Just another Twitter Guide

If you do not have a Twitter account, visit http://twitter.com to create one.

Twitter is simple, as simple as SMS texting on your mobile phone. You type a message of less than 140 characters and click send.

Twitter message is called a tweet. When you send out your text message, it is send out to all your followers.

The tweets that you see on your Twitter timeline are from people on your following list.

Each Twitter user has a profile page with an URL of http://twitter.com/username. For example, Oprah Winfrey’s Twitter profile is at http://twitter.com/Oprah.

When you visit other’s profile page, click the follow button beneath the photo to add the person to your following list. Once added, tweets from the person would appear on your timeline.

The more people you follow, the more interesting is your tweet flow. Typically only about 50% will return to follow you. But 100% should.

Twitter has 2,000 and 10%-of-followers limits. If you allow 200 of your following to NOT return the favor, you are BOXED under 2,000 friends. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears unknowingly box their fans.

As a Twitter-sphere etiquette, return the favor when someone follow you. Unfollow those who don’t follow you.

Twitter also has the 1,000 follows per day rule. This impacts whales. Whales are user who has more than 10,000 followers.

When you reply to a tweet, the @username of the person appear in the message. The reply is public and visible to anyone. The ‘@username’ notation just makes it easy for the person to locate your reply tweet.

The ‘@username’ notation is also used to indicate a Twitter address. It is typically link to the Twitter profile page at http://twitter.com/username.

A retweet repeats a message. There is no interface to auto retweet, you have to do it manually by copy and pasting your old message. As a convention, start your retweet with the text “RT” to identify the message as a retweet.

A tag preceded by the # sign is used to categorize topic for news announcement. It is just a convention to facilitate Twitter aware search engines and filters. There is no official list of hashtags.

For example if you have news related to sports, you can add the hashtag “#sports” anywhere in your tweet.

It is a Twitter tradition on Friday to send out #FollowFriday follow by a list of your recommended users to follow. For example “#FollowFriday @oprah @aplusk”.

Direct Messages is private message to a user and is not encouraged in the land of Twitter.