Twitter Practical How-to’s

March 24, 2009

NOTE: It would be helpful to ask someone to help you at this stage.

If you have made it past the question Why Twitter? and taken your first steps in Before You Sign Up for Twitter, it’s time for practical how-to’s! This series will be helpful if you have been timidly poking at Twitter but still feel a bit lost, overwhelmed, or underwhelmed. (I include “underwhelmed” because that’s probably a sign that you haven’t developed a style of Twitter use that works for you.)

My previous two series originally started as a single, catch-all Twitter series which I divided into two as the topics became clearer. This time, I’m going out on a bit of limb by listing the topics up front. I have less time to blog than I thought, and someday (soon, God willing) I will have full-time employment again which will limit me further. But regardless of how quickly I write these, I wanted to give you an outline of what is coming so that you know what practical how-to’s you can look forward to.

The order and naming may change, but this series will cover:

  1. Twitter Symbols: What Do @, d, RT, # Mean?
  2. Use a Twitter Client
  3. What to Tweet (and What Not To)
  4. Who to Follow on Twitter
  5. I’m Being Followed on Twitter!
  6. Dealing with Twitter spam
  7. Making links shorter
  8. Twitter’s API opens up a world of apps (including search)
  9. Integrating Twitter and Facebook updates
  10. Propagation of ideas: The importance of retweets

Of course, this ground has been covered by many other people. But since there is no “one right way” to use Twitter, what you will get is a practical description of the way I’ve learned to do things. You will find your own style, but I hope my experiences will help you along your way.

And am I missing anything? Please leave a comment below if you have any how-to questions, especially if you’re fairly new to Twitter.

Photo by Ben Ward (license)

Jon Reid

Posts Twitter Google+

As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

6 responses to Twitter Practical How-to’s

  1. Hi Jon, any news on the job yet?
    I am posting because I totally don’t get Twitter. I see comments from people responding to other people, but is there a way to see the whole thread?
    Also, I will probably never use it from my phone, so is there a point to it for me? It just hasn’t grabbed me. But I want to like it.

  2. Hi Sami!
    I’ll post job news on Twitter and Facebook once I know.
    The most primitive but often quickest way to see a conversation thread is simply to click on the other person’s name and put the two together. That is still the most reliable way, but support for threading is growing. For example, if you do a Twitter search on me, you will see “Show conversation” links.
    I never use Twitter from my phone. While Twitter was designed with phones in mind (short messages), it is much easier to use on a computer. And using a Twitter application like Spaz is much easier than using the web interface.
    Homework: Since you followed me on Twitter, I’ll send you two messages. One will be a public reply, the other a private message. Go to the Twitter website and find them. 🙂

  3. thanks for your comment on my site yesterday. I’m not sure that I had picked up that you were doing the 31 DBBB but thanks for letting me know.
    I see that you are taking Darren’s tips and really running with it. Well done!

  4. Wanida, what a funny coincidence that you linked to me, and we’re both doing “31 Days to Build a Better Blog”. But then, is there really such a thing as coincidence? 🙂

  5. Jon, thank you so much for your great posts. Yours were some that I read when I finally started learning what I was doing on Twitter. I learned a lot and wrote something on my blog, Twitter Non-Guidebook, including links to your Twitter posts. Thanks again for sharing, Denise

  6. Denise,
    Glad I could help. Your Twitter Non-Guidebook is great, and it’s even funnier that you use yourself for all the bad examples! Well done, heh! Thanks for the link. 🙂