Using Twitter to keep in touch

Twhat? you mak ask. According to the Twitter website "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"

For our purposes we can use it to answer questions like-

  • Which site are you heading to?
  • What are the conditions like right now?
  • Where did you land?

The principle is pretty simple really - you send a short (140 character max) message and anyone listening can recieve it. We can use this to immediately communicate with other pilots. It will help us to find out where other pilots are heading, find the best conditions, organise retrieves, etc.


How to access it

You can access the service in three ways - via the web, using a Twitter client on an internet capable mobile phone, or by txt messaging.

  • Web - You will see a Twitter messages block on the right hand side of the Cloudbase homepage, or you can go directly to the Twitter web site at
  • Mobile Internet - Download one of the many mobile Twitter clients to your phone.
  • Txt - Send your txt message to "twtr" (8987). You will pay your normal txt message rates to send but messages you receive are free on Vodafone and Telecom.

The mobile internet and txt messages are particularly useful because you can send updates at any time and from anywhere. So it is a great way to keep in touch with conditions as they change through the day.


How to get started

You will need to create an account at Twitter. Unfortunately at this stage the Twitter account is completely separate from your Cloudbase account, but I will work towards building a single sign-on mechanism so that we can share sessions between the two web sites in future.

Once you have a Twitter account you can post your own messages (Tweets) but you also need to "follow" ahgpc to receive Tweets from the group. You also need the ahgpc account to "follow" you before you can send direct messages to ahgpc, so you need to send a message to the Cloudbase webmaster stating your Twitter login name and Cloudbase login name (passwords are NOT required). Then you should be set up in a few days or less. Make sure that you enter your phone number into your profile on Twitter to be able to send and receive txt messages. Check the Twitter help pages if you need assistance to set any of that up.

This service is currently only available to AHGPC club members. If you do not see a blue Twitter box below the New Stuff section on the right of the front page, it is probably because you don't have Club Member role on Cloudbase. In this case please contact the webmaster.

The detailed steps are:

  1. Go to and create an account.
  2. Enter your mobile phone number on the settings page.
  3. Choose to "follow" ahgpc AND turn device updates on.
  4. Then send a message to the Cloudbase webmaster stating your Twitter login name and Cloudbase login name.
  5. Then wait until ahgpc is following you.


Sending messages to the group

With Twitter you normally have to follow each other user to receive their Tweets. You can still do that if you like, but it means that everyone has to find and follow everyone else. Therefore I have set up ahgpc to be a group account. If you send a Direct Message to ahgpc it will automatically repost that message so that all followers will receive it.

To send a direct message:

  • from the web use the Direct Messages link on the right hand side of the Twitter web page.
  • by txt send a txt to 8987 starting with "d ahgpc" followed by the rest of your message.


Twitter TXT Commands

If you want to change your settings by txt message there are a number of commands at Twitter Text Commands.


Getting more help

There is a wealth of help information on the Twitter Help Page.


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