Doug Lowe has written a whole bunch of computer books, including more than 35 For Dummies books Networking for Screenwriting For Dummies (For. This guide will give you a brief overview of Twitter, how to get set up, what to tweet Twitter is a real-time social media platform which you can use to increase . DUMmIES ‰ Twitter ™ FOR DUMmIES ‰ by Laura Fitton, Michael E. Gruen, @ pistachio @gruen and Leslie Poston @geechee_girl Foreword by Jack Dorsey.
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Using Twitter is fun and surprisingly easy. It doesn't matter where you access Twitter, — on ronaldweinland.info, or on a desktop or mobile app on your smartphone. Twitter For Beginners. Guidelines. Adapted by Anita Njeri & Zawadi Nyong'o. The Terms: ○ Tweet: A character message. ○ Retweet (RT): Re-sharing or. In this guide, we will help you get comfortable with some important Twitter basics. We'll also introduce What to Tweet: Coming Up with Great Twitter Content.
By placing the symbol in front of a username, you can tag another user in your Tweet. A private message can be sent directly to a user on Twitter who is already following you. A follower is someone who follows you on Twitter and sees your updates on his home feed Your home timeline displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter. Using the symbol in front of any word or phrase tags your Tweets. Your experience on Twitter will be a positive one if you keep the following tips in mind: Say what you think or are doing. In general, keep Tweets longer than one word so that your followers can understand you. Listen to what your Twitter network is saying.
On Twitter, people frequently repeat your tweets for their own followers. What all this means is that your tweets can spread like wildfire, and you can get the word out fast! Sharing and passing along information is what makes Twitter a sensitive global news detector, a powerful tool for social change or marketing, and an interesting and dynamic flow of ideas and information.
And we just did! Sharing Your Thoughts, Characters at a Time Simply put, a tweet is what you call the character message that you send out onto the Web by using Twitter. Why call it a tweet? Also, like much of the Twitter vocabulary, tweet is a term coined by the users, rather than the company — evidence of the playful loyalty that avid users have with the Twitter brand.
Twitter limits the length of tweets to characters letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces , a length that may seem short at first. And it is. How in the heck are you supposed to say anything in this tiny bit of space? How can you distill your company pitch into characters, or review a book or movie by using so few words?
With time, you get used to this length restriction. Perhaps one of the coolest things about Twitter is that the more you use it, the easier it is to write short, sharp, clear tweets. Where the name Twitter comes from We want to get this out of the way: Yes, Twitter is a silly name.
It calls to mind images of birds chirping, or the all-night gab-fests at junior high sleepovers. And co-founder Jack Dorsey has argued from the start that Twitter is a fitting name for the service. To watch a video of the interview in its entirety, go to www. The open nature of the Twitter API has led some people to come up with very interesting uses for Twitter. The most popular Twitter applications are downloadable client programs that let you manage and update your Twitter feed from your desktop; vying for most popular are TweetDeck www.
More than a thousand already exist. Some are silly such as HereBeforeOprah [http: We cover these tools in Chapter 9. The beauty of Twitter means that even the silly ideas have a chance to succeed, if the Twitter community responds to them.
Because Twitter can do so much, so simply, the array of third-party applications offers a nice balance of work and play. In fact, many people do. But if you want to really maximize your use of Twitter, you may want to check out all the neat ways you can use it — for example, to track expenses, request restaurant reviews, follow gas prices, read the news, find out the weather in your area, give hurricane relief to people in need, fundraise, drive cancer awareness, and a whole lot more.
This diversity of use makes Twitter a vibrant community that you can tap into both for fun and for business. Chapter 2 Hello, Twitter World! Then this chapter is the place to get your feet wet. It usually takes a while of using Twitter to get what about it could be really interesting and valuable to your life.
In this chapter, we go over the very basics of Twitter: Signing Up For many Web services, signing up is the easiest part of an otherwise complicated process. With Twitter, using the site is just as easy as signing up. To sign up for a Twitter account, follow these steps: Use your Web browser to navigate to the Twitter Web site at www.
The Twitter splash page appears, as shown in Figure Click the large green Get Started — Join! The signup page appears, as shown in Figure Figure The Twitter splash page. The very short and simple Twitter signup page. Chapter 2: Enter your desired username and basic information in the appropriate text boxes. The only information Twitter requires from you is a username, a password of your choice, and a unique e-mail address where Twitter can contact you for notifications.
We cover how to choose a good Twitter name in the following section. Click the Create My Account button. You see a link at the bottom of the page where you can read those Terms of Service if you like, or you can go to http: A Twitter blank slate. If you think that you may, in fact, be non-human, please consult your doctor or trusted medical professional. Did you know you can register for Twitter entirely by text from any cellphone?
Later, go to Twitter. Click Here. You will not be able to add your phone to your original account until you delete the new one.
See instructions on how to set up your phone to work with your existing Twitter account below. Picking a Name On Twitter, your username is your identity. Pistachio has, in effect, become her nickname. Why Pistachio? Many people have asked where the username Pistachio came from. Laura first adopted the color as a company name in , and over the years it has become part of her identity. Thus, she now is Pistachio. That story emphasizes that you should think about how you want to be perceived both on and off Twitter and how your username fits into that perception.
Twitter is a far-reaching service, and if you get really involved in the culture of Twitter, like the rest of the social Web, it undoubtedly spills over into real life. The days of choosing anonymous handles such as sexybabe44, like you may have when you used instant-message programs or chat rooms in years past, are long gone. It makes your experience with Twitter much easier when the line between online and offline blurs. For example, if your name is John Ira, you may want to pick a Twitter username such as johnira or john.
If users have already claimed those monikers, try adding an adjective or descriptor, such as handsomejohn or johntheterrible. Be forewarned! If you choose to use your last name only, like Michael gruen , you may find yourself without a first name in the eyes of other twitterers. Using Twitter for your business? You can use your company or business name as your username, and you can fill in that business name in the Name text box on the Settings page for your account.
Lean toward using a short Twitter username. Tweets are only characters, so when people are replying to you, if you have a longer name, you leave them less room for message content. Twitter limits your username to just 15 characters for this very reason. For more on how to reply to another person on Twitter, turn to Chapter 5. Your Twitter name has power and influence on search engine optimization SEO , or how close to the top of a search results list you appear in a search engine such as Yahoo!
Businesses should consider using valuable keywords as their Twitter names. Finding contacts on Twitter can be a lot of fun! The easiest way to find your friends is to import your friends and contacts from other services that you already use such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, and Hotmail. You may be pleasantly surprised at how many people you know who are already busy tweeting away.
To import contacts and make them part of your Twitter world during the registration process, follow these steps: Select the e-mail account type from which you want to import on the left-hand side of the screen. Type your e-mail credentials username and password in the Your Email and Email Password text boxes. See whether your friends are on Twitter by importing your e-mail address book. Having Twitter automatically find your contacts involves entering your e-mail account password.
Although Twitter has established itself as a trustworthy service, in general, be very cautious about sites that ask you for your e-mail address and password.
Click the green Continue arrow. Twitter looks at your contact list from your e-mail account and gives you a list of all the people from your address book who are already on Twitter. Select the check boxes for the people you want to follow. If you click the Select All check box, everyone is selected. If you uncheck the Select All check box, everyone is unselected, and you can go through your list of contacts, picking and choosing who to follow.
When you follow people on Twitter, you see their updates on your Twitter Home screen. When you finish selecting people, click the green Continue button. However, if you want to invite all your contacts to join you on Twitter, go ahead and share the Twitter love!
Repeat these steps for all your other networks, if you have them. If you skip this step during the registration process, you can always search for people by first name, last name, or e-mail address by clicking the Find People link at the top of any Twitter page. You can use a few tools to discover people on Twitter who share your interests or live near you. One of the more interesting tools out there, TwitterLocal www.
Twellow www. Twellow sorts Twitter users by categories based on keywords found in the Bio sections of their profiles. Users can also claim Twellow profiles for any Twitter usernames that belong to them, by proving who they are. Claiming lets you edit the entry to add more categories or remove incorrect categories. Twellow is searchable by name, location, or category, similar to an online yellow pages for Twitter hence the name Twellow. Part III explores more of these third-party tools.
Searching by using Twitter Search Twitter also has its own search engine, known as Twitter Search, which you can access by clicking Search at the bottom of any Twitter page or by going to http: You can enter any keyword of your choice into the Twitter Search text box and click the Search button, and Twitter not only brings you results in chronological order with the most recent at the top , but also lets you know when people have made new tweets that match your search criteria and gives you the option to refresh the search results page.
Everything in moderation: You can easily get excited and start following a ton of random people, but this approach has some potentially negative consequences. Take a relaxed approach, following a few people at a time, talking to them, and giving them time to follow you back before increasing your follower circle. Twitter users are often interested in meeting and talking with new people and want to hear fresh voices. Companies that tweet should definitely mention it on their own website so that it is clear whether or not their account is authentic.
You can use Twitter Search to find new people on Twitter by typing keywords connected to your interests or profession in the text box. Because Twitter Search sorts results based on how recent they are, the people you discover through this search are likely very active Twitter users. Although Twitter officially acquired Summize and has since renamed it Twitter Search, Summize is still known to many and affectionately referred to by its original name.
The process is really simple: Ask your friends to join the party! Click the green Invite arrow. If you want to invite your friends by hand, without having Twitter go through your address book, take the following steps: On the top navigation bar of any Twitter page, click the Find People link.
The tabbed navigation loads below the navigation bar. Click Invite by Email. A text box appears. Enter the e-mail addresses of the people to whom you want to send an invite. Separate each e-mail address with a comma and a space. After you enter all the addresses you want, click Invite.
If you choose not to do this now, you can always go back and do it later. Simply click Find People in the toolbar at the top of your Twitter profile to make the input screen for e-mail invitations appear. Many people choose this approach when they first join Twitter so that they can keep the invitation process personal. These actions are indirect invitations for the people who meet us in real life or interact with us in business to connect with us on Twitter, as well.
The more people who join you on Twitter, the more effective your network becomes. Say Hello! So, go ahead! Type a message in the What Are You Doing? Tweeting is that simple, but that simplicity makes it powerful. The conversation starts with those simple exchanges: We discuss suggested Twitter etiquette, culture, language, and all that stuff in Chapter 7. This chapter simply tells you how to get your Twitter profile up and running so that it reflects who you are and what you want to get out of Twitter.
Your tweets, right now, are publicly visible and searchable, even if you delete them immediately after hitting Update. If your updates are unprotected, what you tweet ends up in Twitter Search and on Google, even if you delete it quickly. Chapter 9 discusses search tools in depth. Take a few minutes to dress it up a little! Making sure that it reflects you or your business makes all the difference when it comes to whether people stick around to see what you have to say. After you sign up for Twitter, one of the first things you should do is personalize your profile.
Someone who loves to ski might upload an image of his favorite mountain range as the profile background and pair it with an avatar that depicts him in ski goggles. After you log into Twitter, you can customize your profile at any time by clicking Settings in the top-right navigation bar. Some Twitter users change their avatars almost daily to different photos of themselves, some users leave their avatars the same all the time, and still others change their avatars according to a specific occasion — holiday-themed photos for Christmas or Halloween, for example.
Your avatar is your face, some other picture, or the default oogily eyes emoticon: Show your smiling face and set others at ease! To change your avatar, follow these steps: Sign in to Twitter and click Settings in the top-right menu bar. The Settings page opens. Click the Picture tab see Figure Smile for your Twitter avatar photo, instead of using the default oogily eyes. Click the Browse button and navigate to the picture that you want to upload. Currently, Twitter supports the. Click the Save button.
Your picture is uploaded to Twitter. The size of your profile image is restricted to kilobytes which is a rather large image , and Twitter crops it automatically into a square for your public profile. Otherwise, Twitter stretches the picture out, causing some distortion. Just find a new picture or adjust the original file and try uploading it again. You can upload a new picture at any time.
Changing your background In addition to changing your avatar, you can change the background of your profile page from the default blue to another color. You can even upload an image of your choice or do both! Select the Design tab. Select a pre-made background or use your own image or pattern. The pre-made Twitter backgrounds appear in square thumbnail images inside the Design tab.
Then, upload a file by clicking the Browse button and finding your image on your computer. Optional If you want your image to tile, click the Tile Background option.
If you want only to change your image, click Save. Optional To customize your text and links, click the Change Design Colors link. You may want to make your Twitter page match the color scheme of your blog or Web site. After you finish, click Save Changes to update your colors. If you mess up before you save your changes, you can always hit Cancel or navigate away to retain your current color settings.
Hexadecimal codes are the six-digit codes used in Web site design to assign colors; each combination of numbers and letters corresponds to a different shade.
Plenty of places on the Web offer easy-to-understand guides to hexadecimal color codes. Click each of the color swatch squares that you want to change. A note above each square tells you what part of the text or design is affected. A customized corporate background. Editing photos for your Twitter avatar Many of the photos that you want to use for your Twitter avatar may include other people. Or the picture composition may not allow you to get a good head shot.
Thankfully, both Macs and PCs have tools available so that you can quickly put together an avatar without needing third-party photo-editing software. As an added bonus, these tricks show you how to take screenshots pictures of what appears on your screen. Start by finding a picture on your hard drive, the Web, or your digital camera and open the picture.
If you use Mac OS X, follow these steps: Your cursor changes into a crosshair. Click and drag your cursor over the area that you want to include in your profile picture, and then let go. On your desktop, a new file usually titled something such as Picture 1 appears, ready for uploading. On a Windows computer, follow these steps: With the picture file open and visible on the screen, press the Print Screen button on your keyboard. The Run dialog box appears. Type mspaint at the prompt and click OK.
MSPaint opens. A screenshot is pasted into MSPaint. By default, the Move tool in Paint is selected. Drag the screen shot up and to the left to mark the upper-left corner of the picture you want as your avatar. Click outside the selection rectangle to deselect the screenshot. Scroll to the bottom-right corner of the image. A small, dark blue box appears directly outside the bottom-right of the image.
Click and drag that tiny blue box toward the upper-left. Stop where you want to mark the bottomright corner of the image. The Save As dialog box appears. Save the file as a. TwitterPatterns offers a variety of pattern graphics to choose from, all of which are sized specifically to fit Twitter profiles.
In many cases, a Twitter user includes a short professional biography, accompanied by more links and ways to connect with that user see Figure This idea is a great way to let people know where else they can find you.
To customize your background image, you need to use a custom template application or create your own template from scratch by using a program such as Photoshop or a free image editor such as Gimp or Seashore.
Several sites generate free Twitter templates that are designed just for Twitter neophytes in your situation. One of these sites is TwitBacks www. Alternatively, you can grab a template from BoinBlog http: Adjusting Your Text-Messaging Settings By using Twitter cellphone notifications, you can keep tabs on your friends, your spouse, or someone who randomly says the funniest things. Some users, though, are more inventive: You can interact with Twitter on your cellphone via Short Message Service SMS text messages, on a mobile Web site, or by using a client application on your smartphone.
You can opt for tweet notification from your network in several ways, as well. Before you can do anything with your new Twitter account on your cellphone, though, you have to associate your mobile device with Twitter. To associate your cellphone with Twitter, follow these steps: Sign in to Twitter and click the Settings link in the top-right menu bar of your Twitter home page. Select the Devices tab.
Enter your cellphone number in the text box and select the check box below it to confirm that you allow Twitter to send messages to your phone; click Save. A screen appears giving you a code that you need to text to brief instructions are provided. Send the code to from your cellphone.
On the right side of your Twitter home page, under Device Updates, click the Phone radio button. If you find the notifications overwhelming or need to stop them for a while, just turn them off, which we talk about in the following section. You can turn on cellphone notifications even more easily if you sign up for Twitter by texting a message to Controlling the text-message flow If your account has text-messaging device updates set to On, you receive a text message each time someone in your network sends a tweet.
To find out how to turn on cellphone notifications, see the preceding section. At first, receiving text-message updates from all your new Twitter friends is fun.
But when your network grows, you may find all those tweets a bit noisy, to say the least — not to mention the fact that your cellphone plan may charge you for each text message you receive. To change this, look at Settings and then the tab called Devices. We give you more detail on what you can adjust, and how to do it, in Chapter 4 and Chapter 7. Plenty of avid users of Twitter never even receive SMS updates; others swear by them. Part of the beauty of Twitter is the many different ways that you can access it.
You always have a choice. You can also set quiet time, which in our opinion is a very underrated feature. To set up quiet time, follow these steps: Click the Settings link on the top navigation bar.
Click Save. Go to your following page www. Next to each person that you follow, you have the option to turn their individual device updates On or Off by clicking one of the radio buttons. Chapter 3 Stroll Around the Grounds: As you use Twitter more and more, you may want to know where to locate things quickly and manage your communication flow more intelligently. Additionally, the controls along the top of the Home screen let you change your settings, update your profile background, upload your avatar, toggle your SMS notifications, and more.
Chapter 2 covers most of these setup features. The Home screen, shown in Figure , has a standard layout. The header has a Twitter logo on the left and a list of links on the right, which appears on all Twitter pages. Your Home screen. Clicking on the Twitter logo at left also takes you to your Home screen. Your Profile page. The people search tool. Where you can configure your Twitter account see Chapter 2. FAQs and support. Exactly what you think it is — signing out of your Twitter account. Chapter 3: The sidebar The area on the right side of most Twitter.
Except where noted, this description applies to the sidebar on your Home screen: Your avatar picture and username. Click your avatar, the Profile link, or any username link for your name to see your Profile page. Next is the Search text box, followed by several sections that you can expand to a bigger view or shrink down to a single line by clicking a down or side arrow in a small circle to the right of each heading.
As soon as you save a search to refer to it later, Saved Searches becomes the first of these sections. Trending Topics shows you the most commonly tweeted words and hashtags at any given time. The Trending Topics view is a surprisingly powerful peek at what is going on in the world at least, the world according to twitterers at any given moment. Following is the last section on the sidebar, and it shows a grid of the avatar photos of those you follow or a random sampling of them if you follow more than it can display.
A grid that shows a number of avatars from the roster of other Twitter users you follow. While you type in your message, that number decreases, letting you know how many more characters you can type before you go over the limit. When you get to 19 characters remaining, the number turns burgundy, and when you get to 9 characters remaining, the number turns red; if you go over characters, the number starts counting into the negatives.
If your last tweet was on the long side, you might notice that it was shortened and an ellipsis. If it was abbreviated, you can click that ellipsis to see your full tweet. If you replied to anyone or included a link in your tweet, you can now click that link. Click that link and a page dedicated to that tweet — and that tweet alone — opens.
Cool, huh? This seemingly subtle fact is a big part of what makes conversations on Twitter different. Unlike IM or a chat room, every single tweet can be uniquely bookmarked, linked to, replied to, and archived. The Twitter stream All the action on Twitter, appropriately, lives front and center on your screen.
It contains your tweets and the tweets of those you follow in a chronological order, with the most recent tweets at the top. A Tour of the Twitter Interface This update stream goes by several names including stream, timeline, or sometimes feed not to be confused with RSS feeds, which you can read about in Chapters 4 and 8.
Some people who follow thousands of Twitter users call it a river — the tweet stream flows faster the more people you add to your list of friends and the more people you follow.
Words like stream and flow most likely derive from the more dynamic moving displays on many third-party Twitter clients. By reading your stream, you can find new people to listen to friends of your friends and connections and a place to jump in and participate. Each tweet appears in its own little rectangular box. These icons act like function buttons: Clicking the star button adds that tweet to your Favorites list which you can get to by clicking Favorites on the sidebar.
When you mark something as a favorite, you make it easier for yourself to find that tweet in the future. Clicking the arrow sets up the tweet entry field so that you can reply to that user with an reply. This icon appears next to only your own tweets.
Not surprisingly, clicking it lets you delete the tweet from the feed. Ryan Kuder ryankuder , a popular Silicon Valley entrepreneur on Twitter best known for live-tweeting his layoff from Yahoo! RT www. It makes a lot of sense that Twitter would be experimenting with such a feature, as most Twitter clients offer it, and Twitter has historically adapted its product to popular user behaviors.
Tweeting to One Specific Person: Taking its format from a syntax used in text chat rooms, replies is a tweet that, although public and visible to all Twitter users, is directed specifically to one Twitter user. Twitter has ramped it up by automatically detecting when an symbol is placed directly in front of a word with no space in between and adds a link to the Twitter user who has that word as his or her handle.
This spring Twitter changed how replies are collected by making the replies link into an username link that tracks all mentions. Anytime your username appears in a tweet, it gets collected here.
Even though the page is now considered the Mentions page, most Twitterers still call them replies, so we use that here.
If you hover your cursor over the tweet that you want to respond to, the Arrow icon appears, which you can then click to reply to that tweet. Twitter then associates your reply with the original tweet in the Twitter system.
The person can see what tweet prompted your reply by clicking the In Reply To link at the bottom of your tweet to him. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your Twitter Mentions page like the one shown in Figure , which you can open by clicking the username link with your own username in the sidebar: Then type your message and click Update.
See Chapter 5 for more on replying. This may be exactly the case — replies actually do initiate a conversation as much as they act as actual replies. Seeing what your friends and followers are talking about with other Twitter users can help you get more value out of the service and is one of the very best ways to discover new people to add to your network by jumping into conversations.
The mentions screen, where your ego can get a boost — or not. If you see that one friend or colleague on Twitter has responded to someone in his or her network who wants to know where to get the best pizza in Boston, and you have a recommendation, you can share it.
You just have to click the Twitter handle that your friend is replying to and throw in your two cents. By starting conversations with friends of your friends, you bring new people into your own stream. Keep in mind that replies are public tweets. If you have something private that you need to tell someone, use another feature of Twitter, the direct message which we talk about in the following section.
Unlike regular tweets and replies, the only person who can see a DM is the recipient. Then follow these steps: Look for the Message link in the right sidebar under Actions. Click the Message link. A Tour of the Twitter Interface 3. Write and send your message. Compose your direct message in this box and then click Send. You can also send a DM using the main Direct Messages interface: That menu lists only the Twitter users who are following you and hence can receive DMs from you. Select a name from the drop-down menu.
The Direct Messages panel, which lets you have private Twitter conversations. These steps are described in the preceding list.
Laura has actually had people get sort of mad at her about this, which is ironic because she goes really far out of her way following everyone back to make sure that any reader can send her a DM. Type a message in the Send a Direct Message box. Click Send to send the message. You can send DMs from any regular Twitter input source — text messages, third-party apps, or the main Twitter interface — by entering d [username] and then typing your tweet.
Sending DMs is easy. But proceed with caution! Double-check, just to be sure. Playing Twitter Favorites One of the icons that appears when you hover your mouse over a particular tweet is the Favorites star. When you mark a tweet as a favorite, it appears on your Favorites page see Figure You may want to mark a tweet as a favorite to: A Tour of the Twitter Interface Figure Your favorite tweets are stored forever.
Ari Herzog ariherzog pointed out that favorites are an untapped opportunity to collect testimonials and other tweets that might have value for your company. Innovation software company Brightidea brightidea uses it to curate a great collection of Tweets about innovation, drawing upon Twitter search results for keywords related to innovation.
Use Favorites whichever way works best for you! You can also use it for bookmarking links so that you can visit it later — many of your best links and referrals will come from your fellow Twitter users. One way to find more people on Twitter is to visit the Profile pages of your friends on Twitter and look at their Favorites, to see which tweets they liked the most. While your list grows, you may want to find some way to catalog your tweets.
Some people use a spreadsheet in a desktop program such as Microsoft Excel or a Webbased one such as Google Docs. Indexing your favorite tweets takes a bit of hacking: That link loads the tweet on its very own page, which you can bookmark for later because that page has a standard Web URL that always leads to that specific tweet. Add that URL to your favorite bookmarking service.
Follow the directions that your bookmarking service offers for how to add a URL. If the option is available, tag the link so that you can search by topic later to find it again.
After you have a system in place for keeping track of tweets that you want to save by using the favorite feature, you can then find them whenever you need them.
You can also use the third-party application Tweecious see Chapter 14 by tweeting the permalink to your favorite tweets and including the word favorites in the tweet where you do so. The original link http: Rumor has it that you can also still access the timeline by running a search with no terms in the search box http: You can use the timeline to broaden your network, finding new conversations and topics, and generally expanding your presence on Twitter.
If you can get to the Public Timeline through the preceding links, it shows the most recent tweets from everyone who uses Twitter, in real time like the page shown in Figure It looks a lot like your own Twitter stream on your Home screen, but with more content to discover. After you get to the Everyone timeline, spend a little time either scrolling from page to page and tweet to tweet manually or skimming for interesting conversations.
Refresh your Web browser to see the latest tweets. If you find an interesting person or conversation, just click that Twitter handle to find out more about that user. Or, if you like what you see, you can follow someone without replying to them — follow whoever looks interesting to you! You can check in on the Public Timeline periodically, even after you start to grow your network into the triple digits and higher.
Even people who have thousands in their personal Twitter network can find fresh ideas and interesting people on the Public Timeline once in a while, which keeps their Twitter experience the most varied and interesting it can be.
Looking at the Everyone timeline on Twitter. Seeing Who You Follow After you start using Twitter to its full potential, you may want to see a list of whom you follow.
To see whom you follow: Log in to Twitter. On any page in Twitter, you find the sets of numbers in the upper-right sidebar labeled Following, Followers, and Updates. Click Following. Currently, Twitter sorts your Following list chronologically by when you started following them, with the most recent at the top. Scroll through the list manually, page by page. This process works fine until you start to follow many more people. After you break the following mark, you probably want to find another method for figuring out whom you follow.
You can pull up the list of your followers on any Twitter page. Find the sets of numbers in the upper-right sidebar labeled Following, Followers, and Updates, and click Followers. Similar to the Following link which we talk about in the preceding section , it brings up a list of people who are following you.
Just like the Following list, you have to click through the Followers list page by page. Chapter 9 suggests some tools, such as TwitterKarma http: The e-mail notification authorizes Twitter to send you an e-mail alerting you about each new follower.
Be sure to check for the Action message on her actual Profile page when you do so, as the Direct Messages interface has been buggy in the past. A notification of a direct message failure. The first place to check is your own profile: Click the Profile link in the top-right corner navigation bar or just click your avatar to open your Profile page. Your Profile page, in addition to displaying your short bio and profile information, displays a feed of all your public tweets in chronological order.
Just like the pages showing your followers and who you follow which you can read about in the preceding sections , you can keep clicking the More button on the bottom of the page to see older posts. Also, your profile is a publicly accessible URL. If your username is dummies, navigate to http: Figure shows a Twitter Search results page.
Go to http: You can also search for specific tweets by using Google or another search engine. In our experience, Google tends to update its index against Twitter.
Google does such a good job of indexing Twitter that it remains at this writing the best way to find out whether someone is on Twitter or not. At Google. Bear in mind that very famous people who appear to be tweeting may be fan pages or other hoaxes, though — unless DarthVader actually does exist, in which case, be very afraid! Your public tweets are indexed by search engines.
So, sometimes tweets are forever. On one hand, this indexing is good for your visibility online. Because Google and other search engines index your tweets, those search engines can bring more people to your Twitter profile, which can then possibly bring those people to your Web site. On the other hand, you need to be cautious: Also take great care with names, as tweets about a person may actually show up closer to the top of search results than mentions of her name on other types of Web sites.
If you imagine that someone whose opinion you value is looking at what you write, you can avoid getting in any trouble. You also may not be thinking today about what may be findable weeks, months, and years from now. Twitter Search formerly known as Summize results.
The folks at Twitter have designed their application so that you can use it in multiple ways. In this chapter, we go over all the ways that you, as an individual, may want to use Twitter, and we also give you some pointers for maximizing the application, based on your needs.
The User Multi-Face: Interacting with Twitter Every Which Way If you want to get the most out of Twitter, you need to figure out how you prefer to access the service. You can use widgets, gadgets, browser plug-ins, and in short, a huge array of ways to interact with Twitter at your convenience and on your terms. Like most users, you probably started by logging into Twitter. But what happens if you need more functionality, mobility, versatility, or you just want more bells and whistles?
The Web interface, which is just one of the ways you can use Twitter. Some Twitter users prefer not to access the service through a browser window, need a few more organizational options than the Web page affords, or just want to share Twitter on an external Web site or blog. You can find plenty of options out there for doing all this and more. First, you have to set up a mobile device so that Twitter knows where to send your tweets: Chapter 4: Click the Settings link at the top-right of your Twitter Home screen.
Click the Devices tab. Enter your mobile phone number in the text field, check the box granting Twitter permission to send you a text message, and click the Save button. Send the code from your phone as a text message to Refresh the page until you see your cellphone number listed.
Now, you can choose to have text-message notifications on, off, or direct messages only. In the Device Updates drop-down list, select On if you want to receive tweets as text messages on your phone or direct messages if you would like to receive only your direct messages.
Then click Save. Optional Select a sleep period when you prefer not to receive updates and click Save. Choose whose device updates you want to see. Click Home and then click Following or just go to www. You have to manually turn these device updates on for each individual. Just under their avatar photo look for the device updates status. The green check and ON means that you will. First, enable all device updates on your phone.
Then on Twitter. Of course, you can also control this setting using SMS on your phone. Send an on username message to turn Device updates on and off username to turn them off. You just need a way to see the feed: Most people use something called a feed reader. You can choose from many feed readers out there, but we recommend Google Reader http: You already have one of these accounts if you use Gmail, Picasa, iGoogle, or other Google-owned services.
Then come back to Twitter and set up your RSS feeds. What can you see with a Twitter RSS feed? You can set up a feed for your replies so you never miss a message, one for your DMs direct messages , or one for the people whom you follow.
An RSS button, which varies by browser. The feed symbol is universal, not unique to Twitter. If you see one on a Web site, that means you can add its content to your feed reader. To get your replies RSS feed: Click the Profile link in the upper-right of any Twitter page. Your Profile page appears. Click the Mentions tab in the right sidebar which is marked with username. Your Mentions page appears. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the orange RSS button.
You can also click the RSS logo in your browser. This logo is usually all the way to the right in the text field where you enter URLs, but it may differ, depending on which browser you use. Clicking this button or logo automatically prompts you to add the feed to the feed address into Google Reader if you have it set up. We cover these desktop clients more thoroughly in Chapter 7. You can get your Twitter info by using TweetDeck.
Basically, a Twitter client allows you to use Twitter from your desktop without having a browser open. These services work by talking to Twitter to get the information they need. Plug-in just means that the application gets installed right into the browser and runs from there.
Although most plug-ins and add-ons made for Twitter are safe to put on your computer, always be careful any time you install something new.
A good way to tell whether an application is okay is to ask your friends on Twitter whether they use it. Most active Twitter users are happy to provide tips and recommendations.
Mozilla approves plug-ins that have been submitted to its developer program. Plug-ins that are proven not to be harmful are endorsed by Mozilla. Widgets and gadgets Twitter and other sites offer widgets or, as Google calls them, gadgets that let you embed information from a service such as Twitter onto other sites so that you can share Twitter more easily.
Other times, they come in the form of an application that you have to install on a social-network platform, such as Facebook.
You can use dozens and dozens of official and unofficial widgets for Twitter. Twitter has an official page where you can find the code for an embeddable widget, complete with step-by-step instructions for installing it. Just go to http: You can find an official Twitter application for Facebook, too, which means that you can make your Twitter updates show up as your Facebook status updates, or you can display a badge of your tweets on your Facebook profile.
You can find the Twitter application for Facebook at http: The Google gadget works on Google Desktop, as well as the iGoogle personal home page product. You can install the Google gadget by clicking the download button at http: If you have technical expertise or access to a good Web developer, you can build your own widget or plug-in for your site that uses the Open Twitter API.
You can find details on building a widget at http: Going Mobile: The Key to Happiness In our opinion, the key to Twitter happiness is mobility. You should be able to use Twitter anywhere, anytime, and any way that you want, including on your phone. If you have a higher-end phone, such as the iPhone or BlackBerry, you can try out a few downloadable Twitter apps. Some of these apps such as Twinkle and TwitterFon are free, some such as Tweetie, which you can see in action in Figures and cost a few bucks, and some such as Twitterrific have both free and paid versions.
BlackBerry users have fewer applications at their disposal, including the extremely popular TwitterBerry shown in Figure If you do have a touch screen, look into an iPhone-like interface client called PocketTwit made by Google Labs. The API is so customizable that you can create a completely new service for Twitter on a whim, based on what you want to do with it — which is a big plus, especially if you plan to mold Twitter to fit a specific company goal or make it a big part of a marketing campaign or promotion.
Full customization is rare on the Web, but with Twitter, you can mold it to work anywhere you need it to: You can read your tweet stream with the Tweetie iPhone application.
These mobile Twitter apps barely scratch the surface of what you can find out there, and new ones are created fairly regularly. Try out a few to see which ones you prefer. Again, once www. You can post new tweets by using Tweetie. TwitterBerry, a Twitter BlackBerry application.
In this part, we show you how to find the people you may know outside of Twitter on Twitter, locate people who share your interests, and identify other personalities and brands that you may want to connect with using Twitter.
But equally important to accessing your Twitter account from virtually anywhere is understanding how to interact within the community. In this chapter, we go over the nuts and bolts involved in discovering, managing, and interacting with the people you follow on Twitter and the people who follow you.
Additionally, we give you some hints about how to play well with others within the twitterverse so that you can start having conversations right away! Finding People to Follow on Twitter A key part of getting the most out of Twitter is knowing where and how to find people whose Twitter streams are of interest to you.
You can pretty easily find people to follow on Twitter: That process can become complicated because of the large size and diversity of the Twitter ecosystem. Joining Your Flock on Twitter Avid users have countless theories and strategies about the best ways and reasons to follow others. You can make it up as you go along and create your own criteria for building up a Twitter stream. Twitter is a very personalized experience.
No two people use Twitter in exactly the same way, and no two people follow a given account on Twitter for exactly the same reasons. Quite literally, no two people experience the same Twitter because everyone is consuming different streams, and publishing to, and interacting with different sets of readers.
Twitter is not a single village, as the term Twitterville implies. Dive in and start tweeting! When someone wants to address you directly on Twitter, that user does so by replying to you.
You have plenty of other options for finding people to follow see the next sections. Chapter 5: Tweeting It Up Searching for people You can best search for people on Twitter by using one of two methods: Start slowly, following people you know and who know you.
Then, as you start tweeting regularly, follow more people based on your interests. Avoid using punctuation in your username. Typing punctuation on mobile devices is difficult. Cheat Sheet. Twitter For Dummies Cheat Sheet. Device Access Point Web https: Task Command mention By placing the symbol in front of a username, you can tag another user in your Tweet.
Direct message DM A private message can be sent directly to a user on Twitter who is already following you. Follower A follower is someone who follows you on Twitter and sees your updates on his home feed Your home timeline displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter.
Hashtag Using the symbol in front of any word or phrase tags your Tweets. Your experience on Twitter will be a positive one if you keep the following tips in mind: Say what you think or are doing.
Listen to what your Twitter network is saying. Respond to Twitter followers when you can add value to the conversation. Update your status at least once a day.