How to take part in #ETWION

#ETWION is an eTwinning Twitter Marathon that Bart and I are organizing for eTwinners and educators from all over the world on December 19.

We're really pleased to see that lots of teachers have opened a Twitter account and are getting ready to take part in the twitterathon. Here are some tips for newcomers on how to make the most out of #ETWION:

First and foremost, we communicate with other Twitterers (or tweeps) by sending short messages or tweets which are up to 140 characters long. Even though this may seem really short, we can add links, photos and even video clips to our tweets. Every Twitter user has a Twitter name, also known as Twitter handle, which consists of the symbol @ placed before the username. If you don't add the @, the user might not see your tweet, so make sure you always add the twitter handle of the person who you're addressing this tweet to.

For example, I sent out this tweet to no one in particular so it appeared on the timelines of all the people who follow me. If they follow lots of people then most likely they didn't notice my tweet at all.

However, if I want Bart to see my tweet, then I must add his Twitter handle - @BartVerswijvel - to my tweet to make sure he gets it:

 I can also add a photo to my tweet by clicking on the camera icon:
ETWION however will not be a conversation between two people only. There will be lots of educators who will be tweeting at the same time. In order to keep track of all the tweets in a chat, we use the symbol called  hashtag to which the name of the Twitter chat is added: e.g. #etwion, #edchat #edchatie #lslchat, etc. Hashtags are usually created by the organizers of the chat.  By adding the hashtag to your tweet, you'll make it visible to all the people who are taking part in it:

You opened your account on the official Twitter website, but I recommend you download one of the many Twitter clients or Twitter management tools which will enable you to add different columns to your dashboard. By adding columns that show your timeline (all the tweets by all the people you follow), mentions (tweets with your @Twitter handle that were sent to you), DMs (direct messages that no one else can see) or columns with  #hashtags (you can have as many as you want), you'll be able to easily follow all the tweets and to interact with other users. Here's a screenshot of Tweetdeck, a Twitter client that I find really useful.

As you can see all the tweets with the hashtag #etwion appear in one column and I can immediately see all the tweets and interact with their senders. Other Twitter clients that are very popular are Hootsuite, Echofon, Metrotwit and many others - have a look at Mobile and Apps as well.

Whenever you see a tweet that you like and want to share with your followers you can retweet it, or in short, RT it, which means re-publish it. You can do so by clicking on Retweet at the bottom of each tweet and republish it as it is, without changing it or you can add your comment to it.

Finally, Bart has created a list of all the teachers who are interested in taking part in #etwion. A Twitter list allows us to easily follow the tweets of all the members in the group. When someone adds you to a list, you are instantly notified about it. If you haven't been added to the ETWION list, send a tweet to @BartVerswijvel so he can add your Twitter handle to it. Subscribe to the list by clicking on Subscribe.

If you have further questions please feel free to ask here or on Twitter by adding one or both of our Twitter handles to your tweet - @abfromz or @BartVerswijvel. Don't forget to add the hashtag #etwion.

We're looking forward to chatting with you at #ETWION on December 19.


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