Twitter in Plain English: A Common Craft video

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? Twitter is an example of Microblogging (short message posts). It is free and you can post your messages (up to 140 characters) via Twitter’s website, e-mail, IM, or text message. Messages appear on your profile and are sent to your followers (those who sign up to receive updates).

Use Twitter in your library to:

  • update patrons about new materials
  • stay informed of the most current technologies
  • get the word out about library programs and events
  • announce news and events for specific groups like children, book clubs, and teens
  • point out highlights on library websites
  • share tips on finding information online or in your library building.
  • share posts with links to interesting news stories about libraries and literacy.

Vermont Libraries Using Twitter:

Twitter Resources:

The Twitter Tutorial
100 Best Twitter Feeds for Librarians of the Future
Libraries on Twitter

Other things to know:

Searching Twitter: lets you search all tweets on Twitter, Google-style. There’s an Advanced Search page.

Twitter Shorthand and Tips:

  • Tweets: Twitter messages
  • Follow: see what someone else is saying, you “follow” them
  • Followers: Those who regularly receive your posts
  • d username Direct message or DM. Used to send a private message. You can only send DMs to people who follow you. It can be done by clicking the tab on the right called “Direct Messages”. From there you can send a DM, see DMs sent to you and see DMs you sent.
  • @ username Used to send a message to one person. It is not a private message like a DM. Anytime someone uses your name with an @ sign in front it will show up in your “@Replies” or “Mentions” sidebar tab. Using the @ before a name also turns the name into a link that goes to that user’s profile.
  • RT. RT stands for retweet. Used to copy someone else’s tweet. To use, copy the message and add RT @ usename to the beginning.
  • #. Called a hashtag, by placing a # before a word or phrase users can search for tweets on a specific subject or related to a specific event (i.e. #trustee conference.)
  • Trending Topics This list on the right-hand side of your Twitter page lists words and hashtags that are rising in popularity right now.
  • Favorites If you see a tweet you want to save , mouse over it. A star icon appears at the right edge of the tweet. Click that. Now, when you click Favorites on the right-hand side of, you can see the tweets you saved. You can also see other users’ favorites on their profile pages.
  • Twitter automatically uses the URL shortener to convert  long URLs into a shorter ones. You can shorten URLs yourself by going to ot http://www.tinyurl when sending web addresses
  • You can  automatically post your Twitter updates on Facebook, via the Twitter application
  • can use RSS to add to newsreader

Advanced Twitter:

Software applications that help make better use of Twitter.

  • Twitpic – share photos on Twitter
  • Twitterfeed – feed your blog to Twitter.  Do you have more to say than the 140 character limit?  Then you can set up a Twitterfeed so your blog updates can be shared with your Twitter followers.
  • Twollo – find and follow fellow Twitterers with interests similar to yours.
  • Tweepular – enables you to evaluate your Twitter following and followers.
  • – looking for ways to update all of your web 2.0 apps at once?  Try

Twitter applications that make it easier to read and update from your desktop or mobile device.

  • Twitterific – for Mac OSX 10.4 or later as well as iPhone and iPod Touch. $14.95 for full version, free version has ads.
  • Twhirl – Free works on Windows and Mac.  The plus with this one is you can open to multiple Twitter accounts.
  • Tweetdeck – Free works on Windows and Mac.  My current favorite because it allows you to sort into groups.
  • Twitterberry – the most popular Twitter application for Blackberry.
  • Tweetie – $2.99 from the iTunes apps store for iPhone and iPod Touch.



One response to “

  1. I think twitter would be fun if I had a cellphone that was able to do this

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