How to use Twitter

First, watch this video:

Twitter allows users to post 140 character updates, answering the question: “What are you doing?” These posts are shared via the web to either the world or to the users’ friends.  As a tool with many flexible uses, it is likely that we’ll see individuals integrating Twitter with all sorts of interesting applications in the future. It is this simplicity and flexibility that makes Twitter a winner–in 140 characters or less.

Users can access Twitter messages—called Tweets—via the Web, via an RSS feed, and via text on their cellular phones or any number of third part apps. You might use Twitter for social updating (What I am doing)  or microblogging (what I am thinking about). Accessing a Twitter user, one might find an update on his or her day, a direct message to another Twitterer, or a bit of wit and wisdom.

Libraries are using Twitter as well as a means to update content on the Web or for alert services.

We’ll use Twitter in our course as a means to share little snippets, links, etc with each other. Consider this a “Thing to Explore” and a way to add to your personal learning network that will follow you throughout your career.

Class Hashtag: #hyperlib

Twitter defines a “hashtag” this way: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before relevant keywords in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets to show more easily in Twitter Search
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets in that category
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics

Again, we’ll use a hashtag #hyperlib for the course.

Optional: View this brief presentation: “Technology with Heart: Twitter” from 2012:


Twitter for Librarians: The Ultimate Guide

The Twitter Guidebook

Twitter for Beginners (PDF)