I have been an active Twitter user under the name @ConejoJoe since November 21, 2008. Twiiter users are also referred to as Twitterers and Tweeters. Are you on Twitter yet? Should you be?
As an active user in both Twitter as well as Facebook (www.facebook.com/ConejoValleyGuide) my observation is that Facebook users are more interactive and engaged. Facebook allows for more organized, easy to follow dialogues among users, while Twitter is geared towards brief interactions. With over 1.1 billion registered users, Facebook has over double the number of users as Twitter.
That said, Twitter can be a great source for breaking news and other items of interest. Whether or not you Tweet, consider creating a Twitter account and following some of these local Twitter accounts (as well as @ConejoJoe but of course):
- Ventura County Star (@VCStar)
- KVTA News (@kvtaspeednews)
- Los Angeles Times (@latimes)
- Ventura County Fire Department (@VCFD)
- Ventura County Sheriff's Department (@VENTURASHERIFF)
- The Acorn Newspaper (@theacornonline)
- CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA)
- KFI AM 640 (@KFIAM640)
- Fox 11 Los Angeles (@myfoxla)
- NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA)
- ABC Los Angeles (@ABC7)
I've discovered that many people are confused about Twitter and its lingo, so how about a little refresher course for those still considering taking the plunge.
- Twitter allows users to post short messages up to 140 characters long, called "Tweets."
- Like Facebook, you don't actually have to sign up with Twitter to read a Tweet. However, if you do sign up and start "following" others, their Tweets will show up on your Twitter home page.
- Unlike Facebook where only a small fraction of posts from your followers are shown on your wall, all Tweets will be shown on your Twitter page. All Tweets are treated equal.
- But...not all Tweets are created equal...they range from mindless babble and utterings, information sharing, news, communicating with others, humor, promoting yourself, etc.
- When you enjoy a Tweet and want to share it with your followers, you can click "Retweet" and it will be shared. Retweet is basically the equivalent of the "Share" feature in Facebook. Alternatively you can copy the Tweet, including the original Tweeter (to give them credit), add "RT" and even make your own comment. This latter approach can be an art form as it may require you to remove some characters from the original Tweet to ensure it can still be understood.
- Adding a photo or URL to your Tweet will reduce available space to 117 to 118 characters.
- If you want people to see your Tweets, they must follow you. Some users Tweet away but have very few followers. That's ok, but kind of like talking to yourself.
- How do you get others to follow you? Try following them, and many will follow you back. Ask others to follow you and Tweet informative and amusing things on a regular basis.
- As you will see, "Tweeting informative and amusing things on a regular basis" can be a challenge. But that's ok, not everyone has to be informative and amusing, right?
- Non-Twitterers get confused with use of the "@" and "#" symbols in Twitter. An @ in a Tweet allows your Tweet to mention another Twitter user. For example, someone thanks me for Retweeting them in the following Tweet:
And in this Tweet, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza mentions me and others in its successful push to reach 1,000 Followers:
- A # is called a "hashtag" and when added before a word or phrase can be clicked to search for similar Tweets. For example, below is a Tweet with #Emmys
- Twitter has a "Direct Message" feature that is similar to the "Message" feature in Facebook. It allows you to contact another user privately.
Sign up and starting exploring to figure things out! And lastly, according to TwitterCounter.com, the top 10 most followed Twitter users as of August 2013 are:
- Justin Bieber @justinbieber (43.5 million followers)
- Katy Perry @katyperry (41.5 million)
- Lady Gaga @ladygaga (39.8 million)
- Barack Obama @BarackObama (36.5 million)
- Taylor Swift @taylorswift13 (32.9 million)
- YouTube @YouTube (32.5 million)
- Rihanna @rihanna (31.2 million)
- Britney Spears @britneyspears (30.9 million)
- Instagram @instagram (25.2 million)
- Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake (24.5 million)
Check out some of the more popular Twitter users back in June 2009.
In March 2010, Conan O'Brien @ConanOBrien decided to follow one of his followers at random. This person was (and still is) Sarah Killen @LovelyButton of Michigan, O'Brien's (still) only Followee. Sarah has over 91,000 followers. Wow!