Twitter Guide for Newbies
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a microblogging community. In other words, imagine sending out a text message to 2 people. Or 200 people. or 2,000 people. Now imagine being able to follow the text messages of the same amount of people as well. All these people interact with one another in a real-time environment. You get to see everything that is happening in the world first-hand, free of the bias and filtering of traditional channels. That is Twitter.
For more – Check out this slideshow for Twitter for Beginners from Paul Bradshaw.
Who is using Twitter?
As it emerged, twitter became home to technologists and first-adopters eager to use the latest and greatest in web 2.0 technology. As is such, a lot of twittterers are quasi-geeks like me or New Media Douchebags seeking a medium to market their goods! But as Twitter has gained traction, users beyond the technology sphere have begun to adopt twitter as well.
Now it’s not just everyday people like you guys buying into the Twitter phenomenon. Corporations, realizing that they actually need to engage their stakeholders in this day-and-age, have jumped on the bandwagon as well. You can follow some of these guys at @starbucks, @wholefoods, @comcastcares, and many more.
Why use Twitter?
Some use twitter simply to see what is going on in the world in real-time. Whether it’s with global news, activities within companies or industries, or in their own personal and business networks. Others use it as a means of mass-communication, as it enables them to communicate to a broad spectrum of people rather than going about the tedious task of relaying the same message individually. Even more use Twitter for branding purposes, whether it is to push their companies or personal agenda. Other uses include marketing, reputation-management, or simply personal use with the doctrine of continuously telling the world how you feel, 140 characters at a time.
Significant News Events I have followed on Twitter
- Student ‘twitters’ his way out of Egyptian Jail. (link) – A journalist sends out a 2-word twitter message, “in jail”, right before his arrest. The message spreads virally through the network until it reaches someone who can get him out.
- Newark Airline crash survivor twitters “Holy Fucking Shit I Was Just In A Plane Crash!” to break the news that Continental airlines 737 had slid off the runway in Denver.
- Following the Pirate Bay Copyright Trial on Twitter with real-time accounts from inside the courtroom through the Pirate Bay Founders & defendants. #spectrial on twitter.com
What you need to do to get on Twitter and join the conversation
1. Join Twitter here. Make sure to use an interesting username or use your original name. Whatever it is, make sure it suits your purpose for how you want to use twitter.
2. Establish your twitter feed by following those you already know. Join in on as many conversations as you can. A helpful tip would be to go to Twitter’s search function and putting in keywords about your industry, company, hobbies, or anything else that you’re interested in. Follow some of those people also. The rest will take care of itself.
3. Make sure you go into your personal settings on Twitter so that you can route Tweets to your email inbox and/or cell phone. Real-time connectivity is crucial in enjoying this medium of communication. You may even want to consider downloading a desktop client such as Thwirl if you spend vast amounts of time in front of your laptop, Mac, or PC.
4. Enjoy Twitter! It is what you make it. And I promise you that this medium is only going to grow more prevalent. Get in early before it hits critical mass. Before long, you will become a Twitterholic and you too can tell you friends how to use twitter!
Comprehensive Guide to Using Twitter
For those who need instructions on how to use Twitter, go to The Ultimate Guide for Everything Twitter, it’s the most comprehensive Twitter Guide currently on the net and will tell you everything you need to know.
Want more info? Check out the following articles for more information on Twitter and its many uses
- Techcrunch: The Top 21 Twitter Applications (According to Compete)
- ESPN: A Tweet You can Believe In
- Twitterism: Profiling the People who use Twitter
- Howard Lindzon: Twitter Fills the Tank, But Continues Handing Out Long ‘FREE’ Straws!
- Marketing Pilgrim: 20% of Young Americans have Tweeted
- Smashing Machine: 8 Tips for Becomign Succesful with Twitter