Twitter Basics


Are you Twitter curious? For the past few months I’ve been on the fence about Twitter – lurking but minimally engaged. Like all new technologies as people play with it they are discovering what it is best for. Recently I’ve watched as my friend Charlene Blohm has begun leveraging it to help drive her business.

Twitter seems to be following a similar path to other new technologies. The enthusiasm of early adopters misrepresents what the technology is really capable of. Think LaserWriters/Postcript and flyers with 23 different fonts on them (circa 1986) or web pages cluttered with frames (circa 1998). Once the dust settled and a “grammar” of usage emerged we all benefited. But every new technology has to pass through a stage of wild and random experimentation to get there.

Twitter is passing out of this stage right now so it is a good time for the rest of us to engage with it.

I was picking Charlene’s brain yesterday about Twitter commands and resources (the company’s web support sucks) and she gave me this list of articles and resources that can help you get started.

Getting Started With Twitter (by a teacher)

Twitter Tools for Community and Communications Professionals

List of Twitter Commands

How to Use Hastags [to track topics and events]

Coming Attractions

In the next couple of weeks I’ll do a post on What Twitter Does Well and another on How to Abuse Twitter. In the meantime you can start following me by tracking Embir.

Other Education Publishing related twitterers that I know if (there are 10’s of thousands out there).

Charlene Blohm & Associates

Nettrekker / Thinkronize

Gary Stager

Cool Cat Teacher

TechnoLibrary – Carolyn Foote

360Kid – Scott Traylor

Terry Anderson

Richard Carey
Liz Strauss

Education Week

School Library Journal

PBS Learning Now

Please add others in comments. If you are new to Twitter – welcome to the conversation.


3 responses to “Twitter Basics”

  1. charlene says:

    Lee – Thanks for the quick overview, which I’m sure will inspire many others.

    As you were prepping this post, I was following a press conference live via Twitter – a fascinating question and answer exchange about what’s going on in Gaza.

    Thanks to Twitter, I’ve learned a great deal from many new-found friends as we’ve exchanged social media tip/tricks, book reviews, music recommendations, links to online resources, and much more. Other Tweeple your readers may know include:
    Califone (Califone)
    Digital Directions (digidirections)

    Recorded Books (recordedbooks)

    Education Writers Association (EWA)

    and hundreds of K-12 educators
    Here’s one more link your readers might enjoy, a piece from Business Week about how companies are using twitter to bolster their brands:
    Thanks for moving the discussion forward!

  2. It’s amazing how these social network sites have changed the way everyone does business. From political campaigns to corporations. It’s amazing how the Viral phenomenon can have such influence.

  3. Annie says:

    Lee, I’ve been sitting on the fence for a long time about Twitter. Since I have trouble keeping up with email and blogging, I felt Twitter would put me over the edge. But you along with some other smart people have now convinced me I should at least join and lurk to get a better sense of what’s there. Thanks for the push.