Twitter and Hurricane Sandy

As I ponder what to write about this week, I can’t help but think of all the people on the East Coast that are still without power, food, shelter, homes, gas for their cars and so much more due to Hurricane Sandy.   It warms my heart to hear stories like that of  Mayor Cory Booker from Newark, NJ (@CoryBooker) delivering diapers & blankets, checking on family members, opening his home for DVD watching parties and more. He is tireless in how he has been helping the folks of Newark. His main source of communication?  Twitter. Yes, people are tweeting the mayor and he is responding (many times in person).

On Monday, November 05, 2012 his efforts have been noted by so many, but it even caught the eye of an Irishman.  Read the tweet engagement here.

When I conduct training about Twitter, I tell the participants that it is important that they follow local and national news & weather as well as local people or agencies that could help them. In the example above, if I lived in Newark, NJ you bet I would be following the Mayor! Most local police have their own twitter handle as well.

Do you have a Twitter account? It takes just a few minutes to set one up:

1.  Go to          2.  Select a Username (your real name is best) up to 15 characters.
3.  Create an Account

Congratulations, you are now a member of Twitter!

4.  Now go to Settings (click the little gear gadget in the top right corner)

Be sure to click save after each tab is completed!

Account:  Set your Time Zone

Profile: Upload a Picture (very important if you want people to believe you are real and not a spammer)

  • location, website
  • brief bio up to 160 characters. Use keywords that identify who you are and what you do. Look at my Twitter to get an idea @VickiSCannon.  (Having a bio is also important if you don’t want to be flagged as a spammer)

Mobile: set-up mobile device so you can text and tweet

5.  Start following family, friends, companies you are interested in, people of interest etc.

  • In the Search field enter username or first and last name.
  • Click “follow” to follow them on Twitter

6.  Learn the Basic Commands by going to Twitter Help

7.  Have fun!

There you have it. You can have a Twitter account up and running in a very short period of time. Spend a little bit of time “listening” to how other twitter users are engaging.  Before long you will have the hang of it.  If nothing else, you will have a tool available if a disaster happens in your community. Do you have or will you now set-up a Twitter account?

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