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MEDIA: How To "Do" Twitter


Pl_design2_fSome unsolicited, half-informed (but seemingly authoritative) instructions for readers and Twitterers who care about education and journalism.*

Read, absorb, implement.

Additions and disagreements always welcome. You may know better.

*No foundation funding was used during the making of this post.

FOR READERS

Be on the lookout for new and different sources of information -- that's half the fun of a new medium. (Otherwise you're just recreating blogland.)

Save searches you want to do all the time, and remember to search Twitter for a broader set of information than is coming from your "follow" list.

You don't have to "follow" someone to read or pass along their Twitter posts.

You don't even have to join Twitter to see what's going on in Twitterland.

RT means "retweet" (as in, "I'm just passing this along")

There are lots of people who just RT -- a blessing or a bane depending on how judicious they are.

@_________ is the Twitter name (sort of like the web address or email address)

FOR TWITTERERS

Passing things along is good -- especially if they're things not everyone has seen already.

Crediting others is key, even if they are competitors or rivals (we can tell if you're shady and don't).

You should probably try and say something / add to the conversation once in a while, rather than just passing things along.

Don't retweet everything you see, or retweet the same people over and over.  Boring!

Try and say something different / in addition to what you've already said on your blog, which we probably already read.

Sightings ("just rode elevator with Margaret Spellings") and first-hand experiences ("yelled at colleague in front of funder a staff meeting") are always good (unique, mobile, real-time)

Don't get addicted or say anything that will get you fired (or Tweet under a pseudonym).

Don't make readers follow you to Twitterland if they want to stay on your blog and read from afar. (See below.)

Remember to RT this, with or without a scathing commentary on how Russo has no idea what he's talking about or gets it all wrong.

TOOLS

Twitpic is an easy way to attach mobile pictures to your tweets.

Tweetdeck and Hootsuite seem to be the apps that hardcore Twitterers use. Tweetdeck for me.

I also use something called TwitterBar to send things straight from my Firefox browser (sort of like the Facebook "share" browser button).

Let readers follow your Twittering without leaving the comfort of your blog by slapping the following code into a blog post and replacing my username with yours -- no tech support or permission required.

<div id="twitter_div">

  <ul id="twitter_update_list"></ul><a id="twitter-link" style="display: block; text-align: right;" href="http://twitter.com/deineshd">follow me on Twitter</a>
</div><script type="text/javascript" src="https://twitter.com/javascripts/blogger.js"></script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/district299.json?callback=twitterCallback2&amp;count=10">
</script>
<br />Hit the "reload" button to get the most recent updates.

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