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Hints and tips for Twitter noobs (and celebs)

After my recent post on celebs and Twitter a few of my real life friends signed up – and a couple of others asked what on earth I was talking about and why they should care so I thought I’d put together a short intro to Twitter.

1. What and why

Twitter is a relatively new form of communication with a simple premise. It’s used to tell people “What am I doing now?”

Explaining why it’s popular is harder – I can’t explain why I do it… I just do. It’s one of those things you have to tyr (and I mean properly try) in order to understand it.

2. How

I think many people use the online Twitter interface for their tweeting purely because they don’t realise the possibilities.

There are a plethora of applications around for updating Twitter. Most available on your desktop are developed in Adobe Air, which is a software plugin. This will require an additional download but I think it is worthwhile. Many apps in the future will be using Air – the BBC have recently released one for their iPlayer tv service for example.

As for which app you use, there are many and it really depends upon your needs.

I have recently been jumping between different applications but my current favorite is DestroyTwitter.

I’ve added my comments on the ones I have used so far below:

  1. DestroyTwitter. I am quite new to this application but first impressions are very positive. The application is fast and responsive. The design is clean and minimal, and it’s very easy to use.
  2. Twhirl. This is a very popular app, it works well and is updated regularly but it doesn’t do anything particularly special. The interface is a bit gimmicky and toy like but as a first app you could do worse.
  3. Tweetdeck. This is Twitter for power users. You can set up multiple views to filter the content you see. In terms of functionality it’s one of the best, but there are down sides. Tweetdeck takes up a lot of screen space, and the fonts are huge so you can’t see much at once. Worse than this though is that it seems to use 40 percent of my processor usage, and about 200megabytes of RAM – and when you are a web designer running Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Flash at the same time this is unacceptable.

As I mentioned above my current favorite is DestroyTwitter, but I have used Twhirl for some time and that’s more than usable as well.

Hints and Tips

Below are a few posts with hints and tips for getting started with Twitter:

Anything else…

So is there anything I have missed or any expert tips I should mention?

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2 Comments »

  1. Great post & thanks for the shout out in your hints & tips section!

    Another tool or Twitter user interface site is Tweetworks (http://www.tweetworks.com ) which allows users to have threaded conversations in groups similar to chatrooms. Best of all it forwards your tweets from Tweetworks into the much larger stream of conversations going on with Twitter. It’s an easy way for someone to ease into Twitter while wading in shallower waters.

    I think it’s important to realize Twitter is still a relatively little used tool compared to the number of users on Facebook. If Twitter starts getting that kind of mass adoption of users, great guides like this one will be invaluable to new users understanding, getting started and up to speed as quickly as possible. Cheers!

  2. Twitter has always been a strange presense for me… as a brandname, it’s very strong in my mind. Except I don’t think I’ve EVER been on! I’m sure if I ever made an account, my perspective on it would change, but for now.. it just seems like one of these web 2.0 sites that will come and go because it lacks the real meat to continue, and is more about the medium term novelty.

    Its this that really puts me off joining, because I wonder whats the point if they’ll be another next big thing in half a year? Besides, none of my friends use it at the moment. I don’t think it’s caught on so well in the UK yet.

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