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More Of MY Twitter

Posted by terrepruitt on June 23, 2009

Again, I say:  I am going to share a few things that I have learned so that I can just point some of my new friends at this blog instead of typing it all out individually.  Now, here is the catch, this is my opinion and my perception of how it works.  If you have a different opinion or you know that it works differently please kindly share.  That would be very appreciated and helpful.

The @ is considered a reply.  Most programs I have seen have a reply button/option.  When you select it, it is like e-mail, it addresses your tweet to that person.  So if you are reading a tweet and you “reply” to it your tweet will go to that person.  Most programs will start the tweet like this:  “@person” then you type your message after.


@1 (this is a tweet to @HelpYouWell)

Not too long ago twitter changed the way @ functions**.  I believe now if you leave the “@person” as the first word in the tweet (see @1) only the person you are replying to and that person’s followers will see it.  Your followers will be left out of the conversation.  If you type something before the @person (see @2) then your followers will see it too.  Since Twitter is a social network where people are freely sharing information it makes sense to me to take that extra second and type something in front of the @ so “everyone” can see it.  Also it helps demonstrate that you are replying to people.  If you reply but your followers don’t see it they might think that you are not engaging with others.



**Exactly how Twitter changed it, I am not sure.  I just know that it does not function as it used to, so you want to type something before that @ so it can be seen by more people.

You can also just use the @ to send a message to someone, it does not necessarily have to be a reply to a message.  It is just called “reply” sometimes.  I call them at-messages.

RT or retweet is something you do when you like what you have read and want to share it with your followers.  Again, most programs that I have seen have a retweet options so it will take the tweet and copy it into the tweet box with a “RT @person” in front of it.  So, it is doing several things:

1:  by putting RT it is indicating that the tweet is a “retweet”
2:  it is “addressing” the tweet to the person that sent it (with the @person) allowing them to see that you liked their information enough to share it AND at the same time giving them “credit” for having tweeted
3:  it is allowing you to share the information with your followers.

Often when I RT I type in something front to give an idea as to why I am retweeting.  (I didn’t in the example above, but, I often do.)

The DM is a direct message so when you “DM” someone it goes only to them.  BUT you might still want to think of it as a publicly viewed tweet so you remember to watch you Ps and Qs.  In order for you to DM someone, they have to be following you.  If you are following them, but they are not following you, it won’t go through.  TweetDeck will tell you that they are not following you.

I might do another post about TweetDeck.  I don’t know too much about it, but I use it.

Please share your thoughts with me.

6 Responses to “More Of MY Twitter”

  1. reply behavior actually depends on the user’s settings. I can set twitter to show my @replies by all my contacts, or just @replies to other contacts that I am following (and be default, I “follow” myself)

    When starting to use twitter, and you don’t know who is on there, it is helpful to set it to view all the @replies because that allows you to quickly find others that you may know and/or with whom you share interests. Later, after you have a ton of people, it can be helpful to stop seeing all @replies because it just becomes too much to handle.


    • DOUBLE thank you.

      Thanks for stopping by, thanks for commenting—oh, make it a TRIPLE thank you, thank you for more information.

      In regards to “user settings” where do you set that? Is this on other programs besides twitter.com or somewhere I am not seeing on twitter.com?

      Again TRIPLE thanks!


  2. Great advice here Terre!

    I might also add that when you reply to someone you must remember to put the @ directly in front of the person’s name (eg: @HelpYouWell). If you leave a space (eg: @ HelpYouWell) the reply won’t go into that person’s reply column.

    Also, if you accidentally start a comment too close to the person’s name (eg: @HelpYouWellHave a good day!) again, your comment won’t be delivered to that person’s reply column.


    • Thank you so much for adding that. That does happen (I noticed Twitter sometimes puts the words together, as in you second example, so I have to type a space in) so it is great that you point that out because you are right. Thanks.

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for adding information.

      (Have a great day!)


  3. judy said

    I just checked my settings and didn’t see where I could control replies. Hopefully Kevin will come back and tell us how.

    In the meantime… I would say that it’s good to make a decision each time your replying as to whether or not you lead with the @ (making your reply more targeted) or lead with words before it so that all your followers can see. Not every reply makes sense to have generally visible. For instance if all I want to say is “thanks!” it doesn’t make sense to make my “thanks” generally visible. No one knows what I’m thanking you for and I feel I’m just cluttering up my followers screens. On the other hand, if I want to say, Thanks @helpyouwell for your excellent post, and include a link, then, yes, definitely, share it with everyone. I’ve followed many great links that way.

    You and John are good about sharing links and useful information. I love following you!


    • I think Kevin is talking about how Twitter USED to be. They took that choice away from us. Stay tuned, I have found more info. I am planning on blogging it.

      It is up to the individual. And everyone is different. As with your example, I would see that “Thanks!” and think “I wonder what that is about. Oh well, at least that @jdistraction person is polite.” See, to me it is very individualized but I think it is a bummer that Twitter just took that easy way to reply away from us. I might even go so far as to check into who the person is that is replying and maybe end up following them. I really think it is different for different people. It really depends on how and why you are using Twitter. If it is so private that you don’t want others to see it or you don’t want to clutter up people’s streams send a DM. Because people besides the person you “@” see it just not as many as used to see it (when it is the first word in the tweet). So if you consider it clutter you are still “cluttering” someone’s stream.

      I know I keep saying it, but I keep circling around to this: it all depends on how you want to use Twitter and what it is to you.

      My friend Kevin, who I know IRL, stopped following me because he doesn’t allow for any type of #FollowFriday in his Twitter stream. See? That is what he wants and that is his choice. He uses Twitter totally different than I do.

      I want to help and be helped and I think that all kinds of stuff on Twitter is interesting. I might just Tweet something I don’t think is interesting, but I think that some of the people I am following might like it.so I might tweet.

      I think your tweets are hilarious, plus I love your blog and I like to share it with others. Did you see my rule regarding reading your blog? I advised people not to have anything in their mouth. I don’t want them spitting it out all over.

      Thank you, as always for stopping by AND for commenting. You are awesome and I appreciate you!


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