TechEd 2011 Twitter Primer–a newbie guide #msteched

Published 12 May 11 03:15 PM | rodtrent

If you’re hip to Twitter already, here are the few things you need to know to tap into Twitter activity at the event, follow the “tweets” that matter most to you, and so discover your chirping community of “tweeps”. (And for those of you who haven’t yet eaten the Twitter birdseed, scroll further down for a short "how-to" primer intended to get you up and running fast.)


Twitter Accounts & Hashtags


For event-related news and announcements from the team responsible for managing the show.

To watch for the best vendor SWAG information and also to


The “official” hashtag of the event to be used by anyone to denote content related to the event or posted during the event with the intention that the rest of the Twitter community at TechEd should be able to find it and respond.

Session code hashtags such as #TEPRC13

Look for these on the title slides of all the sessions in the formal program. You can use these tags to send or find tweets about a particular session at TechEd 2011 before, during, and after a given session. (General format is #teXXXXX where "XXXX" is a specific session code)


Use this hashtag to keep track of Community gatherings at TechEd 2011. If you are attending a community gathering, Tweet the name of the location where you are either already at, or will be heading toward, and then add the #mstefun hashtag at the end of the Tweet. For those wanting to figure out what to do, just follow the #mstefun hashtag using your favorite Twitter tool and show up. That’s it!


And what’s more, since the folks who are twittering about the event are almost certain to be Atlanta, you can even—if so motivated— send an @ or DM and meet up (or “tweet up”) with them in person. That’s one of the great things about an event like TechEd: the boundary between online and offline worlds becomes fluid and dynamic, and your opportunities to connect with others are only limited by the time you have available and the energy you have to be social.

A Short Twitter Primer
If you’ve never used a Twitter client and don’t really get what all the chirping is about, we invite you to give it a chance and join in on the ongoing, 140-character-at-a-time conversation. What follows is a brief set of instructions on what you need to do to begin to take advantage of Twitter in the context of TechEd 2011.

Getting Started

If you are new to Twitter and need a clue on how to get started, here's how you do it, basically:

1. Set up an account on Twitter at, and familiarize yourself with the basic help info they provide to explain how it works.
2. Look for users you want to follow using the search function on the site, or go to Twitter Search at to look up those who, for example, have been using the event hashtag, #msteched, in their tweets— these are likely people at the event who will be worth following while you are here.

3. Once you've subscribed to some folks, you'll want to be able to send tweets yourself. To do this, you can either use the Web interface on Twitter itself, or you can use any number of tools that can speak to the Twitter API, including Smartphone or iPhone apps or your cell phone's txt messaging function.

4. To send via txt, first make sure your phone is set up in your Twitter profile, and then, to tweet, use the "40404" short code plus any needed commands along with your message (and the #msteched hashtag, if the tweet is relevant to the event).

5. Finally, in order to monitor activity on the event hashtags (#msteched, for example), you can do different things, but one way is to set up an RSS feed through a search query on Twitter Search, and load up the RSS feed URL in the RSS aggregator of your choice, whether on your desktop or in your feed-enabled cell phone. Here are some desktop apps to consider:

· TweetDeck,, which looks cool on the screen. Just load up the accounts you wish to monitor and minimize the screen just to show the latest tweets only. In addition, it also gives you the ability to monitor and manage Facebook and other social networking apps, so it’s an all-around star for those into social media.

· IE feed reader, within the Favorites menu. Less interesting as a client, but simple enough to use.

· FeedDemon:

Using an Event Hashtag

As noted above, the official event hashtag for TechEd 2011 is #msteched. Whenever you want to share a comment with the community about the event, just be sure to include the appropriate hashtag when you tweet. This will also make it much easier to find and follow others at the event who are tweeting on things that might be of interest to you.

Following Others
As awesome as your tweets may be, it won’t amount to much if you don’t attract followers. Take time with people you meet at the event to chat up your Twitter account and have them follow you—distribute cards with your Twitter account or some other online address (like a blog) that help connect people with your different information streams.


If you’re now ready and raring to go, learn all about how to join the Twitter Army at TechEd 2011 and grab the official Twitter guide.

Twitter Army at TechEd 2011

Twitter at TechEd 2011 Guide


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