Friday 18 March 2011

Confused by Twitter terms? Don't be!

This morning I was talking to a fellow comper who had never used Twitter. He said it was far too complicated. I replied, "It's no more complicated than sending a postcard - when you know what you're doing." So,  to help him - and you - to find it less complicated, here is  an explanation of some of the terms you will  find on Twitter.

@  This is the all-important symbol that tells a message where it is going. If you are entering a competition, you MUST make sure  that the promoter's Twitter name, complete with  the @, is included in  the message  somewhere. Some compers tend to miss it out- it is an easy mistake to make if you are copying and pasting the original tweet but if  it isn't there,it's  just like posting a postcard with no address on  it - it simply won't get  there.

RT This means "retweet" - to send somebody else's message on to your followers. You can use the Retweet option or copy and paste the message, but if you  copy and paste it you MUST start it with RT @ then the promoter's  name. This  way, the promoter sees that you have tweeted it but because of the letters RT at the beginning, all your own followers will  see it too. This spreads the word  about the competition, which is why the promoter asks you to enter this way.

#  this is called a hashtag. If you include a word preceded by one  of these in your tweet, anyone who searches for the word and  hashtag can see  all the tweets that include it. Hashtags are often included in competitions because it makes it easy for the promoter to see all the entries. They are  also  used  for discussions  and word games, and on Fridays to help  people suggest to their friends other people they might like to follow, using #ff and #FollowFriday  Hashtasgs can help you to find competitions on Twitter - try searching for #competition or #comp or on a Friday, #FridayFreebie and #FreebieFriday

Timeline this  is the list of messages you will see on your Twitter home page,  with all the messages from people you follow, the @ messages sent  to youand messages that you yourself have sent.

DM stands for Direct Message. You can only send a DM to somebody who is following you, so if a promoter  asks  you to DM your address  details to you when you win a competition, or even to DM your competition entry to them, you might need to send them an ordinary Tweet,  using @, to ask them to follow you.  You will find  your DMs in the "Messages" section of your Twitter  home page.
         Now there is something very odd about DMs.  If either the sender or the recipient deletes the message, it vanishes from BOTH people's Twitter pages. This is why you may sometimes look at your messages to refer to an old one, and then find it isn't there.  If you want to delete a  DM, hover the mouse over it and a little dustbin will appear under it for you to click on - but before you go ahead, think about whether the person at the other end might want to keep it.

Blocking if you don't want to see tweets from a particular person, you can block them by clicking on their name then on the "cog wheel" drop down menu  on the bottom right below their profile, and selecting "Block" from the menu. This  means  they can't follow  you or send you messages, and you can't see any messages they send. But it does  NOT mean they can't see or RT your tweets. Think of it as like being in the same room as them,  but you have your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears.... You can read more about blocking here

Tweeps  this is an  affectionate name for people on  Twitter. Sometimes Tweeple  or  Twits is used instead but most people seem  to have settled for tweeps.

Twitter Jail  occasionally if you have tweeted a lot in a short time, you will suddenly find you are unable to send any more tweets. This  is known  as  "Twitter Jail" and  you will  not be able to tweet again for a while - depending on  your "offence" this may be for anything from an hour to a couple of days.  You will find a  list of the limits, beyond which you will  go to "jail" here.

Lists Twitter allows you to make lists of people and then view a  feed that only shows the tweets from those people. If you have several different interests, this can  be very useful; for instance I love comping, cooking and craft and by making lists of the people I follow in those categories, I can discuss this week's "Masterchef",   see what the latest rubberstamp designs  are and enter a few competitions  - all without getting confused. However you want to organise the people you follow into different groups, list can help you - and if you are getting close to Twitter's follow limit, there is an added bonus. You can add somebody to a list even if you are not following them! That means you can see their tweets and even interact with them; the only difference  is that they can't send you a direct message.
      To add  somebody to a list, click on their name then on the little picture of a list underneath it. And to  look at your lists,click on the tab at the top of your timeline on your Twitter home page. Some of the other Twitter clients such as Tweet Deck, Hoot Suite and Seesmic let you have  a separate column for each list so you can keep an eye on them all at the same time.
    It can be amusing to click on the "Listed" area of your home page to see what lists YOU are on. I've just looked and  lists I am on include "Pant Swingers", "Tiger Tiger Burning Bright" and "Beauty Gurus" (I mustn't get a webcam and shatter the illusion!)

You can read more about Twitter in my various posts about it which are listed  here  but if  there is anything you would like to ask, feel free to comment or to tweet me on @janesgrapevine

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.