How to use Twitter correctly

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Miscellanous / Thursday

For whatever reason, my friends don’t really use Twitter. When asked why, a common sentiment is “I don’t really know how to” or “it’s just angry politics and trolls”. I personally think Twitter is the social network which is the most valuable.

So in the spirit of my post last week, I thought I would outline a playbook on how to best use Twitter. This will be focused, as all posts on this blog are, on learning. Given that some of the most interesting people are on Twitter, it gives you unparalleled access to them.

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So let’s get into some tangibles:

Mute political words

This is a must to-do.

You don’t need to know what Donald Trump did yesterday. You don’t need to know how corrupt Hillary Clinton is.

Do yourself a favor and follow these steps and mute all political words. Here’s a screenshot of my muted words (even a few do wonders to your timeline):

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Follow your future selves

Follow people who you aspire to be. This gives you an opportunity to learn from them and what’s on their mind. They will usually share articles, resources, job posting related to their sphere of competency.

I mostly follow entrepreneurs – Patrick Collision of Stripe, Austin Allred of Lambda School, and Naval of AngelList are a few that I like.

Follow your favorite bloggers – Ben Thompson of Stratechery, Eugene Wei of The Remains of the Day, and Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory are mine.

Provide value through interaction

Usually in my position, I don’t have direct I can offer to these really famous and successful people. However, you look at what they are talking about and suggest further reading, counterpoints, and other resources related to your experiences. As Ben Casnocha puts it in his masterpiece, 10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman:

Most people think there’s no way to help someone as famous and wealthy as Reid or Bill Gates. Let’s run the thought experiment. How could you help Bill Gates? Donating to his favorite charity won’t help. There’s no one you could introduce him to who he can’t already meet. Buying a Microsoft product won’t make a difference in the grand scheme. But the truth is, what Gates craves, and what you might have, is information. A unique perspective. An insight on something that’s happening in your corner of the universe. He can’t buy that off a shelf. If you can connect information you know to something Gates needs—suppose your 10 year-old cousin is obsessed with a new app that may reveal a new trend in computing—he’ll find it valuable, and you’re more likely to be able to build a relationship with him. At the least, it’s a powerful first gesture that’s the opposite of “gimme.”

This is more powerful that most people realize.

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