Yesterday, in What's up with Twitter, we discussed what Twitter is and how to read Tweets, using search.twitter.com. Now, you have a feel for Twitter, and you have a Twittter account (if you don't go to Twitter.com, click "sign up now," and follow the instructions).
The first thing you'll want to do is find some people to follow - people who are likely to follow you back. As you are adding friends be sure not to just start adding friends willy-nilly. Twitter only allows you to add up to 2,000 friends, then you must have 2,000 people follow you back before you add any more. That, however, should be a "rule" that you never find yourself running up against. Here is a good way to mutual followers (a.k.a. "Tweeps,") on Twitter, without making the Twitter community think that you are a spammer.
Find the friends in your e-mail address book tthat are already on Twitter. Go to "Find People," then click "find friends." These are people you have some association with, and are likely to follow you back. If you are adding 100 or more friends at once with this step, STOP adding friends for a couple of days, until some of these people have a chance to follow you back. A good rule of thumb is to keep your ratio of people you are following to people who are following you to about 90%.
Find people who are tweeting in your topic of interest. If, for example, your website is about Coca-Cola collectibles, and you are on Twitter to find other Coca-Cola collectors, you will want to use the "search" box in your right sidebar, and search for keywords like "Coca-Cola," and "Coke," then "retweet" any good posts you find in those threads. You might also consider following those Twitter users - they may follow you back.
Find tweeps in your neighborhood. If your online interests are location-based, you can go to search.twitter.com, and use: search:Tulsa (or replace "Tulsa, with the name of your city or metroplex). This will bring up Twitter users in your area, who are allowing Twitter to track their "geo-location."
Follow Twitter lists. Listorious.com is a great resource for finding Tweeps with common interests. You can follow the list, then selectively find other Tweeps to follow within those lists.
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.