There are lots of acronyms and shorthand terms thrown around in the Twittersphere. That is why I published this summary of the Most Common Terms used on Twitter; plus a mixed bag Connected Educators will find handy. Have you participated in a Twitter Chat before? Are you a Teacher new to Twitter? Then you will find these on the stream (feed) or when directly messaged (DM) by another user (Tweep).
• Tweet – A post made on Twitter by a user. 140 characters in length (however analytics reveal the sweet spot is between 71-100 characters)
• Follow – If a user’s tweets appear in your stream then you are following them.
• Follower – Someone who is reading your tweets
• Unfollow (De-Friend) – This happens when someone stops reading your tweets.
• @ (Reply) – The @ symbol is used to reply to a twitter user. i.e. @ Thanks for writing thought provoking articles that elicit deep thinking.
• # (Hashtag) – A hash symbol is used to comment about a specific topic in a tweet, so users searching twitter can easily find what they are looking for. Searching for #edtech will give you the top tweets using this hashtag. As an alternative you can search all tweets, or use a hashtag tracking service. I currently use Twubs:
@twubs because it allows me to scroll through a hashtag stream, pause it, resume and even subscribe to my favorite hashtags for free.
• Link – Including a URL in your tweet. Caution should be used here since you only have 140 characters for each message. I recommend that you use a URL shortener service. Bitly is my favorite because its free, allows you to create URL collections, and it let you keep track of who, when and how many times your links are clicked on.
• Tweeter (Twitterer) – An individual who uses Twitter
• Tweeple – People who use Twitter
• Tweeps – Twitter friends, your most frequently contacted friends. Think about ‘Peeps’
• Twittersphere – The collective group of people who tweet.
• Twitterati – A-list Twitter users; the Twitter élite. These usually have a big number of followers, are somewhat famous and considered thought leaders (change agents) inside the Education Twittersphere.
• RT (ReTweet) – Reposting something that has already been posted on the Twitter stream. RT usually precedes the original post to give credit to the user who published it first.
• DM – This is a Direct Message sent to a twitter user. However you must follow that user before you can DM message them. DMs don’t appear in the public twitter stream. They instead go directly to your Twitter inbox. *Think of this as a hybrid between e-mail, instant messaging or SMS.
• Via – This one is often used in place of RT, once again to give credit to the publisher. *Think of this as citing your sources on Twitter.
• MT – The act of modifying another user’s tweet. It is considered bad etiquette to do this, unless the modification is needed to make a correction, or to add relevant information to the original tweet.
• HT (Heard Through / Hat Tip) – This one is used to add credit to the source from which you originally gathered the idea for your tweet.
Connected Educator (Mixed Bag) Terms
- AFAIK – As far as I know
- CC – Carbon Copy
- CX – Correction
- DigCit – Digital Citizenship
- FF – Follow Friday
- GAFE – Google Apps for Education
- HW – Homework
- HAGW – Have a Great Weekend
- HAGD – Have a Great Day
- ICYMI – In Case You Missed It
- NSFW – Not Safe for Work
- NT2t – New Teacher to Twitter
- OH – Overheard
- Ps – Parents
- PBL – Project Based Learning
- RLRT – Real Life Retweet
- SMH – Shaking My Head
- SBG – Standards Based Grading
- Ss – Students
- Ts – Teachers
- TFTF – Thanks for The Follow
- TIL – Today I Learned…
- TL;DR – Too Long; I Didn’t Read
- TMB – Tweet Me Back
- TQRT – Thanks for The (RT) Retweet
- TT – Translated Tweet
- w/ – With
- w/o – Without
Please feel free to add other common terms I might have missed in the comments thread. I look forward to your thoughts and insights on this topic.