Canadians Talking Tech

How to use Twitter

by Noah Bloom Posted in How To

Tricks for skeptical first timers…

Everyone is talking about Twitter, not just the tech geeks.

At this point, you’ve probably considered giving it a try, or you’ve already signed up and couldn’t figure out what the big deal is all about.

So consider giving it a try, and here’s why — Twitter is an amazing tool to do the following within moments of starting up:

  • get an inside view into the lives of interesting people
  • hear compelling tidbits from the “influentials”
  • learn about breaking news

Later, you will be able to share what you know and create a very rich dialogue (including links and photos) with the people you will eventually connect with on the network. BUT FIRST…

Twitter starts off as a VERY simple service. You may be surprised how simple it is.

Try this:

Sign up and add at least 10 frequent and interesting Twitterers. Maybe you like celebrities, successful investors, professional athletes, musicians. They’re all here, and more will be here soon:

CNN Breaking News, Britney Spears, The New York Times, Lance Armstrong, Al Gore, Shaq, Demi Moore, Tina Fey, Coldplay, Jimmy Fallon, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, Ashton Kutcher, Evan Williams (founder of Twitter), Robert Scoble (ubergeek), Guy Kawasaki (marketing guru), Stephen Colbert, The Onion, David Pogue (tech reviewer for NYTimes)

Just go to their profile page and lick “FOLLOW” (assuming you’ve already signed up for Twitter!).

You can also use Twitterholic and Twitter suggestions to find other popular Twitterers to follow.

Visit your Twitter homepage and refresh to read these very short entries. It is very refreshing to learn so much through such a short note!

Your friends on Twitter

Soon enough, you’ll find your friends or other members of your community on Twitter.

Your status

Eventually you will also want to contribute you status, anything to answer “What are you doing?” Seriously, you can write from the most simple notes (“walking the dog in the sun”) to express opinions, post pictures, converse with a friend, send links, etc. But don’t be intimidated. START SMALL AND SIMPLE, and you will eventually see how you can add value to the network with your comments.

Next steps

Soon enough, you’ll learn how to add pictures, link to other sites, reference other Twitterers conversations, use Twitter from your cell phone, and possibly even want to use other programs (clients) for using Twitter on your PC, iPhone, or Blackberry.

Further reading

Top 10 Twitter Tips for Beginners

Top 10 celebrities on Twitter (and a few more because we like them)

All a-Twitter: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder why – all in 140 characters

NYTimes: Twitter? It’s What You Make It

Tim Ferriss: How to Use Twitter Without Twitter Owning You – 5 Tips

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