The Blue Birds are Tweeting Part 2

Twitter Hatchling
Image found at www.iconbug.com.

Did you miss The Blue Birds are Tweeting Part 1?  Read it HERE!

In my last post, I introduced you to the idea of trying Twitter.  I suggested using www.search.twitter.com to see what people were tweeting about and how many resources are being shared.  I sincerely hope that after exploring Twitter, you are eager to create your Twitter handle and start tweeting!

The purpose of today’s post is to introduce you to the must-know lingo that any Twitter participant must know.  Although Twitter has developed an entire Twitter Glossary, I’m going to give you just the basics…you’re welcome! 🙂

Twitter Handle:  This is basically the same thing as your user name.  Your handle is what people will use to tweet to you directly, and it will always be preceded by the @ symbol because you are either directing a tweet “at” someone, or someone is directing a tweet “at” you.

Follow:  Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows for one-way “following”.  On Facebook, in order for someone to be able to communicate with you and see your information they have to be your “friend” and you have to be theirs.  On Twitter, you can “follow” someone, but they don’t have to “follow” you back.  When you follow someone, that person’s tweets will show up on your Twitter timeline/homepage.  Found someone you want to follow (like @BoucherLauren)?  You can search for them in the search bar at the top right of your screen, or you can click on their Twitter handle in a post.  Doing this will take you to their profile page where you can click the “Follow” button.

Tweet:  A tweet is a cuter way of referring to a post or message.  You are free to tweet about anything as long as you keep it to 140 characters or less.  *If you’ve gone over your character limit, think about using abbreviations and symbols. You can also put words/phrases together by capitalizing the first letter in each word and removing the spaces between.  An example would be “Im going 2 attend SimpleK12s webinar: GoogleAppsForEducators n ab 5 min”. That one would actually fit without the abbreviations, but you get my point.

Hashtag:  By using the # (hashtag) symbol, you are categorizing, or including, your tweet in a particular topic or conversation.  Hashtags are used to search for specific topics, and can be created by anyone.  For example, I started #sgechat, which I use when I tweet information for teachers at my school, South Greenville Elementary.  For more information on hashtags, click HERE.

Twitter Chats:  Chats are ongoing conversations about a particular topic.  They’re denoted by the # (hashtag) symbol.  Some chats have specific days and times where followers of that topic will “meet” online.  A moderator will pose a question or two to get the conversation started, and then everyone puts in their two cents on the topic.  These can be extremely overwhelming for someone just getting started with Twitter because you can have literally hundreds of people posting at the same time.  My advice would be to “connect” to one or two people and join their conversations.  The chats start with a question, then branch out to more personal, in-depth conversations.

How do you join a Twitter chat?  Simply search for the chat name (#edchat) in the search bar at the top of your screen.  Click “Tweets” in the results box at the top and the conversation will update in your browser window as people begin “chatting”.  When you find that mini conversation you want to be a part of, it may be easier then to search for their names and just follow their tweets.

@cybraryman1, Jerry Blumengarten, has put together an awesome website as a resource for teachers interested in joining conversations centered around educational topics.  View his list of Twitter Chats and Hashtags, then connect with him on Twitter.  Don’t forget to connect with me as well!  @BoucherLauren

Want more information on Twitter?  Read the final post in this series:  The Blue Birds are Tweeting Part 3.