I have had a blog since March 2005 and a Twitter account since June 2008. Unexpectedly, I found that Twitter has brought new life to my blog in terms of new ideas, more material and blog posts. The frequency of my blog posts increased from 3-4 per week to 2-3 per day. The number of RSS subscribers through FeedBurner increased from 1,900 to 4,000. The daily page views also increased from 2,000 to 4,500 (for both ClinicalCases.org and CasesBlog).
What is hard to measure but much more valuable is the interesting, inspired and generous people I found on Twitter. The service has a community that leaves other more complicated social networking websites such as Facebook in the dust.
Here are 4 ways Twitter brought new life to my blog. Try them or something similar and see if they work for you.
1. Selection of My Twitter Favorites
Twitter is a microblogging service where people answer the question "What are you doing?" via 140-character messages from their cellphone, laptop or desktop. You can select the messages (called "tweets") that you find useful, amusing, or both. Here is the 47th edition of My Twitter Favorites (the oldest post is at the bottom, the newest at the top): Micro-blogging on Twitter is easy, fun and can be very useful and educational if you follow/subscribe to interesting people.
You can read more here: A Doctor's Opinion: Why I Started Microblogging on Twitter and
visit my accounts at @DrVes and @Allergy
2. Health News of the Day
Health News of the Day is a daily summary made from the selected links I post on Twitter. It is in a bullet points format with links to the original sources which include 350 RSS feeds that produce about 2,500 items per day.
3. Medical Geek Humor on Twitter
Messages (called "tweets") that are posted by health workers and are useful, amusing, or both.
Image source: We Blog Cartoons. Free cartoons for your blog.
4. New Post Ideas
Twitter serves as a link collector and a notebook for me. I share interesting bits of information there and they often provoke responses and comments from people who follow me. Twitter is a two-way street which means that I receive may interesting links and ideas from the people I follow. The whole process creates a matrix for at least several blog posts per day. The rate limiting step is the time one has to devote to writing a blog post.
How to deal with the information overload from blogs, RSS and Twitter?
Out of Blogging Ideas? Use Twitter!
Check the series "What I Read" by different people in The Atlantic (scroll to the bottom of the page to see other links) http://goo.gl/xWUb