Vijay recently joined Twitter and suggested we might learn to use it better; it seems a good idea.  Yesterday I was catching up with Sasha on Skype and mentioned a possible Twitter self-help group to share what we learn, and he was in favour. I know Andy knows more about it than we do, so I'll invite him too.

This is our first attempt at doing a learning group here at - so it is a double learning experience - i.e. how to build out Twitter skills and how to learn as a self-help online group using the sotware we have at At least we are starting small and just "between friends" - but we will welcome others who want to join us.

I think Twitter could be useful to us, if we learn how to use it well. It is a good "halfway house" between Instant Messaging (nice and short to write) and email (sender and reader don't have to be online at the same time). I think that combination would appeal to a lot of our friends in Africa - but I don't know if you can do Twitter from cyber cafes.

Twitter is also a good way to find new people with interests that overlap you own. But - it can be very time consuming once you start to follow several people.

Andy introduced me to Tweet Deck, which helps to organise the Tweets that you get. He is trying something different now, and will let me know if I should change over.

Some people just use Twitter to say what they are doing, but others use it to pass on news and tips to people, and to get answers to questions. I am more confident now that I was when I started - but I still feel very much a beginner.

Let's learn together.





It's great that you started off this self-help group of Twitter. I still feel like twittering babe in the e-woods when it comes to handling Twitter. After tweeting a few links to those following me, I have gone silent.

Even though I have opened an account, I actually need a bit of handholding on Twitter. So could one of you take me through the steps? I need some education about being 'followed' and 'following'. Also, do you think it is a good idea to take this learn session forward initially as FAQs and later have the 'enlightenment' sessions on using Twitter intelligently and beneficially. I suppose Andy will have to anchor it with a novice like me being happy to be an eager student.

Do you think you like this format (this question is addressed to all). What do you say?


HI I seem to have neglected this forum, been busy with other projects and helping Pam with Barcamp Africa. But, now that I am here I will see how I can help. I am in no way a twitter expert, and to be honest, I'm very skeptical of people who claim to be, the best Twitter experiences come out of organic use, getting to know people on the service, having conversations, finding people you are interested in talking to, and tweeting 'interesting' things, not getting caught up in metrics like how many followers you have etc... I'm not a teacher, I use Twitter my own way, and others use it theirs, and I'm sure you will find your own. I can help you out with a few conventions, like following, replies, direct messages, and other programs if you say what you would like to look at. I have noticed over since when I have been using the service that it has gone from a very broadcast 'what am I doing?' medium to a very conversational one, so don't be too shy on using the @reply (the @ sign and a persons twitter name) to join in conversations, the best way to learn is to get stuck in. Also be helpful to know each others Twitter usernames, since my accounts are public I don't mind sharing, but you may prefer to follow me and send me a direct message (a private message, though I will have to follow you back in order for you to send to me). Mine are @andybroomfield and @newmediathinker (eg. etc..) Hope that's useful AndyB