Twitter is a popular micro-blogging service that allows you to post messages of up to 140 characters in length. The site/service is simple and easy to use attracting the attention of celebrities and laymen alike. Everything from trivial musings to profound thoughts are shared with Twitter followers around the globe.
The first step to joining the Twitter revolution is to set up an account at Twitter.com. Only the most basic information is required and your Twitter account can be linked to a number of other services including YouTube, Foursquare and LinkedIn.
In addition to the website, Twitter can be accessed through a number of apps and third party applications such as Twitter for Blackberry, iPhone and Android, Tweet Deck and Uber Twitter.
With these apps, Twitter is mobile and easier to manage; the apps also facilitate posting to multiple Twitter profiles and/or multiple social networking platforms, including Facebook.
Leetspeak is popular on the short messaging service, but Twitter has a lingo of its own; followers, tweeples, tweets, reply, mention and hash tags all have a Twitter meaning, which may or may not mirror the original meaning of the terms.
Tweets (or postings) can be enhanced with images, which can be embedded in the tweet, and links for which the addresses can be shortened to maximise the 140-character limit. Additional care is needed to ensure that Twitter shortened URL’s don’t point to viruses and other malware.
That said, it seems everyone is on Twitter (or secretly wants to be). Some people set up Twitter accounts just to read what others have to say. Others actively participate in the discussion. There are very few rules to Twitter and fewer accepted standards, but some courtesies do apply, such as:
• You don’t have to read every single tweet
• You don’t have to respond to every mention
• Quote the original tweet in your reply or be specific so others can follow the conversation
• Credit the original author, but not everyone who retweeted the post
• Don’t curse, Twitter is public and you have no control over who can see it
• Check links before retweeting and cite the source
• The rest, make up as you go along
• Happy tweeting!
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