Friday, February 13, 2009

Twitter for Islander Fans (A Twitter HOW-TO)

I think it's kind of funny trying to bridge the gap between a Web 1.0 technology like a forum for hockey fans to something like twitter. For me, it's not really a transition, just something to augment pure NY Islander fan fare. I wrote this for an Islander Message board I'm a part of, so there may be some unfitting pieces here... enjoy.

An Islander's fan guide to using Twitter for Islander fun and expanding the reach of NYIslandersCountry.

This is long, I'm sorry but I tried to cover every step if you wanted to get on to Twitter and hookup with the other Islander fans around and spread the word from here.

What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. (*Wiki)

Twitter is good for a lot things, you can connect with people who have similar interest and news spreads pretty fast depending who you're following. For the purpose of this post I'm just sticking to it's benefit as an Islander fan (the way I use it), you can google plenty of info on Twitter if you want.

Step 1. Signup for Twitter ( - I haven't gotten any spam from signing up, just notifications of new people following my post or direct messages.

Step 2. Download a program called TweetDeck (

There are other programs that interface with Twitter, you can browse them here ( TweetDeck is what I use for Islander tweets so I'll go with it here.

Step 3. Open TweetDeck and login with your Twitter account.

(don't like the "tweet" sounds coming from TweetDeck, click on the wrench in the upper right and you can adjust it's settings)

Step 4. Click on the Search button at the top of TweetDeck, it's the magnifying glass.

Step 5. Where it says "What are you searching for" Type in #Isles

TweetDeck will create a column for all users who post using the #Isles hashtag (a way to set a topic in a post)

Step 6. Option 1. Follow Islander fans! When you see people post in the #Isles column, you can hover your mouse over their picture, 4 buttons will pop-up. The button in the lower right is for Other Actions. Click on that and on the menu that is displayed you'll have a selection to "Follow" this will let you see the users tweets in your All Friends column - even if they don't tag their tweets with #Isles (good if you think someone is cool, you can un follow them if you don't like what they post and only see their tweets when they use the #Isles hashtag)

Step 6. Option 2. Reply to other users, Move the mouse over the persons picture and click the left pointing arrow, TweetDeck will auto fill the TweetBox with the reply information. And if you're replying from within the #Isles column, it will auto-add the #Isles tag to your tweet so other Islander fans searching on Twitter can find your posts.

Cool, so that's all well and good for keeping up with Islander fans, but how to spread the IslanderCountry love? Easy!

Come across a great read here at IslanderCountry and want to share?
Awesome, that's a big part of twitter.

Step 1. In the What Are You Doing? box, put a brief description of the post (You only have 140 characters per post, and it's not fluid so you can't run on between tweets).

Step 2. Put the URL to the post in the Shorten URL box and click the shorten button to the right. This will create a short URL instead of a long one and will save space on the 140 character count.

Step 3. Don't forget to tag the tweet with the #Isles hashtag! This is big in bringing people who follow #Isles on twitter back to the great material here on IslanderCountry.

Hope someone finds this interesting, Us people at #Isles are lacking in a bit of Islander support on Twitter, if you have any questions feel free to PM me.

Twitter people good for the Islanders (& hockey) (this is an automated bot from the NHL or NYI that sends out game updates, currently it doesn't use the #Isles hashtag) (me)

There's a ton of other hockey people on, you can do your searching at

update: Visit Hockey Twits for a list of hockey users on twitter, separated by teams and including team hash tags!

(feel free to re-post)

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