Stone Atwine – Social Media Simplicity

Why I Tweet And You Should Too – Commentary in Kampala Dispatch Magazine

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on September 22, 2010

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I did a commentary for Kampala Dispatch Magazine.

Check it out here; Why I Use Twitter And You Should Too

Follow Kampala Dispatch on Twitter here: Kampala Dispatch Twitter

Kampala Dispatch Homepage



Why Would Twitter Fight Us, The Users?

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on May 19, 2010

@arkarthick has brought it to my attention (by way of a tweet) that Twitter has started screening tweets with RT out of their searches.

I think this is a deliberate way of forcing us to use the official twitter retweet button that has now been around for some time.

Problem is; the official Twitter retweet button has some setbacks that make people hate to use it.

I think Twitter is going wrong here by removing information that is very vital to the twitter ecosystem.

As for now, use ‘via’, ‘TR’ or ‘R’ in place of ‘RT’ e.g. R @username. Also, mark that any retweet that you make which includes ‘RT’ will not come up in Twitter searches.

When we all agree on one way to retweet, maybe we will get a new standard. I am sure Twitter will shoot the new one down as well but let’s not give up.

Top Ten Ways To Get You Retweeted

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on March 23, 2010
Retweeting is posting a tweet that has already been authored by someone else. It’s usually expressed by preceding the original twitterer’s username with ‘RT’ or ‘via’. E.g. RT @Flipbooks Six Ways To Increase Your Twitter Followers by @StoneAtwine | or #How To Disable Google #Buzz| via @StoneAtwine

For various reasons, most of us want to get retweeted on Twitter.

I have compiled the top ten ways to get retweeted.

1. Share Links

Sharing links in your tweets will most probably get you retweeted. If there’s a link, it means that there’s more information attached to the tweet so it provides more value and people like to share valuable things.

2. Tweet New Information

If your tweet has information that has been around the twittersphere for some time, people will not develop an interest in the tweet and will not retweet it.

3. Don’t Swear

No one likes to share swearing language so avoid swear words as much as possible.

4. Short Tweets

Keep your tweets short. Twitter has a limit of 140 characters which must include the subject of your tweet, maybe a link, RT or via and the username of the original twitterer. Endeavor to leave enough space for the person retweeting to add your username.

5. Tweet About Twitter

Many people like to read about Twitter or to learn things about Twitter. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing this post about Twitter. People like to share information about twitter.

6. Break News

If a tweet breaks the most recent news, it will most probably get retweeted because people like to share the latest news. Imagine how the first tweet to break news of the Haiti earthquake got retweeted.

7. Please RT

Ask people to retweet your tweets. It’s amazing how big a difference people who ask for help get helped. I once asked Blair Semenoff (@Flipbooks) to retweet my tweet and it got me hundreds of retweets and more than 1000 blog visits.

8. Use

There are so many link shortening services but the most widely used is which seems to get more retweets than any other. Maybe this trend will change with time but now the biggest percentage of retweets have links.

9. Teach New Things

If your tweet has a link that teaches people how to do something, then you will get retweeted. People like to learn new things and will share them with friends.

10. Tweet Quotes

Nice quotes always get retweeted. I like to retweet interesting quotes that I find on Twitter and I’m sure so do many other people.

Six Ways To Increase Your Twitter Followers

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on March 14, 2010

We all want to increase the number of followers we have on Twitter. Unless you are a celebrity or popular for other reasons besides tweeting, you have to take the slow road to Twitter stardom.

Pic courtesy of djcodrin

Here are my top six ways to gain Twitter followers.

1. Tweet Content

People will consider following you if your tweet content is informative, educative, funny or somewhat useful to them. I tend to look at a Twitterer’s stream before I decide to follow them to see if they will give any value.

2. Bio

Twitterers who fill out their bio and explain who they are and what they do gain people’s trust easily. It gives the follower a feeling that they know you already and they can trust you.

3. Be Nice and Human

I find that it’s easier for me to follow twitterers that are warm and friendly. I have had to unfollow a few people because they seemed cold and heartless just from their tweets. People who are all business no fun really don’t impress me.

4. Engage/Interact

This is almost similar to 3 above but I wanted to mention it separately. Everyone loves a conversation or argument of some kind. I have silently fallen in love with some tweeter accounts just because the people behind them are constantly talking to other people. Providing value, jokes, inspiration and many other nice things through engagement.

5. Follow Back

This is one way that can surely gain you followers but I am not a fan of. There are lots of people out there that try to follow back as many people as they can. All you have to do is follow them. Whereas this works, I think it diminishes the value of your stream. I like to see tweets that are relevant and informative to me so I never follow people just because they’ve followed me. I have to mention that there are many people who are on Twitter to send out a message but don’t read that many tweets. This is  great for those kinds of people.

6. ReTweet

Everyone loves having their tweet retweeted. If you show people some retweet love, they might show their gratefulness by following you.

Whereas none of these points is a sure way to gain thousands of followers, doing most or all of them is a good start to increasing you follower numbers.

Twitter Glossary – 15 Common Twitter Terms Explained

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on March 10, 2010

Here are some common Twitter Terms that you might find helpful.

Tweet: A post made on Twitter by a user.

ReTweet or RT: Reposting something that has already been posted on the Twitter stream. RT usually precedes the original poster to give credit. E.g. RT @problogger New at ProBlogger: How to Blog: Choose a Niche for Your Blog [Why Niches are Important]

DM: This is a Direct Message sent to a twitter user. One has to follow you in order to DM them. DMs don’t appear in the public twitter stream but go directly to the receiver’s inbox.

Via: This can sometimes be used in place of RT. E.g. What are some of the good alternatives to PayPal? via @stoneatwine

Follow: If someone’s tweets appear in your stream then you are following them.

Follower: Someone who is reading your tweets

Unfollow or De-Friend: This is when someone stops reading your tweets.

@ Reply: The @ symbol is used to reply to a twitter user. E.g. @StoneAtwine @normzo Orange Uganda is a very new entrant into that market & best of class, so they’re able to screw us over. #nocompetition

# (Hashtag):A hash symbol is used to comment about a certain topic in a tweet so that people searching for it can easily find it. Searching for #iran will give you all the tweets that contain news about Iran

Twitterer/Tweeter: Someone who uses Twitter

Tweeple: People who use Twitter

Tweeps: Twitter friends that one is constantly in touch with. Think about ‘Peeps’

Twitterati: A-list Twitter users or Twitter élite. These usually have a big number of followers and are somewhat famous and influential in Twitter circles. These include people like @chrisbrogan, @Scobleizer, @GuyKawasaki, @mashable, @aplusk and @tmsruge (upon request in comments below).

Twittosphere: The collective group of people who tweet.

Link: Including a URL in your tweet.

Feel free to add some common twitter terms that I might have left out in the comments.

Google Buzz Explained

Posted in facebook, Google Buzz, twitter by stoneatwine on February 24, 2010

What is Google Buzz?

Google Buzz is a social networking tool built within Google’s email service Gmail. Buzz is like an RSS feed but it’s also completely social and has some Facebook-like features like sharing links, updates, pictures, and videos in real-time. It also allows us to like and comment.

Like Friendfeed

If you have used Friendfeed, (acquired by Facebook) then Buzz will be easy to grasp. Although Buzz has both Facebook and Twitter Features, it looks and works more like Friendfeed than Twitter of Facebook.

Mobile Support

Both personal computers (Mac too) and mobile devices can access Google Buzz. At a later date, Google will release Buzz for business. Buzz can also be turned on and off from inside Gmail.

Other Websites

Google Buzz allows you to add other sites like Picasa, Google Reader, Flickr, Twitter and other blogs or sites to your profile and every time a new you post from any of those sites, your content will automatically show up in Buzz.

It also sends responses to your posts straight to your Gmail inbox so you don’t get to miss out on anything of interest.

The Buzz Experience

I have found Buzz excellent for engagement. Many people who are actively using it testify to its ease of use in regards to engagement and discussions. But it is also very very noisy. Every post that gets a comment is automatically sent to the top and this makes it hard for me to keep track of things.

Google has solved the privacy issues that people were initially complaining about upon launch where Buzz would automatically follow people it deemed your ‘friends’ on your behalf.

What is Twitter?

Posted in twitter by stoneatwine on February 4, 2010

I was wondering what my first post about Twitter would be and my friend David K asked me to start by explaining Twitter.

Wikipedia gives this explanation:

Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.

It’s a Microblog

Let’s start by saying that Twitter is a blog, a small blog but a blog nonetheless. It is a smaller, more stripped-down version of Facebook. Imagine if all Facebook had were status updates. With Twitter you can only broadcast messages not more than 140 characters long.


Tweets are those messages that one sends out which get displayed in the author’s homepage and also in the time-lines of the people who follow him/her. They can include any kind of information, be it what one is doing, a new blog post, opinions, links to articles, anything.


A follower is one who subscribes to another person’s tweets.

There’s a follow button on every Twitter profile that is used to ‘follow’ people of interest. On the profile page, Twitter also shows the number of followers one has and the number of people one is following in addition to Name, Location, Website, number of tweets to-date and a short bio also 140 characters long.

Don’t Leave Too Soon

Newbies can easily misunderstand Twitter but if they take time to stick around and understand it, they soon realize that it is quite interesting and beneficial.

So tweet away and don’t forget to follow me here.

Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.