Twitter 101 for SNAPpers

by: Helen Schubert

Want to join us in the twitter chat but don’t know a tweet from a twit? Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started! If you’re already familiar with Twitter, but don’t know how to follow a hashtag for the chat, you can skip down to that section.

Creating an account:

Create your account at www.twitter.com: Fill in your name, username, and password and click the yellow sign up button – It’s that simple!

Following other accounts:

When you follow an account, all tweets from that account appear in your timeline (what you see when you log into Twitter). You can find accounts to follow by searching for them (real name or Twitter name) in the “search” box at the top of the twitter page. After you get the results, click on “People” (rather than “Tweets”) on the left hand side of the screen. To follow an account, just click on the “follow” button with the little blue bird. Start with SNAP’s account: @SNAP_Roundtable.

To go to an account’s profile page, click on the account name, then click on “go to full profile” at the bottom of the box that pops up. From SNAP’s profile page, you can click on the buttons on the left to see who we’re following and who’s following us – a good place to start when you’re looking for more accounts to follow from archives-land.

Following hashtags:

Search for tweets containing a hashtag (such as #snaprt for our chat) by typing it in the search box at the top of the page. Click on “all” (rather than “top” – the default – or “people you follow”) to see all results in reverse chronological order.  When there are new results for your search, the site will automatically update to show you that there are new tweets; to see them you will need to click on the message. To save a search, click on the smaller of the two buttons that look like a small gear (at the top right of the white box showing the search results), then click on “save this search” in the menu that pops up.  Then, you can do the search again at any time by just clicking in the search box and clicking on the saved search. Other Twitter clients (for computers, smartphones, iPads, etc) also allow you to save and follow searches, and often more options than the web interface.

Tweeting and replying:

To compose a tweet from the search results page, click on the blue button at the upper right of the page that looks like a quill. Type your post and click the “tweet” button – that’s all there is to it! For the chat, include the #snaprt hashtag and appropriate question number (e.g. Q1) in each post.

To reply to someone or mention them in a tweet, use their username with the @ sign (e.g. @SNAP_Roundtable) in your tweet.This is how you can submit discussion questions for the chat (do not use the hashtag for this). To reply to a specific tweet, you can also hover your mouse over the tweet (from either your timeline or the search results page) and click on the “reply” button that appears.

Using Twitter apps on your computer or mobile device:

There are many apps and clients that you can use to tweet from a smartphone or other mobile device. There are official twitter apps (just called “Twitter” for both iOS and Android. Other free twitter apps include Twitteriffic (for iPhone), Twidroyd, and Seesmic (both for Android). There are also Twitter clients that you can use on a computer instead of using the web interface, such as Tweetdeck and Metrotwit. Many of these provide increased functionality over using Twitter on the web. There are many roundups of top Twitter apps and clients available online, which Google can help you find.

Hope to see you in one of our upcoming chats!

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About Lisa H

Lisa is the archivist/librarian at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College. She stumbled into archival work by way of the museum world and is always seeking ways to break down the silos of these professions. Lisa has worked in museums, libraries, and archives in Illinois, New York, and Alaska. While not at work, Lisa spends her free time biking, working on art projects, and putting her useless knowledge to good use on bar trivia teams. You can find her on Twitter @lisahuntsha.

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