facebookmari explains it way better!! The @ symbol is used with a Twitter user's username e.g. mine would be @howen. It indicates a reply, mention, and / or a re-tweet, and is a form of providing links in a conversation, as well as being a type of attribution if you are sharing a resource or comment. It means that other people can also join the conversation, especially if you use a combination of @ and a hash tag. For example, I might see a great resource from @playnice about #elearning - the two symbols mean that I can re-tweet her link and other folk know that playnice found and shared the resource, and that the topic is eLearning.
Clear as mud? Never fear - the following resources should shed more light on the basics of using Twitter.
- This resource, The Twitter Hash Tag: What Is It and How Do You Use It?, provides a pretty clear overview of hashtags - what they are, and where they come from.
- Wondering what 'follow' means on Twitter? This resource clearly explains it.
- If you would like a wider overview of further features of Twitter and how to use it Brent Ozar (@BrentO) has written, and made available for free download The Simple Twitter Book