How I Use Twitter


  • This page is meant to be referred to by 1) my current followers, 2) people considering whether or not to follow me, and 3) people who have seen something I have tweeted, so that they understand what behavior to expect from me on Twitter.
  • This page is also meant to be a reminder to me of what best-practices I've decided on, and why I decided on those particular behaviors.
  • This page is a work-in-progress.


  • I'm aiming to restrict the topics of my tweets to entrepreneurship, programming, finance, and mathematics (probably in that order of frequency, with few tweets on finance and mathematics).
    • Why:
      • Entrepreneurship: I've decided to focus my professional efforts on trying to create web apps that I can make money from, and so I'm interested in improving my abilities with that particular form of entrepreneurship, and will be (re)tweeting any interesting things I read on that topic.  At the moment I'm most interested in the "indie hacking" form of this (aka "bootstrapping"; that is, not taking outside investment), but I'm interested in being knowledgeable about the alternative (using outside investments).
      • Programming: I'm almost entirely interested in programming for its ability to create web apps I can make money from, and so I'll most likely be tweeting interesting things that would further that goal of mine.
      • Finance: My impression is that finance (specifically investment management) and entrepreneurship exist on a spectrum of styles of capital allocation, with entrepreneurship on the "actively-involved" side of the spectrum, and something like investment in the S&P 500 on the "passive" side of the spectrum.  I was considering going into investment management before I decided to focus on entrepreneurship instead.  So I probably won't be tweeting much about finance, but it is something I'm interested in staying knowledgeable about, and so I may tweet something interesting I read on occasion.
      • Mathematics: I'm almost entirely interested in mathematics for its practical uses: the ability to create models of the real world and then generate predictions based on those models.  My current understanding is that linear algebra, statistics, and probability are the most useful branches of mathematics to that end, so those are the topics I'm most likely to be (re)tweeting about.
  • I'm aiming to have my tweets have a high average quality of information.
  • I'm aiming to have my tweets usually present information that users wouldn't likely find elsewhere.
    • So, for example, I'm aiming to generally not retweet articles that are currently featured prominently on news websites, or are being retweeted by prominent tweeters.
    • I may make exceptions to retweet tweets that I think provide especially useful information that I'd especially like to remember myself.
  • I probably won't be tweeting frequently since I'd like to only tweet the most important stuff I come across.
  • I'm going to try to refrain from joking around.
    • Reasons:
      1. This seems to be a common way to offend/hurt someone.
      2. This seems to be a common way for a user to degrade the average quality of information coming from them.
    • This is a temporary policy. At some point I want to set aside some time to look at others' tweets and get a sense of how people can joke around without risking trouble and overly degrading the quality of my tweets.


  • I'm currently refraining from retweeting because I'm still relatively unknown and think it's more important that people who check out my profile get a sense of my personal voice.


  • Because my replies don't seem to be recommended to my followers as often as my "normal" tweets, I'm not going to hold my replies to the same bar as my "normal" tweets.
  • I may use this account in the future to make replies that are not likely to interest my followers.


  • Because tweets that I 'Like' don't seem to be promoted to my followers as much as in the past (or at all?), I'm not going to be too careful about only liking tweets that would pass the bar I have in place for my own tweets.

Direct Messages (DMs)

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  • Because I want to keep the content of my Twitter feed focused on high-quality (practical) information related to my professional interests, I am not going to follow people as readily as many other people on Twitter do.
    • I understand that it's possible to follow a large number of people and then use one or more 'Lists' to view tweets from just those users whose ideas you're actually interested in, but unfortunately it seems that Twitter's "Muted words" feature doesn't work with their "Lists" feature, and my experience has been that not having/using the "Muted words" feature significantly degrades the quality of a feed.
  • If someone is the kind of person I would normally follow (for example, an entrepreneur or knowledgeable programmer), but the content of their tweets is–on average–not of interest to me, I will refrain from following or unfollow that person.


  • My goal is to have a following of people who will help me in ways that are worth my investment of time into Twitter.
    • Types of help I think apply here:
      • Help staying motivated to work on my projects (my projects being web apps I hope to make money from).
      • Help with advice / recommendations / introductions from people I trust are knowledgeable.
      • Help promoting my projects.
        • For example, if someone with a large following tweets a recommendation of one of my web apps.
    • Types of followers I'm interested in having:
      • Other indie hackers
      • People interested in the types of web apps I create
      • People who are very thoughtful about what they say / give thoughtful advice / have interesting things to say
      • VCs / employees at venture capital firms

Muted words

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Paying for Twitter

  • My impression at the moment is that it's worth it for me to pay for Twitter, as I'm currently trying to increase my following by being a "reply guy" (i.e. focusing on replying to the tweets of people with more followers than me, in the hope that they or their followers will see my reply and decide to follow me as well).  To that end:
    • I suspect that the 'Verified' checkmark serves as a small signal of quality when I reply to a larger account.  To use a term from game theory, it seems that paying for Twitter is "differentially costly", meaning it's a relatively small expense for someone like me who takes Twitter fairly seriously, but a relatively large one for lots of other people, especially people who don't take Twitter particularly seriously and thus might be more likely to make careless / thoughtless comments.  So someone seeing a tweet from someone with the blue checkmark might subconsciously react to it with a gut feeling that there's a higher chance that the tweet is worth paying attention to than if the person didn't have the blue checkmark.
    • Tweets from paying users are apparently currently listed on top of those of unverified users, and so there's a degree to which even being "in the game" requires paying the fee, in the sense that my replies would have a far higher chance of not being seen if I didn't pay.