‘Twitter’ is a free social networking service that has gained lots of popularity over the past few years. Twitter allows its users to send and read each others updates or ‘tweets’ which can be 140 characters long. Each user will have a Twitter profile page that will display the tweets and users can subscribe to a Twitter and leave comments. Users can receive tweets and updates via the Twitter website, RSS feeds, SMS or Email. One of the main reasons why Twitter became so popular, was because it had a wide range of desktop applications that made twittering that much cooler! Some of the applications includes Facebook, Tweetie, Twinkle and even mobile phones.
How to use Twitter
Twitter is a gateway to letting people know what you are doing. The manner in which you want to show people what you are doing, depends on the kind of audience you want to attract. Most techies for example, would use twitter to let others know what software they are working on as of that moment or even to provide thoughts about certain technologies or news alerts. My boss uses twitter to engage discussions about technology and business world affairs and I use it merely to let people know what I’m doing on a day to day basis. For example, sometime back I met with an accident along one of the main roads in Colombo and one of the first things that I did was tweet it.
Within a couple of minutes, I got dozens of calls asking whether I’m ok or needed any help. Twitter can be a lifesaver at times if you know how to use it ! The popularity of a twitter depends on the number of users that are following it. Users have the option of following a certain twitter if they find it interesting. Right now I have around 10 followers for my twitter which really sucks but can be improved over time, if I make my tweets interesting. So it’s essential you keep in mind what kind of a crowd is looking at your tweets and also what’s the crowd you want to attract.
How Twitter can be useful
Twitter can be used in many different ways.
1 – For school students, if anyone has a question related to a subject topic twitter about it to start a conversation and discuss answers. You could even share your answers for certain past paper questions.
2 – For university students, if you need help with your thesis such as collecting data, twitter about it to easily reach a wider audience.
3 – For professionals, tweet to keep tabs with your fellow colleagues, share your views on your field of expertise and use twitter to build up your personal brand.
4 – Twitter can also be useful when traveling to keep everyone updated. If you don’t have access to Internet, you can easily tweet via mobile phone by sending an SMS.
5 – If you’re a journalist, twitter provides the most up to date alerts about events happening around the world and even before they get to major news providers!
6 – Twitter can be of great use internally for a company that is located worldwide. Twitter can be used to keep others in-sync of your work and also to make sure memos and notices are sent and received by employees on time.