Twitter 101

It seems as if “everyone” is tweeting today! What is it and how can you get involved? “Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Registered users can read and post tweets but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through the website interface, SMS, or mobile device app.[10] Twitter Inc. is based in San Francisco and has offices in New York City, Boston, and San Antonio.” (Thanks to Wiki for the definition).

For many twitter can serve as a professional learning network, and allows for quick news items, and immediate sharing with out the time of putting together an entire blog posting. Many refer to it as micro-blogging, or 140 character tidbits to share links, pictures, media and information.

How to Sign up for a  Twitter account

1. Go to https://twitter.com/
2. Fill out the “New to Twitter, Sign Up” box including your name, email and password.
3. Click the sign up button.
4. The next page will allow you to choose a unique username.
5. Check all information in the boxes, and “Create my  Account”
6. Check email for confirmation to access account!

Terminology

Tweet: The message you post. Twitter has limited the length of tweets to under 140 characters, so you must be direct and to the point.

Follower: A follower is someone that you are connected to on twitter. They can see your updates, and if you follow them, you can see theirs.

Retweet: Used when someone would like to share what you said to their own followers. RT @username is what it will look like.

Mention: To tweet with another person, you can either send a direct message or mention them in your tweet so others can also see. In order to mention someone, you will place an @ (at) sign before the person’s username.

DM: Direct Messaging, or private messages that are not posted online or searchable.

Hashtag: A keyword or phrase that has a # (pound) symbol before it. It organizes hastags together all in one feed for exploration of a single topic.

The biggest tip for twitter that I can give someone is take some time to explore people on twitter, follow similar people who you may not know, professionals in the field and specialists from other states! You never know when you might learn something from someone else that would be useful in your own programming.  This provides a snapshot of what twitter is, but more information will be added continually. Keep checking back for twitter posts!

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