I'm David and this is my blog.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Howto: Get started with Twitter

There's this new service called Twitter. It's part chat room, part mobile app, part social network and if you're here, you're thinking about getting yourself setup with it. It's pretty simple to setup an account but to get the most out of the service, I think there are a few more things you ought to know.

1. Get an account. Go to Twitter.com and go through the few steps it takes to setup an account. You'll need to pick a username and it's up to you if you want to put in information about your cellphone or other mobile devices. If you do, you can subscribe on a user by user basis, whose updates you'd like echoed via text message.

2. Follow some people. There are a couple of camps in the social networking space. There are those who just like to "friend" their real friends and integrate the social network into their lives. Then there are those who like to keep these areas separate and interact with each in their own way. Since, I'm more the latter, I looked for people to follow by reading the public_timeline, then blogs and past posts of people.

I was looking for interesting people to follow. Since Twitter doesn't have a search feature that looks at the content of people's posts, I decided to create one and I love it for finding people to follow. Just go to Ajax Twitter Search and enter in a word or phrase that people you'd like to follow might mention. From there you can go to their page and click follow if you so desire.

3. Get going. Once you've got some people you're following, you'll want to make it easy to read and submit updates from within your network. There are many applications that can help you with this on your computer or on your phone. For a great list of these, check out the Twitter Fan Wiki. A couple that I hear a lot about are Twitterific(a Mac client) and Twitterlicious(for Windows). What I do mostly is just go to twitter.com with my browser and on my Treo I just pull up m.twitter.com. The mobile version of their page.

Hopefully, I've added a little bit to your understanding of twitter and how you can get more out of it than just subscribing to a random blogger. It's quite a fun service and if you're looking for a way to chat and keep updated on your friends activities, it's the place to be.


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