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The basics of Twitter

What is Twitter? Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news that you find interesting. Follow accounts that you find the most compelling and monitor the conversations.

16 Sep 2012

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news that you find interesting. Follow accounts that you find the most compelling and monitor the conversations.

Tweets

Twitter displays small bursts of information via Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long so you need to be creative with what information you share. You can share and see photos, videos and conversations in Tweets or get the low down on a whole story with a glance.

How to sign up to Twitter

  1. Go to http://twitter.com and click on the sign up box, or go directly to https://twitter.com/signup.
  2. Enter your full name, email address, and a password.
  3. Click Sign up for Twitter.
  4. On the next page, you can select a username (usernames are unique identifiers on Twitter) — type your own or choose one Twitter suggests. Twitter will let you know if your username is already in use.
  5. Double-check your name, email address, password, and username.
  6. Click Create my account.
  7. Twitter will send a confirmation email to the address you entered on sign up, click the link in that email to confirm your email address and account.

Tips for picking a username:

  • Your username is the name your followers use when sending @replies, mentions, and direct messages.
  • It will also form the URL of your Twitter profile page.
  • Please note: You can change your username in your account settings at any time, as long as the new username is not already in use.
  • Usernames must be fewer than 15 characters in length and cannot contain "admin" or "Twitter", in order to avoid brand confusion.

First steps after you've created your account:

  1. After signing up, follow a handful of accounts to create a customized stream of information on your homepage. Following means you'll get that user's Tweets on your Twitter homepage. You can unfollow anyone at any time. Find out how to follow news sources, friends, and more at https://support.twitter.com/articles/15355-how-to-unfollow-users-on-twitter
  2. Read the Twitter 101 article. It explains lots of handy tips and tricks to help you get started. https://support.twitter.com/articles/215585-twitter-101-how-should-i-get-started-using-twitter
  3. Take the Twitter Tour https://support.twitter.com/groups/40-twitter-tour/topics/181-twitter-tutorial/articles/20169519-twitter-tour-let-us-show-you-around# to find out where things are on the website. Or, learn about using Twitter on your mobile phone https://support.twitter.com/groups/34-apps-sms-and-mobile#

Twitter Glossary

Twitter users use symbols and abbreviations to talk to each other. Listed below is some of the most commonly used Twitter language.

1.      @Replies
If a message begins with @username, meaning it was directed to another user, it is an @reply. Click the Reply button on another person's Tweet to reply to it. Please note that if your Tweets are protected, users who are not following you will not see your @replies or mentions.

2.      Direct messages
Direct messages are personal messages sent from one Twitter account to another; they do not appear in public for anyone else to read. You can only send a direct message to a person who follows you.

3.      Retweet (RT)
A retweet is a re-posting of someone else's Tweet. Twitter's retweet feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet with all of your followers. Sometimes people type RT at the beginning of a Tweet to indicate that they are re-posting someone else's content. This isn't an official Twitter command or feature, but signifies that they are quoting another user's Tweet and also allows the user to comment on the Tweet.

4.      Hashtags ("#" Symbols)
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. Twitter users originally created it as a way to categorise messages.

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorise those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. 
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword..
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

For more Twitter terms go to https://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics/topics/104-welcome-to-twitter-support/articles/166337-the-twitter-glossary#

Don’t forget to follow the AMA on your Twitter account to keep up to date with all the latest policy and AMA news.

Follow the AMA President on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/amapresident

Follow the AMA on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/ama_media

Follow Australian Medicine on Twitter @ https://twitter.com/amaausmed


Published: 16 Sep 2012