Twitter Tips for Newbies: How to use it and enjoy it

Twitter tips for newbiesAre you new to Twitter? Do you want to use it to promote your blog, business, or just follow some interesting people? Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard people new to twitter say they are overwhelmed by it. Don’t be afraid. It’s a great tool and a great way to meet new people. I’ve been using it since 2007 and have some twitter tips for newbies that will ease your fears and help you enjoy this social media tool.

Twitter Tips for Newbies #1 Don’t fear the feed.

You cannot read everything everyone posts unless you are only following two people who only post at 1:00 PM Mountain Time on Mondays. Seriously, just let this one go. Twitter is more about real time. It’s kind of like listening to the radio. You can’t listen to every channel at the same time. You tune in when you feel like it or can. Listen to what’s on, then go about your life.

Twitter Tips for Newbies #2: Lists are your friend

OK, so maybe there are a few people whom you want to follow more closely than say ABC news or Mashable. Make a list and put them on it. Lists are a great way to control the twitter feed and get a deeper experience. Maybe there are some local people you follow and want to chat with more than a few random bloggers 1,500 miles away. Make a list and you can read their feeds separate from the 200 other people, brands, or news outlets you follow.

Twitter Tips for Newbies #3: Follow the news

For the past 5 years, Twitter has been the go to place for me for breaking news. I learned about the earthquake in Japan, Osama bin Laden’s death, and which ever celebrity most recently died via Twitter. Sure, I always made sure whoever was tweeting was a reputable source before I shared the info with anyone else. There have been quite a few news hoaxes, but smart people know to double check before believing something Generic Twitter Dude 1531 shared that sounds unbelievable.

Also, be sure to follow your local news sources as well as national ones. These are great ways to find out why there is smoke filling the sky 5 miles away or if your path to work might be flooded.

Twitter Tips for Newbies #4: Be social

Depending on why you use Twitter in the first place, remember it is social media. People and companies will share links to their blogs, products, and giveaways, but there is almost always a human being on the other side of that tweet. Don’t be afraid to reply to someone who wrote something interesting or even just ask a question. Interact! Even if it’s just a retweet or a favorite, someone will appreciate it.

Twitter Tips for Newbies #5: Have fun

There really is no right or wrong way to use Twitter. You get out of it what you want. I like to say it’s like hanging out at a bar. You can chat with the folks around you or you can just listen. There’s a great opportunity to meet people, especially if you are new in town. I’ve made some really good friends through Twitter, including my husband.

What are your fears about Twitter? What tips would you share with someone just starting out on Twitter?

Don’t Treat Me Bad: Living your dream

Living-Your-DreamAre you living your dream? It irritates me to no end when someone puts someone else down simply because of the profession or job they have chosen. Not everyone wants to be a suit wearing cube jockey.  There’s nothing wrong with being a suit wearing cube jockey, but for some reason, many people can’t get past this cliche image of success.

There are people who have a passion for something  and will only be happy if they are participating in that passion.  Sure it might not look like a text book image of success, but if the person is happy, who cares?

Following your passion is living your dream

While at the Saint Paul Saints game last month, there were people in the stands making fun of the players.  Excuse me? Sure, those guys might not be major league material, but they are also playing baseball for a living. They are doing something that makes them happy. How many millions of men are out there who would give their left nut for a chance to play ball professionally? Exactly.

Then I read this article about one of the guys from Trixter. The dude might not be playing arenas every night, but he’s also not giving up on earning a living by doing what he loves.  Sure, it’s not easy, but that’s not why he does it. If he wanted to simply make money, he’d get an 8 to 5 job or find a more reliable way to make ends meet.

And there’s also nothing wrong with trying to make ends meet. People need to feed and clothe their families. So what if they are digging ditches to do it?  Think of all the people in the service industry. They cook your food. They clean public bathrooms. They deliver your pizza.

Every day you interact with people who have jobs that are not necessarily the text book image of success. Yet, these people are successful. Why?  Because they are working. Because they are trying to make ends meet. Because they aren’t a burden on society. They are making your day to day familiarity possible. They make your caramel cappuccino possible. They make that Target run possible.

LEGO minifigures series 2014 update!

LEGO minifigures series 2014 updateI know you’ve been all wondering when the next LEGO minifigures series would be released in 2014.  According to Brickipedia, the next LEGO minifigures series for 2014 will come out in October.

Now, if you found my blog because you are looking for LEGO minifigure bump codes, you should know that it’s an imperfect way to figure out what lurks inside the mystery bags. Different manufacturing runs sometimes result in different bumps. However, I will continue to post the photos of what we find at the LEGO store at the Mall of America.

LEGO minifigures series 2014 details?

So, what’s in the next batch of LEGO minifigures? And is this series 14 or series 12?  I’ve seen both listed, but I’m sure whatever LEGO calls it will be official.

Back to the figures, below is the list found on Brickipedia.  Can you guess which ones I’m looking forward to seeing?

Space Miner
Battle Goddess
Wizard
Dino Tracker
Swashbuckler
Jester
Piggy Guy
Hun Warrior
Fairytale Princess
Pizza Delivery Man
Video Game Guy
Spooky Girl
Prospector
Genie Girl
Rock Star
Lifeguard

I sort of like the juxtaposition of the Pizza Delivery Man and the Video Game Guy.  The two seem to go together naturally. The Piggy Guy confuses me. Then again this set will be released near Halloween, so maybe it’s his costume. Maybe that’s the theme? Halloween? It makes sense. I mean the Spooky Girl does have a goth teddy bear. Oh, and the first person to sing that awful Aerosmith song when they see the Space Miner gets kicked.  Dammit! Too late. That song is now stuck in my head.

Which one sounds like fun to you?

All-Star Game 2014 Minneapolis Festivities

All-Star-GameMinneapolis has All-Star Game fever. Everywhere you look downtown, you will see some sort of baseball related adornment. It’s awesome. Yes, I’m not a fan of the traffic and crowds the festivities will create, but the energy is one of pure joy.

We went to the Futures Game and the Celebrity/Legends Softball game at Target Field on Sunday. It was so much fun. Baseball has such a rich history and there really is nothing like going to a big stadium filled with baseball fans. It’s so communal. You sit in your assigned seat, but you chat with some of the folks around you at some point. You all have something in common, baseball. Whether you are booing everything Yankee related or talking about who has stolen the most bases in a season, there’s something to talk about.

Even while walking to the stadium, you can sense the excitement and fun in the air. At the stadium, the energy gets stronger. There are press everywhere. There are people taking pictures of everything with big smiles on their faces.

The Futures Game is fun because these are guys who could be on the All-Star team in the future. Right now, they are relatively unknown and usually playing in the minors, but it’s still fun to see them hit a home run, or hit a foul ball into the windshield of a truck parked as a display at the field. Yep, that happened.

The Celebrity/Legends Softball game is fun mostly for the legends. It’s great to see guys who you can tell just love the sport of baseball and any excuse to get out on the field. They are having a ball, pun totally intended.

If the All-Star Game comes to your city or near your city, I highly recommend checking out one of the festivities. Sure, the All-Star Game itself is probably priced out for most of us minions, but there are other things to do and see that are exciting and fun and baseball related.

Five tips for attending a blogging conference: #BlogHer14

Blog conference tips: #BlogHer14It’s summer blog conference time! One of the bigger conferences bloggers attend is BlogHer.  This year it’s in San Jose, California. Ah, the Silicon Valley, such an amazing place. If you are going to BlogHer for the first time, I’ve got some tips to help you ease through your nervousness.  While most of my blog conference tips are centered around my experiences at BlogHer, they can be applied to just about any blogging conference.

Blog conference tips #1: Be friendly.

Honestly, most of the gals there are welcoming and friendly. Just say hi and start chatting. You have an opening line. You all have a blog. Ask them what they write about…that always breaks the ice because bloggers love talking about their blogs. Other things to talk about: Where they are from? Have they been to BlogHer before? Have they been to California before? How long have they been blogging? What sessions/parties are they going to attend?

See? I’ve given you tons of things to talk about with people you haven’t even met yet! Where can you use this blog conference tip? The meals are a great place to break the ice. Seating is usually at tables with 10 chairs, so sit down next to someone and say hello. Continue reading

How do you Independence Day? July 4th it!

Independence Day: July 4th decor, songs, and food.One week from today is July 4th. Is it just me or does this feel like the summit of summer? After Independence Day it feels like summer is on the down slope. We are all coasting into fall.

Oh the barbeques! In some places they are called cookouts. Whatever you call the gathering of people eating char-grilled meat, it’s a hell of a time. Folks bring out as much red, white, and blue decorations as they can handle. If you’re feeling especially patriotic, check out these July 4th photo booth props I made. Social media and the birth of the United State never looked so good! Continue reading