Twitter is a powerful tool for students and educators, when it’s used appropriately. Here are seven tips, plus one bonus, for college students beginning to use Twitter.
- Learn the language of Twitter using the Twitter Lexicon.
- Remember that your tweets are viewable by anyone with an Internet connection, unless you’ve protected them. They’re viewable in real time on the public timeline, through Twitter’s search function, and even through a Google search. Keep it clean. Avoid profanity.
- Use Twitter for sharing links to websites. If the URL is too long to fit with your message in 140 characters, use a URL-shortening service like TinyURL or POPrl.
- When you share a link to a website, let your followers (readers) know what the site is or why they might want to see it. For example, “Hmmm . . . I wonder if there’s any empirical evidence for this? http://poprl.com/00S No mattter. It still made me laugh.”
- Twitter works on a cell phone, too. You’ll first have to activate your cell phone to work with Twitter. Then, in the US, send a text message to 40404 to have it post to Twitter. You may even want to receive some of your friends/followers’ tweets on your cell phone. Be judicious about this, or you’ll soon be overwhelmed.
- Have a link to your blog posts automatically show up in Twitter using Twitterfeed.
- If your professors don’t share their cell phone numbers with you (and I usually don’t), you can still reach them quickly by sending a direct tweet to them. The way my phone and Twitter are set up, I receive direct tweets as quickly as text messages. (NOTE: This only works if your professor follows you on Twitter.)
And a bonus: Even though professors don’t ever tell you you should cheat, here’s a great little cheat sheet of Twitter codes, provided by Jason Theodor.
Questions about Twitter? Leave them as a comment below, or follow me on Twitter and send me an @ there!