I have a friend who is interested in trying Twitter out and wanted to get her up and Twittering quickly. Fortunately, I had just helped a coworker get on Twitter and made several suggestions to her on how to get started. Here’s that list of tools and tricks which should help you get started as well as a few resources for the Northwest Arkansas area.

Take two and a half minutes and watch Twitter in Plain English
Twitter Support FAQ -Learn how to use the basic functions of Twitter. Find out what how to add followers, @reply, and direct message.
Twitter Manual – Now that I have this thing what do I do with it? @davidrisley‘s Twitter Manual gives some good suggestions.
#hashtags – Track the conversation around a hashtag (check out the NWA ice storm feed: #nwaicestorm09, #nwark, #540, and Social Media Club NWA #NWASocial)
The Official Twitter Text Commands – Learn the basic Twitter commands.
http://twitter.com/invitations – Find people in your current address books and see if they’re on Twitter. For bonus points, direct message them and invite them to lunch or coffee and meet them in person. I’ve met some very interesting people doing this.
Twellowhood – Increase your list of followers list by navigating to your home town and finding people nearby who are Twittering.
Ten People All Twitter Beginners Should be Following – TwiTip’s Darren Rowse (@twitip) has some good suggestions of people to follow.
Mr. Tweet – Once you are following a few dozen people, use this service to find people who your followers are following and who you should be following as well.
SocialToo – This tool lets you monitor who’s newly following you and who’s stopped following. The service also notes on which tweet you were unfollowed which might suggest you’re writing about a topic that your followers might not be interested in.
Twitter Facebook Widget – Update Twitter and your Facebook status at the same time. Although there’s some overlap, my Facebook friends and Twitter followers tend to be different people. With this tool you can communicate with everyone at the same time. I’ve also found it easier to have a threaded conversation on Facebook than on Twitter.
TwitterVision – Watch Tweets overlaid on a world map (very mesmerizing)
TweetStats – analyze how a particular account uses Twitter. This is a good research tool if you want to see what successful Twitterers are doing.

To get you started, here’s a few local Northwest Arkansas news sources:
@4029news and @4029weather

You’ll also want to get some tools to help you keep track of Twitter. An excellent desktop Twitter client is TweetDeck. For an excellent mobile client, get an iPhone (like I wish I had).

If these links aren’t enough for you, Mashable has a huge list of interesting tools and tips. Also make sure you follow my friend Eve @emoemo333 and welcome her to Twitter.