To send a message to your network in general, just put your thoughts in the text entry box and hit update. Really, it’s that simple. If you want to send a link though I recommend you use a URL shortening tool like tinyURL, Bit.ly, Ow.ly or Su.pr (Google them) to make the URL short and not take up too many of your precious 140 characters.

If you want to send a message to someone or reply to something they said, you put an @ sign in front of their username, and a space followed by your message.“@Username My message is really simple. Here’s a link: http://bit.ly/O9Zil “

This message goes to everyone who follows both of you, and becomes part of the main Twitter stream as well as in the “mentions”  window of the person you sent it to.

If you want to send a semi-private message (there is no privacy on the internet) then you put ‘d’ space username and the message. These are called Direct Messages or DMs for short. “D username How are you? Heard you weren’t feeling so hot. “

It’s wise to never send a DM you want to be absolutely private. People inadvertently mistype this all the time and send those messages out to the world. Or the person you are sending it to may reply instead of direct messaging you back by accident.

Re-tweets are another way to send a message and they are really important. A re-tweet is when you find a link or comment so valuable you want to share it with your own network of followers. Copy the entire message including the user name and paste it in the message window. At the very beginning of the message put RT space @ and the username it came from. “RT: @username (then quote exactly what they said here. Don’t edit unless to fit.”)

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