Thursday, April 09, 2009

Twitter 101 - For Beginner

Seven easy steps to understanding Twitter by Allan Hoffman via

Step 1: Visit Twitter and sign up for an account. Choose your real name, if it's available -- many have already been taken. If you own a business, try to grab your business's name, too. Good luck.

Step 2: Now's the point where you will become completely confused. You're "on Twitter," but what's next? Bear with me. Before you allow your fingers to issue tweets, you want to see how others behave on Twitter. Go to This is the Twitter page for author Steven Johnson. To avoid being overwhelmed, just read a few of Johnson's posts. As you will notice, he is closing in on 300,000 followers -- essentially people who have chosen to follow his tweets. If you would like to read Johnson's posts -- "follow," in Twitter slang -- you would select the "follow" button.

Step 3: Next, you need to find other people to follow, even if it's just to observe other Twitterers in action. Ideally, these will be people you know, but you might also follow companies, news operations or even celebrities; visit Twitterholic, and you will find popular people and organizations on Twitter, from Whole Foods to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Once you're following a variety of Twitterers, you'll notice that their messages will all be mixed together in a stream of tweets when you've signed on to Twitter. A post from a pop star about her latest exploits may appear next to one about your buddy's very delicious onion bagel. By following a variety of Twitterers, you're able to get a sense of what's happening in their lives through their regular, bite-sized updates.

Step 4: Now it's your turn. Say something on Twitter -- an amusing observation, where you're having lunch, anything. To do this, type your message into the empty text box, under "What are you doing?" Then press "update." No one is following you, and so no harm can be done.

Step 5: Sending a tweet from a mobile phone with text-messaging capabilities can be a bit more complicated, as you have a couple of options. One option involves selecting the Settings tab at Twitter, adding your phone as a device for using Twitter and then sending the post to a special text-messaging number; you will need to follow Twitter's instructions to do this, and also be aware that you may incur charges for text messaging on your phone. If you have a "smart phone," like a BlackBerry or an iPhone, then you probably will want to use a special Twitter application for your phone. These tools, such as TwitterBerry for the BlackBerry and Twitterrific for the iPhone, make it easier and less cumbersome to use Twitter when you're away from your computer.

Step 6: If you're feeling brave, reply to someone else's tweet. You do this by typing the @ sign, followed by the person's username -- as in @username -- and then your message. Just note: Everyone who follows you will see that message. You can send a direct message to another Twitterer by typing the letter "d," followed by the person's name, as in: d username.

Step 7: And what's next for you? Run in horror? Join the fray? Maybe do the first, then concede you'll eventually opt for the latter.


2A 2G2E // ΑΩ 40D A40 adidas Aerial Android Angels Armin van Buuren Atlanta B/W Baseball BBQ Beach beBe Beer Big Bear Big2 Bike Birthdays BK BlackBerry Blog Boarding Bohol Bomi Bon Voyage Book C'est la Vie Calico Camping Cancun Canon 10D Canon 30D Canon 40D Canon G2 Canon IXUS Carlsbad Catalina Charlotte Chicago Christmas Contax Aria Crab Creative Dale Carnegie Dallas Diana Krall DMC Dodgers Dogs Dolphin DORA Doraemon Drawing Driver Selfie Family Flowers France Fremont Fresno Friends Fukuoka Gear Germany Golf Google GoPro Graduation Grand Canyon Guatemala Haleakalā National Park Half Moon Bay Halloween Harajuku Hawaii Hollywood Bowl Home Houston Hymn iPad iPhone Isla Socorro Jacksonville JaClub Japan Kendo/Kumdo Kids Korea Lake Elsinore LaLaDang Las Vegas Laughlin Leica R3 Live Photo Lobster Lomo Los Angeles Lupin Mac/Tech/Gadget Macro Mammoth Manta Maui Melodic Progressive Mexico Mix Moleskine Molokini Crater Movie Music Musical Napa Nephew New Year New York Niece Nikon Nikon Coolpix Nikon D40 Nikon D70 North Shore NRA O'ahu OAL Oceanside Olympics Olympus TG-4 Olympus u-10 Onsen Orlando Oxnard OZ Palm Springs Panasonic Lumix Panglao Pantages Paris Pechanga Pentax PewPew Philippines Phoenix Photo 2002 Photo 2003 Photo 2004 Photo 2005 Photo 2006 Photo 2007 Photo 2008 Photo 2009 Photoblog Photography Picnic Powder PSD Quote Rain Rainbow Redondo Ro Roppongi Ryu Salt Lake City San Clemente San Diego San Francisco San Jose Santa Barbara Screenshot Scuba Seafood Seattle Seiko Shark Shibuya Shinjuku Silent Disco Singapore SKY june Snorkle Snow Sofitel Solvang Sonoma Sony DSC-W100 Spain TBT Tiesto Tokyo Trance Turtle Twin Falls Twitter UK Uni Valentine Vancouver via Flickr Video Waikiki Wedding Wine World Cup XOXO Yashica Yosemite Yufuin