What’s Twitter? How do you Tweet? Hash- what?

If there is somewhere on the Internet to watch this election it’s Twitter. Journalists, pollies and general political junkies are all on twitter. Journalists are tweeting press conferences, articles and gaffs, while pollies are spruiking, plugging policy and spilling the odd secret.
But if you have no idea what Twitter is, or what RT the @ symbol or # tag all mean, don’t worry; It’ll all make sense in a second.
When you sign up to twitter, you have a username, for example emmaology.
You then go about the Twittisphere following people, and hoping they’ll follow you back. Following means that you’ll receive their updates on your front page, like the news feed on Facebook.
 The general norm is that you don’t have to know someone to follow them.
The catch with tweeting is, that your tweets or updates can only be 140 characters long. So that’s why when you want to tweet AT someone, you put the @ symbol infront of their user name.
There is also a useful way of grouping what others are tweeting about is by using a hash tag, the little symbol that looks like the start of a game of naughts and crosses.
To create a hashtag for anything you simply put the symbol with any word or letters after it without gaps. So for example, if you are interested in the election, the main hashtag for anything election related is #-A-U-S-votes (or #ausvotes).
Some of the hot picks for the election so far have been #mofo (al la Julia Gillard’s use of moving forward), or #budgies for whenever it’s about Tony Abbott.
But if you are wanting to follow a few, rather than tweeting yourself one to watch is @Latikambourke, 3AW’s political correspondent and winner of a Walkey for young journalist of the year for using twitter to break the news.
But the funniest thing about twitter is what other (whitty) people tweet:

@annabelcrab: Libs have just sent out an email to media giving the email address to which media can apply to receive media emails. #ausvoteshttp://twitter.com/search?q=%23ausvotes
@andrewjhansen: Of course, this is why BP hasn’t solved the oil leak yet! They haven’t appointed a Citizens’ Assembly. #ausvotes

@hughrundle: Dear Julia, we already have a “citizen’s assembly” – it’s called “Parliament”. #ausvoteshttp://twitter.com/search?q=%23ausvotes
@samanthamaiden : Hey @ParisHilton Oz political leader has attacked your lack of celibacy in the election campaign. Any response ? http://tiny.cc/m5q3v
@jeremysear: Who loaned Tony Abbott a copy of The Secret? #ausvotes


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