“Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read each others’ updates, known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters, displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to other users – known as followers – who have subscribed to them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access.”
If you didn’t get all that… Twitter allows you to let people know what’s going on in your world and allows you to ‘follow’ what other people are saying about theirs.
Twitter can be really useful for children’s ministers. For example… the other day I was hunting for something I needed for kids camp. I ‘tweeted’:
Does anyone know where I can find those water balloon launchers made from surgical tubing? #kidmin
That update went out to over 1000 people who follow me. Soon I was getting all kinds of answers… and eventually I got the answer I needed. Another children’s pastor in the area had a couple I could borrow. I went by and picked them up from him yesterday.
Notice that I added “#kidmin” to the end of my ‘tweet’. That’s called a hashtag. A hashtag is another name for a keyword. In Twitter you can use hashtags to label the topic of your tweets. There are people using Twitter that follow topics more than individual people so when I added the #kidmin even more people got my tweet than would have otherwise. You can also follow keywords too and see what people are saying about children’s ministry.
How To Twitter?
Go to http://twitter.com and sign-up. Make sure to bookmark the site so you can use it again later. You need to add a profile picture, add your name, website or blog… then you can start updating using the provided form. You’ll also want to find people to follow. Here are some great folks that I suggest who are involved in kids ministry.
- http://twitter.com/pastorjk – ME!
I suggest you download a Desktop Client, which is a fancy term for being able to use twitter like you would Instant Messaging right on your computer.
Here are a few great Desktop Clients:
If you have any questions, email me or post them in the comments.