Category Archives: Twitter

Twitter Stories: Arab Spring

In December 2010, the world began to see a number of protests, riots and demonstrations demanding political and other changes across the Middle East and North Africa. Social media and Twitter played a large part in helping people organize the protests.

Governments sought and tried to shut down the Internet. In places, they succeeded, but that did not stop the Internet. The world now connected by and accustomed to that small burst of live microblogging information called a “tweet” found another way–Speak2Tweet.



“Click the link in each tweet to hear a voice tweet. Call +902123391447 or +302111982716 or +390662207294 or +16504194196. Press 1 to tweet.”

Social Media Series: Twitter-The Definitions, Shortcuts and How to Use

Twitter is easy to use, with simple commands and actions.

To Tweet

Go to “compose new tweet”. If you do not see it, click the House button in the upper right.

Enter text of no more than 140 characters.

Hit Enter.

To search

Go to the top search area and enter your topic or name

To join a Twitter party or global conversation

Set or find out the agreed upon in advance hashtag words to use and the time for the event. These can be listed on websites, accounts and via tweets or DMs (direct messages) to interested parties.


N New Tweet
F Favorite
R Reply
T Retweet
M Direct Message
B Block User
U Unblock User
ENTER Open tweet details
L Close all open tweets

? This menu
J Next tweet
K Previous Tweet
SPACE Page down
/ Search
. Load New Tweets

GH Home
GC Contact
GA Activity
GR Mentions
GD Discovery
GP Profile
GF Favorites
GL Lists
GM Messages
GS Settings
GU Go to user

Social Media Series: Twitter-The Basics

We begin our social media series on Twitter, one of the most powerful forms of social media. Twitter is fast, easy to use, spreads like wildfire and is huge for crowdsourcing–the ultimate goal of most social media campaigns. It has saved lives, brought down empires and politicians, become an important tool in emergencies and served as a source for breaking news for many.

Twitter: The Basics

Twitter is a microblogging platform that gives short near-real-time or real-time results for communication. While this usually consists of typed text, it can also be done via phone.

Here are some basic lengths and sizes for posts, names and images.

Post Length-Tweet

Tweets are individual posts. These are no longer than 140 characters in length. This includes spaces. To compensate for this, many abbreviations have become commonplace, such as “U” for “you” and “4” for “for.”

Twitter Name Length

15 characters is the limit for the name length on Twitter.

Bio Length

You get 160 characters for your bio.

Profile Image

81×81 pixels

Header Image

520 x 260 pixels

Background Image

The total background image, which is partially covered, is 1280 x 1924 pixels.

Instead of one image, a repeating image can be used. We will cover this more later.


The next part of our series will talk about how to set up and use Twitter.

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Twitter App Reviews: Tweepsmap

Here is another tool for Twitter that helps provide information about your followers.

Tweepsmap is an app that can tells you where your Twitter followers (tweeps) are located. The information can be displayed by country, state or city, in map, list or chart form.

The pros are:

  • It is fun to see a map of your followers.
  • It will not access your direct messages.
  • It will not see your Twitter password.
  • The information can help you with your marketing and advertising campaigns.

The cons are:

  • It will follow new people.
  • It will update your profile.
  • It will post tweets for you.

These are listed as cons since it is better in general to keep control of choosing who to follow, updating your own profile and tweets.

You can learn more and download it from

Twitter App Reviews: Friend or Follow

There are so many things one can add to Twitter and other social media to make its use more effective and enjoyable.

Here is the first of the fun and useful tools that we like for Twitter that help provide information about your followers:

Friend or Follow

Description: Friend or Follow is a Twitter app that allows you to easily view those who are not following your account back on Twitter. This is a great tool to use, especially since Twitter has initiated following limits to make sure you are engaging the right audience and enhance connectivity in both directions. Simply go to the Friend or Follow website, enter the name of your Twitter account and get results on who does not follow you back.

How It Works:

1. You type in the name of the account you wish to review and click “submit”. An image of the accounts not believed to be following back is displayed in a grid formation of a maximum of 13 per row and 20 per column, adjusted for how many are not following you, with a maximum of 260 per each page.

2. Choose an image and hover your mouse over it. Information will be displayed about that account including account name, following and follower count, bio and location.

3. You can click on that to visit the account not following you, or you can click the combined plus and person icon to grant permission for Friend or Follow to grant access. If you choose to grant access then this message is displayed, “Connect Friend Or Follow with your @YOUR TWITTERACCOUNT account to interact with your followers and share content through your timeline,” before beginning that process.

4. You can sign up for “Gold” membership, which is currently $9.99/month. This grants special services such as generating these lists in CSV format and different ways of looking at lists.

Strengths: You can use this for free. You do not have to authorize Friend or Follow to use your account. You can make all the decisions of who you wish to keep following or who you wish to no longer follow. You can also pay and sign up for more benefits.

Weaknesses: We’ve noticed some errors on who has followed or not with the free and no access version. With the free no access version, only the images are displayed. There is no text list for accounts that do not follow back with the free no access version.

Recommendations: Bookmark this great tool. As always, check before deleting anyone to be sure they are not following you if you wish to delete those who do not follow back.

Where to Get:

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In the News: CIA Uses Social Media as an Intelligence Tool

On 4 November, some of the major media sources ran what we already knew, that the folks over at Langley were doing, watching, and analyzing social media including blogs, Twitter and Facebook. It should not come as a surprise. We already know that many employers and landlords check social media for perspective employees or tenants before making a decision. What was news was that a special interview and tour was granted.

During this, the CIA said it used librarians to aid in the research and analysis. For those of us who research online, including those engaged in white hat SEO (search engine optimization), this is a wise choice. Librarians continue to be one of the best resources for research on and offline because of their training and experience in reference research with keywords.

This research by those who have been nicknamed the “vengeful librarians” is combined with other sources of information, such as those conducted from ELINT (Electronic signals intelligence), personal communications, chatrooms, newspapers, television and radio broadcasts. The Agency’s Open Source Center (OSC) reviews about 5 million tweets a day.

Links from a variety of sources with different perspectives:

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