About Twitter

This page is in an early draft and needs development (hint!)

cover in class

signing up
your bio: write to be f0und
Reply / DM / Tweet
using and shortening links

Finding People to Read and Follow

Watch for Follow Me on Twitter signals. Twitter names are prefaced with an @: @mcmorgan, @billt...

Twitter provides a search by name and mail. To find people who are twittering about topics of interest, use a hashtag search or term search from the search box on your twitter home page. When you find an interesting tweeter, follow. If someone you follow becomes tedious, unfollow them.

What to Write

Follow a diverse set of people, watch what others tweet, and when, and how they use language. Read the public stream for a while.

The challenge of twitter is to be concise and on-message in every tweet to increase the value of your messages to others.

Twitter doesn't need to be about you, personally. And it doesn't need to be a matter of keeping up with what others are doing. Write to entertain, inform, goof off. Don't expect a direct reply. Twitter to get an exchange started in another mode: f2f, email, blog, wiki ...

You need to tweet to be followed. Provide something of value to others.

Be intentional

Just because the ShortForm is short doesn't mean it's fast or without consideration. Twit intentionally. Y0u're on stage. Come up with that 140 character one-liner that others will enjoy /retweet / remember. Tweet things of value to others.


Hashtags #

 (image: http://erhetoric.org/wiki/images/Twitter___Home-20100114-151555.jpg)

 (image: http://erhetoric.org/wiki/images/Twitter___Home-20100114-151655.jpg)

Hold Office Hours

140 Characters recommends this: have a time of day when you will tweet. Boil d0wn events and thoughts for that time.

140 Characters

Billed as "a style guide for the short form," it's worth a look if you're considering Twitter as a project. Available in paper, Kindle ebook, and an iPhone app. The last is an interesting experiment in itself.

some extracts from 140 Characters

The short format requires not just a new language, but a different way of writing. Information usually contained in a headline and lead sentence is now constrained to less than half that size, with almost no control over presentation. http://www.140characters.com/

It's permissible to leave questions unanswered in a message this small. Answers come later. Engage your audience first, then shape the discussion or commentary elsewhere.

Do not burden the reader with embellishment or exaggeration. Paraphrase instead. It's become hip to rewrite a longer work in 140 character increments. A pair of college freshmen have dubbed this "Twitterature."
The text is written (pretty much) as a Twitter stream. It reads like McLuhan's Gutenberg Galaxy (at Wikipedia): clusters of briefly developed topics (crots) assembled like a mosasic into topical chapters. Development takes place over the mosaic of the crots across chapters. It seems most at home in the iPhone version, with the small screen, mobile access, and hypertext structure. (Used copies available everywhere.)

Readers are comparing 140 Characters to StrunkNWhite as *the* style book for Twitter. C0uldn't be more wrong. It's closer to The Five Clocks, by Joos (1962). StrunkNWhite is both wrong, and confines itself to One Style (To Rule Them All). Joos discusses how speakers use styles (more accurately called registers) in the wild, and demonstrates how we use multiple registers to place our statements socially. It's been out of print for years, but the local university library should have a copy.

Twitter Clients

Clients - or apps - run twitter on the desktop rather than in the browser and allow more flexibility in reading and sending. Watch tweets to see what clients others are using.


Consider Twitter as a mode of writing - TwitLit. Twitter posts as literature

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