Councilman Not Getting This Twitter Thing

Richmond City Councilman E. Martin “Marty” Jewell told reporters this morning that he is “on the verge of giving up” on the social networking site Twitter, and was thinking of scrapping his account altogether.

“So like, when someone ‘ReTweets’ me, is that a good thing or a bad thing?  Do I ReTweet them back or something?” asked Jewell, frustratingly trying to shrink a normal-sized Web address into a smaller link that is suitable for posting on the 140-character or less microblogging site.  “I don’t understand how people have time for this.”

headshot_jewellAdded Jewell: “Oh look, a Britney Spears video site just started following me. Is that actually her?”

Jewell said he first joined Twitter back in May, tried it out for a few days, didn’t “get” it, then put the site on the backburner.  In recent weeks, however, the 5th District Councilman has attended nearly 40 local seminars on so-called “social media technologies,” which has further piqued his interest in the 3-year-old site that can be used to post status updates from a computer or handheld device.

“So let’s say I want to reply to someone, do I use the ‘at’ symbol or the pound sign? What’s the difference? This is so confusing,” Jewell said. “Do I need a typed profile?  Is that even important?  What should I use as my Web site?  Is my Twitter name, EMarty_Jay, okay?  How do I post a TwitPic?”

Continued Jewell: “Should I follow Ashton Kutcher? How do I find people? Should I make my profile private? What is TweetDeck?  How do I sync this to my cell phone? Do I need to have a BlackBerry? Will this work on a Mac or PC?  What does this whale on the screen mean? How do I get more followers?  Should I put out a press release telling constituents I’m on Twitter? How many tweets should I post per day? How do I post an avatar?  What’s an avatar anyway?  Why is everyone’s background a different color from mine?  Can I change the color and style of my background?  What’s the difference between a DM and an ‘at-reply’? Jesus Christ, can someone please explain this thing to me?”

Jewell said if he couldn’t figure Twitter out by the end of the month, he’d go back to sticking with an online technology he was more familar with such as Classmates.com.

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