First, you need a Twitter account. Go to http://twitter.com and fill out the form on the right of the page with your name, email, and password to get an account. When you are filling out the forms, let your twitter id be public rather than private. This is important, because when you do tweet your Congressman and Senators, your tweets will be available for the world to see. If people search for your Congressman, they will see how many people are telling them what they want to happen in government. If you want to have a private account for family and friends, then set up a different account for that purpose.
So now I have an account, but what is a “tweet” anyway? Well, it is a small snippet of information that is only 140 characters or less. So, it has to be a short sentence or thought. It seems crazy that people can communicate in such small pieces of information but it really works. It is similar to sending text messages from your phone. However, rather than sending them to one particular person privately, you are allowing the world to see them.
When you jump into Twitter, it is like jumping into a stream or river of information. There is a lot of noise flowing around you and, if you listen hard, you can hear a particular noise or pattern of noise. Just like if you are in the woods by a river, if you listen hard, you might notice there is a deer nearby, drinking from the river.
To “hear” a particular sound on Twitter, people use “hashtags,” which are words with the pound symbol before them. Here are a few examples:
#toct – Top Conservatives on Twitter (which helped launch the Tea Party movement) #sgp – Smart Girl Politics (which helped launch the Tea Party movement)
If you want to send a message to a particular person, like your Congressman or a Senator, you can use the @ symbol, followed by the username (with no spaces between the @ and username) to send a message directly to that person. So if you want to tell Speaker Bohener to stop the out of control spending, you would type @speakerboehner and then the message you want to send.
That is all you have to do to tweet. If you want to go a step further and follow conversations, we are going to show you the simplest tools. Go to: http://search.twitter.com and search for #stopthebleeding and press Search. Now, you can see all the tweets that have used #stopthebleeding. You can reply to people or simply retweet their posts. Replying is like talking to them. Retweet is like saying you like what they said and want others to see it.
To reply, use the @ symbol again or click the Reply button below the tweet you like. A box will come up that you can use to type your reply message in. Type what you want to say and press Tweet. To “retweet” or repeat what someone else has said, you will use the abbreviation RT (for retweet). You can type RT and copy and paste everything that was said or you can simply press the Retweet button below the tweet you like. After clicking that button, you press Retweet.
So, that is how you get started. Let’s make sure everyone knows we want to #Repeal #Obamacare NOW.