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All That TWITTER’s Is Told

By Vicki Donnowitz

What is it? It’s a bird, it’s a plane, NO… it’s a free mobile social networking and micro blogging service that allows it’s users to send and read other user’s updates. It’s Twitter, where you can post short, text based messages of up to 140 characters, 20-30 words in length that get delivered to mobile phones and PCs. Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through an application such as Tweetie, TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr or Facebook.

See if you can quickly say this tongue twister …Twitterers are Twittering Tweets on Twitter. Translation…Twitterers are people who use the service, Twittering is the activity of updating information, Tweets are the text based posts, and Twitter is the service.

Twitterers are followers, not friends. They simply follow one another’s messages by finding a person’s username and selecting a “Follow “ option. This alerts the person you are following them, and they can reciprocally choose to follow you, or not. Twitter also allows you to build “informal intimacy”. By sharing more about you and who you are and what you stand for, people get to know you better and trust you more. Great to follow someone on a fabulous trip around the world, or a celebrity talking to their fans about next appearance, project management updates, etc. etc. etc.

Twitter has been used by prominent users like Shaquille O’Neal to communicate with his fan base; large businesses such as Cisco Systems and Whole Foods Markets use it to provide product or service information; news outlets disseminate breaking news or provide info feed for sporting events; and American Red Cross uses it to exchange minute to minute information on local disasters.

Each user has a Twitter page showing all of his or her updates, or tweets. It also shows the number of followers, the number of people the person follows and how many total updates have been posted. You can customize your Twitter page by uploading a photo to be used as a background. The icon representing each user can also be personalized, this is important because it appears beside that person’s tweets.

Each tweet that appears in your Twitter feed can be replied to using a shortcut arrow that appears beside the tweet, and these responses to tweets are called @Replies. These appear for everyone to see, and must start with @ plus the username of whomever you’re responding to. Direct messages can be sent only between people who are following one another. These are not posted publicly, they appear on your page in the right side section labeled Direct Messages and will also be sent to your mobile device if you have one registered with Twitter.

You can save favorite tweets by selecting a small star beside the tweet. This is added to the Favorites section on your homepage. Anyone can see anyone else’s Favorites.

Twitter does a great job of giving people simplified news from anyone they follow; it is a good source of streamlined, quick information. Follow me at as I learn my way through this cool, easy to use social network tool.

Happy Tweeting!

Vicki Donnowitz

Vicki is a Business Advisor with Forward Progress and Broker/Owner of VKKG Associates, LLC, a Real Estate Investment Company. She has over 25 years of management experience as a senior executive in corporate, entrepreneurial and rapid growth companies. Her optimistic, collaborative, and spirited nature gives her the ability to inspire people to maximize achievement. Contact her at [email protected].