If you’re a twitterer you know Twitter gives you only 140 characters to get your message across. So you have to be short and sweet – but not so much so that no one gets your message.

Lance Ulanoff editor of PC Mag (an organisation I have had a long and very happy association with as a Contributing Editor to the mag), has a great post 14 Tricks for making 140 character Tweets.. to which I am going to add my 15th!

What are you trying to say?
Focus on what you are trying to say first and add descriptive extras later. I do a lot of posts mentioning cool free Photoshop brushes so I put Free Photoshop brushes first in my post as that’s the most important part. Then I briefly describe the set so folks know if it might be of interest to them and finally I’ll add a tinyurl link.

I know there are other link shortening services like the bit.ly that Lance mentions but, personally, I’ve had problems with using links created by just about every service except TinyURL – somehow, TinyURL has never let me down. I prefer to use up a few extra characters and stick with what works.

I also assume that folks know that if I’m putting up a link to free brushes that the brushes are worthy of notice, but sometimes I can’t help myself so I add that I like them. In future I’ll be putting in place Lance’s suggestion to do ME:They Rock type additions… ME: I think that suggestion rocks!

I’m also always stripping out extra spaces and full stops when I post. I’m a big fan of using ellipsis… if you haven’t noticed but on Twitter they just gobble up precious space. Instead I use dashes between words-they still give me the change of pace I need but don’t take up any more space than a space would.

As for one of Lance’s suggestions that you remove unnecessary vowels, I’m reluctant to misspell words by removing vowels. I am a little old school here and I prefer to spell correctly – it’s all about my brand – I pride myself on accuracy – technical and otherwise so I never want my tweets to go out in a way that might have someone look at them and think I don’t know how to spell or that I’m careless about accuracy. That said, this is my pet peeve – you make your own choices!

Helen Bradley