*This week I’ll be talking all about Twitter.  If you’re a pro at Twitter, you may want to skip these posts.  But maybe read them and offer any tips I’ve missed in the comments.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 4

Okay, yesterday we talked about your main Twitter feed.  Today it’s all about the right-hand sidebar of your Twitter home page.

At the top, you have your picture, which links to your profile, with the number of tweets you’ve put out there in the Twitter-verse next to that.  Here you’re also shown what your latest tweet was.

Below here are the links to the pages showing you who you’re following and who is following you.

Below this is where your favorites and what lists you’ve been added to are shown and linked to.

Next down are two columns: Trends and Who to Follow.  The former can be changed to reflect a certain city or country, whatever your fancy desires.  The latter is populated based off who the people you follow are following.

The tabs across the top of your actual Twitter feed are next:

@Mentions: These are the tweets that others put out there with your Twitter handle in them.  To mention or reply to a user you simply put the @ symbol before their handle and continue on with the tweet.

A mention looks something like, “Check out @StephanieLMcGee ‘s blog posts on Twitter basics are crazy.”  A direct reply would start off with the @ symbol and only be visible to the user whose handle you used and users who follow you both.  Mentions are visible to anyone in your feed, regardless of whether they follow the user mentioned.

Retweets: This tab gives you several options for viewing the retweets.  Clicking the arrow will bring them up.

The first is “Retweets by others” and will show you all the tweets that are retweets from people you’re following.

Second is “Retweets by you,” which shows you the tweets you’ve retweeted.

Lastly is “Your tweets, retweeted,” and shows which of your own tweets people have retweeted.

Searches: Any time you search a topic on Twitter you can save that search for easy access at a later date. These are saved here under this tab where you can pick which one you want to view from the drop-down arrow menu.

Lists: Lists are awesome.  Especially if you’re going to use a third-party client like Tweetdeck.

Every Twitter user can be sorted to a list of your choosing.  You create the lists so you can organize them any way you want.

I have 5 lists.  Two of them are not relevant to my author career so I’ll not mention them by name here.  The other three are “publishers,” “agents,” and “writers.”  Generally when I follow someone I put them into one of these lists.

You can also follow the lists created by other Twitter users.  Lists are hand in that they will only show the tweets from people on that list so you can cut more quickly to the relevant information from those users.

I’m going to go ahead and mention here that you don’t have to be following a user to add them to one of your lists.

Come back on Friday to talk about hashtags and third party clients.

Still averse to Twitter?  Tell us why in the comments.  If you’re on Twitter, leave your handle so you can start connecting with new writers.  If you’re a Twitter pro and I’ve missed a tip, tell us in the comments.