Social networking sites - Twitter
By: Steve Adams. G0KVZ
As presented to the Vange Amateur Radio Society 18th Feb 2010
Many of you will be aware of social networking on the internet, such as Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, and Twitter.
Facebook tends to be the domain of young adults and teenagers,
and allows them to produce a presence on the internet where they can share images, sounds, and updates about themselves.
Flicker is provided by Yahoo, and provides a site where images can be shared.
LinkedIn, is favoured by professionals who wish to share their C.V. and to keep in touch with friends and colleagues.
Myspace is very similar to Facebook (although less popular)
But in this presentation, I am gong to concentrate on Twitter.
Twitter was launched in 2006 and enables it's users to post short messages to the system that can be seen by their friends and acqaintances who have chosen to follow the user, or by the wider twitter community who may follow certain keywords.
Twitter in plain english
From wikipedia Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables it's users to send and read messages known as 'tweets'.
Tweets are text-basedposts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as 'followers'.
Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.
Ever since late 2009, users can follow lists of authors instead of following individual authors.
All users can send and receive treets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications.
While the service itself costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.
Twitter has become prominent in the news over recent months, due to high profile celebrities using this medium.
Among these are Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Fry, and Barrack Obama too.
Even NASA have used Twitter during projects such as their unmanned Phoenix lander mission,
and also from the Hubble repair mission STS-125 and on later missions too.
Signing-up for a Twitter account is quite simple: the URL is http://www.twitter.com, and once there, you can click on the 'Sign Up Now' button.
This will take you to a page where you will need to enter details such as username (callsign?) chosen, first name, surname, and email address.
Once these mandatory fields are completed, the on screen instructions will lead to the new account being painlessly created.
(You will probably need to reply to a confirmation e-mail to validate your details.)
Once this is done, you can personalise your account, with custom colour backgrounds,
and even associate a mobile telephone number with the account to enable posting of "Tweets" via SMS (Texts)
There are a number of ways that you can use a Twitter account;
Simply following other peoples 'Tweets',
Posting your own 'Tweets' Using external applications,
or using one of the customisable widgets that are provided via 'Twitter'.
It is the webpage widget that is most likely to be of interest to Club members, as it provides real-time (nearly) updates to be made as required.
I have added a widget to the club website frontpage (http://www.vars.co.nr)
Members who have a 'Twitter' account may post updates to be displayed on the page that will be displayed within seconds.
Examples of updates can include:
Opening on a particular band.
Rare DX activity
Other relevant Amateur radio related news.
Obviously each of the updates are limited to just 140 characters, but this should be adequate for most purposes.
If anyone is interested in using this facility for posting Tweets to the club website, please see Steve G0KVZ for further details.
The information contained upon this page is supplied in good faith, and to the best of my knowledge is accurate.
However, I accept no responsibility for damage or injury, however caused, due to the use of this data.
Further information can be found on the Twitter website: http://www.twitter.com