What is Twitter? Twitter is a free online messaging service or microblogging application. Twitter members post short text messages of other members to ready and respond to. Users choose whom to “follow” and receive updates from those members via the Twitter website, or one of the many third party Twitter desktop and mobile phone applications. Twitter communication is, by design, succinct – each Twitter message, or tweet, is limited to 140 characters. There are approximately two million active Twitter accounts.
Why do I want to Twitter? Twitter is a social networking tool for staying connects with friends, family, colleagues, organizations, or groups with like interests. You can also search all Twitter updates to see what the entire Twitter community is talking about. Twitter can also be a tremendous source for timely, constantly updated microcontent.
How do I set up a Twitter account?
- From your internet browser on your computer, go to http://www.twitter.com
- Click on the Join the Conversation button. Complete the registration information.
- Start tweeting!
- Optional – go to Settings and then click on the Account tab to enter information about yourself.
Once I’m in, what do I do? Use the Find People tab to look up Twitter members you may know and follow their tweets. Many institutions and organizations are also Twitter members – try looking them up as well. To post messages so that others at SUNY events can read your posts, add #COTEsummit to any message you want to share. To see what others are posting, go to the Search bar (in the navigation area on the right side of your Twitter stream) and search for #COTEsummit and you will see all the posts with this hashtag.
Do I have to use a computer? Mobile phones are an ideal Twitter platform. Once you’ve logged into your account, go to Settings and then Devices to link your mobile device to your twitter account.
What other software is available for Twitter? Although Twitter can be accessed via Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or any other internet browser, third party developers have created applications to improve and enhance the Twitter interface. Below is a list of some of the more popular Twitter apps:
Tweetdeck (mac & pc) – http://www.tweetdeck.com
Twhirl (mac & pc) – http://www.twhirl.org
Twitterific (mac) – http://www.mahalo.com/twitterific
Hootsuite (mac) – http://hootsuite.com
Seesmic Desktop – http://seesmic.com/
Twitpic – http://twitpic.com/ share photos to your twitter stream.
http://twitterfall.com/ – watch tweets fall.
http://twistori.com/ – cool first person visualization of Twitter that provides a dynamic stream of Tweets that include words such as love, hate, think, feel, believe, wish.
http://wefollow.com/– to find people to follow that share your interests.
http://twitter.com/mrtweet – to find people to follow that share your interests
What do these terms mean?
- Tweet – an individual Twitter post or message.
- @username – indicates a Twitter username. Used to direct a public post to an individual Twitter user, or to recognize a fellow Twitterer within a tweet by preceding it with the @ symbol.
- @reply – represents a Twitter username used to direct a public reply to a post to an individual.
- Retweet (RT) – resend a Twitter message from one person to the rest of your followers; this is a form or endorsement of the idea being shared and recognition of the original Twitterer.
- Direct message/direct reply (DM/DR) – a private tweet viewable only to the recipient.
- Tweetup – an in-person meeting of Twitterers, usually organized via Twitter.
- Hashtags or #tags – tweets can be tagged with # symbol and tag so that topics can be tracked, e.g., #suny09
- (Twitter) mob – a group of people who convene at a location after message(s) are posted to Twitter.
- Tweeple – people that Twitter. Variation Tweeps (Twitter Peeps)
- Twitterverse – the Twitter universe.
- Backchannel – the Twitter stream for a particular event.