So, I hope that you have now been able to sign up for Twitter! In my last blog post(LINK HERE) I shared with you some beginning info for a new Twitterer. Now that you have become familiar with that part of Twitter, I’d like to share with you a few more additional Twitter features and tidbits that will make your stay on twitter more enjoyable, and make spreading your message more effective!
- @mentions: These are like shout outs. You can send shout outs to other twitter users and when you use their @username, they are alerted that your tweeting about them. There is a lot of manners on twitter, so when someone @mentions you, its usually polite to ‘reply’ to them saying thank you, and/or to RT the tweet that mentioned you!
- Links/pictures: When you are tweeting, it is possible for you to share links AND photos with people. With links, its tricky because with specific webpages, the URL addresses can get pretty long. However, Twitter has an awesome feature called a URL Shortener that makes these links shorter so they don’t eat up too much of your 140 characters availability. With pictures, they use up about 40 characters to attach them to a tweet…but its helpful because a picture (especially on Twitter) really is worth a thousand words :P
- Trending Topics: Part of Twitter tracks the most popular things that people are talking about, either in hashtags or just in normal conversations. At the time of me writing this post, the trending topics in Canada for Twitter were
- Dear Santa
- Cowboys & Aliens
- Stevie Wonder
- Lists: now once, you become a Twitter champion, you will see it doesn’t take very long to amass a list of over 100 people that you are following. You will find that you will want to follow people for different reasons. Some are friends, some are news sources, some are inspiring quotes, whatever. You can use the list feature to group tweeps together if they all have a shared space in your brain. These can be public or private
- EX - @AYOantigang has a public list called ‘ayoleadership’ that collects all the tweets of the entire AYO Leadership Team (those of us that are on twitter)
- Access to Big Dogs: There are many celebrities and politicians that use twitter. Also, local big dogs from our area may be on twitter as well, meaning music artists, elected officials or people in senior positions within organizations. Twitter is the great internet equalizer and I can send a message to any celebrity and they can very easily respond in any number of ways.
- EX1 – PolitiX, in April 2011, invited political candidates to participate in a youth forum, invites were sent out strictly by twitter. It was a great success as we got 3 out of 5 candidates to attend our event.
- EX2 - just last week, MC was asked by @ArriveAliveWpg to send a shout out, because they wanted Winnipeggers to be safe when drinking and not driving. I did, but I also sent a request to Bif Naked (@bifnaked) who was also tweeting at that same moment, asking her to also give a shout out asking Winnipeggers to be safe…AND SHE DID! It was so cool, I’m so star struck :P
- Movements: #cdnpoli and #FF and AYO movementZ. There are a variety of social issues that yo can become involved in or create awareness on via twitter. It is entirely possible for people to start a social movement simply by harnessing the power of twitter.
- EX1: MC started the #NorthEndRising Hashtag before NECRC came onto Twitter, as a means of sharing good things that are happeninig in the north end. People were receptive to it and others bean using it. As such, it had familiarity when @NorthEndRising (NECRC’s Twitter account) came into existence, as they simply inherited the main usage of that hashtag!
- EX2: #JohnWatchWPG is an AYO response to being fed up with Johns in our neighbourhood. More info HERE.
- EX#3: there is something on Twitter called Follow Friday (#FF). Every Friday, you pick random people on your follow list and send them shout outs using that hashtag. In this way you recommend to all your followers to follow this other person who is awesome!
As you can see, there is so much for us to do on Twitter. But consider this your warning, it can be addictive! It gets addictive when people follow you, because it creates the (correct, I think) impression that people are interested in the things you have to say. Also, you can connect with people that you would never know otherwise which is kind of cool!
One word of caution, there are spam bots and creepers on twitter that may send you suspicious links on Twitter. Use discretion and make sure that you check out someone’s profile before you open a link they send you. If they have a lot of normal conversation tweets…like a human!! Then they are probably ok. But if they have sent out 1000 messages, with no words, only a link, they are brand new to twitter, and no one is following them…they are probably a SPAM BOT and you don’t want to open that link. Also, one crappy thing about twitter is that when these spam messages get sent to you…I don’t know of a way that you can delete that message that was sent by someone else.