Two of the primary goals of this site are reaching new people with our message and providing more and richer information and communication with our existing members. Toward both of those ends, I am excited to announce that we are taking our first steps into the world of Twitter.
If you are not a Twitter user, I invite you to consider whether it might be a useful way for you to gather data and converse with your trusted sources. Though I admit I had initial doubts, I’ve become quite a fan. Twitter provides a direct, grassroots, customizable, up-to-the-minute stream of information. I appreciate its potential as a means of organizing communities, as well as the speed and multilayered perspective it offers as a news source. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a link to Twitter’s FAQ to help you understand a bit more about how it works.
We have set up three accounts, each with a different focus. Why three? So you can pick and choose among them if you wish, or follow all three if you feel they are all relevant to you.
1) @ChrisMartenson: This is the primary account, which includes:
- “Tweet” updates from the site (e.g., juicy bits from the Daily Digest; announcements about new Martenson Reports) and share news about Chris and the team (e.g., Chris’s upcoming trip to San Francisco; our plans at the UN).
- “Retweet” updates from other relevant organizations (e.g., Post Carbon Institute) that catch our eye.
2) @CMInsider: I read a great deal of information in a given day, and while it may not all make it to an official post, a great deal of it catches my eye. Sometimes I will bring to light a kernel of truth; other times I will uncover examples of misinformation, spin, or entertaining MSM antics. Think of @CMInsider as a peek into my daily Web world.
This is also the channel I will use for sending alerts, if and when they arise. I will also send each alert via email, but Twitter will be another convenient avenue, as you can easily receive Twitter updates on any cell phone.
If you prefer not to join Twitter but are still interested in the articles and links shared through Twitter, you will be able to subscribe to an RSS feed containing the same information. More information about the RSS feed will be forthcoming.
3) @CHMartenson: This is my “lifestyle” Twitter account, where I will keep interested parties informed about personal discoveries and changes I am making to my house and life in response to the Three E’s. I hope it will provide a little more insight into what we are doing here locally to prepare. (A picture or two of the gardens and the chickens will make it into the stream, I’m sure!)
Some conventions: Hashtags and Ratings
We are adopting a series of codes to make the 140-character limit of Twitter more telling to the reader. Some, like the hash tag (#), are common lexicon on Twitter, and others, such as the rating system described below, are not as common but should be easy to understand. Just as Twitter itself is an organic, dynamic, and evolving experiment, so, too, is our use of it.
Hash tags are used to mark keywords to make them easier to find in searches. For example, if you want to find discussions about the results of Copenhagen, you could search for #Cop15, and a real time stream of the latest Tweets would appear. Similarly, if you are tweeting about the talks, including #Cop15 in your tweet would add it to the search stream.
To that end, here are the hash tags we will be using (and you will no doubt see more in the stream as time goes on):
- #POV (This is a way to demarcate another’s point of view. I may or may not agree with the point of view, but feel it is important to draw attention to it.)
Ratings: As I pass along tweets (particularly from CMInsider), I will make comments as I feel inspired. Also, I will use a “+” rating system to tell you how interesting I consider a piece to be.
A single + sign will signify a recommendation to read, two ++ will mean “really, don’t miss this,” and +++ will essentially be a signal for “stop what you are doing and focus on this right now.”
The typical Tweet from me will have four parts: (1) the + designation, (2) the title of the article being sent, (3) a shortened URL to the article, and then (4) my comment after a <– sign. If appropriate, there may also be (5) a hash tag at the end.
Here is a sample tweet:
++ NYT OpEd: Article Title http:bit.ly/xyz <– This is a huge mistake for (so and so). Watch out! #Econ
We are very excited to launch this endeavor, as it serves both to connect us in a broader way to those we already know and help us reach others seeking answers such as those found in the Crash Course. So we sincerely hope you will drop us an ‘@’ or sign up for the RSS feed and help us break into Twitter in a big way in 2010.