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09th Jan 2011

Twitter Basics I – (For Jerry Saltz)


Here is basic information about Twitter, especially for you, which answers most of your questions thus far.

Social media is all about sharing and being friendly, plus making new connections. So I am blogging this information, which is really a kind of letter to you, so it can also be useful for other artists like me, and also other art critics,  art bloggers, curators, galleries and museums.  Plus, people who have nothing to do with art at all (a shame) can also benefit.

A blog can be understood as a long form Tweet or Facebook update, I guess.

I.D. Name and Avatar

You already have a Twitter ID @jerrysaltz and an avatar.

Your avatar is OK, but you would be better served by a close up of your smiling face. The photo of you and President Clinton is great for Facebook, but your faces end up being very small and I suspect hard for many people to distinguish on a large screen (I am using such) and possibly impossible on a hand held device. The best Twitter avatar is a smiling face (photo or portrait or a recognizable logo (Dove, Ford, Starbucks) or artwork (i.e., van Gogh could use his sunflowers and Picasso’s Don Quixote’s abound as avatars (even though this breaks Twitter’s rules).

Today on Twitter you asked about using a pseudonym. Some entertainment celebrities, especially actors and musicians do this, especially those who have been Twitter members for a while. My rule of thumb is that if a person is so popular outside of social media that a million raving stand-out-in-the-rain for tickets fans will hunt them down whatever their name and follow them, then use a pseudonym. Otherwise use a name that means you , like @jerrysaltz. The exception would be if a person had a really long name, and that is best abbreviated, or use an unusual first name, like mine.

Social Media is, well, social. How social is it when a person hides behind a pseudonym? The art magazines, bloggers and artists here tend not to do that. I see no benefit for you as you are on Twitter, as on Facebook to make your ideas known and promote a dialogue.

However, it is important that you Verify your ID! You can easily do this for free at valebrity.com as you are a celebrity as an author and critic. Do this for the sake of your fans and friends who want to follow the real Jerry Saltz as you already have several imposters or Fakes. Report the imposters to Twitter, but the best action is simply to verify your account. I have had several imposters. Now that I am about to announce another good artist who is working according to the tenets of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch of UnGraven Image, it is real I am starting a movement. Meeting other artists and encouraging others join in Post Conceptual art making is one of the reasons I ventured onto Social Media, so this is an achievement for me. I am going to have to get my account verified, too. Jerry, you are already well known and respected. Please get your account verified.

A Tweet by Any Other Name Would Still Only Have 140 Characters

Every message we tweet is limited to no more than 140 characters. However, if you hope that you’re Tweet will be ReTweeted (RT) keep it to 120 characters or less. (More on RTs below).

On Twitter is is usually imperative to shorten links so the Tweet can remain under 140 characters—and again, better yet under 120.

For example, h ere is a message you posted on Facebook about your wife’s article: “A 2200-word article on the State of MoMA by Roberta Smith in Sunday’s January 2, 2011 ‘Arts & Leisure.’ – “Hold That Obit; MoMA’s Not Dead.” (Perhaps I will try to get Roberta to come on here in a few days to answer any questions, queries, contradictions, or disagreements.) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/arts/design/02moma.html

Here is a Twitterfied version: “Hold That Obit; MoMA’s Not Dead.” By Roberta Smith NYT : SEE : http://is.gd/krUEC

Here are some links to link shorteners. All are free.

http://is.gd – the absolute shortest links




Reaching Eyes Minds and Hearts – Expanding Your Influence

Jerry, I recognize that one of your goals is to introduce more people to art, including Contemporary Art. We share that goal in life and on Social Media. Therefore, I want to help you expand your influence.

Here are the ways your tweets can reach people on Twitter:


Potentially everyone who follows you sees your Tweets in their Twitter Timeline (stream). However, it is believed that at most only 10% of our followers are online at any given time. This can vary due to days of the week and times of the day. Yet, like Facebook we can scroll down (means back) to see any Tweets that we missed.


The surefire way to reach someone is to specifically send them a Tweet. You can do this to anyone, including people who do not follow you. For instance if I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your Tweet and link to Roberta Smith’s article, I would Tweet: @jerrysaltz TY for that link to the NYT article on MoMA by Roberta Smith. Great read!”

Everyone who follows me would potentially see my tweet to you, plus anyone who follows any list that I am on (more on lists below).


If I was being really a pal – plus I believed that the people who follow me would benefit from reading Roberta Smith’s article, I would RT it like this, “RT @jerrysaltz Hold That Obit; MoMA’s Not Dead.” By Roberta Smith NYT : SEE : http://is.gd/krUEC

You might also see this RT of mine in your timeline. You can always see what tweets of yours were RTed and by whom by checking the “ReTweets” link, which can be found in the sidebar of Old Twitter and at the top, under “What’s Happening” in New Twitter.

By RTing your Tweet I both give you the best exposure and promote your link. A ReTweet is a kind of testimonial. As I write this my Twitter stat is that I have 221,963 followers. So, at 10% your Twitter ID presence and link would be shared with 22, 196 people. Certainly, not all are as fascinated with art and MoMA as we are, but the exposure is broadened.

I RT often.  A Twitter stream (or Facebook stream) is like having one’s own broadcast channel or magazine. A RT gives the channel programming or articles for free. Plus, doing this is considered friendly by those we RT!

RT when someone says something that you wish to share with your followers. An RT can be understood as a kind of introduction, also. However, you will find that some people will ask for RTs to promote themselves, or their stuff. Other people will RT a comment of yours just to get your attention and in hope that you will RT them back. When you RT someone back you say “thanks” is a meaningful way, plus you get more exposure for your own original Tweet and link.

Here is what a RT back from you would look like: “RT @judyrey RT @jerrysaltz Hold That Obit; MoMA’s Not Dead.” By Roberta Smith NYT  SEE : http://is.gd/krUEC ” Such a RT from you would be a kind of friendly testimonial for my Twitter presence from you, which generally encourages others to RT again.

Also, one of my followers could also like the article (or hope for a RT from me or you) and RT my RT. That might also get a RT from me or someone else. Here is what it would look like if @ MuseumModernArt saw my Tweet and RTed it and then I RTed them (which I certainly would do!) : “RT @ MuseumModernArt RT @judyrey RT @jerrysaltz Hold That Obit; MoMA’s Not Dead.” By Roberta Smith NYT : SEE : http://is.gd/krUEC ” Notice that since the original Tweet was short, this is doable as the tweet is still 9 characters under the 140 limit.


This # is a hashtag symbol. I did not know this before Twitter. We use #’s to create a discussion that can include anyone, whether or not we follow each other. A recent and somewhat continuing Twitter art # is #rank. Ed Winkelman ( @WinklemanNYC ) fostered a great discussion under one called #class.

Hashtags allow us to carry on a discussion much the way we can on Facebook—only via Twitter the discussion can reach more people. In Twitter’s Search simply type in the #, such as #workofart to see all the previous tweets using the tag.

When the first season of Bravo’s Work of Art aired, we had a Tweetup during each episode under #workofart. The #workofart continues to be used, but this is possibly because many Twitterers do not understand how to use hashtags. There will also always be spammers who see a # is popular and use it to spam their stuff.

I fully hope and expect that his next season we will again gather on Twitter to discuss #workofart as it is broadcast.

By the way, Twitter ID’s cannot have #’s in them. No one is @#workofart.

The potential for reaching people using an agreed upon # is limited only by the number of Twitter members, but in reality comes down to the number of people who know about the specific # and are interested. However, this does grow as whenever anyone tweets using a # their followers do see the tweet and thus the #, and can become interested. During #workofart, my own tweets that included the # inspired comments from my followers who then followed the tag, plus we had some interesting conversations without the tag about art.

More to Come

We have some more basics that will help you increase your influence on Twitter, plus make Twitter fun. Still to come this week, in Part 2 we will cover how to use lists, whether to follow back, favorites, Direct messages, and also how to optimize the set up of your profile page and preferences . Plus, more about tweeting itself, some basic do’s and don’ts that are similar but not fully the same as on Facebook.

I hope that this helps you and others. I am very much looking forward to your active Twitter presence!

But now, I need to go work on some art…

Judy Rey Wasserman

After reading this post Jerry Saltz Tweeted the following, “@Judy Rey Wasserman: I <3 you. How do I “follow?” Get “followers?” Retweet? What is an avatar? valebrity.com; “verify yr account; timeline?”

Thanks Jerry for the compliment.  I didn’t spend much time on Twitter today, so tonight while I worked on some original digital Post Conceptual  art (the new $10 bill) I took breaks catching up on missed tweets in various timelines  including yours.  Timeline means any line or stream of Tweets.

The Twitter timeline  for the next five minutes would be all of the tweets from everyone who is tweeting during that time period.  Your timeline for that period would be all the tweets from the people who you follow during that time span.  However, when someone tells you that they looked at your timeline, they mean they read through your prior tweets, but probably only the recent ones.

I did not see your tweet to me because every tweet had to me sent to the exact Twitter ID. Mine is @judyrey  Although you are correct that Rey is my middle name, on Twitter I do not separate them.  By the way, my friends call me Judy Rey or Rey, never Judy.

An avatar is your profile picture. So actually your avatar is currently you and Bill Clinton.

I am assuming you are attempting to validate your account with validity.com I just sent them a DM in addition to the email I sent them yesterday about you.  Their instructions indicate that you can also have your agent or management team simply email them with your Twitter (and if you wish Facebook) account information.

We are really going to get into the subject of How to Follow in the next installment. Briefly, you can click on anyone’s Twitter name  (their version of @JerrySaltz ) or avatar, which will take you to their profile page.  Using Old Twitter, right under their Avatar photo (which appears larger than it does in the timeline) you will see a button that allows you to follow them.  Using new Twitter, once you reach their profile page there is a big green button that says “follow”.  I strongly caution you not to follow anyone, except people you already know and trust until the next installment of this blog covers more information for you.

The next installment will also cover how to get followers. However, I suggest that you message all your Facebook accounts, and fan page to announce that you are now on Twitter. Cut and paste this link in that message to make it easy for people to follow you:  @jerrysaltz

To simply ReTweet someone’s message move your avatar over the right lower corner of the tweet. Two words appear: “Reply” and “Retweet”.   To Retweet simply click the Retweet button.  To reply specifically to that person click the reply button, but understand that  everyone who follows you or just finds and looks at your timeline can see this tweet, and it can even appear on Google searches. There is no privacy ever in a regular tweet.

Actually, I think you are doing well for a newbie on Twitter.  You are interacting and being yourself.

OK, I’m going back to making money as art. Of course, money is always art. So, I guess everyone is a kind of art collector, and all of us carry a kind of traveling art show with us in our pockets, wallets, or purses almost everywhere we go.


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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

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