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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Twitter 101

New to Twitter? This overview will help you get the most out of Twitter and ExecTweets.

Getting to know Twitter
What is it? Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages.   People write short updates, often called “tweets”  of 140 characters or fewer.   These messages are posted to your profile or your blog, sent to your followers, and are searchable on Twitter search.

Do I need anything special to use it?
All you need to use Twitter is an internet connection or a mobile phone.  Join us here!  Once you’re in, type your first update into the web box.   To get an idea of what other people are saying or doing on Twitter, check out Twitter search to see what Twitter’s all about.   You can search by keyword or just check out the trending topics to what’s hot on Twitter right now.
How do I find my friends?
When you create an account, you can search for people by name or user name, import friends from other networks, or invite friends via email.  If you don’t want to do that, follow some of the people we’ve suggested. Once you’ve found your friends,follow them to start getting their updates.
What does it mean to follow someone on Twitter?
Following someone simply means receiving their Twitter updates.   When you follow someone, every time they post a new message, it will appear in your Twitter home page.  New messages are added to your home page as people post them, so you always get the updates in real time.  When you log in, you can see what the latest updates are.  Twitter offers other ways to follow people too: you can get updates from certain people on your phone!
How do I know who I’m following?
After you click the follow button on someone’s profile, you’re following them.  The follow button will change to a box that says “Following” with a drop down option to remove a person if you want to. If you’ve registered your phone with Twitter, you can set up text preferences for a person as well.  See a list of people you’re following by clicking on the following link on your profile or your home page’s sidebar.
How do I know who is following me?
Twitter sends you an email when someone new follows you.  Set up your email preferences to notify you when you have a new follower.  The followers link on your profile page or home page’s sidebar will also tell you how many followers you have.
What are follow limits?
Twitter recently added follow and update limits for stability and abuse control.  You can read more about this here.
Who reads my updates?
It’s up to you.  Your followers read your updates, and anyone else who comes across them in a search.  All public updates are posted to the public timeline (accessible from your home page in the Everyone tab.) Your Twitter profile is public by default; if you’re hesitant to have strangers read your updates, protect your profile to approve followers and keep your updates out of search.
How do I reply?
If you’d like to reply to execs or another member of the ExecTweets community, just place an @ in front of their name in the body of your message. They’ll see your message in their Twitter stream. For example, if you wanted to reply to “exectweets” you’d write @exectweets within your message.
For more information, please visit the official Twitter Help Section.