Twitter allows us to push vital news and information out to a wider audience very quickly about our what’s going on in our branch and about our public policy positions including our support for public education, women’s health, voting rights and ending violence against women.  For Twitter to work as a means of quick communication among members, members will need to sign up for a Twitter account–see directions below.

Thanks to the good work of Membership Vice President Sandy Luther, our branch now also has a Twitter account at:  Please call up the page, bookmark it, follow it by clicking on the “follow” button on the right, read our latest Tweets and re-Tweet them or Tweet your own in the far upper right.  Alternatively, you can kill two birds with one stone by logging onto our website at:, where you can read our latest news, opt to follow our Twitter page by clicking the follow button in the bottom right corner of our homepage, and read our latest Tweets.

You can also follow AAUW Ohio and AAUW national on Twitter as well as other organizations you support and individuals you are interested in. AAUW national has these addresses you can follow: @aauwpolicy, @aauw, @aauwohio, @aauwhighered, @aauwmediapress, and @aauwactionfund.  And please ask those who might be interested to “follow” our page.  Below is information Sandy compiled about how to:  sign up for your own Twitter account, Tweet,  insert hashtags, and find friends as well as how Twitter came to be.


  • Go to and find the sign up box, or go directly to
  • Enter your full name, email address, and a password.
  • Click “Sign up for Twitter.”

On the next page, select a username (usernames are unique identifiers on Twitter, but it may take awhile to find one that no one else has) — type your own or choose one Twitter suggests. They will tell you if the username you want is available. Double-check your name, email address, password, and username.  Click “Create my account.” You may be asked to complete a Captcha to let us know that you’re human.  Twitter will send a confirmation email to the email address you entered. Click the link in that email to confirm your email address and account.

More on picking a username: Your username is the name your followers use when sending @replies, mentions, and direct messages. It will also form the URL of your Twitter profile page. Twitter will provide a few available suggestions when you sign up, but feel free to choose your own.  Please note: You can change your username in your account settings at any time, as long as the new username is not already in use.  Usernames must be fewer than 15 characters in length and cannot contain “admin” or “Twitter,” in order to avoid brand confusion.

Important information about your email address:  An email address can only be associated with one Twitter account at a time. The email address you use on your Twitter account is not publicly visible to others on Twitter. The platform uses the email you enter to confirm your new Twitter account. Be sure to enter an email address that you actively use and have access to. Check your inbox for a confirmation email to make sure you signed up for your account correctly.

After you’ve created your account:  Go to:, where many other questions you may have are answered.


You can send out Tweets to respond to AAUW posts or to offer your own commentary on whatever you want.  To post a Tweet via the web:

  • Sign in to your Twitter account by typing in
  • Type your Tweet into the box at the top of your Home timeline, or click the Tweet button in the top navigation bar.
  • Make sure your update is fewer than 140 characters. We’ll count the characters for you! Remaining characters show up as a number below the box.
  • Tip: Read about how to include photos in your Tweet at: and how to include a video in your Tweet at:
  • Click the Tweet button to post the Tweet to your profile.
  • You will immediately see your Tweet in the timeline on your homepage.
  • Read about posting Tweets via the Twitter for Android app at: and via the Twitter for iPhone app at:


Hashtags are essentially a filing system–a way of categorizing your Tweet by a keyword.  Then anyone interested in that topic can search the hashtag in the upper right of their homepage and see all the Tweets you have posted on that topic.  Others may join in and post Tweets with that hashtag as well.  The hashtag symbol is the pound sign, i.e., #.  To insert a hashtag in your message, just type the pound sign and then immediately after with no spaces type the keyword you have selected.  Do not put any punctuation marks in your hashtag–no commas, periods, apostrophes, etc.  Hashtags can be placed anywhere in the Tweet. Clicking on the hashtagged word in any message will bring up all the other Tweets that include that hashtag.  Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.


Finding friends varies with the platform you are using.  On a computer, sign into your Twitter account by going to, click on the words “Find Friends” in small type on one side of your screen. On the “Find Friends” page, you can search AOL, Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo, select those you would like to follow, and then click on the “Follow” button(s).  On tablets click “Followers” to see a list of who is following you as well as suggestions for those you might want to follow. On your smartphone homepage, click on the icon at the top left that is a face with a + sign beside it and you will get a page titled “Find People.” To add those on your contact list who are on Twitter to your friends list, enter your phone number, and Twitter will text you a verification number.  Key in your verification number, and your contact list will appear.  Choose all or specific contacts. As always, if you have any question, go to the page.


By Mark Johnson | January 23, 2013 , slightly revised from online sources

“This is what the naysayers fail to understand: it’s just as easy to use Twitter to spread the word about a brilliant 10,000-word New Yorker article as it is to spread the word about your Lucky Charms habit.” –Steven Johnson, author of The Invention of Air.

Twitter has really come a long way from its early beginnings nearly a decade ago. Twitter is one of the most popular social networks used today, but it began as another micro-blogging platform created by programmers who worked at the podcasting company, Odeo Inc., in San Francisco.

Jack Dorsey (@Jack), Evan Williams (@Ev) and Biz Stone (@Biz) had big plans for Twitter, but they likely had no idea how popular it would truly become. When they first created the site, they were just looking for a way to send text messages on their cell phones and a way to reinvent a somewhat dying company.

On March 21, 2006, @Jack sent the first tweet: “just setting up my twttr.” It would be the beginning of a revolution. Now people from all over the world and many different fields and professions are saying it all in 140 characters or less. Dom Sagolla (@Dom), in tweet 38, typed these prescient words: “Oh, this is going to be addictive.”

And addictive is certainly a good word for it…

Twitter Beginnings

So how did Twitter get its name? Supposedly, the name was inspired by the photo-sharing site, Flickr, and other considerations were FriendStalker and Dodgeball. The definition of twitter is “a short burst of inconsequential information” and “a series of chirps from birds.”

The name was fitting, and so the new platform became Twitter. Soon the “chirps” of many twitterers would be heard/seen throughout the Twitterverse as the microblogging platform caught on with Internet users. It would still be a couple of years before it was fully mainstream, but it didn’t take this new site long to gain fame.

Why 140 characters only? The limit was set because 160 characters was the SMS (short message service) carrier limit and they wanted to leave room for the username.

Twitter Spreads the News

Twitter is much more than just your friends telling you about their day. It has changed the media, politics and business. Many will report they hear their news first on Twitter–stories of natural disasters, sports scores, the death of a celebrity and more are shared first on Twitter.

Social media and microblogging site Twitter has changed political communication profoundly. In the past, political news and commentary was only reported by a select group of those “in the know.” But today, we see both politicians and the Average Joe on Twitter sharing their political banter and opinions. It is a new era of citizen journalists, and we see people speaking up and speaking out about the things that are important to them.

Twitter has also had an impact on business as brands find a new way to reach their fans where they are already–in social media and on their smartphones. Twitter has become a tool that businesses large and small can use to reach their target market, provide customer service, share their unique content and more. It’s also become a way for everyday people to keep in touch with their favorite celebrities and a tool for the celebrities to stay in contact with their fans.

Most Popular Twitter Accounts

According to Twitaholic, these are the current five most popular Twitter accounts:  Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) 33,265,051 followers!, Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) 33,262,987 followers, Katy Perry (@katyperry) 31,405,485 followers, Rihanna (@rihanna) 27,928,899 followers, and Barack Obama (@BarackObama) 25,963,966 followers.

One important thing to note about these top Twitter accounts is that many of them have fake Twitter followers. For some time, this info was obscured but there are now tools that can analyze a user’s account and give you more details about their followers, including how many bots or “fake” accounts they have following them.

Status People has a “fakers tool” that allows you to see how many fake followers your friends have. Just put someone’s Twitter handle in and check out their stats for yourself. While the average Twitter user might have different statistics, most highly popular or celebrity accounts have at least some fake followers.

Lady Gaga has 32% fake followers 35% inactive so only 33% of her followers are considered “good”. President Obama has 23% fake, 31% inactive and 46% good. The Biebs has 16% fake, 37% inactive and 47% good, based on this tool.

Twitter Today

Today Twitter has over 200 million users with about 460,000 new accounts being created each day. There are more than 140 million tweets sent each day and while the company had only eight employees in 2008, it now has more than 400, and they’re hiring. David Foster Wallace said that the Internet was “the bathroom wall of the American psyche,” which led The NewYorker to ask its readers to define Twitter in a tweet. They got some very interesting and sometimes funny responses:

  • @dnahinga – “Alone Together”
  • @Wodespain – “Communicative disease”
  • @Winooski – “Crouching Grammar, Hidden Manners”
  • @anglescott – “Twitter is the dime store in the marketplace of ideas”
  • @jaelmchenry – “A riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in typos wrapped in bacon.”
  • @francesolimpo -“Twitter is like the ocean: There’s a lot to wade through, and occasionally you’ll see a whale”,
  • @yamageo -“Twitter is the glory hole in the bathroom wall of the American psyche.”

If you could define Twitter in a tweet, what would you say?



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