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Don't be overwhelmed by Twitter. It's easy, it's fun and it's free. But...... what is it?
People all over are twittering. WTF is twitter anyway? Most heavy duty techies and electronic device users know this, but still new to most of the world is this quickly rising phenomenon called "twittering", the verb that describes the use of the application called Twitter.
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that has changed the way many people communicate. Twitter allows users to send “updates” (or “tweets”; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website via short message service (e.g. on a cell phone), instant messaging, from their computer at home or work, or through a third-party application.
Some see this as a way to simply report their 'status' to friends, some use it to post interesting links, some use it as a savvy marketing tool and still there are countless ways to utilize this real time quick messaging application.
It's very easy to do. You just sign up (free registration), pick a user name (your site will be www.twitter.com/your name here), and you can 'design' your twitter home page by uploading an image or choosing web colors.
Well, you can search for other twitterers by using the search box or browse other twitter users and choose to 'follow' their tweets if you wish. You can make your tweets private or public and even send messages direct to other twitterers, as opposed to publicly posting yours.
Once you've signed up on twitter, how do you best utilize this program? Well, as you can imagine, with the millions of tech people and web app creators out there, there's no shortage of twitter applications, add-ons and advice.
Here are a few a newbie might find helpful:
-probably the most popular, it's a desktop twitter client, based on the Adobe AIR platform. Some of twhirl’s features:
- runs on both Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Mac OSX
- connects to multiple Twitter accounts
- notifications on new tweets
- shorten long URLs (using snurl or is.gd)
- cross-post updates to Pownce and Jaiku
- post images to TwitPic
- search tweets (using TweetScan or terraminds)
- timeline filtering
- localized to English, German, Italian and Spanish
- color schemes
- automatically check for new versions
-a real-time search engine for Twitter posts.
-allows you to search through twitter posts.
-tracks links on twitter so you can see what people are linking to with their tweets
-shows you what people using Twitter are linking to.
-track live twits all over the world
-A real-time geographic visualization of posts to Twitter.
-how to track the tweets you've been missing
Basically, Twitter users participate by following the username Hashtags. Once you do this, you can “tag” your tweets by including a hash mark (#) and the topic within the message. So if you wanted to tag that your post is about Macworld, you’d include “#macworld” in the tweet. Hashtags then aggregates all relevant tweets on each tag in one central location.
Keep your Twitter stream ticking over with new tweets even when you're not in front of your computer. Or, use it as your personal reminder system. PLUS... Send automated thank you notes to new followers, and automatically follow new followers, if you choose to do so.
-a useful web service that let you preset twitter messages that you want to send at a later time. AutoTwit doesn’t require any separate registration; you can use the same Twitter username and password.
TWITPITCH: The Twitpitch is the invention of Stowe Boyd, a business strategy and information technology consultant.
-twitter memes - global tags for twitter
-an application that lets you both read and publish posts or "tweets" to the Twitter community website. The application's user interface is clean, concise and designed to take up a minimum of real estate on your Mac's desktop.
-helps you send webpage urls and description to Twitter.
-here’s how to get your blog (or any other RSS or Atom feed) twittering:
-a small toast-style Firefox plug-in for Twitter. It looks nice and clearly suits some peoples' use patterns.
-Send and receive messages to all your fellow twitterholics, right from your firefox browser.TwitBin is an extension for firefox that brings the power of twitter right in your browser.
-a plugin that creates a complete integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account.
FOR MOBILE DEVICES:
- a twitter app for the iphone
- another iphone twitter app
Twinkle for the iphone-
There's no product page. You'll need to install via your jailbreak'd iPhone's Installer App.
ADDING PICS OR IMAGES:
- share photos on twitter, How do I use TwitPic?
You can post pictures to TwitPic from your phone, our API, or through the site itself.
There are also popular twitter clients that have built-in support for TwitPic.
-With twitxr you can share a moment, a picture, a thought, instantly with your mobile phone
A TwitterGram has a title and a small MP3 file. The title explains the gram, it must be no longer than 75 characters, to allow room for the URL of the MP3, which is about 50 characters. The MP3 file may be no larger than 200K, although they won't reject MP3s that are just a bit bigger than 200K, we're not saying how much bigger. Also, you may not post more than one TwitterGram every ten minutes. This limit is not strictly enforced, but it will be, at some point, to help keep down TwitterGramSpam.
How it works. Enter your phone number and your Twitter username and password. Click Submit. Then call BlogTalkRadio at 646-716-6000, follow the easy instructions. Record your message. When you're done hang up. Check with Twitter, your audio message will probably already be there!
-a site that ranks the top 100 Twits based on friends or followers.
- a mashup that allows you to send posts about your current location. According to the FAQ, just include the correct command and your current location will be viewable on the Twittermap
-uses Google Maps to display what Twitter users are up to and where they’re Twitting from.
a tool that creates a tag cloud of the tweets of individual users, so you can see which words you or your friends are using the most in your tweets.
Swotter is reading a book via Twitter to the world. You can listen to Swotter via the web, via Instant Messenger, or via SMS messenger on your mobile phone.
Need "visual" help understanding Twitter?
Twittertube has videos to help walk you through twittering:
1. Twitter in Plain English: Perhaps the most linked-to and watched video on what is Twitter.
2. How To Use Twitter: Another video on instructions for using Twitter.
3. Twitter Tutorial: A tutorial for Twitter newbies.
5. How to Configure Google Talk With Twitter: Since you can use Twitter with Jabber client, this videos show how to configure Google Talk to be used with Twitter.
7. Find Twitter Friends With Google: Locate your friends using advanced Google search. The video might be obsolete now with Twitter’s own search engine but Google still can give more relevant results.
8. Twitter for Lotus Notes: The video shows how to use Twitter with Lotus Notes.
10. Manage Multiple Twitter Accounts: This video demonstrates how to easily use and manage multiple Twitter accounts for different activities.
11. Twitter with Fring: Video showing how to update your Twitter status using Fring.
12. Twitter on iPhone: A video demonstration of Twitter iPhone application.
13. Using Twitter Within FireFox: This video shows how to use FireFox add-ons Twitbin and Twitterbar to post messages to your Twitter account.Of course, in the time it's taken me to write this, there have probably been 20 more cool twitter apps created, but for now, this list will have to do.
Here is an article titled "How We Tweet: The Definitive List of the Top Twitter Clients"by Josh Catone that gives some pertinent info and data.