[Ctabs] How to Use Twitter: An Introduction

Justin Salisbury PRESIDENT at alumni.ecu.edu
Thu Nov 12 22:49:40 UTC 2015

Fellow Federationists:

Many of you might hear about all this Twitter business and be thinking that you don't use Twitter and don't want to figure out how to use it. Trust me; I used to be like that, but I realized at an event at the NFB headquarters that it's really very simple to use. Here is some information that can get you started. If you choose to start using Twitter, actually using it will take less time than you spent reading this message.

Twitter started out as a way for bloggers to share links within their circles. The 140 character limit was not of big concern because tweets were mainly calls to action with accompanying links.

Nowadays, the format of tweets hasn't changed much. Generally, you get a call to action such as "read my new blog post" or "interesting article" followed by a link or a photo.

For blind users, the original Twitter website can be a bit challenging to navigate. I would advise to use an iOS app (Twitter, Twitterific, or Tweetlist), the mobile site (m.twitter.com) or a desktop program, such as Chicken Nugget or Tween. The process to sign up is pretty straight forward and you can start tweeting and following others right away. It's even easier than making a Facebook account.

Handles are basically your address on Twitter. It links things to you, so people will type your handle into a Tweet that they want you to read. To Tweet at someone else, put their handle in the Tweet. Handles start with the @ sign.

Hash tags:
Hash tags are like Handles, but they bring together Tweets based on a certain topic instead of a certain person. Hash tags begin with the # sign. The hash tag is important because it's a way for people to sift through the billions of tweets out there to find the content they're interested in. It's imperative for you to use our hash tag #FeedTheBookFamine so that your messages can be archived properly. Ideally, we would like for our hash tag to start trending to bring more attention to it. Trending is when a hash tag gets so much traffic that it starts rising up to the top of search results pages and suggestion lists.

When Tweeting:

-Remember that you only have 140 characters and that you need to fit the hash tag in. Therefore, shorthand is acceptable and encouraged. For example, use "&" instead of spelling out the word "and".

-The handles of the individuals we'd like to tweet are:
Maria Town: @maria_m_town
Judith Human: @IntDisability<https://twitter.com/IntDisability>
Valerie Jarrett: @VJ44
Cathy Novelli @cathyNovelli

-the tweets we've included are just examples. Feel free to use them but also, feel free to express your thoughts in your own words.

-We're not on the offensive. We're simply giving them the opportunity to be the hero.

-be sure to reach out to anyone you know who might be able to help spread the word such as journalists, radio personalities and bloggers.

-Space your tweets out. Don't just go on a tweeting spree first thing in the morning. Spread your messages out throughout the day so that the hash tag can stay afloat and not sink to the bottom of the list.

-If you don't have time to send your tweets out by hand, FutureTweets<file:///C:\Users\dtrevino\Documents\Aperture%20Science%20Web%20Accessibility%20Review%20Example%20%20(2)-DAT.docx> is a free and accessible way to schedule them.

Final Thoughts:
Have fun and reach out if you have questions!

Justin Salisbury, NOMC
Graduate Student
Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness
Louisiana Tech University
Email: President at Alumni.ECU.edu<mailto:President at Alumni.ECU.edu>
Twitter: @SalisburyJustin

"None can be free as long as any are enslaved"

Dr. Kenneth Jernigan

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