I don’t think anyone can question that Twitter has become an Internet phenomenon. With an estimated 500 Millions active users each month. What remains at question is how effective is it as a tool both for sharing and retrieving information?
To get the best out of Twitter you really need to understand the anatomy of a Tweet.
Here’s a simple Tweet:
This is a break down of the anatomy:
- The message part is quite short and this is the basic information you want to share “another fabulous web2.0 tool http://www.interestinglink.com/”
The Hash tags: #elt #tefl #efl #Esl #edtech
- These are pretty vital. Although many people ‘follow’ hundreds or even tens of thousands of people, they very seldom follow the main stream of information from their followers because it just moves too quickly and nobody has that much time, so what tends to happen is people follow particular tags. By clicking on one of these tags in a tweet you can find what the twitter community as a whole has to say about this specific topic. Believe me that’s much simpler and more useful than trying to scan a constant stream of information as it feeds into your page.
With longer term Twitter users ‘following’ hundreds if not thousands of people, I would estimate that most Tweets that simply consist of 140 characters of ‘message’ are actually seen by very few, if any, people, so following the right people and getting your hash tags on is really a vital part of exploiting the network.
- The other key part of the tweet’s anatomy these “RT@zzTechstuff: RT @NikPeachey:”
They show the sources of the information. This one shows that the original source of information was @NikPeachey and it was then shared again by @zzTechstuff
Getting the best out of Twitter really depends on knowing how best to you use it to get what you want.
How about you?
- What are your tips for getting the best out of your Twitter network?