Twitter 101 in seven slides

I was looking through some old files when I stumbled upon this presentation of mine from a class in PR school from February ’09. We had to make a 5-minute piece on anything, so I decided to do Twitter. I’d been using it for about 5 months at the time and I had already developed quite the addiction. I think I had this up to at least double the amount of slides and had to cut it back quite a bit.

  • Slide 1: The subtitle was a commentary on how many students in class felt about Twitter. It’s useless and I’ll never use it. I’ve come to see that it has been a pattern in just about every class since, from grads I’ve gotten to know. I’m sure those people end up regretting not paying attention when they were originally taught.
  • Slide 2: I broke the basic terms of Twitter down to 5 points. I went through what an @ reply was, a retweet, a direct message, the amount of characters in a tweet (140) and finally hashtags (#) and how they’re used. I still feel these are relevant basic terms today. Did I miss any? Have any been added to everyday use that I’m not including?
  • Slide 3: Even 5 months in I was already spending most of my time off the Twitter site. I spent, and still spend, most of my time using Tweetdeck, when I’m on a computer. When I took part in a lot of chats, which used hashtags to keep track of participants, I used Tweetchat to keep it organized. Nowadays I haven’t done as many of those chats, but when I do, I still use that site. Friend or Follow is one I haven’t used since I found out about Nutshell Mail, which sends an email every morning, letting you know who your new followers are, as well as your latest quitters. Finally TweetStats, I can’t live without this site. It’s great to check many different things, like who you’ve been tweeting with the most all-time, or even per month.
  • Slide 4: Applications like Tweetdeck was my example of a great application for separating the different people you follow, and still is. This example has my classmates/instructors, Canadian PR people, International PR people, and people who take part in many conversations. Over time I’ve changed a few of those columns, but I still use it to keep track of many different things going on.
  • Slide 5: Many people starting off on Twitter get lost and say they don’t know who to follow or how to find people. My example here shows how they can make the decision a little easier, when they see the person’s stats. If they have a high number of following and a very low number of followers, my recommendation is usually to not follow. Some accounts are clearly spam, but others are just follower hoarders. Next up there are accounts with a crazy amount of followers. You can probably follow them for information/news/gossip, but if you’re looking for good conversation, chances are they won’t respond back to you. Finally it’s always good to follow people you know, or in this case, my instructor from class, Keith McDonald <insert laughter from classmates>.
  • Slide 6: How to make twitter work? Well it’s easy, add people you know already on it, or if you don’t, know how they use it (ie. push push push, or engaging with @ replies and RTs). Next, start engaging yourself with @ replies, RTs and the occasional DM to introduce yourself if you feel more comfortable doing so. Finally, Twitter is just a start, so get out there and attend tweetups so you can build those relationships into friendships.
  • Slide 7: I went through what made Twitter more appealing to me than those other sites listed. Nowadays I’d say Twitter has it’s appeal, but so do the other sites, for different reasons (minus MySpace).

What are your thoughts? Is this still a relevant 101 for a Twitter newb today as it was almost 2 years ago? I think many of the notes still hold true, but some things have grown since, including mobile use.

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