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How to get started on Twitter January 27, 2010

Posted by Paul Rees in twitter.
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I often am asked “what is Twitter?” or “how do/could I use Twitter?” While I don’t consider myself any kind of expert this is what I have found useful.

  1. Go here https://twitter.com/signup and register for Twitter. Make sure you do write a short bio (I think mentioning your interests is best) and upload a picture of yourself. People are more likely to respond if there is a photo and a little information about you.
  2. Don’t forget to checkout the Twitter help pages http://twitter.com/help/start. This is boring I know, but here you will at least learn about various Twitter terms, such as “retweet”.
  3. Download and install Tweetdeck on your computer http://tweetdeck.com/beta/ This software makes twitter easy and fun to use. This works on PC or Mac. You can also use Twitter from http://twitter.com, but the features are very basic.
  4. To get started use Twitter Search http://search.twitter.com/ and search tor keywords related to things you are interested in. If you find someone talking about what you are interested in “follow” them. Following is like friending in Facebook. People then often follow you back. This means they are likely to read what you post to Twitter in future.
  5. As you follow people their postings or “tweets” will show up in Tweetdeck. Respond to what people say if you have something to say; this is how you will start to connect with people.
  6. You can also search for your friends from other networks here http://twitter.com/invitations/find_on_other_networks
  7. I have collected a lot of bookmarks about Twitter. See here  http://delicious.com/madam3181/twitter to learn more about what Twitter is and how to use it to your advantage.

Remember establishing a presence on Twitter takes some time and a little effort. As a guide, I think if you use it almost daily and read and respond to tweets regularly you will build up a useful band of followers in about 2 months.

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Exposure July 20, 2008

Posted by Paul Rees in german.
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I regularly scan Twitter using http://search.twitter.com/ for tweets about “learning German”.

I discovered a tweet by Josh, a self described “language geek”, and through that his interesting blog Language Geek. In particular I found his post More Exposure, Less Study relevant to me. I was prompted to write a comment on my feelings about this dilema. For the record, I am posting that comment here.

I am starting to think that exposure really is the key. I’ve been learning German since April 2007 and I have put a lot of time into studying it and listening to it.

However after all that effort I can’t actually say very much in German. I am happy with my level of comprehension relative to the amount of time I have been learning.

My problem is that my head has gotten so caught up in the complex grammar that speaking now seems to be close to impossible. I mean, when trying to speak, by the time my head has processed the grammar, the moment is lost.

I am travelling to Germany in September (for a big exposure) and I am seriously considering taking a break from active and formal studying after that trip. This is not giving up, rather an attempt to clear my head and actually learn how to speak. During this break, I would focus on conversing with my German online and offline friends, and attending German speaking social functions.

Children learn to speak by exposure. As an adult learning by exposure is a much slower process, complicated by a brain that is now wired in English. Time to accept this and re-wire :)

Twitter : Stats for this blog May 27, 2008

Posted by Paul Rees in blogging.
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Blog Graph

This blog never normally gets much traffic… well the content is limited in scope.

Look what playing on Twitter has done, just in one week.

Twitter for German learners? May 23, 2008

Posted by Paul Rees in german, twitter.
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I have just starting playing with Twitter. I am wondering what potential it has for people learning German to communicate with each other. If you are a Twitter user, please follow me and I will follow you http://twitter.com/madam3181.

If you don’t know what Twitter is a Google search will bring back a lot of information.