If you really plan on using Twitter…

I know that we’ve all been using Twitter for almost three months now but I recently started following people beyond our class list and was confused by some of the abbreviations, acronyms, etc. that people were using. I decided that listing the commands and how to use them would make life easier for any fellow Twitter noob.

The hashtag.
We’ve been using this all semester, so I hope everyone know what it is. Just in case: typing the pound symbol before a word or un-spaced set of words will make your post show up when someone searches for that phrase. For example, a post with “#kitties” in the text will appear on a list of hits if someone was to search twitter for “kitties.”

Some of the most popular twitter hashtags are: #tgif, #fml, #fail, #nowplaying, #itsreallyannoying, and #sometimesiwonder.

The “at” symbol.
Most of you should already know how to use this command also. If you want to reply to another person’s post or direct your post to them, type “@[username]” in your text. There should not be a space between “@” and the username. If you want to check tweets directed at you, there is a link at right of the page under your icon and username. It will read “@[your username].”

Retweets really confused me at first. If a person likes something another person tweeted, or agrees with it, or whatever, they may want to share that person’s tweet with their own followers or use that person’s tweet to express themselves. So they retweet. Retweets begin with an RT and the orginal user is referenced in the retweet with an “@.” This is how a retweet will look:


Dubmatic311 is retweeting NickHexum’s orginal post about his band’s tour. Dubmatic311 probably did this to sho her followers who do not follow NickHexum that 311 will be having a summer tour.

Direct Messages
Direct messages are Twitter’s form of private message. If you want to send someone a direct message, type d[username]. Some people will abbrievate direct message as “DM”  if they are talking about a driect message in a tweet, not if they are sending a direct message. For example, “D SarahVinski Hey awesome website” will send me a direct message saying “Hey awesome website.” If you type “@SarahVinski DM me about the party tonight” will show up as a public tweet directed to me. So be careful to use the direct message command correctly if you’re talking about something private!

Your direct messages can be found under your icon and username, right below @[your username].

-Sarah Vinski

~ by Sarah on March 24, 2010.

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