Almost every Twitter related article that aims to explain the appeal of Twitter starts the same way:
When Twitter first came out, I didn’t get it. Now I do.
I hate to be trite, but it’s the same story for me. I looked at Twitter and just didn’t see a reason for it, and ignored it. Today, I find myself near addicted to the service.
What is Twitter
Twitter is an online service that allows you to enter short messages (140 characters or less) to your “followers.” You can also choose to “follow” certain users, which shows their “tweets” (the Twitter term for your messages) on your home screen.
Twitter is set up to allow you to send “tweets” from your mobile phone or from your computer. This feature allows people to tell what they are doing where ever they are, which is really great for on the spot reporting of news that hasn’t made the main stream media yet.
You can choose to make all your “tweets” private, which means no one will see your Twitter stream unless you want them to. While this can limit your followers, that might be exactly what you want.
(For a more in depth guide for beginners, you should check out CNet’s Newbie’s Guide to Twitter.)
Why Conservatives Should Be Using Twitter
Twitter is a great way to build online communities. For example, when the Republicans staged a protest last summer and refused to leave for summer recess, Eric Odom and a few other Twitter users were sending updates using the hashtag “#dontgo.” That hashtag allowed people to see the news relating to the dontgo movement as it was happening and morphed from a Twitter stream to an organization Michelle Malkin called “the new gathering place for conservative activism.”
Twitter helped to create this new conservative community.
Twitter is also a great way to get news as it happens. There are other great news services that send out “tweets” during the day. Fox News and Sky News are two that come to mind that send out news updates day and night. If you follow them, they will send the news directly to your computer or cell phone. I’ll have more news services listed below that you should follow.
There are also conservatives using Twitter to post news and blog posts. If you follow a right-minded Twitter user, every “tweet” they send out will be seen by your account. That means every article they choose to share, you get to see. I have learned of some interesting news this way, news I may of otherwise missed.
How to Get Started
Getting started using Twitter is simple. The service is free, so just go to Twitter and click “Join the Conversation!” The form to join is short and simple. If you use an online name on other forums or web sites, you should use it here. For example, I have always used Bodhi1 when starting a new account, so when I started my Twitter account, I used that for my name.
This way my friends from other sites could find me on Twitter. Others recommend you use your real name, so your friends can find you easier. It’s all up to you.
Following the sign up page you can find your friends already using Twitter via your e-mail accounts. After that, you are ready to start finding people to follow. Pretty simple.
Tools to Make Twitter Better
Simply using the Twitter interface on the site is boring, and honestly, not very efficient. Every time you want to send a “tweet” you have to go back to the site and type it in. However, there are plenty of tools to streamline the process. In fact, Mashable has two articles (here and here) that list 200 different Twitter tools to make the service better.
At a minimum, you should install a third party interface like Twhirl, which will update your stream and allow you to post without being on the site. Twitterbar allows me to send “tweets” from my Firefox address bar. This makes sending URLs easy. Have a Blackberrry? Use Twitterberry. Have an iPhone? Use Twitterific. You can even use that on your iPod Touch. MakeUseOf has a post that shows you 9 different ways to Use Twitter – no website necessary.
If you are a blogger, you can also add your blog’s RSS feed to your Twitter stream with Twitterfeed. There are quite a few conservative blogs that are doing this, which allows you to get blog updates as they happen (or soon after.) By the way, did you know Free Republic is doing this? You can get all the “Latest Articles” with one click.
There are new ways to make your Twitter experience better everyday. A great site to help you keep up with them all is Darren Rowse’s new blog, TwitTip. It’s a site dedicated to “capturing some of the lessons that I’ve been learning about Twitter and how to use it more effectively.” Great resource.
200 “People” to Follow
First of all, click here and follow me. Follow me because I am a conservative who tweets a lot and second because this list took me HOURS to complete. Show me a little love.
Here are 199 others to consider:
- The Hill – The Hill is a congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session
- The Wall Street Journal
- Fox News
- Fox News Politics
- Fox and Friends
- Fox News Chicago
- Fox News Orlando
- Fox News DC
- Fox News Memphis
- Fox News Austin
- Fox News Sacramento
- Fox News New York
- The Drudge Report
- CNN Political Ticker
- CNN Breaking News
- NBC News
- BBC World
- BBC Breaking
- Sky News
- Sky News Politics
- Sky News Boulton – Political Editor Adam Boulton’s blog from Sky News
- NPR News
- NPR Politics
- News Israel
- Google News
- Google News U.S.
- Google News World
- Financial Times
- Financial Times Video
- Mary Katharine Ham
- The Politico
- USA Today on Politics
- Washington Times
- Washington Post Politics
- Capitol Briefing – washingtonpost.com’s congressional blogger
- The Sleuth – The Washington Post’s Mary Ann Akers… Behind the Scenes in Washington
- New York Times Politics
- The Denver Post’s Politics West
- Rachel Marsden – Columnist and Republican Strategist
- Covert Radio Show
- Matt Sanchez – “awarded the first “Jeane Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award” at the Conservative Political Action Conference.” Author of Matt Sanchez.com
- American Spectator
- Fark Politics – Not always conservative, but there are some good stories
- Free Republic
- The Economist
- The Fix – The Washington Post’s Chris Cilliza’s one-stop shop for political junkies.
- Howard Kurtz
- US Marine Corps
- US Army
- US Air Force
- US Coast Guard
- uscgd13 – Coast Gaurd in the Pacific Northwest
- My Navy, My Future – Working with the U.S. Navy to share information about the Navy experience and to answer any questions related to the Navy life
- 648 TACC – The 618th TACC is the hub for Air Mobility Command operations worldwide.
- USJFCOM – U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) is one of DoD’s ten combatant commands and has several key roles in transforming the U.S. military’s capabilities.
- AMC Public Affairs – Air Mobility Command’s Public Affairs team
- Great Americans – A video-sharing Web site that showcases the stories of men and women who serve our nation in uniform.
- Military Updates
- Soldiers Angels – May no soldier go unloved
- Mail Our Military – Supporting our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard since 2001
- Sen Jim DeMint – U.S. Senator from South Carolina
- Rep. Roy Blunt – Republican Whip in the House of Representatives
- Rep. Eric Cantor – Chief Deputy Republican Whip and conservative rock star
- Rep. Jeff Flake – Another Republican rock star
- Rep. Bob Latta – Congressman for Ohio’s 5th District
- Rep. John Culberson – Congressman for Texas’ 7th District
- Rep. Thaddeus McCotter – Congressman for Michigan’s 11th District
- Dick Armey – Come on…you know who Dick Armey is.
- Rep. John Boozman – Congressman for Arkansas’s 3rd District
- Rep. John Boehner – Republican Leader in the U.S. House
- Rep. Pete Hoekstra – Congressman for Michigan’s 2nd District
- Rep. Rob Wittman – Congressman for the First Congressional District of Virginia
- Rep. Dan Burton – Congressman for Indiana’s 5th District
- Rep. Michael C Burgess – Congressman for the 26th District in Texas
- Rep. Randy Kuhl – Congressman for 29th the District of New York
- Rep. John Cornyn – Representing Texas in the Senate Since 2002.
- Fred Thompson – Needs to start tweeting more
- Tom Delay – Has yet to tweet. COME ON, HAMMER!
- Saul Anuzis – Michigan GOP Chairman, blogs at That’s Saul Folks
- GOP Leader – John Boehner
- Senate GOP – Follow the policies and actions of the United States Senate Republicans
- RNC – Updates from the Republican National Committee
- NRSC- National Republican Senatorial Committee
- GOPpolicy – House Republican Policy Committee, Chaired by Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, is the principal forum for forward-looking legislation
- Politicians – Andrew Min created this Twitter stream to funnel all the politicians on Twitter into one stream.
- USPOLS – U.S. politicians in their own words
- Senate Floor – United States Senate floor vote links
- House Floor – Live updates from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Department of Homeland Security – Updates from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Leadership Journal
- NTARC – Homeland Security National Terror Alert breaking news and information. Emergency preparedness.
- NASA – It’s NASA.
- Eric J Odom – Author of #dontgomovement and others
- PatrickRuffini – Author of The Next Right
- Melissa Clouthier – Author of Dr. Melissa Clouthier
- Michael Brodkorb – Author of Minnesota Democrats Exposed and winner of the 2008 Conservative Leadership Conference’s Blogger of the Year
- John Hawkins – Author of Right Wing News
- Jon Henke – Author of The Next Right
- La Shawn Barber – Author of La Shawn Barber
- Soren Dayton – Author of Soren Dayton
- Gregory Flap Cole – Author of FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog
- Katie Favazza – Author of Katie Favazza
- Fausta – Author of Fausta’s Blog
- Skye820 – Author of Midnight Blue
- Conservative – Author of Urban Conservative
- Andrew Min – Author at All American Blogger and other blogs.
- Blue Collar Muse – Author of Blue Collar Muse
- Hot Air – Twitter Stream for Hot Air
- Sonlit Knight – Author of A Newt One
- Media Lizzy – Author of Media Lizzy
- William Beutler – Author of The Next Right
- Matt Margolis – Author of Matt Margolis
- Robert Bluey – Author of Robert Bluey
- High Plains Blogger – Author of High Plains Blogger
- tmilanese – Author of The Daily Anti-Kos
- bamapachyderm – Author of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
- Douglas V Gibbs – Author of Political Pistachio
- ChooseTheHero – Author of Choose the Hero
- Rick Moore – Author of Holy Coast
- 1968eric – Author of Self-Composed
- Simpson316 – Author of The Minority Report
- 24th State – Author of Missouri blog, 24th State
- ByGraceNotMerit – Author of An Unlikely Perspective 2
- GrizzlyFeed – Feed for Grizzly Groundswell Conservative blog network
- The Loon – Author of One Loon’s Tales
- Michael Johns – Author of Michael Johns, former speech writer for George H.W. Bush
- Cyber Pastor – Author of Do the Right Thing
- Flag Gazer – Author of Gazing at the Flag
- Jenn of the Jungle – Author of The Political Jungle
- The American Mind – Twitter stream for the blog The American Mind
- Sean Hackbarth – Sean’s personal Twitter Stream
- Infidels are Cool – Twitter Stream for the blog Infidels are Cool
- techRepublican – Twitter Stream for the blog techRepublican
- Red State – Twitter Stream for the blog Red State
- K Ryan James – Author of Ryan James.us
- DogWings – Libertarian webmaster of All American Blogger
- The Palmetto Scoop – Twitter Stream for the blog The Palmetto Scoop
- gunrights – Host of Gun Rights
- Velvet Hammer – Author of Ironic Surrealism II
- arra – Dr. Bill Smith stream for his blog, ARRA News Service
- hubpolitics – Twitter stream for Massachusetts blog Hub Politics
- Conservatism – Twitter stream for the blog Concise Conservatism
- Cassy Fiano – Author of Cassy Fiano
- TNRight – Twitter stream for the blog The Next Right
- Newsbusters – The official blog of the Media Research Center
- Matthew Sheffield – President, Dialog New Media, blogger, columnist, producer, marketeer
- Bill Hobbs – Author of Bill Hobbs
- Instapundit – The Blogfather
- Atlas Shrugs – Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, needs to start updating
- Flopping Aces – Twitter stream of the blog Flopping Aces
- Daily Pundit – Twitter stream for the blog that named the blogosphere
- milblogging – The webmaster of milblogging.com
- Power Line Blog – Twitter stream for Power Line Blog
- Yankee Mom – Author of Yankee Mom and outspoken Army mom
- Pajamas Media – Twitter stream of Pajamas Media
- James Joyner – Author of Outside the Beltway
- Ron Coleman – Author of Likelihood of Confusion
- Hans Gruen – Author of Western Front America
- Bryan Pick – Author of Q And O
- Family Coalition Party – Ontario’s only pro-life, pro-family party
- Freedom Works – Lower Taxes, Less Government, More Freedom
- American Issues – …”founded to champion the conservative values that have made the United States of America a blessed nation”
- Eyeblast TV – brought to you by the Media Research Center
- Cost Of Democrats – A project by the NRSC
- Club 4 Growth
- American Future Fund – Conservative 501(c)(4) formed to provide Americans with conservative and free market viewpoints, advocating conservative issues and conservative legislation.
- Big Red Tent – The Republican Online Community with the Tools for Change
- RSC – The Republican Study Committee is a group of over 100 Conservative Congressmen in the House of Representatives.
- AmSol – American Solutions
- Cato Institute
- CPAC News
- Young America’s Foundation
- NTU – National Taxpayers Union
- #dontgo Movement
- The Heritage Foundation
- Sunlight Foundation or this Sunlight Foundation
- Accuracy In Media
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Will Wilkinson – Research Fellow at the Cato Institute and editor of Cato Unbound
- David All – Republican Web 2.0 Consultant
- Conservatweet – This Twitter-er is adding conservative blog feeds to his stream. Lots of tweets, but can be overwhelming.
- Rightblogs – Like Conservatweet.
- Chris Faulkner – Republican direct mail consultant, GOTV junkie and Chick-fil-a fanatic.
- Conservatives – Twitter updates from the Conservatives, bringing you the latest news as it happens.
- Nikki Star
- Humbled Infidel
- Donald Turnbull
- G Gordon Liddy
- Grover Norquist
- Buzz Patterson
- Hugh Hewitt
- Mark Levin
- Lt. Col. Allen West
I haven’t even scratched the surface yet. There are many conservatives and libertarians on Twitter. Don’t think that I left you off for a reason. There are just so many, it makes the list ridiculously long. So I would love to have you add your Twitter account to the comments below and add people you follow that I didn’t list above.
Let’s use this as a tool to share the conservative message and build a stronger online conservative community.