Microblogs are a category of ICT applications that have emerged in recent years with Twitter being the most recognizable and popular service. Other applications include Plurk , and Identi.ca .

Commoncraft Videos has developed a series of explanatory videos relating to a number of web based applications and concepts. Twitter in Plain English

Typically, the microblog is a very brief message which often contains a hyper link to a more comprehensive online resource such as a web-page, blog or wiki page.
After creating a very simple online account, people create and broadcast messages of 140 characters or less.

The composition of such brief messages is an art form in itself and has spawned an whole vocabulary of abbreviations and short cuts similar to those employed in the age of the telegraph or Morse code. Such messages borrow from the syntax and vocabulary of Instant Messaging and SMS text chat. While new usages are emerging everyday, various repositories have been developed. See for example the Twittionary . And the Urban Dictionary .

WARNING: Some of the terms and concepts discussed on Twitter and included in resources like the Urban Dictionary must be classified as NSFW. NSFW is code meaning Not Safe For Work. This means that the linked resource contains material that would be considered objectionable in most work-places and the mere act of opening such a link from a work computer might expose the person to the risk of punitive measures.

As a general rule of thumb, never post or re-broadcast material that you would not be comfortable seeing posted on the staff room wall connected to with your name.

Users set up networks of contacts and broadcast messages to the entire system. Other subscribers can "follow" the messages being broadcast and can, in turn, broadcast and re-broadcast messages to their own unique network of followers. One subscriber can follow many others and can have many people following them. Many times networks overlap especially when a community of interest ( such as teachers) has a large number of members subscribing. Systems have emerged to allow people to organize followers and information. One of the simplest solutions is the hash tagging system where people posting messages append a phrase that begins with the # sign. (eg, #habs, or #manitoba) If a group wishes to share information over time they include the hash tag in a message. Others enter the hash tag of interest to gain access to a repository of messages sent with that hash tag appended. This particularly effective for large numbers of people following a real time event such as a convention or presentation. Real time messages sent in the context of online or face to face event are sometimes referred to as a "back channel" and can be a very useful information sharing mechanism.

Many Bloggers or news outlets use Twitter to notify followers of new publish content on their blog or website. This function is very similar to RSS.

The assignment for ICT 07755 is to set up a Twitter account using your anonymous class identity. Connect with the instructor and the other class participants by following their Twitter accounts. The instructor has established a Twitter group at @ggatin/BUICT07755 and a hash tag #BU07755.

Build and follow a personal network and seek out Twitter accounts that offer information about your topics of interest.
Many Twitter etiquette protocols are being worked out an a few contrarian versions exist as well.
A simple Google search will reveal many repositories and lists of Twitter user groups: