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Please don’t tell me what you had for breakfast! The Guided Tour of Twitter – Tech Talk Tuesdays in Review

September 11, 2012

Dont tell me what you had for breakfast, I would rather know about your favourite eLearning adventures.

This was a tip written on the whiteboard a participant at the recent  Tech Talk Tuesday webinar Guided Tour of Twitter!

There is always keen interest shown in twitter and this webinar walked through some of the basics of twitter. Participants ranged from experienced users of twitter through to absolute beginners. What is twitter? Twitter is a conversation in 140 characters or micro blogging. People are no longer addressed as Miss, Ms, Mr, Sir, Dr etc Everyone is simply @. Some great introductory  videos on twitter come from Common Craft Twitter and Twitter Search

You can listen to the recording of this webinar by clicking on this link. Read some of what was covered:-

Your Twitter handle (username or id):

  • be consistent with online usernames (where possible)
  • discussion re actual name cf with a pseudonym. Consider ease of spelling, size of usernames as twitter only allows 140 characters.
  • ensure you fill in your profile to make you worthwhile to follow, share your passions, your online space and add an appropriate pic or avatar of yourself.


  • recommendations for the first tweet (s) eg I am new to twitter. What is your most important tip to get started? or If you could change your life in 140 characters, what would you say?
  • Start with a question
  • how to tweet
  • how to keep tweets to 140 characters – use concise language, easily recognized abbreviations, a web address  shortener eg bitly, tinyurl or apps such as tweetdeck which can automatically shorten urls.
  • tweets can be about events, share resources, experiences, advice, ask questions, seek an audience, promote and provoke discussion  and some are just plain dull and boring etc
  • lengthy conversations between several individuals should be relocated as direct messages

Making sense of twitter – Follows

  •  newbies should follow at least 50 people or organisations. Twitter can be a series of conversations and a participant will only see tweets from those they follow. If a lengthy conversation is in progress, following only one of those individuals will be confusing
  • Find an experienced mentor, get them to suggest some people to follow
  • Follow some organisations eg museums, NASA, astronauts as these tend to make stand alone tweets.
  • Twitter will suggest several people to follow each time you login.
  • Follow people, click on the follows link in their page and follow others who share similar interests to you.
  • See who selected organisations follow and choose some of them


  • It is important to gain attention and followers
  • Follow a variety of people and do not choose all “A-Listers”. Many of the most popular tweeters may not follow back as they have already gathered a great twittersphere
  • Grab attention of people you want to follow you, by tweeting to them using their twitter handle (twitter id ie @……)
  • Visit blogs, look for twitter handle, share link to an interesting blog post, referring to their twitter handle.
  • Ask questions of selected tweeters using their twitter handles.

Creating lists

  • it is useful to place those you follow into lists, especially as your twitter network grows
  • Sue Wyatt kindly walked us through her lists and how to create them.
  • People can subscribe to lists
  • Worth doing to keep track of various interests of contacts


  • are of increasing importance for categorizing and following particular topics
  • allow conversations on particular conferences to be followed or particular areas of education eg #ipaded #kinderchat #edchat #innovchat #vicpln #ozseries
  • search engines will also pick up these hashtags

And use Twitter ….

  • as a search engine: many use twitter in preference to google – it is live, immediate; guage people’s feelings, experiences etc
  • use it to source delicious bookmarking sites and useful information for classes etc

From the chat:-

Tips: Follow people who are similar to you; pick one or two respected educators, follow them, then see who they follow; please do not tell me what you had for breakfast, I would rather know about your favourite eLearning adventures

  • Digifoot Twitter Activities and Resources
  • Teaching Shakespeare with Twitter
  • Peggy George I want to know who I’m connecting with because their tweets to me are seen by all of the people who follow me.
  • I use twitter more as a collation and research tool:)
  •  To keep tweets to 140 characters: I don’t bother with proper syntax or punctuation, no caps or joining words; symbols and numbers to replace words like & for and; 
  • Follow #dotday as International Dot Day is coming up
  • Some hashtags to follow as collated by @cybraryman
  • #stubc12 is the student blogging challenge
  • Twitterfall or tweetchat will keep track of hashtags or chats
  • time is always an issue which is why you need a management plan or tool like TweetDeck, Hootsuite, TwitterFall, etc. (Peggy George)
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