Curious about the simple complexities of Twitter?

140 characters, DM, hashtags, humor, retweets, social media, social networking, tweets, Twitter, Twitter Primer, Twitterspeak, What are you doing?

Having just celebrated my two-month anniversary on Twitter, it’s time to share my accumulated knowledge. Briefly, Twitter is a free social networking site designed to get people talking about the answers to this question “What are you doing?” in real-time. Members answer this question or post their own “tweets” or updates containing 140 characters or less. I enjoy Twitter because, based upon who you follow, it’s a quick glance at what’s news or topical of the day.

Whether you use Twitter for personal or business communication, some practices make or break my Twitter experience. Here’s my Twitter Primer, just in case anyone is thinking of joining (it’s fun and yes, it is easy).

1. Getting started: Basic Twitter vocabulary

  • Tweet = update, post. Arriving via internet or mobile feeds
  • Follow = listening in/or contributing to self-selected tweeter’s conversation
  • RT = retweet, reposting a tweet from fellow tweeter. Giving attribution and/or response, comment
  • Hashtag = “#” symbol positioned in front word. A searchable tag or #trendingtopic
  • Mention = recognition (as RT), approval or response mechanism. Symbolized by “@tweeter”
  • DM = Direct Message, private message seen only from tweeter to tweeter

2. Digging in: Twitter dos & don’ts (as told in Twitterspeak)


  • Develop personal tweet style + strategy, customize your page
  • Tease ~ pique ~ encourage a read of the tweet [think: headline]
  • Be original – constant RTs > BORING
  • Resist urge to put link in every tweet ~ a simple statement is refreshing or mix It up, statement/question/link
  • V important :: must do #followfriday @tweeter1 @tweeter2 @tweeter3 > (endorsement of interesting followers).


  • Be a serial tweeter // Tweet when u have something to say/share
  • Follow everyone who follows you (this is anti-Tweetiquette) make ur own decision
  • Go for numbers. QUALITY followers over quantity followers > or weed thru your feed
  • Engage in lengthy conversations. Most followers >> in the dark here.
  • Send hard sell tweets or DMs: “Check out our FREE” or “we are here to help you …”  Remove button please.

3. After effects: Are you following me?

  • Think in 140 characters or less, with stripped-down, staccato rhythm
  • Can’t survive w/o, tiny.url + apps Twitterriffic, Twitpic among others
  • Discovered followers are fickle & transient, if not provided with interesting tweets daily
  • Created endless uses for special characters > ~ + :: etc
  • Constant, shameless self-promo >

Why are you still here? Mosey on, nothing left to see.

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