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Page history last edited by Beth Duttlinger 8 years, 6 months ago

What is all the twitter about?                                                                                         

Twitter is a social media and Micro-blogging website that allows users to send/post information to other users in 140 characters or less (yes that's characters and not words!)  Tweets (as they are commonly called) can be about what's happening, philosophical musings, the weather--anything you like. 


Common Craft has created an introductory video (2:25) on Twitter in Plain English

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Twitter is a social network site that allows user to:

  • Construct a social media persona 
  • Create a list of other users to share or follow posts
  • View and traverse the lists of others within Twitter

More information is available on wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter


Twitter has been around since 2006 and usage has increased exponentially.  Comments posted on Twitter range from the mundane ("I'm leaving for work", "I just got up") to socially relevent commentary and breaking first person accounts of real time events.  Examples can be found at 9 Ways to Use Twitter


Twitter is also being used at professional conferences--sometimes as Twitter heckles (tweckles).  Here's an article from the "Journal of Higher Education" on this phenomenon.


How are libraries/librarians using twitter?

Bill Drew has created a great starter site for librarians considering Twitter.  In addition to providing basic information about Twitter and its usage in the library, he provides examples of some libraries/librarians in using Twitter at http://sites.google.com/site/whytwitterstls/home.


  Recent article:  Milstein, Sarah. "Twitter for Libraries (and Librarians)." Computers in Libraries, May 2009.

David Free created this video presentation called Welcome to the Twiterverse for the 2007 BIGWIG Social Software Showcase.  In it, he gives a brief overview of Twitter, and then discusses how some libraries are utilizing Twitter.  David Lee King followed up with a Part Two and recently wrote a posting on his blog called #5000 Tweets: What's that Done for Me.


Here are 100 Tips, Apps and Resources for Teachers on Twitter.


A note about social media policies

What policies should you have in place in your organization to start using Twitter? 

Well, it seems that more libraries and organizations are creating social media policies.  Since marketing of library services permeates all library positions (even if you have a marketing department), it's a good idea to have a policy.  Social media policies are a good choice since they address multiple media outlets--facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.  We've bookmarked several helpful sites at  http://delicious.com/thelibrarian/social+policies


Jenny Levine (The Shifted Librarian) also has some great advice on how she is addressing ALA postings on Twitter: http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2010/01/11/one-approach-to-org-twitter-accounts.html


How do I start tweeting?'

Thinking about what you would like to accomplish with Twitter is a great place to start!  Advice from Twitip on defining Twitter goals can be found at http://www.twitip.com/defining-twitter-goals-a-tip-for-successful-use-of-twitter/

The Complete Guide to Twitter is available online and has lots of information for new Tweeters. 

Howcast video on How to Use Twitter (3:59)


Following, followers and finding people

Twitter's helpdesk article on What is Following?


Mashable's advice on 10 Ways to Find People on Twitter


A volunteer directory of Librarians on Twitter is available at http://justtweetit.com/education/librarians/


Richard Byrne, a HS teacher from  has posted Seven ways to find teachers on Twitter on his blog, Free Technology for Teachers


You can follow American Libraries news stories, videos, and blog posts at: amlibraries


Hashtags, abbreviations, and shortcuts

Hashtags allow Twitter users to search keywords.  Users discovered that including a # plus a keyword allows other Twitter users to find articles on that topic.  For example, if you search #libraries in Twitter, you will see all the tweets that include that hashtag in the message. 


Twitter's helpdesk article on What are hashtags (the "#" symbol)?


Econsultancy has listed 16 Bitchin' Commands and Shortcuts for Twitter



Retweets allow you to forward tweets you are viewing to the people following you in Twitter.  Retweeting is easy!  Just mouse over the tweet you want to send and click the "retweet" icon in the bottom right of the entry.  Click on retweet and YES and you're done!


More information and a graphic is available through Twitter's Helpdesk article on What is retweet? (RT)


Posting pictures on twitter

There are a couple of ways that pictures can be easily posted on Twitter.  You can use Twitpic.  Photos can be downloaded from your phone or computer.  For instructions see Twitpic's FAQs.


Jing also allows you to post pictures or screen shots.  Instructions and a short video (2:28) are available on adding a Twitter button.  For more information about Jing and other podcasting tools see TTW: Module Podcasting (Tools)


Short audios can also be posted on twitter

Chir.ps allows user to record and post short audios on tweets.  It's easy--just got to http://chir.ps then record your audio, type in your tweet and it will attach your audio as a tiny URL.  Here's one I did: 

      duttlingerbTrying out chir.ps with this recorded audio tweet! http://chir.ps/2Hr


Consolidating twitter posts with other social networking sites

There are many aggregators that allow users to get content from multiple social networking sites or post to multiple sites at once. 

I like ping.fm for posting to multiple sites at once.  Not only can I post to Twitter, but it also allows me to post concurrently to LinkedIn, Facebook, and more.  Bwana.tv has posted a ping.fm video (4:27) on YouTube

FriendFeed is one of the most popular aggregator for social network sites.  Here are 10 Useful Tips to Using FriendFeed from MakeTechEasier and and article from Library Journal entitled Working the Social: Twitter and FriendFeed


Can I use twitter with my mobile phone?

Yes!  Twitter has a help page on Using Twitter with your phone.


Using twitter lists

If you already use Twitter, you may have noticed the messages about a new feature in Twitter--lists.  Twitter lists allow tweeters to organize users they follow into lists.  You can view Twitter's Helpdesk article on Introducing: Twitter Lists! or view 10 Ways to Use Twitter Lists on the Mashable blog.


Archiving tweets

Because of the vast number of tweets that are posted, searching tweets more than 2 weeks old is not possible without using a service that archives them in some manner.  There are many ways to archive.  Several are covered in ReadWriteWeb's 10 Ways to Archive Your Tweets.


How do I find  icons, buttons, and logos to add to my website, wiki or blog?

If you would like to post Twitter icons, buttons or logos on your our sites, you can find them at http://twitter.com/about#download_logo  


Other twitter tutorials

WebJunction's Twitter: A Beginner's Guide, Part 1

WebJunction's Twitter: A Beginner's Guide, Part 2

TechSoup's Around the Twitter World in 60 Minutes (archive of online webinar & links)


Lowrider Librarian's Twitter for Organizations 


Abby Stokes, author of "Is This Thing On: A Computer Handbook for Late Bloomers, Technophobes and the Kicking & Screaming, has some helpful Twitter advice


EDUCAUSE has a short paper for academics from their Learning Initiatives series called 7 Things You Should Know About Microblogging


  Back to the Technology Training Wheels home page   


Comments? Questions? 

If you don't find the answer to your question, want more or advanced information on a topic, need further clarification of a concept, would like to see another topic covered, or have any other comments or concerns, please feel free to contact me at: 

Beth Duttlinger

Library Development Consultant

Alliance Library System  


(309)694-9200 ext.2117

The Technology Training Wheels wiki is easy to update, improve, and develop.  Your feedback makes this site better!  


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