What is Twitter and Twitter Resources

Started in March of 2006, twitter has grown beyond a small group of users to adoption by mainstream media. It’s rare to go to any social media site and not see a reference to someone’s twitter account. The following is a brief walk through from the “what is twitter” stage to “how do I become an expert” stage. These are some of the best resources I’ve come across, no surprisingly, through tweets.

What is Twitter?

In an earlier post, I referenced this great video. It’s a very quick and brief walk through of what is twitter. Though limited in scope, it clearly explains how twitter works.

How to Get Started

Due to the popularity of twitter, there are countless resources to help you get started. First off, read “How to Setup a Twitter Account” by Darren Rowse, author of ProBlogger and now his newly created Twitter Tips site. Also check out “10 Easy Steps for Twitter Beginners.” Another great resource is “Twitter for Beginners” part 1 and part 2 written by Charlene Kingston.

The 140 character limit corresponds to the character limit of SMS text messaging. Originally, twitter users interacted by sending text messages. If what you want to say can’t be compressed into 140 characters, then you probably shouldn’t be using twitter to communicate. At first, it may seem like a crazy mess, particularly if you start to “follow” a lot of users. Over time, you start to notice people you like and also notice some that you don’t. Remember, twitter is opt in. You choose to follow someone. They are not obligated to follow you back. If you don’t like what they have to say, unfollow.

Okay, now what?

Now that you got your twitter account setup, read up on “Twitter Etiquette” at Twitter Fan Wiki. Don’t forget to get a fancy background by reading “Personalize Your Post on Twitter” by Stephanie Gulley.

You can also start using tools such as twirl and tweetdeck. They are desktop applications that allow you to quickly scan, get updates, and respond and post tweets. Mobile users, have tools like Tweetsville and Tweetie, for the iPhone.

Okay, I get it, now how do I get better?

Advanced users can read “How to Use Twitter as a Twool” by Guy Kawasaki. Some of the advanced twitter users have thousands of followers and can quickly broadcast their message across a wide range of audiences. Before you

Any other good resources that I missed? Share your experiences with Twitter in the comments below.

Comments

  1. says

    Great post, Daniel. You hit the high points on the journey from novice to journeyman. Thanks for the mention, also.

    I use both TweetDeck and Twhirl, although not at the same time. I like that they update automatically in the background. However, when I need to concentrate, I turn them off and do a manual update when I take a break.

    One tool that is unvaluable to me is TweetLater (www.tweetlater.com). The user interface is tough to figure out, but the service works like a charm. You create tweets in advance and give the time you want them posted. I do this to send out a tweet around the time my new blog posts are scheduled to appear. Anything I can do to automate my workflow makes my life easier.

  2. says

    Great post. It's always interesting to me when people say they don't "get" Twitter, when there's so many good resources like this out there.

  3. says

    Thanks @Charlene. Try brightkit.com as well. It's in beta and seems really promising.

    @Nisha As I was writing the post, I realized that there were so many great resources already. There was no way I was going to add any more value other than "re-blog" the posts.