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Setting Up Twitter

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This chapter is from the book

Making Twitter Your Own

Right now, your Twitter profile is set, but there are still a few options offered under Settings that go beyond your avatar and preferred URL. How about that web page Twitter offers you? Did you want to reset the color scheme and overall look of the page? What if you want to change your password? Or what if you have an unlimited text messaging plan, how can you get Twitter to send updates to your phone?

All this you can do from the Settings window in Twitter.

Changing Your Password

Under Settings is the Password tab. If you have forgotten your password, you can have Twitter help you out and send you a reminder of what it was, provided you give them the email you opened the account with. The email is sent and you follow the steps through Twitter to set up a new password. You can also, after you enter in your old password, create a new password. These changes will not take effect until you single-click on Change and are given verification that the change has happened.

As with the avatar, Twitter also provides you with password tips on the right side of the page.

Receiving Tweets on Your Mobile Phone

Even if you are not using a “smart phone” along the lines of a Blackberry Storm or Apple’s iPhone, you can still get your Twitter fix by going into the Settings of your Twitter account and clicking on the Devices tab. Provided you accept the permission for Twitter to send you SMS text messages, enter in your mobile phone number and click on Save. Twitter works with you and your carrier to keep you connected.

Heather (@HeatherWelliver) is a podcaster and singer who is an active member of the Twitter community. She is also one of the first people I know who took advantage of the SMS option. For a while, Heather’s SMS Twitter experience was no different than anyone else’s. “The way you reply to tweets with text messaging is to send your reply or DM to Twitter’s phone number.”

A downside of using SMS with Twitter is when you are charged on however many messages you are allowed in your plan. If you have unlimited messaging, though, you can follow everyone’s tweets and reply without worry. It can become overwhelming when you have many followers, so Twitter offers an option to follow specific Twitters in your network instead of everyone. “The messages you receive can also take up a lot of memory on your phone,” Heather adds, “but by filtering out whom you receive notifications from, you can manage that.” Another advantage to receiving SMS tweets is you can assign “dark times” for when you don’t want to receive tweets at all.

Staying in the Loop

The Notices tab is where you customize how Twitter is keeping you in touch with your network. Auto Nudge, if you feel the need, sends your phone a text message that reminds you that it has been 24 hours between tweets. With Replies, you can set up your Twitter account to show all replies from anyone and everyone, from only the people in your network, or no replies at all. It is also here where you control the amount of email you receive from Twitter. You can either receive an email on new followers, the arrival of a Direct Message, and new developments at Twitter H.Q., or receive no extra email at all.

Figure 2.11

Figure 2.11 Want to give your Twitter home page a style that is truly you? Click on the Design tab and start creating!

Giving Your Twitter Home a Redesign

The final tab is the Design tab where you can apply to your Twitter page a template that includes a background image and a color scheme suited for it with one click. You can then customize the template to your own look with either a new background image (uploaded from your computer) by clicking on Change Background Image, or a new color scheme by clicking on Change Design Colors. The changes are not live online until you single-click the Save Changes button.

Figure 2.12

Figure 2.12 Custom backgrounds, provided they are kept to the basics, can give additional information about a user, but be wary about how they appear in a browser with sidebars (above) and without (below).

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