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Thursday, March 10, 2011
Pleased to Tweet You: Gluten-Free Fun
Last week, I was honored to be featured in the NFCA's Celiac Central March Newsletter. They have a relatively new featured called "Pleased to Tweet You" which features a prominent gluten-free "Tweeter". For those of you unfamiliar with the social networking site Twitter, a "Tweeter" is someone that posts regularly on the website via "tweets" which are brief 140-character conversations.

I was very late to the Twitter game and only joined at the end of September 2010 after being convinced by Dan of Renegade Kitchen and Jill of Glow Gluten-Free that this was THE tool to use on the Internet. They were 100% correct. In only one month of using Twitter, my blog readership jumped by more than 50% and my Facebook fan page nearly doubled in size. Clearly I had a been missing out on an entire gluten-free audience that I never knew about before joining Twitter.

Since September, I have connected with some really amazing gluten-free people and companies. I even attended the awesome Food Fete event last week that I had no clue about before reading a post on Twitter. For those of you bloggers or readers not on Twitter, I suggest you join today. I was afraid to get sucked into another social media website, but this is really an amazing and powerful tool. There are lots of symbols and abbreviations like @, #, and #FF that take some time getting used to, but you will quickly get the hang of it. Hopefully you will realize, like I did, that there is a wealth of information that can be expressed in 140 characters or less.

Here is my "Pleased to Tweet You" interview that I did with Cheryl of the NFCA last week. You can also find it on the NFCA's Celiac Central March Newsletter page.

Gluten-Free Fun on Twitter

Pleased to Tweet You

Each month, "Pleased to Tweet You" will highlight an individual who chatted with @CeliacAwareness on Twitter. If you’d like to be featured, follow @CeliacAwareness and say hello!

Name: Erin Smith

Find her on Twitter: @gfreefun

Tweeting since: September 2010

1. How long have you been gluten-free?
I was diagnosed with celiac disease as a toddler in 1981 so I am celebrating 30 years of being gluten-free this year!! I like to think of myself as a Celiac Disease veteran.

2. What do you like to tweet about (events, recipes, news articles, etc.)?
Every morning, I tweet about my daily blog postings on Gluten-Free Fun (which has been around since January 2007). Throughout the day, I tweet about interesting gluten-free articles and blogs I read, gluten-free events, and also general tweets to friends I have made on Twitter. As the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, I also tweet about all of our upcoming events.

3. Why do you follow NFCA (@CeliacAwareness)?
Besides thinking the staff of NFCA are all awesome, I think the materials that the NFCA provides free-of-charge on their website are really outstanding and thorough. Whenever @CeliacAwarness posts a new tweet, I go directly to the website to learn more. I can spend hours on the NFCA website looking at the both educational and entertaining materials including gluten-free tax tips, fun videos like “Sex and the Celiac,” recent celiac disease news items, and upcoming events.

4. What's your favorite gluten-free dish?
I have so many gluten-free favorites, so this is a tough question. I love to cook but lately two of my favorites are Gluten-Free Bisquick Bacon Pie and homemade gluten-free lasagna. When I go out to eat in NYC, I love the Nutella galette at Bar Breton, the socca at Nizza NYC, and the nachos at Heartland Brewery Midtown West.

5. What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do before going gluten-free?
Since I was diagnosed with celiac disease at such a young age, I don’t know anything else other than being gluten-free. Over the past few years, I have accepted my disease more than ever before and I am much more open to actually talking about having celiac disease. I used to be embarrassed and not want other people to know why I was avoiding eating in social settings, why I had different bread, etc. In the past 5 or 6 years, I have fully embraced my gluten-free lifestyle so I spend more time being an advocate for celiac disease rather than being embarrassed and hiding who I am.

6. In 140 characters or less, why should others join the gluten-free community on Twitter?
The gf community on Twitter is knowledgeable, passionate, and a great support system. I love "meeting" new people every day!

* Erin’s blog, Gluten-Free Fun, is in the running for Women’s Health "Blogs We Love" 2011. Learn how you can help her get noticed and spread the gluten-free message.

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