Ok, Allison your friendly twit here to help you out with a little twitter history, how-to, and some helpful tips! You’ll be tweeting in no time! (Follow me on twitter @allisonrockey)
Confession: I was a full-blown twitter skeptic. My initial response was not just turning my nose up, it was full on disgust. I thought it seemed like the most narcissistic Web 2.0 creation yet! You want me to periodically answer the question, “what are you doing?” throughout the day, as if anyone would care what I am doing in my mundane life…
So being a narcissist at heart I tried it!
To my shock, my twitter addiction came not from having a platform to talk (though I do love that) but it was what I was learning from others. Great websites, the latest news, all just a click away. In so many ways it was as if I had internet elves combing the vast internet for the simple treasures and bringing them back for me!
In a nutshell, Twitter at its beginning was used primarily as a way for people to send text messages to all of their friends to let them know what they were up to. By sending a text message from their cell phone, all of their twitter followers would be updated with a text message being send to their cell phones. This is still possible but fewer people use it this way and more use it now on the computer.
You’re No One if You’re Not on Twitter
by Ben Walker (@ihatemornings)
By following news organizations, journalists, politicians, and your savvy friends you will be the first to know EVERYTHING!
Did you know that the L.A. earthquake was being tweeted (discussed on twitter) 15 minutes before the Associated Press reported there was an earthquake! I rarely see anything on the nightly news that I did not already read on twitter that day.
Getting Started: Twitter how-to
Simply go to Twitter.com
and set up an account. It is free, easy and only takes a few minutes.
Be sure to keep your account public, unless you have a REALLY good reason to have your account set to private, it pretty much defeats most of the purpose and makes it more difficult for people to follow you.
Be sure to write a brief bio, it gives people a reason to follow you and a bit of credibility.
Following vs Followers…
Following are the people’s updates you are receiving, your followers are receiving your updates (which are most generally called tweets). Twitter can search your address book to show you which of your friends are on twitter, and will now suggest some people to follow. A great way to find interesting people to follow is when you find someone you enjoy their tweets, simply click on who they are following and pick some interesting ones to follow.
There are two ways to communicate with others on twitter. The public reply, which will show up in your tweet stream, and the direct message which is private and can almost be thought of as a direct email between two people that no one else can see. You can send public replies to anyone. You must both be following each other to sending a direct message.
Perfecting the tweet
What makes a good twitter user? Why should anyone follow you? Here are some quick tips:
1) Be concise (you only have 140 characters to get your point across)
2) Be relevant
3) Be clever
4) Cater to a niche, you are an expert on something, so tell us about!
5) Pass on other interesting tweets by re-tweeting their posts, but be sure to add your own spin.
6) Be current! People want to know what you are doing now, so write in the present tense, watching a beautiful sunset is more interesting that watched a beautiful sunset 30 minutes ago.
7) Twitter is not a one-way street, engage, reply to others, and make connections.
8) When you do a public reply, add extra details so we know what you are talking about even if we did not see what you are replying to.
Twitter terms and symbols
- @username will show up alot! This is when people are sending a public reply to others.
- RT @username: This is when someone likes a tweet from some else and they want to share it with their followers by retweeting it. Nice way to give credit to those you follow and share the interesting tidbits.
- Following the people whose updates you are receiving
- Followers the people who are receiving your updates
- Twitterverse: The sphere of twitter, also called twitterville.
- Tweet an update.
- Twirt nickname for flirting on twitter :)
- #topprog– You will notice on twitter people using a # followed by some letters. This is a hashtag. These are a quick way to have a searchable comment for others on the same topic. One example while the tv show Top Chef was on, people watching it would comment and include #topchef then you could easily see comments by people you are not following but were also watching the show. #topprog is for progressive topics, there are many hashtags and are user generated.
I hope this helps! Find me on twitter and I happy to show you around.
Happy tweeting all!