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How do I actually ‘Tweet’?

2 Sep, 10 | by BMJ

We covered the basics of Twitter and its potential value in a previous post but now it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty; how do you Tweet and what are those @ symbols all about?

Do I need special software to Tweet?

All you need to use Twitter is an internet connection or a mobile phone. Once you’ve signed in, type your first 140 character update into the web box at the top of your page (underneath ‘What’s happening?’).

What exactly does ‘following’ somebody on Twitter mean?

Following another person simply means subscribing to their Twitter updates. When you follow someone, every time they post a new message, it will appear on your Twitter home page.

How can I check who I’m following?

After you select the follow button on a person’s profile, you will start following them. The follow button changes to a green check mark next to the word “Following” with a button on the right to remove a person if you want to.

How can I see who is following me?

Twitter sends out email alerts when a new user starts to follow you. It’s possible to alter your email preferences at any time. The followers link on your profile page or home page’s sidebar will also tell you how many followers you have.

This video tutorial demonstrates the major aspects of Twitter’s functionality

What are @Replies?

An @reply is a public message sent from one person to another, distinguished from normal updates by the @username prefix. If a message begins with @username, it is automatically collected as a reply. Reply publicly to any update on Twitter by using the @username rule. Following is not necessary to reply to somebody, and all of your replies are visible in the @username tab in your home page sidebar. (Tweets with @username elsewhere in the tweet are also collected in your sidebar tab; tweets starting with @username are replies, and tweets with @username elsewhere are defined as ‘mentions’.)

Can tweets be edited once posted?

Once it’s out there, you can’t edit it. You can, however, delete an update by clicking the bin icon on the right-hand side of the update.

What does RT, or retweet, mean?

RT is short for retweet, and indicates a re-posting of somebody else’s tweet. This isn’t an official Twitter command or feature, but people add RT somewhere in a tweet to indicate that part of their tweet includes something they’re re-posting from another person’s tweet, often with a comment of their own.

What do the stars at the end of updates mean?

The star is a way for you to mark an update as favourite. People can view your favourites, and you theirs, by clicking on the Favourites link in the profile page.

Still have unanswered questions?

Check out the official Twitter Help Center or help resources for more information or feel free to contact me with your queries (cbower@bmjgroup.com).

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