The bluebird is everywhere these days. You can find it on the Internet, installed as an app on all sorts of electronic devices, and placed prominently on a variety of print material. Who would have thought just a few years ago that the little blue Twitter bird would become such a pop icon of the twenty-first century?

If you’d asked me four years ago if Twitter would still be around today, I would have told you absolutely not and that it was probably another fad. Boy was I wrong! Today Twitter boasts 24 million users in the U.S and experienced a 31 % growth during 2011.

My Emerging Media course assignment this week involved researching Twitter and assessing the benefits of buzz building through social media. As a result, I proceeded to take the digital plunge and downloaded the bird so I could set up my “handle.” Now that I am being fed relevant information from my chosen brands , I will admit I should have done this a long time ago.

The lingo of Twitter has always been a little intimidating to me. Fortunately I discovered some great resources and training material on the Twitter website. I was able to navigate easily through the plethora of material, from a glossary of Twitter terminology to a handy search feature.

For those of you who are just getting started, I created my own top five must-know definitions for new Twitter users:

Tweet – A tweet is simply the 140 characters used in your post. You can actually say quite a bit with that, or you can use it to link to a website or blog.

  •  Hashtags – A hashtag is actually a way to categorize messages by typing a # symbol in front of keywords or phrases.
  •  Retweet – A retweet is when you share a post with your followers.
  •  @Replies – This feature is used for an update posted by clicking the Reply button.
  •  Handle – Your Twitter handle is your username and the accompanying URL. For example,

Are you ready to join the Twitter revolution? Visit the Twitter help center for yourself, where you can find learn more about the basics of Twitter.   Don’t miss out,  start tweeting today!