Intro to the guide:
Love it or loathe it, Twitter is seemingly everywhere. Across the globe last year, there were an estimated 500 million users.
From Joe Bloggs and the guy who runs the local chip shop, to Hollywood celebrities and multinational corporations, more and more go on there by the week.
So what is Twitter and why should you sign up?
To many, it looks like another social networking fad similar to MySpace — and let’s be honest, keeping on top of your e-mails is bad enough, right?
The main thing to know is that you’ve got just 140 characters to say what you want on Twitter.
And what you say with those characters is posted for all to see, unless that is, you’ve made your Twitter account private.
However, the assumption in the pages that follow is that you want to communicate publicly and for your tweets to be seen by all.
It really is that basic in essence — write something and hit enter.
On top of that you can choose to follow users to see what they’re saying, what conversations they’re involved in and who they’re following. Likewise, other users can do the same to you.
This simple website has revolutionised the way millions of people discuss, organise and market themselves.
If you’re a college, sixth form or any other kind of FE body or professional, now is the time to jump in and take advantage.
Others in the sector have already done so, including FE Minister Mathew Hancock, a host of college principals, lecturers, provider directors and staff and key organisations such as the National Apprenticeship Service and the Skills Funding Agency.
Creating an online debate has never been easier thanks to Twitter. Are you considering whether or not to scrap a particular subject? Or do you want to know what other people think of the latest fee policy? A quick tweet and you could have a large selection of people telling you what they think. With the right use of hashtags (don’t worry, it’s covered inside), it’s the perfect way to take a quick reading of public opinion, or even join in with the latest discussions trending (again, don’t fret – see inside) worldwide.
Best of all, it’s free. The only resource it uses is time – and even that, it’s arguable, is a small price to pay considering the business and public service opportunities it offers.
Still getting stuck? Then watch our handy video guide below.