Twitter Talk

Golden Tweet Award

The Golden Tweet

Congratulations to Stephen Colbert for being awarded the Golden Tweet for posting the most retweeted tweet in 2010!  Full Article

Twitter.  Tweets.  Retweets.  Twittersphere.  You hear about Twitter everywhere, but what is it?  It’s a social network, like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and many others.  The main purpose of social networking sites is facilitating communication between friends, coworkers, and strangers with like interests.  The sites offer search capabilities for members to find others they know and “friend” them.  Members post messages, pictures, links, etc. to their accounts.  Depending on the member’s privacy settings, the post is visible to specified people, all friends, or everyone.

Twitter distinguishes itself in a few ways.  First, post (or message) length is limited to 140 characters.  This means messages must be short and to the point.  On Twitter, “friends” are called “followers.”  The posts are called “tweets.”  If someone likes your post and wants to share it with their followers, they “retweet” it, meaning they post it to their account, while crediting the original author.  A retweet is indicated by “RT” in the post.

If a group is using Twitter for a discussion on a particular topic, they create an identifying “hashtag” (#) to group the posts.  For example, in a discussion about e-books, the hashtag #ebooks could be created to group the tweets together.  Anyone tweeting to this hashtag would include #ebooks in the post.  The viewer could then go to this hashtag to see the entire conversation.

You may also see the @ symbol before a username.  This means the poster is responding to a particular user’s tweet.  As an example, if my username was techie, and someone wanted to address me, they would begin the tweet with @techie.

There is much more to Twitter, but those are the broad strokes to get you started.  To find out more, visit their “About” page.  If you would like to create an account or search by keyword for tweets, see the Twitter home page.

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