The social media site Twitter, largely known for being in the news for any apparent reason, is going through an interesting change of life: The under 30’s are finding it. Perhaps more interesting it means the closer-to-50’s were the early adopters and helped it grow. They were the original “tweeple.” If you thought that this would bring a more serious overtone to the whole Twitter thing… NOT!
According to digital media measurement company ComScore, the fastest growing age groups in Twitter are ages 2-11 and ages 12-17 (really). Either way, July numbers from their research shows about 50 percent of the users are still more than 35 years of age, a slight drop from the recent 45-54 year old.
With that 2-11 age band growing, literacy may be improving faster than we think. What is that age group finding of relevance from the other users?
Communications on Twitter is done through “tweets,” a 140-character message that users share. These are viewable to people who are “following” or subscribing to your Tweets. The quality and relevance of the tweets you see are based on who you choose follow. You can follow people with varied backgrounds or news networks. You can get updates from industry publications, and even most newspapers, networks and television stations tweet their news.
With all this wisdom and life experience, the Tweeple have inherited a number of interesting words from many different origins. For example, “Tweeple” just sounds better than the sci-fi sounding Twitter people. You may have seen them in Return of the Twitter People, which are showing at Tweetups (where Tweeple meet). Then there’s the Twittersphere (what happens in Twitter), and people who meet and fall in love in the Twittersphere are (… wait … for … it …) Tweethearts. There’s even an amazing non-profit fundraiser cause called Twestival.
Overuse of these words will no doubt create Twubble for you. This twubble should not to be confused with the Twubble Twelescope.
Fortunately, not everything starts with a “Tw.” There are other terms like Nom Nom for food. The origin isn’t really clear, but it could be the sound of eating, popularized by the cats of icanhascheezburger.com.
There is also the “Fail Whale.” When Twitter cannot process your request you get the dreaded Fail Whale: a great bit of artwork by artist Yiying Lu of birds carrying a whale over the sea.
There are some “must know” abbreviations:
RT is for retweet, which is a forwarding of someone else’s tweet. For example: RT @WayneNH My new MediaBullseye.com story is live!
DM – Direct Message lets you communicate to a single person.
FTW – For the Win / FTL, For The Loss. This originated within the gamer communities.
LMK – Let Me Know
OH – Over Heard;
Okthxbai. Okay, thanks, bye.
W00t! Say it loud while smiling and you have the idea. Most sources credit the hacker and l33t (leet) communities for this one.
There are others, but the truth is virtually all tweets are in plain English. There has been a lot of chatter that the vast majority of tweets are
spam, babble, or just useless. You, however, aren’t following all the users – just the users who are of interest to you and add value to your day. If you follow someone and they tweet a lot of useless content, unfollow them. On the other hand, share what is useful to you. Make it your online brand.
Twitter is about useful content and building relationships. It’s about professional and personal networks. Companies growing their presence on Twitter are learning the value in one-on-one relationships. Even in tough economic times, many companies are growing their social media departments.
They see where their next “nom noms” are coming from, and it is social media. Not just Twitter, but the social media and mobile networks that will follow. It’s about the relationships and marketing to your individual needs, and there is no turning back now.