It’s likely that you’ve at least heard of Twitter. Every day since Oprah discovered Twitter, someone posts a new story about the microblogging site. We’ve learned that the U.S. State Department has soldiers learning to Twitter, that you can post an entire recipe in a single tweet, and that NASA is exploring ways for astronauts to tweet.
Much like her effect on the books she chooses for her book club, Oprah has had quite an influence on Twitter, increasing the site’s traffic by 43% according to Hitwise.
I don’t have quite the same effect on things as Oprah, but I’d like to encourage you to try it just the same. If you’re already using Twitter, you can use these materials to interest colleagues, friends, and even students.
- An Illustrated Guide To Using Twitter: A graphic that shows how different social groups connect with Twitter.
- How to Get Started with Twitter: Mostly business-oriented explanations of why and how.
- A Little Birdie Told Me: The Twitter Primer: How-tos with a dose of the good, the bad, and the ugly on Twitter.
- 2-page PDF Twitter Cheat Sheet: If you’re looking for a quick print out, this is it!
- What I’d have liked to have known when I started using Twitter: A first-person explanation of some basics.
- How to Demo Twitter: Details on how to show others why they should sign up.
- Top 13 Twitter Don’ts: 13 ways to keep your audience (and even more if you read the comments).
- Twitter Etiquette: Five Dos and Don’ts: Business-savvy list, but applicable for academia as well.
- Basics of Building Your Twitter Profile: Information on customizing your Twitter background, avatar, and more.
- 13 Twitter Tips and Tutorials for Beginners: A grab bag of additional how-tos you can tap if you still have questions.
In addition to looking at the how-tos, browse the posts for a few people. Oprah’s got a lot of followers, but she’s not exactly a role model for the best tweeter. Take a look at one of my three different Twitter accounts to see other ways that people use the site:
- @tengrrl is where I post my personal and professional tweets.
- @newsfromtengrrl is where I post links to news stories about college education, writing instruction, and technology.
- @bedfordbits is where I post about each entry on the Bedford/St. Martin’s Blogs.
On any of those pages, click on the “followers” or “following” links on the right, under the bio. You’ll find a list of other people on Twitter, in reverse order of when they were added (e.g., most recently added folks are first). Browse around and you’ll find colleagues using Twitter in a wide range of ways.
So, go ahead. Sign up if you haven’t already. And watch for my next entries on how you can use Twitter with colleagues and students.