The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
I know I’ve blogged at least 14 times about the social and professional benefits of Twitter, but after reading “all atwitter”, an article which appeared in my local paper this week, and trying to explain Twitter to my mama, I thought I should do a Twitter 101 column for those of you still wondering why anyone would want to do such a newfangled and just plain weird thing as “twitter”.
First, I recently experienced some intense joy when I was able to “one-up” my super-opinionated mama while attempting to convince her that the internet is easy to access and she should at least read email. After all, my 80-year old uncle is a prolific and loquacious, all caps-using, email aficionado.
Her tart response was, “Why should I use the internet? John McCain doesn’t use a computer or the internet.”
I’d waited 40 years to announce, “Mama, Senator McCain does in fact use the internet. Why if you’d read the local paper a bit more carefully, you’d know that the great man is tweeting from the Senate floor.”
Her response was initially dead silence, followed by something akin to, “You are just flat lying.”
Oh, the wild elation I experienced as I pulled up John McCain’s (@SenJohnMcCain) Twitter page on my computer and started reading his tweets out loud to her, which included, “Having breakfast with secretary gates @ the pentagon”.
My mama was so flabbergasted that she asked me to show her how to use her email (again) the next time I visit.
Second, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times. “Twitter just seems stupid”, my otherwise smart, technologically savvy and way cooler friends announce.
Twitter is anything but stupid. For legal professionals, it’s a rapid-fire way to share information and keep up with the latest news, technology, marketing and job-seeking strategies. Not to mention that it’s an excellent way to make friends with a lot of people who know a lot of things that we all need to know in order to stay on top of a rapidly changing legal landscape.
Local reporter Tim Clodfelter (@reportertim on Twitter) breaks down the concept of Twitter in basic terms and even quotes a few people who initially had reservations about the usefulness of Twitter, but now that they use it correctly, admit it has value, including David Mullen, who works in marketing.
“You pick up a lot of knowledge from Twitter and from the links that people are sharing,” Mullen said. “Some marketers post about case studies, some have links to blog posts…. The Internet is chock full of information, and there’s no way I could find even 10 percent of the information on a given day. It’s great to be pointed to it.”
Here are a few highlights from the helpful glossary that Tim provides with the article:
Twitter users — or, as they’re called “Twitterers” (not “Twits,” thank you very much) — have come up with various phrases to describe aspects of using Twitter. Here are a few:
Tweets: Posts made by Twitterers.
Follow: To subscribe to a particular Twitterer.
Unfollow: To unsubscribe from a particular Twitterer.
Retweet (or RT): Tweeting content that was posted by someone else so others can see it.
Tweetup: Meeting other Twitter users in person.
Tweeps: Friends on Twitter.
Tweople: People who tweet.
Twirting: Flirting with someone on Twitter.
Twitterhea: The inability to stop using Twitter
Tweetjacking: Copying and pasting someone else’s link without giving them credit. It’s the rude version of retweeting.
I know my mama, like me, reads the same local paper at 5:30 a.m. every morning. I’m waiting for her to pick up the phone and ask me how she can start following John McCain on Twitter.