Things 5 and 6 are Twitter. How many of you have been dreading this week? Twitter can have quite a mixed reaction, so it would be really interesting to know what everyone’s opinions of Twitter are (and if you change your mind after the course of the Things). Post your opinions in the comments below!
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a ‘microblogging’ tool which allows people to post short (140 character) messages, reply to other people’s messages and follow the messages other people are posting. All the updates from people that you follow will be collected in one timeline that appears when you log in to the site. Links and photographs can be included in tweets, so they are a good way to quickly summarise information.
Why should I care?
Twitter is a quick and easy way to network (even with people you already know!) and share ideas or interesting things that you see around the web. You can use it to keep up to date, following people/organisation of interest, or you can be an active user: tweeting your work and getting feedback, asking questions, publicising events and news. You can tweet your every waking thought, meal and sleeping patterns (and some people do) but it’s generally not recommended.
Understanding TwitterSpeak (see the Twitter Glossary for more vocabulary)
- Tweet: a single update of no more than 140 characters
- RT: A Retweet, or a way of reposting a tweet originally posted by another user, sometime with your own text added (more info on Retweets from Twitter support)
- @reply: a reply to another user (more info on @reply from Twitter support)
- DM: a private message sent to another user (more info on DMs from Twitter support)
- #: A hashtag, which provides a method of grouping tweets by adding a standard tag, e.g. #RHUL23, so that all tweets on a particular event or issue can be easily searched and tracked (more info on hashtags from Twitter support)
N.B. It’s important to know that you can unfollow people! Should you be overwhelmed, or bored, by someone’s tweets, you do not have to read them forever. Click on their name and instead of clicking ‘Follow’, choose ‘Unfollow’.
And another thing…
Twitter allows you to create ‘lists’ of users, so that you can separate your timeline into more manageable, themed chunks.
The Library uses Twitter @RHUL_Library, and the feed of recent tweets can be seen on the Library Homepage. The Library has 650 followers, who receive updates on services, resources, events etc, and so this is a good way of keeping in touch with students without emailing them.
Thing 5 is Setting Up A Twitter Account.
Use the instructions in the link above to do so, or if you already have a Twitter account, try setting up a list of RHUL23 participants.
Please move on to Thing 6 to find out how to interact on Twitter.