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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
I'm Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. Twitter is a microblogging social network that let's you read other peoples' tweets and let's you compose your own tweet. A tweet is a 140 character status update. Think of it like a Facebook post, if you use that service, if you were only limited to 140 characters. So, why would you want to use Twitter? Well, you can follow your favorite retail stores for some Twitter only coupons. You can follow news outlets and get breaking news as it happens.
You can follow celebrities and even tweet directly to them. You can follow your friends, customers, and family and read their updates. And finally, you can tweet your own updates to keep in touch with your friends, followers, clients and family. So what kinds of things should you tweet? Well, I can't answer that. But I can give you some ground rules that I like to follow. The first one is before I make a tweet, I always think would I want to read that if somebody else tweeted it? I also like to have two things, it can either entertain or inform.
Now, it doesn't always go as planned, but that rule is certainly a good place to start. In this video, I'm going to show you a little bit about how to use Twitter, including what the Twitter Stream is. How to compose your own tweet, how to reply, how to re-tweet and even what a Twitter hashtag is. Now, there's a lot to cover, so let's get started. I went to twitter.com and logged into one of our sample Users. So here's the main Twitter page. On the left hand side at the very top, I can see who unlocked it as if I had multiple accounts.
I can see how many tweets I've made, how many people I'm following in my Twitter stream and how many people are following me to see the tweets that I've sent. On the right hand side, I'm scrolling down, this is the main Twitter stream. This is the Twitter stream of all the people I follow and what they're tweeting, live as it happens, in chronological order. My Twitter stream is going to look completely different from somebody else's Twitter stream, based on who I'm following. So, here's how to tweet in it's simplest form.
Come over here on the left hand side into the compose new tweet button. Put the cursor there and start typing your tweet. I can see at the bottom how many characters I have left, it subtracts it from that 140 character total and I can also add pictures and links and other things. When I'm ready to go, click the Blue tweet button. And my tweet gets posted. Now, of those seven followers I have, this tweet here just appeared in their Twitter stream also. Now, while I'm reading a tweet, sometimes you want to reply to one.
I can do that, by hovering my mouse over the tweet. And clicking one of these buttons. I can reply to the tweet, I can re-tweet it to all my followers which I'll talk about later and I can favorite it so that I can read it again. For now, I'm going to click the Blue Reply button. And now I can start typing my reply. Now it's a reply because the User Name of the person that i am replying to is right at the beginning. If I click Tweet, my reply gets added to this conversation.
Now, nobody else can see this reply except at Lynda and anybody else that's following both me. And Linda, so that's important to note. Now sometimes, you want everybody to see this reply and in that case, there's a few tricks that you can do. The first thing is you can tweet a User Name, anywhere in the tweet but at the front. Now you can do that in one of a few ways. You can put a dot at the beginning of it, or you can also put the User Name anywhere in the tweet that's not the beginning.
So now, because that User Name's not at the beginning to mark it as a private reply so that, only people that follow me an Lynda can see it, now that it's embedded anywhere, in the tweet itself, anybody can see this reply. So, here's how to Retweet. If I take this tweet, and click the Retweet button, I'm going to get a popup that asks if want to Retweet this to my followers. I can click the Retweet button and now.
This entire lynda.com tweet will show up in all my follower's Twitter streams. Even though they're not following lynda.com themselves. This is a great tool, when you see a tweet that you want to share with everybody, that's important. But you don't want to type it out yourself again. It's also a great way for people to learn some new people to follow. So, how do you see these replies that people typed you? If I scroll all the way up to the top of my Twitter stream, I'm going to come up to this Connect tab.
If I click the Connect tab, here's where I can see all my interactions. This is where people replied to me and put my User Name anywhere in their tweets. For example, here's a reply, because my username is at the beginning, and here's also an embedded tweet. So this means that, other people saw this tweet who are following @NerdGirlJess which is my other Twitter account actually. So you can also find new people to follow this way for example here's somebody that sent a tweet to me and if I click on their Name it brings up their profile.
I can read some of their tweets to see if they seem interesting and if it sounds like somebody that I want to follow, that is if I want their tweets to appear on my Twitter stream, I can click this Follow button. Now I can see I'm following them, so I can click the Close button. And when I click Home to return my Twitter stream, any of their tweets such as these will now show up in my stream. So let's talk about hashtags. Hash tags is a great way for people to find like minded tweets.
For example, if I'm at a conference, and that conference has a particular hashtag like edt2013, I can put that hashtag in my tweet and everybody can find it in one go. For example now, you'll notice that it's blue. That's because I preceded that word with the hashtag sign. Meaning that people can click on it and see any tweets that have that particular key combination in there. So this is a great way if I'm not at a conference, but I still want to know what's going on in the keynote, I can follow this hashtag.
So as keynotes come up, and important facts about that conference come up. Other people will tweet them and then I can read them all in one place, so I will do a tweet right now with a hashtag and it's probably a bad example because hash tag should be short because they do count against that 140 character limit, but this is a good one to use as an example so you can also use hash tags as part of your tweet. It doesn't have to be appointed to the end, it can be anywhere in the tweet at all. So I've got my tweet, it contains pound Monday productivity pointers.
I can click Tweet and off it goes. So here it is on my Twitter stream. An if I wanted to find any tweets that have to do with that hashtag, I simply, click on it. So as you can see, there's a number of tweets that have that hashtag in there. Now, I don't need to know all these people or be following them. If it contains that text and it's recent, it will show up in my search. I don't even have to click on this, I can come right up here to the Search box and put it in.
Hit the Enter key, and my search comes up. As you'll see, it's already Indexed that most recent tweet that I did, and I can even see my tweets in there. So hashtags are basically like minded tweets aggregated in one place about a certain subject. Its great for following news events, live as it happens conferences or even just to have some fun on a Friday afternoon. So that's a little insight into what Twitter is, how to use it, how to find people to follow. I hope it's given you some good advice to start using Twitter for what it was really intended for to socially interact with lots of like minded people.
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