Common Twitter Terms ‘@, #, RT, …’

Well I’ve been searching for definitions on now commonly used Twitter symbols and terms a while ago, and thought of them again so decided to post them here for easy reference.

The @ symbol
@ symbol is used as a public reply to or mention of another person on Twitter. In more simpler words, by putting an @ before a person’s username>> you reply to something that they said or you mention that person in your tweet.

To find out where you got mentioned or replied to, log into your Twitter account, on the right hand side of your home page you can click to find when others within the Twitter-O-sphere used @your_username to mention you or replied to your posts.

Some examples,

@khannamanoj hi, what r u in town for?

or

@khannamanoj I’m at myname @ someurl dot com.

The hashtag (#)
# (the hashtag) is used to designate a topic, and topics can be created by anyone. So if I was Twittering on SaaS and Strategy , my Tweet will look something like:

Why You Need A Software As A Service (SaaS) Strategy — http://bit.ly/6i7tvG via #SaaS #strategy #technology #management

The hashtag (#) allows other users to search for the topic “strategy”, “SaaS”, etc. If you want to be tracked via a hash tag, then you can follow follow http://twitter.com/hashtags. You can also search for hashtagged real-time post on http://www.hashtags.org – it shows all of the posts that have been tagged with hashtagged keywords. For my example above, see the screenshot from hashtags.org for #saas & #strategy, and see where my post lies within the Twitter-O-sphere realm:

Some other sites and tools for hashtag and @ search include, http://www.hashtweeps.com/, http://hootsuite.com, and then there are several iPhone apps and such – the one I use currently is Twitterrific. In any case, you can find more with Google.com.

RT (retweets)
RT or retweets occurs when you re-tweet someone else’s Tweet, and essentially you’re giving credit to the original source. For example, if you take the Tweet above about SaaS strategy and wanted to re-tweet it, you would Tweet:

RT @khannamanoj Why You Need A Software As A Service (SaaS) Strategy — http://bit.ly/6i7tvG via #SaaS #strategy #technology

Happy Twittering!!

© Manoj Khanna 2003 – 2012.
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