twitter tweets and fail whales

If you understand the title of this post, you most likely use or know a few things about Twitter, a micro-blogging application. Huh? Yeah, okay: micro-blogging means posting brief text updates rather than longer, traditional blog entries. Twitter is a free web-based service that allows you to post “tweets” of 140 or fewer characters. Subscribers have a page from which they can access their own tweets and the others to which they subscribe. You also have the option of receiving your tweets on your mobile device (messaging service fees, if applicable, will apply). The “fail whale,” by the way, is the dreaded graphic one sees when Twitter is overloaded and temporarily out of service.

I have posted before a few sites that tout the educational Tweet. Here’s a review plus a couple:

Want to try it? Here are some simple instructions to give Twitter a try and start tweeting.
  • First go to
  • Click on the green button that says: Get Started – Join!
  • Enter the requested information (password needs to be at least 6 characters). Take a moment to email yourself the username and password or do something else to help you remember.
  • Once you are on your Twitter homepage, bookmark it! Check out the Settings to see what your options are.
  • At this point, if you like, you can add “friends.” If you are a tech180 reader, you know about Blue 2.0. Twitter is one of this week’s assignments, and so if you like you can add the Blue 2.0 tweet (you can remove it any time). Click on Find & Follow in your top right menu. Go to and click on the word Follow under the picture. Now go back to your own Twitter home page. Next time Blue 2.0 tweets, you’ll see the its “feed” show up with your own messages.
  • Want to add others? Here are a few (just a very few examples of what’s out there):

If you find a use for Twitter, come back and post a comment to this article.


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