What is Twitter? Or, how to stop worrying and love to tweet


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Slides presented at the Tools for Outreach and Teaching (TOTS) session on Microblogging for UBC librarians. December 1, 2009.

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  • Hi I’m Dan Hooker, and I’m here today to tell you how to stop worrying and love to tweet
  • In my 10 minutes, we need to go over a few basics of Twitter, and they are: The vocab, lingo and jargon. Basically I just want to clear up what you might have heard or seen already on Twitter, and give you an overview of what to expect when you go and check it out for yourself What Twitter is good for, There are a lot of opinions swirling around about what Twitter is or isn’t especially among some who haven’t spent very much time using it. I’d like to give you my take on the benefits I’d also like to clear up some things that Twitter isn’t that great at. I’m sure you all have your ideas already, but I’ll give you mine And finally a quick reason why you should give it a shot (or a second chance)
  • This is Twitter. A main stream of information, some stats, and the new box: “What’s happening”. It used to say “What are you doing?” but people seem to have moved on from that, and into a more useful resource sharing mode, and the powers-that-be updated their interface accordingly.
  • This is a tweet. One piece of information, a thought, a link, sent out. Twitter in its most basic form.
  • A retweet is when you copy what someone else has tweeted, and you want to give them credit. Yes, there is ettiquette, and this is part of it.
  • Some people use this convention for retweeting. via
  • Twitter has seen the potential of retweets and is now building them into the interface. Now you can just click a button to share what someone else has said, and the little box appears, noting that this is something that has come from someone else.
  • Part of a retweet or conversations on Twitter is the usernames, denoted by an ‘at’ symbol. This was convention that meant to symbolize the target of whom you were talking to on a forum, and it just caught on and has stuck. You can monitor all mentions of your username on the Tiwtter interface, as I’ve done here.
  • Quick example of why replies are useful.There was a question about Zotero,I responded,and responses like mine and those given on facebook, ended up as the results of an informal poll.
  • Some people “tag” their tweets with things referred to as hashtags. These sort the tweets, and can faciliatate searching. If someone was looking for evidence-based medicine for example.
  • Another popular use of hashags is to link tweets that relate to conferences. This helps people to find one another and share bits and bytes about what they’ve seen and heard.
  • Conversations are also grouped around hashtags. Every Tuesday, for example, anyone interested can participate in an “edchat”. Topics are usually made available on an organizer’s Twitter stream or blog in advance.
  • Lists are a new feature of Twitter, that allows you to group users into categories. They can be public or private, but the public ones allow you to see groups of potential users to follow, particularly if the list is constructed by someone you trust.
  • This is the main list stream for a group on ebooks and publishing, created by a writer and editor that I follow. A “custom” stream of info.
  • Twitter is perhaps most useful for finding your internet reading, and staying current. You can think of the resources shared on Twitter as a form of RSS, vetted by individuals who are experts in their fields.Library journal has over 30 individual RSS feeds, and you go to the page, and have to ask the question “What do I need?”
  • Twitter answers that question for you, providing one stream of the best of LJ, selected by their staff.
  • Just wanted to sneak this in, in case you thought there wasn’t anything serious, or you just can’t live without your news.
  • I can’t even tell you how many stories I’ve heard of support, comraderie and just plain help that have been offered. Twitter is a surprisingly “close” environment, and even
  • What is Twitter? Or, how to stop worrying and love to tweet

    1. 1. What is Twitter? <br />Or, how to stop <br />worrying and love<br />to tweet.<br />(via @danhooker)<br />
    2. 2. Let’s talk:<br />Vocab, lingo, jargon<br />What Twitter is good for<br />What it’s not so good for<br />Why you should try<br />2<br />
    3. 3. 3<br />
    4. 4. tweet<br />4<br />
    5. 5. retweet<br />5<br />
    6. 6. retweet<br />6<br />
    7. 7. retweet<br />7<br />
    8. 8. replies and mentions<br />8<br />
    9. 9. replies and mentions<br />9<br />
    10. 10. hashtag<br />10<br />
    11. 11. hashtag<br />11<br />
    12. 12. hashtag<br />12<br />
    13. 13. lists<br />13<br />
    14. 14. lists<br />14<br />
    15. 15. What is twitter good for?<br />It is personal RSS<br />15<br />
    16. 16. What is twitter good for?<br />It is personal RSS<br />16<br />
    17. 17. What is twitter good for?<br />news<br />17<br />
    18. 18. What is twitter good for?<br />building a network<br />18<br />
    19. 19. What is twitter not good for?<br />it’s noisy (if you let it be)<br />19<br />
    20. 20. What is twitter not good for?<br />debate / long discussions<br />20<br />
    21. 21. Why you should try<br />it’s time!<br />21<br />
    22. 22. Why you should try<br />it’s time!<br />22<br />
    23. 23. Daniel Hooker<br />School of Library, Archival and Information Studies<br />@danhooker (http://twitter.com/danhooker/)<br />23<br />