Vail Tech Bytes: A timely tutorial on Twitter and tweets
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –By now I’m sure you’ve heard the terms Twitter and tweets, but if you’re like me, you may be a little slow to have adopted this (relatively) new social media platform. However, I figured that it was about time I take a good look at Twitter, so in this week’s column, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of just what is Twitter and what it can do for you.
Twitter is, most simply, a social media network that allows users to post short messages that are then broadcast through the Twitter network to their followers.
In order to begin using Twitter, you’ll need to go to twitter.com and become a member. To do so, click on the “sign up” icon in the upper-right corner and then fill out the required information. There is very little personal data that you actually have to give, just your name and e-mail, and then you’re asked to choose a username and password. After you enter the captcha and accept the terms and conditions, you’re all set to begin using Twitter.
Once you’ve created an account, you now have the option to begin posting your own tweets. A tweet is a short message that is limited to 140 characters. It can be about anything – a status update of what you’re currently doing, a link to an interesting Web site you’ve found, a public message to another Twitter user, or anything else your heart desires to share with the Twitter world.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of sharing my every move with the world, so don’t be turned off if you’re not either. I find Twitter to be the most useful for finding out interesting and helpful information from others, especially from other local businesses in the Vail Valley.
One of the great things with Twitter is that you can become a “follower” of other people’s Twitter feeds. By becoming a follower of another Twitter user, all of their tweets will then be aggregated onto your Twitter homepage, for easy perusal.
If you know the tweeter’s username, you can access their account by going to http://www.twitter.com/ and then their username. From this page you can click on the “follow” button, and add them to your follow list. If you don’t know their username, click on the “find people” link and do a search.
I’ve recently discovered a number of local businesses that are using Twitter to broadcast their locals’ specials, snow conditions, road closings, lodging discounts and more. It’s a great way to learn about all the exciting events going on around the Valley, from many different sources, all in one place.
Here are just a few examples of the many helpful, local Twitter users out there that I’ve enjoyed following, listed by their Twitter usernames:
ColoradoDOT: Tweets of current road conditions, road closure statuses and chain laws in effect. A great resource if you’re going to be traveling or want more information on topics like the Glenwood Canyon road closure.
Vailinfocenter and VVFoundation: Tweets of events and happenings in Vail from apres deals to town events and schedules, two great sources of Vail information.
VailDaily: The Vail Daily newspaper updates a twitter feed of the most interesting and relevant stories of the day as they break.
LindseyVonn: Follow Lindsey as she tweets about her adventures on and off the worlds’ slopes.
BeaverCreekMtn, VailMtn, SnowDotCom, BreckenridgeMtn, KeystoneMtn, Arapahoe_Basin, CopperMtn, LovelandSkiArea and many more Twitter users post mountain conditions, snow reports and more.
There’s also tons of local lodging businesses that have Twitter accounts detailing their specials and events, and here are just a few that were updated recently: ArrabelleVail, LodgeAtVail, GreenBridgeInn, ManorVail1, VailLodging, and VailOnSale.
Here are some other local restaurants and bars that showcase their food and drink specials: BlueMoosePizza, LarkspurVail, TerraBistro, CentreV, MangosMtnGrill and ETownColorado.
And finally, a number of local events, groups, organizations and businesses can all be followed on Twitter: VailFilmFest, TasteOfVail, SpringBackVail, VailValleyMusic, VailAllTheLove, VailGov, TV8Vail, VailRecDistrict, PtarmiganSports, LakotaGuides and HighlineSportsE.
And last but not least, follow this column on Twitter at 2ndoctobermedia.
In next week’s column, we’ll talk a little more about Twitter, and dig deeper into some of the more advanced features you should be sure to take advantage of.
Jessie Williams is the owner of Second October Media, http://www.secondoctober.com, a Web development and graphic design firm in Edwards. Follow her on Twitter at 2ndoctobermedia or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.