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Twitter Newbies FAQ

Page history last edited by Shelley 10 years, 6 months ago

Twitter Newbies FAQ 

 

Hi there.  I'm Shelley Krause (twittering as @butwait), and I harbor an instinctive desire to smooth the path of the newbies in my communities. Since discovering Twitter (spring 2007... thanks, http://www.whendidyoujointwitter.com/!) I've put together this page so that I could share my learning curve with others and possibly help them "hit the ground running."

 

If you want to start at the very beginning (i.e. you have no idea what Twitter is and you can't figure out why you should care), read this short fabulous post that gets right to the heart of the WHY question (and also seriously nails the HOW pretty well):

http://www.fluentself.com/blog/stuff/twitter-demystified-the-great-debunking-begins/

 

If you're more of a visual learner, I recommend CommonCraft's helpful (2.5 minute) YouTube video explanation of Twitter:

 

 

Here's a one-page overview, via Mashable: http://applicant.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/tweetcurrency1.jpg

 

Liz Davis' has a screencast illustration of getting started with Twitter which is also great.

 

Paul Bradshaw's Slidecast is here:

http://www.slideshare.net/onlinejournalist/twitter-for-beginners-1012050?type=presentation

 

Outlaw Design Blog posted a list of 30 Twitter tutorials, aimed at everything from newbies to experts:

http://www.outlawdesignblog.com/2009/30-essential-twitter-tutorials-for-newbies-and-experts/

 

Social Media Guide's "howto" looks pretty comprehensive:

http://thesocialmediaguide.com.au/2009/08/20/twitter-tips-ultimate-guide/

 

Not convinced? Here are Michael Hyatt's 12 Reasons to Start Twittering: http://www.michaelhyatt.com/fromwhereisit/2008/05/12-reasons-to-s.html

 

And whoa, here's Caroline's Big Juicy Twitter Guide: http://www.caroline-middlebrook.com/blog/twitter-guide/ It's long, but good... I may retire from the "Newbie FAQ" creation business now!  :-)

 

MakeUseOf's guide is 53 pages long! http://www.scribd.com/doc/19976874/MakeUseOfcom-The-Complete-Guide-to-Twitter

 

Still confused? Check out Rafe Needleman's helpful Newbie Guide. (He's got better info re: connecting via IM and phone than I do, since I don't do those things.)

 

Another beginner's guide, by Maki of DoshDosh: http://www.doshdosh.com/ways-you-can-use-twitter/

 

Corvida of SheGeeks has some "rules for newbies": http://shegeeks.net/twitter-101-clarifying-the-rules-for-newbies/

 

Shara Karasic's "Twitter for Business" is here: http://www.work.com/twitter-for-business-4020/

 

And here's Daniel Riveong's Twitter case-study, focused on companies and other multi-neuro-unit entities Twittering:  http://www.emergence-media.com/2008/04/twitter-a-case-study-on-social-media-relations/

 

Or take a look at Jane Hart's Twitter Reading List (thanks for including my little page, Jane!).

 

Want a contrarian viewpoint? How about David Jakes' cautionary note? "Twitter has diverted many from what is important, what should be the true goal. And that’s the real tragedy…" http://strengthofweakties.org/?p=277

 

If you want to make sure you don't miss a single Tweet that references you, you could try this: http://summize.com/

 

If you feel like you're starting to "get it," you may want to find some more folks to follow:

 

Starting with people you know...

The Twitter-specific search engines: http://search.twitter.comhttp://tweetscan.com/

A directory of Twitter users: http://twitdir.com/

Teachers who tweet: http://twitter4teachers.pbwiki.com/

@lizbdavis' Google Doc spreadsheet of twittering k12 folks: 

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pM_ZE5BS0SgqDabnhl8Z2aA&hl=en

@jackiegerstein's spreadsheet of educators using Twitter for professional development:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pTa4MMW710oD7wRvSjAhXUQ

Higher ed folks who tweet: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pDRBDCXPE33Ngxud2xZfvcQ&hl=en

A directory of student Twits, organized by college: http://www.twittercampus.com/

Tweepml enables you to share groups of users: http://tweepml.org/ (Twitter Lists may supplant this)

 

And then moving on to those you don't know yet...

 

Listorious is a directory of lists of user-created Twitter lists: http://listorious.com/

 

(Read what Ryan Kuder has to say about how he decides who to follow: http://www.ryankuder.com/2008/04/how-do-i-follow/)

 

Here's a wiki with some Twitter folks "mapped out" by geography and interests: http://twitterpacks.pbwiki.com/

 

TweeterTags allows you to "tag" yourself with terms that might help others connect with you. And you can search for other folks based on their tags: http://www.tweetertags.com/

 

A Twitter tag "cloud" might help get you to some folks with whom you share common ground (or some folks who can expand your horizons!): http://twitterverse.com/

 

Bob Lee's Twubble looks at your current friends and who they're following, then makes some suggestions for folks you might want to follow as well: http://www.crazybob.org/twubble/

 

Visual representation of Twitter connections: http://www.neuroproductions.be/twitter_friends_network_browser/

 

Dossy Shiobara's interesting graphical representation of "Twitter Karma" lets you compare who you're following to who's following you (enter your Twitter id and password): http://dossy.org/twitter/karma/

 

Here's FAVRD, Dean Allen's running tracker of posts that have been "favorited"... might help you stumble across some follow-worthy folks: http://textism.com/favrd/

 

And the folks at Twitter Blacklist have some suggestions about who to block: http://twitterblacklist.com/

 

August, 2009: The always-helpful Chris Brogan has put together a brief & informal twitter etiquette guide:

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/a-brief-and-informal-twitter-etiquette-guide/

 

If you're analytically oriented, you might want to do some further reading along these lines:

 

Martin Weller's thoughts on different types of Twitter users: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/no_good_reason/2008/03/more-twitter-ty.html

 

Robert Scoble's thoughts on why following lots of people is where it's at: http://scobleizer.com/2008/03/23/the-secret-to-twitter/

He talks about Twitter some more here: http://scobleizer.com/2008/04/13/twitter-and-inadequacy-er-the-great-friend-divide/

 

Here's Tom Barrett's illuminating post on Twitter as a teaching and learning tool: http://tbarrett.edublogs.org/2008/03/29/twitter-a-teaching-and-learning-tool/

 

If you're a visual learner, feast on these goodies:

 

If you're Tweeting publically, you can see a visual representation of your Tweetstream as a tag cloud here: http://tweetclouds.com/

 

Graph your own tweets via tweetstats: http://tweetstats.com/ (Tip o' the hat to Daryl Tay, aka uniquefrequency, for the heads up on these last two.)

 

Augusto Becciu brings six degrees of Twitter separation meets Spirograph (thanks again, Cheri, aka drctedd): http://www.tweetwheel.com/

 

"Listen in" on tweets around the world while simultaneously watching a 3-D display of where they're coming from: http://twittervision.com/maps/show_3d (the 2-D version is here: http://twittervision.com/ )

 

Put your finger on the pulse of the Twitterverse's emotional state: http://twistori.com/#i_feel

 

See what url's folks are Tweeting about: http://twitturly.com/

 

If you feel like you're "ready to take it to the next level," consider some of these sites:

 

A site for serious Twitter users: http://www.twitterholics.com/

 

Some "advanced usage" tips from Daryl Tay: http://uniquefrequency.wordpress.com/tag/twitter-how-to/

 

Schedule selected Tweets ahead of time:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/learn-how-to-schedule-future-tweets-with-taweet/

 

The scoop on using hashtags (#keyword), courtesy of Paisano: http://thepaisano.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/twitter-hashtags-and-groups/

 

Or read about hashtags here: http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Hashtags

 

Too many robo-Tweets following you around? Check out Carlo Zottman's TwerpScan, which can help you thin the herd a bit: http://twerpscan.com/

 

Need to temporarily put a gag order on some of your more verbose Tweeters? Try http://twittersnooze.com/

 

If you're working with a group, all of whom are Twitter-enabled, check out: http://grouptweet.com/ and/or http://www.tweetpeek.com/

 

stuartcw recommends adding some unicode spice to your Tweets... just snag the code for the symbol you want from the column labeled "HTML" over here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscellaneous_Symbols

 

Matt King can help you generate an RSS feed specific to a geographic location: http://www.twitterlocal.net/

 

Lots of 3rd party applications have sprung up around Twitter, and many are chronicled here: http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Apps

 

Liz Strauss has also gathered up and categorized some Twitter apps here:

http://www.successful-blog.com/1/30-twitter-apps-we-actually-use-and-140-after-that/

 

Or just browse the entire Twitter fan wiki: http://twitter.pbwiki.com

 

Display your Tweets on your blog or other site using korelab's Twitter Balloon:  http://wp.korelab.com/yet-another-twitter-badge-twitter-balloon/

      (There are a TON of these widgets... will post if I find a link to a reasonably comprehensive list.)

 

If you're one of those folks who believe that "putting a wish out there in the universe" helps bring it closer, you might enjoy: http://zajdzik.com/iwish/

 

You can check out some Tweets that other folks have appreciated ("favorited") here: http://www.textism.com/favrd/

 

Tweet out book reviews via Twitread: http://www.twitread.com/

 

Want to spice up your life with a little time travel? Tweet yourself in the future! http://www.tweetlater.com/

 

And, for when simple twittering isn't enough of a challenge: http://www.tweet140.com/

 

You can even get your PLANTS to "twitter" when they need water! http://www.botanicalls.com/twitter/

 

There's also a big ol' list of Twitter-related tools over here: http://www.bloggersblog.com/twitterlinks/

 

 

More questions?

Of course the folks at Twitter do have their own help site. Otherwise, you can always email me at shelleyq (at) yahoo.com if you're stuck, or @ me on Twitter (I'm @butwait), and I'll try to add answers here. Or try asking the folks you're following on Twitter!

 

twitstamp.com

 

More Twitter badges like this are collected in this Mashable post: http://mashable.com/2009/03/30/twitter-badges/

 

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