Twitter is a social networking tool that was devised to enable you to stay in touch with your group of friends. Limited to 140 characters, twitter'ers send tweets describing: What am I doing now? (limited to 140 characters). These tweets are sent to everyone who has signed up to follow your "tweets" via the twitter web page, cell phone or desktop application. How will we use this for accounting? Periodically through the semester I will send tweets to you with an accounting question. Individuals who tweet back with the correct answer by the due date (usually 24 hours) will receive extra-credit points (usually 1 point per correct tweet, with an extra .5 point for the first 5 to reply). You can receive my tweet via your twitter web page or your cell phone. First you need to sign up for a Twitter account and then go to the class twitter page and click Follow:



With your Cell Phone:

You can receive tweets from all the users you follow on your cell phone, tweets count as text messages so make sure your plan can handle all the tweets you'll be getting, or from selected users. In this way you can get information from those users that are important enough that you don't want to miss anything they have to say.

  1. Send the provided code to 40404 via your phone (text message)
  2. Once you receive a message back you are ready to go
  3. Choose what you want to go to your phone: tweets from users you specify or direct messages
  4. Go to your Following list and choose the users you follow that you wish to receive their tweets on your phone.
  5. You can also do this when following a user initially just click the Devices On check box when you follow someone.

There are quite a few cell phone applications, a great place to start looking is the twitter apps wiki

or a desktop application (see below for links).

From your Desktop:

These are more for power-users, businesses and will help in the education setting. It requires a download and installation of a separate program but has many advantages:

  1. Ability to group the users you follow into groups and to view each groups stream of tweets separately within the same application
  2. Ability to notify you when a tweet comes in (this can also be a disadvantage due to the distraction it can cause).
  3. Most allow you to create streams for searches that you preform (e.g. XBRL or IFRS or CTLA).
  4. Most allow you to follow, unfollow, block, @reply, RT, send pictures, etc. all within the application.
  5. Some allow you to monitor multiple twitter accounts from within the same application
  6. Some allow you to send out tweets at predetermined times.

Here are some examples of desktop applications:
  1. TweetDeck, is your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook and more. This also has an iPhone application, and it sync's your settings between computers and the iPhone.
  2. Seesmic, similar to Tweetdeck
  3. Spreadtweet, a twitter client disguised as a spreadsheet.

Or you can check my latest tweets here on this page:

Remember, tweets can be sent to your cell phone as SMS messages, and depending on your cell phone plan this can cost $'s. If you have a per text message cost to your cell phone plan and don't want to pay for the ~10 messages I may send out during the semester, turn off notifications from all your followers. You can then selectively choose to be notified via text for selected followers (acg2021 being one). Click here for a short screencast for turning off notifications.

Just be careful and don't let this happen to you:

More on Twitter below: terminology and links to applications.

What is Twitter:

Check out Twitter 101

Mashable Twitter Guidebook

The World According to Twitter by David Pogue

What are you doing?

140 characters limit - based on SMS text message limit of cell phones
  • I'm eating a PB&J (Not to exciting)
  • Just found a great article on IFRS (More exciting)

Some Terminology:

Followers - Users who receive your tweets. When a user follows you, you can elect to receive an email so that you can follow them back (if you want to, there are more and more spam twitter accounts these days). You can also use an automated application that will follow any users that follow you, one of these is SocialToo. To find people to follow you can use Twitter's Find People link, and search for people you know, or you can use a tool such as WeFollow.
Following - Users whose tweets you receive.
Tweet - an individual message
@reply - Replying to a message from a user, use @username. This is referred to as a mention, you will get your mentions directly in your twitter stream if you follow the user who mentioned you or in your @username folder for all your mentions (including from users you don't follow)
DM Direct Message - Private tweets
RT Retweet - repost a message that has already been 'tweeted' giving attribution via the @username to indicate from who you received the message from.

Multiple modes of using Twitter:

From the Web:

This is pretty much easy, just type away at your twitter page.
  • Easy to Use
  • No Downloads/Updates
  • Only review tweets when you want
  • See tweets in a stream (who you follow) all mixed together
  • You can Miss tweets
  • May not have all functionality (e.g. RTs)

Here are some examples of web based applications:
  1. Seesmic - Same as desktop but on the web, now that's a nice feature and since its in the cloud you don't have to worry about syncing issues.
  2. Tunein, is an application that specializes in grouping media from your twitter stream. You view all the meida - articles, video and pictures in one column or in a seperate view see each media type in its own seperate column. This is great to quicly scan through your stream to see what important media is being mentioned and linked to by the users you follow.
  3. Mishnet, This is an application that turns your account into a fis, yes a fish, with other accounts also represented as fish. It's cute.
  4. HootSuite, allows you to monitor multiple accounts. This is nice if you have a personal account as well as one you maintain for your course (or multiple accounts for each course you teach). It allows you to group users into columns, create searches that are maintained in columns, and allows for the management of multiple users per account. So you can have your log in/password for a class and your TA's can have their own.

While in Second Life:

So you can stay connected with the twitter world while in Second Life. I use an application called TwitterBox.