What is....Twitter?

How many times have you been in a meeting, or on a train or in a crowd or at a party, and someone starts talking about some social-web-internetty-media-thing-a-ma-bob like it's the second coming of you know who and you have no idea what they are talking about? It might as well have been a new laundry detergent in Croatia.

Me too. I don't pretend to know everything or even a lot of things or more than the next guy. What I do have going for me however is a want, no need, to know about things. New things and in particular, techie things.

So here's something new. I will endeavor to explain, in as few words as possible, stuff. Stuff like Facebook, Twitter, DropBox etc. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

image from blog.twitter.com
First up? 


Twitter is a platform that was started as a glorified Short Messaging Service (aka SMS and Text Messaging) where instead of one to one texting you were texting to all of your "friends" at one.

Messages or "Tweets" are limited to 140 characters. Why 140? Simple, because the character limit of SMS is 160 characters and the company needed to leave room for the sender's username (i.e.. @edusabi).

Messages can be grouped via hashtags using the pound or number sign, #. Some of the most popular for education technology for instance are; #edchat, #edtech and #ipaded. My district uses one for sharing tech news, #wpstech and one for celebrating accomplishment in the district #wiltonwayct.

You can attach photos to Tweets as well as URLs (website addresses). The characters in your URL do count towards your limit of 140 characters which is why many people use services like Bitly (www.bitly.com) to shorten them before adding them to a tweet.

Twitter is available on the web (www.twitter.com) and as an app for Apple, Android and Windows devices.

The take-away here is that Twitter, like most Social Media, is a great resource to share and collaborate with co-workers and other people in your profession around the world.

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