How-to: Getting Started with Twitter

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TwitterTwitter, according to Wikipedia, is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. While the service costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.

Sign up for an account:

  • Go to
  • Click “Sign up now”
  • Enter your “Full Name” (Note: Your name will be displayed on your page so if you would like to remain anonymous, do not use your real name.)
  • Enter a “Username” (Note: Your username can only include letters, numbers and the underscore symbol “_”. It will be used in your personal URL to access your Twitter “feed”. For example, “”. Many names will be taken so try different options.)
  • Enter a “Password” (Note: While your password should be memorable, make sure it rates in the “Strong” category at the least.)
  • Enter the security terms (Note: This is there to prevent programmed machines from signing up for multiple accounts.)
  • Click “Create My Account”

Managing your settings:

  • Click the “Settings” link
  • Click through the different tabs to access the different settings for your account. (Note: While the remaining fields are NOT required, you should add at least the “One Line Bio” [Account] and a Photo [Picture].)
  • To make your “tweets” private, go to the “Account” tab and check the box next to “Protect my tweets”
  • To change the background, go to the “Design” tab and select a theme.
  • Remember to click the “Save” button at the bottom to store any changes.

Start following:

  • Go to
  • Find people that seem interesting and click on their name and you will be taken to their Twitter page
  • Click the “follow” link. (Note: The act of “following” someone is not binding. You can “unfollow” them at anytime.)
  • Return to your Twitter “Home” page and you will now see their posts in your feed.
  • Repeat

Start Tweeting:

  • Type 140 characters or less worth of text in the box below “What are you doing?” (Note: Feel free to post anything.)
  • Click “update”

Twitter Terms:

  • tweet – to post something on twitter
  • feed – a list of tweets for one user
  • follow – subscribe to feed
  • unfollow – unsubscribe to a feed
  • retweet (or “RT”) – a repost of a tweet
  • @ – the symbol that comes before a username to specify a twitter account, @username (Twitter will automatically create a link to that account)
  • hashtag (or “#”) – a term for a grouping or category

For more help “Getting Started” with Twitter, Click Here »

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