Monthly Archives: December 2010

Should you EVER repeat the same tweets?

UPDATE: You may want to also read “The most complete guide to finding the best time to Tweet.”

The most famous example of someone who repeats the same tweets is @GuyKawasaki. He’s tested and found that repeating the same tweet three times nearly triples the number of clicks the link in the tweet gets. So, since clicks are money to his business, he repeats almost every tweet four times. If he didn’t, a majority of the audience he reaches wouldn’t see the tweet.

However, he’s also well aware that a LOT of people don’t like this. He initially responded by saying “unfollow me if you don’t like it,” but later also created an account that only tweets each item once. Whether you repeat tweets is primarily a question of what your audience cares about, and in what ways you care about your audience ( Twitter etiquette). So the conflict is between irritating some people vs. having a majority of the audience for a tweet miss out on it.

Twitter’s Rules

Twitter does not allow identically duplicate tweets. They have a system to detect and block them, which you may have noticed if you’ve ever tried to repeat a tweet (although some seem to get through at times).

@GuyKawasaki, for example, changes the short URL of his repeated tweets to stop  Twitter from blocking him from tweeting them. However, if you send the same tweet or DM to different users (starting each with a different username), Twitter won’t block them—but if you do this too much, Twitter will suspend your account. Tweets that are identical except for the username at the beginning of the tweet are usually spam, and are against the Twitter rules even though they aren’t blocked from being posted…yet. E.g. sending @user1 buy my product; @user2 buy my product; @user3 buy my product; etc are not exact duplicates, but are obviously spam and can get your account suspended.

(In addition to the Twitter rules, you may also want to read Twitter’s “Automation Rules and Best Practices.”)

What should you do?

Don’t repeat a tweet unless it is very important to you for some reason.

If you feel you must repeat, try to find a balance, while always looking for ways to do less repeating of tweets. Many people on Twitter are bloggers, and they would like to get more readership of their work. Tweeting a blog post just once for all time often doesn’t seem right to them. My opinion is that other than Twitter’s specific rules, there are no hard and fast rules (see Twitter Rule #1).

There are several schools of thought about repeating tweets, most centered around trying to repeat in such a way that few people notice that you have:

  1. Repeat key tweets only once in a 36-hour period (two tweets in total), and spread them 8-12 hours apart;
  2. Repeat key tweets no more than once every 60-90 days;
  3. Repeat key tweets four or more times, once every 39.5 (or 15.5) hours;
  4. Repeat key tweets four or more times, once a week at a different times of day.

I think number three and four on this list are too frequent. But sometimes they can be useful guidelines for how often to repeat tweets that are only similar, not identical. For example, let’s say you’re going to be tweeting about something that you’ve never tweeted about before, and you don’t want to overdo it or alienate anyone who doesn’t expect these kinds of tweets from you. You might keep your frequency to no more than once a week, or try the 39.5 hour trick if you want to tweet more frequently.

Avoid repeating things at the same time of day

Re: number 3—why repeat every 39.5 hours? Because this is the most frequently you can repeat tweets while preventing them from being tweeted again at the exact same or nearly the same time of day. It will repeat 47 times before going out again at the exact same time, and about 36 days before it even repeats within one hour of the originally tweeted time.

This actually works for a 15.5 hour time interval—39.5 is just the 15.5 interval spaced out another 24 hours (15.5+24 = 39.5) because if you’re going to repeat a tweet 47 times, putting 39.5 hours between is a lot less annoying than spreading them out just 15.5 hours.

Repeating Tweets is unpopular with readers

Your best bet is always to repeat fewer tweets, and deemphasize that you are repeating them. As @vbalasubramani points out, it’s often a bad idea to say “In case you missed this earlier” as it draws attention to the repetition.

Should you change the headline on repeated tweets?

If you do, you will upset some people who will feel tricked into clicking the same link twice. You will lose some followers eventually by doing this. However, if you have a large following, and tweeting your links is a business to you, changing the headline will allow you to test what people respond to. However, I suggest most times trying to write your best tweet and repeating only that—if you consider yourself good at writing tweets. You’ll upset fewer people and get more clicks total because you’ve sent out your best tweet.

How frequently should you tweet?

While this is another question for a future blog post (and I’ll link to it here when the post is available), I will point out that it’s beneficial to space out tweets (that aren’t @ replies or DMs to others). There are lots of exceptions to guidelines on how to space tweets out, but it’s never bad to look for ways to put more time between your tweets.

For example, if you tweet ten times in one day, it would be good to put at least 15-60 minutes or more between each tweet. Tweeting 10 times in one minute would cause those tweets to completely dominate your follower’s streams—and they might complain or unfollow you for it. Remember, this isn’t about @ msgs—those aren’t seen by everyone (read how @msgs work, and how you can take advantage of them).

It’s particularly good to try to space out many tweets of the same kind, such as #FollowFriday tweets. If you have a bunch of similar tweets to send out, try to use the scheduling feature of a Twitter client such as TweetDeck, HootSuite or SocialOomph, or use a service such as Future Tweets (there are many others as well that provide scheduling). That way you can write everything up once and not have to come back to tweet over and over again throughout the day.

What I do on the @TweetSmarter account

If many people in our community vote for a tweet by favoriting, retweeting or clicking on its link, we take that vote very seriously. It both guides us as to what to share and what to reject when selecting future tweets. And because @TweetSmarter is popular in every time zone worldwide, we’ve decided to repeat a small number of tweets that meet a threshold of being either very popular or very important to our community. Repeating is decided by how popular or important something is.

The good part about this is we spend more time sharing higher quality tweets. The downside is that the best ones are duplicates.

Also, we only rarely change the headline on a tweet significantly, but we preface all repeated tweets with “r/t…” so people can avoid them…or seek them out, if they are only looking for our most popular tweets .

For example, one of the first times we repeated a tweet it got over 23,000 clicks! If you count every click as a “vote,” I would say that tweet was worth repeating (and no, it wasn’t to our own blog or to anyone we had a relationship with or even had ever heard of before). We generally space a follow-up tweet 10-14 hours after the first tweet if we see that the first one was exceptionally popular, or we feel it provides exceptionally useful or much-requested information. So if a tweet at midnight was very popular we might repeat it around noon for a different audience. If it’s not time-sensitive we might also wait a day or two before repeating it at noon.

If we weren’t popular in every time zone, we would probably very rarely do any of this. We will also repeat a tweet one more time within 36 hours if it provides critical or exceptionally useful or popular information for Twitter users (or if we’ve made a mistake). For example:

#Warning: Protect yourself—iPhone passwords can now be cracked in just minutes: http://j.mp/ieXxwc

At @TweetSmarter, we also manage an account called @TwitterBulletin that never repeats tweets, and only shares the most popular tweets from @TweetSmarter each day. It does not share urgent information (downtime, attacks, hacks) quickly, however. If you feel like you’re getting too many tweets from @TweetSmarter each day, we recommend following that account (and unfollowing@TweetSmarter).

Also, a handful of the very most popular tweets are repeated again within 6-18 months or so (as long as they’re still accurate and relevant).

Interestingly, since we limit the number of tweets we will send per day, repeating more important/higher-quality tweets means we have to get rid of other tweets we might have sent that are less urgent/less popular/lower quality. So the one result of repeating tweets is that we post fewer not-very-popular tweets.

What Is A “Fake” Retweet? What Can You Do About It?

A question from a person new to Twitter:

What is it with retweets? On many accounts they seem of no value at all and look nearly random. Plus, I’ve retweeted others but get no reciprocation. Am I missing something?

Fake and semi-fake accounts often use retweets as a means to look real, or to promote/validate other fake accounts. These “fake retweets” are simply part of services that exist to automate Twitter accounts (which is in most case a bad thing).

What is a “fake” Twitter account?

To understand fake retweets, you first have to understand fake accounts.

A fake account is usually one that is created and computer-automated by spammers to look real so they can insert promotional links in some tweets. (If every tweet was a promotional tweet, they would be recognized as spammers and suspended, so this is their way of avoiding being caught.) They’re like websites that try to appear real (often by stealing content from elsewhere) but that are computer-generated and only exist to show ads. It’s popular for a service to create these Twitter accounts by the dozens or hundreds, and then to have them retweet each other to add to the appearance of being “real.”

A semi-fake account is one doing the same things that is managed by a real person instead of a computer. Some people get on Twitter with the sole purpose of sharing sales or promotional links, but take a course in “How to appear like a real person on Twitter” [sigh] and so throw in random retweets from time to time just to “look engaged.” Yes, Twitter can be hard to learn. But “pretending to be real” is not the way!

An in-between type of account is where a real person signs up for a service that will tweet from their account from time to make them look more “real” or more “engaged.” Where this means hiring a social media manager, this can be a reasonable way for some businesses to get started on Twitter, because they are relying on someone with experience for help. But some of these social media management services simply fully or partially computer-automate your account.

So what is a “fake retweet?”

A service that finds interesting information (that you might want to retweet) isn’t a bad thing. And if that service makes it very easy to retweet items, all the better. But where it gets murky is when services provide pre-written items to tweet or retweet. Those that automatically send these pre-written items as tweets from your account are the most problematic. When a social media “management” service makes this is an overly large part of how they work, they’ve crossed the line.

How it works

When something you tweet is picked up by one of these Twitter automation services, you’ll see that particular tweet retweeted endlessly week after week by a group of accounts, sometimes much, much too frequently.

A clue that someone who is otherwise clearly a real and engaged person on Twitter is using a semi-automated service is that they are also retweeting one of these tweets that are retweeted week after week.

We ourselves seem to have about 4-8 or so tweets at any given time that are being mindlessly fake-retweeted by these services (the cleverer services fake-retweet their tweets more infrequently, to be less obvious). Here is an example of accounts that are “fake retweeting” this tweet: “7 Things Keeping You From Becoming an A-list Blogger: http://j.mp/edFCJA /via @WritersGroup.” (@WritersGroup is one of our other accounts on Twitter, @TweetSmarter being our main one.)

And yes—of course—this is something we originally tweeted because we like the content! We have no connection of any kind to the website it appeared on or the blogger who wrote it. (In fact we had never heard of either before coming across this post.) Here’s another example of something that is getting a lot of fake retweets, and another.

What about the “other” kind of fake retweet?

This is where someone retweets you…but you never said it in the first place! Example “RT @user I love this snake oil! Everyone should click here to buy some today!” It’s very frustrating to see your Twitter name used in this way. Twitter has taken steps to suspend these kinds of accounts quickly, but always, always report them for spam if you see a tweet like this with your name in them.

What can you do?

The best advice is to find real people on Twitter and engage with them (here’s how to do that). If you find information that matters to you, or you find a person (or their mission) mattering to you, retweet away! But retweeting only because you hope for reciprocation is a bad idea. First, you may just be retweeting a fake or semi-fake account. Second, if you’re not retweeting something that matters to you, you’re becoming a fake account yourself!

Twitter is hard

Yes, I realize it’s hard to figure out how to get connected within the Twitter community. The key is to slowly over time build a network of real people to engage to…and to be a real person yourself!

You might want to read “How To Use Twitter to get influential people to help you” for some tips on finding and engaging with real people. Or, if you’re looking for a simpler approach, check out “Win Friends And Influence People On Twitter In Just 5 Seconds A Day.”

How We Manage The TweetSmarter Twitter Account

Our account has, since the first months we started it, been one of the most-retweeted in the world. You may also be interested in some data about how we get followers.

What we do

We answer tons of questions every week, and we find interesting and educational articles about Twitter to share. We also get to know people, and occasionally bring different people together when we can see making an introduction would be helpful. Sometimes we search for users who have certain kinds of questions and engage with them. Because we have nothing to sell, we don’t do searches related to our “brand” or anything else like that.

How popular are tweets from @TweetSmarter?

It varies. They get between 220,000 and 550,000 clicks per month, according to bit.ly. In early 2011, it’s been more regularly around 340,000/month. We appear on  Edelman’s “Top 20 Most Influential Worldwide” list more often than not. When TweetLevel first came out in 2009, we debuted at #3 and have maintain a Klout score most commonly between 84 and 86.

How we find and schedule tweets

  1. We find articles mostly through (1) Specialized search engines, feeds, alerts, special searches (2) Submissions from select Twitter users (3) Tweets that are getting a lot of RTs (4) A few other methods
  2. We write a tweet about each article found.
  3. We save the tweet to be scheduled.
  4. We schedule the  next 6-12 hours of tweets.

Finding things to tweet

This is of course our “secret sauce” and even after three years we still find good new sources every month or so. One major misperception is that we find our tweets by looking at other people’s tweets, then remove their names instead of giving them credit—that is NOT the case. This happens because people see that most of our tweets are not retweeted from someone else’s tweet and think we are removing the credit. It’s an understandable misperception.

Actually, there is no way we can find many good new articles to tweet just by retweeting other people. We do find a few, but the vast majority of our tweets are found via internet searches and specialized aggregators of new articles on Twitter, mostly NOT by looking at other people’s tweets. Tweets don’t tell you how new the article being linked to is; most searches do. If we could see which tweets contained only links to things posted in the last 24 hours, we would retweet other folks a lot more. So, we don’t remove credit; we just don’t do a lot of retweets of other users. When we do find something from a tweet, we give credit in the form of a …/via @username1 @username2 etc. at the end of the tweet. Here’s some of the custom searches and tools we use to find tweets:

Choosing what to tweet

We like to check the last 24 hours of results in custom Google searches such as this one for Twitter tips, as well as feeds like this one of popular social media stories. We usually also take a peek at what the hottest stories in the Twittersphere are. We have a number of custom feeds I’ve created that we sort and view through Google as well, as well as some custom searches on specialty search engines and aggregators, and some similar searches for “social media” instead of just “Twitter.” Finally, we’ll look at custom aggregators such as the Smart Blog on Social Media to see what they are turning up.

We started with attempts like using Yahoo! Pipes to filter popular tech blogs for articles on Twitter and reviewing them in Google reader. We’ve adjusted our system for a couple of years now and where we used to review as many as 2,000 items each day, now we rarely look at more than 750 or so a day. And believe me, we speed read the headlines! But when we read the posts themselves, we read carefully to find out what they’re really about. It’s surprising how often the content doesn’t really match the headline.

So: What makes something worth tweeting?

First, we watch what people are retweeting of ours and what kinds of questions we are getting. Several times a week when we am searching for information to answer a user question we’ll find something worth tweeting to everyone. We’ve gone through several phases over the years. Here’s a few of the different kinds of things that have been popular in different phases:

  1. Notices about Twitter problems and  Twitter rules
  2. Interesting uses of Twitter for socializing and Twitter news
  3. The basics of how to use Twitter, with an emphasis on Twitter apps
  4. Using Twitter for learning and education
  5. Advanced Twitter topics such as unusual uses
  6. Back to the basics of how to use Twitter again (more new people joining)
  7. More information on how to use Twitter for business

Currently we’re in a phase where a wide variety of topics for mostly semi-experienced users is dominating.

Rewriting Tweets

We send out around 15,000 tweets a year, and we rewrite a good number of them each day, so we’ve written many thousands of tweets by this time. Dave does about 95% of the actual tweet writing. We have a pretty good feel for what kind of tweet will get clicks, what will get RTs, and what will get comments. We try mostly to write tweets that get clicks, because we’re trying to find and direct people to good content, but sometimes there is an obvious way to adjust the wording for RTs, and so sometimes we’ll choose that kind of writing.

Scheduling Tweets

When it comes time to schedule tweets, we’ll usually already have placed the most important tweets in the upcoming time slots that are the most read by our followers. We have a wide number of peak times each day across many time zones, and we try to get the most important tweets in front of the largest number of people. However, this often means they get less retweets, because by delaying important tweets instead of tweeting them right away, often many of our followers will have seen them already.

However we’d rather get less retweets than clump a bunch of tweets together—that “clogs up” people’s feeds with our tweets, which we don’t want to do. We tweet an average of about once every 30 minutes, so it’s important that tweets are spaced out or they will overwhelm newer users who don’t follow that many people. The scheduling interface I like to use is HootSuite. There we have two side-by-side columns showing upcoming tweets and most recently sent tweets. It’s kind of fun to watch scheduled tweets move up on the right, then over and down on the left after they are tweeted:

Watching to see what is popular

As part of scheduling, we will sometime repeat very popular or important tweets. To see what the current RT trends are on our tweets, we move over to Chirrps on the Profile > Popularity > By Date tab:

We keep an eye on the last 12 hours of tweets to see if anything is getting an unusually large number of RTs. If so, we may tweet it one (and only one) more time, or search for related articles if it’s a hot topic that people are updating with new information over time. About once a month or less, we’ll tweet one key tweet three times instead of two times.

What’s the future?

Since we’re trying to fill a gap in what Twitter is able to do for its users, we’ll follow their lead. I think Twitter’s future will depend first on how users use it and how well Twitter supports them in what they want to do. So it depends on things Twitter introduces. Users have always driven Twitter. Users created @messages, Retweets, #Hashtags and much more.

I would love to see Twitter get out ahead and pay more attention to what users are doing and figuring out how to support that. But they’ve rightly put their main emphasis on hiring enough people and building the infrastructure properly. 2011 should be a really interesting year as Twitter will finally have the right people and infrastructure to fully support their community.

Hopefully 2011 will be the “year of community” and Twitter will really engage people on a wider basis to help support all the interesting ways we all find to make Twitter do wonderful things.

Fixing Twitter.com’s Browser Problems

UPDATE: You may want to read “Why New Twitter is broken, and how to fix it.”

The Twitter.com website and API has long had a wide variety of minor and not-so-minor issues with caching. Closing and restarting your browser or app can fix problems, or you can bypass/reset your browser cache with keystroke. Here’s how:

Commonly, the Twitter web interface is not working properly for a short time, but even after it should be working normally again, your browser “remembers” the broken state once things are working properly again—leaving you stuck with a not-quite-functioning Twitter web interface.

But, good news! There is a one-size-fits all solution: bypass your browser cache. It’s easy and won’t hurt anything on your computer:

How to clear or bypass your browser cache in just 5 seconds

On your keyboard, just hold down the “Ctrl” key (Command on Mac) & press the “F5″ (function) key at the same time. While that works for 90%+ of users, it’s possible it won’t work for you (depending your computer and keyboard setup). So if it didn’t seem to fix your Twitter.com problem, read on, or check out these detailed tips for fixing Twitter.com problems.

How to make sure you’re actually clearing your browser’s cache

Make sure your keyboard is set properly

More and more keyboards are adding special functions to different keys that are accessed by first pressing some other key. So you need to make sure that when you press the “F5″ key it’s operating in function mode. Usually, this is simple to tell. If something else happens when you press it (e.g., your volume control pops up, or something similar), you’re in the wrong mode. You’ll have to find out which other key to press first to return your function keys to operating in function mode.

Learn about tips for your specific browser.

This is such an important topic that Wikipedia has a page on it. Read their directions on how to clear/bypass your cache for your specific browser.

What kinds of problems will this fix?

Troubleshooting your problem.

Just try clearing your cache first :) If that doesn’t work, you may want to read more about how to get Twitter problems fixed. Or just wait! Why? Because Twitter turns things on and off on the Twitter.com web interface all the time. It’s called “Feature Darkmode” and it lets them stabilize the Twitter service rather than shut it down, or do tests or help them rollout new features. So if something isn’t working quite right, you might have to wait for them to restore the functionality…but  then you may still need to clear your cache for things to return to full functionality.

Can’t switch between New Twitter and Old Twitter?

Twitter tells us old Twitter will be going away, but for now you can switch between them—if your browser cooperates. If you try to switch, and it doesn’t work, clear your cache! However, if you can’t see new Twitter after clearing your cache, read Twitter’s help note. If you’re on New Twitter and trying to switch back to old Twitter, make sure you’re actually clearing your cache successfully.

Do you like the #NewTwitter web interface, or do you want to keep old Twitter?

Update: Here are some of the differences between new and old Twitter.

Controversy?

The new and old Twitter web interfaces are extremely different. Even some people who find the changes worthwhile report trouble changing. But more importantly, many users can’t access the New Twitter. Twitter has been working on the problem, but will the new interface be available to all users by the time Twitter gets rid of the old interface? Twitter now places a warning along the top edge of the screen if you are using the old interface: “You’re using an older version of Twitter that won’t be around for much longer.”

Unfortunately, Twitter has a poor track record of introducing new features. Hopefully, they will not only work out the bugs with new Twitter, but also listen to user feedback and make it easier to work with. You can use this form to send Twitter your feedback (choose “something else” from the first drop down box).

Here’s how our poll of 400 users came out:

How Our Followers Created Santa Tweety And Other Seasonal Changes

How Tweety Bird Evolved for Christmas:

Hat & Boots Belt Beard Bag of Toys Tree

Thanks to all our Christmas contributors! Accepted suggestions:

  1. Little Christmas tree (@ellyvanamstel)
  2. A Santa Bag/Bag of Goodies (@Lisa10750@dagutzyone@passaggio@TheHomeworkDog@MustangSally250@tea_n_me@Brainiacro@whilyn)
  3. Beard (White/Tiny/Beak/Big Bushy) (Suggested by @HDRKC@InspiringAlways@paragon24@reddirtisland@baisebeige@Liz_Nicole1920@CruzynNitro,@CosmicOmelette@lala_purple@Justin_or_Caleb@honeyberk@Warmnfuzzy@Jeterfan0208@jisackson@nsbrwtt@whilyn@jvdgraaf@ynq25335)
  4. Presents (@sassydork@radiojohnnyd)
  5. Belt (@nelaknight)
  6. Boots (@SarahJL)

Additional Suggestions:

  1. Mittens/gloves (@RaiEntertain@thefallowband@MaurryT@stvrod@PlatoDesign)
  2. (Jingle) Bells (@nelaknight@Colebiffle@JadeOnlineMedia@nelaknight)
  3. Snow (@MikaWeirFan@STPBud@Starzfan9@surekhapillai)
  4. Holly (@onin3@rmsro@kaydeeweb)
  5. Rudolph Nose (@RaiEntertain@AMusuneggi@erikedbladh)
  6. Bag of Tweets (@dagutzyone@MustangSally250@PatsyTond)
  7. Ribbon for fans (@SangitaSri)
  8. Ornament Earrings (@susiemuckleroy)
  9. Eight tiny reindeer (@joannawolfe)
  10. Wreath with Golden Bell (@Sealyme)
  11. Red bulb overhead (@fugitive247)
  12. Pants (@franticee)
  13. Tinsel from the wingtips (@TheHomeworkDog)
  14. A bell in his wing/hand (@jvdgraaf)
  15. Twitter bird ornament (@HowellMarketing)

Funny suggestions

  1. Goggles (@Atuljains@PaulVonGryff)
  2. Tatoo (@samarkorban)
  3. Stuffing (@wubeyonekenobi)
  4. Pirate Eye Patch, parrot on shoulder (@Oppora)
  5. A laptop (and goggles) (@Atuljains)
  6. Butterfly mask, whip, and candle (@ph237
  7. Crack pipe (@PheMekh)
  8. A little present on the “floor” (@branchester)

Suggestions on what Tweety Bird should be doing or wearing for Winter

The ideas submitted were:

  1. Snow hat/beanie/”Fargo” hat with ear flaps (@Breebug, @appleblogz, @dagutzyone)
  2. Ear muffs/warmers (@CBSmanagement@USAF_Recruiter)
  3. Boots/Giant snow boots (@CBSmanagement)
  4. Mittens/Mitts (@Breebug, @pandabox33)
  5. Pushing a snow blower (@Oppora)
  6. Turned into a snowman or eskimo (@MissCaroleen)
  7. In an ice fishing hut, having a snowball fight (@LaughItUp)
  8. Twetter/Sweater (@SoftballLessons)
  9. Breadcrumbs (@pantsinspace)
  10. Snowboarding or Skiing Gear (@suzanneec)
  11. Bikini—for the other half of the world (@prettynetwork)

Accepted Suggestions:

  1. Muffler/scarf (@CBSmanagement@pandabox33@Breebug@dagutzyone@USAF_Recruiter)


Thanks for all your ideas for New Year’s!

How Tweety Bird Evolved for New Year’s:

Hat/Noisemaker Tux/Tie/2011 Champagne Fireworks Banner

Accepted suggestions:

  1. Top hat (AidaofNubia@WarLordwrites@toofarnorth2@Tonigraziosi)
  2. Tuxedo/Tuxtweeto/Silver coat/vest (@lebce@softballLessonsAidaofNubia@DishTVBlog, @Tonigraziosi)
  3. Noisemaker/fringed whistle in beak (@colibrimoon@carolhagen@ukchelle, @Nelaknight)
  4. A dicky bow/bow tie  (@ukchelle@Tonigraziosi)
  5. Sparkly “2011” on front of hat (@onin3)
  6. Bottle of champagne (@ukchelle@carolhagenAidaofNubia@Nelaknight@seanjweb@nyskyes)
  7. Fireworks (@onin3@colibrimoon@crixstinarocks@Nelaknight)
  8. Wearing a new year Sash/banner (@SarahJL@dan_l@dagutzyone@seanjweb)

Other great suggestions:

  1. Funky 2011 glasses (@ukchelle, Suzanne, @TerCook)
  2. New Year’s bead necklace (@robin_swan@Robin_Swan@DishTVBlog)
  3. Bling (@kaliopysworld@zettieleeuw,@XP)
  4. Make Tweety the New Year’s baby with a diaper (@SarahJL@dan_l)…Be a young baby bird like the New Year’s Baby (Ada)
  5. Mistletoe (@nelaknight@aha_tigger)
  6. Confetti (@dagutzyone)
  7. Tiara (@carolhagen)
  8. Sparklers (@ynq25335)
  9. Party poppers (@paulnez)
  10. Drink/toast glass (@dagutzyone)
  11. Perch on or in the ball that descends in Times Square (@americanincan, @sfutado)
  12. Happy new year banner (@ellyvanamstel)
  13. Countdown or music In the background (@thehomeworkdog)
  14. New Year Banner (@TerCook)
  15. Party Hat (@dagutzyone@paulnez)

Unusual/funny suggestions:

  1. Feathers (@sci_tek)
  2. Like snookie! (Chris Bomely)
  3. Lampshade on his little blue head (@cougarmuffin)
  4. Pimp/Glitter/Gold/Sunshine (@zettieleeuw)
  5. In the American flag, but with a hole cut out in the center and being worn as an LED-enhanced poncho (@AlynAlyxWest)
  6. Like an eagle soaring thru the sky that show’s up on rader wit the flag covering it’s eyes (@FromMeTwoYou)
  7. Like Julian Assange with his beak shut (@Sorinkas)
  8. Like a disco ball (@LorenaDigital)
  9. With a meat dress or belt…or anything Gaga, with some bling (@XP)

Source of Twitter bird image

The Twitter bird was modified from a 2008 online tutorial on how to create a vector image Twitter bird.

Welcome Spring & Summer!

Here’s how our avatar has evolved for spring and summer with your suggestions:

  1. Sun Hat or visor, Sandals @nelaknight
  2. Place Tweety Bird in the middle of a flower garden – lots of color! @AidaofNubia
  3. Add a flower to your hat for Spring, a beachball for Summer @Bravolebrity1
  4. White armless  peasant shirt @stsitjia
  5. Gardening tools/basket or basket of colorful flowers @Bravolebrity1
  6. Spring dress with a shoe-string strap
  7. Can of bug spray or weed spray @AidaofNubia
  8. Red nose and tissue (allegies?) @AidaofNubia
  9. Tweety Bird (sports cap) and Tweety Girl (spring hat) taking a walk. @AidaofNubia