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What Is Twitter
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What Is Twitter


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This is an overview of Twitter and some of the many value-adding applications. It's not a how-to or a description of corporate value of Twitter, just an introduction.

This is an overview of Twitter and some of the many value-adding applications. It's not a how-to or a description of corporate value of Twitter, just an introduction.

Published in: Technology

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  • This is an introduction to Twitter and some related services; it doesn’t aim to look at corporate use of Twitter or provide any “how to” advice. Biz Stone is the founder of
  • These 3 points are the reason Twitter has become so valued
  • For those who like flowcharts, this shows how tweets work between people. Twitter is about dialog, it is about social interaction.
  • September 2010 stats
  • Twitter.Com is by far the most popular place people tweet, says
  • A page the public sees is different to what you see when signed into
  • This is what a user sees when logged in
  • People you follow are listed on; you can also add them to lists, interact with their latest posts, etc on this page. You can also follow other people’s lists
  • Some glossaries are a bit silly and not worth reading; these terms are probably of most use Most Twitter clients have inbuilt functions to retweet or reply, etc.
  • Twitter is new, but the reasons for twitter are not; people ask questions and tell stories
  • Because Twitter sends only text, messages are very small in terms of file size.
  • Most journalists depend on Twitter for finding news
  • Graph shows tweet broke earthquake news seconds after it happened, 3 mins before TV and nearly 10mins before AP news service
  • Spam tweet levels below 1% (March 2010) says Twitter
  • Features of Tweetdeck; main benefit is ability to display columns and display of other social networks eg. Facebook. LinkedIn
  • HootSuite lets teams share use of accounts – multiple permission levels & multiple accounts allowed
  • Twitterfall lets you track several searches, hashtags, etc in real time. Good for live events too (presentation mode) Colour coding shows different streams
  • (named after 140 character limit) provides an index to the hundreds of Twitter-related apps & services
  • #FF = ‘Follow Friday’; a hashtag people use on Fridays to recommend people worth following
  • API = Application Programming Interface, the way programs can hook into tweets and the data they contain Over 70,000 program calls to Twitter API per second
  • It’s possible to add code to shortened links and track website visits referred by Twitter. Some claims about the reach of tweets should be taken with skepticism
  • Most options offered by services like these are being incorporated into Twitter applications and the new page design
  • From September 2010 Twitter added more features previously only available elsewhere, eg. inline video, incorporated search, user profile info
  • These are some high-level resources about Twitter. Last link is for Victorian Government only.
  • Transcript

    • 1. What is ? "The messaging system we didn't know we needed till we had it" - Biz Stone
    • 2. What does Twitter do?
      • Broadcasts messages of 140 characters
      • People who follow you receive your messages
      • You receive the messages of those who you follow
    • 3. The Twitter message process Someone following you You! Someone you follow # followers # updates update # following update
    • 4. It’s popular!
      • 145 million user accounts
      • 90 Million Tweets per day
      • Traffic to up 100% this year
      • Twitter users on mobile devices are up 250%
      • Australian audience growth of 400% in 2009; >30% have visited
    • 5.
      • Twitter website
      • Other websites
      • By phone (SMS)
      • By smartphone app’s
      • One of the many clients:
      There are lots of ways to tweet
        • TweetDeck, Tweetie, Twhirl, Seesmic, Twitpic, Echofon, Twitteriffic, Gowalla,, Twittelator, Twidroid, UberTwitter, Tumblr, Shareaholic, etc, etc …
    • 6. Icons of the people I follow My lists (of people I follow) My posts My bio A public page on
    • 7. List of messages of people I follow – my ‘stream’ Private direct messages My lists (of people I follow) Where I post my updates A ‘logged in’ view of the same page # followers: 177 # updates: 550 # following: 141
    • 8. Lists on Twitter Full listing of people I follow (and their latest post) Icons lead to profile pages Create lists with your own categories You can also follow other people’s lists
    • 9. Some Twitter jargon
      • The hashtag: # tag a conversation for easy search, following and categorisation
        • e.g. #conferencename , #companyname , #anysubject
      • The @ symbol (reply) use @joffaboy [message] to send a public, direct message to joffaboy
      • DM or ‘direct message’ begin the message with D joffaboy to send it privately to me
      • RT or ‘retweet’ resending someone else’s tweet (your followers see it too)
      • and many more … see Twitter’s official glossary:
      • Applications have inbuilt tools to retweet, reply, etc.:
    • 10. Why use Twitter?
    • 11.
      • You can share
        • what you are doing
        • corporate news
        • other people’s news
        • interesting links
        • good news stories
        • emergency info
        • … and more
      • in a very small message
      Why Tweet?
    • 12.
      • Twitter is micro blogging
      • Twitter is social messaging
      • Twitter is a source of news
      • Twitter is social media marketing
      What is Twitter for?
    • 13. … for mundane reasons
    • 14. … and important
    • 15.
      • Trust can be misplaced (fake accounts, spammers, dodgy links, identity theft)
      • You don’t get to choose who follows you
      • You can follow anyone you want
      • All your messages are public
      • Everyone can see who you are following
        • Unless…
          • You make your account secured
          • You send direct private messages
      Some warnings
    • 16. Twitter clients: TweetDeck My stream @deecdnews stream mentions My list’s stream Search term stream
    • 17. Twitter clients: HootSuite
    • 18. Twitter clients: Twitterfall
    • 19. Lots of other tools
    • 20. Who to follow?
      • and other sites provide recommendations
      • Follow people (or lists ) that trusted tweeple follow
      • Ask for recommendations
      • Check out #FF (Follow Friday) recommendations
      • Use a recommendation tool (e.g. see or http:// , )
    • 21. The Twitter API Over 70,000 program calls to the Twitter API per second API = Application Programming Interface
    • 22. Metrics for Twitter
    • 23.
      • http:// = q&source = s_q&hl = nl&geocode =&q= brussel&sll =50.805935,4.432983&sspn=4.936731,11.074219&ie=UTF8&ll=50.839227,4.354191&spn=0.019269,0.043259&z=15
      • Short URLs are now built into Twitter
      20 140 Short URLs = more words
    • 24. Embedded images and video
      • Embedded images and video now built into Twitter
    • 25. New features for
    • 26. The future …
    • 27.
      • Where else to go?
      • Wikipedia http:// /wiki/Twitter
      • Twitter
      • Mashable
      • Delicious http:// /popular/twitter
      • Alltop (Twitter news) http:// /
      • Victorian Government on Twitter:
      • Government 2.0 Toolbox Twitter Guide
      • VPS Hub (Twitter wiki)