Twitter, a micro-blogging service that allows users to send out 140-character messages, often called tweets, has become incredibly popular since its debut in 2006. By last year, it had over 300 million users. The company, which is based in San Francisco, also has plenty of local users including local celebrities and those regular folks whose San Francisco-related tweets are eagerly read by fans.
If you are new to Twitter, here are some Twitter conventions to learn: a person's username, or handle, is designated with the @ sign. To respond to someone else, just include their handle at the beginning of your tweet. Tags are used to indicate a subject and can be tracked across users and tweets, and are indicated with the # sign. If you have a Twitter account, you can retweet or repost someone else's tweet, which is indicated with RT.
Craig Newmark, founder of the eponymous Craigslist website, tweets about San Francisco happenings, issues relating to Craigslist and its policies and his new nonprofit Craigconnects. This newest invention is set to use technology for the human good, working with veterans and nonprofits to increase open government. His tweets will keep you the most up-to-date with the technological sector of news.
O'Reilly Media, founded by Tim O'Reilly, publishes some of the most used and most important computer and technology books in the world. O'Reilly's books and web content are a mainstay in Silicon Valley. CEO Tim O'Reilly tweets about technology and local tech events and issues, and keeps his finger on the pulse of the tech industry in the Bay Area.
Former San Francisco mayor and now Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom is a frequent user of social media. He may tweet less often now that he's in Sacramento, but Newsom is still worth following to find out the skinny from a political insider.
There are many news organizations in the Bay Area with twitter accounts, but KCBS, the Bay Area's only all-news radio station, does a great job with theirs. There's a focus on local news, weather and traffic/transit reports, but national and international news of importance is also frequently mentioned. If you want to keep up with breaking news without taking much time, following this twitter account is a great option. If you'd just like to keep track of traffic reports, KCBS has a traffic-only twitter account at @kcbstraffic.
Brent Burns currently plays for the San Jose Sharks hockey team and entertains his audience of twitter followers with a combination of enthusiasm, humor and insider information on hockey and the Sharks. If this icy sport is one of your favorites, then this twitter feed should be one of your bookmarks.
The SFist website is part news site, part blog, part exploration of local culture, and this twitter account follows suit. If you're interested in San Francisco restaurants and the food scene, parenting around the Bay Area or music and the arts, @SFist read-through is just your ticket.
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