Start Journo-twitting OTNB IDEA

Original post from Ellyn Angelotti on Nov. 14, 2008 at poynter.org


1. Get a Twitter account. ( http://www.twitter.com ) Amy Gahran offers step-by-step instructions on configuring your account.

2. Follow other twitters. Try using the “Find People” tool, or for additional help try Twellow (http://www.twellow.com ) ( and Twubble (http://www.crazybob.org/twubble/ )

3. Direct message other tweeters. Tweet “d @username” and the message is sent only to that user (it is unbroadcasted). When you tweet @username, your message is broadcasted to everyone, and it alerts the tweeter that you’re talking to them (like yelling across the bar to someone). NOTE: You can only direct message Twitter users who are already following you. And only the people you are following can diect message you

4. Make it easy to keep up with what is going on in the Twitterverse. Download an application that works for you. ( http://twitter.com/downloads )

  • On your computer desktop, check out Twhirl
  • On your iPhone or iPod Touch, try PocketTweets

5. Create your Twitterwire by following a few news sources.

6. Search for news and hot topics — the Twitter rumor mill. Case in point: Moms mad about Motrin ( http://search.twitter.com )

Hashtags are an important tool for following topics, including breaking news. A hashtag is just a short character string preceded by “#” inserted anywhere in a tweet. Used consistently, that makes it possible to track topics simply by searching Twitter for the hashtag string. For instance, here are current posts related to the Dec. 21 Harriman, TN coal ash spill — a topic that tweeters are tagging with #coalash. Find hashtags here. How to start a hashtag. If you tweet about a popular topic, use the hashtag so more people will find and follow you.

7. Tweet from your mobile device. Activate your mobile device and tweet from anywhere ( http://twitter.com/devices ). Also, subscribe to alerts from your followers.

8. Send multimedia tweets:

9. Crowdsource. Tweet a question to your followers.

10. Group report. Simultaneously report as a group. You can do this by using a hashtag, or by giving several people access to a special-purpose Twitter account.

11. Put it on your site. Make a widget with an RSS feed from your Twitter account ( http://www.widgetbox.com )

12. Create a virtual Twitter hub. ( http://grouptweet.com/ )
Here you can create a small group that you can communicate with without broadcasting your tweets to everyone who follows you.

Other Twitter tips:

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