my personal twitter primer

This may seem like a crazy long post. Sorry. Twitter-brain, that’s me.

I’m posting the list below mainly to have an online handy-dandy set of my own bookmarks for Twitter things I like to use often. If you’re new to Twitter, maybe you will find it helpful too! Bookmark it, and please post a comment if it helps you.


Twitter unveils a whole new world

Article in Leader-Post, Feb 21/09, covers all the basic info, lingo, etc.

10 Top Twitter Tips for Beginners

Ready to jump into Twitter, but don’t know how to get started? Follow these 10 tips and you’ll fit right in.

A Few Twitter Tips

Article in Leader-Post, Feb 21/09

7 Habits of Highly Effective Twitterers

Article by Kris Colvin on the twitter-blog

SEARCH for Tweeps (people to follow)

Mr. Tweet
Personal Networking Assistant

Excellent as a way to start finding people to follow. Mr. Tweet will analyze the kind of folks you already follow, and the kinds of folks those people follow, and outputs a report of who else you might like to follow.

Nearby Tweets

Another way to find people to follow. Enter your address, or a city name, whatever. It will output a list of twitterers who live near that location.


Helps find people to follow. Big list of categories; organizes Twitter into hundreds of niches to make searching easier.


Ask a question

Ask a question; wait for a real person to post the answer. “Get help from employees and tens of thousands of customers.”


If you need to know about a twitter term, try this wiki.

Network Status

Trouble with twitter? Check this status report first to see if it’s a network issue.

READ: waste spend time, find things to read, thinks your Tweeps recommend


A big word cloud for what’s hot on twitter right now. You can link to their page or follow. Their website has a feature where you can enter an ID and see what that person is saying. They also have a cloud widget for your website.

Twitter Search

What if you need to find out what’s happening in the world beyond your personal timeline? Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information happening right now on Twitter.
TIP: When you get there, click ‘Advanced Search’ right away. I find that more useful.


Tweetmeme tracks the most popular links on twitter every 5 minutes. (Like TwURLed News, below)

TwURLed News

Kind of like a twitterFeed collector. A news robot constantly updated list of links to explore what people are talking about right NOW. You can subscribe by RSS and/or follow.
(Like TweetMeme, above)

Twitter Games
(that’s a link to the article about the games)

Two Twitter Games That Help Make Your Day Less Boring

@TwitBrain Get served calculations on a regular basis (like 3 per hour). If you’re the first person to reply with the correct answer, you’ll earn one point and hopefully make your way to Internet fame (well, not really) by getting on the top 10 lists.

@BeatMyTweetDo the same thing, but this time with word scrambles. Warning: it’s ridiculously easy so be fast if you want to be one of the first 10 to reply with the correct answer.

MISCELLANEOUS LINKS TO BOOKMARK & keep handy (alpha order)

6 Ways to Make Twitter Useful

Twitter’s usefulness goes far beyond finding out what strangers ate for lunch. Read breaking news, get customer service, or even chat with your favorite celebrities.

TwitSnip Bookmarklet

Save their bookmark to Favorites. It becomes your tool for easily posting stuff from webpages to Twitter. It lets you “quote” text on any web page. It does nifty things like looking up the @user for the website and linking back to the source. It shortens the URL too. It even tries to shorten the length of the tweet (when needed) using a twitabulary of short words.

Twitter Blog

Keep up with what the Twitter-makers want to tell us. Subscribe in your feed reader.

Twitter Counter

Enter your twitter ID and instantly get stats on your twitter experience — # of tweets, # of followers, etc.

Twitter Grader

Enter your ID and they give you a grade for your twittering! Plus some stats, your profile summary, and a TweetCloud of your twitter history. Just fun.

Widgets for your own site



Twitter Remote


Get a customized widget for your web page to display your own latest tweets. Let visitors to your blog or profile page on the web know what you’re up to at the moment:

TwitScoop has a cloud widget for your website.


Get code to put a remote twitter display on your blog, website, etc.

GROUPS of tweeps


Brings people together to form groups with common interests. Read all the tweets from your group on the one page. (Also see hashmarks, above)

See also: What Does the # mean?

Real-time news community. Hashtags ( # ) are a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to your tweets. They’re like tags on Flickr, only added inline to your post. You create a hashtag simply by prefixing a word with a hash symbol: #hashtag. If you want to read all the tweets that contain that one topic tag, you go to the URL on the left and either add the tag to the URL (if you know it) or search for a tag there.

Tweet Chat

Monitor and chat about one topic. Works with #hashtags (see above)

Each tweet you make automatically gets a hashtag added for the room you are in – no need to worry about hashtag typos…

The room auto-updates with new posts using the hashtag you are following — no need to reload…

Format to use to link directly to a room:


47 Awesome Twitter Tools

Top Twitter Sites & Services

Top 21 Twitter Clients



If you like the idea of tracking the URLs you share, check this out. The site will

  • shorten your URL for you
  • post it in a tweet
  • track its use from there by your tweeps


How to Use TweetDeck

Currently the #1 application. Good for people who have lots of tweets coming in, because you can organize them into columns, groups, etc.

Helpful article for the beginner.


My personal favorite desktop client (use it full time; hardly ever open my TweetDeck)



when you post links in your tweets


Only 140 characters in a tweet, so you need to shorted the URLs you’re linking to. Try these (in order of my preference):

Best of all: Use a twitter client; they have URL shortening built in. Twhirl, the one I use, results in URLs. — Very short URLs. But even if you have it bookmarked, you have to first copy the URL you want to link to, then go to, then paste the URL to get the shortened version.

TinyURL — I’ve used this for years. I like it because of the toolbar bookmark. When reading a page, I can click the bookmark and TinyURL automatically grabs the URL, shortens it, and gives you the link, all in one click. BUT: for twitter, the URLs are maybe not short enough for you.

snipURL — They too have an auto bookmark. URLs are longer than‘s results.

Here’s a comparison chart of 11 Best URL Shortening Services (according to Online Marketing blog, Jan8/09)


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