The list of "trending topics" on the right side of Twitter's home page is a coveted spot because millions of people see it. It often reflects what's hot in the news, from the death of Steve Jobs to Kim Kardashian's latest exploits.
Sometimes a topic that seems hot, like Occupy Wall Street, doesn't trend, leading some activists to charge Twitter with censorship. But the complex algorithms that determine trending topics are intended to find what's trending in the moment, and not what's been around for a long time.
Getting a spot on the trending list has become so important that television programs hire consultants to help them get there.
Not too long ago there were basically two ways to become a trending a topic on Twitter: Be Justin Bieber or a dead celebrity. Here are three ways to become a trending topic on Twitter. 1. Start a meme that asks a question or poses a challenge. 2. Work a line at a big event. 3. Time your tweets for the most active tweeting.