Please Re-Tweet Me…

November 3, 2009 by  
Filed under General Twitter Tips

If someone told you back in 2008 that one day they would re-tweet you, you would have probably called a doctor and stayed with them until such time as the emergency services arrived. The word sounds bizarre and even a little bit embarrassing, but it has become common currency among Twitter users. Essentially, a re-tweet is when someone picks up on a “Tweet” you have made and, attaching your Twitter ID by means of an @ sign, lets their own followers know what you have said. Depending on how large their number of followers is, it could get you quite a lot of attention.

This occasionally leads to the phenomenon of users writing Tweets which are obviously designed to be re-tweeted, usually ones which deal with a topical issue and are at least passably funny, or at least thought-provoking. The upshot of this is that some users have “feeds” (lists of Tweets) that are made up almost entirely of re-tweets. This type of follower gets un-followed very quickly by a lot of users, who are generally sick of reading the same thing repeatedly.

Re-tweeting is one way in which messages can spread from a single account to multiple feeds in a very short space of time, and is often used by political parties or commercial enterprises to drum up publicity in a very short space of time for little or no cost. Many people, though, will continue to wish it was called something other than “re-tweeting”, for what it’s worth.

Celebrity Tweeters

November 3, 2009 by  
Filed under General Twitter Tips

Social networking was doing perfectly fine before the explosion of Twitter, but the site has taken things to the next level. While the previous king of the social networking hill, Facebook, is considered by many to be a little bit too exposed (carrying as it does far more personal information), the Twitter revolution has become a way for celebrities and their fans to become far more connected than ever before. Celebrities have gone for Twitter in a way that makes the other social networking sites look slow by comparison – and the effects of this are quite fascinating.

Of course politicians have been swift to see the possibilities of Twitter, and of course their Tweets are relatively anodyne – a policy announcement here, a publicity statement for a public appearance there. They’re not going to Tweet their deepest thoughts. Nonetheless Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and many others have got accounts. Actors such as Will Wheaton and pop stars such as Britney Spears and Courtney Love have got accounts too, and update with varying degrees of frequency and candid-ness.

One of the most prolific, and heavily followed users of Twitter is the UK actor and comedian Stephen Fry. He has become something of an unofficial spokesman for the phenomenon in his native United Kingdom and posts candidly and frequently on a range of subjects. Many users consider it an honor to receive a direct reply from a celebrity user – and it happens far more frequently than one would think. It must be something to do with the lack of regulation.

The Power Of Twitter

November 3, 2009 by  
Filed under General Twitter Tips

It is quite something to behold, how a website with a healthy but comparatively low number of users just one year ago could become one of the most powerful tools in the information sector. Twitter has become the tool for people who want something to become known widespread in a short space of time – and has had a major effect on the careers of individuals, and the way that people find out news if they are on the move or in a setting where standard web surfing or watching the television is not possible.

If someone does, or says something ill-advised, it will end up on the Internet very quickly. The power of Twitter is that, very quickly, someone can post a link to the website where that information is posted. This will then be read by everyone who is “following” the person who posted the link. They can then repost it, and from the point where it was originally posted, it can be spread around the world within minutes. It is no wonder that some individuals are fearful of the spread of Twitter, and others overjoyed by its existence. It is the gossip-monger’s dream.

There is some debate over whether the existence of a website – although it is by now much more than just a site – which allows such swift transfer of information is a good thing. Certainly you either love or hate the absence of immediate moderation which allows rumors to take flight so easily – but it is hard to remain indifferent.

Tweet, Tweet

November 3, 2009 by  
Filed under General Twitter Tips

Every once in a while, particularly since the internet shrunk the world down so small you could fit it in your pocket, there comes a phenomenon which very quickly takes the world by storm and gets people talking. Other people hear these people and want to know more. As night follows day, it goes from a niche, little-known pursuit for enthusiasts to something that you cannot avoid no matter how much you try to ignore it. in 2009, that thing has been Twitter. At the start of the year it was mildly popular, and as it comes to a close it is something that has grown wings.

The “wings” metaphor is an appropriate one, given that “twitter” was previously a word used to describe a noise made by birds. As things stand today it may never go back to being that, because if someone describes a flock of “twittering birds”, the image that will form in many people’s mind is of a bunch of sparrows with laptops sending each other short comments and links to YouTube videos. Politicians use it to gauge support, news agencies use it to break stories quickly, and writers churn out articles about it. If you don’t know what Twitter is, maybe you never will – or maybe you’ll go and check it out right now.

Writing a message on Twitter is known as “tweeting”, and people seem to be entirely comfortable with that idea. If you repeat someone else’s message by copying and pasting, this is known as “re-tweeting”. The jargon may sound idiotic, but by force of numbers it has become the done thing.

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