney Jones Media

Awesome post Annie. Thanks for sharing. Happy blogging. I think i got the blog i was looking for.
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Alan

Hey Annie,

I can’t believe I didn’t see this post before – I think twitter is my favorite social media tool, maybe because though you can clearly waste a lot of time on it, it’s so simple that it keeps you concise and there aren’t too many distractions.

I really like that about it.

I love the way you wrote this.

I was a virgin for a long time too.
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Ally Briscoe

Annie, by now you’re far from being a twitter virgin, so how does it feel to be a tweeting vet? I guess while you were still a Tweet virgin you felt much like I’m feel right now… Anxious. Can I break my Annieandre.com virginity? Will she post my comment? How will it feel, if I’m rejected? Will it be over so soon before I feel a thing? Anyway a great creative read. Visit me – I’d love to have you over sometime.
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