Fast forward to December of 2009. I tried again. Different account. This time I did better. How? You just have to remember that Twitter is like an enormous cocktail party held in a barn. You either want to go with friends, or make arrangements to meet up when you arrive. Best case, your friends know other people at the party.
It’s up to you whether you stand in the corner, drink in hand, observing, or get out there and meet and mingle. By the way, celebrities will be present. You can listen to them talk. Or not. They are unlikely to listen to you. Your friends, however, will laugh even at your bad jokes.
How to get started?
- Go to www.twitter.com
- Click the green button that says, “Sign up”
- You will be asked for your full name, the user name you would like to be known as on Twitter, a password, and your email address.
- They will tell you if your user name is available. I’m AmidPrivilege. Nice to meet you. See, just like a party.
- They will tell you if the email address has been used, in case you are like me and forget you have signed up already:).
- They will not tell you that the full name you enter will be visible to the Twitterverse. Muffy had to tell me. You might not want to use your real name. Unless you are famous, and then you really should.
- Choose that user name carefully. If you’re a blogger, choose something that is as close to your Google profile name, or your blog name, or your blog URL, as you can find. You are adding to your online persona, and no need to confuse everyone. We’re confused enough as it is.
- Then the Twitter gods will ask you if people you know on other services already have a Twitter account. Automatically. The Twitter site accesses your contact lists and tells you who is out there. Yes. You can skip this step if you have a horror of the Internet finding its way too deeply into your private business.
- Then you can invite people you know that the Twitter gods don’t think have accounts. You can skip this step too.
- Then, do you want to follow Jimmy Buffet, Newt Gingrich, or Maria Shriver? Or other popular Twitterers.
- You can always see what Jimmy Buffet has to say and then unfollow him later.
- Twitter sends your email account a confirmation message.
- You will now, every time you go to www.twitter.com, see a list of 140 character statements, known as tweets, in time order, from you and all the people you have followed.
- You might prefer to read tweets from people you know and trust. Go to the blogs of people you read and follow them.
- Read their tweets.
- Reply. There’s a little button just for replying. Isn’t that sweet?
- Find some things to say that are a) funny b) useful c) inspiring. Tweet. I tend to tweet about what I am wearing or the fact that all my toilets are overflowing. You can tell I’m not aiming for inspiring.
- Click through on the profiles of the people who reply to the people you are following. These can be found by clicking any time you see @someoneorother.
- Follow more people.
- People will start to follow you.
- Some people will be like Sally Crystal, who says she is a buddhist and tweets in ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME AND SENT ME A DIRECT MESSAGE SAYING OM MANI PADME HUM HRI! TONG GI THRAM CHU DOK!
- Unfollow them. Click!
There. Now you are on Twitter.
The only remaining issue is that you will at first want to spend way too much time there. Don’t do it. Open Twitter 3-4 times/day only. Otherwise your life will go down a rabbit hole, never to return.
There you have it. Twitter for beginners. Old beginners. But we all have to start somewhere, if only to know that we haven’t been left behind. We might change our minds later and say Bah! Humbug! But at least we get the joke.
Have a good weekend.