Get started with Twitter
Get started with Twitter
4:41

Get started with Twitter

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>> Tom: Recording a video, now Twitter has been around for a couple of years but with the Presidential Election and the arrival of people like Shaq, Levar Burton [assumed spelling], Steven Fry, it really has moved into the mainstream so if you're new to Twitter or just a little lost by things like OH and RT we're here to help. I'm Tom Merritt from CNET.com I'll show you how to get started on Twitter. ^M00:00:20 [ Music ] ^M00:00:29 >> Tom: We'll assume you've been to Twitter.com and know it's a list of short postings limited to 140 characters and you probably know you can follow people and their posts will show up in your timeline, but what's it good for? Well, at it's most basic it's good for keeping in touch. Twitter can be delivered in several ways on the web, in a separate application or by text message, here's how to do the text thing. In settings tell Twitter what your phone number is and activate your number from then on when you send your text message to 40404 Twitter knows by your phone number it's you and posts the message to your account. You can also have other people's updates texted to you. Send on to get them from everyone you follow and off to stop them you can shut off individuals and their Twitter profiles on the web. If you pay for text messages though you need to be careful with using Twitter over text I prefer to use an application on my phone it saves on text messaging costs and allows me to have a more visual interface. Great, now you have lots of posts what the heck are these people writing? RT at Ace to tech OH, blah, blah, blah, let's start with the at symbol you know it well from email it's common practice to refer to people by their Twitter names with the at symbol in front this makes their name into a link so it's often used as a reply such as at Veronica did you get the harpsichord I sent you, or you could just refer to people with the at sign like man that Veronica sure can play the harpsichord. Now the excellent thing about the at sign is it lets you send a message to someone even if they don't follow you. Take someone outstandingly popular like Jason Howell [assumed spelling] he can't possibly follow everyone who follows him, for one he's too tall but folks can message him by using his Twitter handle Ray gun 01 in their messages, when he clicks on the reply's tab in his Twitter account he sees all the folks who messaged him. Remember your at replies can potentially be seen by anyone if you need a reply that's a little more private try the direct message you can either type D then the user name like this, D Amanda French, hey when are you coming back to SF, or you can go into the direct message section of the site. Either way the messages are not public do keep in mind you can only send a direct message to someone who follows you. Let's get into some shorthand you may also come across some things like this, OH that man is a pig and by that I mean he has a snout and fine bristly facial hair. You might first read that and think it reads, Oh that man is a pig but the OH stands for overheard. When you want to anonymously pass along something someone else said say in a restaurant or even on a TV show you type OH and then the overheard phrase in quotes. Another common oddity is RT as in RT Natali Del Conte, why does my homemade bolognaise pasta taste like mammoth? The RT stands for retweet you're passing along to your friends something someone else said because you find it informative or funny or whatever. At the same time you're giving credit to the original poster. Before we move on from the posts themselves a little about hash tags, they have nothing to do with potatoes or marijuana unless you really want them to. It refers to putting the pound sign in front of a word this tags your postings so let's say your attending the Consumer Electronics Show AKA CES, every post you make about the show could end pound sign CES; this would make it easier for folks looking for information about the show to find it. Finally, what should you write, I mean literally answering what are you doing make get a little boring pretty fast, at least to folks following you in your timeline. Some of the most enjoyable posts are witty observations, breaking news, and links to interesting stuff like websites and pictures. In fact, many mobile phone applications will allow you to take a picture and automatically add it to your posting. If you want to do that you need to get to know TwitPic. There's a whole heck of a lot more to cover but now you know the basics, in fact, now you could just ask other Twitters what some of their other favorite tricks and tips are and I'm sure they'll at you right back. Have fun getting started with Twitter, I'm Tom Merritt CNET.com. ^M00:04:36 [ Music ]

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