My first foray into Twitter: Some tips that will help you use and benefit from it | Zach Everson

My first foray into Twitter: Some tips that will help you use and benefit from it

My friend Christine Prefontaine, who blogs at Facilitating Change, has been evangelizing about Twitter for a while, so I created an account today.

What is Twitter? From its Wikipedia entry:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service, that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS, email or through an application such as TwitterFon, Twitterrific, Feedalizr or Facebook.

At first Twitter seemed a little overwhelming, with no one following me and me not following anyone save Christine. What seemed like thousands of posts a minute, many not in English, were flying by on the public timeline.

But a search for Twitter tips yielded two great resources:

I also downloaded The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific for my Macs and iPhone, which made Twitter more manageable and user friendly.

Twitter seems like a great way to blast the masses, but, as with any social networking site, it takes effort to find content of value.

(My Twitter profile is at If you already have a Twitter account and are logged in to it, select the link to my profile and then select Follow under my picture in the upper left corner. And you can create a Twitter account at

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