twitter for journalists
If you're new to Twitter, sign up for an account at twitter.com. If you want to keep your work life and personal observations separate, create two separate accounts. When choosing a username, keep it short, memorable and relevant - your username will be part of your personal "brand," so avoid picking names like "SoccerFan1" or "MultimediaJournalist," since those won't help distinguish you from hundreds of similar Twitter of users. Avoid very long names, since they’ll cut into the 140-character limit in replies.
After signing up, Twitter will prompt you to start following people. Following people simply means those users' updates will show up in a feed on your home page. To help you follow people, Twitter offers suggestions broken down over interest categories.
If you type "journalism" into the search field at the top of the screen, you'll get a pretty good starting point of results. That list will include users all the way from the Wall Street Journal's main account (@WSJ) to Andrew DeVigal (@drewvigal), the multimedia editor of The New York Times, to the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard (@NiemanLab). Simply click the "Follow" button to the right of each user's name to have their posts added to your stream.
Keep in mind that, unlike Facebook, Twitter is not primarily about following friends — it’s about finding interesting people and interesting streams (either to you personally or relevant to your beat). The real power of Twitter may not become apparent until you’ve started following at least 100 interesting people, so spend some time searching for keywords and evaluating streams, adding only the best ones to your feed. If you follow people who aren’t interesting, your stream will fill with noise and the appeal of the network will be lost.
Curate your list of folowees carefully!
Once you're finished finding users through the interest search, you can then find friends and contacts who use Twitter.
Click on the "Friends" link at the top of the current page. That will take you to a new page that will allow you to search your Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, LinkedIn and/or AOL accounts for contacts registered with Twitter.
Don't worry — Twitter won't share your contact information without your consent (or send you spam).
Once you've finished following users, click on the "Finish" button at the bottom of the screen.