Twitter 101, Day 1.

By 20/01/2009Twitter

So I seem to be coming across the questions Virgin Twitterers are asking – how does this work, what do I do, what’s it all about e.t.c.

So this is day 1 of Twitter School.

1) What the funk is twitter?
Twitter is a social messaging and status system.  It allows you to post short updates about what you’re upto, what you’ve seen that’s cool, and what you think about various subjects.

2) What’s the point?  I’ve got Facebospace?
Twitter is a little different MyFaceBo, in that its entirely focused on short updates.  No adding tonnes of crap to your page, you just post text, pictures and links upto 140 characters in length.  Think of it like organising a night out with a Group of Friends.  Everyone can input their thoughts into the ‘cloud’ and you might get a solution, idea or way forward drop out.  Try it – its addictive.

3) OK, so where do I start?
Well, first off, get yourself a twitter account.  Goto and sign up.

4) I’ve done that, what next?
First off, post a few tweets about what you’re upto.  

5) I don’t know what to tweet about?
Well, first off,  follow a few people to see what they do.  The best approach is to lurk around for a few days and see what gets written, you’ll get the idea. 

6) So, who do I follow?
If you’ve got friends on Twitter, why not add them?  Billy No Mates?  Well, add a few celebrities instead.   Some examples: @wossy (Jonathon Ross, @stephenfry, @scofe (Phil Schofield).  

7) So how do I add a friend?
Two easy ways – either find them on the twitter website by doing a search or entering their twitter address ( – e.g.

OR, in the Text box, type follow user

8) Cool, I can talk to all my favourite celebrities.
Well, maybe.   Bear in mind that some celebs have tens of thousands of followers.  Every comment and thought is massively commented and replied to. Chances are, your tweet will get ignored and get consigned to the bowels of history.  You might get lucky, but don’t join twitter just for this.  Join it to give the world an insight into your thoughts, rather than an MSN Messenger type service.  Nothing is more tedious than a page full of @ tweets.  If however you wish to proceed with this foolhardy quest for glory, a ‘public’ message to someone is posted ‘@username I love you and want to stalk you’.    You can also private message them with a D username, however this should be discouraged as far as possible, as this negates the point of a social messaging site.

9) How will I know if my favourite celebrity has replied to me? 
Well, you’ll see a message back from them saying something like “@yourusername: wow, you really rock and we should meet at the Ivy to discuss this further”.  Well, you can party like its 2099.

10) This seems OK, but its a bit annoying having to sit at my computer.
Well, Good News Everyone!  You don’t!    You can tweet from your Mobile/iPhone/CrackBerry/WinMo e.t.c e.t.c. e.t.c.  You can also get applications for your PC which can improve your experience.   Just google ‘twitter platform’ and see what comes up.  You can also see what other users use in their tweets, using the ‘from field’.

My favorite is tweetdeck.  It’s an Adobe Air application (you don’t need to worry), but its a Desktop Application.  You get the tweet window at the top with the commands.  Your tweets in one column,  your direct messages and other replies.  You can also see the most popular topics on Twitter right now with twitscoop and have ‘saved searches’ to see if anyone is twittering about your favourite subject.


And here endeth todays lesson.  Join me for more lessons soon.

Author verdegemn

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