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TWITTER LINGO

Tweet (verb or noun): To post 140 characters of whatever you want your followers to see (think Facebook status).

Handle (noun): This is your username. Our handle is @tbtwo.

Follow (verb): Click on the "Follow" button underneath someone's username to see their tweets in your Twitter feed. To see your tweets in their feed, others have to follow you. Search for someone's username in any web browser simply to read their latest tweets.

Follower (noun): Someone who has decided they want to see everything you have to say.

Hashtag (noun): "#" sign. Add this to a status when you want to talk about something that others are talking about. For example: "I can't wait for #HarryPotter movie to come out! #Voldemort #summermovies." When people search for any of these hashtags, your tweet will come up in the search results. You can have as many hashtags as you want as long as they fit in your tweet.

Trending topic (noun): The most popular topics at any given moment, usually based on the ones with the most hashtags. A list of these show up on your home page, and many users like to get involved and say something on the trending topics. An example of a trending topic would be #moviesilove. You could tweet on this topic and it may look like this: "#moviesilove 500 Days of Summer, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Moulin Rouge, Little Miss Sunshine." When people search for the #moviesilove hashtag, your status would appear. It's a way to get in on the conversation, or to just see what's happening in the Twitterverse.

Mention (verb): "@" sign. This is similar to Facebook's tagging, though Twitter had it first. If you want to specifically tag a friend, business, celeb, etc. in your tweet, you would put the @ sign in front of their name. It becomes a link, and others can click on the tagged name and see that person's tweets, plus it also allows you to alert your friend to that particular status, because there is no personal "wall" to write on.

Retweet (verb or noun): "RT." When you want to post something that someone else has tweeted, you retweet it for all of your followers to see by clicking the retweet button.

Direct message: "DM." A message that is more than 140 characters and private to the Twitter universe. It's like a Facebook message.

Bit.ly: A URL shortener for Twitter. Put the URL of the site you want to post into a box on www.bit.ly, and it will shorten the link. This is handy because you only have 140 characters per status and many links will chew right through that number.

TwitPic: A site that allows you to share photos on Twitter. You go to twitpic.com, upload a picture, write a caption and then post this to your Twitter page. A link is generated that your followers can click on and comment on.

TwitVid: Like TwitPic, but for videos.

TweetChat: An outside website that can host a TweetChat session. By using hashtags, you and other users can chat in real time on specific subjects (sometimes called TweeParties).

TweetUps: Organized meetings with people on Twitter that happen in the real world.

SARAH SMALL , University of Central Florida

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