What is Twitter?
In 2006 came Twitter, a website where you don’t necessarily have to Tweet to get the benefits of the site; you can follow people and see what they’re saying in 140 characters or less. The best thing about Twitter is that you don’t need your own website to put down your own thoughts and interests, you can share via links, this is web 2.0 at its best!
Things you should know
- The hashtag is part of the genius of the Tweet: Putting a simple symbol ‘#‘ in front of any word or string of words you create a ‘hashtag’, which means it becomes part of a searchable list of Tweets all related by that hashtag. People often keep specific hashtag streams (stream is a real-time newsreel) open in their social media software, e.g., #scicomm (science communication), to know what people are saying about that topic.
- Discover what is ‘trending‘, go to the #Discover part of Twitter to see what the top trending hashtags are being used in your country or worldwide
- A person who Tweets is called a Tweeter
- Someone’s ‘handle‘ is the name you give yourself on Twitter with the ‘@‘ symbol in front of it (not your username, which is your account username shown along side). You can include Twitter users in your Tweets by using their ‘@’ handle.
- Popular fun hashtags:
- #F4F ‘follow for follow’, if I follow you you follow me, it happens a lot and people make money doing this, so make sure you like what they Tweet otherwise it just gets boring.
- #FF ‘Follow Friday’, this can be a great way to discover new people, every Friday people Tweet the handle of their favourite Tweeters along with the FF hashtag
- #TBT ‘Throwback Thursday’, a great way to repost your favourite things from the past but usually people post embarrassing pictures of themselves, use it in whatever way you wish.
- Other hashtags in common use among academics are:
- #PhDChat, #PhDForum, #PhDadvice, #PostDoc, #Tenuretrack, #academic, #academiclife
- Some more specific to your field might include: #twitterstorians (twitter historians), #scifri (science Friday)… just writing your field of research as a hashtag and see what you find!