a peek inside the fishbowl

21 Apr, 2012

This pretty much sums it up

Posted by andrea tomkins in: The business of blogging

Yesterday I put my Twitter stream through Wordle. (Wordle is a way of generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently.)

This is what it came up with:

Wordle of my tweets (@missfish)

I’m still not sure how to interpret the results. Either I’m a very happy person or I don’t have anything substantial to say. Or both. Ha.

A lot of people pooh pooh Twitter. “I don’t want to know what someone had for lunch,” they argue. Well, I do. That lunch might be taking place at a great local restaurant, or it might be a fantastic recipe I hadn’t thought of before. And both things are important parts of my work, so yes, I want to know what you had for lunch!

Twitter – as a tool – has definitely been worth bringing into my arsenal. In fact, it’s been especially valuable lately. It’s helped us find a place to live during the renovation and helped me with my work. In fact, it’s been an integral part making connections with people, both on a personal and professional level. The trick is knowing how to use it effectively and not get sucked into the vortex. :)

Are you on Twitter? How is it working for you?


6 Responses to "This pretty much sums it up"

1 | TatianaDokuchic

April 21st, 2012 at 10:28 am


Great question! I love Twitter though I tend to be more of a lurker than a tweeter.

It’s fascinating how connections are made & amazing how much information is available. I find that I’m pretty picky about who I follow otherwise I’m likely to be overwhelmed.

I’ve got two accounts going and over the years I find that they are blurring into each other. Though it’s not as convenient as a single account would be I think it’s still worth having some separation between these two sides of me.

Still finding the right balance for my own tweets though I try not to worry about this too much (otherwise I would never tweet at all).

Looking forward to other responses here!

2 | lacoop

April 21st, 2012 at 7:15 pm


I’ve only started using Twitter recently. I refused initially for the type of reason you said: who cares about some mundane thoughts from someone you hardly know (or even if you do know them). But I must admit, I am beginning to find some value…it is different…almost a live stream of things happening everywhere. I’ll stay with it for now.

3 | Veronique

April 21st, 2012 at 9:32 pm


I use Twitter to follow more than to be followed. I am on mat leave from the House of Commons where I work as a staffer so I follow a gaggle of political journalists to keep on top of the real-goings-on of Ottawa.

I also use Twitter to advertise my blog posts to my, er, 37 followers… It’s a work in progress! Seeing how other bloggers use Twitter I can see the potential but it’s not a skill I have developed.

And Twitter saved my sanity in the last month of my twin pregnancy… 140 char was all my brain could process on any single issue. On bed rest with my iPhone, I felt like I was almost part of the action!

4 | andrea

April 22nd, 2012 at 8:16 am


Twitter is different things to different people, and people use it in different ways. I think it’s important to think of it as a tool or a means to an end.

Ask yourself what you want to get out of it, and why. The ability to create lists (thus filter the noise) in Twitter is a big part of its success.

– Are you a news junkie? Subscribe to the twitter feeds of news outlets and people “in the know.” News always breaks on Twitter first

– Are you community oriented? Find and follow active voices in your community.

– Do you have a different kind of niche interest? i.e. sports, food, parenting, music? Find the people tweeting about your shared interests and create a list.

Those are all ways of using Twitter as a “listening” tool, but you can also use it as broadcasting tool. Like you Veronique, I also use it to advertise new blog posts to my followers, but I think it’s important to maintain a good ratio of listening, sharing and horn tooting. Be a good Twitter citizen and people will follow! :)

5 | Kathleen

April 22nd, 2012 at 11:52 am


Ahhh Twitter. I was reluctant at first. But now I love it.

When I’m trying to get in touch with someone for an interview, Twitter is a big help. Or if there’s a community meeting I can’t attend but I want to hear about, Twitter fills me in. Advertising blog posts or community events is also fun on twitter. It’s always a surprise to see what will and won’t get re-tweeted.

And I’m personally interested in cycling news from cities all over North America — so Twitter’s a great source of information that would be hard to find otherwise.

6 | Iain Robson

April 24th, 2012 at 5:52 am


I started using Twitter about a year ago. I created my twitter account of @ipjrobson with a professional mindset. I useTwitter primarily for networking with the eventual possibility of finding a Full Time Permanent job in Ottawa. However, over time I found that Ottawa wasn’t the most pro tech city, well that is the way it seems to me at times. Therefore, it seems that finding a job via twitter is a little more unlikely though not impossible.

When I started this adventure I didn’t have a clear image as to what I was heading to, but over time the image has become clearer.

In addition, I use Twitter as a tool to let people know about my website. The reason I do this is for my blogs, or newly started podcast in the hopes that it will lead to some job opportunity. One of the funny things that I noticed though was the fact that one shouldn’t really come out and say that one is looking for a job while currently in job. On the other hand, it only seems to be the case when the company is tech savvy i.e monitoring what their employees say on their social media channels.

Anyways I am going to stop before a comment turns into a blog.

Great blog post Andrea.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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