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Twitter essentials Users contribute 140-character messages known as “tweets” via Web or mobile device. Twitter aggregates all user messages into a main feed Users can choose to follow one another, thus creating a live updated feed of select tweets. It is a social network of sharing our lives and our information, built on “weak ties”
Three basic functions of Twitter Contribute (tweet) Amplify (retweet): Take a message from someone you follow and broadcast it out to your followers Converse (reply): You can reply to a user’s tweet in a message that is public, but generally only seen by that user.
Why Twitter? It is open to all Medium is ideal for scanning Twitter functions on culture of sharing information and links Size is less of a factor. Even if my follower number is small, you can reach many if your followers retweet you
@DarfurConflict A team of 5-8 students operating on a schedule. Two of them per day posting 140-character “tweets” from the DarfurConflict account Messages repurpose items about Darfur in the news, distilling key info and providing link Work done to build network of followers Following people tweeting about Darfur Thanking new followers
Mass reach: Retweets Posting messages to followers is good, but real value lies in “retweets” because it gets beyond the first level of your followers. Value: Message moves beyond your followers, is exposed to your followers’ network. Wider exposure of message Leads to more followers (they join your network)
A hub and a spoke Follower Follower Follower Follower Follower Follower Follower
Benefits From 0 to almost 1350 followers in 18 months Lehigh has joined an important conversation About 3-4 tweets per day About half of the accounts tweets are being retweeted, meaning a much larger audience Followers include International government officials U.S. government officials Activist networks concerned about Darfur Journalists (CNN National Security, NYT, e.g.)
Lessons from @DarfurConflict Large follower counts less valuable than having the right followers Influence on Twitter is the result of both listening and sharing Retweetsare a way to gauge value, what is resonating with your followers. The reach of six students half a world away can be enormous and keep news in faraway places on the public consciousness.