When I first started using Twitter, I was confused at all the functions and ways to use it. I of course knew it was a social media site, but it seemed strange and unfamiliar to me, since I had only been used to Facebook. As I started to play around with it more and more, I realized many unique features that have become of great use. There were many terms I had to get used to as well, and that has definitely been an adjustment from the typical terms we use with Facebook or just in general.
Followers. While Facebook calls people “Friends,” Twitter calls people “Followers.” You can Follow others with a Twitter account, as well as have Followers of your own – people who follow your Twitter account. There are a couple of ways to Follow others and gain Followers. If a person has their account set to public, which celebrities, news sources, and even some of my friends do, anyone can Follow them. If a person has their account set to private, one must request to Follow that user and until that person accepts your Follow request, you cannot see their Tweets. Currently, I have my account set to public so that I can gain Followers at a more rapid pace. However, I have found that several people I do not know are Following me. I recently discovered that you are able to block users so they can no longer Follow you. I actually have blocked one person because their Tweets were strange and slightly inappropriate, someone I did not want associated with my Twitter.
RT. RT stands for Retweet. When another user that you follow Tweet something that you like or (dis)agree with, you can hover below their Tweet and click on “Retweet.” Once you have done so, it will appear in your profile as your latest Tweet. In front of the Tweet, “RT” will appear, showing that what you have Tweeted was not originally yours, but that you have “Retweeted” something from someone else (see NBCNews). On my profile, RTs show up as the original user, but underneath their Tweet it says “Retweeted by @itssssjessica (see totalsratmove). I’ve really come to enjoy this feature because it has allowed me to repeat things that others have said that I find amusing or that I agree with.
Mention and Reply. On Facebook, we would call this “tagging,” but on Twitter, when you are talking to a particular person, it is called “mentioning.” To do this, you can either press “reply,” which appears below their Tweet (see the nytimes and NBCNews Tweets), or simply type their Twitter handle (or user name (@itssssjessica)) in the “Compose Tweet” box. This Tweet will appear as your latest Tweet and the person you have mentioned will also be able to see it on their homepage under the @Mentions tab. It’s a really great tool to keep in touch with others, reply to celebrities, etc. I actually replied to @UWMadison one day and got a reply back (see below)!
Followers, RT, Mention, and Reply – these are just a few of the basic features of Twitter that I have learned to use and now use on a regular basis. They make keeping in touch with others easy and create a unique way of social networking with your Followers.
So since I just posted about google I thought that I would just kill two birds with one stone post about my progress for my practicum project. Just a reminder my topic was support groups and I was interested in focusing how online forums, like support groups, really can become a virtual community. Again, I am now in a “loss of a pet” support group. Today I posted a funny story about one of my old dogs—it was about how once I was letting him out to go to the bathroom and he ran into my neighbors house and ate pancakes off their kitchen table (I went into more detail for my group). So it was basically just a funny story I thought off and everyone really loved it and was super touch. I had three people actually say that the story made their day…kind of cool when I think about it. Anyway just thought I would share about this experience today.
After being slightly discouraged from Chathour, I decided I needed to return and play along a little in order to get anywhere in my research.
The variety of chat rooms is quite interesting, there are user-created chat rooms such as “friendly chat” or “emo chat.” There are also chat categories like “Lesbian chat”, “Asian chat”, “Music chat”, “New York chat”, “Christian chat”, “Heartbroken chat”, etc. One could have access to any of these chat rooms, as long as you behave yourself and aren’t kicked out (yes, you can be kicked out of a chat–I know from experience). People can post chats that they created in already existing chat rooms, to invite people to a more exclusive chat.
When testing new chat rooms I came to find that many people had met outside of the chat, and probably knew each other on a more personal level. These people are not all too interested in meeting someone new. They also probably aren’t interested in meeting me because my chat name isn’t something like “cutiesexxiibabii384.”
Many people in the chats throw around terms that I am not yet familiar with, but I do plan to do more research. People ask me to “C2C” or “PVT” and each time I decline because I still do not know what that means!
I will definitely figure it out soon and delve deeper into chat hour.