Twitter's help pages drive me nuts

The basic idea behind Twitter seems so simple. You write short messages about things on your mind. Other people can follow you. You can follow other people. But as a newcomer I'm finding the support pages, at least the introductory ones I've looked at, a gorgeous mess.

Consider the first place I would expect to find help. I follow the Help link to the main support page, and from there go to "Twitter basics". So far it looks encouraging. "Welcome to Twitter Support", it says. The first link seems to be exactly what I want: "Twitter 101: How should I get started using Twitter?"

Unfortunately that page does not answer the "how" I would have expected from a Twitter 101 page. It gives a lot of advice like "discover sources" and "check it often", when the "how" I'm looking for is instructions for one or two use cases to get me off the ground, along with some basic terminology and visual orientation (as in, "What am I looking at?").

Embedded in the advice are links to pages that explain how to actually do various things. I might not mind that extra click to get to those pages, but look for example at the first of these links.

It’s best to begin your journey by finding and following other interesting Twitter accounts.

The linked page on "following" begins with two embedded YouTube videos that are almost all about feeling warm and fuzzy. They're very good promotional videos, but they are useless as instructional videos. They should not be taking up the first several inches of the article. They belong elsewhere.

The Twitter support pages sound like their primary mission is to sell me, or make me feel good about using Twitter, rather than instruct me. I'd almost prefer they didn't look so nice. If they looked like junk I'd have looked elsewhere for help in the first place.

Maybe I'm not the only one who's had this impression. The #NewTwitter version of the introduction to following looks much better.

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