After creating your user account at twitter.com, install some applications to your computer or phone.
I suggest the following:
- Adobe Air (as base application for the next two apps)
- Thwirl (do not try to pronounce this one!) (single screen, lightweight)
- Tweetdeck (large screen, create your own filters)
- DestroyTwitter (half screen, designed templates, groups)
- TwitterFon (iPhone/iPodTouch app)
- TwitterBerry (Blackberry app)
Anyone can post a tweet, and (most) everyone can read them, but it gets interesting when you start to connect users, hashtags and searches.
A twitter user can be referred to as @username.
A twitter hashtag can be referred to as #hashtag.
Hashtags are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag.
Searching tweets (a post to twitter is a tweet) is fairly easy, but people have started programming sites for this as well:
- Twitter Search (try @leonieke or #onlineinfo2008 or obama)
- TweeTree (Tweetree puts your Twitter stream in a tree so you can see the posts people are replying to in context. It also pulls in lots of external content like twitpic photos, youtube videos and more, so that you can see them right in your stream without having to click through every link your friends post.)
Twitter might also be a great marketing tool:
- Guide to Twitter as a Tool for Marketing and PR
- 7 Ways Marketers Can Use Twitter
- The Golden Rule of Twitter Marketing
I simply use it mostly to keep in touch with friends and to follow interesting blogs and people, see for yourself @leonieke : http://twitter.com/leonieke