On the rapidly uphill slide to 60 I am no spring chicken. I was brought up with no tv, and no cell phones but we always had the daily newspapers and made weekly trips to the library.
I am still a news junkie, have opinions on everything and am passionate about developing people and technology.
Facebook is wonderful to connect with long lost family and friends but it is on Twitter where a whole new magical world has opened up for me.
What is Twitter and how does it work?
It is a form of Social Media and recognisable by the little blue bird you often see attached to articles.
You "tweet" (write) your opinions using a maximum of 140 characters and to give you an idea of how much that is, this sentence has 175 characters including punctuation and spaces.
It is very bad form to use SMS / Text language where every word is abbreviated so you need to become adept at expressing yourself succinctly in as few words as possible. The Grammar Police abound on Twitter and will not hesitate to pick you up on poor grammar and spelling.
You can add a link to an article you have written or read on the internet and you can add pictures of something you have seen.
What sort of topics do people tweet about?
- Local and international news
- Motivational quotes
- Links to inspirational articles
- Traffic situations
- Books they have written or read
- A wide spectrum of businesses
- Religion & Culture
Yes if you can imagine it, someone will be "tweeting" it.
To become part of the Twitter universe follow this step by step procedure.
Step 1 - Decide on your username and password
You need an e-mail address and a suitable Twitter name (also called your Twitter handle). This can be your nickname or your real name or if you are setting up a business account, your business name. You will also need to think up a suitable password. Make sure your password is at least 6 characters and consists of upper and lower case letters, a number and another character.
Step 2 - Sign up with Twitter - It is free!
Go to your internet browser and type in https://twitter.com/
In the box headed "New To Twitter" enter your full name, your chosen username and password. Remember to keep you password accessible but safe.
Twitter usernames always have the "@" sign at the beginning.
Once Twitter has approved your account it will give you some suggestions of people or organisations to follow. You don't have to accept these.
Step 3 - Find Topics That Interest You
To communicate within the Twitter Universe you need to "follow" people whose lives and activities are of interest to you.
Twitter uses Hashtags to group different interests. For example if you are interested in Education in South Africa you will search for #EducationSA. You can also use the search box to find friends, relatives, work colleagues or various publications.
Once you have found a few people you can click on the "follow" box. You can also see who "follows" them and who they "follow" which helps to spread your network.
Step 4 - Getting Going
Your "Twitter stream" where the tweets of people you follow will start to appear. If you don't like what they have to say you can simply "unfollow" them. You have the choice to reply to a tweet or re-tweet someone else's tweet.
If you re-tweet someone remember to include their twitter name as it is good etiquette.
Until you are ready to start communicating yourself you are quite at liberty to "lurk". Simply enjoy the conversations of others.
Once someone follows you, you can DM (direct message) them to have a private 140 character conversation. These can also be very entertaining.
Step 5 - See Who I Follow
I have made so many new friends on Twitter throughout the world. I have also broadened my general knowledge in so many areas by following interesting people from all walks of life.