Twitter can be confusing at first, but here’s a few things I’ve learned so far:
Your “profile” page is where only the things that you post show up, and your “home” page shows the posts from all of the people you’re following. (btw, posts are called “tweets”) You are the only one who can see your home page. It’s kinda like Facebook, but without all of the games.
From your home page, fill in the box that asks, “what are you doing?”… that will be posted to your profile page AND to the home pages of everyone who’s following you.
On the right edge of any tweet, there are 2 symbols that appear when you mouse over:
1. The *arrow* will send a reply back to that person which will get posted on his/her home page and ALSO your profile page. If you want to send a message that won’t get posted on your profile page, use the “direct message” function.
2. The *star* will bookmark that tweet into a little file that you can access on the right side of your page. I have found this to be very handy, because depending on how many people you follow, it’s very hard to go back and find something again!
Unlike Facebook, you do not have to “request” to follow someone… unless their profile is protected by a lock, you can follow anyone you want. You’ll get their messages on your home page, and there’s no obligation to respond, befriend them, etc. A good way to find people you want to follow is to see who people you follow are following…there’s also a website: http://wefollow.com/ where you can search for common interests.
When you respond to someone, their username shows up as “@xxxx”, so when you see “@xxxx” in tweets on your homepage, that’s where the person you are following has responded to a tweet that someone else made. A “RT” means the post is a re-tweet, or a copy of something someone else said.
That’s the basic basics! It’s pretty neat… I’ve already learned several things and made a few good business contacts. Think of it as a really quick Google Reader, with snippets of updates coming at you in real time, rather than just another method to chit-chat with friends.
If you decide to start tweeting, please let me know! Here’s my twitter ;)