You are welcome to create any twitter user name that you desire. Keep in mind this is your account name; you can always use your real name in your twitter profile settings.

If you have concerns about personal information online, we suggest that you create a twitter username that does not include any personal identifiers (e.g. that includes your real name). Use a nickname, a cartoon character, a favorite movie character, maybe a username that you use elsewhere.

Follow our suggestions below when you create a new account at When you get there click the Signup button.

When you create a new twitter account, you will be asked for your name. You are not required to enter your real name; maybe start with just your first name. Or create a name for a character. Enter your email or phone number and create a password.

Twitter will seek new users to provide information; we suggest bypassing that. It will ask for a phone number, look closely for the “skip” link below the button.

Twitter will suggest a username based on whatever you entered in the first step, you can use any of the suggestions or try your own.

More questions will follow- it will ask about interests. We suggest just skipping by clicking “Continue” without selecting any of the interests. Twitter keeps wanting more information, like your contact list. Skip as much as possible by clicking “No Thanks”.

Next it will suggest people to “follow”, mostly celebrities, athletes, or politicians. If you leave them all checked, all of their tweets will show up in your timeline. This is a lot of noise. By default, Select All is chosen. Click the checkbox so they are all unchecked.

Composing your first tweet, make it memorable!

Just go as far as getting ready to send a first tweet. You are poised to answer that philosophical question “What will be my first tweet?”

Make it a good one, something maybe more profound than “My first tweet”. But here is the first lesson– hashtags — these are the ways your message can be grouped with others of the same interest.

So we suggest you say something about twitter, or this project, or a photo of your cat, BUT include #oextend in your message. Trust us. This generates an easy way to see all other tweets that have used the same tag.

So what happens after you tweet?


Nobody knows you are here.

There is a chance that someone else who is part of #oextend will see your first tweet and reply. But don’t count on it.

The first days on twitter  are a time to build up your network by following other people, reading tweets, replying if appropriate, seeing who others follow and converse with. When you follow someone all of their tweets show up on your twitter home screen. Start by visiting the profile of the account for our project @OntarioExtend and click the orange Follow button; this way you will see our announcements.

In our account we assembled a list of people involved in the project, and that is a good place to start choosing colleagues to follow  Now when you click the Home button in twitter, you will see tweets from these people in your timeline. You might want to just read, check out links they are sharing, or reply.

The “@” symbol signifies a mention in a tweet. If you include a mention of @greeneterry in your tweet, then Terry will see the tweet in his mentions. It’s a way to draw someone’s attention.

Locating the menu item for editing your twitter profile

Lastly save this URL or use #oextend in the search box to see all the tweets with that tag. That’s the best way to see what’s new in the Ontario Extend twitter stream.

Don’t worry about “figuring out twitter” now. That will come with practice and participating. You can also explore the ways to customize your profile. Look under the icon on the top right.

I got my twitter on, what’s next?

Featured Image: Red Robin Young Chick pixabay photo by Finy shared into the public domain using CC0