I couldn’t find an idiot’s guide to Twitter anywhere, so I wrote this bare bones introduction. If I get a chance I’ll come back and embellish this a little with some specific tips and tools for usage (eg. using Tweetdeck and Cotweet rather than the actual Twitter site).
- Go to https://twitter.com/signup and setup a personal Twitter account using your own name or a nickname of your choice.
- Then upload a photo of your face (preferably smiling!) once the above is all complete.
- When everything’s setup and you have an account, go to: http://twitter.com/devices enter the details of your mobile phone, and go through the verification process.
- Now test that texts flow through to the site by texting a message to 86444, then checking it appears on your profile by clicking the profile link at the top of the twitter.com page while logged in.
- If all that works, then you’re all set!
Some other jargon:
- Hashtag: this means any word or sequence of characters with no spaces that begins with a #. eg. #ukelection #GE2010 – you have to decide which has the audience you want to talk to, or which is simply the most popular.
- Tweet: your 140 character messages are called tweets.
- Tweep: informal term for Twitter users.
- Followers: in the real world you have friends, in Twitter you have followers. Anyone who follows you has basically subscribed to whatever you say.
- Twittiquette: most things to do with Twitter end up with a portmanteau such as this. It’s basically guidelines for polite usage, which seems to evolve fairly rapidly. Good principles are to be open, honest, succinct, reciprocating non-spam follows, etc.