The Art of the Tweet

We live in the Twitter Age. What that means exactly many of us speculate but few understand. We do know that social media has exploded these last few years impacting culture, society and the daily lives of billions of people. A far cry from the first message sent  in 1969 from computer science Professor Leonard Kleinrock at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to Stanford Research Institute (SRI) approximately 420 miles away.

SideBar – I had the great opportunity to work on ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet, for San Mateo County CA in the 1980’s. We put together a community resource directory connected to a mainframe at Stanford over a telephone line.  We still had pulse dialing back in the day – before digital (can you imagine? We thought it was just short of magic that our souped up typewriters (AKA first generation dedicated word processors) could communicate, send and store content for the next time around.

Fast forward just 48 years and to say we’ve experienced a communications revolution is an understatement. Out of all the social media platforms in 2017, Twitter again rose to the top in popularity and notoriety driven in large part by the American Twitter President, Donald J Trump, who Tweets policy, Fake News, personal feelings, conspiracy theories, insults and praise at a pace and volume clearly no one expected.

The Trump Twitter Archive

Between the elections in November 2016 and November 2017, President Donald Trump Tweeted a total of 2,461 times. Since joining in March 2009, Trump has Tweeted more than 30,000 times. Since it’s only been these past couple months that Twitter doubled the character count to 280, that’s 30K missives to the world 140 characters at a time.  

What does 2018 look like in Trump Twitter Land? Buckle up because he’s on track to break his own Tweet record.

So what’s a Tweet? 

The first Tweet was sent March 21, 2006 when Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey answered the fundamental Twitter question “What are you doing right now?”

First Tweet sent 2006
First Tweet sent 2006

Those innocuous words heralded in the Twitter Age. The world will never be the same.

Why would I want to get on Twitter?

The simple answer? Because your friends, family, coworkers, and pretty much everyone at home, work and play are.

Twitter Stats

Total Number of Monthly Active Twitter Users:  328 million 8/17

Total Number of Tweets sent per Day:  500 million 1/17

Percentage of Twitter users on Mobile:  80% 1/17

Number of Twitter Daily Active Users:  100 million 1/17

Twitter Demographics

24% of All Internet male users use Twitter, whereas 21% of All Internet Female users use Twitter.

79% of Twitter accounts are based outside the United States

These stats reflect Twitter usage before President Trump’s first year in office. The Trump Twitter factor is unknown.

SideBar – Whenever there is a big story in the news [I’ve noticed] significant bulges in the numbers of newbie Tweeters.

The Art of the Tweet

A Tweet is limited to 280 characters which includes text, links, hashtags and spaces. Don’t worry, your first Tweets don’t  have to be profound or particularly clever – that comes with practice and intense study 🙂 This Tweet is exactly 280 characters:

Hello everyone, This is my first Tweet. I look forward to learning about this odd way to communicate with my friends, family, coworkers and pretty much everyone else I know. Some Tweeters promise this will be fun and educational. We’ll see! @AnneAttfield #cats #dogs #politics #RT

Anne Attfield will get your Tweet and it will be posted on the pages for cats, dogs and politics where other Twitterers can read it and Reply, Like and/or ReTweet.

SideBar – Add photos, graphics, memes, a video or gif to your Tweet.

A meme is a “humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users on social media”.


A gif is a very, very short animation.



Table of Contents

How to set up a Twitter account

Your Twitter Profile -BIO, profile pic and header photo
Follows, Followers, Likes & ReTweets

What are HashTags

@  hashtag personal page – people, organizations, companies
#   hashtag discussion page – interests, events, professions, groups

Moments, Lists, Direct Messaging (DM)

Your First Tweet

280 characters