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Twitter (in plain English)
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This video introduces the popular micro-blogging service Twitter.  The video focuses on Twitter's ability to connect people in new ways, using short messages. The video includes:

  • Why answers to the question "what are you doing" are interesting.
  • The mechanics of Twitter - signing up, sharing and reading messages
  • How a skeptical person fell in love with Twitter

So, what are you doing?  It's one of the first questions we often ask friends and family.  Even if the answer is just mowing the lawn or cooking dinner, it's interesting to us.  It makes us feel connected and a part of each other's lives.

Unfortunately, most of our day-to-day lives are hidden from people that care. Of course, we have email and blogs and phones to keep us connected, but you wouldn't send an email to a friend to tell them you're having coffee - your friend doesn't need to know that. But - what about people that want to know about the little things that happen in your life?  Real life happens between blog posts and emails and now there's a way to share.

This is Twitter in Plain English

Thanks to Twitter, it's possible to share short, bite-sized updates about your life and follow the updates of people that matter to you via the web. Here's how it works.

Meet Carla.  She's addicted to her mobile phone, reads blogs every day and has contacts all over the world. 

She heard about Twitter and was sceptical. After some of her friends couldn't stop talking about it, she gave it a try.

She signed up for free and saw that Twitter pages look a little like blogs with very short posts - each page is personal and has updates from friends.

She got started by looking up her friends on  After finding a few, she clicked "follow" to start seeing their updates on her Twitter page.

Within hours, she began to see a different side of people she chose to follow.  She didn't know that Steven in Seattle was a baseball fan, or that Julia in London was reading a new investment book.  The little messages from Twitter painted a picture of her friends, family and co-workers that she'd never seen before - it was the real world.

Soon she became a fan of Twitter and posted updates every day.  Her friends followed her updates and learned that she recently discovered a passion for Van Halen. They could see Carla's life between blog posts and emails.

For Carla, Twitter worked because it was simple. The updates were always short - under 140 charactersPlus, she could post updates and follow her friends using the Twitter web site, software on her browser, a mobile phone or instant messages

By asking members to answer the question "what are you doing?" Carla found that Twitter brought her closer to people that matter to her - 140 characters at a time. 

Find out what your friends are doing at

I'm Lee LeFever and this has been Twitter in Plain English.

MOWING THE LAWN= Cutting the grass in your yard or garden to make it look nice and levelled.

DAY-TO-DAY= Ordinary (opposite to "extraordinary, special, different")

CARE= If you care about something/someone you are interested about it/them because you think they're important.

BLOG POSTS= The messages you write on your web blog.

IN PLAIN ENGLISH= If you say or write something "in plain English", you express it in a simple and easy way so everybody can understand.


UPDATES= (web language) An update is any new change, addition or upload. Usually, when we talk about "updates" in a blog, Twitter, etc., we refer to the new messages people write on them.

PEOPLE THAT MATTER TO YOU= People who are important to you.

VIA= This preposition expresses the way for something to get somewhere. So if you fly to Paris via London, you stop or pass over London before arriving in Paris.

SCEPTICAL= /skeptɪkəl/ If you are sceptical about something you are not sure about it, you think that it may be true but it's probably not. In this case she wasn't sure about how useful Twitter could be.

SHE GAVE IT A TRY= She tried it out, she decided to try it to see how it was.

SIGNED UP= Registered.

UPDATES FROM FRIENDS= New messages that friends post (=write, upload) there.

A DIFFERENT SIDE= A new perspective. If you see a different side of somebody, you get a different opinion about them or learn different information about them.

UNDER 140= Less than 140.

CHARACTERS= Letters from the alphabet (also numbers and other special characters)

PLUS,= (conversational free connector) Besides, moreover, in addition to that, also.

CLOSER TO= Nearer.


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© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
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