Vail Tech Bytes: Sharing your tweets and other Twitter topics
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado –In the last few Tech Bytes installments, we’ve gone over the basics of Twitter (If you’ve missed any of the previous articles, check out http://www.vaildaily.com, the Tech Articles section on SecondOctober.com, or follow me on Twitter at 2ndoctobermedia). This week, we’re going to keep going on the Twitter series, with some more advanced Twitter features that you should familiarize yourself with, if you haven’t already.
Often times, when you’re perusing another user’s Twitter timeline, you may come across the acronym RT. RT stands for retweet, which means that the person is sharing a tweet that someone else posted verbatim.
There are two ways that you can tell if you are looking at a retweet. The first is if you see “RT @username” listed in a person’s tweet. This means they are retweeting a message from the username listed after the RT.
The other way you know you’re looking at a retweet is if there is a grey box containing two rotating arrows before the tweeter’s username. Often, the username in this instance will be a Twitter user that you may not be following. The reason that they are showing up in your timeline anyway is because they’ve been retweeted by a user that you are following. At the bottom of the message, it will say who retweeted the post.
If you come across a tweet from another user that you want to share with your Twitter followers, it’s really easy to retweet that message. Simply click on the retweet button in the lower right corner of the tweet, and it will appear in your timeline. Don’t worry, you can always undo a retweet later if you’d like to stop sharing it. The other way to retweet a post is to copy and paste it into your tweet box, but be sure to put “RT” ahead of it, and credit the original tweeter with an @username (for example, RT @2ndoctobermedia).
“Hash tags” are another feature unique to Twitter that you don’t see in other social media apps like Facebook. Hash tags are category topics that Twitter users make up, when they believe that a certain topic may have a large following. So for example, if you’re writing a tweet about a newsworthy topic, say health care, you could place the pound symbol “#” in front of the topic, i.e., #healthcare, and then your tweet will be more easily found in a Twitter search for that topic.
Hash tags are really a way for users to group similar, topical tweet together. There are no formal rules to when you can and should use a hash tag, it just depends on whether others are using the same tags as to how successful they’ll be.
Hash tags are often seen in the Twitter trending topics. Trending topics are a collection of the most commonly tweeted topics of the current hour, day and week. They can be found in the right column of your homepage if you’re logged in to Twitter, or on the main page of Twitter.com if you’re not.
I find it fascinating to see what the changing topics are as the day progresses. For example, the morning I wrote this column it was silly topics like famous singers and jokes of the days that had been retweeted over and over, and at lunch time, it was full of soccer team and player names playing in the UEFA champions league game that was currently on. When big news breaks, you’ll quickly see the trending topics change to reflect the news.
Stayed tuned for next week when we’ll wrap up this series on Twitter and talk lists, favorites, and how to connect your account to other media sites and mobile devices.
Jessie Williams is the owner of Second October Media, http://secondoctober.com, a Web development and graphic design firm in Edwards. Follow her on Twitter at 2ndoctobermedia or e-mail her at email@example.com.