What is Twitter?
"Twitter asks one question, 'What are you doing?' Answers must be under 140 characters in length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the web." - about Twitter
Twitter is a microblogging platform that provides you with 140 characters to communicate with your "followers" and those you're "following". It's similar to instant messaging. However, you can choose to make your "Tweets" public or private.
"The result of using Twitter to stay connected with friends, relatives, and coworkers is that you have a sense of what folks are up to but you are not expected to respond to any updates unless you want to." - about Twitter
Why Use It?
"It's become perhaps the fastest tool for people to share news with the world." - Andy Carvin, NPR
If your audience is using Twitter, then you should be using Twitter. The benefits of Twitter for NeighborMedia journalists include the following:
* Provides a platform to share your stories alongside news from other outlets
* Allows you to build an audience and a community of supporters around your work
* Tweets will show up in Google search results
* Most importantly, Twitter can be used to start conversations, ask questions, and share knowledge with many others around the world, otherwise known as the "Twitterverse".
Terminology and Use
* @reply = public messaging
* DM = direct message
* Favorites = bookmarked tweets
* Saved search v. Twitter search
* #hastag = shared tagging around common interest (i.e., #cat). Also, creates a hyperlinked search term to see what others are saying about a particular news event, issue or topic.
More about Hashtags
* Good way to find a conversation you can jump in to. There are no rules about it. Anyone can tweet, attach the hashtag and be part of the conversation.
* A good way to find out what everyone is saying about one topic
* A fantastic way to find out what other topics people are talking about in real time
* Great way to find stuff to blog about
* Fun way to find people to follow
When posting a story for NeighborMedia, remember to use the #neighbormedia hashtag. To follow along with other content tagged with #neighborMedia, visit http://www.tagal.us/tag/neighbormedia
If I've convinced you that Twitter is worth your time, then why not . . .
* Sign up for a Twitter account
* Follow some people (perhaps, NeighborMedia?)
* After posting a story to NeighborMedia, share it on Twitter and tag it with #neighbormedia
* "Twitter Tips: Today’s Must-Have Tool for Citizen Journalists" - Knight Citizen News Network
(Image above from Twitter.com)