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April 21, 2009

Twitter For Beginners

As Twitter continues to grow in popularity at an alarming rate and new users are starting to come on board, it can be hard to figure out where to get started with Twitter. While it is a communication medium like email for example, it is used in an entirely different way. Twitter is more sociable and fun rather than practical and actually understanding the main concepts and principles of Twitter can take a little while.

So in this article I’d like to try and give you a beginners guide to Twitter and in doing so to give you a basic guide to what Twitter is and what Twitter does so you can more easily get involved.

In essence, Twitter is a micro-blogging service. Every Twitter user has their own little tiny “blog” that they can add messages to of up to 140 characters in length. They can also send messages of the same maximum length to other Twitter users and these messages will then appear on their recipients blog. Each of these little messages is known as a tweet.

As well as adding tweets to your blog, sending them to other people or even reading other peoples Twitter blogs, you can also “follow” any Twitter user of your choice. When you “follow” someone, their tweets then start to appear on your Twitter page. In this way you can keep up to date with what all your friends, family and business contacts are doing in one place. By simply following all your contacts and keeping an eye on your Twitter page you can see live what everyone you know is up to.

When Twitter first launched, you interacted with the service using the Twitter website but now you can interact in virtually any way possible. As examples you can access your Twitter feed live from a variety of desktop applications so you don’t have to be logged into the Twitter website. You can also send and receive tweets via text (sms) message directly on your cell phone.

Twitter is part of a movement known as “life streaming” where part of the aim is to simply reveal your actions and thoughts live as you go about your day. Initially this meant that people would add such interesting messages as “Just eating some cereal” or “Paying for gas”. These days such messages are understandably frowned upon though the more interesting tweets are welcomed.

This is a good way of not just staying in contact with people, but also learning about other people in quite a deep way. If you know what movie they’ve just watched or what they’re doing on the weekend you feel more of a part of their life. Twitter is as much about conversations and communication as just sending a practical email to someone.

The general advice for a new Twitter user would be to simply try it out and see if you like it. Some people love it, others loath it and you won’t know until you try it. Just sign up for a free account, find your friends and “follow” them, then get involved with the conversation. When they tweet, tweet back.

Richard Adams – For plenty more information on using Twitter for fun or profit please visit Life Streaming News