11) When twitter is over capacity, you see a bunch of birds trying to carry a whale in a net. This is called a fail whale. It means there are too many people tweeting at once. Sometimes it means something huge has happened like the Oscars or Michael Jackson died. Other times it's just twitter's inability to handle more than 97 tweets at once. (J/k twitter newbies. Twitter can handle 98 tweets at once.)
12) This leads us to twitter jail. That's when twitter thinks you're spam, Gorgeous Puddin. ROTFL!! Twitter suspends your account if you tweet more than 100 times per hour or 1000xs/day. Basically twitter also wants you to shut up.
13) It's often considered common courtesy to follow people back who follow you but sometimes you have people who are just doing that to increase their number of followers. If you don't know this person and they don't interest you, ignore them, unfollow them or block them. Blocking is the same everywhere. They can't see any of your tweets. What to do when you've followed too much: http://mashable.com/2009/03/10/twitter-followholic/
14) Learn some basic text speak and abbreviation. It'll help you w/the character count and to understand 75% more tweets. LOL But don't, please don't start talking like some psychotic teenager. "RU cmng 2 th mvzs 2day?" "ur hilarys LOLXZ." ARGH!!!
15) Describe all links in the same tweet. If you post a link, I will assume it's spam unless you describe it and I'm not clicking on it. Many sites will allow you to just click on the twitter icon on that site or page to share it with your tweeps, shortening the link for you.
16) Because of the character limit on twitter, bit.ly is one of the most popular free link shortening sites. It allows you to post and describe a link w/o using all of your allotted characters. Even if you have enough characters, use bit.ly or something similar anyway, please. Twitter should automatically shorten links but until it does, go ahead and take the extra step. It looks cleaner.
17) If you want to post pictures of your food, pets, kids, things you're doing, you have to use an outside service like yfrog, twitpic or lockerz (formerly plixi). If you connect it to your twitter account, it's incredibly easy to post photos and even video. The site you use will host it but automatically put a link to the media on your timeline.
18) If you're responding to a tweet more than 30 minutes old (or less if you're interacting with a frequent tweeter), please reference the tweet to which you are referring. Let's say I say, "I love The Office! It has redeemed itself!" (It has... partially.)
Good: The Office was AWESOME last week!
Bad: That's so funny!
Also bad: What happened?
The latter two are the most common type of bad @ reply. OMG WHAT are you talking about 19 months later??? It's like what old people do on facebook (MOM) but at least that's attached to the picture/status in question. On twitter, I literally have no idea what you're talking about.
19) Immediacy is one of the biggest boons to twitter. If a bold face name does something, it's on the TTs (remember? Trending topics) almost immediately. I've had almost every major breaking news story in the last year broken on twitter. Seriously. So while there is a great deal of frivolity, you can learn some important things on there, too.
20) Spoilers. This is one of the biggest drawbacks to twitter. The uninitiated often spoil tv shows and movie plots. This is a huge no-no because with DVR, Hulu (yes, I know what that is...) and different time zones, people watch at such widely varied time that if you're watching in real time and tweeting specifics, you can and will spoil a show for someone. Please don't. ESPECIALLY FINALES!!!
Okay tweet "I can't stand Angelo!! I wish he would go home!!" For his original Top Chef season, this was fine. There are no identifying details and I might say that at any time. A bad tweet is the less obvious "YESSS!!! I'M SO GLAD HE WENT HOME!!!" when EVERYONE knows you hate him or more obvious, "FINALLY! ANGELO WENT HOME!" Either way, your West Coast followers hate you. Awards shows are the exception a) because they often air at the same time on both costs and b) it's SO fun to read and write tweets during awards shows!
21) Another twitter upside? Far fewer parents/grandparents/other related old people. I love them but I don't need them commenting on my every life activity.
22) Most importantly, don't take it personal. If someone's not following you, it's not because they hate you or find you uninteresting. Maybe you tweet too much for them or curse too much or preach too much or share your politics a little too vehemently or participate in #twitterafterdark (raunchy tweets) or have too much drama or don't tweet enough or tweet what I consider mundane or I want to talk about you or I don't want you in my business. All of these are reasons I might (and have) stopped following close friends, bloggers and yes, family members (my sister's gotten axed twice). I don't love or like any