wine on the keyboard

twitter primer

What is Twitter

by Kay~Kacey on 9/29/2008

Are you one of those “what the heck is Twitter, anyway?” people? I was too. I signed up. Logged in. Got overwhelmed and didn’t go back for months. I didn’t get the whole mircoblogging thing.

twitter front page

So, for you, those who like me who just kind of scratch your head and ask “what IS Twitter?”, I’ll try to explain a bit. I might even get you to check it out. To realize the potential. To get in on the fun.

(this is a long post, so I split it into two sections. Click on the more key if you need to to see the second half of the post.)

Easy Guide to Twitter:

Twitter is a microblogging platform. You have 140 characters to say what you want to say. No more, but you can use less. Twitter isn’t only about letting people know what you’re doing, what you’re eating, what the weather is…though people do filter in those brief comments about their lives. Twitter is about finding other like minded individuals and following them. It’s about instant access to information. It’s another building block in your online community.

Go to and sign up for an account. It’s quick, it’s easy. Use your real name, your pseudonym, your business name, or a name you’re know as online, depending on what/who you’re trying to connect to. A lot of people use their blog name.

twitter sign up

Okay, all signed up? Go to your settings page and upload a photo for your avatar. No, you don’t have to, but it sure makes it easier to keep track of people on twitter when they have a unique avatar.

twitter avatar

Go to some of your favorite blogs and see if they have a follow me on twitter link. Click on it and follow them. You’ll now see their updates. Easy, right?

Go to Twitter and type your first update into the box. Just type away. 140 characters. Go for it. Everyone following you will see what you said.

twitter page

This is what you’ll see. A list of updates from people you follow. (sorry for the blurry screen capture)

What’s this whole @ thing about?

You’ll see updates like this:

mentalmama @kaceyskeyboard How was your walk today?

This means Mental Mama has commented to me, but anyone following me will see the update.

What’s with Direct Messages?

Our same beloved Mental Mama could have sent the message to me directly:

d kaceyskeyboard You slacker I know you haven’t walked today. Wuss.

With a direct message, only the person it was sent to will see it. So I don’t have to hurt Mental Mama for yelling at me publicly. 😉

I also have the Twitterific app installed on my iPhone and I can keep up with Twitter when I’m on the road. You don’t know how entertaining that can be on long road trips!

Now Some Really Cool Ways to Use Twitter. [click to continue…]