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Twitter – a Brief Intro

October 9, 2008

I’ve been ‘playing’ on Twitter for a few months now. I choose who I follow based on whether we appear to have similar interests, and I let anyone who wants to follow me. There are people who I follow who don’t follow me, and people who follow me who I don’t follow back. It makes for a kind of discontinuous ‘conversation’, and you might wonder why I bother. Here are some reasons:

  • it can be interesting seeing what people are doing/thinking in different parts of the world;
  • I find links to sites about things that interest me, mostly about the impact of social media on education and small businesses;
  • I find blogs I want to add to my RSS reader;
  • reading Tweets can take the boredom out of waiting.

If you’ve heard the buzz about Twitter but don’t ‘get’ it, here are two resources that might help you start, but you have to play on Twitter for at least a month to find out how you might want to use it, and if it’s useful for you.

CommonCraft’s Twitter in Plain English by Lee LeFever

Biz Stone’s How Do You Use Twitter, on Vimeo

http://vimeo.com/1466612

The discipline of only having 140 character spaces helps you practice alternative phrasing, brevity, and, possibly, texting spellings. The availablity of Twitter on mobile devices allows you to do silly things like watch political debates while reading Tweets and writing them while the debate (or game or show) is still going on.

Personally I use a variety of Twitter applications:

  • On my laptop
    • http://twitter.com/home – the home site
    • http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta/ – which allows me to see any Replys or Direct Messages even if I’ve missed them when they first showed up on Twitter
    • There are many, many Twitter applications – use Google if you want to try some of the others.
  • On my iPhone
    • Twitterific – which is free from the App Store
    • Summizer – $2.99 from the App Store and allows you to search for topics and/or follow hashtags (Look it up;-> I had to).

So give Twitter a try, but do watch out; it can become addictive;->

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2008 12:15 am

    Nice post. Short, focussed on useful, practical tips.
    It’s hard not to get hooked. Since it is so easy to manage a 140 character tweet. In fact that brevity, has its own intellectual opportunities. Elaine

  2. October 10, 2008 7:25 am

    Thanks Elaine. Like you, I especially like the challenge of brevity.

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