Twitter


Twitter - www.twitter.com - is the most well-known and popular micro-updating tool. It is a public service so anyone can join up. Micro-updates, known as "tweets" are by default publically visible, although in reality they will probably only be read by those who follow you. You can however, protect your tweets so only people you approve can follow you and receive your tweets.
There are hundreds of 3rd party applications that extend the core functionality of Twitter. Twitter can be used on the web, or via a desktop client like Tweetdeck or Twhirl, or on the iPhone or Blackberry. Many social networking platforms like Facebook, Ning and Elgg allow you to read in your tweets and/or send out tweets.


Here is a video introducing you to Twitter and the basics of how it works







Twitter Basics
  • Setting up an Account
  • Following - when you sign up for an account you can find people to follow. When you follow someone on a platform like Twitter, you can read their "tweets". Twitter is different than Facebook though, you can follow whoever you like without them having to "friend" you. In this way, you are able to keep up with experts in a field that you are interested in learning more about. For example, if you wanted to learn more about programming and coding, you may want to follow Victor Miclovich (@vicmiclovich) in Uganda. Victor is founder of Coders without Borders.
  • Sharing Messages - Microblogging platforms are social media platforms and can be very valuable tools. But there are a few basic rules you should know about.
    • "Retweeting" - if you use Twitter and want to post a message you read from someone else, make sure you give them credit for the post by using "RT" to start off your message. Here's an example - RT @dorothyooko: The Future of Mobile in Africa http://bit.ly/ck0pMD (via @mtotowajirani) Notice that @vicmiclovich who retweeted this post, also gave the source of where he got the tweet - (via @mtotowajirani).
    • Replies - to reply you put the @ symbol and the person's Twitter name - "@vicmiclovich"
    • Direct Messages - you can only send direct, private messages to people who follow you. To send a "DM" you would write "D" and the person's Twitter name like this "D vicmiclovich"

  • Hashtags
Hashtags are used to follow a topic on Twitter. If you want to follow everything that is being said about Kenya on Twitter you can search for #kenya. Then you will see everytime someone writes about Kenya on Twitter and they include the #. This is a powerful tool for seeing "trending topics". Often people will add a # hashtag when they are having a conference so that people can follow the "backchannel" dialogue that is taking place. There are even places online where you can define a hashtag so that others will know what you are talking about. For more info on # Hashtags** see the Mashable guide- http://mashable.com/2009/05/17/twitter-hashtags/


Find a complete Twitter guide look here on Mashable: http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

For a quick guide to Twitter terms - http://mashable.com/2008/11/15/twitterspeak/