Thursday, January 20, 2011

Introduction to Twitter. Part 1

Twitter is a fantastic way of connecting with other people in the gifted world in order to share experiences and to learn. Just this week, a new forum was launched to bring together teachers and parents with an interest in gifted education in Ireland. At 9pm on Sunday evenings we can all meet up on twitter and "chat".  You can watch these chats without having a twitter account here, but to participate, you will need an account.

This is a very basic guide to help even the most nervous person to get started. After this you will have no excuse!!

Step 1: Go to and click the yellow "Sign Up" box:

Step 2: Fill in your details:

Enter your first and last name:
You can make up a name or leave this blank if you wish. However, If you are planning on connecting with other people, I suggest that you give your real name so that people know you are real and who they are talking to.

This can be anything you like provided it has not been chosen by someone else already. Once you begin to interact with people, this is the name by which you will be addressed, so choose carefully! Either use your real name, a version of it, or something that reflects your interests or personality. It can be no more than 15 characters long. You are only allowed 140 characters per tweet and your username is part of this allowance. The longer your name, the less you can say. 

As for any account you set up.

You must enter an email address. An email will be sent out for you to confirm/activate your account. 

"Let others find me by my email address": At the next stage, you will be asked if you would like to find other people whom you may know on twitter, by allowing twitter to search your email contacts list for people with twitter accounts. If you have left this box ticked, it means that anyone else who has your address in their contacts list will be able to find you on twitter in this way. You may wish to allow this. Personally, I have all sorts of people in my email contacts and I don't really want them all finding me on twitter, so I removed the tick from this box when I signed up. It's up to you.

Once you have carefully read the terms of service, as I'm sure you always do, click "create account".

Step 3: Type in the wiggly words to prove that you're not a computer and click "finish" to get to the next step.

Step 4: Find people to follow or just confirm your account: (if you follow someone on twitter, it means that whatever they tweet will show up in your account. It's like friending on facebook)

You can now search for people to follow by selecting interests or looking for specific people. Or you can ignore this step and click "Next Step: Friends" in the blue box at the bottom. 


Here you have the option of finding friends via other services which you may use, such as gmail, yahoo or hotmail. Again, you can choose to "Skip import" and move on.

At this point, as it says at the top of the twitter page, you must go to your email inbox and confirm your email address in the email they have sent you.

Now you're ready to roll.

Part 2 will show you how to add the finishing touches to your account and begin tweeting.

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