Remember that Twitter is Public
The first rule of Twitter is that it is more permanent than the internet. When you post something, at least one person is going to read it and have a memory of that event. Unless you lock your profile, all of your tweets are public record and searchable, forever. While Twitter is all about honesty and just being yourself, you have to act like you are writing something that your parents will eventually read.
Read this story if you think your direct messages are safe from prying eyes.
Avoid Banal Food Updates
Unless you narrowly avoided death by eating a puffer fish, nobody really wants to know about what you are eating today. If you ate at a cool restaurant and want to recommend it, that is fine. Dissecting what you had for lunch if you just went to McDonalds is not. Just ask yourself if this is interesting to your followers – if the answer is “yes”, then it’s OK to tweet.
Tweet Accomplishments Sparingly
If you went live with a new site or posted an article on a blog, that is exactly what Twitter is for. If you have over twenty new posts a day on your site, tweet only the more interesting ones.
Tweet Really Interesting Stuff Only
If you read an article that completely rocks your world, tweet it. If articles are rocking your world a number of times a day, pick only the few that rock your world the most.
Don’t Tweet Confidential Stuff
Tell someone that you’ll go “off-Twitter” if you need to talk about something that you don’t want the world to know about. Remember that your tweets are searchable unless you have locked your account. Even then, it isn’t a good idea as we all know privacy is never guaranteed online.
Snip Your URL’s
Use any one of the URL snipping services out there, like TinyURL, to shorten your links to something manageable. Most Twitter users snip their URL’s regardless of their size just to keep them readable. You can also set up many of the Twitter clients available toautomatically snip any URL that is entered.
Just don’t. If you absolutely have to swear in the context of what you are saying, use$#%% characters instead of the swear word.
Twitter is not an IM Client
The basic idea behind Twitter is to produce occasional status updates, not hold personal conversations. Conversations with more than one person are exactly what Twitter is for and these should be encouraged, but if it is obvious that there is only one other participant take it off-Twitter to an IM client.
Try Not To Use Abbreviations
IM contractions like 4 U and the like are best left to IM’s, although most people still use them. For personal tweets, they’re OK. In business tweets, they are best left out.
Automatic Direct Messages
If you are going to use a service like TweetLater to send automatic direct messages to people who sign up to follow you, keep it short and not sales related. If people like what they see of you on Twitter, they will go to your website and read up on you there. Twitter is for relating, not for selling. Unless you are woot.com – they seem to have broken the mold on that one. They do it with a very specific business model, one that doesn’t use sales language or any of the standard spam methods.
Twitter has started posting definitions of common Twitter terms on your profile page, beneath your picture. Note: If a term is classed as a “phone command”, it will only work from your phone. Your web tweets will go on functioning the same way. For anything that isn’t on this list, you can go to Twittonary.com, type your term in, and get a definition instantly.
The hash sign is used to mark a word as a keyword, which denotes a “hashtag”. More on hashtags further down the list.
The @ sign is used to indicate that you are replying to a specific username. For example, if DickCheney tweets a question about font tags, you will reply with @reply DickCheney “nobody uses font tags anymore, try CSS” or something of the sort. Remember that when you use @reply it is visible to everyone – for private communications use a direct message.
140 character limit
Twitter messages are meant to be short. Most people don’t even go up to the 140 character limit when posting a tweet. This is the reason for utilities like URL snippers, which we’ll get to.
The act of blocking a particular user name from following your tweets. You block someone by clicking on their profile and choosing “Block” on the right sidebar.
Updating Tweets from a Mobile Device: You can send tweets from any mobile device using text messaging. Text “d YOURUSERNAME” and your tweet and send it to 40404, Twitter’s text message number.
Direct Messages are sent from twitter by entering d RECIPIENTUSERNAME Text of Message.
This stands for direct message, which is the Twitter equivalent to e-mail. You may only send direct messages to those following you. To do so, click on “Direct Message” on their profile and type out your message, again only up to 140 characters. Automatic direct messages can be set up to thank someone for following you using a free service such asTweetLater. Keep in mind that you cannot send Direct Messages to people that are not following you, even if you are following them. This is Twitter’s built-in spam protection.
Drunk dialing on Twitter.
Related to above, Tweet sent while drunk.
The whale logo that pops up when the Twitter service crashes.
You can favourite a tweet by typing FAV in all caps plus their username. This will automatically favourite the last tweet from that user.
Your posts on Twitter are commonly referred to as your “Twitter feed”, or “timeline”.
Phone command. This command sends the message that you want to follow a specific user on Twitter.
People who follow your updates.
A round of friending on Twitter.
Type it in to get the geolocation of the most recent tweets.
Retrieves the most recent tweet from that user.
Hashtags, such as #BSG for “Battlestar Galactica”, denote groupings on Twitter for popular, commonly referenced items. You can follow updates on hashtags in real time atHashtags.org They were developed as a means to create groupings on Twitter.
In order to have hashtags tracked, start following @hashtags on Twitter. It will follow you automatically and your use of hashtags will be tracked. Hashtags became popular during the San Diego fire, when Nate Ritter used the hashtag #sandiegofire to chronicle his updates of the event. Since then they have been used to track specific events in real time on a regular basis.
This will send a Twitter invite to a mobile phone.
Phone command. Sends the message that you wish to stop following a certain user.
Locking Your Profile
You can “lock” your profile so that only friends can see your updates by scrolling down to the bottom of your “Settings” tab on the Twitter website and clicking the box beside “Protect My Updates”. This may deprive you of followers who would have otherwise followed you based on keywords in your posts and isn’t advised for general use. You would only want this if you wanted to use Twitter, but need to avoid public communication for a specific reason. Even celebrities have public profiles on Twitter.
Twitter is a microblogging platform. A shorter and usually more immediate version of a blog.
Similar to “mistell”, a term coined by gamers, a mistweet is a tweet that you will regret. You can delete your tweets on your profile page, but everyone on your follow list will still have seen it when it was posted.
Reminds one of your friends to update.
A variant of “offline”, usually used when someone wants to share something with someone privately.
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone off.
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone from a certain user off.
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone on.
Phone command. Turns all notifications to your phone from a certain user on.
The timeline of all public Tweets. Seen here.
Reporters publishing tweets in conjunction with their articles or broadcasts.
This stands for retweeting, the process whereby you repost someone else’s Twitter post on your feed. The proper form for this is: RT #usernameyouarerequotingfrom “text of the retweet”. You are specifying that it is a retweet and putting in the full username so others on your list can choose to follow them if they like it.
Go to search.twitter.com to search tweets for a specific keyword. Also,http://twitter.com/invitations/find_on_twitter will allow you to search by name.
This is a command that returns how many people you are following, how many people are following you, and which words you are tracking.
Name of the most popular URL snipping service which trims URL lengths to allow for inclusion in twitter messages. Located at tinyurl.com. There are others out there but this is the most commonly used one.
Someone who impersonates another person on Twitter.
Using Twitter to procrastinate.
The act of adding someone as your friend.
Traffic on Twitter.
A bunch of followers.
To sell something via Twitter.
Twittering while waiting for something.
A cluster of friends on Twitter. Frequently used to address all of your followers at once, e.g.”Morning, Tweeples!”.
Bringing a previous tweet back into the current conversation.
A Twitter user.
Someone who Tweets too much.
Someone acting like an idiot on Twitter.
Another way to refer to friends on Twitter.
A group of users agree on a set time to Twitter to each other.
A collection of posts on Twitter.
Lingo used on Twitter. See this Glossary.
Twitter employee that restores your lost followers if you have lost them due to a technical glitch.
A Twitter user who posts a high number of negative items.
To ride a bicycle while Twittering. Don’t ask for a how-to.
A “dis” of a fellow Twitterer. Not a good idea since everything on Twitter is public.
The act of unfollowing someone on Twitter.
The Twitter L33T. This is not a comprehensive list at all, but it is generally accepted that a member of the Twitterati has 30,000 or more followers. A very nice graphing of Twitterati networks is available here.
This was meant to be a comprehensive list. Self-explanatory, but the mental images are disturbing.
Something awesome related to Twitter.
To send a Twitter message.
Ladies who use Twitter.
To insert your tweet in an ongoing conversation between other people on Twitter.
The act of Twittering from a bathroom.
What you feel when something good happens on Twitter, like being followed or retweeted.
Similar to a “flashmob”, this is a bunch of people who descend on an often ill-prepared location based on a Twitter message.
The Twitter timeline, both your own and the public one.
A confession made on Twitter.
The community of Twitter users.
Networking with other Twitter users.
Twitter as the human version of Google, since you can post a question and get instant results.
Sending a private message to Twitter by accident.
A full 140 character Twitter message.
A survey conducted over Twitter.
Typing a Twitter message.
Gets profile information for a Twitter user.