General Question

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Can someone please explain to me how twitter works?

Asked by shpadoinkle_sue (7188points) April 13th, 2010

I’m not an expert at social media. I do have a facebook and myspace page, but I hardly use them other than to keep in touch with a couple of friends in california and utah. I glance at twitter now and again. I cannot figure it out. It looks like gibberish to me. I’m sorry if anyone is offended. I don’t get it.
I don’t want a twitter, so pretty please don’t suggest I sign up and find out. Just in case someone does suggest that. I know this does sound a bit weird being that I don’t want one, but I want to know what it is that I don’t want. An insider explination, maybe?

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8 Answers

johnny0313x's avatar

I was pretty confused by this at first too but it’s pretty cool once you get the hang of it.

Here are some pointers:
The @ symbol is used to direct something at someone, so for example @py_sue would make whatever I typed show up under your “mentions” if you click that link in the sidebar.

RT means retweet, it’s when you tweet or post someone else’s tweet/post but still give them credit for it. Usually it will be something like
———- RT @py_sue How are you?————
You can add to the RT if you want as well

# hashtags, I am still a bit confused about this because I think now they are not used the way they were before. However they are for people to add a tweet to a category of something or Trending Topics. So you could put
—————- #godijustburntmytoast and now im late for work—————-
and anyone who just so happens to put #godijustburntmytoast inside a tweet or saw your post and have something to add to it can do so. Then if you search that phrase or click on it you will see everyone who used it in their tweet

The more people that use the same #phrase will give the phrase a chance at becoming a trending topic. I am not sure the criteria of what makes it and what does not but there is some kind of calculation for this.

Those are some basic tips to get you started…hope that helps you out!

I am sure this post looks like gibberish now lol

zophu's avatar

clouds. .. whales are involved. it’s very sophisticated.

holy shit it’s 4 am

shalom's avatar

If you have a lot of blogs/ interests/commentors you like to follow, people who give valuable information you might want to follow them on twitter coz they link up their blogposts, facebook posts, etc with twitter. That way you don’t have to go to individual blogs/ facebook to check updates. Also, you might know of someone in your industry or social circle who’s pretty active in finding leads so you follow them on twitter for them to seed you instead of you finding your own sources.

I was just about to ask this question myself. I signed up for Twitter, read Twitterville and I still don’t quite get it.

theichibun's avatar

Basically, it’s Facebook if all Facebook had was statuses.

DarkScribe's avatar

Kill some brain cells or have intellectual bypass surgery and you might be able to understand the attraction. It is “inanity for the inane masses”, not much else.

anartist's avatar

One good thing about Twitter for a writer or would-be writer is its 140-word limit. It is great discipline to get a significant story, thought, or idea distilled to that. All that said, I almost never use it [fluther,flickr and facebook—my 3Fs—are plenty for me] and I find that a whole bunch of people I never heard of are “following” me. Go figure.

shalom's avatar

It’s a good way for us to “sift” through “feeds” quickly and decide what’s worth reading more into.

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