Do you Twitter yet? Do you even know why you should? Do you know what Twitter is?
What is Twitter? 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?” . Twitter lets you send 140 character messages that are visible to anyone and the messages can be sent via the web, IM, cell phone SMS text messaging and the Twitter API. Twittering is also referred to as micro-blogging – and most Twits are easier to read and scan because of the 140 character limitation. Twitter is definitely moving into the mainstream as evidenced by these two recent quotes:
- “Twitter is one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet” – New York Times
- ‘Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app” – TIME Magazine
Common Craft put together this short video to explain Twitter:
Why do I care? Sure, people share some mundane things in their life, but the real value of Twitter is gathering a group of people you follow and learning from them. I use Twitter to find great blog posts and other resources that I may have otherwise missed. Many astute companies are now using Twitter from a marketing perspective to listen to what their customers are saying and to promote blog posts, news articles and press releases. For example, CIO.com is active in Twitter as well as the Editor-in-Chief, Abbie Lundberg, and editor/writer Esther Schindler.
There is even a website called Tweetscan where you can search on companies, people and other phrases.
Twitter Resources Here are some other essential Twitter links to check out:
- Twitter Guide by Caroline Middlebrook
- Twitter Resource Roundup from the ext337 blog
- Advanced Twittering by Jim Storer of Mzinga
- Twitter 101 presentation by Dustin Jacobsen
- Twitter Resources in the EKIVE blog
- Twitter Pack – see who you should follow sorted by company, topic, geography, industry and profession. For example, there is a list of the key Usability/UX professionals who Twitter (see the Catalyze Discussion post on Twitter Usability/UX pros).
It does take some upfront investment of time to get started with Twitter and you have to find the right set of people to follow who are not going to waste your time.
You can find me on Twitter at @tomhumbarger. I look forward to seeing you in the “twittersphere”.