Is Twitter a "Must" for Doctors, or Just the Latest Fad?

Andrew E. Craig, MSN, FNP-C

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December 22, 2009

In This Article

How to Start Using Twitter

Twitter (www.twitter.com) allows users to post text-based messages of 140 characters or less, which are referred to as "tweets." To use Twitter, you simply sign up at its Website. Registration is free; all that is required is to choose a user name and a password to sign in to your account. Twitter users can post tweets via the Web, or via a cell phone.

Although there is no fee to use Twitter itself, you may incur charges from your cell phone carrier if you tweet via your phone's Short Messaging Service (also known as "text messaging"). If your phone can also access the Internet, you may be able to find an application for your phone that uses the Web to access Twitter instead of using Short Messaging Service, thereby avoiding messaging fees.

Once you have signed up, you can start posting tweets. They will appear to other users who either view your homepage on Twitter or who have elected to "follow" you. Your tweets appear prefaced by the "at" sign and your user name. For example, a tweet from me would start with "@AndyPDANP," followed by the content.

Twitter poses the question, "What are you doing right now?" Users post as much -- or as little -- as they want. You can also sign up to "follow" other Twitter users. You will have a profile page on Twitter's Website; you can add information about yourself to this page and even customize the look to some extent.

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