First Look Forum participants, please join us Wednesday evening for a Twitter chat!

As we head into the homestretch with the First Look Forum, we wanted to give an opportunity for people to ask some last-minute questions and get some quick feedback.  Email works, of course, but it’s soooooo 20th century.  So we’re also going to be having a Twitter chat, on Wednesday February 16 at 7:30 p.m.

If you’ve never been to a Twitter chat before, you’re missing out on some good fun.  It moves quickly, and with a lot of people talking at once it packs a lot of information into a short time.  Whether or not you have a Twitter account, you can follow the discussion on the #nwen hashtag using TweetChat at or use your favorite Twitter client.

Want to join in the conversation?   You’ll need to have a Twitter account — you can sign up at  Twitter’s FAQ and Howcast’s How To Use Twitter video have more information to get you started.

If there are some topics you’d like to see discussed, feel free to leave them as comments here — or you can email to me at jon {at} achangeiscoming {dot} net.    Or even better, you can tweet them to me –  I’m @jdp23.

Read on for more background (originally from the ACM Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference‘s Getting started on Twitter page).   See you on Twitter!


Making sense of what’s going on

Experienced Twitterers use a lot of conventions and abbreviations to maximize how much information they can fit into 140 characters, and it can be very bewildering getting started. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

  • @ is used to refer to a person or Twitter profile; for example, @nwen_org is NWEN’s Twitter profile
  • RT stands for a “retweet”, forwarding on information somebody else has tweeted
  • shortened URLs enclode longer links to help them fit — for example, is a shortened link to the CFP “Getting Started with Twitter” page. .
  • # is used for “hashtags”, which are used to organize information and make it easier to search. #nwen is what we’ll be using for the chat, and for NWEN-related topics in general.   #seattle and #innovation have tweets about, guess what, Seattle and innovation respectively.  @rjleaman’s “An Introduction to Twitter Hashtags” on Wild Apricot has more on hashtags in general; you can find out more about a particular hashtag at WTHashtag and


accessible twitter logoAccessible Twitter is an easy-to-use alternative to Twitter’s main page written by Dennis Lembrée that’s optimized for disabled users. Items currently implemented include making all links are keyboard accessible, large default text size and high color contrast, and forms marked up for optimal accessibility. Follow @AccessibleTwitr for more.

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