During the course of the month we will send out Tweets at regular intervals to get you thinking about and discussing the book we are reading. These are our topic suggestions but please feel free to start your own discussion. We know that some of our readers are new to Twitter so have put together these guidelines for getting started.
- What is Twitter and how do I use it?
Twitter is a micro blogging site where you chat in just 140 characters per message. These messages are known as “Tweets”.
Each person or organisation on Twitter has a name (this could be your real name, a nickname, the name of your company or club) and before that name is an ampersand (@). For example; Edible Books’ Twitter handle is @ediblebookclub.
- Getting started on Twitter
Firstly, go to the twitter.com log in/sign up page. If you already have a Twitter account then you will know much of what is in this section but if you don’t have an account you will need to create one.
In the spaces provided enter your name, email address and a password of your choice. Then, select sign up to Twitter. The next page you are directed to confirms the information you have just entered and automatically gives you a username which you can change if you wish. If you are happy the information is correct click on the big yellow “create my account” button and your account will have been created.
From here there is a series of steps for you to follow that are designed to get you following other people on Twitter and allows you to find people from your email accounts* (gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail and AOL) who have Twitter accounts. This stage requires Twitter to access your email contacts. Any of your contacts who have Twitter accounts will be displayed on the screen for you to follow. To follow simply click “follow”. You may skip these steps if you prefer.
The next step is to add a picture. This could be your own mug shot, a company logo or some equally fascinating photograph. You can also add a bit about yourself (you have 160 characters to do this). It is recommended that you do add a picture and a bio, it lets people know you are real and tells people who you are, what you do and what you like.
You are now ready to begin Tweeting. If you need someone to follow; why not start with us @ediblebookclub, we will probably follow you back.
If you want to fancy up your profile page, add a web address link to your website or blog, custom design your Twitter page or link it to Facebook, click on the icon in the top right of the screen that looks like a cog, select settings and click profile. Remember to save any changes that you make.
- How to Tweet
You can Tweet what you like, a little anecdote, a web link or a photograph you want to share. It’s up to you, just keep it to 140 characters. You will soon get used to using abbreviations and being lax with your punctuation!
Use the compose Tweet box on the left of the screen or the small blue icon with the feather on the right and hit Tweet when you are done.
When you Tweet, your message will be displayed to who ever follows you, not to who ever you are following. If you want a certain person to see your message to then you will have to get them to follow you back and hope they check their Twitter feed regularly enough to see it or enter their Twitter handle before your message.
For example; if I composed the following message:
Hello, our book club is so delicious you will want to eat it.
It would be displayed to all who follow Edible Book Club but if I entered it like this:
@rowdychowgirl Hello, our book club is so delicious you will want to eat it.
It would be displayed to all who follow Edible Book Club but @rowdychowgirl will know it is intended for her specifically and the message will drop in to her “mentions” box.
You can send the message to as many people as you like, providing you have enough characters to do so for example:
@rowdychowgirl @whatweatetoday hello, our book club is so delicious you will want to eat it.
- What to Tweet
You can, essentially, Tweet what you like. If you are joining in with an Edible Books discussion, it is likely that your Tweet will be related to the book we are reading in some way. But you may be sharing with other followers so it could be an anecdote about your day, a photograph or web link. Anything at all. How about something like this:
“Is anyone else loving chapter 10. How delicious does that dinner sound? #ediblebooks”
Don’t follow the crowd either, if you hate something that everyone else loves then say so. It’s your discussion and your opinions count. Just don’t forget your hash tag!
- Hash Tags (#)
Hash tags do take some getting used to. You will notice that most Edible Books tweets end with #ediblebooks. A hash tag allows people to find others that are interested in the same subjects as them. If you type in the grey search box at the top of the screen #ediblebooks you will get a display of all the Tweets that have gone back and forth with that hash tag regardless of whether you follow (or are followed by) the people who sent them.
Try creating some hash tags and see what you get!
- Rules and Etiquette
We at Edible Books can’t control what you Tweet but would ask that you keep the discussion clean and respect the views of others. Think about what you Tweet; why waste your 140 characters?
These guidelines have been written by us to help you use Twitter from a PC or Laptop, to make your Edible Books experience more enjoyable and are correct at time of writing. They cover the basic functions you need to join in with our discussions but many more features are available.
Tweeting and Twitter set up from mobile devices and tablets may differ slightly. You can download Twitter apps to iPhone, Android, iPad, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows7 phones directly from Twitter and other outlets.
We strongly recommend that you read the Twitter Terms of Service before joining Twitter. These can be found on the Twitter website.
Edible Books is not responsible for offensive messages sent or received from our followers or those that we follow.
Last updated: October 2012 ©Edible Books.
This page is also available in PDF: - How To Guides Twitter