I have a confession to make and I feel that this is a safe space, the ciricle of trust if you will, and I am finally comfortable with sharing this side of my personal life with you. I am an addict.
Yes. I, the college senior, daughter of solider and a teacher, loving roomate and girlfriend, have fallen victim to a force greater than myself.
The vile evil creature innocently portrayed with a chipper little blue bird is actually taking over my life. Ok, well not really. It actually helps me out a lot. Like...A LOT.
So I kind of take that back. I'm sorry Twitter, you're not an evile vile creature, you're awesome and helpful and fun. You're everythig I've been looking for.
Ok, all joking aside, Twitter is a great tool for any poltico, policy wonk, political junkie, or really -- anyone who is interested in what's going on around them. But in talking to many of my colleagues and Board Members, there seems to be this pervasive fear about "tweeting". I really get the sense that people don't understand it, don't know how to use it, and therefore are afraid of it.
I'm here to tell you its simple and easy and it has so many advantages, I can't even list them all in this blod. What I can do is put up a little cheat sheet for anyone who wants to get in on the action, but is intimidated by the unknown.
First, you need a twitter "handle" (Username) by clicking here. It can be ironic or straighforward. I want people to recognize my name so my handle is @CaitlinMCarey.
Don't stress out if you can't think of the absolute perfect name because it's pretty easy to chance. Although the trouble with that is your fellow "tweeps" may not remember your new handle. To create yours, just go to Twitter.com and follow the instructions for setting up your account with your well thought out handle.
From there it will ask for your email and get your account started for your. This is so easy people.
Then, the ever-helpful twitter will suggest people and subject for you to follow. Just click at random to get the next step, you can change this later too. Twitter will also ask you to request people via email, I never like doing that so I always skip that step. There's a button you can hit if you want to skip it as well. If you don't want to, by all means email everyone in your account about your new Twitter.
After you do this, you'll have to confirm your Twitter account by clicking on a link in an email that Twiitter sends you.
For pictures of what your Twitter screen will look like, click here. When you want to compose a tweet, click on the top right corner and you will click a box with a feather in it.
When you compose a tweet, there are a few Twitter lingos you will want to include. Those are the hash tags, tag, and link.
Hash tag - this serves as a sort of link for the world of Twitter. If you are reading a tweet and clicked on a word that had a # in front of it, you will be taken to a new page that would have all the recent tweets containing the hash tag or #word. The hash tags that I use the most are #SCtweets and #SCPol (SCpol being short for SC policy or politics).
Tag - When you "tag" another user in your tweet, it is just like "tagging" someone in your Facebook status. It will send a notification to that user saying that they have been mentioned and it works the same way as the hash tag, you could click on @newtgingrich and be taken right to the Newt Gingrich page.
Link - pretty self-explanatory which is just like a link on the web. Click on the link and you'll be magically transported to wherever your heart desires.
That is pretty much Twitter 101. The more you use it, the more you'll see how helpful it is! Just try it out for a couple of weeks. If you have any questions, email me or tweet me! Caitlincarey17@gmail.com or @CaitlinMCarey on Twitter.
UWASC Public Policy Intern