Twitter for Beginners! The Quick, Dirty, Easy Version *Updated

Welcome to TWITTER!  Now what…?

Here’s the basic run-down — the quick, dirty, easy version.  If you follow my advice, I am pretty sure you will get a great deal of enjoyment & social interaction out of using twitter, if not some new friends!

There are things you can do with twitter that most people don’t understand at first – you can post pictures, you can post links to websites, you can find people that have your same interests, you can track events & use it for research, almost like a live current-events report in certain cases. You can use it to discover local events, local friends, local everything!

You’re a big fan of a certain product/band/celebrity/restaurant? Are YOU the certain product/band/celebrity/restaurant??!! You might be able to find out insider info on them with a little bit of twitter sleuthing… Twitter is an easy way to build up your status/credibility among people who have the same interests as you do, and just to express who you really are to the masses!

Twitter is a social broadcasting platform which allows creative people an outlet.

You can make twitter work for you however you want, from the web, from your phone, any time of day or night.

First thing you need to understand about twitter is there is a slight learning curve. If you are willing to be patient & understand that to really appreciate twitter will take some time, then you are approaching twitter in the right mind-frame.

Twitter is a big on-going discussion that you can join into or ignore as you please. To talk to someone, use an @username. If you want to say something to me, type: @bentoons hi benny! On the right side of twitter, you are able to track whatever someone has been saying to you by clicking on @yourusername. Those of you who want a lot of people to interact with you easily, make your username easy to remember & type!

You can also search by anyone’s @username using the search box on the right side. Use the search box to discover things you are interested in & follow the people who are talking about them! Soon they will start seeing your messages and will most-likely respond back to you sooner or later. Keep in mind that people don’t always get back to you immediately, and sometimes may even miss a message now and again. Twitter is fun, but it really can’t be everyone’s main priority 24-7.

Speaking of the menu along the top edge, you will see other tools such as:

  • Direct Messaging - privately messaging other twitter users, must be following them to ‘DM’ them,
  • Favorites - keeps track of any tweets you star (to bookmark temporarily for later, or just show appreciation for something cool,
  • Retweets - hey cool, people are RETWEETING things that I’m saying!

Once you gain some friends, you may see that you can actually track special topics & even create topics for people to track. You’ll see people using the number sign in front of words or phrases like: #bentoonslunch The # on twitter is called a ‘hashtag.’ If you use the same hashtag for a post that relates to a topic you will talk about a lot, it will help people see all of your messages on the same topic. If I put #bentoonslunch on every tweet I post about my lunch, soon people will be able to search & find a little story about what I have for lunch. The key is to be consistent with your hashtags. Yes you can click on them! Try it out when you find one you think is interesting…

There are a lot of other things you will pick up on as you go – half the fun of twitter is learning more tips & tricks to express yourself & learn about others. If you see something that you think is neat, incorporate it in your daily tweets. Other websites to check out:

twitpic.com – use your same username & password to post pictures. If you’re on twitter, you’re automatically on twitpic. You will find the website address (URL) to be short & concise & easy to copy/paste to tweet about your picture.

URL shortening websites – there are a TON of them! too many to list, but here are a few: bit.ly – ow.ly – tinyurl.com There are also phone clients you can download which make a long URL short for you automatically. In order to share something on the web, learn to use one or more of these sites!

One more tip I’ll give you off the bat, and then you’re on your own to seek & learn. If you go to my twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/bentoons (or the short version: tinyurl.com/bentoons) then you will see that under each of my posts are different messages.

It tells you how long ago it was posted, what method I used to post it, and if I was replying to someone. I use a variety of methods, from the web (are good I’m at work), from Tweetcaster (from my droid phone!), from hootsuite (I am probably posting to myspace/facebook/linked-in or another website at the same time, think two birds, one stone… or maybe just using it to shorten a URL)

You see one of these weird little messages, you can actually click on it for more info. There are all kinds of links on twitter that you need to click on, investigate, screw-up, & figure out, to get the most out of twitter! Click, click, click!!!

If you can’t figure out how to do something, or what something means, search for it on twitter, ask your followers, or even message me @bentoons and I will happily A: fill you in, or B: learn what it is with you,( & then, see A).

Be patient! Make friends! Have fun! Happy Tweeting!

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To share this article with others, use my fancy shortened URL:  http://ping.fm/II2t8

If it helped you learn how to use twitter, shoot me a quick comment! (sometimes I like to know if people actually care what I’m talking about)

Introducing Pain of Evolution

I’m excited! –The understatement of 2010…

This weekend is the debut of my bass-playing career.  I’ve done a few minor things in front of crowds but not an official show.  Nothing of this magnitude.  I lucked out getting hooked up with this crew by chance, thanks to a fateful craigslist ad which I posted less than 2 months ago.

I started playing the bass approximately 2 years ago and have been picking it up quickly, thanks to a background in piano spanning a solid decade of my childhood.

It all culminates this coming Sunday, February 14th, at the House of Bricks when we take the stage for the all-ages Valentine’s Day Massacre.  Doors open at 5:00 — $5 or $8 for couples, so bring a special someone along  ;)  But this is not the light at the end of the tunnel for me;  this is just the beginning!

The new band is hard to describe.  Pain of Evolution is a little bit of a hybrid metal band.  Their sound is self-described as ‘groove metal’ & it will definitely get your adrenaline pumping.  Incorporating jazz rhythms & blues riffs in with a flat out crunchy dose of slam grooves makes for a truly unique, high-energy show.

If I may briefly introduce my partners in crime:

Our vocalist, Gabe, has a good deal of experience with gigging bands.  When he gets going, he will send chills through your spine!  He is truly …THE VOICE… of P.o.E.

KC is like a calculated hailstorm.  The first thing you notice about his drums is they are exceptionally LOUD; but once you get past that, you realize he backs it up with an abundant talent that is hard to duplicate.

Todd, our guitarist, was more or less born with a guitar in his hooves.  To this day, he strives to get better, which to me is impressive since he is nothing short of a PHENOM.  P.o.E. playing shows without a bass player before I joined the band & he is truly a one-man show.  Prepare to be blown away!

So help support original local music &  spread the word… I really hope to see you at the show!  Please be sure to track me down and say hi.

Benny – Bentoons – the Bass Monster of Pain of Evolution

A little peak…

In my feeble attempts at neo-bloggism, I want to provide my readers with viable quality reading material.  Granted, most of the time I will focus on completely tasteless nonsense to entertain, humor, & horrify you all.  However, in this episode, you will hopefully gain a little bit of insight into one of the reasons why I am who I am up to this point in my life.

I had a discussion with the owner of the company I work for yesterday while we were doing some ‘business research’ [buzztime trivia] up at Billy Joe’s yesterday afternoon.

It is a fact that my parents got divorced when I was in 5th or 6th grade & life as I knew it was abruptly uprooted.  When the person you look up to the most lets you down, it can damage a young boy’s confidence.  I coped with the divorce the way many young children choose to cope with it – by blocking it out.

Deep down I was crushed, but I don’t think I could have ever admitted that at the time.  I have since dealt with those fragile emotions and forgiven & moved on.  Everyone makes mistakes & when something is out of your control, I firmly believe that the only way to deal with such a scenario is to let a higher power deal with it.  I’m not speaking of ignorance or denial; I am merely stating that you truly have no right to let something like that eat at you.  Take whatever responsibility necessary to deal with the situation and use it to grow.

Yesterday I was being very open & really just letting my subconscious guide my answers to the boss’s questions.  I said the divorce was a life-changing experience for me.  I think it molded me into a completely different person today than I would have been if it didn’t happen.  I initially became less-driven to succeed in school & other activities.  It caused a gradual decline in my competitive nature (which was at an obscenely high level).  Those types of things can be positive up to a certain point, and in my case, I believe that continuing towards adulthood with those high self-expectations would have turned me into an extremely successful person.

However, some good did come out of the divorce as well.  I learned from the mistakes I observed.  I know I am a more caring, compassionate person than I otherwise would have been.  I’ve gained a great deal of respect for people who are troubled, dealing with struggles, going through tough times, etc.  I’ve learned more about what I don’t want to become, and relatively, more about who I DO want to become in regards to relationships & that ever-important self-conscience.  Making the decision to turn a disaster into a positive experience is a choice I am proud of.

And yeah, I’m a sarcastic bastard sometimes.  I can be crude & blunt in my humor.  However, I value my integrity, I value my sense of accountability.  And when it comes down to it, I don’t think anyone can disagree that I truly care about treating people with the utmost level of respect & dignity.  And I know now that those characters mean more to me than any amount of success that will come my way.  For that, I am grateful.

Everything happens for a reason.

Memoirs of a Narwhal – (M.O.A.N. for short)

Long live the narwhal.

It is a mythical creature that roams the arctic, except it really exists.  Closely related to the dolphin, the narwhal fears nothing.

It’s stabby.

Most organizations which center around an animal are for the preservation & conservation of its species.  Not us!

We challenge you to destroy the narwhal.  Any takers will quickly discover it is impossible.  They will poke you in the face, multiple times if need be.

Consider yourself warned;

This is the dawning of the age of Narwhalnia.

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