Twitter is a Web Two social networking many to many rippling micro blogging application. You tweak (post) what you're doing, or some news item, or post a picture, or ask a question, or make some observation, or whatever. You have followers. They receive your tweat. The tweats are authored and read via various platforms: twitter.com, mobile device applications, SMS (Short Message Service, AKA text message), (other things using the Twitter API,) etc.. Someone receiving a tweat may never even read it. They might just read it and that is all. They might direct message you back. They might re-tweat your tweat; if they re-tweat then the tweat goes to their followers. The retweat is not so much an official feature or function of Twitter so much as simply putting "RT" at the start of your post. All twits (or people on Twitter) have followers and are following others. Someone you follow need not be following you, and visa versa. The idea is that networks or communities or cliches develop. Twitter is asymmetrical, whereas many other social networks are symmetrical. Direct messaging requires some following though. One of the unique things about Twitter is the 140 character limit. This is the existing established size of SMS messages, minus a few characters for Twitter overhead. One manifestation of Art is creation within defined boundaries - here, not really, but ostensibly, every message is a Haiku, thoughtful composed to convey real meaning and connect with the reader. If you think of everyone on Twitter as a mini-blogger, then instead of going out to all their blogs or reading the blogs by way of RSS or a blog aggregator, you're choosing, or filtering, which blogs to read by who you follow. The twittersphere is ginormious. It's an application sitting on the Internet where millions of people are sending out many many posts each day. Obviously no-one can read them all, so many many niches exist. These little groups overlap and stuff pops around twitter (partially via re-tweats and hashtags), rippling (as per the title sentence) from one community to the next.
" Twitter "
is a reflection of our collective self. It also reflects
the state of the world. (via @Deepak_Chopra)
Sign up, basically picking a username and password. Start following people. Invite people to follow you. Tweat. Create a profile: picture, descriptive text, wallpaper for your profile page. Search for people geographically if on a mobile device with GPS-like awareness. Search for keywords of interest in other's tweats. Watch the twittersphere in real-time! Or watch the trending topics. Once you find an interesting tweat, look at the tweater's profile and see if you'd actually like to read most of their tweats - are they too frequent, too in-frequent, mostly good reads? As you tweak and create a profile and interact with others you'll get your own tweeps ("peeps" twitter-ized - see Tw* section for more).
Twitter Support: Safety: Keeping Your Account Secure - http://help.twitter.com/forums/26810/entries/76036
Tip: Better not to tweat than to be banal.
Zen and the Art of Twitter: 4 Tips for Productive Tweeting “I have no idea. Ask the horse!”
You can set your profile to be private. This is not the default, and surely makes growing followers slower.
You can block people from following you.
Here is what The Great Wikipedia in the Cloud has for the hashtags "#" and "@":
The @ tag is nice as it provides context to a tweat. It shows that your referring to something else. Depending on how you're interfacing Twitter, you can click the @UserName and see the referred to post or even the tweats chronologically as a conversation.
The # tag is basically for searchablity. This way you don't have to have the keywords others will search against as actual text in your tweat.
RT is covered up here.
#FF is FollowFriday: You use
the hash tag #FF and list via the @username convention (ex: @zakey) tweaps
you're recomneding others to follow. So you'll automatically get FF suggestions
from people you follow; search #FF for more. There are other day of the week
theams, but as of this writing this is the most popular.
microsyntax.org is a non-profit hoping to be the de facto reference for micro-syntaxtical extensions to Twitter.
There's also a whole bunch of codes for following, stopping following, DM, reply, etc., purely via SMS.
Regional Twitter dialects (01/11)
The cast of Seinfeld on Twitter. - By Frank Ferri - Slate Magazine: http://www.slate.com/id/2231467/
#orphantweet article: http://www.slate.com/id/2219995/?GT=38001
Twibbon (ribbon for your Twitter pix)