I know many of you can keyword “Twitter” on google and get a million hits. I’m not here to tell you how to use Twitter or what you should be using Twitter for or how to monetize or socialize or network on Twitter. I can tell you that Twitter was founded in 2006 and is a social networking service that I recently joined August of last year. You have the freedom to follow other people and they can follow you (or not). You have only 140 characters (spaces included) to tweet your thoughts, so no room for error. It’s micro-blogging at it’s best.
Changing the Dynamics Between the Media and the Public?
I find it really amusing that Twitter is getting more publicly recognized by the media. Some people publicly mock as well as publicly gush about this service. What’s even more amusing is the number of celebrities who use Twitter. I don’t have a list for you but I’m sure this information is easy enough to find if you have a desire to find it.
What I find really interesting is the continued use of Twitter to seek out public opinion on public issues/social issues unfiltered in 140 characters or less. Or having politicians making their case directly to their followers/base on Twitter. Or celebrities like basketball great, Shaquille O’Neal encouraging his Twitter followers to meet him in person. Not smart but not everybody is built like Shaq. The dynamics between the fan and the celebrity and/or the public and media is changing. It is awesome but like everything Twitter has a downside and some things one has to keep in mind:
1. Use some common sense (strangers are following you, not your family members or BFF’s)
2. Spammers – people who create an account and follow you along with three thousand other people. I weed them out regularly
3. Some people have lost their jobs discussing “work related stuff on Twitter. Refer to #1.
4. I would never recommend meeting people you Tweet with online (unless you know them offline and yes there are exceptions to this so use good judgement)
I’m sure there’s more you would need to be aware of but those four come to mind first. As with all things that you utilize on the ‘net, use with caution and use some common sense. I don’t feel compelled to use Twitter everyday nor do I have the time. I do enjoy the conversations I have with the people that I follow. But Twitter for me is a hobby. I’m not there to network or promote anything. It’s just another cool way to post a thought that doesn’t require me to write more than 140 characters when I don’t feel like blogging.
Actually, to tweet is an art form that many have down pat (and I hope to copy). The ability to communicate your thoughts well enough to understand in 140 characters is a skill. Twitter, since I’ve used it, provides the most up to date info sometimes on breaking news and events. That’s what I use it for (or try to use it for) and really, once you weed out all the bad apples (on a daily basis), Twitter is and can be a fun place to visit and can (if you let it) be addictive. You can and do meet some interesting people there. Even my mother asked me today: what is Twitter? Well, it’s the third largest networking service that…