The two biggest complaints I hear from people about Twitter are:
- “What’s the point? Twitter is stupid. I don’t care what people are doing!!!“
- “I’m too busy. I already have email, text, web, etc – now Twitter? Why???“
Twitter is for telling people what you are doing every moment of the day.
FACT: Twitter is a means for sharing IMPORTANT information.
The TRUTH is that Twitter:
- Connects you with the people you care about
- Offers you an abundance of relevant info
- Is quick and convenient
In This Blog Post… ______________________________________________________
I. The Basics
- What is Twitter?
- Example message (Tweet)
- Twitter is Stupid?
- Sending updates: Easy as text messaging
II. The Point
- Stuff Worth Tweeting
- Twitter Stats
III. Youth Ministry Implications
- View links to important websites
- Send tweets to specific people
- Spread relevant ideas
- Search using categories
What is it?
“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages. People write short updates, often called ‘tweets’ of 140 characters or fewer. These messages are posted to your profile [and] sent to your followers.” *
“Unlike most social networks, following on Twitter isn’t mutual. In other words, someone who thinks you’re interesting can follow you, and you don’t have to approve, or follow back. If you want to approve who follows your tweets, you can – just protect your account.” *
Example Message (Tweet)
Twitter is Stupid?
Now, I know that some of you are thinking right now, “This is stupid” (remember, biggest complaint). And even though I personally make statements like these on Twitter from time to time, I have to admit that I agree with you. Who really cares that I ate a good burger? No one (and if you do, it’s a bit obsessive). Which is why making statements like these aren’t the point of Twitter. What is the point then? We’re almost there.
As easy as sending a text
“Twitter offers many ways to post updates: from the web in the update box, from your phone, from your mobile web browser using m.twitter.com, or from any third party application.” *
“Setting up your phone allows you to: Send tweets with text messaging on your phone. Receive texts for…the tweets from users you want to be notified about.” *
•Twitter now has 105,779,710 registered users.
•New users are signing up at the rate of 300,000 per day.
•180 million unique visitors come to the site every month.
•75% of Twitter traffic comes from outside Twitter.com (i.e. via third party applications.)
•Twitter gets a total of 3 billion requests a day via its API.
•Twitter users are, in total, tweeting an average of 55 million tweets a day.
•Twitter’s search engine receives around 600 million search queries per day.
•Of Twitter’s active users, 37 percent use their phone to tweet.
•Over half of all tweets (60 percent) come from third party applications.
•Twitter itself has grown: in the past year alone, it has grown from 25 to 175 employees.
Since this is a youth ministry blog, lets look at it in the context of youth ministry. If you were following me on Twitter, this tweet would show up on your public timeline:
Or let’s say at Confirmation next week we are teaching on a particular topic and there is a good article you could read to help better understand how to speak to your kids about it. BAM. I post it and it is right there at your fingertips.
Send tweets to specific people (Reply)
For illustration purposes only, let’s say that you have a Twitter account and your username is Imold. If you wanted to ask me a question, you could send me a message (in Twitter this is called a “Reply”). To do so, you simply put the “@” symbol in front of the username.
So if you were to ask me a question in regards to youth ministry, it would look like this on the public timeline:
I would see that on my public timeline and reply back to you. Since Pastor Al is on Twitter (his username is AZXfollower), and he is speaking this week at Confirmation, I could mention him in the reply too. You and Pastor Al would both see something like this on your public timeline:
Spread relevant ideas (Retweet)
Have you ever heard of the Robbie Seay Band? If you hadn’t and I wanted you to see something they posted, I could easily share it with you. Simply hover over the message and press what Twitter calls the “Retweet” button. All of your followers get the message. Here is a retweet I posted for Robbie Seay’s concert last week:
If there was something important you read about youth ministry, you could easily share it with others using the retweet feature.
Search using categories
We are all familiar with searching the Internet. You can do the same thing within Twitter. One way to find specific tweets is to label a them. To do so, you simply put the “#” symbol in front of a word (in Twitter this is called a “Hashtag”). If we were to, say, tweet about how cool youth ministry (ymin) is at Peace using the hashtag #peaceymin, it would look like this:
By clicking on the hashtag, #peaceymin as seen above, theoretically you would see a list of tweets. So if there were a bunch of us talking about Confirmation using this hashtag, our search result would show us what everyone is saying about youth ministry.
Still wondering how all this is beneficial to youth ministry at Peace?
Twitter is a simple tool by which to communicate! I’ve shared a lot of information with you, but like most things, once you learn how it works it makes sense. Twitter really is simple. If you read my last post then you know that I’m blogging because I want to share the story of what’s happening in youth ministry at Peace. Twitter is another way to do so. You can either be a Twitter hater (which is fine), or you can see that it is an excellent way to communicate. So how ’bout you give it a shot? Any questions?
Note: This post went through a few drafts. Thanks to Denise, Rita Mae, Nanette, Brent, and Lara for proofreading and helping me come up with the final format.