twit21So you’ve heard all about this Twitter thing right? What is it? Why use it? How does it work? Well I’m here to give you a brief, but informative how-to for getting an account setup and how to get started using Twitter. Remember that this is just a basic introduction to Twitter and there is a lot more you can do as far as how you can send updates from your cell, how to post pictures in your updates, etc. This how-to guide is just to get you started on your journey into the world of Twitter. Click the images for a full size version of the screen shot.

Creating An Account

Step 1

Head on over to http://www.twitter.com. Once there click the big green button that says “Get Started—-Join!

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Step 2

Fill out the form with the information it’s requesting (Full name, Username (this is whatever you want to show after the www.twitter.com/ when people find you), Password, and Email. You’ll have to type in two randomly generated works and click the green Create my account button.

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Step 3

You’ll be asked to see if any of your friends are already on Twitter by logging into your email accounts. Currently the accounts supported are Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, and MSN. If you don’t want to do this you can click Skip this step at the bottom of the page. If you do not wish to do this step skip down to Step 4. If you choose to find contacts via email just click the service you want to use and it will have you login with your email username and password. Don’t worry though. Twitter doesn’t save this information. Once you log in to your email account click the green Continue button. If any of the people in your address book on your email service have Twitter you’ll be able to select them and start to “follow” them on Twitter.

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Step 4

If you’ve clicked Skip this step when adding contacts from your email address book you’ll be taken to a page listing popular Twitter users. You can follow these people or click Skip this step. If you want to follow them choose the ones you like and click the green Finish button. If you don’t want to follow any of the suggested people click the Skip this step link. If you choose to Skip this step go to Step 5.

Step 5

That’s it. Now keep reading below for a brief introduction to using Twitter.

So How Do I Use This Thing?

Updating Your Status

So now that you’ve made yourself a twitter account how do you use it right? Simple. When you first login you’ll be taken to you Home screen. At the top you’ll see a box that says “What are you doing?” This is where you type in whatever you want your followers to see. You have a 140 character limit so you’ll have to keep the updates or Tweets simple, but that’s the point of Twitter. It’s a tool to allow you to give short little “Tweets” to let your followers know what you’re up to. Once you’ve typed out an update just click the update button and it will post your new update.

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Finding People To Follow

That’s all there is to writing Tweets but how do you follow people? At the top you’ll see a bar that has links. One of those links says “Find People.” When you click that link you’ll be taken to a page with some tabs at the top. Those tabs say Find on Twitter, Find on other networks, Invite by email, and Suggested Users. The first tab is used if you know what username or First or Last name someone has used to sign up with Twitter. The second tab is used to find via your email address book like discussed in Step 3. The Invite by Email tab is where you enter in the email addresses of friends of your and Twitter will send them an email to join on your behalf. The Suggested Users tab is a list of random people on twitter that you can follow. I’m not sure how it bases it’s choices but it’s most likely the most popular users on Twitter.

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Changing Your Settings

And that’s all there is to it. You now know how to post updates or “Tweets” and how to add new people. Once someone is following you you can Direct Message them via the link on the right sidebar. You can also change your account settings via the Settings link on the menu bar at the top. If you want to change the picture that’s next to your name on your page click the Picture tab in the Settings window. You can also change the page’s background and color schemes from the Design tab on the Settings page as well. There are some predefined themes or you can upload your own picture to use as your background as well.

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Conclusion

If you have any questions after signing up feel free to follow me @HaroldMartin and send me a direct message. Or you can type @Haroldmartin – and then your message as an update on your Twitter page to reach me as well. Hopefully this has helped you figure out how to sign up and use Twitter. These are just the basic instructions and there are a lot more things you can do with Twitter once you start exploring around. Enjoy.