For the uninitiated, Twitter is used to broadcast very short messages – 140 characters or fewer. People then “follow” others to get their messages. If you want to read my messages, for example, you “follow” me using the Twitter site, and you’re shown new messages as I send them. When someone puts out a message using Twitter, it’s called a “tweet” and the person is said to be “tweeting.” (There, now you’re initiated!)
I’ve been on Twitter for a couple of years now. The Twitter ID I use for IBM-related tweets is Steve_Will_IBMi. Dawn May will also be tweeting; she's DawnMayiCan. We plan to tweet about events, especially if there are changes or ad hoc gatherings.
In addition to following specific people, you can also follow specific topics. When people tweet, they put topic tags in their tweets, and then people can use Twitter to keep up to date on the latest news about those topics. Two we’re already using are #ibmi and #COMMONUG.
To set up a Twitter account:
• Go to Twitter and sign up. Choose a short, simple user name.
• Under “Profile” you can add your picture and other customizable features.
Once you’ve done that, find people to follow. Maybe the easiest way for an IBM i Twitter user to get started is to enter #ibmi in the search field, and then see who’s tweeting about IBM i. Then you can click on those people and start following them. Following is as simple as clicking the “Follow” icon near the the person’s picture on their profile page. Oh, that brings up another point – organizations can also use Twitter, so you’ll be able to follow IBM Systems Magazine’s IBM i twitter account, IBMimag, as well as other interesting organizations.
This will be our first conference trying out Twitter, so we’ll see how it goes. If you’re trying it out, too, you can give us feedback when it’s done. You can even use Twitter to do it!
See you at the conference!