Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Twitter Workshop

Whether we are talking about Tweetups, Twestivals or Tweeps Twitter is quickly becoming the most valuable and misunderstood social network out there. In it's simplicity and customizability lies it's major benefits and major challenges. All you get it 140 characters to make your case or tell others what you want to tell them.

"The land of Twitter otherwise annoyingly referred to by TwitterHeads as the Twitterverse or Twittersphere… is awash with used car salesman, get rich quick dudes, snake oil peddlers, hacks, loudmouths & know-it-alls. Don’t let it turn you off. Don’t think that’s an ok way to act online. This however shouldn’t be any reason to not engage in the medium but instead probably some sort of proof point that there is in fact something new and special happening here." - Kris Krug.

Twitter isn't all about people talking about cats, sandwiches and foursquare. Most of the nearly 100 million Twitter users are sharing knowledge, ideas, stories, intimate details, connections, and emotions – to audiences known and unknown. By participating in your own online spaces and communities, you are helping to grow something new, something larger and more interesting than you think. As Kris puts it "a collective consciousness of info, art and emotion — and by doing this we are contributing to the overall health of the public domain and our culture."

The idea that Twitter is for X or Y is short-sighted on the part of any user. Twitter can allow connections and education beyond what you may think. This week is about learning more about Twitter and ramping up your use of it as we move through this class. Let's see more use, more interaction and more help from one another, to others and for the collective consciousness.

Today we are going to start with Twitter language and then we will move onto to the best formation of a tweet. We will explore how to get your tweets into larger conversations, talk about how #hashtags extend beyond events and thematic chatter.

@Replies
– a public mention is directed to an individual account but everyone can see it. The equivalent of talking to someone and while others listen.

Direct Messages (DM’s)
– a private message like an email. Can only be sent to those following you.

ReTweets (RTs)
– Twitter’s equivalent of a forward. Note the difference between the Old Retweet and the New Retweet.

#Hashtags
– similar to a ‘tag’ but the ‘#” hash designation differentiates the tags from the content of the Tweet.
– originally used because there was no Twitter Search.
– good way to string a conversation together or add meta-data to the Tweet payload.
– check out #edchat or #webdev #dev Want to see other hashtags? See this.

ACTIVITY: Find a #hashtag that will be useful to your classmates. Tweet it out with #MDIA2045 and tell us how you found it.

BONUS: What are you doing this Saturday? This may be the path to greatness...

Twitter Search:
– realtime search on search.twitter.com vs. persistent searches in your Twitter client

Trending Topics on Twitter:
– Canada, US, Cities, etc.

Archiving Twitter:
– TwapperKeeper
– Backupify.com
– The Archivest
– http://www.tweetguard.com/

Twitter Lists
– a great way to organize followers or Twitterers by subject, geography, or any other designation

Twitter Tools & More:
Klout - Analyze Users
Tweetstats - Analyze Stats
TwitterSheep - Analyze Users and Followings
Twellow - The Twitter Yellow Pages - Follow top tweeters
WeFollow - Find top tweeps to follow
Twitaholic - Track popular users and learn more
TwitterCal - Tweet your Google Calender Also see Plancast & Tungle.me
Twitpay - Send Paypal Payments via Twitter
TwitPic, YFrog, etc - Pics & Videos
Twtpoll - Twitter Polls
TwittURLy - Track top Twitter Topics

Lab/Homework:
– read “The Twitter Guide Book” by @mashable
– signup for HootSuite or download TweetDeck
– create 3 permanent search columns in your Twitter client
– subscribe to 2 #hasttags via twitter.com or your client
– send out at least 1 standard message, 1 @ reply, 1 Direct Message & 1 ReTweet.
– start 1 Twitter list
– follow 20 interesting people

Bonus:
– signup for either TEDxVancouver or BarCamp Vancouver
– Follow Kemp's Twitter list for this class and add it as a column on Tweetdeck or Hootsuite
– find 2 interesting tools of the vast expanse of Twitter tools available out there and share them with the class next week.

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