Sunday, 10 July 2011

Twitter For Dummies

Another question for my fanbase*:

Does anyones know how Twitter works?

A few months ago I met Peter Williams of the video debate I posted a couple of days ago ( I'll post it again here because you all ought to watch it) . It was at a private parliamentary screening of a film called Doonby. (eek. I have long intended to do a blog post about that. More about Doonby later)
I recognised him, and congratulated him on his stellar performance in the debate and we high fived and fist bumped** and agreed to keep in touch. 
He suggested that I friend him on Facebook. I do have a Facebook account but I just don't use it, and I feel a bit, um, I don't know, "averse" to sending someone a friend request. 
Maybe I have been traumatised by too many playground rejections.

So I had a great idea and thought that I'd stalk him on Twitter for now. 
But I've found his Twitter account and it's not making any sense.
It's all him talking "@" other people.
But I can't see what the other people are saying.
It's like listening in to someones mobile phone conversation on the bus. Only worse, because the conversation comes in all sorts of truncated bits and pieces.
It's a mystery to me how Twitter has become so huge. I must be missing something. How come I can't work it out?
I'm feeling a bit thick, and that old funny, familiar, forgotten playground feeling is walking all over my mind. Again.
I need to get with the programme.
I want to get with the programe baby.
Can anyone out there explain the mystery of Twitter for a Twit like me?

Do yourself a favour and watch the debate. You'll thank me.

*Corapian irony! settle down!

**metaphorically speaking. This was the house of Commons and we were all tremendously on our best behaviour.


  1. You need to be following the people in conversation with @peterdcxw to see the other parts of the conversation.

    Once you start following people they often follow you back. To send someone a DM (direct message you need to be both following each other!)

    Hope this helps. You can follow me @idlerambler but I warn you I tweet a lot of inconsequential trivia!

  2. Thanks Idle dear.
    That all sounds a bit like commitment to me. Not sure I want to have to follow every random person just so that I can get a grip on the conversation.
    Does it take up a lot of time following all these people? Do you fall down a lot of conversational rabbit holes?

  3. Clare,
    It's difficult to explain in detail in a blog comment. I've tried to have a go at an explanation on my blog but like a lot of things, the best way to find out is to give it a go yourself.

    I actually find it takes up much less time than blogging as it's easy to type 140 characters without much thought whereas a blog post takes a bit of thinking about. Hope you do decide to try it out. It's a great way of keeping in touch with many different things all at the same time.

  4. I've been a bit resistant as well - especially because my account was doing funny things when I joined a year or two ago and I got unsolicited filt dished up to me. However, I tried again recently, so I could follow @news_va_en. I managed to sort out my account @allthelittleeps, ticked my "tweet privacy" to protect my tweets, ticked "HTTPS only" and vapourised the filt by deleting the offending "follower" which probably got in at the start because I didn't know what I was doing and hadn't ticked the privacy boxes. I follow 9 and have 1 follower:) - You don't have to take any notice of all the tweets - just click on any links that seem interesting.

    It's worth a try -

  5. Someone likened Twitter to a massive cocktail party. But you're right, the playground is another analogy because straining to hear all those conversations can be quite wearing and all the politics of 'following' and 'being followed' is a bit of a bore. FB is a bit more targeted IMO.

    Elizabeth still in deepest Dorset

  6. Idle Rambler
    Thank you!
    Sorry I'm a little late thanking you but I've had trouble logging into this darned thing.
    That's a really helpful post. Good idea, thanks.